It’s 2013, well except in Mississippi

While Maureen Dowd is telling Steven Spielburg to correct the inadequacies in the movie Lincoln regarding Connecticut’s vote on the 13th amendment, Mississippi is quietly, or not so quietly finally getting around to ratifying the Amendment. [Fox News]

The Thirteenth Amendment

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The movie prompted Dr. Ranjan Batra, an associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, to look into Mississippi’s history with the Amendment. What he found was thatĀ Mississippi actually took the official vote to ratify the Amendment in 1995, but forgot to tell anyone. The U.S. archivist was not notified.


While this really can be written off as an oversight, Mississippi is after all the only state that can claim the title “Mother of the Confederate President.” Jefferson Davis, while born in Kentucky, was a Senator from Mississippi before becoming the President of the Confederacy.

The Amendment was officially adopted in 1865. But several states, including Mississippi, Kentucky and New Jersey opposed the measure at the time.

Prior to Mississippi, the last state to ratify the amendment was Kentucky (Jefferson Davis’ birthplace) in 1976. New Jersey voted for ratification in 1866.

Virginia’s Restored (Loyal to the Union, and thus approved by the federal government) General Assembly ratified the Amendment on February 9, 1865.

  • I always wondered that since coerced contracts are not binding, why couldn’t that concept be applied to the 13th and 14th amendments since the southern states were coerced into ratifying them?

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