1. Lincoln Timeline

Thirteenth Amendment

United States Congress
Washington, D.C.
Origin Date:
overall: 20 3/4 in x 15 1/2 in
Item ID:
Holding Institution:
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, Courtesy of the Indiana State Museum
Available for Viewing:
Manuscripts & Documents


One of three known Senate copies of the 13th Amendment signed by President Abraham Lincoln and members of the Senate who voted in favor of the resolution to abolish the institution of slavery. This one-page document is printed on vellum and ruled with blue ink; it features red ruled margins. "Thirty-Eighth Congress of the United States of America . . . " is printed across the top. Manuscript additions and signatures are included. It is signed with iron gall ink by President Lincoln and co-signed by Hannibal Hamlin as Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate, Schuyler Colfax as Speaker of the House, and 36 of the 38 senators who voted for it. The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished the institution of slavery upon ratification by three-fourths of the states in December 1865. The original document is housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. 13 commemorative copies were printed and autographed by Lincoln. Three of the 13 were signed by members of the Senate. This copy is one of those three. This amendment, outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude, was the first change made to the Constitution in over sixty years and the first substantive change to America's conception of its liberties since the Bill of Rights was sent to the states for approval in 1789. Part of The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, courtesy of the Indiana State Museum.