Exhibit Theme

Fighting for Freedom - 1

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Broadside, “Meeting For the...
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Broadside, “Meeting For the Organization of a Colored Regiment in the District of Columbia,” 1863

After issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln authorized recruitment of African-American regiments. White Army officers posted recruitment notices, and black leaders including Frederick Douglass encouraged enlistment as a step toward gaining full civil rights. Some 1,500 African-American men enlisted in the District of Columbia’s First Regiment.

Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, National Archives and Records Administration

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