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MoSGA Messenger, The Official Blog of the Missouri State Genealogical Association
Serving Missouri ancestor seekers since 7 November 2007

Tom Pearson, Editor

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

DID THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION FREE THE SLAVES?

The answer, believe it or not, is this: It all depends. Many people forget that Lincoln issued a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862. This document announced that slaves in states (or portions of states) still in a state of rebellion on 1 January 1863 would be henceforward forever free. It’s easy to overlook the fact that this document gave the rebel states a very real chance to keep their slaves indefinitely: they merely had to lay down their arms and accept Union Army control by 1 January 1863:

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