The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

The First Step to Freedom: The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

Be sure to visit the NYSM from February 11 to March 1, 2020, to view an original draft of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation written in Lincoln’s own hand. 

Additional Resources


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Resources from the New York State Archives

19th Century African American Voting Rights

The New York State Archives provides digital access to archival material documenting New York’s role in the enslavement of African Americans, the gradual manumission of enslaved people, and support for and against equal voting rights for African American New Yorkers.

This link provides access to these documents as well descriptions, transcripts, and links to other New York State Archival resources for educators using archival material in their classrooms.

Irrepressible Conflict

NYSM Online Exhibition: An Irrespressible Conflict

This website details the pivotal role New York State played in the Civil War. Additional information related the rights of African Americans during Reconstruction and after the passing of the 15th Amendment can be found under the heading "Reconstruction & Legacy" and "The Age of Reconstruction".