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Robert McNamara

Newspaper Sunday: The Emancipation Proclamation

By December 30, 2012

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As New Year's Day approached 150 years ago, plenty of Americans would have been happy to see the end of 1862. The year had brought the great battles at Shiloh, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. The Civil War, which many people had expected to end quickly, was obviously going to continue for some time.

On the first day of the year the traditional White House reception was held. And that particular New Year's Day would always stand out for a truly historic act: President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Newspapers at the beginning of 1863 were largely focused on the relentlessly grim news of the war, yet some stories had an uplifting tone. The end of slavery in America was coming into sight.

The links below lead to excerpts from the vintage newspaper articles. On the excerpt pages you may click the "persistent link" to view the entire page of the newspaper at the Chronicling America site of the Library of Congress.

Photograph: Abraham Lincoln, 1863, by Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress


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