Today in History: The Thirteenth Amendment was adopted on December 6th, 1865, officially abolishing slavery in the United States.

On December 6, 1865, Georgia became the twenty-seventh state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, marking the official passage of the bill that abolished slavery in the United States. Both houses of Congress had passed the bill prior to the end of the Civil War.

  • Learn about the Thirteenth Amendment in the Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World, available through Credo Reference.
  • View Freedom’s Road: Slavery & The Opposition, a documentary film hosted by Danny Glover that looks at the efforts to abolish slavery in the United States, from American History in Video.
  • Read about the amendment’s historical context and continuing importance in The Promises of Liberty: the History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment, a collection of essays edited by Alexander Tsesis that is available through ebrary, Inc.
  • See a historical copy of the13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery from the American Historical Documents, National Archives collection. 

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