04/18/2015 11:53 am ET

‘Born In Slavery': The last American Slaves

Hulton Archive via Getty Images

One hundred and fifty-three years ago today, Washington D.C. was the first place in the country where slaves were freed by the federal government.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862, freeing the district’s 3,100 slaves. The legislation was hint of slavery’s coming death in the United States — only 8 1/2 months later Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation.

Read more on The Washington Post