Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

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A footnote on page 30 of this document says that the date of Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment (which abolished slavery) was on the 9th of February, 1865. (If I recall correctly, that makes it nine days after Congress proposed the amendment.)

On February 9, 1865, the war was still underway. Of whom did the legislature that passed the ratification consist? Surely not Confederates?

From the beginning of the American Civil War, Virginia had two governments. The original pro-succession government with it's capital in Richmond, and a newly formed Restored or Reorganized Government of Virginia which also claimed Richmond as its capital, but really was in Wheeling (then still part of Virginia) and later Alexandria once West Virginia came into being.

The Restored Government considered the secession in violation of the Virginia constitution since it was done without the consent of the people, it was done by the legislature, and declared the existing government illegal. The Federal government, unsurprisingly, recognized them as the legitimate government of Virginia and seated its congressmen.

It was this Restored Government that signed the 13th Amendment.

For reference, here's some interesting letters passed back and forth between the Restored Government and the Federal Government.

Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment - History

Footnotes to Table

1. In the Senate, noted as read, ordered transmitted to the office of the Secretary for the department of state, attested by Sam A Otis Secretary

2. In the Senate, noted as read, resolved that it be transmitted to the office of the Secretary for the department of state, attested by Sam A Otis Secretary

3. In the Senate, noted as read.

4. Also, 12th Cong. 1st Sess. Noted as Read. The letter is addressed to the Secretary of State, but the transmittal notation is that of the Senate.

5. In the Senate, resolved to be transmitted to the office of the Secretary for the department of state together with resolutions of other states which have ratified, attested by Sam A Otis Secretary

6. 12th Cong. 1st Sess. Dated Jany 22d 1812. Noted as Read.

7. In the Senate, ordered transmitted to the office of the Secretary for the department of state, attested by Sam A Otis Secretary

8. The date noted appears to be taken from the letter, not as a receipt date.

America (American Patriotic Medley)

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As the rest of the country acted to abolish slavery by ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment, states such as Delaware, Kentucky, and the Territory of Oklahoma refused to ratify. Delaware's General Assembly refused to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, calling it an illegal extension of federal power over the state.

Delaware rejected several previous proposals to abolish slavery, including Lincoln's 1861 proposal to compensate Delaware's slaveholders using federal funds if they would free the Black people they held in bondage. The Delaware legislature replied to Lincoln's proposal with a resolution stating that "when the people of Delaware desire to abolish slavery within her borders, they will do so in their own way, having due regard to strict equity."

Not only did the Delaware legislature reject initial ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, but it also rejected the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 and the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870, which extended civil rights and voting privileges, respectively, to Black people, including the formerly enslaved. Finally, on February 12, 1901, Delaware ratified the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery—more than 30 years after the rest of the nation.

The Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified a few years after the Thirteenth, on July 9, 1868. The amendment granted citizenship to those born or naturalized in the United States and guaranteed freedom, due process, and equal protection under the law to all Americans. In doing so, it expanded the scope of the Constitution’s protection of individual liberty now the Constitution protected rights not only from infringement by the federal government, but from infringement by state and local government as well.

The Thirteenth Amendment

Slavery is America&rsquos original sin. Despite the bold commitment to equality in the Declaration of Independence, slavery was legal in all of the thirteen colonies in 1776. By the start of the Civil War, four million people, nearly all of African descent, were held as slaves in 15 southern and border states. Slaves represented one-eighth of the U.S. population in 1860.

Many think that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. However, the Emancipation Proclamation freed only slaves held in the eleven Confederate states that had seceded, and only in the portion of those states not already under Union control.

The true abolition of slavery was achieved when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865. The first section of the Amendment declares: &ldquoNeither 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.&rdquo The Amendment is unique in the Constitution because it bars every person from holding slaves or engaging in other forms of involuntary servitude, whereas most constitutional provisions only constrain or regulate the government. It is unique in another way as well: although the Constitution obliquely acknowledged and accommodated slavery in its original text, the Thirteenth Amendment was the first explicit mention of slavery in the Constitution.

The most immediate impact of the Thirteenth Amendment was to end chattel slavery as it was practiced in the southern United States. However, the Amendment also bars &ldquoinvoluntary servitude,&rdquo which covers a broader range of labor arrangements where a person is forced to work by the use or threatened use of physical or legal coercion. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment bans peonage, which occurs when a person is compelled to work to pay off a debt. Originally a Spanish practice, peonage was practiced in the New Mexico Territory and spread across the Southern United States after the Civil War. Former slaves and other poor citizens became indebted to merchants and plantation owners for living and working expenses. Unable to repay their debts, they became trapped in a cycle of work-without-pay. The Supreme Court held this practice unconstitutional in 1911. Bailey v. Alabama (1911).

Most scholars also assume it would violate the Thirteenth Amendment to order specific performance of a service contract. An example of this situation would be where an employee has a contract to work for a full year but wants to leave after six months. Forcing the employee to continue to work instead of paying a financial penalty to get out of her contract would almost certainly violate the Thirteenth Amendment.

Notably, the Amendment does allow a person convicted of a crime to be forced to work. Thus, prison labor practices, from chain gangs to prison laundries, do not run afoul of the Thirteenth Amendment. The Thirteenth Amendment has also been interpreted to permit the government to require certain forms of public service, presumably extending to military service and jury duty.

In addition to the first section&rsquos ban on slavery and involuntary servitude, the second section of the Thirteenth Amendment gives Congress the &ldquopower to enforce&rdquo that ban by passing &ldquoappropriate legislation.&rdquo This provision allows Congress to pass laws pertaining to practices that violate the Amendment. For example, the Anti-Peonage Act of 1867 prohibits peonage, and another federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 1592, makes it a crime to take somebody&rsquos passport or other official documents for the purpose of holding her as a slave.

Section Two of the Thirteenth Amendment has broader applicability as well. The Supreme Court has long held that this provision also allows Congress to pass laws to eradicate the &ldquobadges and incidents of slavery.&rdquo The Supreme Court has never defined the full scope of what the badges and incidents of slavery are, and instead has left it to Congress to flesh out a definition. In The Civil Rights Cases (1883), the Court held that racial discrimination in private inns, theaters, and public transportation did not qualify as a badge or incident of slavery. In a series of cases in the 1960s and 1970s, however, the Court held that racial discrimination by private housing developers and private schools is among the badges and incidents of slavery that Congress may outlaw under Section Two of the Thirteenth Amendment. Most recently, Congress has determined that Section Two provides a basis for a portion of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (which criminalizes race-based hate crimes) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (which penalizes human trafficking and protects its survivors). The Supreme Court has yet to evaluate these laws.

Despite its significance in American history, the Thirteenth Amendment is not one of the more frequently invoked parts of our Constitution today. Now that slavery is a part of our past, the Amendment&rsquos current relevance is subject to debate. Does it govern the fairness of modern labor practices? Does it empower Congress to pass broad-ranging civil rights laws? Whatever the outcome of those debates, though, the Thirteenth Amendment deserves recognition as an historic and solemn promise that slavery will never again exist in the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln&rsquos Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in Confederate states still at war with the Union on January 1, 1863, and as a wartime order, it could be reversed by subsequent presidential proclamation, congressional legislation, or court ruling. Through a constitutional amendment, the abolition of slavery could be made permanent throughout the United States.

In April 1864, the Senate, responding in part to an active abolitionist petition campaign, passed the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery in the United States. Opposition from Democrats in the House of Representatives prevented the amendment from receiving the required two-thirds majority, and the bill failed.

Following his re-election in November 1864, Lincoln threw his weight behind the amendment. He persuaded eight House Democrats to switch their votes and encouraged several other Representatives who had missed the previous vote to support the amendment, which was finally passed on January 31, 1865. The Constitution does not require presidential signatures on amendments, but Lincoln added his, making it the only constitutional amendment to be later ratified that was signed by a president.

The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865, when Georgia became the twenty-seventh state to approve it out of the then-total thirty-six states. Iowa was the thirty-first state, voting for ratification on January 15, 1866. The document shown here is the joint resolution passed by Iowa&rsquos House and Senate and printed on March 30. It lists the names of all the Iowa legislators in the general assembly who voted for ratification, and includes a few small engravings depicting allegorical symbols of liberty and other patriotic images.

With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, four million African Americans&mdashalmost a third of the population of the South&mdashbecame permanently free and slavery was abolished in the United States:

Section 1. 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.

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

The Titles of Nobility Act: The Original Thirteenth Amendment

Most people do not realize that the well-known thirteenth amendment – that which ended slavery in America – was not the first “Thirteenth” amendment proposed.

As any Constitutional scholar (or anyone remotely familiar with American History) can readily tell you, the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution is an important one. Perhaps even the most important one of all. As most students learned at some point in school but quickly forgot, the thirteenth amendment that is so well known today was ratified by congress in 1865, and effectively abolished slavery in the United States.

While this amendment didn’t exactly end racism once and for all (it’s proven rather difficult to make laws to that effect), it certainly was quite an important step in that direction.

But the true history of the thirteenth amendment actually goes back much farther than The Civil War, and has very little to do with slavery.

Titles of Nobility

The story begins in 1810, fifty-five years before slavery would be abolished.

There was a young woman from Baltimore, Ms. Betsy Patterson. This young lady, in some kind of flight of youthful fancy, moved to England, where she married Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother, Jerome, and with him had a child, young Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (the young couple were clearly not known for coming up with clever names).

Now, because of his mother’s heritage, this child by law was granted automatic citizenship into the United States, while at the same time retaining a status of nobility in France, being Napoleon’s nephew and all.

There were many among the nobles in America who viewed this as a travesty to their own national identity, and quite a good reason to add a little something to the Constitution that was apparently missing.

And thus was born the Titles of Nobility Act a proposed constitutional amendment (it would be, of course, the 13th) stating that any citizen of the U.S. who receives a title of nobility or honor from a foreign nation without the consent of congress must be forced to give up his or her citizenship in the United States.

Apparently, the proposed amendment must have sounded quite good to congress at the time, as it passed quickly through both houses by quite a wide majority, then was sent down to the individual state legislatures to be voted on (as article 5 of the constitution requires). It is here that the amendment finally found trouble.

Such an amendment would have required approval of two thirds of the states for ratification. After three years of debate (as the War of 1812 continued to rage), the amendment finally fell just shy of the required state approval, and thus was not added to the constitution.

The Short, But Interesting, Legacy

For several decades, it was quite a common misconception among many Americans that the Titles of Nobility Act had, in fact, been approved. Much of this can probably be blamed, one must suppose, on the yet-primitive methods of communication available in the nineteenth century. In fact, communication over long distances hadn’t been much improved over the previous several centuries at this point, apart from the introduction of the steam engine, which hadn’t yet caught on at this point, having been invented only a few years previously.

Similarly, the telegraph wouldn’t come for a few more decades, then the phone a few decades after that. In fact, word that the Titles of Nobility Act had failed spread so poorly that the amendment was actually included in several printings of the constitution during this time before the folks at the printing presses themselves finally got a clue. Eventually, it seems that people began to realize the error of their ways, though it wouldn’t surprise me if more than a few people were a bit confused when congress took it upon themselves to issue another thirteenth amendment forty years later.

Of course, this is not the end of the story. Even today, there is absolutely no end of websites and message boards (including the “Titles of Nobility Act Research Comittee”) who declare the Titles of Nobility Act to have been passed in truth, but then swept under the rug by a vast government conspiracy. It’s an intersting thought, to be sure, but constitutional scholars tend to agree that the amendment did not, in fact, pass. If they somehow could have conspired to remove the act from the constitution, however, this surely deserves some sort of praise, as such a thing must not have been easy.

Yes Virginia, There Is A Ratification

After examining Dodge's evidence of multiple publications of the "missing" Amendment, Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove conceded the Amendment had been published by several states and was ratified by twelve of the seventeen states in the Union in 1810. However, because the Constitution requires that three-quarters of the states vote to ratify an Amendment. Mitchell and Hartgrove insisted that the 13th Amendment was published in error because it was passed by only twelve, not thirteen States. Dodge investigated which seventeen states were in the Union at the time the Amendment was proposed, which states had ratified, which states had rejected the amendment, and determined that the issue hung on whether one last state (Virginia) had or had not, voted to ratify.

After several years of searching the Virginia state archive, Dodge made a crucial discovery: In Spring of 1991, he found a misplaced copy of the 1819 Virginia Civil Code which included the "missing" 13th Amendment. Dodge notes that, curiously, "There is no public record that shows this book [the 1819 Virginia Civil Code] exists. It is not catalogued as a holding of the Library of Congress nor is it in the National Union Catalogue. Neither the state law library nor the law school in Portland were able to find any trace that this book exists in any of their computer programs."

(1) Dodge sent photo-copies of the 1819 Virginia Civil Code to Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove, and explained that, "Under legislative construction, it is considered prima facie evidence that what is published as the official acts of the legislature are the official acts." By publishing the Amendment as ratified in an official publication, Virginia demonstrated: 1) that they knew they were the last state whose vote was necessary to ratify this 13th Amendment 2) that they had voted to ratify the Amendment and 3) that they were publishing the Amendment in a special edition of their Civil Code as an official notice to the world that the Amendment had indeed been ratified.

Dodge concluded, "Unless there is competing evidence to the contrary, it must be held that the Constitution of the United States was officially amended to exclude from its body of citizens any who accepted or claimed a title of nobility or accepted any special favors. Foremost in this category of ex-citizens are bankers and lawyers."

The Racist Roots of Felony Disenfranchisement in Virginia

Today is the last day of Black History Month, a tradition started by the noted historian Carter G. Woodson in 1915 to celebrate the achievements of Black people, reclaim Black history, and weave Black narratives into the story of America.

Black History Month ends today, but racial injustices persist and remain a pervasive part of Black lives and Black experiences in America. As James Baldwin once said: “History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” It is important to take a long hard look at the history we carry and examine systems of racial oppression and how they manifest in modern-day Virginia.

Black History Month began a half century after the ratification of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in America. Yet, slavery was never truly abolished. Instead, it morphed into many other forms of racial oppressions, from Jim Crow to redlining to the epidemic of mass incarceration we’re facing today. These systems were designed to dehumanize and oppress Black people, relegating them to second-class citizenship — generation after generation.

Voting is a right, not a privilege. You don’t lose your freedom of religion or your right to due process upon incarceration, nor should you lose your right to vote.

One such system that disproportionately impacts Black Virginians is felony disenfranchisement, as Virginia is one of the only three states that still permanently take away people’s right to vote upon a felony conviction unless the governor restores it on an individual basis. This system has disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Virginians, the majority of whom are Black. The problem is so serious that one in five Black Virginians cannot vote because of felony disenfranchisement, even though Black people make up only about 20% of Virginia’s population.

Taking away people’s right to vote — the currency of democracy — has a racist history. It wasn’t until the Civil War ended and Black men gradually gained the right to vote and political power that felony disenfranchisement became a tool to prevent them from the ballot box. In 1868, Virginia delegates gathered at the Capitol to draft the state’s first constitution since the end of the Civil War. This constitution, which became known as the “Underwood Constitution,” had a charter that guaranteed the vote to every 21-year-old male citizen, regardless of race, and was approved by wide margin in 1870.

Following the drafting of the “Underwood Constitution,” Black representation in Virginia’s General Assembly reached its peak in 1869 with 29 Black lawmakers. For perspective, the Virginia Black Caucus in 2020 has 23 lawmakers. Black men were able to vote and see themselves in positions of power. For the next two decades, lawmakers expanded access to the ballot box, enacted criminal legal reforms and built Black political power from the ground up.

But that progress didn’t last long. In the 1880s and 1890s came political backlash in Virginia and the south. Once a newly elected administration came into power, white supremacists steadily undid the reforms brought about by the previous government and replaced them with Jim Crow laws to oppress Black people. This effort culminated in a slew of criminal laws targeting Black citizens and disenfranchisement laws that denied voting rights to anyone convicted of a felony. These two trends set the stage for the mass disenfranchisement seen in Virginia today.

Voting is a right, not a privilege. You don’t lose your freedom of religion or your right to due process upon incarceration, nor should you lose your right to vote.

This General Assembly session, Virginia lawmakers passed legislation to repeal many antiquated, racist laws that are still in the Virginia Code, such as the poll tax and other segregation laws. Lawmakers also passed laws to expand access to the ballot box, allowing no-excuse absentee voting, same-day voter registration and repealing strict voter photo ID requirements. The Commonwealth, which once embraced enslavement, condoned lynching, and maintained pervasive and crippling racial inequalities through segregation and discrimination, is finally taking baby steps to right the wrongs of history. Justice demands that we uproot the last vestiges of Jim Crow from our law, end the centuries-long oppression of Black people through felony disenfranchisement, and guarantee a right to vote that government can take away from anyone.

Black History Month is drawing to an end, but we must carry the lessons with us and march on toward the more perfect union we aspire to create.


Section 1. 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.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. [1]

Slavery existed in the United States of America upon its founding in 1776 and was also legal in the United States at this point in time. It was established by European colonization in all of the original thirteen American colonies of British America. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, the United States Constitution did not expressly use the words slave or slavery but included several provisions about unfree persons. The Three-Fifths Compromise, Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three-fifths of all other Persons". This clause was a compromise between Southern politicians who wished for enslaved African-Americans to be counted as 'persons' for congressional representation and Northern politicians rejecting these out of concern of too much power for the South, because representation in the new Congress would be based on population in contrast to the one-vote-for-one-state principle in the earlier Continental Congress. [3] Under the Fugitive Slave Clause, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, "No person held to Service or Labour in one State" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 allowed Congress to pass legislation outlawing the "Importation of Persons", which would not be passed until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that "No person shall . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. [4] Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) for treating slaves as property. [5]

Stimulated by the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence, between 1777 and 1804 every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. Most of the slaves who were emancipated by such legislation were household servants. No Southern state did so, and the enslaved population of the South continued to grow, peaking at almost four million in 1861. An abolitionist movement headed by such figures as William Lloyd Garrison grew in strength in the North, calling for the end of slavery nationwide and exacerbating tensions between North and South. The American Colonization Society, an alliance between abolitionists who felt the races should be kept separated and slaveholders who feared the presence of freed blacks would encourage slave rebellions, called for the emigration of both free blacks and slaves to Africa, where they would establish independent colonies. Its views were endorsed by politicians such as Henry Clay, who feared that the American abolitionist movement would provoke a civil war. [6] Proposals to eliminate slavery by constitutional amendment were introduced by Representative Arthur Livermore in 1818 and by John Quincy Adams in 1839, but failed to gain significant traction. [7]

As the country continued to expand, the issue of slavery in its new territories became the dominant national issue. The Southern position was that slaves were property and therefore could be moved to the territories like all other forms of property. [8] The 1820 Missouri Compromise provided for the admission of Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the Senate's equality between the regions. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso was introduced to a war appropriations bill to ban slavery in all territories acquired in the Mexican–American War the Proviso repeatedly passed the House, but not the Senate. [8] The Compromise of 1850 temporarily defused the issue by admitting California as a free state, instituting a stronger Fugitive Slave Act, banning the slave trade in Washington, D.C., and allowing New Mexico and Utah self-determination on the slavery issue. [9]

Despite the compromise, tensions between North and South continued to rise over the subsequent decade, inflamed by, amongst other things, the publication of the 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin fighting between pro-slavery and abolitionist forces in Kansas, beginning in 1854 the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which struck down provisions of the Compromise of 1850 abolitionist John Brown's 1859 attempt to start a slave revolt at Harpers Ferry and the 1860 election of slavery critic Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. The Southern states seceded from the Union in the months following Lincoln's election, forming the Confederate States of America, and beginning the American Civil War. [10]

Crafting the amendment

Acting under presidential war powers, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with effect on January 1, 1863, which proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion. [11] However, it did not affect the status of slaves in the border states that had remained loyal to the Union. [12] That December, Lincoln again used his war powers and issued a "Proclamation for Amnesty and Reconstruction", which offered Southern states a chance to peacefully rejoin the Union if they abolished slavery and collected loyalty oaths from 10% of their voting population. [13] Southern states did not readily accept the deal, and the status of slavery remained uncertain.

In the final years of the Civil War, Union lawmakers debated various proposals for Reconstruction. [14] Some of these called for a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery nationally and permanently. On December 14, 1863, a bill proposing such an amendment was introduced by Representative James Mitchell Ashley of Ohio. [15] [16] Representative James F. Wilson of Iowa soon followed with a similar proposal. On January 11, 1864, Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri submitted a joint resolution for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, became involved in merging different proposals for an amendment.

Radical Republicans led by Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner and Pennsylvania Representative Thaddeus Stevens sought a more expansive version of the amendment. [17] On February 8, 1864, Sumner submitted a constitutional amendment stating:

All persons are equal before the law, so that no person can hold another as a slave and the Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry this declaration into effect everywhere in the United States. [18] [19]

Sumner tried to have his amendment sent to his committee, rather than the Trumbull-controlled Judiciary Committee, but the Senate refused. [20] On February 10, the Senate Judiciary Committee presented the Senate with an amendment proposal based on drafts of Ashley, Wilson and Henderson. [21] [22]

The Committee's version used text from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which stipulates, "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." [23] [24] : 1786 Though using Henderson's proposed amendment as the basis for its new draft, the Judiciary Committee removed language that would have allowed a constitutional amendment to be adopted with only a majority vote in each House of Congress and ratification by two-thirds of the states (instead of two-thirds and three-fourths, respectively). [25]

Passage by Congress

The Senate passed the amendment on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6 two Democrats, Reverdy Johnson of Maryland and James Nesmith of Oregon voted for the amendment. However, just over two months later on June 15, the House failed to do so, with 93 in favor and 65 against, thirteen votes short of the two-thirds vote needed for passage the vote split largely along party lines, with Republicans supporting and Democrats opposing. [26] In the 1864 presidential race, former Free Soil Party candidate John C. Frémont threatened a third-party run opposing Lincoln, this time on a platform endorsing an anti-slavery amendment. The Republican Party platform had, as yet, failed to include a similar plank, though Lincoln endorsed the amendment in a letter accepting his nomination. [27] [28] Frémont withdrew from the race on September 22, 1864, and endorsed Lincoln. [29]

With no Southern states represented, few members of Congress pushed moral and religious arguments in favor of slavery. Democrats who opposed the amendment generally made arguments based on federalism and states' rights. [30] Some argued that the proposed change so violated the spirit of the Constitution it would not be a valid "amendment" but would instead constitute "revolution". [31] Representative White, among other opponents, warned that the amendment would lead to full citizenship for blacks. [32]

Republicans portrayed slavery as uncivilized and argued for abolition as a necessary step in national progress. [33] Amendment supporters also argued that the slave system had negative effects on white people. These included the lower wages resulting from competition with forced labor, as well as repression of abolitionist whites in the South. Advocates said ending slavery would restore the First Amendment and other constitutional rights violated by censorship and intimidation in slave states. [32] [34]

White, Northern Republicans and some Democrats became excited about an abolition amendment, holding meetings and issuing resolutions. [35] Many blacks though, particularly in the South, focused more on land ownership and education as the key to liberation. [36] As slavery began to seem politically untenable, an array of Northern Democrats successively announced their support for the amendment, including Representative James Brooks, [37] Senator Reverdy Johnson, [38] and the powerful New York political machine known as Tammany Hall. [39]

President Lincoln had had concerns that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 might be reversed or found invalid by the judiciary after the war. [40] He saw constitutional amendment as a more permanent solution. [41] [42] He had remained outwardly neutral on the amendment because he considered it politically too dangerous. [43] Nonetheless, Lincoln's 1864 election platform resolved to abolish slavery by constitutional amendment. [44] [45] After winning reelection in the election of 1864, Lincoln made the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment his top legislative priority. He began with his efforts in Congress during its "lame duck" session, in which many members of Congress had already seen their successors elected most would be concerned about unemployment and lack of income, and none needed to fear the electoral consequences of cooperation. [46] [47] Popular support for the amendment mounted and Lincoln urged Congress on in his December 6, 1864 State of the Union Address: "there is only a question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the States for their action. And as it is to so go, at all events, may we not agree that the sooner the better?" [48]

Lincoln instructed Secretary of State William H. Seward, Representative John B. Alley and others to procure votes by any means necessary, and they promised government posts and campaign contributions to outgoing Democrats willing to switch sides. [49] [50] Seward had a large fund for direct bribes. Ashley, who reintroduced the measure into the House, also lobbied several Democrats to vote in favor of the measure. [51] Representative Thaddeus Stevens later commented that "the greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption aided and abetted by the purest man in America" however, Lincoln's precise role in making deals for votes remains unknown. [52]

Republicans in Congress claimed a mandate for abolition, having gained in the elections for Senate and House. [53] The 1864 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Representative George H. Pendleton, led opposition to the measure. [54] Republicans toned down their language of radical equality in order to broaden the amendment's coalition of supporters. [55] In order to reassure critics worried that the amendment would tear apart the social fabric, some Republicans explicitly promised the amendment would leave patriarchy intact. [56]

In mid-January 1865, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax estimated the amendment to be five votes short of passage. Ashley postponed the vote. [57] At this point, Lincoln intensified his push for the amendment, making direct emotional appeals to particular members of Congress. [58] On January 31, 1865, the House called another vote on the amendment, with neither side being certain of the outcome. With 183 House members present, 122 would have to vote "aye" to secure passage of the resolution however, eight Democrats abstained, reducing the number to 117. Every Republican (84), Independent Republican (2), and Unconditional Unionist (16) supported the measure, as well as fourteen Democrats, almost all of them lame ducks, and three Unionists. The amendment finally passed by a vote of 119 to 56, [59] narrowly reaching the required two-thirds majority. [60] The House exploded into celebration, with some members openly weeping. [61] Black onlookers, who had only been allowed to attend Congressional sessions since the previous year, cheered from the galleries. [62]

While the Constitution does not provide the President any formal role in the amendment process, the joint resolution was sent to Lincoln for his signature. [63] Under the usual signatures of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, President Lincoln wrote the word "Approved" and added his signature to the joint resolution on February 1, 1865. [64] On February 7, Congress passed a resolution affirming that the Presidential signature was unnecessary. [65] The Thirteenth Amendment is the only ratified amendment signed by a President, although James Buchanan had signed the Corwin Amendment that the 36th Congress had adopted and sent to the states in March 1861. [66] [67]

Ratification by the states

On February 1, 1865, when the proposed amendment was submitted to the states for ratification, there were 36 states in the U.S., including those that had been in rebellion at least 27 states had to ratify the amendment for it to come into force. By the end of February, 18 states had ratified the amendment. Among them were the ex-Confederate states of Virginia and Louisiana, where ratifications were submitted by Reconstruction governments. These, along with subsequent ratifications from Arkansas and Tennessee raised the issues of how many seceded states had legally valid legislatures and if there were fewer legislatures than states, if Article V required ratification by three-fourths of the states or three-fourths of the legally valid state legislatures. [68] President Lincoln in his last speech, on April 11, 1865, called the question about whether the Southern states were in or out of the Union a "pernicious abstraction". He declared they were not "in their proper practical relation with the Union" whence everyone's object should be to restore that relation. [69] Lincoln was assassinated three days later.

With Congress out of session, the new President, Andrew Johnson, began a period known as "Presidential Reconstruction", in which he personally oversaw the creation of new state governments throughout the South. He oversaw the convening of state political conventions populated by delegates whom he deemed to be loyal. Three leading issues came before the conventions: secession itself, the abolition of slavery, and the Confederate war debt. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina held conventions in 1865, while Texas' convention did not organize until March 1866. [70] [71] [72] Johnson hoped to prevent deliberation over whether to re-admit the Southern states by accomplishing full ratification before Congress reconvened in December. He believed he could silence those who wished to deny the Southern states their place in the Union by pointing to how essential their assent had been to the successful ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. [73]

Direct negotiations between state governments and the Johnson administration ensued. As the summer wore on, administration officials began giving assurances of the measure's limited scope with their demands for ratification. Johnson himself suggested directly to the governors of Mississippi and North Carolina that they could proactively control the allocation of rights to freedmen. Though Johnson obviously expected the freed people to enjoy at least some civil rights, including, as he specified, the right to testify in court, he wanted state lawmakers to know that the power to confer such rights would remain with the states. [74] When South Carolina provisional governor Benjamin Franklin Perry objected to the scope of the amendment's enforcement clause, Secretary of State Seward responded by telegraph that in fact the second clause "is really restraining in its effect, instead of enlarging the powers of Congress". [74] Politicians throughout the South were concerned that Congress might cite the amendment's enforcement powers as a way to authorize black suffrage. [75]

When South Carolina ratified the Amendment in November 1865, it issued its own interpretive declaration that "any attempt by Congress toward legislating upon the political status of former slaves, or their civil relations, would be contrary to the Constitution of the United States." [24] : 1786–1787 [76] Alabama and Louisiana also declared that their ratification did not imply federal power to legislate on the status of former slaves. [24] : 1787 [77] During the first week of December, North Carolina and Georgia gave the amendment the final votes needed for it to become part of the Constitution.

The first 27 states to ratify the Amendment were: [78]

  1. Illinois: February 1, 1865
  2. Rhode Island: February 2, 1865
  3. Michigan: February 3, 1865
  4. Maryland: February 3, 1865
  5. New York: February 3, 1865
  6. Pennsylvania: February 3, 1865
  7. West Virginia: February 3, 1865
  8. Missouri: February 6, 1865
  9. Maine: February 7, 1865
  10. Kansas: February 7, 1865
  11. Massachusetts: February 7, 1865
  12. Virginia: February 9, 1865
  13. Ohio: February 10, 1865
  14. Indiana: February 13, 1865
  15. Nevada: February 16, 1865
  16. Louisiana: February 17, 1865
  17. Minnesota: February 23, 1865
  18. Wisconsin: February 24, 1865
  19. Vermont: March 9, 1865
  20. Tennessee: April 7, 1865
  21. Arkansas: April 14, 1865
  22. Connecticut: May 4, 1865
  23. New Hampshire: July 1, 1865
  24. South Carolina: November 13, 1865
  25. Alabama: December 2, 1865
  26. North Carolina: December 4, 1865
  27. Georgia: December 6, 1865

Having been ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states (27 of the 36 states, including those that had been in rebellion), Secretary of State Seward, on December 18, 1865, certified that the Thirteenth Amendment had become valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the Constitution. [79] Included on the enrolled list of ratifying states were the three ex-Confederate states that had given their assent, but with strings attached. Seward accepted their affirmative votes and brushed aside their interpretive declarations without comment, challenge or acknowledgment. [80]

The Thirteenth Amendment was subsequently ratified by the other states, as follows: [78] : 30

  1. Oregon: December 8, 1865
  2. California: December 19, 1865
  3. Florida: December 28, 1865 (reaffirmed June 9, 1868)
  4. Iowa: January 15, 1866
  5. New Jersey: January 23, 1866 (after rejection March 16, 1865)
  6. Texas: February 18, 1870
  7. Delaware: February 12, 1901 (after rejection February 8, 1865)
  8. Kentucky: March 18, 1976 [81] (after rejection February 24, 1865)
  9. Mississippi: March 16, 1995 certified February 7, 2013 [82] (after rejection December 5, 1865)

The immediate impact of the amendment was to make the entire pre-war system of chattel slavery in the U.S. illegal. [83] The impact of the abolition of slavery was felt quickly. When the Thirteenth Amendment became operational, the scope of Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was widened to include the entire nation. Although the majority of Kentucky's slaves had been emancipated, 65,000–100,000 people remained to be legally freed when the amendment went into effect on December 18. [84] [85] In Delaware, where a large number of slaves had escaped during the war, nine hundred people became legally free. [85] [86]

In addition to abolishing slavery and prohibiting involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, the Thirteenth Amendment nullified the Fugitive Slave Clause and the Three-Fifths Compromise. The population of a state originally included (for congressional apportionment purposes) all "free persons", three-fifths of "other persons" (i.e., slaves) and excluded untaxed Native Americans. The Three-Fifths Compromise was a provision in the Constitution that required three-fifths of the population of slaves be counted for purposes of apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and taxes among the states. This compromise had the effect of increasing the political power of slave-holding states by increasing their share of seats in the House of Representatives, and consequently their share in the Electoral College (where a state's influence over the election of the President is tied to the size of its congressional delegation). [87] [88]

Even as the Thirteenth Amendment was working its way through the ratification process, Republicans in Congress grew increasingly concerned about the potential for there to be a large increase in the congressional representation of the Democratic-dominated Southern states. Because the full population of freed slaves would be counted rather than three-fifths, the Southern states would dramatically increase their power in the population-based House of Representatives. [89] Republicans hoped to offset this advantage by attracting and protecting votes of the newly enfranchised black population. [89] [90] They would eventually attempt to address this issue in section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Political and economic change in the South

Southern culture remained deeply racist, and those blacks who remained faced a dangerous situation. J. J. Gries reported to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction: "There is a kind of innate feeling, a lingering hope among many in the South that slavery will be regalvanized in some shape or other. They tried by their laws to make a worse slavery than there was before, for the freedman has not the protection which the master from interest gave him before." [91] W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1935:

Slavery was not abolished even after the Thirteenth Amendment. There were four million freedmen and most of them on the same plantation, doing the same work they did before emancipation, except as their work had been interrupted and changed by the upheaval of war. Moreover, they were getting about the same wages and apparently were going to be subject to slave codes modified only in name. There were among them thousands of fugitives in the camps of the soldiers or on the streets of the cities, homeless, sick, and impoverished. They had been freed practically with no land nor money, and, save in exceptional cases, without legal status, and without protection. [92] [93]

Official emancipation did not substantially alter the economic situation of most blacks who remained in the south. [94]

As the amendment still permitted labor as punishment for convicted criminals, Southern states responded with what historian Douglas A. Blackmon called "an array of interlocking laws essentially intended to criminalize black life". [95] These laws, passed or updated after emancipation, were known as Black Codes. [96] Mississippi was the first state to pass such codes, with an 1865 law titled "An Act to confer Civil Rights on Freedmen". [97] The Mississippi law required black workers to contract with white farmers by January 1 of each year or face punishment for vagrancy. [95] Blacks could be sentenced to forced labor for crimes including petty theft, using obscene language, or selling cotton after sunset. [98] States passed new, strict vagrancy laws that were selectively enforced against blacks without white protectors. [95] [99] The labor of these convicts was then sold to farms, factories, lumber camps, quarries, and mines. [100]

After its ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in November 1865, the South Carolina legislature immediately began to legislate Black Codes. [101] The Black Codes created a separate set of laws, punishments, and acceptable behaviors for anyone with more than one black great-grandparent. Under these Codes, Blacks could only work as farmers or servants and had few Constitutional rights. [102] Restrictions on black land ownership threatened to make economic subservience permanent. [36]

Some states mandated indefinitely long periods of child "apprenticeship". [103] Some laws did not target blacks specifically, but instead affected farm workers, most of whom were black. At the same time, many states passed laws to actively prevent blacks from acquiring property. [104]

As its first enforcement legislation, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, guaranteeing black Americans citizenship and equal protection of the law, though not the right to vote. The amendment was also used as authorizing several Freedmen's Bureau bills. President Andrew Johnson vetoed these bills, but Congress overrode his vetoes to pass the Civil Rights Act and the Second Freedmen's Bureau Bill. [105] [106]

Proponents of the Act, including Trumbull and Wilson, argued that Section 2 of the Thirteenth Amendment authorized the federal government to legislate civil rights for the States. Others disagreed, maintaining that inequality conditions were distinct from slavery. [24] : 1788–1790 Seeking more substantial justification, and fearing that future opponents would again seek to overturn the legislation, Congress and the states added additional protections to the Constitution: the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) defining citizenship and mandating equal protection under the law, and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) banning racial voting restrictions. [107]

The Freedmen's Bureau enforced the amendment locally, providing a degree of support for people subject to the Black Codes. [108] Reciprocally, the Thirteenth Amendment established the Bureau's legal basis to operate in Kentucky. [109] The Civil Rights Act circumvented racism in local jurisdictions by allowing blacks access to the federal courts. The Enforcement Acts of 1870–1871 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875, in combating the violence and intimidation of white supremacy, were also part of the effort to end slave conditions for Southern blacks. [110] However, the effect of these laws waned as political will diminished and the federal government lost authority in the South, particularly after the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction in exchange for a Republican presidency. [111]

Peonage law

Southern business owners sought to reproduce the profitable arrangement of slavery with a system called peonage, in which disproportionately black workers were entrapped by loans and compelled to work indefinitely due to the resulting debt. [112] [113] Peonage continued well through Reconstruction and ensnared a large proportion of black workers in the South. [114] These workers remained destitute and persecuted, forced to work dangerous jobs and further confined legally by the racist Jim Crow laws that governed the South. [113] Peonage differed from chattel slavery because it was not strictly hereditary and did not allow the sale of people in exactly the same fashion. However, a person's debt—and by extension a person—could still be sold, and the system resembled antebellum slavery in many ways. [115]

With the Peonage Act of 1867, Congress abolished "the holding of any person to service or labor under the system known as peonage", [116] specifically banning "the voluntary or involuntary service or labor of any persons as peons, in liquidation of any debt or obligation, or otherwise." [117]

In 1939, the Department of Justice created the Civil Rights Section, which focused primarily on First Amendment and labor rights. [118] The increasing scrutiny of totalitarianism in the lead-up to World War II brought increased attention to issues of slavery and involuntary servitude, abroad and at home. [119] The U.S. sought to counter foreign propaganda and increase its credibility on the race issue by combatting the Southern peonage system. [120] Under the leadership of Attorney General Francis Biddle, the Civil Rights Section invoked the constitutional amendments and legislation of the Reconstruction Era as the basis for its actions. [121]

In 1947, the DOJ successfully prosecuted Elizabeth Ingalls for keeping domestic servant Dora L. Jones in conditions of slavery. The court found that Jones "was a person wholly subject to the will of defendant that she was one who had no freedom of action and whose person and services were wholly under the control of defendant and who was in a state of enforced compulsory service to the defendant." [122] The Thirteenth Amendment enjoyed a swell of attention during this period, but from Brown v. Board of Education (1954) until Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. (1968) it was again eclipsed by the Fourteenth Amendment. [123]

The Thirteenth Amendment exempts penal labor from its prohibition of forced labor. This allows prisoners who have been convicted of crimes (not those merely awaiting trial) to be required to perform labor or else face punishment while in custody. [124]

Few records of the committee's deliberations during the drafting of the Thirteenth Amendment survive, and the debate that followed both in Congress and in the state legislatures featured almost no discussion of this provision. It was apparently considered noncontroversial at the time, or at least legislators gave it little thought. [124] The drafters based the amendment's phrasing on the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which features an identical exception. [124] Thomas Jefferson authored an early version of that ordinance's anti-slavery clause, including the exception of punishment for a crime, and also sought to prohibit slavery in general after 1800. Jefferson was an admirer of the works of Italian criminologist Cesare Beccaria. [124] Beccaria's On Crimes and Punishments suggested that the death penalty should be abolished and replaced with a lifetime of enslavement for the worst criminals Jefferson likely included the clause due to his agreement with Beccaria. Beccaria, while attempting to reduce "legal barbarism" of the 1700s, considered forced labor one of the few harsh punishments acceptable for example, he advocated slave labor as a just punishment for robbery, so that the thief's labor could be used to pay recompense to their victims and to society. [125] Penal "hard labor" has ancient origins, and was adopted early in American history (as in Europe) often as a substitute for capital or corporal punishment. [126]

Various commentators have accused states of abusing this provision to re-establish systems similar to slavery, [127] or of otherwise exploiting such labor in a manner unfair to local labor. The Black Codes in the South criminalized "vagrancy", which was largely enforced against freed slaves. Later, convict lease programs in the South allowed local plantations to rent inexpensive prisoner labor. [128] While many of these programs have been phased out (leasing of convicts was forbidden by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941), prison labor continues in the U.S. under a variety of justifications. Prison labor programs vary widely some are uncompensated prison maintenance tasks, some are for local government maintenance tasks, some are for local businesses, and others are closer to internships. Modern rationales for prison labor programs often include reduction of recidivism and re-acclimation to society the idea is that such labor programs will make it easier for the prisoner upon release to find gainful employment rather than relapse to criminality. However, this topic is not well-studied, and much of the work offered is so menial as to be unlikely to improve employment prospects. [129] As of 2017, most prison labor programs do compensate prisoners, but generally with very low wages. What wages they do earn are often heavily garnished, with as much as 80% of a prisoner's paycheck withheld in the harshest cases. [130]

In 2018, artist and entertainer Kanye West advocated for repealing the Thirteenth Amendment's exception for penal labor in a meeting with President Donald Trump, calling the exception a "trap door". [131] In late 2020, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative William Lacy Clay (D-MO) introduced a resolution to create a new amendment to close this loophole. [132]

In contrast to the other "Reconstruction Amendments", the Thirteenth Amendment was rarely cited in later case law. As historian Amy Dru Stanley summarizes, "beyond a handful of landmark rulings striking down debt peonage, flagrant involuntary servitude, and some instances of race-based violence and discrimination, the Thirteenth Amendment has never been a potent source of rights claims." [133] [134]

Black slaves and their descendants

United States v. Rhodes (1866), [135] one of the first Thirteenth Amendment cases, tested the constitutionality of provisions in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that granted blacks redress in the federal courts. Kentucky law prohibited blacks from testifying against whites—an arrangement which compromised the ability of Nancy Talbot ("a citizen of the United States of the African race") to reach justice against a white person accused of robbing her. After Talbot attempted to try the case in federal court, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled this federal option unconstitutional. Noah Swayne (a Supreme Court justice sitting on the Kentucky Circuit Court) overturned the Kentucky decision, holding that without the material enforcement provided by the Civil Rights Act, slavery would not truly be abolished. [136] [137] With In Re Turner (1867), Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase ordered freedom for Elizabeth Turner, a former slave in Maryland who became indentured to her former master. [138]

In Blyew v. United States, (1872) [139] the Supreme Court heard another Civil Rights Act case relating to federal courts in Kentucky. John Blyew and George Kennard were white men visiting the cabin of a black family, the Fosters. Blyew apparently became angry with sixteen-year-old Richard Foster and hit him twice in the head with an ax. Blyew and Kennard killed Richard's parents, Sallie and Jack Foster, and his blind grandmother, Lucy Armstrong. They severely wounded the Fosters' two young daughters. Kentucky courts would not allow the Foster children to testify against Blyew and Kennard. Federal courts, authorized by the Civil Rights Act, found Blyew and Kennard guilty of murder. The Supreme Court ruled that the Foster children did not have standing in federal courts because only living people could take advantage of the Act. In doing so, the Courts effectively ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment did not permit a federal remedy in murder cases. Swayne and Joseph P. Bradley dissented, maintaining that in order to have meaningful effects, the Thirteenth Amendment would have to address systemic racial oppression. [140]

The Blyew case set a precedent in state and federal courts that led to the erosion of Congress's Thirteenth Amendment powers. The Supreme Court continued along this path in the Slaughter-House Cases (1873), which upheld a state-sanctioned monopoly of white butchers. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Court ignored Thirteenth Amendment dicta from a circuit court decision to exonerate perpetrators of the Colfax massacre and invalidate the Enforcement Act of 1870. [110]

The Thirteenth Amendment is not solely a ban on chattel slavery it also covers a much broader array of labor arrangements and social deprivations. [142] [143] As the U.S. Supreme Court explicated in the Slaughter-House Cases with respect to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment, and the Thirteenth Amendment in special:

Undoubtedly while negro slavery alone was in the mind of the Congress which proposed the thirteenth article, it forbids any other kind of slavery, now or hereafter. If Mexican peonage or the Chinese coolie labor system shall develop slavery of the Mexican or Chinese race within our territory, this amendment may safely be trusted to make it void. And so if other rights are assailed by the States which properly and necessarily fall within the protection of these articles, that protection will apply, though the party interested may not be of African descent. But what we do say, and what we wish to be understood is, that in any fair and just construction of any section or phrase of these amendments, it is necessary to look to the purpose which we have said was the pervading spirit of them all, the evil which they were designed to remedy, and the process of continued addition to the Constitution, until that purpose was supposed to be accomplished, as far as constitutional law can accomplish it. [144]

In the Civil Rights Cases (1883), [145] the Supreme Court reviewed five consolidated cases dealing with the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which outlawed racial discrimination at "inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement". The Court ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment did not ban most forms of racial discrimination by non-government actors. [146] In the majority decision, Bradley wrote (again in non-binding dicta) that the Thirteenth Amendment empowered Congress to attack "badges and incidents of slavery". However, he distinguished between "fundamental rights" of citizenship, protected by the Thirteenth Amendment, and the "social rights of men and races in the community". [147] The majority opinion held that "it would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination which a person may see fit to make as to guests he will entertain, or as to the people he will take into his coach or cab or car or admit to his concert or theatre, or deal with in other matters of intercourse or business." [148] In his solitary dissent, John Marshall Harlan (a Kentucky lawyer who changed his mind about civil rights law after witnessing organized racist violence) argued that "such discrimination practiced by corporations and individuals in the exercise of their public or quasi-public functions is a badge of servitude, the imposition of which congress may prevent under its power." [149]

The Court in the Civil Rights Cases also held that appropriate legislation under the amendment could go beyond nullifying state laws establishing or upholding slavery, because the amendment "has a reflex character also, establishing and decreeing universal civil and political freedom throughout the United States" and thus Congress was empowered "to pass all laws necessary and proper for abolishing all badges and incidents of slavery in the United States." [145] The Court stated about the scope the amendment:

This amendment, as well as the Fourteenth, is undoubtedly self-executing, without any ancillary legislation, so far as its terms are applicable to any existing state of circumstances. By its own unaided force and effect, it abolished slavery and established universal freedom. Still, legislation may be necessary and proper to meet all the various cases and circumstances to be affected by it, and to prescribe proper modes of redress for its violation in letter or spirit. And such legislation may be primary and direct in its character, for the amendment is not a mere prohibition of State laws establishing or upholding slavery, but an absolute declaration that slavery or involuntary servitude shall not exist in any part of the United States. [145]

Attorneys in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) [150] argued that racial segregation involved "observances of a servile character coincident with the incidents of slavery", in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. In their brief to the Supreme Court, Plessy's lawyers wrote that "distinction of race and caste" was inherently unconstitutional. [151] The Supreme Court rejected this reasoning and upheld state laws enforcing segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine. In the (7–1) majority decision, the Court found that "a statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races—a distinction which is founded on the color of the two races and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color—has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races, or reestablish a state of involuntary servitude." [152] Harlan dissented, writing: "The thin disguise of 'equal' accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone, nor, atone for the wrong this day done." [153]

In Hodges v. United States (1906), [154] the Court struck down a federal statute providing for the punishment of two or more people who "conspire to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States". A group of white men in Arkansas conspired to violently prevent eight black workers from performing their jobs at a lumber mill the group was convicted by a federal grand jury. The Supreme Court ruled that the federal statute, which outlawed conspiracies to deprive citizens of their liberty, was not authorized by the Thirteenth Amendment. It held that "no mere personal assault or trespass or appropriation operates to reduce the individual to a condition of slavery." Harlan dissented, maintaining his opinion that the Thirteenth Amendment should protect freedom beyond "physical restraint". [155] Corrigan v. Buckley (1922) reaffirmed the interpretation from Hodges, finding that the amendment does not apply to restrictive covenants.

Enforcement of federal civil rights law in the South created numerous peonage cases, which slowly traveled up through the judiciary. The Supreme Court ruled in Clyatt v. United States (1905) that peonage was involuntary servitude. It held that although employers sometimes described their workers' entry into contract as voluntary, the servitude of peonage was always (by definition) involuntary. [156]

In Bailey v. Alabama the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its holding that the Thirteenth Amendment is not solely a ban on chattel slavery, it also covers a much broader array of labor arrangements and social deprivations. [142] [143] In addition to the aforesaid the Court also ruled on Congress enforcement power under the Thirteenth Amendment. The Court said:

The plain intention [of the amendment] was to abolish slavery of whatever name and form and all its badges and incidents to render impossible any state of bondage to make labor free, by prohibiting that control by which the personal service of one man is disposed of or coerced for another's benefit, which is the essence of involuntary servitude. While the Amendment was self-executing, so far as its terms were applicable to any existing condition, Congress was authorized to secure its complete enforcement by appropriate legislation. [157]

Jones and beyond

Legal histories cite Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. (1968) as a turning point of Thirteen Amendment jurisprudence. [158] [159] The Supreme Court confirmed in Jones that Congress may act "rationally" to prevent private actors from imposing "badges and incidents of servitude". [158] [160] The Joneses were a black couple in St. Louis County, Missouri, who sued a real estate company for refusing to sell them a house. The Court held:

Congress has the power under the Thirteenth Amendment rationally to determine what are the badges and the incidents of slavery, and the authority to translate that determination into effective legislation. . this Court recognized long ago that, whatever else they may have encompassed, the badges and incidents of slavery—its "burdens and disabilities"—included restraints upon "those fundamental rights which are the essence of civil freedom, namely, the same right . to inherit, purchase, lease, sell and convey property, as is enjoyed by white citizens." Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S. 3, 109 U. S. 22. [161]

Just as the Black Codes, enacted after the Civil War to restrict the free exercise of those rights, were substitutes for the slave system, so the exclusion of Negroes from white communities became a substitute for the Black Codes. And when racial discrimination herds men into ghettos and makes their ability to buy property turn on the color of their skin, then it too is a relic of slavery.

Negro citizens, North and South, who saw in the Thirteenth Amendment a promise of freedom—freedom to "go and come at pleasure" and to "buy and sell when they please"—would be left with "a mere paper guarantee" if Congress were powerless to assure that a dollar in the hands of a Negro will purchase the same thing as a dollar in the hands of a white man. At the very least, the freedom that Congress is empowered to secure under the Thirteenth Amendment includes the freedom to buy whatever a white man can buy, the right to live wherever a white man can live. If Congress cannot say that being a free man means at least this much, then the Thirteenth Amendment made a promise the Nation cannot keep. [162]

The Court in Jones reopened the issue of linking racism in contemporary society to the history of slavery in the United States. [163]

The Jones precedent has been used to justify Congressional action to protect migrant workers and target sex trafficking. [164] The direct enforcement power found in the Thirteenth Amendment contrasts with that of the Fourteenth, which allows only responses to institutional discrimination of state actors. [165]

Other cases of involuntary servitude

The Supreme Court has taken an especially narrow view of involuntary servitude claims made by people not descended from black (African) slaves. In Robertson v. Baldwin (1897), a group of merchant seamen challenged federal statutes which criminalized a seaman's failure to complete their contractual term of service. The Court ruled that seamen's contracts had been considered unique from time immemorial, and that "the amendment was not intended to introduce any novel doctrine with respect to certain descriptions of service which have always been treated as exceptional." In this case, as in numerous "badges and incidents" cases, Justice Harlan authored a dissent favoring broader Thirteenth Amendment protections. [166]

In Selective Draft Law Cases, [167] the Supreme Court ruled that the military draft was not "involuntary servitude". In United States v. Kozminski, [168] the Supreme Court ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment did not prohibit compulsion of servitude through psychological coercion. [169] [170] Kozminski defined involuntary servitude for purposes of criminal prosecution as "a condition of servitude in which the victim is forced to work for the defendant by the use or threat of physical restraint or physical injury or by the use or threat of coercion through law or the legal process. This definition encompasses cases in which the defendant holds the victim in servitude by placing him or her in fear of such physical restraint or injury or legal coercion." [168]

The U.S. Courts of Appeals, in Immediato v. Rye Neck School District, Herndon v. Chapel Hill, and Steirer v. Bethlehem School District, have ruled that the use of community service as a high school graduation requirement did not violate the Thirteenth Amendment. [171]

During the six decades following the 1804 ratification of the Twelfth Amendment two proposals to amend the Constitution were adopted by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. Neither has been ratified by the number of states necessary to become part of the Constitution. Each is referred to as Article Thirteen, as was the successful Thirteenth Amendment, in the joint resolution passed by Congress.

  • The Titles of Nobility Amendment (pending before the states since May 1, 1810) would, if ratified, strip citizenship from any United States citizen who accepts a title of nobility or honor from a foreign country without the consent of Congress. [172]
  • The Corwin Amendment (pending before the states since March 2, 1861) would, if ratified, shield "domestic institutions" of the states (in 1861 this was a common euphemism for slavery) from the constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress. [173][174]


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  28. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), pp. 52–53. "Sumner made his intentions clearer on February 8, when he introduced his constitutional amendment to the Senate and asked that it be referred to his new committee. So desperate was he to make his amendment the final version that he challenged the well-accepted custom of sending proposed amendments to the Judiciary Committee. His Republican colleagues would hear nothing of it.
  29. ^"Congressional Proposals and Senate Passage"Archived November 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Harpers Weekly, The Creation of the 13th Amendment, Retrieved Feb 15, 2007
  30. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 53. "It was no coincidence that Trumbull's announcement came only two days after Sumner had proposed his amendment making all persons 'equal before the law'. The Massachusetts senator had spurred the committee into final action."
  31. ^
  32. "Northwest Ordinance July 13, 1787". Avalon Project. Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School . Retrieved February 17, 2014 .
  33. ^ abcd
  34. McAward, Jennifer Mason (November 2012). "McCulloch and the Thirteenth Amendment". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1769–1809. JSTOR41708164. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  35. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 54. "Although it made Henderson's amendment the foundation of the final amendment, the committee rejected an article in Henderson's version that allowed the amendment to be adopted by the approval of only a simple majority in Congress and the ratification of only two-thirds of the states."
  36. ^Goodwin, 2005, p. 686
  37. ^Goodwin, 2005, pp. 624–25
  38. ^Foner, 2010, p. 299
  39. ^Goodwin, 2005, p. 639
  40. ^ Benedict, "Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Law, and the Thirteenth Amendment" (2012), p. 179.
  41. ^ Benedict, "Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Law, and the Thirteenth Amendment" (2012), p. 179–180. Benedict quotes Senator Garrett Davis: "there is a boundary between the power of revolution and the power of amendment, which the latter, as established in our Constitution, cannot pass and that if the proposed change is revolutionary it would be null and void, notwithstanding it might be formally adopted." The full text of Davis's speech, with comments from others, appears in Great Debates in American History (1918), ed. Marion Mills Miller.
  42. ^ ab Colbert, "Liberating the Thirteenth Amendment" (1995), pp. 10–11.
  43. ^ Benedict, "Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Law, and the Thirteenth Amendment" (2012), p. 182.
  44. ^
  45. tenBroek, Jacobus (June 1951). "Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: Consummation to Abolition and Key to the Fourteenth Amendment". California Law Review. 39 (2): 180. doi:10.2307/3478033. JSTOR3478033. It would make it possible for white citizens to exercise their constitutional right under the comity clause to reside in Southern states regardless of their opinions. It would carry out the constitutional declaration "that each citizen of the United States shall have equal privileges in every other state". It would protect citizens in their rights under the First Amendment and comity clause to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of assemblyPreview.
  46. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 61.
  47. ^ ab Trelease, White Terror (1971), p. xvii. "Negroes wanted the same freedom that white men enjoyed, with equal prerogatives and opportunities. The educated black minority emphasized civil and political rights more than the masses, who called most of all for land and schools. In an agrarian society, the only kind most of them knew, landownership was associated with freedom, respectability, and the good life. It was almost universally desired by Southern blacks, as it was by landless peasants the world over. Give us our land and we can take care of ourselves, said a group of South Carolina Negroes to a Northern journalist in 1865 without land the old masters can hire us or starve us as they please."
  48. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 73. "The first notable convert was Representative James Brooks of New York, who, on the floor of Congress on February 18, 1864, declared that slavery was dying if not already dead, and that his party should stop defending the institution."
  49. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 74. "The antislavery amendment caught Johnson's eye, however, because it offered an indisputable constitutional solution to the problem of slavery."
  50. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 203.
  51. ^
  52. "The Reputation of Abraham Lincoln".
  53. ^Foner, 2010, pp. 312–14
  54. ^Donald, 1996, p. 396
  55. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 48. "The president worried that an abolition amendment might foul the political waters. The amendments he had recommended in December 1862 had gone nowhere, mainly because they reflected an outdated program of gradual emancipation, which included compensation and colonization. Moreover, Lincoln knew that he did not have to propose amendments because others more devoted to abolition would, especially if he pointed out the vulnerability of existing emancipation legislation. He was also concerned about negative reactions from conservatives, particularly potential new recruits from the Democrats."
  56. ^
  57. Willis, John C. "Republican Party Platform, 1864". University of the South. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013 . Retrieved June 28, 2013 . Resolved, That as slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength of this Rebellion, and as it must be, always and everywhere, hostile to the principles of Republican Government, justice and the National safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic and that, while we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defense, has aimed a deathblow at this gigantic evil, we are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States.
  58. ^
  59. "1864: The Civil War Election". Get Out the Vote. Cornell University. 2004 . Retrieved June 28, 2013 . Despite internal Party conflicts, Republicans rallied around a platform that supported restoration of the Union and the abolition of slavery.
  60. ^Goodwin, 2005, pp. 686–87
  61. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 176–177, 180.
  62. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 178.
  63. ^Foner, 2010, pp. 312–13
  64. ^Goodwin, 2005, p. 687
  65. ^Goodwin, 2005, pp. 687–689
  66. ^Donald, 1996, p. 554
  67. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 187. "But the clearest sign of the people's voice against slavery, argued amendment supporters, was the recent election. Following Lincoln's lead, Republican representatives like Godlove S. Orth of Indiana claimed that the vote represented a 'popular verdict . in unmistakable language' in favor of the amendment."
  68. ^Goodwin, 2005, p. 688
  69. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 191. "The necessity of keeping support for the amendment broad enough to secure its passage created a strange situation. At the moment that Republicans were promoting new, far-reaching legislation for African Americans, they had to keep this legislation detached from the first constitutional amendment dealing exclusively with African American freedom. Republicans thus gave freedom under the antislavery amendment a vague construction: freedom was something more than the absence of chattel slavery but less than absolute equality."
  70. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), pp. 191–192. "One of the most effective methods used by amendment supporters to convey the measure's conservative character was to proclaim the permanence of patriarchal power within the American family in the face of this or any textual change to the Constitution. In response to Democrats who charged that the antislavery was but the first step in a Republican design to dissolve all of society's foundations, including the hierarchical structure of the family, the Iowa Republican John A. Kasson denied any desire to interfere with 'the rights of a husband to a wife' or 'the right of [a] father to his child'."
  71. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), pp. 197–198.
  72. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 198. "It was at this point that the president wheeled into action on behalf of the Amendment [. ] Now he became more forceful. To one representative whose brother had died in the war, Lincoln said, 'your brother died to save the Republic from death by the slaveholders' rebellion. I wish you could see it to be your duty to vote for the Constitutional amendment ending slavery.'"
  73. ^
  74. "TO PASS S.J. RES. 16. (P. 531-2)".
  75. ^Foner, 2010, p. 313
  76. ^Foner, 2010, p. 314
  77. ^McPherson, 1988, p. 840
  78. ^ Harrison, "Lawfulness of the Reconstruction Amendments" (2001), p. 389. "For reasons that have never been entirely clear, the amendment was presented to the President pursuant to Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution, and signed.
  79. ^
  80. "Joint Resolution Submitting 13th Amendment to the States signed by Abraham Lincoln and Congress". The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress: Series 3. General Correspondence. 1837–1897. Library of Congress.
  81. ^ Thorpe, Constitutional History (1901), p. 154. "But many held that the President's signature was not essential to an act of this kind, and, on the fourth of February, Senator Trumbull offered a resolution, which was agreed to three days later, that the approval was not required by the Constitution 'that it was contrary to the early decision of the Senate and of the Supreme Court and that the negative of the President applying only to the ordinary cases of legislation, he had nothing to do with propositions to amend the Constitution.'"
  82. ^ Thorpe, Constitutional History (1901), p. 154. "The President signed the joint resolution on the first of February. Somewhat curiously the signing has only one precedent, and that was in spirit and purpose the complete antithesis of the present act. President Buchanan had signed the proposed amendment of 1861, which would make slavery national and perpetual."
  83. ^ Lincoln's struggle to get the amendment through Congress, while bringing the war to an end, is portrayed in Lincoln.
  84. ^ Harrison (2001), Lawfulness of the Reconstruction Amendments, p. 390.
  85. ^
  86. Samuel Eliot Morison (1965). The Oxford History of the American People . Oxford University Press. p. 710.
  87. ^ Harrison, "Lawfulness of the Reconstruction Amendments" (2001), pp. 394–397.
  88. ^
  89. Eric L. McKitrick (1960). Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction. U. Chicago Press. p. 178. ISBN9780195057072 .
  90. ^
  91. Clara Mildred Thompson (1915). Reconstruction in Georgia: economic, social, political, 1865–1872. Columbia University Press. p. 156.
  92. ^ Vorenberg (2001), Final Freedom, pp. 227–228.
  93. ^ ab Vorenberg (2001), Final Freedom, p. 229.
  94. ^ Du Bois (1935), Black Reconstruction, p. 208.
  95. ^ Thorpe (1901), Constitutional History, p. 210.
  96. ^ Tsesis (2004), The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom, p. 48.
  97. ^ ab
  98. U.S. Government Printing Office, 112th Congress, 2nd Session, SENATE DOCUMENT No. 112–9 (2013). "The Constitution of the United States Of America Analysis And Interpretation Centennial Edition Interim Edition: Analysis Of Cases Decided By The Supreme Court Of The United States To June 26, 2013s" (PDF) . p. 30 . Retrieved February 17, 2014 .
  99. ^Seward certificate proclaiming the Thirteenth Amendment to have been adopted as part of the Constitution as of December 6, 1865.
  100. ^ Vorenberg (2001), Final Freedom, p. 232.
  101. ^
  102. Kocher, Greg (February 23, 2013). "Kentucky supported Lincoln's efforts to abolish slavery—111 years late". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014 . Retrieved February 17, 2014 .
  103. ^
  104. Ben Waldron (February 18, 2013). "Mississippi Officially Abolishes Slavery, Ratifies 13th Amendment". ABC News. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013 . Retrieved April 23, 2013 .
  105. ^
  106. Greene, Jamal Mason McAward, Jennifer. "Constitutional Law. Thirteenth Amendment". National Constitution Center. doi:10.2307/1071811. JSTOR1071811 . Retrieved July 4, 2020 .
  107. ^ Lowell Harrison & James C. Klotter, A New History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997 p. 180 9780813126210
  108. ^ ab Forehand, "Striking Resemblance" (1996), p. 82.
  109. ^
  110. Hornsby, Alan, ed. (2011). "Delaware". Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 139. ISBN9781573569767 .
  111. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 17 & 34.
  112. ^"The Thirteenth Amendment", Primary Documents in American History, Library of Congress. Retrieved Feb 15, 2007
  113. ^ abGoldstone 2011, p. 22.
  114. ^
  115. Nelson, William E. (1988). The Fourteenth Amendment: From Political Principle to Judicial Doctrine. Harvard University Press. p. 47. ISBN9780674041424 . Retrieved June 6, 2013 .
  116. ^ J. J. Gries to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, quoted in Du Bois, Black Reconstruction (1935), p. 140.
  117. ^ Du Bois, Black Reconstruction (1935), p. 188.
  118. ^ Quoted in Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), p. 244.
  119. ^ Trelease, White Terror (1971), p. xviii. "The truth seems to be that, after a brief exulation with the idea of freedom, Negroes realized that their position was hardly changed they continued to live and work much as they had before."
  120. ^ abcBlackmon 2008, p. 53.
  121. ^ Stromberg, "A Plain Folk Perspective" (2002), p. 111.
  122. ^ Novak, Wheel of Servitude (1978), p. 2.
  123. ^Blackmon 2008, p. 100.
  124. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 51–52.
  125. ^Blackmon 2008, p. 6.
  126. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), pp. 230–231. "The black codes were a violation of freedom of contract, one of the civil rights that Republicans expected to flow from the amendment. Because South Carolina and other states anticipated that congressional Republicans would try to use the Thirteenth Amendment to outlaw the codes, they made the preemptive strike of declaring in their ratification resolutions that Congress could not use the amendment's second clause to legislate on freed people's civil rights."
  127. ^ Benjamin Ginsberg, Moses of South Carolina: A Jewish Scalawag during Radical Reconstruction Johns Hopkins Press, 2010 pp. 44–46.
  128. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 50.
  129. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 51.
  130. ^ Vorenberg, Final Freedom (2001), pp. 233–234.
  131. ^W. E. B. Du Bois, "The Freedmen's Bureau", The Atlantic, March 1901.
  132. ^Goldstone 2011, pp. 23–24.
  133. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 50–51. "Blacks applied to local provost marshalls and Freedmen's Bureau for help against these child abductions, particularly in those cases where children were taken from living parents. Jack Prince asked for help when a woman bound his maternal niece. Sally Hunter requested assistance to obtain the release of her two nieces. Bureau officials finally put an end to the system of indenture in 1867."
  134. ^ Forehand, "Striking Resemblance" (1996), p. 99–100, 105.
  135. ^ ab Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 66–67.
  136. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 56–57, 60–61. "If the Republicans had hoped to gradually use Section 2 of the Thirteenth Amendment to pass Reconstruction legislation, they would soon learn that President Johnson, using his veto power, would make increasingly more difficult the passage of any measure augmenting the power of the national government. Further, with time, even leading antislavery Republicans would become less adamant and more willing to reconcile with the South than protect the rights of the newly freed. This was clear by the time Horace Greely accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1872 and even more when President Rutherford B. Hayes entered the Compromise of 1877, agreeing to withdraw federal troops from the South."
  137. ^
  138. Tobias Barrington Wolff (May 2002). "Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy". Columbia Law Review. 102 (4). p. 981 in 973-1050. doi:10.2307/1123649. JSTOR1123649. Peonage was a system of forced labor that depended upon the indebtedness of a worker, rather than an actual property right in a slave, as the means of compelling work. A prospective employer would offer a laborer a "loan" or "advance" on his wages, typically as a condition of employment, and then use the newly created debt to compel the worker to remain on the job for as long as the employer wished.
  139. ^ ab
  140. Wolff (2002). "The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy". Columbia Law Review. 102 (4). p. 982(?). doi:10.2307/1123649. JSTOR1123649. Not surprisingly, employers used peonage arrangements primarily in industries that involved hazardous working conditions and very low pay. While black workers were not the exclusive victims of peonage arrangements in America, they suffered under its yoke in vastly disproportionate numbers. Along with Jim Crow laws that segregated transportation and public facilities, these laws helped to restrict the movement of freed black workers and thereby keep them in a state of poverty and vulnerability.
  141. ^
  142. Wolff (May 2002). "The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy". Columbia Law Review. 102 (4). p. 982. doi:10.2307/1123649. JSTOR1123649. Legally sanctioned peonage arrangements blossomed in the South following the Civil War and continued into the twentieth century. According to the Professor Jacqueline Jones, 'perhaps as many as one-third of all [sharecropping farmers] in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia were being held against their will in 1900.
  143. ^ Wolff, "The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy" (May 2002), p. 982. "It did not recognize a property right in a human being (a peon could not be sold in the manner of a slave) and the condition of peonage did not work 'corruption of blood' and travel to the children of the worker. Peonage, in short, was not chattel slavery. Yet the practice unquestionably reproduced many of the immediate practical realities of slavery—a vast underclass of laborers, held to their jobs by force of law and threat of imprisonment, with few if any opportunities for escape."
  144. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights" (2001), p. 1638.
  145. ^ Soifer, "Prohibition of Voluntary Peonage" (2012), p. 1617.
  146. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights" (2001), p. 1616.
  147. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights" (2001), pp. 1619–1621.
  148. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights" (2001), pp. 1626–1628.
  149. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights" (2001), pp. 1629, 1635.
  150. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights" (2001), p. 1668.
  151. ^ Goluboff, "Lost Origins of Civil Rights", pp. 1680–1683.
  152. ^ abcd
  153. Howe, Scott (2009). "Slavery as Punishment: Original Public Meaning, Cruel and Unusual Punishment, and the Neglected Clause in the Thirteenth Amendment". Arizona Law Review. 51 (4): 983 . Retrieved December 28, 2017 .
  154. ^
  155. Beccaria, Cesare (1764). On Crimes and Punishments.
  156. ^
  157. Weiss, Robert P. (2005). "Hard Labor". In Bosworth, Mary (ed.). Encyclopedia of Prisons and Correctional Facilities. SAGE Publications. ISBN9781506320397 .
  158. ^
  159. Ajunwa, Ifeoma Onwuachi-Willig, Angela (2018). "Combating Discrimination Against the Formerly Incarcerated in the Labor Market". Northwestern University Law Review. 112 (6): 1407 . Retrieved February 24, 2020 .
  160. ^
  161. Benns, Whitney. "American Slavery, Reinvented".
  162. ^
  163. "Prison labour is a billion-dollar industry, with uncertain returns for inmates". The Economist.
  164. ^
  165. "Give Working Prisoners Dignity—and Decent Wages".
  166. ^
  167. Nilsen, Ella (October 11, 2018). "Kanye West's meeting with President Trump turned into an extended rant on mental health and the 13th Amendment". Vox . Retrieved October 27, 2018 .
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  169. Axelrod, Tal (December 2, 2020). "Democrats introduce legislation to strike slavery exception in 13th Amendment". The Hill . Retrieved December 4, 2020 .
  170. ^
  171. Amy Dru Stanley (June 2010). "Instead of Waiting for the Thirteenth Amendment: The War Power, Slave Marriage, and Inviolate Human Rights". American Historical Review. 115 (3): 735.
  172. ^
  173. Kenneth L. Karst (January 1, 2000). "Thirteenth Amendment (Judicial Interpretation)". Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . Archived from the original on March 28, 2015 . Retrieved June 16, 2013 .
  174. ^
  175. "United States v Rhodes, 27 f Cas 785 (1866)". August 19, 2011. Archived from the original on August 19, 2011. CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  176. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 62–63.
  177. ^
  178. Seth P. Waxman (2000). "Twins at Birth: Civil Rights and the Role of the Solictor General". Indiana Law Journal. 75: 1302–1303.
  179. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 63–64.
  180. ^ 80 U.S. 581 (1871)
  181. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 64–66.
  182. ^
  183. Waskey, Andrew J. (December 6, 2011). "John Marshall Harlan". In Wilson, Steven Harmon (ed.). The U.S. Justice System: An Encyclopedia: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 547. ISBN978-1-59884-305-7 .
  184. ^ abMaria L. Ontiveros, Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, and Joshua R. Drexler, J.D. Candidate, May 2008, University of San Francisco School of Law (21 July 2008), The Thirteenth Amendment and Access to Education for Children of Undocumented Workers: A New Look at Plyler v. Doe' Publisher: University of San Francisco Law Review, Volume 42, Spring 2008, Pages 1045–1076 here page 1058-1059. The article was developed from a working paper prepared for the roundtable, "The Education of All Our Children: The 25th Anniversary of Plyler v. Doe", sponsored by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity & Diversity (University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law), held on May 7, 2007.Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  185. ^ ab
  186. Jamal Greene (Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School) ennifer Mason McAward (Associate Professor of Law and Director of Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame Law School). "Common Interpretation: The Thirteenth Amendment". The National Constitution Center. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020 . Retrieved July 19, 2020 .
  187. ^ The Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (36 Wall.), at 72 (1873)
  188. ^ abc Text of Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883) is available from: FindlawJustiaLII
  189. ^Goldstone 2011, p. 122.
  190. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 70.
  191. ^
  192. Appleton's Annual Cyclopædia and Register of Important Events of the Year . D. Appleton & Company. 1888. p. 132 . Retrieved June 11, 2013 .
  193. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 73.
  194. ^163U.S.537 (1896)
  195. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 76.
  196. ^Goldstone 2011, pp. 162, 164–65.
  197. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 78.
  198. ^ 203 U.S. 1 (1906)
  199. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 79–80.
  200. ^ Wolff, "The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy" (2002), p. 983.
  201. ^ Bailey v. Alabama, 219 U.S. 219, 241 (1910).
  202. ^ ab Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 3. "After Reconstruction, however, a series of Supreme Court decisions substantially diminished the amendment's significance in achieving genuine liberation. The Court did not revisit the amendment's meaning until 1968, during the heyday of the Civil Rights Movement. In Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer, the Court found that the Thirteenth Amendment not only ended unrecompensed, forced labor but that its second section also empowered Congress to develop legislation that is 'rationally' related to ending any remaining 'badges and incidents of servitude'."
  203. ^ Colbert, "Liberating the Thirteenth Amendment" (1995), p. 2.
  204. ^
  205. "Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. 392 U.S. 409 (1968)". Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School . Retrieved October 22, 2015 . Syllabus: "[T]he badges and incidents of slavery that the Thirteenth Amendment empowered Congress to eliminate included restraints upon those fundamental rights which are the essence of civil freedom, namely, the same right . to inherit, purchase, lease, sell and convey property, as is enjoyed by white citizens. Civil Rights Cases, 09 U.S. 3, 22. Insofar as Hodges v. United States, 203 U.S. 1, suggests a contrary holding, it is overruled." Footnote 78: "[W]e note that the entire Court [in the Civil Rights Cases content added] agreed upon at least one proposition: the Thirteenth Amendment authorizes Congress not only to outlaw all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude, but also to eradicate the last vestiges and incidents of a society half slave and half free by securing to all citizens, of every race and color, the same right to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to inherit, purchase, lease, sell and convey property, as is enjoyed by white citizens. . The conclusion of the majority in Hodges rested upon a concept of congressional power under the Thirteenth Amendment irreconcilable with the position taken by every member of this Court in the Civil Rights Cases and incompatible with the history and purpose of the Amendment itself. Insofar as Hodges is inconsistent with our holding today, it is hereby overruled."
  206. ^ 'Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968)
  207. ^ Alison Shay, "Remembering Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.Archived September 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine", Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement, 17 June 2012.
  208. ^ Colbert, "Liberating the Thirteenth Amendment" (1995), pp. 3–4.
  209. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 3. "The Court's holding in Jones enables Congress to pass statutes against present-day human rights violations, such as the trafficking of foreign workers as sex slaves and the exploitation of migrant agricultural workers as peons."
  210. ^ Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 112–113. ". the Thirteenth Amendment remains the principal constitutional source requiring the federal government to protect individual liberties against arbitrary private and public infringements that resemble the incidents of involuntary servitude. Moreover, the Thirteenth Amendment is a positive injunction requiring Congress to pass laws to that end, while the Fourteenth Amendment is 'responsive' to 'unconstitutional behavior'."
  211. ^ Wolff, "The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy" (2002), p. 977.
  212. ^245U.S.366 (1918)
  213. ^ ab487U.S.931 (1988)
  214. ^"Thirteenth Amendment—Slavery and Involuntary Servitude"Archived February 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, GPO Access, U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 1557
  215. ^ Risa Goluboff (2001), "The 13th Amendment and the Lost Origins of Civil Rights", Duke Law Journal, Vol 50, no. 228, p. 1609
  216. ^
  217. Loupe, Diane (August 2000). "Community Service: Mandatory or Voluntary?—Industry Overview". School Administrator: 8. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011.
  218. ^
  219. Mark W. Podvia (2009). "Titles of Nobility". In David Andrew Schultz (ed.). Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution. Infobase. pp. 738–39. ISBN9781438126777 .
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  221. "Constitutional Amendments Not Ratified". United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012 . Retrieved November 21, 2013 .
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  • Heriot, Gail & Somin, Alison, Sleeping Giant?: Section Two of the Thirteenth Amendment, Hate Crimes Legislation, and Academia's Favorite New Vehicle for the Expansion of Federal Power, 13 Engage 31 (October 2012).
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  • McAward, Jennifer Mason (2010). "The scope of Congress's Thirteenth Amendment enforcement power after City of Boerne v. Flores". Washington University Law Review. Washington University School of Law. 88 (1): 77–147. Pdf.
  • Response to McAward:
  • Tsesis, Alexander (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 40–59. SSRN1753224 . Pdf.
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  • Stanley, Amy Dru (June 2010). "Instead of waiting for the Thirteenth Amendment: the war power, slave marriage, and inviolate human rights". The American Historical Review. Oxford Journals for the American Historical Association. 115 (3): 732–765. doi:10.1086/ahr.115.3.732. JSTOR10.1086/ahr.115.3.732. Pdf.
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Maryland Law Review, special issue: Symposium—the Maryland Constitutional Law Schmooze

  • Garber, Mark A. (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 12–20. Pdf.
  • Carter Jr., William M. (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 21–39. SSRN1932762 . Pdf.
  • Tsesis, Alexander (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 40–59. SSRN1753224 . Pdf.
  • McAward, Jennifer Mason (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 60–82. SSRN2271791 . Pdf.
  • McClain, Linda C. (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 83–162. SSRN2188939 . Pdf.
  • Benedict, Michael Les (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 163–188. Pdf.
  • Pope, James Gray (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 189–202. SSRN1894965 . Pdf.
  • Novkov, Julie (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 203–228. Pdf.
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  • Zietlow, Rebecca E. I. (2011). . Maryland Law Review. University of Maryland School of Law. 71 (1): 283–294. SSRN2000929 . Pdf.

Columbia Law Review, special issue: Symposium: The Thirteenth Amendment: Meaning, Enforcement, and Contemporary Implications

  • Tsesis, Alexander (November 2012). "Into the light of day: relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment to contemporary law". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1447–1458. JSTOR41708155. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Balkin, Jack M. Levinson, Sanford (November 2012). "The dangerous Thirteenth Amendment". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1459–1499. JSTOR41708156. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Graber, Mark A. (November 2012). "Subtraction by addition?: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1501–1549. JSTOR41708157. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Rutherglen, George (November 2012). "The Thirteenth Amendment, the power of Congress, and the shifting sources of civil rights law". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1551–1584. JSTOR41708158. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Foner, Eric (November 2012). "The Supreme Court and the history of reconstruction—and vice-versa". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1585–1606. JSTOR41708159. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Soifer, Aviam (November 2012). "Federal protection, paternalism, and the virtually forgotten prohibition of voluntary peonage". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1607–1639. JSTOR41708160. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Tsesis, Alexander (November 2012). "Gender discrimination and the Thirteenth Amendment". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1641–1695. JSTOR41708161. Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Pdf.
  • Zietlow, Rebecca E. (November 2012). "James Ashley's Thirteenth Amendment". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1697–1731. JSTOR41708162. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Pdf.
  • Greene, Jamal (November 2012). "Thirteenth Amendment optimism". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1733–1768. JSTOR41708163. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Pdf.
  • McAward, Jennifer Mason (November 2012). "McCulloch and the Thirteenth Amendment". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1769–1809. JSTOR41708164. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. (link: Pdf)
  • Miller, Darrell A.H. (November 2012). "The Thirteenth Amendment and the regulation of custom". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1811–1854. JSTOR41708165. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. (link: Pdf)
  • Carter, Jr., William M. (November 2012). "The Thirteenth Amendment and pro-equality speech". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1855–1881. JSTOR41708166. SSRN2166859 . Pdf.
  • Delgado, Richard (November 2012). "Four reservations on civil rights reasoning by analogy: the case of Latinos and other Nonblack groups". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1883–1915. JSTOR41708167. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Pdf.
  • Koppelman, Andrew (November 2012). "Originalism, abortion, and the Thirteenth Amendment". Columbia Law Review. Columbia Law School. 112 (7): 1917–1945. JSTOR41708168. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. (link: Pdf)

Ripley, C. Peter et al. eds. Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation (1993) online

Watch the video: Constitution 101. Lecture 2