Although well meaning, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did little to actually free slaves. It was not until the passage of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery and gave the government the right to enforce this law. Then until the passage of the 14th Amendment, three years later, although “free” only white men had rights.
American Minute with Bill Federer
Emancipation Proclamation –January 1, 1863 — And the passage of 13th Amendment
The Emancipation Proclamation stated:”I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief …do, on the FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three … publicly proclaim … that … persons held as slaves … are, and henceforward shall be, free …And upon this act … I invoke … the gracious favor of Almighty God.”