Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Abraham Lincoln]. Emancipation Proclamation Printed Broadside. One page, 10.5" x 9.5", n.p.; undated but likely war-dated. Printed at top: "ACT OF JUSTICE. BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. A PROCLAMATION". There is no identification of printer or year of publication, but style of printing and paper suggests it dates during the time of the Civil War. The announcement of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed on September 22, 1862 (just five days after the Union's victory at Antietam), stated:

    "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..."

    Since the start of the war, Lincoln had been urged by abolitionists, radical Republicans, and religious groups to free the slaves and draft them into the military. He resisted these suggestions as both premature and risky. They might prompt border states to join the Confederacy and result in European intervention and/or diplomatic recognition. He also hoped that the slavery issue could be handled through a program of gradual emancipation, a government buy-out to the slaveholders, or voluntary colonization to Central America or western Africa. But, after a year of war and many battlefield setbacks, he decided that shifting the focus to slavery was now a military, if not moral, necessity. The Union victory at Antietam, served as the impetus for the issuance of the preliminary proclamation. There are two versions of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, as Lincoln still wanted to temper his action by offering a "last chance" to the rebel states. The first was made public on September 22, 1862. It stressed military necessity as the basis for the proclamation, but also notably would not become final until January 1, 1863. The revised and final document, with which most are more familiar, became official on January 1, 1863 and was widely published. Ultimately, it gained moral high ground for the Union, intercepted European involvement in the war, and gained greater numbers of Union troops as free blacks were finally able to enlist.

    Condition: Professional restoration, adding paper to margins, especially along top and right. Uneven toning throughout, with areas of dampstaining and soiling. Some wear to the corners.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,274

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 September 21 - 22 The David and Janice Frent Collection Presidential &  Political Americana, Part VI Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 September 21 - 22 The David and Janice Frent Collection Presidential & Political Americana, Part VI Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $648,838