A big part of what we do as living historians is bring display items to all our events. Some are easily recognizable, while others are not. Join us every Wednesday for "What is it?", where we will highlight different tools on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/allen.mack909/ or https://www.facebook.com/livinghistoryfoundation/, and your job is to tell us in the comment box what that tool is and how was it used. Once you have done that, you can check your answer here. So, what is it? Do you think you have what it takes?
This Weeks Tool Is: A Pamphlet, "The Proclamation of Emancipation by the President of the United States, to take effect January 1st, 1863."
If you said "The Proclamation of Emancipation by the President of the United States, to take effect January 1st, 1863," you are correct. (Not all tools are hammers and shovels) Produced in December of 1862 the month preceding the issuance of The Emancipation Proclamation "The Proclamation of Emancipation by the President of the United States, to take effect January 1st, 1863" is the first and only printed pamphlet of the Emancipation Proclamation, produced for distribution to Union soldiers and African Americans (both enslaved and free). The pamphlet’s publisher, Boston industrialist and abolitionist John Murray Forbes, emphasized the necessity of the Civil War in the effort to end slavery with a quote printed on the rear panel of the pamphlet from a speech attributed to “Alex M. Stephens, Vice President of the so-called Confederate States, delivered March 21, 1861: This stone (slavery), which was rejected by the first builders, is become the chief stone of the corner in our new edifice.”
In 1899, the publisher's daughter recalled the genesis of this pocket-sized edition: "With the view of placing the Proclamation of Emancipation in the hands of the negroes themselves, my father had printed 1,000,000 copies on small slips, one and half inches square, put into packages of fifty each, and distributed among the Northern soldiers at the front, who scattered them about among the blacks, while on the march” (Sara Forbes Hughes, 348-49).
This pamphlet tells a compelling story and would make a welcome addition to you Civil War kit or your personal collection. Contact me if you would like to find out how to get a copy.