Abraham Lincoln and the End of Slavery in the District of Columbia

April 14, 2009
On April 14, 2009, the Overbeck project continued its celebration of the Lincoln bicentennial with a lecture by Capitol Hill historians Robert S. Pohl and John R. Wennersten on emancipation in Washington, DC.

The lecturers based their presentation on their book, Abraham Lincoln and the End of Slavery in the District of Columbia, an annotated collection of 19th century public documents, narratives and newspaper accounts. In their lecture, Pohl and Wennersten gave special attention to events in our neighborhood of Capitol Hill, including the erection of the Abraham Lincoln statue in Lincoln Park.

Emancipation in the District came on April 16, 1862, nine months prior to the general Emancipation Proclamation, with a special sweetener for local slave holders, who were paid for the loss of their property.

Pohl and Wennersten's book was published by Friends of the Southeast Library, with sales proceeds devoted to expansion of the library’s Capitol Hill history research room.

Robert Pohl served as an IT professional and architectural historian whose first book was a history of his own house on 11th Street Southeast. John Wennersten is a retired professor of history and government and the author of several books, including a history of the Anacostia River, which served as the basis for his earlier Overbeck Lecture in September 2007.

Past Lectures