This research looks at the narrative of Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator versus the Evolving Emancipator. The goal of this thesis is to contribute to the narrative of the Evolving Emancipator and show an imperfect man who achieved this action after trials and tribulations.This has been achieved by examining letters and other primary sources to fully understand the scope of Lincoln’s sentiments regarding slavery. My research shows a man who acknowledged slavery because it was sanctioned by the law. He recognized the rights of slave owners, both to retain their slaves and to have fugitive slaves returned, as they were clearly guaranteed in the Constitution.

My thesis aims to accurately represent a man with conflicting thoughts who at the end of the day was sensible about his time, but through extensive pressure finally found his conviction with his prime goal being to unite his nation once more. By providing analyses of primary sources, like his letters to Horace Greeley and his draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, I was able to garner an account of Abraham Lincoln’s adaptability to the social, political and economic changes during his presidency and decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

There is no shortage of data on the subject at hand and through primary and secondary sources I was able to collect a copious amount of details for my thesis. The sources used for this study effectively give a well-rounded idea of the era’s current events that helped formulate and add to my research.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Sacher, John


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities



Degree Program



Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

December 2017