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When did Abraham Lincoln sign the emancipation Proclamation?

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, so I figured he should be my Daily Doodle today. There were a few questions I could have asked, but I decided to go with the big one, the emancipation proclamation.

Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States and took office March 4, 1861. He actually ran for senator in 1858 and lost to Stephen Douglas, but a debate against Douglas gained him a national reputation and the Republican nod for their presidential candidate in 1860.

Lincoln warned the South in his Inaugural Address: “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you…. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.” The civil war was on the brink and officially began about a month after Lincoln was sworn in as president. Lincoln built the Republican Party into a strong national organization during his presidency. Furthermore, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause.

Wanting to wait for a strong Union victory, Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free in the rebellious states as of January 1, 1863. On January 1, 1863, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy saying he never “felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper.”

To Confederate sympathizers, however, Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation reinforced their image of him as a hated figurehead and ultimately inspired his assassination by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Lincoln had been reelected in the 1864 election and saw the end of the civil war just before his death.

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