Corwin Amendment

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Corwin Amendment  (1861) 
Proposed March 2, 1861 (pending)

An amendment to the United States Constitution proposed by Congress on March 2, 1861, as House Resolution No. 80. Originally suggested by President James Buchanan, it was drafted by a committee chaired by Representative Thomas Corwin of Ohio. Its purpose was to persuade states that permitted slavery that the federal government would not interfere with slavery in places where it already existed. Legislatures in two states, Ohio and Maryland, ratified the amendment, while the legality of ratification by a state constitutional convention in Illinois was disputed.

The Corwin Amendment as it was approved by the House of Representatives, February 28, 1861, and the Senate, March 2, 1861.

 March 2, 1861. 

[No. 13.]Joint Resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, Proposed amendment to the Constitution.
That the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, viz.:

‘‘Article Thirteen.

‘‘No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.’’

Approved, March 2, 1861.