Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Compensated Emancipation

President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill April 16th 1862 that ended slavery in the District of Columbia.

Eight and half months before he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia on April 16th 1862. This bill called the Compensated Emancipation Act, ended what was called by abolitionist “the national shame”, of slavery in the seat of the United States government. The bill called for immediate emancipation. There was to be compensation to owners who were loyal to the Union of $300 for each former slave, and $100 for each former slave who voluntary emigrated to locations out of the Untied States. During the following 9 months the act approved 930 petition and the freedom of 2,989 former slaves. The former slaves who lived in the District of Columbia celebrated April 16th as Emancipation Day with parades and festivals from 1866 to 1901.

To read the act look at this web site District of Columbia Emancipation Act

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