New PDF release: Abraham Lincoln. The Great Emancipator

By David P. Press

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When Lincoln discussed the first draft of the Proclamation with his cabinet on July 22, 1862, they supported him. Secretary of State William Seward recommended, however, that Lincoln wait for a decisive Union army victory before making the Proclamation public. Following his advice, Lincoln kept the Proclamation under wraps while waiting for the decisive Union win. That victory came on September 17, 1862, when Union and Confederate armies clashed at Antietam, Maryland. Five thousand soldiers died that day, and the Confederate army retreated to Virginia.

S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision declares that African Americans do not have the right to sue in courts. S. Senate against Stephen Douglas; engages in series of debates that draw national attention. Douglas elected. S. presidency; is elected 16th president. South Carolina secedes from Union shortly after election; followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. 1861 February 4–8: Seven seceded states form Confederate States of America. February 22: Jefferson Davis chosen as president of Confederacy.

Unable to dodge the pursuit of Grant’s army, Lee surrendered a few days later, on April 9, 1865. Triumph and a Tragic Assassination Before the end of the war, Lincoln had already begun discussions about how to give African Americans citizenship and the right to vote. The North celebrated victory, and there were undoubtedly many in the South who were glad to be done with the fighting and death. Not everyone 53 Abraham Lincoln A portrait photo of John Wilkes Booth, taken in 1865, shortly before he assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

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Abraham Lincoln. The Great Emancipator by David P. Press

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