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13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Primary Documents in American History

Digital materials at the Library of Congress related to the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as links to external websites, and a selected print bibliography.

Introduction

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. 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 Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

Joint Resolution Submitting 13th Amendment to the States; signed by Abraham Lincoln and Congress. February 1, 1865. Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Manuscript Division.