Secretary of State Seward's order to the U.S. Marshal of the District of Columbia essentially suspended the Fugitive Slave Law in Washington DC. It presages the abolition of slavery in the District in three months later on April 16, 1862. Seward ordered Ward Lamon that none were to be arrested in the area merely for being a fugitive from slavery, a requirement of the federal Fugitive Slave Law, and that any fugitives already held cannot be imprisoned for longer than thirty days. (By John Osborne)
Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P.Putnam, 1862), IV: 52.