Historical record

In "1863: A Look Back" (July 9, Page A3), Jennifer Grathwol wrote "In January, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Pro
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

In "1863: A Look Back" (July 9, Page A3), Jennifer Grathwol wrote "In January, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, forever outlawing slavery in America." That claim is false. The proclamation was the second that Lincoln had signed following the first in September 1862. Both proclamations guaranteed slavery in those confederate states that remained in the union, and freed no slaves with few exceptions who were already in Union states. All of Tennessee, the occupied parts of Virginia and Louisiana, and four pages of other southern towns and counties were guaranteed slavery. Hardly emancipatory!

Emancipation came two years later when Tennessee and Missouri abolished slavery, then the U.S. House of Representatives passed an abolition bill, followed by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December, 1865. Until then, legal slavery was practiced as guaranteed by Lincoln's so-called Emanicipation Proclamation in Kentucky and Delaware.

Robert Williams

Oberlin