Today’s blog post comes from National Archives social media intern Anna Fitzpatrick.
January 1 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. While this document is remembered for freeing the slaves in the Southern states, petitioners had been attempting to end slavery since the nation’s founding. Petitions by anti-slavery groups were sent to the newly elected Congress soon after it first met.
On December 30, 1799, the Reverend Absalom Jones and other free blacks of Philadelphia sent a petition to Congress. Although they recognized the “blessing” of their freedom, they were concerned about their fellow men: “We cannot be insensible of the condition of our afflicted Brethren, suffering under various circumstances in different parts of these States; but deeply sympathizing with them, We are incited by a sense of Social duty and humbly conceive ourselves authorized to address and petition you in their behalf.”
Jones and the petitioners noted that the Constitution “is violated by a trade carried on in a clandestine manner to the Coast of Guinea.” They also mentioned that the Southerners’ practice of kidnapping free African Americans and transporting them to Southern states in order to sell them also violated the “solemn Compact” of the Constitution. The petition ends with this appeal:
In the Constitution, and the Fugitive bill, no mention is made of Black people or Slaves—therefore if the Bill of
Posted by Hilary on December 4, 2012, under - Civil Rights, - Civil War.
Tags: Absalom Jones, African Americans, Congress, Emancipation Proclamation, EP 150, free blacks, Philadelphia, slave trade, slavery
The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. . . . In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth. President Abraham Lincoln, 1862.
Two original versions of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed together for the first time in the Schomburg Center in New York City from September 21 to 24.
This is a rare opportunity to see the signed draft that is part of the holdings of the National Archives. This document represents the transformation of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation from intent to action. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln’s handwritten draft was transcribed, affixed with the Seal of the United States, and signed by him. The Proclamation now carried the force of law.
The Proclamation had been in development since the summer. In July 1862, President Lincoln read his “preliminary proclamation” to his Cabinet but decided to wait for a Union military victory to issue it. On September 17, 1862, over 6,000 Union and Confederate men died at Antietam in the bloodiest day in American history. Thousands more were wounded or missing. It was also the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
On … [ Read all ]
Americans are used to waiting in line for things they really want: tickets to a rock concert, a World Series game or a controversial new movie, for example.
At the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, this week some people waited all night for a brief look at one of the nation’s most historic documents — the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Proclamation was on display for 36 hours in conjunction with the showing at the museum of NARA’s “Discovering the Civil War” exhibit, which is on display there through September 5, before moving on to Houston and Nashville.
The Emancipation Proclamation, part of the National Archives’ holdings, is displayed very infrequently and for short periods because of its fragile condition, which exposure to light can worsen, and the need to preserve the document for future generations. On display in Dearborn were only two of the five pages and a replica of the front page; the document is double-sided.
With this historic document on display, the Henry Ford Museum got one of the biggest turnouts ever. The 36 hours began at 7 p.m. Monday, June 20, and ended at 7 a.m. Wednesday, June 22.
Press accounts reported that there were waits of up to six to eight hours, some of it in the rain.
The line was so long, according to Kate Storey, a museum spokesman, that it had to be cut off at … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jim on June 24, 2011, under - Civil War, News and Events, preservation, Unusual documents.
Tags: 36 hours, Dearborn, discovering the civil war, Emancipation Proclamation, Henry Ford Museum, Houston, Michigan, Nashville, President Lincoln, slavery
The issue of slavery divided the country under Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency. The national argument was simple: either keep slavery or abolish it. But Abraham Lincoln, known as the Great Emancipator, may have also been known as the Great Colonizer when he supported a third direction to the slavery debate: move African Americans somewhere else.
Long before the Civil War, in 1854, Lincoln addressed his own solution to slavery at a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois: “I should not know what to do as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” While Lincoln acknowledged this was logistically impossible, by the time he assumed the Presidency and a Civil War was underfoot, the nation was in such duress that he tried it anyway.
By early 1861, Lincoln ordered a secret trip to modern-day Panama to investigate the land of a Philadelphian named Ambrose Thompson. Thompson had volunteered his Chiriqui land as a refuge for freed slaves. The slaves would work in the abundant coal mines on his property, the coal would be sold to the Navy, and the profits would go to the freed slaves to further build up their new land.
Lincoln sought to test the idea on the small slave population in Delaware, but the idea met fierce … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on December 1, 2010, under - Civil Rights, - Civil War, News and Events.
Tags: abraham lincoln, american history, civil war, discovering the civil war, emancipation and deportation, lincoln on slaves, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, National Archives Official Blog, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, slavery, strange history, was lincoln racist, weird US history
Juneteenth is actually June 19, the day on which word finally made it to Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War was over and that Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves. As the story goes, these 250,000 slaves were the last to hear the good news.
It was Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger who read General Order No. 3 to the people of Galveston:
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
The day is now celebrated as the day of African American emancipation in many communities throughout the country, and even the President made a statement on last year’s Juneteenth, which was the 144th anniversary of the occasion. This year marked the 145th anniversary of the first Juneteenth. Thirty-six states now recognize the day.
June 19 is also a date of significance to the National Archives. … [ Read all ]