The Path To Freedom For Slaves:
March 31, 1864 - Debated in the Senate (S.J. Res. 16).
April 4-7, 1864 - Debated in the Senate.
April 8, 1864 - The Senate passed the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 38 to 6.
June 14, 1864 - Debated in the House of Representatives.
June 15, 1864 - The House of Representatives initially defeated the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 93 in favor, 65 opposed, and 23 not voting, which is less than the two-thirds majority needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment.
December 6, 1864 - Abraham Lincoln's Fourth Annual Message to Congress was printed in the Congressional Globe: "At the last session of Congress a proposed amendment of the Constitution, abolishing slavery throughout the United States, passed the Senate, but failed for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives. Although the present is the same Congress, and nearly the same members, and without questioning the wisdom or patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to recommend the reconsideration and passage of the measure at the present session."
January 6, 1865 - Debated in the House of Representatives (S.J. Res. 16).
January 7, 9-13, 28, 1865 - Debated in the House of Representatives.
January 31, 1865 - The House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 119 to 56.
February 1, 1865 - President Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution submitting the proposed 13th Amendment to the states.
December 18, 1865 - Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "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." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.