Reading the Emancipation Proclamation
The Military Historical Society of Massachusetts Collection at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University
This painting depicts Lincoln reading the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Look at all those beards, those skeptical, skeptical beards. Following the Union victory at Antietam, Lincoln announced the emancipation of all slaves in Confederate-held territory, starting January, 1863. It was a partial move towards abolition, but it finally cemented the war as one to end slavery, at least in the mind of slave-free European countries contemplating support for the Confederacy.