A Fireside Chat: Looking at the Emancipation Proclamation





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Published on Sep 30, 2012

"A Fireside Chat: Looking at the Emancipation Proclamation." Sponsored by the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, and held on September 21, 2012 at the University of Mary Washington.

The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862, days following the Battle of Antietam. It became effective January 1, 1863 as the nation entered its third year of civil war, forever changing the course of the war. Without question, the Emancipation Proclamation is one of the great American documents of freedom.

In a program sponsored by the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, three of the foremost Lincoln scholars gathered to interpret, evaluate, and remember the Emancipation Proclamation at its 150th anniversary:

Edna Greene Medford, history department chair at Howard University, specializing in 19th-century African American history.

Frank Williams, founding chair of the Lincoln Forum and recently retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

Harold Holzer, a leading authority on Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War, senior vice president for government relations and public affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Introductory remarks by James I. Robertson, Jr.

Discussion hosted by Lynwood J. Evans

Watch Medford, Williams, and Holzer in a "Fireside Chat" as they discuss the Emancipation Proclamation from three distinct perspectives:

- The legal, political, and military pressures on Lincoln
- The historical influence of and response to the proclamation by African Americans
- The role pictorial images played afterward in establishing the document and its author in public memory

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