Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit: “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; …..
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.
~ By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN , WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
Editor’s note: In the slave states of the United States, the first day of January, New Year’s Day, was known as the Day of Sorrow as that was the day that the slave owners sold their slaves, separating husbands and wives, parents and children . Although President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862, he waited until the first day of the new year, January 1, 1863, to issue this Proclamation. By this act, he made the Day of Sorrow into the Day of Jubilation.