The District of Columbia Emancipation Act
On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Passage of this act came 9 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 DC Emancipation Act is currently being featured at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. You have until the beginning of September to see the Act before it comes back to the National Archives!