April 17, 2023, DC Emancipation Day weekend activities will culminate with the Reading of the Names of the First Freed at the African American Civil War Memorial on Vermont Ave. NW Washington, D. C. At the start of the Civil War in 1861 there were 3.9 million enslaved blacks held in captivity in the United States with thousands of enslaved persons being held in Washington, DC. After the Confederate firing on Ft. Sumpter, Frederick Douglass, and other abolitionists started agitating for ways and means by which slavery could be abolished and the country could, at last, live up to the ideals of the Preamble that stated: “All men are created equal”.
April 16, 1862, President Lincoln and Congress soon realized that they could abolish slavery in the territory of Washington, DC and soon passed the necessary legislation establishing “Compensated Emancipation Act to purchase the freedom of 3,100 enslaved persons in the District. One of the persons freed was a young lad named Andrew Green who would celebrate his newfound freedom by volunteering to serve in the United States Colored Troops to make Emancipation Proclamation to reality for other enslaved persons. Sgt. Andrew Greens’ name is listed on the Wall of Honor of the African American Civil War Memorial on Wall A plaque #3.
CLICK HERE to view Andrew Green’s Name as it appears on the List of Names of First Freed.
After giving notice to all slaveholders of note, a list of enslaved persons living in the nation’s Capital was compiled. A livestock appraiser from Baltimore was employed to examine each enslaved person, placing a dollar value not exceeding $300 maximum, next to each name. The owner would be compensated for each person.
This is what we do: This is how you may join in to help with the reading of the names Friday, April 14, 2023, a list such as the attached will be supplied to area teachers and schools urging them to have their students pay tribute by reading the names aloud on that day
Saturday, April 15 we will ask FREED to read a list of names aloud at Emancipation Day Parade.
Sunday, April 16 local ministers will be asked to read aloud a list of names of First Freed at area churches.
Monday, April 17 Grand Finale: At 11 am the public is invited to join in an in-person reading of the full list of 3,100 First Freed at the African American Civil War Memorial, Vermont Ave and U Street NW
WATCH THE READING LIVE ON THE AACW MUSEUM FACEBOOK PAGE
For more information about the DC Emancipation Day events visit: emancipation.dc.gov