Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
Lifestyle

Emancipation Day provides tax filing delay

Abraham LincolnU.S. House of RepresentativesInternal Revenue Service

Thanks to a quirk in this year's income tax filing deadline, many Americans are getting a lesson in Civil War history today. The IRS pushed back the filing deadline because April 15 landed on Sunday and today is Emancipation Day, which marks the anniversary of the 1862 District of Columbia Emancipation Act.

The act is not well-known, but you could consider it the predecessor of the broader proclamation that President Abraham Lincoln used to free the slaves in Confederate states. According to the National Archives, it "provided for immediate emancipation, compensation to former owners who were loyal to the Union of up to $300 for each freed slave, voluntary colonization of former slaves to locations outside the United States, and payments of up to $100 for each person choosing emigration." It led to the freedom of 2,989 slaves.

The opening paragraph makes for some stirring reading:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons held to service or labor within the District of Columbia by reason of African descent are hereby discharged and freed of and from all claim to such service or labor; and from and after the passage of this act neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for crime, whereof the party shall be duly convicted, shall hereafter exist in said District.

The broader Emancipation Proclamation -- declaring "that all persons held as slaves [in Confederate states] are, and henceforward shall be free" -- was issued January 1, 1863. It also had its limitations. As the Archives notes, it did not reach border states, where the issue of the expansion of slavery helped touch off the Civil War. It also exempted parts of the Confederacy controlled by the Union. 

 

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Abraham LincolnU.S. House of RepresentativesInternal Revenue Service
  • J.K. Rowling's new book: 'The Casual Vacancy'
    J.K. Rowling's new book: 'The Casual Vacancy'

    J.K. Rowling's first book aimed at adults will be called "The Casual Vacancy," and will be released Sept. 27, her British publisher announced today.

  • Confessions of a Scary Mommy
    Confessions of a Scary Mommy

    Having just spent a very busy weekend with adorable, 4-year-old twin girls who were visiting with my nephew, I was extremely interested in the sight-seeing tips from Jill Smokler, the Baltimore-based Scary Mommy blogger who recently released "Confessions of a Scary Mommy."

  • Carole King memoir reviews
    Carole King memoir reviews

    Carole King's new memoir, "A Natural Woman," was released today, and she's making the rounds wuith television and radio interviews. The book chronicles her rise from a New York childhood influenced by music, to her discovery of rhythm and blues on the radio shows of...

  • Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson settles probe of charity
    Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson settles probe of charity

    Montana's attorney general announced today a settlement with "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute, ending a probe into allegations of mismanagement of assets. Attorney General Steve Bullock found that the charity's board members failed...

  • Best books on the Titanic
    Best books on the Titanic

    With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, there should be a renewed interest in "A Night to Remember," Baltimorean Walter Lord's recreation of the ship's sinking. It is a classic in the dramatiuc retelling of an historical event, and you could draw a straight line to more...

  • Spirits of the harvest season summon you to enjoy craft beverages
    Spirits of the harvest season summon you to enjoy craft beverages

    Meet the new wave of beverage crafters who are creating hard ciders and spirits -- including fresh-fruit brandies and herb-infused vodkas and gins -- from locally grown ingredients.

  • Retro Halloween costumes
    Retro Halloween costumes

    Check out these retro photos from Baltimore's days-gone-by of folks enjoying Halloween.

  • 50 Women to Watch 2014
    50 Women to Watch 2014

    The Baltimore Sun canvassed readers, sources and leaders to determine the area's most intriguing movers and shakers of 2014.

Comments
Loading