Early Version of Emancipation Proclamation on Display in Harlem

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation turns 150 years old.

Posted: 09/25/2012 10:19 AM EDT
Abraham Lincoln

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, an early version of President Abraham Lincoln's famed decree that freed the slaves, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the handwritten document is going on an eight-city tour around New York state. Currently, the only remaining version of the document is on view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued on Sept. 22, 1862, and in it President Lincoln announced his intention to free the slaves in the Confederate states, which were fighting against the north's Union states. He formally freed them in January 1863.

This week, the document will move on to its other stops in Buffalo, Long Island and Rochester before heading back to its home at the New York State Museum.


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