Emancipation Day

April 16 marks the passage of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act of 1862.  The Act ended slavery in the District, freed those held as slaves, compensated those who had legally owned the freed slaves and offered money to newly freed slaves to emigrate.  The Act...

Emancipation Day

On April 16, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, ending what many called the “national shame” of slavery in the nation’s capital.  The Act provided for up to $300 for each slave owned by a Union slaveholder; freed slaves...


Today is Juneteenth, first celebrated in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived to take control of the former Confederate state and slaves were freed.  Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, it had little effect on the...

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