The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on this day. It stated: “I, Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as commander in chief … do, on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three … publicly proclaim … that all persons held as slaves … are, and henceforward shall be, free. … And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence … and … recommend … they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.” Lincoln concluded: “And upon this act … I invoke … the gracious favor of Almighty God.”

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