The draft proclamation, which was first read by President Lincoln to his cabinet on July 22, 1862, is rarely displayed. The remarkable document features President Lincoln’s neat and legible script. According to Michelle Krowl, Historian with the Library’s Manuscript Division, the document reflects Lincoln’s writing habits. He wrote different sections of the proclamation on various scraps of paper as thoughts came to him. He then collated the final version into the tightly written draft that the Library houses and preserves.
For a better view of the draft, visit the With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition page.