Video: The Emancipation Proclamation

National Association of Scholars

On January 1, 1863, more than three and a half million enslaved blacks in the Confederate states became free when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet several years of bitter fighting lay ahead to make that proclamation a reality.

Why did Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation in the middle of the war after several years of fighting? How did it lay the groundwork for the passage of the 13th Amendment? What was the public reaction in the North at the time to the Emancipation Proclamation?

This webinar features Edna Greene Medford, professor of history and former chair of the Department of History at Howard University, and Jonathan White, associate professor of American studies at Christopher Newport University. The discussion is moderated by David Randall.


Photo: Gardner, Alexander, photographer. Abraham Lincoln, half-length portrait, seated, with pencil and spectacles retouched. , 1865. [Washington, D.C.: Gardner's Gallery, Feb. 5, printed later] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2002725277/.

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