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2018 News

Gettysburg Visitors are Invited to See and Reflect on the Meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation

October 17, 2018


This original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation is on loan from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation have teamed up to honor the history of the Emancipation Proclamation by exhibiting a copy personally signed by President Abraham Lincoln. One of three color lithographic broadsides, this was given directly to Lincoln by David Williams Cheesman, and is known as the Cheesman copy.

On loan from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Emancipation Proclamation is on display through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. To purchase tickets, visit

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached the third year of the Civil War. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." It also announced the acceptance of men of color into the Union Army and Navy.