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Wood engraving from Harper's Weekly, May 12, 1866.
Cheers for the end of slavery in the District of Columbia

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Abolition in the District of Columbia
April 16, 1862

Lincoln saw slavery as morally wrong. He abolished slavery in the capital, and five months later went on to issue his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which threatened to free all slaves in states in rebellion if those states did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863. In 1866, on the fourth anniversary of the District's Proclamation of Freedom, African American citizens of Washington, D.C., staged a huge celebration. Some 5,000 people marched up Pennsylvania Avenue past 10,000 cheering spectators, rejoicing over that first step to freedom.
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