[92][page needed], War Democrats who rejected the Copperhead position within their party, found themselves in a quandary. "[86][page needed], The Proclamation was immediately denounced by Copperhead Democrats who opposed the war and advocated restoring the union by allowing slavery. [110], Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made many references to the Emancipation Proclamation during the civil rights movement. As the Union armies advanced through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately 3.9 million, according to the 1860 Census)[29] were freed by July 1865. "[51] Historian Richard Striner argues that "for years" Lincoln's letter has been misread as "Lincoln only wanted to save the Union. Let those who care for their country come forward, North and South, white and Negro, to lead the way through this moment of challenge and decision.... Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact. The state was also required to accept the Proclamation and abolish slavery in its new constitution. There is the proclamation of the President of the United States. [46][47], In July, Congress passed and Lincoln signed the Confiscation Act of 1862, containing provisions for court proceedings to liberate slaves held by convicted "rebels", or of slaves of rebels that had escaped to Union lines.

", Ewan, Christopher. By this act, they repudiated the 1857 opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott Case that Congress was powerless to regulate slavery in U.S. While the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination."[112]. It was Abraham Lincoln's declaration that all slaves would be permanently freed in all areas of the Confederacy that had not already returned to federal control by January 1863. The fourth paragraph of the proclamation explains that Lincoln issued it, "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". [105][page needed], In December 1863, Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which dealt with the ways the rebel states could reconcile with the Union. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise. "[111], King's most famous invocation of the Emancipation Proclamation was in a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (often referred to as the "I Have a Dream" speech). Slaves in the border states of Maryland and Missouri were also emancipated by separate state action before the Civil War ended. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.”.