Past Event

The Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln's Evolving Views on Slavery

A Road Scholar Program by Sarah Sullivan

On September 22, 1862 Abraham Lincoln released his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This Proclamation was both an act of conscience and a masterful political tactic. The Proclamation was congruent with Lincoln’s evolving personal belief that the slaves should be freed, allowed Lincoln to stay within the bounds of the Constitution, and provided a way to stymie the Confederacy all at the same time.

The Emancipation Proclamation was, in Lincoln’s words, “The central act of my administration and the great event of the nineteenth century.” So how did a man who never engaged in abolitionist activities end up being the “Great Emancipator”?

This presentation will trace the evolution of Lincoln’s views regarding the “peculiar institution&quot that was slavery, through his political and the (probably) illegal Emancipation Proclamation.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact William Abate at