Petitions filed in response to the Compensated Emancipation Act of April 16, 1862, provide a voluminous, rich, and detailed record of the character of slavery in Washington and a vivid portrait of the 3,300 slaves who gained their freedom in 1862.
Cases drawn from The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion help us to understand the nation's capital as a city where the visible, physical pain and distress of the sick and wounded constantly reminded its citizens of the human costs of the war.
Letters written by residents of and visitors to Washington, DC, document a wealth of subjects, including the formation of local African American regiments, the struggle over the legality of the Fugitive Slaw Law in the District, the efforts of relief and educational associations, and more.
Newspapers published in Washington-area hospitals clarify the war and work of recovery, offering names of patients, medical staff, and subscribers; providing hospital statistics, news, and editorials; and presenting poetry, short stories, and sketches. Newspaper issues are not currently searchable.