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S.J. Res. 16, proposing an amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery, April 1864

This Senate resolution became the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States and any place subject to its jurisdiction and gave Congress the power to pass legislation necessary to enforce the amendment. Congress submitted it to the states on January 31, 1865, and its ratification was completed within the year, on December 6, 1865.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

S.J. Res. 16, proposing an amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery, April 1864

The Thirteenth Amendment

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Designed to weaken the Confederacy, it declared that all persons enslaved in a state, or part of a state, then in rebellion against the United States were and would be forever free. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed by Congress and ratified by the states in 1865, abolished slavery nationwide.

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall hereafter exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution