Special Collection Treasures
Published on December 17, 2012 by Jennifer Taylor

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring that "all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."


illustration from Harper Weekly

The above illustration is a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation. The drawing, by Thomas Nast, appeared in the January 23, 1863 edition of Harper's Weekly. Featured in the center is a unified family of former slaves with a portrait of President Lincoln on their wall. Illustrations of the past are seen to their left. On their right are illustrations for a hopeful future with paid wages and public education. Underneath the family is an illustration of Father Time. In his arms is the New Year Baby striking off the chains of slavery.