Rare Opportunity to View Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in Raleigh
The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most significant documents in United States history. President Abraham Lincoln issued the document on Sept. 22, 1862, after the Union victory at Antietam (also called the Battle of Sharpsburg).
Signed by President Lincoln, the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation ordered that in 100 days the federal government would free all slaves in the states still rebelling against the Union. The document formally alerted the Confederacy of Lincoln’s intention. On Jan. 1, 1863, with the Confederacy still in full rebellion, the president issued the final Emancipation Proclamation.
You will have a rare opportunity to see the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh from Wednesday, May 15, through Sunday, June 16, 2013. This historical seven-page document is on loan from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Admission is free.
The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation will be featured in the exhibit Freedom Coming, Freedom for All, which is being presented by the North Carolina Freedom Monument Park and the North Carolina Museum of History.
“As a milestone on the path to slavery’s final abolishment, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “We are honored to share this official Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation for the exhibit Freedom Coming, Freedom for All at the North Carolina Museum of History.”
The exhibit follows a timeline of events focusing on the status of North Carolina before the Civil War, events leading up to Lincoln’s issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and outcomes and results of the document in the state and nation. Freedom Coming also examines the differences between the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, the final Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment.
“We are honored to join with North Carolina Freedom Monument Park to present this exhibit, which is especially relevant during the sesquicentennial of the 1863 signing of the final Emancipation Proclamation,” emphasizes Museum Director Ken Howard. “We are grateful to the National Archives for entrusting this document to us to share with others.”
Adds Dianne Pledger, Executive Director of North Carolina Freedom Monument Park, “What we will achieve through this partnership is an exploration of the deeper ramifications of the Emancipation Proclamation and its influence on society in subsequent years. By doing so, we hope to increase historical awareness and civic engagement about the importance of freedom for all people. The Emancipation Proclamation is a reminder of our ongoing obligation to learn our history because it reminds us of our mistakes and successes.”
Freedom Coming will be complemented by educational resources and programs, including a two-day symposium on May 31 and June 1. After the exhibit closes and the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation returns to National Archives, a traveling version of Freedom Coming, comprised of 14 informational panels, will be available for museums, historic sites, and other organizations across North Carolina.
Major sponsors of Freedom Coming are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina; Mechanics and Farmers Bank; News & Observer; North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company; and Spectacular Magazine. Additional support is provided by the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and the State Archives of North Carolina.
PLEASE NOTE: All photography and filming in the exhibit must be done with available light.
For more information about the Museum of History, call 919-807-7900 or access www.ncmuseumofhistory.org or Facebook.
About the North Carolina Museum of History
The museum is located at 5 E. Edenton Street, across from the State Capitol. Parking is available in the lot across Wilmington Street. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
About North Carolina Freedom Monument Park
Through beautiful public art and educational programs, North Carolina Freedom Monument Park is a community-initiated effort that will honor what freedom means to all people in North Carolina. The organization’s goals are to create and strengthen bonds among diverse people; educate and enhance mutual understanding; and serve as a model of cooperation, respect and common values. North Carolina Freedom Monument Park, planned for completion by 2017, will honor the African American experience and affirm the struggle for freedom for all by the creation of a public art park on a large corner space near the State Legislative Building and State Library, a spot visited daily by thousands of tourists, schoolchildren and local community. For more details, go to www.ncfmp.org or Facebook.
About the National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., is an independent federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers and presidential libraries, and online at www.archives.gov.
The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation is just one of the millions of Civil War records held by the National Archives. Its rich reservoir of Civil War records includes presidential telegrams, official battle reports, and correspondence between generals, but also individual soldier and sailor service records, maps, patent drawings, photographs, recruiting handbills, and petitions to Congress. The Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau document the initial transition from slavery to freedom after the war.
About the North Carolina Humanities Council
The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Humanities Council serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life. It facilitates the exploration and celebration of the many voices and stories of North Carolina’s cultures and heritage. In addition to grants, awards and publications, the Council offers the Road Scholars speakers bureau; the Let’s Talk About It library discussion series; Museum on Main Street, a traveling exhibition in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and rural communities statewide; the Teachers Institute, a professional development program for the state’s public school educators; and Literature and Medicine, a scholar-facilitated book discussion group for hospital staff to reflect on the larger mission of medicine. To learn more about the North Carolina Humanities Council, visit www.nchumanities.org, or get information on Facebook and Twitter.
About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported symphony orchestra, the State Library, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the State Archives. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit www.ncdcr.gov.