Proclaiming Emancipation: Following Reagan on Abortion

This year marks the sesquicentennial of both the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 and Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.  The latter is better known than the former, but both steps -- one legislative and immediately effective, the other hortatory and of limited legal impact -- marked turning points where the executive and legislative branches of the federal government took action and set forth the intellectual basis for abolishing the "peculiar institution" of slavery. The District of Columbia law was adopted by Congress and signed by Lincoln on April 16, 1862, and it marked a springtime of hope for freedom.  The law set free some 3,000 slaves in the federal enclave -- men, women and children whose captivity was subject to congressional control.  The 150th anniversary of the day is being celebrated with symbolic marches, lectures, and fireworks in the nation's capital. Later this year, in September, the nation will mark the same...(Read Full Article)

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