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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