Proclamation of Emancipation

Proclamation of Emancipation

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On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves living in areas of the nation under rebellion. This freedom ultimately relied on a Northern military victory and the Proclamation did not affect the millions of slaves living in the Border States that had not seceded. It did, however, recognize the abolition of American slavery as a stated objective of the war and allowed Africa-American men to serve as soldiers in the Union Army. This calligraphic portrait of Lincoln is composed from the words of the Proclamation arranged in an oval. Bolded words from the document form the features of the President’s visage. After Lincoln’s assassination, calligraphic portraits such as this one and other works containing reference to the proclamation were in high demand. This 1865 portrait was designed by Augustus Hageboeck and William H. Pratt. Hageboeck, probably a German immigrant, operated a lithographic shop with his brother in Davenport, Iowa, where they specialized in panoramic views of Midwest cities. W. H. Pratt was born in Massachusetts in 1822, but in 1857, moved with his family to Davenport, Iowa. He headed the Davenport Commercial College, where he taught penmanship, a skill he demonstrated in his execution of this work. In 1867, he helped organize the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, often including his own engravings in his scientific publications.

To view the original text of the Emancipation Proclamation Click Here.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Lincoln, Abraham
Hageboeck, A
Pratt, W. H.
place made
United States: Iowa, Davenport
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 12 1/4 in x 9 in; 31.115 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Communication, letter writing
Chronology: 1860-1869
Reform Movements
Civil War
Civil War
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
American Civil War Prints
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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