Image from the Emancipation Proclamation America's reconstruction: Peoples and Politics After the Civil War
Emancipation Black Soldiers Rehearsal for Reconstruction A New Birth of Freedom: Reconstruction During the Civil War

Copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, 1868

Copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, 1868.
(Chicago Historical Society

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In January 1865, the U.S. Congress approved the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, irrevocably abolishing slavery throughout the nation.

To commemorate the occasion, members of the House and Senate, along with Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, and President Abraham Lincoln signed several copies of the document.

For the next several years, commercial printers sold souvenir copies of the historic document.

Read the Thirteenth Amendment

Copyright 2003
A New Birth of Freedom: Reconstruction During the Civil War The Meaning of Freedom: Black and White Responses to Slavery From Free Labor to Slave Labor Rights and Power: The Politics of Reconstruction Introduction The Ending of Reconstruction Epilogue: The Unfinished Revolution Additional Resources Credits for this Exhibit Digital History Home