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The Emancipation of Abraham Lincoln

posted on January 2, 2013

Columbia University’s Eric Foner pens an op-ed for The New York Times on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation—which came on New Year’s Day. Foner writes, “The Emancipation Proclamation is perhaps the most misunderstood of the documents that have shaped American history. Contrary to legend, Lincoln did not free the nearly four million slaves with a stroke of his pen. … The proclamation did not end slavery in the United States on the day it was issued. … Nonetheless, the proclamation marked a dramatic transformation in the nature of the Civil War and in Lincoln’s own approach to the problem of slavery. No longer did he seek the consent of slave holders.”

Read at The New York Times