Resolution J228-2013

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

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  • Jan 24, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Jan 24, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Jan 18, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Eman-
cipation Proclamation

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to commemorate signif-
icant events which represent turning points in our  unique  history  and
which are indelibly etched in the saga of our great Nation; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly  proud  to  commem-
orate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; and
  WHEREAS,  On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln presided over the annual
White House New Year's reception; late that afternoon, he retired to his
study to sign the Emancipation Proclamation; and
  WHEREAS, The Emancipation Proclamation arose from many causes and  was
the  work  of many individuals; it began at the outset of the Civil War,
when slaves sought refuge behind Union lines,  and  did  not  end  until
December  1865, with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which irre-
vocably abolished slavery throughout the nation; and
  WHEREAS, A crucial turning point in history, the Emancipation  Procla-
mation  embodied a double emancipation: for the slaves, since it ensured
that if the Union emerged victorious,  slavery  would  perish,  and  for
Abraham  Lincoln  himself,  for  whom  it  marked the abandonment of his
previous assumptions about how to abolish slavery and  the  role  blacks
would play in post-emancipation American life; and
  WHEREAS,  The  Emancipation Proclamation marked a dramatic transforma-
tion in the nature of  the  Civil  War  and  in  Abraham  Lincoln's  own
approach to the problem of slavery, as no longer did he seek the consent
of slave holders; and
  WHEREAS,   Within   the  Emancipation  Proclamation,  Abraham  Lincoln
addressed blacks directly, not  as  property  subject  to  the  will  of
others, but as men and women whose loyalty the Union must earn; and
  WHEREAS,  For  the first time, Abraham Lincoln welcomed black soldiers
into the Union Army; over the next two  years  some  200,000  black  men
would  serve  in the Army and Navy, playing a critical role in achieving
Union victory; and
  WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln also urged freed slaves to  go  to  work  for
reasonable wages in the United States; and
  WHEREAS,  From  the  first  days of the Civil War, slaves had acted to
secure their own liberty; the Emancipation Proclamation confirmed  their
insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom; and
  WHEREAS,  The Emancipation Proclamation added moral force to the Union
cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically;  as  a
milestone  along  the road to slavery's final destruction, the Emancipa-
tion Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human
freedom; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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