The Emancipation Proclamation and the Outlawing of Slavery

On September 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, one of the most important documents in U.S. History. It set a date for freeing more than three million slaves, changing the purpose of the Civil War from restoring the Union to outlawing slavery.

To get the word out about the Proclamation, Lincoln relied on telegraph, postal service, and newspaper reporters covering the event. One of the most popular at the time was "Harper's Weekly." It covered politics, domestic and foreign news. But Harper's was best-known for its wood-engraved illustrations that—with the absence of photography—gave readers a close-up view of the War's battles and a real sense for the struggles of the soldiers, both Confederate and Yankee alike. Its circulation at the time was over 200,000 people.

Read "Harper's Weekly" original articles here: