Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

Exhibit Theme

Abolishing Slavery - 1

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Congressman Abraham Lincoln’s...
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Congressman Abraham Lincoln’s Draft of a Bill to Abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, January 1849

As a junior congressman from Illinois, Lincoln drafted a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. His cautious proposal offered payment to slave owners and only emancipated children born after 1850. Lacking support for the bill, Lincoln abandoned it. In 1862, as president, he signed an act emancipating slaves in the nation’s capital.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress