Emancipation Proclamation Coming to Tennessee

Dec 13, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) – Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation will be traveling to Tennessee in 2013.

The document, signed by President Lincoln in 1863, will be on display at the Tennessee State Museum for just six days. It’s all part of Tennessee’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

Confederate apologists often note that Lincoln’s proclamation only freed slaves in the Confederacy.  State Museum Chief Curator Dan Pomeroy says Lincoln actually had few other options.

"The Constitution protected slavery, so the president had no authority to abolish slavery. He did have the authority to take a War Measure. So this was taken as an effort to assist in the Union victory. But there's no question about Lincoln's attitude toward slavery, and there's equally no question that this was a giant step forward to the ultimate abolition of slavery." 

The State Museum is paying $450,000 to bring the document to Tennessee.