Special Civil Rights Document Displays at the National Archives
Press Release · Thursday, December 21, 2006

Celebrates Black History Month and Lincoln’s Birthday

Washington, DC…The National Archives marks Black History Month and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with two featured document displays - an original telegraph from President Abraham Lincoln to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The documents will be on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building which is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, except December 25.

The Lincoln telegram will be on display from Thursday, February 1, 2007, through Thursday, February 15. The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation will be on display from Friday, February 16, 2007, through Monday, February 19, 2007.

February 1-15
Telegram from President Lincoln to Lieutenant General Grant, August 17, 1864

In August 1864 Grant protested a proposal that some of his troops be removed from Petersburg, arguing that it would weaken his hold on the city. The President agreed and sent this message to Grant offering words of encouragement, and urging Grant to "Hold on with a bull-dog grip, and chew & choke, as much as possible."

February 16-19
Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

President Lincoln issued this milestone proclamation on September 22, 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, announcing that slaves in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, "shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." This document immediately captured the hearts and imagination of millions of African Americans, signaling the destruction of slavery in the United States. It was the first formal notification of President Lincoln’s intentions regarding emancipation of the slaves. The final Emancipation Proclamation, which includes some of the text from the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, was issued on January 1, 1863.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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