Marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Proclaiming Emancipation examines the history and memory of Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation through the holdings of the William L. Clements Library. The Proclamation accelerated a massive human migration towards freedom, opened the door to the enlistment of black men in the Union Army, and marked a significant shift in executive power. Today it remains a powerful near-sacred artifact in our collective memory. Proclaiming Emancipation offers an opportunity to further a critical understanding of this complex moment in the history of slavery, emancipation, and freedom in the United States and in the world. Many of the documents and artifacts on display are unique to the Clements Library collections and have never before been exhibited.
Sponsored by the Program in Race, Law & History and the William L. Clements Library, in cooperation with the University of Michigan Library. Martha S. Jones and Clayton Lewis, curators.