Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, signed in 1863 at the height of the Civil War, represented a fundamental change in his thinking about freedom and began a process that ultimately brought an end to slavery in the United States. The following year, on September 7, 1864, a delegation “of the loyal colored people of Baltimore” arrived at the White House to give a Bible to Abraham Lincoln. “Mr. President,” they said, “we come to present to you this copy of the Holy Scriptures, as a token of a respect for your active participation in furtherance of the cause of the emancipation of our race." Lincoln said: “In regard to the great book, I can only say it is the best gift which God has ever given man.”
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