excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated states and parts of states are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
February 25, 1863
ACCORDING to Sumner, the purpose of this act was to extend the principle of an act of January 30, 1799, relating to treasonable correspondence with foreigners, to correspondence with supporters of the rebellion. The bill was introduced by Sumner January 7, and passed the Senate, February 13, without a division. The House passed the bill on the 21st, also without a division. There was no debate of importance in either house.
REFERENCE . -- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XII, 696.