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Discovering the Civil War

Two 13th Amendments?

Compare these two 13th amendments. They look very much alike, but their content couldn't be more different. The 1861 unratified amendment (on the left) would have prevented the Federal government from ever interfering with slavery. The 1865 ratified amendment (on the right) forever freed four million men and women held in bondage.

Joint Resolution Proposing a 13th Amendment to the Constitution signed by President James Buchanan, March 2, 1861. National Archives, General Records of the U.S. Government

Joint Resolution Proposing a 13th Amendment to the Constitution signed by President Abraham Lincoln, Approved February 1, 1865. National Archives, General Records of the U.S. Government

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