Image Proclamation of emancipation, c1864

TLF ID M008755

This is a black-and-white print celebrating the Proclamation of Emancipation by US President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The text includes the all-important words 'all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free'. Beside the text are vignettes of slavery. Below the text is a scene of southern agriculture rising from the ruins of war. The engraving was by W Roberts and the printing by Corydon Alvord of New York.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This print signals the proclaimed end of slavery in Confederate territories yet to be captured by the Union army in the US south. As such, it is a valuable source for modern history studies of the American Civil War (1861-65) and for the year 9 history depth study elective Movement of peoples (1750-1901), which studies the influence of the industrial revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation did not actually free any slaves in the USA itself. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union. It did not apply in the loyal border states where slavery was legal. It exempted Confederate territory already under northern control. Its intention was to destabilise the remaining Confederate states and to signal sympathy for and progress towards the full emancipation that President Lincoln (1809-65) planned to achieve eventually.
  • The Proclamation was a great success. It transformed the nature of the war into a struggle for and against slavery. Internationally, it secured European and British diplomatic support for the north and isolated the south. Nationally, it mobilised northern support for the war as every advance of the Union army freed more slaves. It enabled African Americans to join the Union army and navy, bringing almost 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors into the fight for freedom.
Learning area
  • History
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: W Roberts
  • Description: author
  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Person: W Roberts
  • Description: author
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.