Emancipation Proclamation: Home


This Research Guide was created to help the Marquette University community celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect January 1, 1863.  The Guide is part of the Freedom Project at Marquette.

Lincoln Reading the Emancipation Proclamation to His Cabinet

Illustration of Abraham Lincoln reading his Proclamation of Emancipation to his cabinet members

The original painting by Alonzo Chappel is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 
This image of it is reproduced in the Art Museum Image Gallery.

Map of the Areas to which the Emancipation Proclamation Applied

The Emancipation Proclamation drew its legal authority from the emergency of the war.  Thus it applied to those states still at war with the federal government.  Lincoln also did not want to threaten federal control of slave territory held by federal troops, who occupied Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware.  West Virginia had seceded from Virginia early in the war; it too was occupied by federal troops, as was the area around New Orleans and Washington D.C.  The complete and constitutional abolition of slavery required the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, as viewers of the recent motion picture "Lincoln" will remember.  Nonetheless the Emancipation Proclamation marked the effective end of slavery in the United States.  The map is from UShistory.org.

Map illustrating to which states the Emancipation Proclamation applied


Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. From Juneteenth.com.

Photo of Emancipation Day in a Texas community ca. 1900


Photo of Emancipation Day in a Texas Community: 1900.  Image copied from Wikimedia Commons.