The 1860s: The Emancipation Proclamation
In September 1862, President Lincoln declared that " . . . all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State . . . shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free," as of January 1, 1863. Since the states forming the confederacy had left the Union by this time, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation would be effective only if the North won the Civil War.