April 8, 1864
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.
During the secession crisis, but prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, the majority of slavery-related bills had protected slavery. The United States had officially ceased slave importation in 1807 after the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves and the British Slave Trade Act 1807. It had intervened militarily against the Atlantic slave trade, but had made few proposals to abolish domestic slavery, and only a small number to abolish the domestic slave trade. Representative John Quincy Adams had made such a proposal in 1839, but there were no new proposals until December 14, 1863, when a bill to support an amendment to abolish slavery throughout the entire United States was introduced by Representative James Mitchell Ashley, (Republican, Ohio).
On January 11, 1864, Senator John Henderson of Missouri submitted a join resolution for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. As the number of proposals and the extent of their scope began to grow, the Senate Judiciary Committee presented the Senate with an amendment proposal that combined the drafts.
The Senate passed the amendment on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6.