Manuscript Gallery | Abraham Lincoln Papers

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Emancipation Proclamation (preliminary version). First printed edition. Washington, September 22, 1862. Stern Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

President Lincoln issued this first printing of the preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation in general orders format, as an order from the Commander-in-Chief to the armed forces. Having direct control over the Army, the President could thus make it unnecessary to go through Congress to activate the Proclamation. The preliminary version differs from the final version of January 1, 1863, in placing a greater emphasis on the preservation of the Union as a motivating force for the Proclamation.

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Manuscript Gallery | Abraham Lincoln Papers