Runaway Slaves and the Origins of Emancipation in Washington, DC

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George Washington University, 2130 H Street, NW, Gelman Library, 7th Floor

Kate Masur, associate professor of History and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, DC, to be published in paperback this fall, takes us back to the summer and fall of 1861, showing how enslaved people from surrounding Virginia and Maryland helped create a political crisis that led to Congress' famous DC Emancipation Act. Complicating the conventional argument that Congress and President Lincoln were alone responsible, Masur shows how Confederate and Union military maneuvers, slaves' own decisions to escape, and the policies of DC law enforcement officials all contributed to abolitionist movement in the Nation's Capital. Part of the Africana Studies Program of the George Washington University.