Celebrating Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation Expanding a Founding Ideal

The meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation, for those at the time and for us today. As he stood before hundreds of rapt listeners at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Congressman John Lewis took a moment to reflect on the opening passage of the Declaration of Independence. Echoing others who have spoken from the steps,[…]

New Year’s Eve, 1864: Prayers, Glittering Parties, and the Sudden Taste of Freedom

The Emancipation Proclamation Inspired New Year’s celebrations that endure to this day. For young Ed McCree, enslaved on a thousand-acre Georgia cotton plantation, Christmas and New Year’s Day 150 years ago were like no other he had ever known. This child and the other men and women in bondage had always cherished Christmas. There was[…]

A Bill of Lading Delivers the Goods: The Constitutionality and Effect of the Emancipation Proclamation

A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier to a shipper acknowledging receipt of goods for transit. This greatest of all bills of lading was constitutionally issued by the Union’s helmsman. And it delivered the goods. By James A. Dueholm, J.D. Introduction On January 31, 1865, Congress adopted the Thirteenth Amendment, which[…]