About the Emancipation Proclamation
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 and became effective on January 1, 1863. It stated that all slaves in states that were rebelling against the Union (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) were free and that the Union military would enforce their freedom.
Since the Confederate states did not recognize Lincoln's authority, they refused to comply and did not liberate their slaves. Thus, Lincoln was able to call the war a fight to spread freedom, in addition to preserving the Union.
The Proclamation also invited black men to serve in the Union Army and Navy. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union.
The proclamation paved the way for the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (December 1865), which ended slavery in the United States. Today, the original Emancipation Proclamation resides at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.