Lincoln's order to affix seal to Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863

My Proclamation

After spending the morning of New Year’s Day greeting visitors at a White House reception, Lincoln retired to his office on the second floor to sign the official copy of the final Emancipation Proclamation. Afterwards, Lincoln penned this note, directing the secretary of state, William H. Seward, to affix the official seal of the United States to “my Proclamation.” Above all his acts as president, Lincoln believed he would be best remembered for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.