Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of 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 the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several states by the Thirty-Eighth United States Congress, on January 31, 1865. The amendment was declared, in a proclamation of Secretary of State William Henry Seward, dated December 18, 1865, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the then thirty-six states. Although it was ratified by the necessary three-quarters of the states within a year of its proposal, its most recent ratification occurred in 1995 in Mississippi, which was the last of the thirty-six states in existence in 1865 to ratify it.