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Initially, the Civil War between the North and the South was fought by the North to prevent the secession of the South and preserve the Union. Ending slavery was not a goal. That changed on September 22, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that slaves in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be free. One hundred days later Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious areas “are ...
This engraving by the American political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840–1902) celebrates the emancipation of Southern slaves with the end of the Civil War. Nast paints an optimistic picture of the future of free blacks in the United States. The central scene shows the interior of a freedman's home with the family gathered around a "Union" woodstove. The father bounces his small child on his knee while his wife and others look on. Between the mantel and the window hang a picture of Abraham Lincoln and a banjo. Below ...