[1]   ADS-P, DLC-RTL; DS, DNA FS RG 11, Proclamations. Lincoln's original autograph of the proclamation was sold in 1863 (see Lincoln's letter to Ladies in charge of North Western Fair, October 26, infra), at the Chicago North-western Sanitary Fair, to Thomas B. Bryan, who presented it to the Soldiers' Home in Chicago. It was lithographed ``and thousands [of dollars] were realized by the Chicago Soldiers Home from the sale of copies. . . .'' (Charles Bryan, son, to Nicolay, November 24, 1886, DLC-Nicolay Papers. See also Lincoln to Bryan, January 18, 1864, infra.) In 1871 the original was burned in the Chicago Fire. Prior to the Chicago Fair in 1863 the historian Benson J. Lossing also had prevailed upon Lincoln to allow him to have a facsimile made for use in his Pictorial History of the Civil War. On October 29, 1863, John Hay forwarded to Lossing a photograph made at Lincoln's direction, with apologies for ``blots on the edges'' which were ``incidental to the copying, and are not in the original'' (ALS, RPB). Three photographic copies of the original preserved in the Lincoln Papers, presumably made at the same time as the copy sent to Lossing, have provided the present text. The official engrossed document in The National Archives follows Lincoln's original. (For a detailed study of the various printings of the proclamation, see Charles Eberstadt, ``Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation,'' The New Colophon, 1950, pp. 312-56.)

Lincoln's final proclamation was not completed until January 1 after consultation with the cabinet and study of the suggestions for revision submitted by the several members on December 31. Nicolay telegraphed Horace Greeley and Henry J. Raymond on the afternoon of December 31 that ``The Proclamation cannot be telegraphed to you until during the day tomorrow (telegrams, RPB). Telegrams from John A. Dix and Michael Hahn on December 31 defined thePage  31 parts of Virginia and Louisiana not then in rebellion which were to be exempted by the proclamation (DLC-RTL).

The photographic copies of the original autograph show the superscription ``By the President of the United States of America: A Proclamation.'' to be in the hand of a clerk. The excerpt from the preliminary proclamation of September 22, which appears as paragraphs two and three in the final proclamation, is in the form of a clipping from the State Department circular printing of the preliminary proclamation, with quotation marks added by Lincoln. The formal close, ``In witness whereof,'' etc., is also added in the handwriting of a clerk. Otherwise the body of the proclamation is in Lincoln's handwriting.


 [ return to text ]