SCHS: Programs & Events — Rosette Detail

DC Emancipation Day Commemoration Lecture

A Lecture by Professor Manisha Sinha

Society Event: DC Emancipation Day Commemoration Lecture — Depicts the compensation that enslavers received following the emancipation of the enslaved in DC.

In commemoration of DC Emancipation Day, the Society is honored to host a lecture from Professor Manisha Sinha on the abolitionist origins of civil war constitutionalism and emancipation.

The DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality, that is commemorated by Washington, DC every April.

Image Caption: Depicts the compensation that enslavers received following the emancipation of the enslaved in DC. (From the Kiplinger Library of the Historical Society of DC)

Society Event: DC Emancipation Day Commemoration Lecture — Professor Manisha Sinha
Professor Manisha Sinha

Manisha Sinha is the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut and a leading authority on the history of slavery and abolition and the Civil War and Reconstruction. She was born in India and received her Ph.D from Columbia University where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft prize. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina, which was named one of the ten best books on slavery in Politico and recently featured in The New York Times’ 1619 Project. Her multiple award winning second monograph The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition was long listed for the National Book Award for Non-Fiction. It was named Editor’s Choice in The New York Times Book Review, book of the week by Times Higher Education to coincide with its UK publication, and one of three great History books of 2016 in Bloomberg News. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2022. She is the Eighth recipient of the James W.C. Pennington Award for 2021 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 2018, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris, Diderot. In 2003, she was appointed to the Distinguished Lecture Series of the Organization of American Historians. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the American Civil War Museum and of the Council of Advisors of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg, New York Public Library. She is co-editor of the Race in the Atlantic Series of the University of Georgia Press and on the editorial board of the journal, Slavery and Abolition. She taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for over twenty years, where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed on faculty. Her latest book, The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: A Long History of Reconstruction, 1860-1900, is forthcoming from Liveright.

Professor Sinha has written for The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, Time Magazine, CNN, The Boston Globe, Dissent, The Nation, Jacobin, and The Huffington Post and has been interviewed by the national and international press. She has been on National Public Radio, NBC, Democracy Now, BBC News, C-SPAN, Pacifica, Euro News, Canadian Television News, Canadian Broadcasting Company, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, China Global News, Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are, and was an advisor and on-screen expert for the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, The Abolitionists (2013), which is a part of the NEH funded Created Equal series. She has lectured all over the country and internationally in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, Ireland, and New Zealand. The Chinese rights to The Slave’s Cause have recently been sold to Beijing Han Tang Zhi Dao Book Distribution Co., Ltd.