On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Effective at yearend, all slaves in Confederate-controlled territory would be “forever free.”
Ill-informed critics of the first Republican President Lincoln fault the Emancipation Proclamation for only freeing slaves in areas not yet under the control of the U.S. government, but — because of the Democratic Party’s resolute defense of slavery — the federal government had the necessary authority only over so-called “property” of the rebels.
Within two years, the Republican-controlled 38th Congress followed up this great advance by enacting the 13th Amendment, banning slavery throughout the nation.
From Michael Zak at Grand Old Partisan