Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for July 12th:
Supplemental Act of July 12, 1862


Supplementary to the "Act for the Release of Certain Persons Held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia" [Supplemental Act of July 12, 1862]; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives.

On July 12, 1862, Congress passed a supplemental bill to the original DC Emancipation Act which covered another type of claim, allowing slaves whose masters had not filed for compensation to do so.

An important factor in deciding claims under this Act was that the testimony of both blacks and whites was accepted. Now, if an owner challenged a slave who petitioned for freedom, the testimony from both was given equal weight, a sharp departure from the previous legal practice in which slaves or freed blacks could not testify against whites.

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Yesterday's document: July 11th
"U.S. Post Office, Wichita Falls, Tex."

Tomorrow's document: July 13th
Northwest Ordinance

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