... 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 Emancipation Proclamation was an Executive Order issued on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. His authority to issue the Executive Order came from Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States, which states that the President is the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States."
Lincoln did not free all the slaves in the United States. He only freed the slaves in the following territories held by the Confederate States:
• Louisiana (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans)
• South Carolina
• North Carolina
• Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth)
A lot of people claimed that Lincoln, as President of the United States of America (USA), had no authority to free slaves in the states belonging to theConfederate States of America (CSA). However, the practical effect was that it commited the USA to abolishing slavery in all states. Lincoln's unilateral decision was not popular with everyone in the North.