Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

(1865)

About the Author

The Thirteenth Amendment had no single author. Some of its key congressional creators and supporters were James M. Ashley, James F. Wilson, Lyman Trumbull, and Charles Sumner.

James M. Ashley was born in Pennsylvania in 1824. The mostly self-educated young man moved west to Ohio in 1848, where he became the editor of a Democratic newspaper and a close political ally of the antislavery leader and future Supreme Court chief justice Salmon P. Chase. Ashley was first elected to Congress in 1858, representing the Republican Party. During the Civil War, he played a leading...

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The Thirteenth Amendment (National Archives and Records Administration)

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