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At the second session of this Congress, on the 2d of March, 1797, a joint resolution was passed—and the same day approved by President Washington-which reads as follows:

That the President be requested to adopt some speedy and effectual means of obtaining information from the States of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina, whether they have ratified the amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution, concerning the suability of Statesif they have, to obtain the proper evidence thereof."

“The Fifth Congress was informed by President Adams, at its first session, January 8th, 1798, that Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky had ratified the amendment, New Jersey and Pennsylvania had failed to do so. South Carolina had taken no definitive action, and Tennessee—which had been admitted to the Union in the interval succeeding the passage of the amendmenthad not been heard from."

Little interest seems to have been felt for this amendment, requiring, as it did, four years to obtain the sense of sixteen States, and to secure the ratification of twelve.

The twelfth amendment was ratified within six months. This result was hastened by reason of the amendment containing instructions which were designed to apply to a presidential election then imminent. Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, promptly ratified this amendment—they constituting the required number, thirteen out of seventeen.

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Delaware, “either purposely or neglectfully tarried behind."

The thirteenth amendment was proposed to the country by the Thirty-eighth Congress, February 1st, 1864, and was nearly eleven months in being ratified.

This amendment passed Congress, February 1st, 1865, by the following vote :


For the Amendment-Republicans.......



Against the Amendment--All Democrats...........
Not voting-Democrats...............


38 6 5 1

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The State Legislatures ratified this amendment, in the following order and time:1865.

1865. Illinois February 1st Louisiana

February 17th Rhode Island February 2d Wisconsin

February 21st Michigan

February 20
Missouri .

February 24th New York

February 3d

. March 9th Maryland February 3d Arkansas.

April 5th Massachusetts February 3d Connecticut.

May 4th Pennsylvania

February 3d
New Hampshire

. June 30th West Virginia . February 3d South Carolina

November 13th Maine February 7th North Carolina

December 1st Ohio

February 8th

December 20
February 8th Georgia

December 6th Minnesota February 8th Oregon

December 11th Virginia . February 9th California

December 18th Indiana

. February 13th
New Jersey

March, 1866 Nevada

. February 16th

April 5th, 1866





It will thus be seen, that thirty States ratified the thirteenth amendment. It was rejected by Delaware and Kentucky.


William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States of

To all to whom these presents may come, greeting:

WHEREAS, By an Act of Congress, passed on the 28th day of April, 1818, entitled “ An act to provide for the publication of the laws of the United States, and for other purposes,” it is declared that whenever official notice shall have been received at the Department of State that any amendment which heretofore has been, and hereafter may be proposed, to the Constitution of the United States, has been adopted, according to the provisions of the Constitution, it shall be the duty of the said Secretary of State to cause the said amendment to be published forthwith in the newspapers authorized to promulgate the laws, with his certificate, specifying the States by which the said amendment has been adopted, and that the same has become valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the Constitution of the United States; and whereas, the Congress of the United States, on or about the 16th day of June, 1866, submitted to the Legislatures of the several States a proposed amendment to the Constitution in the following words, to wit:

“ Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Be it resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid and part of the Constitution, namely:

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“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Sec. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their representative numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed; but, when the right to vote at any election for the choice of Electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive or judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age and citizens of the United States, or be in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crimes, the basis of representation in such State shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such States.

“Sec. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or Elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof; but Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Sec. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payment of pensions and bounties for suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned; but neither the United States, nor any State, shall assume or pay any debt incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shail be held illegal and void.

"Sec. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

“SCHUYLER Colfax, "Speaker of the House of Representatives.


President of the Senate, pro tem. "Attest:


Clerk of the House of Representatives. “Attest:

“John W. Forney,
Secretary of the Senate.'

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And, whereas, The Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, on the 21st day of July, 1868, adopted and transmitted to the Department of State a concurrent resolution, which concurrent resolution is in the words and figures following, to wit:

“In the Senate of the United States, July 21, 1868 :

“WHEREAS, The Legislatures of the States of Connecticut, Tennessee, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana, being threefourths, and more, of the States of the Union, have ratified the fourteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, duly proposed by two-thirds of each House of the Thirtyninth Congress; therefore,

Resolved, By the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, That said fourteenth article is hereby declared to be a part of the Constitution of the United States, and it shall be promulgated as such by the Secretary of State. “Attest,


Secretary of the Senate.'

And whereas, official notice has been received at the Department of State, that the Legislatures of the several States next hereinafter named, have, at the times respectively mentioned, taken the proceedings hereinafter recited, in relation to the adoption of the said proposed amendment, called the fourteenth, namely :

The Legislature of Connecticut ratified the amendment June 30, 1866.

The Legislature of New Hampshire ratified the amendment July 7, 1866.

The Legislature of Tennessee ratified the amendment July 19, 1866.

The Legislature of New Jersey ratified the amendment September 11, 1866; and the Legislature of the same State passed a resolution in April, 1868, to withdraw its consent to it.

The Legislature of Oregon ratified the amendment September 19, 1866.

The Legislature of Texas rejected the amendment November 1, 1866.

The Legislature of Vermont ratified the amendment on or previous to November 9, 1866.

The Legislature of Georgia rejected the amendment November 13, 1866; and the Legislature of the same State ratified it July 21, 1868.

The Legislature of North Carolina rejected it December 4, 1866; and the Legislature of the same State ratified it July 4, 1868.

The Legislature of South Carolina rejected it on December 20, 1866; and the Legislature of the same State ratified it July 9, 1868.

The Legislature of Virginia rejected it January 19, 1867.
The Legislature of Kentucky rejected it January 10, 1867.

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