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The D.C. Emancipation Act

Although the Compromise of 1850 prohibited the slave trade in Washington, D.C., slavery in the nation’s capital remained legal until Congress passed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act in 1862. The act abolished all slavery in the District, provided financial compensation to former slave owners, offered emancipated individuals opportunities to move to colonies abroad, and protected freedmen from future enslavement. Congress finally ended all slavery in the United States with passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in 1865.

2 Images Abraham Lincoln’s draft message to Congress on D.C. Emancipation,... View All Images
2 Images Petition from Clark Mills, petition number 741 View All Images
1 Image Emancipation in the District of Columbia, 38th Congress, 1st Session... View All Images
1 Image "Celebration of the abolition of slavery in the District of... View All Images