Tag: district of Columbia
Today’s blog post comes from National Archives social media intern Anna Fitzpatrick.
Nine months before President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he signed a bill on April 16, 1862, that ended slavery in the District of Columbia. The act finally concluded many years of disagreements over ending ”the national shame” of slavery in the nation’s capital.
The law provided for immediate emancipation, compensation to loyal Unionist masters of up to $300 for each freed slave, voluntary colonization of former slaves to colonies outside the United States, and payments of up to $100 to each person choosing emigration. Although this three-way approach of immediate emancipation, compensation, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, it pointed toward slavery’s death. Emancipation was greeted with great joy by the District’s African American community.
The white population of DC took advantage of the act’s promise of compensation. One month after the act was issued, Margaret Barber presented a claim to the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, saying that she wanted to be compensated by the Federal Government, which had freed her 34 slaves.
Margaret Barber estimated that her slaves were worth a total of $23,400. On June 16, 1862, slave trader Bernard Campbell examined 28 of Barber’s slaves to assess their value for the Commission. In the end, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 26, 2012, under - Civil Rights, - Civil War, Letters in the National Archives.
Tags: dc, district of Columbia, Emancipation Proclamation, lincoln, slavery, Thirteenth Amendment
While Union and Confederate forces clashed on southern battlefields in 1862, a historic piece of legislation ended “the national shame” of slavery in the nation’s capital. The District of Columbia Emancipation Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862.
The legislation provided for immediate emancipation and monetary compensation to former slave owners. It also stipulated that owners claiming compensation file schedules listing and describing each slave. The Supplemental Act of July 12, 1862 expanded on the first act by permitting the submission of schedules by slaves whose owners did not reside in the District of Columbia.
As a result of the first act, the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves approved 930 petitions from former owners for the freedom of 2,989 former slaves. The supplemental act resulted in another 161 petitions from individuals, including many former slaves who were allowed to file because their owners had failed to comply with the first act’s deadline.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the DC Emancipation Act, the National Archives has released this short documentary video. The four-minute video is part of the ongoing “Inside the Vaults” series on our YouTube channel.
For more information about DC Emancipation and slave petitions, read “Slavery and Emancipation in the Nation’s Capital” from Prologue magazine. Also, the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. … [ Read all ]
Today is Emancipation Day for the District of Columbia. Some of you might immediately wonder if this is related to DC’s current efforts to win representation and a vote, but it is a celebration for a different kind of freedom for the residents of DC.
Eight and a half months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.
Lincoln had struggled with how to resolve the issue of slavery, even encouraging freed slaves to return to Africa. And of course, slavery in the nation’s capital was an even thornier issue—antislavery advocates spoke of “the national shame.”
The bill had some success. Over the next nine months, the Board of Commissioners appointed to administer the act approved 930 petitions, completely or in part, from former owners for the freedom of 2,989 former slaves.
Although its combination of emancipation, compensation to owners, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act was an early signal of slavery’s death. In the District itself, African Americans greeted emancipation with great jubilation. For many years afterward, Emancipation Day was celebrated with parades and festivals.
Last week we asked our readers to share photos that match up with some old images we have in our library. We got two responses that really show just how much things have changed in Washington, DC. See our then and now photos, and share your own on our Facebook page!
Posted by Rob Crotty on August 6, 2010, under Uncategorized.
Tags: abraham lincoln, black and white DC, district of Columbia, fords theatre then and now, lincoln memorial construction, old and new photos, old washington dc photos, Washington DC