Sunday, September 23, 2012

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September...A Proclamation

Detail from Abe Lincoln's yarns and stories : a complete collection of the funny and witty anecdotes that made Lincoln famous as America's greatest story teller (Publishers' Bindings Online, and from the Wade Hall Collections of Southern History and Culture)

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1 of 1863.  This historic and immensely significant document is not just something to read about in a textbook, but it is something to experience.  To better understand history, we must take advantage of the primary sources around us, looking beyond interpretation of the past. Newspapers and journals from the period provide unique insight into the sentiment of the day, allowing researchers to look at the world through someone else's eyes.  Editorials, political cartoons, and coverage from different parts of the country will show subtle and not so subtle differences in views. Special Collections Libraries and rich digital resources of primary materials allow you to do this.  So come by, or go online, and take a look at the newspaper and journal coverage of historic events.  A small display of the coverage of the Emancipation Proclamation is on display in the lobby of the Hoole Library -- without interpretation.  Come by, and read a little bit.  Or Visit the National Archives website to see digitized pages of the original proclamation. You'll be glad you did! 

"And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God."    --Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation

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