COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update

The Capitol Visitor Center remains closed. We are not taking tour reservations at this time. Please check out our video tours and other online resources.

 

Online Gift Shop Now Open

Check out our new Online Gift Shop, https://shop.visitthecapitol.gov. All products are Made-in-the-USA, and many are created exclusively for our store. We look forward to welcoming you to the CVC Online Gift Shop.

Breaking Barriers to Emancipation

Breaking Barriers to Emancipation

Neither slavery nor indentured servitude…shall exist within the United States

Amendment XIII, Constitution of the United States

As originally ratified, the U.S. Constitution preserved the institution of slavery. Congress became the arena for the struggles between those who wanted to protect the institution and those who wanted to abolish it. Congress’ power to affect slavery in the territories and the District of Columbia—but not the states—became the focal point of the battle, until slavery was abolished in 1865.