Indiana celebrates the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment

The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864 and by the House on January 31, 1865.

When the Thirteenth Amendment was submitted to the states on February 1, 1865, it was quickly taken up by several legislatures – including Indiana. The Hoosier state joined 17 other states that ratified the Amendment during the first month, doing so on February 13, 1865.

The amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865 and Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption on December 18, 1865. Although the ratification came several months after the Civil War, it represented the struggle against slavery.

The impact of the 13th Amendment was felt quickly. It widened the scope of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which made all people in the United States legally free.

Click here for more information about the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

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

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.