AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Emancipation Proclamation Copy to be unveiled
In Response To: Civil War Memorial Founders Day ()
African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation to Unveil $1.5 Million Document
5/17/2005 2:53:00 PM
To: National and Assignment desks
Contact: Nate Pope, 202-263-4608
WASHINGTON, May 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The African American Civil War Memorial Foundation will unveil an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln; William Seward as secretary of state; and John Nicolay, private secretary to the president, on January 1, 1863.
This Authorized Edition of the Emancipation Proclamation will be on public display for two days during the four-day Founders Day celebration, May 19-22. The unveiling will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 20, at the African American Civil War Memorial located at Vermont Avenue and 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. It will then be on public display on May 21-22, 2005, at the African American Civil War Museum, 1200 U Street, NW, Washington, DC two blocks west of the memorial.
Forty-eight copies of this Authorized Edition were signed by President Lincoln, and sold as a fundraiser to aid Union troops. About half are known to exist, mostly in museums and libraries. The document, valued at $1.5 million, was loaned to the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation by Seth Kaller, Inc., of White Plains, NY. Kaller, a historic document dealer who specializes in building museum collections, notes, "people still debate how many slaves the Proclamation freed at the time." He adds, "there should be no doubt that this document lead to the complete abolition of slavery. Lincoln's call for freedom, and for freed slave to be 'received into the armed forces," became a key factor in hastening Union victory."
The African American Civil War Memorial -- which lists the names of 209,145 soldiers enlisted in the United States Colored Troops, 150,000 of which literally fought their way from slavery to freedom - adds the voices of the enslaved to the interpretation of the Civil War literature that has been clouded through the years.
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