One of the many nicknames that Abraham Lincoln has been known by is The Great Emancipator for freeing the slaves. There is just one slight problem with that. Lincoln did not free all of the slaves. In reality Lincoln did not free a single slave in the United States or in Union held Confederate states. He only freed the slaves in the Confederate States that were still fully controlled by the Confederacy.
Abraham Lincoln was the first modern politician. He was a very intelligent man. He played both sides of the political fence with ease. Although he hated the idea of slavery he was only an abolitionist because of the politics. He saw abolitionism as way to the presidency. He thought that slavery should be ended, but eventually. He felt that slavery would eventually die out and he really was not in favor of a sudden release of all slaves.
He certainly opposed slavery on moral grounds but what to do with the blacks after they were released was a question no one had an answer.
Through his own words Lincoln was not a supporter of black people and certainly did not feel that they should be on the same standing as white people, specifically white land owners.
When looking at the Civil War, there was incredible pressure for Lincoln to free the slaves in Missouri almost immediately after the war started. Lincoln was absolutely against this. The main reason was that he feared that if he freed the slaves in Missouri this would enrage the people in Kentucky and that state would then secede.
Lincoln knew that when he eventually made a move to free slaves that it would both be historic and potentially catastrophic for the North, especially if he did it too soon. This is why he waited until 1863. By this time most of the Confederacy was under Union control. It was politically acceptable to do so.