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EmancProcl.jpgWe in Illinois are proud today; we in the USA are proud today. The Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincolon, an Illinoisan, has taken a new step forward that Lincoln never imagined. Our attention today is on another Illinoisan, someone upon whom Lincoln looks with pride, the 44th President, Barack Obama, an African American, who — with us and the world — today will realize some of what Lincoln dreamed. My favorite biography of Lincoln is called With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
, and I hope that theme — with malice toward none — will guide Obama’s Presidency. May freedom and liberation spread anew, may they spread wider than ever imagined and may they penetrate deeper into the heart and soul of all of us. May God, in his mercy, grant us this request. Here is the Emancipation Proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was
issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other
things, the following, to wit:

LincMem.jpg“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves
within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof
shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then,
thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the
United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will
recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act
or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they
may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion
against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people
thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the
Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections
wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have
participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony,
be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof,
are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

LincObama.jpgNow, therefore
I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the
power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the
United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority
and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war
measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of
January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly
proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first
above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States
wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion
against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension,
Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,
including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties
of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann,
and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and
which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this
proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do
order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said
designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be
free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including
the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to
abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I
recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor
faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable
condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States
to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man
vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty
God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

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