The Emancipation Proclamation [January 1st, 1863]

"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 in any state or designated part of a state, the people whereof should be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, henceforward, 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."

"Now, 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 . . ."

"And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the arm 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.