The Charters of Freedom - A New World is at Hand close this image window and return to the  exhibit
“Watch Meeting—Dec. 31st, 1862—Waiting for the Hour,” slaves awaiting the moment when the Emancipation Proclamation takes effect, oil painting (reproduction) by William Tolman Carlton, not dated

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the imagination of millions of Americans and transformed the Civil War from a war for union into a crusade for freedom. The final destruction of slavery was achieved with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

The original of this painting hangs in the White House, in the room where President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

Courtesy of The White House Historical Association (White House Collection), Washington, DC

  close this image window and return to the  exhibit