The Emancipation Proclamation, signed 150 years ago yesterday, was a revolutionary achievement, and widely recognized as such at the time. Abraham Lincoln himself declared, “If my name goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”
On New Year’s Eve, 1862, “watch-night” services in auditoriums, churches, camps and cabins united thousands, free as well as enslaved, who sang, prayed and counted down to midnight. At a gathering of runaway slaves in Washington, a man named Thornton wept: “Tomorrow my child is to be sold never more.”
Read the full op-ed at THE NEW YORK TIMES.