ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
December 6, 1865
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution
is Ratified, Making Slavery Illegal
On this day in 1865, the U.S. Congress Ratified the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting involuntary servitude
except for specific circumstances such as for those convicted of a crime.
At the time slavery was only legal in Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and New Jersey. Slavery had
already been abolished in the other states by either state law or by Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation
Before the Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the last attempt to abolish slavery was from legislation
proposed by John Quincy Adams in 1839 but it was never enacted.