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William Henry Seward, Announcement of the Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, December 18, 1865, Washington, DC

Legislative Iconic image, U.S. Capitol, 2008
The proposed Thirteenth Amendment had passed the House of Representatives earlier in the year and had embarked on its long road toward ratification by the required number of states. William Henry Seward, Secretary of State, announced on this date that twenty-seven of the thirty-six states had passed the ratification legislation and the required majority of states had been met. The end of slavery in the United States was complete and its prohibition was the law of the land. (By John Osborne)