Important 1863 1st Printing Of The Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln
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Important 1863 1st Printing Of The Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln:
Very rare and historically important, original 1863, first separately issued printing of Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" - published by the War Department and issued as "General Orders No. 1" on January 2nd, 1863. This simply amazing and important Document measures approx. 5" by 7 3/8" and is printed on three pages of a folded sheet. On the third page beneath the final printed line there is a manuscript notation in an unknown hand that reads: "'The nation's condition God alone can claim'. A. Lincoln, when success crowned this proclamation" (Lincoln's response in disclaiming any credit for the success of the Emancipation Proclamation).
The Document is fully titled "General Orders, No. 1. War Department, Adjutant General's Office. Washington, January 2, 1863." and begins "The following Proclamation by the President is published for the information and government of the Army and all concerned: By The President of The United States of America. / A PROCLAMATION.". What follows is what is arguably the most important Presidential Order ever issued in the United States. It could be said that it was a completion of the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution - beginning the process of ending slavery in the United States and the extension of the rights and privileges of a United States Citizen to all men regardless of race or circumstances of birth.
Offered here is one of the separately printed examples of "General Order No. 1" which was distributed to the commanding officers of the Army during the Civil War and was read to the Soldiers by their commanders. This example was never bound in a collection or Volume and is NOT from a later printing but an original example of the first edition of the Order and the first separately printed edition of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Offered here is the first War Department's printing (and the first separately issued printing) of Lincoln's resounding blow against slavery in which he states "Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief...do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free." Abolitionists like Seward regretted the limited scope of Lincoln's act. We are "emancipating the slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." But Seward - as he so often did - misgauged Lincoln's purpose. Lincoln's proclamation firmly committed the Union war effort to ending slavery. This was a radical step forward from where Lincoln and Northern public opinion began at the start of the war in 1861. Lincoln initially fought to save the Union and to leave slavery alone. Now in 1863 he made it clear that defeat of the Confederacy and restoration of the Union could only be accomplished by destroying slavery. Eberstadt 12; Grolier Club, One Hundred Influential American Books, 71; Streeter 1751.
We must add here that simply holding this amazing Document in our own hands and reading its contents not only sent shivers through our body but caused us to shed more than one tear - we tried to read the words out loud but were unable to get very far - this is truly an emotion filled and monumentally important piece of American History deserving of a place at the center of even the most advanced Civil War or Historical Americana collection.
This Document is unconditionally guaranteed original and of the period - separately printed and distributed to the Army for its "information and government" on January 2nd, 1863. It is not a reprint, reproduction, reissue or modern example but an original 1863 publication and as such an important piece of American History!!
This very rare and historically important, Publication of the Emancipation Proclamation is in very good condition. It is complete, intact and sound with no separation at the spine and no indication that the Order was ever bound into a collection or Volume. The leaves are generally clean and crisp with a thin line of light age toning along the top edge of both leaves that appears to have been caused by exposure to heat in the distant past. There is a very light, central vertical crease to the Volume and there are remnants of a thin strip of paper along the spine edge of the last page attesting to the fact that the separately issued publication was once affixed to an Album or Scrap Book page. There is also a miniscule edge nick at the top edge of both leaves near the spine edge.
An exceptionally rare and historically important, original 1863, first separately issued printing of Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" and deserving of a place at the center of even the most advanced collection or library!!
We are proud to offer this important Document here, as always, without reserve and with the confidence that it will attract the serious attention that it justly deserves!!
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