Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

from Abraham Lincoln – The Emancipation Proclamation on Rap Genius

Meaning

This refers to the first actual Emancipation Proclamation, which Lincoln floated to the South on September 22, 1862. The opening line is the equivalent of Lincoln screaming

ALL RIGHT HONKIES, THIS TIME I MEAN BUSINESS!"

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