National Archives Explores DC Emancipation and 19th-Century Life April 16
Press Release · Monday, March 30, 2015
Expert panel reflects on pivotal time for African Americans in Washington, DC
On Thursday, April 16, at 7 PM, the National Archives hosts a special program titled "DC Emancipation and 19th-Century Life." This program is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, and streamed live via YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance, located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. The building is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.
What was 19th-century life like for enslaved and free African Americans in Washington, DC? What was the impact of DC Emancipation in and around the city? An expert panel discusses these topics as well as how the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln was observed after the Civil War. Maurice Jackson, Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies at Georgetown University, will moderate a discussion with Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Howard University; George Musgrove, UMBC; and Chris Myers of Washington History. Presented in partnership with DC City Government and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The DC Emancipation Act: Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862, the D.C. Emancipation Act freed enslaved persons in Washington, DC. Their owners were compensated by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Related online resources from the National Archives:
- In this DC Emancipation Act video, archivist Damani Davis discusses the petitions filed by owners and slaves under the Act and the details they reveal about the enslaved African-American community at the time. Archivist Robert Ellis explains how the process worked.
- Read archivist Damani Davis’ Prologue Magazine article: Slavery and Emancipation in the Nation's Capital: Using Federal Records to Explore the Lives of African American Ancestors.
- See Featured Document: The District of Columbia Emancipation Act.
# # #
For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.
This page was last reviewed on November 6, 2018.
Contact us with questions or comments.