The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery. It states 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."
Congress first introduced the amendment in December 1863, during the Civil War. The Senate passed the amendment in April 1864, but it failed to pass the House. After President Lincoln's re-election in 1864, he urged Congress to vote again, and the amendment narrowly passed the House on January 31, 1865. Upon ratification by Georgia in December 1865, the 13th amendment became part of the Constitution.