13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Formally abolishing slavery in
the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the
Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states
on December 6, 1865.
Congress Web Site | External Web
Sites | Selected
Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
Nicolay sent Lincoln a telegram reporting passage
of the 13th Amendment by Congress on January 31, 1865.
Abraham Lincoln Papers using the phrase "13th
amendment" to locate additional documents on this
topic, including a copy of the 13th
Amendment submitted to the states that was signed by Abraham Lincoln and members of
The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
This collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics.
Search this collection to find a number of items related to the abolition of slavery, including a copy of the 13th Amendment.
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
This collection contains congressional publications from 1774 to 1875, including debates, bills, laws, and journals.
- April 8, 1864 - The
Senate passed the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 38 to 6.
- June 15, 1864 - The House of Representatives initially defeated the 13th Amendment
(S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 93 in favor, 65 opposed, and 23 not voting, which is less than the two-thirds majority needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment.
- January 31, 1865 - The House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment
(S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 119 to 56.
- February 1, 1865 - President
Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution submitting
the proposed 13th Amendment to the states.
- December 18, 1865 - Secretary
of State William Seward issued a statement
verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment.
in the 38th Congress to find additional information on
the 13th Amendment.
Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection,
Includes speeches by T.B.
Van Buren and Gen.
Hiram Walbridge given during the ratification process
of the 13th Amendment in the New York House of Assembly.
Also found within this collection is a report issued
by the Union
League Club of New York recommending the approval
of the 13th Amendment.
Nineteenth Century in Print
Contains an article
written by John Hay and John Nicolay, Lincoln's
private secretaries, that discusses the history of
the 13th Amendment. Also includes an article in the Continental
Monthly that examines the initial rejection of
the 13th Amendment by the House of Representatives
This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836 to 1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the 13th Amendment.
A selection of articles on the 13th Amendment includes:
- "Freedom Triumphant," New-York Daily Tribune. (New York, NY), February 1, 1865.
- "Glory to God! The Constitutional Amendment Passed the House by a Vote of 119 to 56," Fremont Journal. (Fremont, OH), February 3, 1865.
- "The Constitutional Amendment," The Daily Phoenix. (Columbia, SC), December 14, 1865.
- "The Official Announcement of the Adoption of the Constitutional Amendment--Opinions of the Leading Press," Daily National Republican. (Washington, D.C.), December 21, 1865.
This exhibit marks the publication of The African-American
Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the
Study of Black History and Culture. This exhibit is a
sampler of the kinds of materials and themes covered
by this publication. Includes a section on the abolition movement
and the end of slavery.
American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
This exhibition showcases the African American collections
of the Library of Congress. Displays more than 240 items,
including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps,
musical scores, plays, films, and recordings. Includes
a brochure from an exhibit at the Library of Congress
to mark the 75th
Anniversary of the 13th Amendment.
Treasures of the Library of Congress: Abolition of Slavery
An online exhibit of the engrossed copy of the 13th
Amendment as signed by Abraham Lincoln and members of
Works of Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln Association
Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis
and Interpretation, Government Printing Office
from Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation,
1861-1867, University of Maryland
End of Slavery:
The Creation of the 13th Amendment, HarpWeek
Will Be Heard!” Abolitionism in America, Cornell
University Library, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Lincoln and Freedom, The Lincoln Institute
Documents, 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
National Archives and Records Administration
Hoemann, George H. What God Hath
Wrought: The Embodiment of Freedom in the Thirteenth
Amendment. New York: Garland
Pub., 1987. [Catalog
Holzer, Harold, and Sara Vaughn Gabbard, eds. Lincoln
and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth
Amendment. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University
Press, 2007. [Catalog
Maltz, Earl M. Civil Rights, the
Constitution, and Congress, 1863-1869. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas,
Alexander, ed. The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010. [Catalog
-----. The Thirteenth Amendment
and American Freedom: A Legal History. New York:
New York University Press, 2004. [Catalog
Vorenberg, Michael. Final Freedom:
The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. [Catalog
Biscontini, Tracey and Rebecca Sparling, eds. Amendment XIII: Abolishing Slavery. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. [Catalog Record]
Schleichert, Elizabeth. The Thirteenth
Amendment: Ending Slavery. Springfield, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 1998. [Catalog