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American Experience

Lincoln Announces Freedom

Clip: Season 1 | 2m 3s

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On September 22nd, 1862, Lincoln promised to sign an Emancipation Proclamation on New Year's Day. "All persons," Lincoln wrote, "held as slaves within any State in rebellion shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." But abolitionists were unsure whether he would keep his promise.

Aired: 01/08/13 | Rating: NR

Corporate sponsorship for American Experience is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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The Chinese Six Companies

On May 28, 1900, San Francisco policemen formed a perimeter around Chinatown as officials diagnosed bubonic plague in the neighborhood and wanted to quarantine the nearly 20,000 residents. As tensions flared, an influential group of merchants known as the Chinese Six Companies sprang into action.

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