End of the Slave Trade in Washington DC

Slave Code of the District of Columbia 1862 (Library of Congress)

One hundred seventy years ago today, as part of the Compromise of 1850 that hoped to stave off Civil War, the US Congress abolished the slave trade – but not slavery – in the nation’s capital.

From its founding in 1800, slaves had lived and worked in Washington DC. And, despite abolition of the traffic in human beings, slavery continued to exist in the District of Columbia until April 16, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation ending the District’s slave code and freeing 3,000 African Americans.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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