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United Colonies $2 bill - 1775
 

 

 

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Summary


Title

An Act of April 16, 1862 [For the Release of Certain Persons Held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia], 04/16/1862

Description
  • Scope and content On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed this bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Passage of this act came 8 1/2 months before President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The act brought to conclusion decades of agitation aimed at ending what antislavery advocates called "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. Over the next nine months the federal government granted almost $1 million for the freedom of approxiamtely 3,100 former slaves. The District of Columbia Emancipation Act is the only example of compensated emancipation in the United States. Though its three-way approach of immediate emancipation, compensation, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, it was an early signal of slavery's death. Emancipation was greeted with great jubilation by the District's African-American community. For many years afterward, black Washingtonians celebrated Emancipation Day on April 16 with parades and festivals.
  • General notes The text of all federal laws is published in the U.S. Statutes at Large, a multivolume publication available at libraries nationwide. Exhibit history: "An Act for the Release of Certain Persons..." National Archives Rotunda, April 14-May 1, 1995.
Author

Unknown or not provided

Record creator

National Archives and Records Administration. Office of the Federal Register. (04/01/1985 - ) (Most Recent)
Department of State. (09/1789 - ) (Predecessor)

Date

16 April 1862(1862-04-16)

Archives I Reference Section, Textual Archives Services Division (NWCT1R), National Archives Building, Washington, DC

Record ID
NARA Logo created 2010.svg This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 299814.

This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.


  • Record group: Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 - 2006 (ARC identifier: 340)
  • Series: Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, compiled 1789 - 2008 (ARC identifier: 299811)
  • NAIL Control Number: NWCTB-11-LAWSPI159E6-PL37(50)

NAIL Control Number: NWDT1-11-LAWS-PI159E6-PL37(50)
Other Identifier: 03545
This is the NARA internal exhibit tracking number.

  • MLR Number A-1 5A (1789-1823 segment), A-1 5B (1824-1956 segment) (...)
Source

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Other versions
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Licensing

NARA Logo created 2010.svg This file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the National Archives and Records Administration as part of a cooperation project. The National Archives and Records Administration provides images depicting American and global history which are public domain or licensed under a free license.

Public domain This image is a work of a United States Department of State employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain per 17 U.S.C. § 101 and § 105 and the Department Copyright Information.
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Licensing:
Public Domain

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