After D.C. Emancipation:
In 1862, President Lincoln pressed for and signed a congressional act emancipating slaves in the District on April 16 of that year, and compensating owners loyal to the Union up to $300 per slave. The prospect of freedom almost immediately led thousands of rural slaves to leave farms and plantations. One year after D.C. emancipation, approximately 10,000 former slaves, mostly from Maryland and Virginia, were living here.
By 1865 when the war ended, 40,000 freed men, women, and children had come to the capital. Annual celebrations of D.C. emancipation took place in Washington from 1866 to 1901 and were revived in 2002. In 2005, Emancipation Day became an official holiday in the District of Columbia.
Congress created the Freedman's Bureau in March 1865 to assist in protecting, aiding and educating free black Americans. General Oliver Otis Howard, appointed by Lincoln to head the bureau, allocated $500,000 to purchase land and construct buildings for a liberal arts college. Howard University, named in his honor, was established by congressional charter in 1867.