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Alabama State Convention, "Debate on ending Slavery," October 20, 1865, Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama, 1857
The Alabama State Convention, charged with organizing Alabama's legislative affairs in preparation for November elections and the State's eventual full participation in the national government, met in Montgomery between September 10 and 22, 1865. On the question of the abolition of slavery, one of the measures federal mandate required, some questions arose concerning constitutionality, property rights, and possible reimbursement of former slave owners. An amendment calling for waiting for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal abolition of slavery before proceeding was proposed, debated, and put to a vote. Below are excerpts from that debate, laying out legalistic support for the measure and then a heated rebuttal from a county judge looking towards the future rather than the past. The amendment failed by a vote of 66 to 17 and the full measure, signifying the end of slavery in Alabama, passed by 88 votes to three. The new state legislature, elected the following November, quickly passed the measure into law in January 1866. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: "Alabama State Convention, "Debate on ending Slavery," October 20, 1865, Montgomery, Alabama," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,