It’s Emancipation Day for Washington, D.C.

Emancipation Proclamation articleDid you know today is Emancipation Day? On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act that prohibited slavery and entitled District slave owners to $300 per slave.

“The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slave owners for their lost “assets.” Here, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the front page that Lincoln presented a special message to Congress with a plan to end slavery through compensation. There would be no takers among the slaveholding border states.”

Learn more about the history and look at the historical documents at