Abolitionism in America

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Manuscript Copy of the 13th Amendment, Signed by Abraham Lincoln and Members of Congress, 1865.
The Nicholas H. Noyes Collection of Historical Americana.

The Thirteenth Amendment
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“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.”

On January 31, 1865—two years after the presentation of the Emancipation Proclamation, and three months before the end of the Civil War—the Thirteenth Amendment passed through both houses of Congress, ending almost 250 years of slavery in the United States.

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Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library