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Hai Nguyen History 17B

First of all, I must say I had a hard time reading the draft even though the handwriting was really nice. This very first draft is relatively short. But it still states the main idea, which is as of January 1, 1863, all slaves in those areas in rebellion against the United States (in other words, those areas of the South not yet conquered by the Northern army) were declared free. Though it did not apply to the loyal border slave states (Tennessee and parts of Virginia and Louisiana), but still, the vast majority of the Souths slaves, which were more than 3 million men, women, and children. These words capture the essential character of Lincoln's work in the document. Because the draft must be prepared before he reads and discusses with other Cabinet members; the content of the draft should have shocked some people. Maybe Lincoln was asking for revisions and refinements to the document by listening to the opinions from the members of the cabinet. Lincoln continued revising the proclamation over the next two months until the next version in September 1862. The version of Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd , 1862 (also known as preliminary version) looks like it would be retained in the final version of the proclamation. This version informed both the Confederacy and the Union of his intention to free all persons held as slaves in the rebellious states. This version however was in general orders format, as an order from the Commander-in-Chief to the armed forces. Because he had direct control over the Army, the President thus made it unnecessary to go through Congress to activate the proclamation. But this preliminary proclamation also contained language that was not included in the final document. For

example, it recommended that slave owners who had remained loyal to the Union be compensated for the loss of their slaves. The final version which was issued on January 1st, 1863 specified the regions still held by the Confederacy in which emancipation would apply: all parts of Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, and parts of Louisiana and Virginia. It declared "forever free" more than 3.5 million slaves in Confederate areas still in rebellion against the Union. It promised that the federal government and military would "recognize and maintain the freedom" of the freed slaves. It also asked the newly freed slaves to avoid violence unless in self-defense and recommended that they work for wages. The announcement that African-American men could enlist in the Union army and navy was also included. Finally, Lincoln believed that these actions were described as an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity. I think it must be very intense for Mr. Lincoln to sign such important paper. He must be really certain more than ever. Even every single letter had to be knit, the signature had to be not hasty. At the time Lincoln knew that his name and his paper that he was writing would ever go to the history. I know that I would be so much under pressure if I were him.