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1787 - 1860 // 1861 - 1862 // 1863 - 1864 // 1865

January 1865

Slavery Abolished in Missouri:
On January 11, a state constitutional convention approved a new constitution that abolished slavery immediately in the Border State of Missouri.

Thirteenth Amendment Approved by
the House:
On January 31, the U.S. House passed the proposed Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the entire United States, by a vote of 119-56, two votes over the constitutionally required two-thirds majority.  Although not constitutionally necessary, President Lincoln expressed his approval by signing the Thirteenth Amendment before it was sent to the states for ratification.

   
February 1865 Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Process:
Eighteen states ratified the proposed Thirteenth Amendment:  February 1, Illinois; February 2, Rhode Island and Michigan; February 3, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; February 6, Missouri; February 7, Kansas, Maine, and Massachusetts; February 9, Virginia; February 10, Ohio; February 13, Indiana; February 16, Nevada; February 17, Louisiana; February 23, Minnesota; and February 24, Wisconsin.

Slavery Abolished in Tennessee:
On February 22, voters in the former Confederate state of Tennessee (then under Union control) overwhelmingly approved a new state constitution that abolished slavery immediately in the state.

   
March 1865 Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Process:
On March 9, Vermont became the nineteenth state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.
   
April 1865

End of the Civil War:
On April 9, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, formally ending the American Civil War. 

Lincoln Assassinated:
On April 14, Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln, who died the next morning.  Vice President Andrew Johnson, a War Democrat from Tennessee, was sworn in as the seventeenth president of the United States.

Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Process:
On April 7 and 14, Tennessee and Arkansas became the twenty and twenty-first states, respectively, to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.

   
May 1865 Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Process:
On May 4, Connecticut became the twenty-second state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.
   
June 1865 Johnsonís Reconstruction Plan:
As part of his Reconstruction plan, President Andrew Johnson instructed the former Confederate states to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.
   
July 1865 Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Process:
On July 1, New Hampshire became the twenty-third state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment. 
 

 

November 1865 Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Process:
On November 13, South Carolina became the twenty-fourth state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.
 

 

December 1865 Thirteenth Amendment Ratified:
On December 2, 4, and 6, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, respectively, became the twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, and twenty-seventh states to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.  With the approval by Georgia, the measure had achieved the constitutionally required ratification by three-quarters of the states (27 of 36).  On December 18, Secretary of State William Henry Seward declared the Thirteenth Amendment officially ratified and part of the United States Constitution.
 

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