Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 25, 2012

BRADBERRY: Free at last ... but when?

Niagara Gazette — So, it turns out that President Lincoln’s initial Emancipation Proclamation was actually issued 150 years ago this week, not on Jan. 1, 1863, as has been taught for so long that we all believed it along with the wide-held myth that the Civil War was fought to unify the nation and not to end slavery.

Well, truth is, Lincoln released the lesser-known initial Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862 — 100 days before the final version was unveiled. The first document is finally earning the attention it deserves as historians like Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond among others have been preaching and more historians begin to recognize that the disputes over the expansion of slavery and the cry for abolition were the principle causes for the war, not just the preservation of the union.

"All our thinking about this has undergone remarkable recasting over the last 50 years," Ayers said. "People begin now with slavery as the fundamental fact and less with union as being the sole focus of attention."

Last Monday, with a forum moderated by Ayers at the Smithsonian Institution, a panel of experts discussed the steps that eventually led to the proclamation.

The only known surviving original copy of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in Lincoln's handwriting is making an eight-city tour of New York State beginning last week at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City while other exhibits will feature copies of the final version in the months leading up to the January anniversary.

The 6500 square-feet exhibition will be on display in Buffalo Oct. 5-6 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Initially designed by Lincoln to convince the South to voluntarily abolish slavery, he eventually realized that he could not force the Confederacy to cease its "rebellion" against the United States and win the war without using his military power.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bianco mug 072514 GUESTVIEW: Business First ranking casts Falls in a new light There are those in the community who like to cite Business First's annual rankings of school districts and speak unfavorably about Niagara Falls' low standing.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHEERS AND JEERS: The best --Â and worst -- of the week of July 25 It sure sounds like the Buffalo Bills really will be "Living on a Prayer" as far as Western New York is concerned if the team is purchased by the prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

    July 25, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Delaying refuse law really just makes situation worse It's obvious the rollout of the city's new refuse and recyclables collection program has caused confusion and consternation among some city residents and business owners.

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Giannetti, Robert mug 072414 GUEST VIEW: Village of Lewiston parking issues related to Artpark need to be addressed On Artpark nights, the South Fourth Street area and many other parts of the Village of Lewiston are covered with pop-up parking lots on residential lawns that operate in spite of existing zoning laws prohibiting commercial activity.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Experience Center vital to tourism here From time immemorial, Niagara tourism leaders have expounded on the need for a first-class orientation center to showcase our assets for the millions of annual visitors here.

    July 23, 2014

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page