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Robert McNamara

Newspaper Sunday: Celebrating the Amendment Ending Slavery

By November 18, 2012

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The plot of the Steven Spielberg film "Lincoln" focuses on the legislative battle to pass a bill, which would become the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, in the House of Representatives.

The debates on Capitol Hill in January 1865, when the end of the Civil War was imminent, were widely reported in the newspapers at the time. Though, judging by front page headlines, the country seemed more interested in rampant rumors that peace envoys were being dispatched northward by the Confederate government.

It doesn't spoil anyone's viewing of "Lincoln" to mention that when the bill forever abolishing slavery in America passed the House of Representatives on January 31, 1865, newspapers did trumpet the news. This week in Newspaper Sunday we take a look back at some of those stories.

Note: After using the links to reach the article excerpts, you can click the "persistent link" to view the entire page of the newspaper at the Chronicling America site of the Library of Congress.

Photograph: James Ashley, abolitionist and Congressman from Ohio who managed the January 1865 debates on the anti-slavery amendment/Library of Congress

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