May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 71

Price Realized: $ 11,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Lincoln, Abraham. The Proclamation of Emancipation by the President of the United States, to Take Effect January 1st, 1863. 7 pages. 32mo (just over 3 x 2 inches), original printed light brown wrappers, minimal wear; just a bit of foxing to contents. [Boston: John Murray Forbes, late December 1862]

Additional Details

The seventh printed edition of the preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the only one in separate pamphlet form. On the rear wrapper is a quotation from the Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens, declaring "Slavery the Chief Corner-Stone" of the Confederacy--and implying that the defeat of slavery would lead to the defeat of the Confederates.
This edition was mass-produced by an abolitionist Boston publisher and intended for distribution among freedmen and soldiers. According to his daughter, one million copies were produced, "put into packages of fifty each, and distributed among the Northern soldiers at the front, who scattered them about among the blacks, while on the march." Forbes proposed the idea to Senator Charles Sumner in a letter dated 18 December 1862, and Sumner replied with enthusiasm on Christmas: "I like much the idea of distributing the Proclamation throughout the army" (Sara Forbes Hughes, Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, pages 348-9).
We would expect a low survival rate for miniature pamphlets distributed in this way, but we also suspect the daughter's recollection of the print run was greatly exaggerated, as these small treasures are not common on the market today. Eberstadt, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation 7. Monaghan, Lincoln 147.