Day in the History of Racial Injustice

January 1, 1863 ~ President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery except in non-rebelling or occupied states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and parts of Louisiana.

The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Although Lincoln personally opposed human enslavement, he did not believe the federal government had the power to end it in the states. His goal, and that of the fledgling Republican Party he led, was only to keep it from spreading into the western territories where, they thought, enslaved labor would enable wealthy enslavers to dominate the region quickly, limiting opportunities for poorer white men.

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