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"The first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet" is a mezzotint that shows a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation on July 22, 1862.

The print is based on a picture painted by Francis B. Carpenter at the White House in 1864.

The print shows the figures of the cabinet members present at the signing, depicted from left to right as Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War; Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury; President Lincoln; Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy; Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior; William H. Seward, Secretary of State; Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General; and Edward Bates, Attorney General. Simon Cameron and Andrew Jackson are also depicted as paintings in the background.

The mezzotint was engraved by A.H. Ritchie, ensuring high-quality reproduction of the original painting.