His arm restored, President Lincoln picked up his pen and signed the Emancipation Proclamation. With this stroke of his pen, the 16th President caused “all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforth, and forever free.”
With the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation the Civil war was transformed from a fight to maintain the Union into a fight for Human Rights, and America committed to pursuit of the principles embodied in her founding documents.
It is interesting to note that there were four states that were part of the Union (they did not secede) that permitted slavery, and that the Emancipation Proclamation did not cause those slaves to be set free. Those states were Missouri, Kentucky, Delaware, and Maryland.
Wikipedia.com – Emancipation Proclamation
Archives.gov – Featured Document: The Emancipation Proclamation
Civilwar.com – Letter from Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley