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The Civil War: The Senate's Story

DC Compensated Emancipation Act
DC Compensated Emancipation Act

On April 16, 1862, the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act became law. Originally sponsored by Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, the act freed slaves in the District of Columbia and compensated owners up to $300 for each freeperson. In the months following the enactment of the law, commissioners approved more than 930 petitions, granting freedom to 2,989 former slaves.


Citation: DC Emancipation Act, 04/16/1862; Record Group 11; General Records of the United States Government; National Archives

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