Emancipation Proclamation issued 150 years ago

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
The proclamation stated: “[O]n the first day of January ... all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
The 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s courageous action continues to resound in American culture. While the proclamation was in some ways symbolic – the document only freed slaves in areas not under Lincoln’s political control at that time – it did state formally and clearly that all people should be free.
In a sense, Lincoln was expanding on the high-minded rhetoric of Thomas Jefferson decades earlier – “that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
As 2012 gave way to 2013, many Cowetans gathered at Watch Night services in local churches. Watch Night originated with the Moravians in the early 1700s. John Wesley, who founded the Methodist movement, incorporated the Watch Night tradition into the denomination’s practices, and the concept has spread to other religious groups as well.
While Watch Night has always had a theme of looking inward and evaluating one’s spiritual state, the tradition took on an added layer of meaning on Dec. 31, 1862, as enslaved black Americans awaited the proclamation of freedom at midnight.

The last day of 1862 has come to be known as Freedom’s Eve.

In Coweta County, there is an ongoing observance of various events relating to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation – and its standard of freedom for all people – continues to resound in our lives a century and a half after Lincoln took his bold stand.



More Opinion

Georgia Says

The Macon Telegraph on damage being done under Gold Dome: It is a good thing our intrepid lawmakers will soon leave Atlanta. I'm not sure w ... Read More


And in this corner …

Two of the biggest players in our community are set to collide in an epic battle royale. It is a fight that has, and will, continue to be pl ... Read More


Not the Top 10 we want

Georgia has broken into the Top 10. We wish we were talking March Madness or David Letterman lists. Such is not the case. Rather, our state ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: RAVE: And congratulations to Kristin Skelly, who is the new head of school for T ... Read More


Georgia Says

The Macon Telegraph on airport's future: Once again the Middle Georgia Regional Airport is looking for airline service. Another extension h ... Read More

Helping those who make our community great

Over the course of the year, The Newnan Times-Herald is highlighting the multitude of non-profits located here in Coweta County. It’s ... Read More