American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Abolition of Slavery

Resolution, 38th Congress of the U.S.
R esolution, 38th Congress of the U.S. submitted to the Legislatures of the Several States a proposition to amend the Constitution, signed Feb. 1, 1865 by Abraham Lincoln, signed in the Senate, April 8, 1864, signed in the House of Representatives, January 31, 1865
Holograph document, February 1, 1865
Manuscript Division
Gift of Robert Todd Lincoln, 1923 (100)

The Thirteenth Amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States, passed the House of Representatives after easy passage in the Senate on January 31, 1865. On February 1, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures. This unusual engrossed copy of the resolution on vellum is signed by Lincoln as well as the authenticating officers of Congress and the senators and representatives who voted for its passage.

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