Thirteenth Amendment Issue
Depicts Freedman Statue by Thomas Ball
Scott # 902
Issued on October 20, 1940
at the New York Worlds Fair
Archer Alexander was born around 1810, (exact date unknown)
near Richmond, Virginia. Archer was a slave and in 1863
during the Civil War he fled to St. Louis, then under martial law. He was
formally liberated the same year. Archer served as the model for "the
freedman" in the bronze group by Thomas Ball, standing in the capitol
grounds in Washington, and known as "Freedom's Memorial."
(Freedom's Memorial Statue is depicted on the 13th Amendment stamp
issued in 1940.)
In 1831 Archer's master took him to Missouri. During the
reign of terror in that state at the outbreak of the war he learned that the
pro-slavery party had cut the timbers of a certain bridge so that it should
break down under a train carrying a detachment of national troops about to
pass over it.
At the risk of his life he conveyed the information to a
well-known union man, and the detachment was saved. Alexander was suspected as
the informant and arrested by a pro-slavery committee. He escaped to the North
and secured employment in St. Louis under a provost marshal's certificate.
Until the emancipation proclamation assured his permanent freedom he was in
constant danger from kidnappers. Although almost wholly illiterate, he had a
shrewd intelligence and was a skilled and efficient workman. A stone
commemorating his capture as a fugitive slave has been raised on the spot
where he was taken when making his escape from slavery.
Archer Alexander died on December 8, 1879 in St. Louis,
The Thirteenth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution:
After the Civil War ended three additional amendments were
added to the Bill
of Rights to help ensure freedom and full rights for the former
President Lincoln issued his Emancipation
Proclamation in 1863. This document declared that slaves in all
states in rebellion against the Union were to be freed, but did not actually
effect the freedom of any slaves. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in all
states of the Union.
Amendment abolished slavery.
Section 1. 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.
Section 2. Congress shall have
power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to
In 1954 the Supreme Court applied the equal
protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in its landmark
decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which
ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. In the
1960s and '70s the equal protection clause was used by the Supreme Court to
extend protections to other areas, including zoning laws, voting rights, and
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of
the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which
shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without
due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states
according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in
each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any
election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the
United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial
officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to
any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and
citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for
participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation
therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male
citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of
age in such state.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or
elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or
military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously
taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States,
or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial
officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall
have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or
comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of
each House, remove such disability.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by
law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for
services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or
obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United
States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such
debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation,
the provisions of this article.
The 15th Amendment guaranteed former male
slaves the right to vote.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or
previous condition of servitude.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
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