Thirteenth Amendment on display at VHS
Lincoln-Signed Copy of the Thirteenth Amendment
In conjunction with Richmond’s citywide Civil War & Emancipation Day activities, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will display an original congressional copy of the Thirteenth Amendment Resolution that ended slavery in the United States. The rare document is one of only thirteen copies signed by President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, thirty-seven senators, and 111 congressmen who supported the resolution. The permanent emancipation of all slaves required a constitutional amendment which was ratified by the states in December 1865.
Lincoln signed this copy of the Thirteenth Amendment Resolution in early February 1865, just two months before he was assassinated. There are only six surviving congressional copies of the Thirteenth Amendment signed by Lincoln and members of both houses of Congress who voted in favor of the resolution. This document has never before been displayed in Virginia.
The event takes place at the VHS on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 15, 2012, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Thirteenth Amendment Resolution is on loan from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. It is on display thanks to a cosponsorship between the Virginia Historical Society and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission of the Virginia General Assembly.
In addition to the Thirteenth Amendment Resolution being on display:
• VHS Curator of African American History Dr. Lauranett Lee will give a talk To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds: An Overview of the Thirteenth Amendment highlighting the historical significance of the document. Her presentation will take place from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
• Richmond Conservation Studio conservators will be working on cleaning the Charles Hoffbauer Memorial Military Murals. Visitors can get an up-close look at the process and speak with the chief conservator about the work.
• VHS staff will give live demonstrations of the Unknown No Longer slave name database and offer assistance for those interested in researching their genealogy.
Admission to the Virginia Historical Society is free.
Civil War & Emancipation Day (CW&ED) is organized by The Future of Richmond’s Past, a collaborative effort among leaders of Richmond’s historical societies, museums, commissions, cultural and tourism organizations, and educational institutions to frame the upcoming sesquicentennial years in which the city and the nation will commemorate the anniversaries of the Civil War and Emancipation. CW&ED activities take place on Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at various locations throughout the city.