James Wilson Grimes, 20 Oct 1816 - 7 Feb 1872 Search this
James Rood Doolittle, 3 Jan 1815 - 23 Jul 1897 Search this
Albumen silver print
Image/Sheet: 20.6 x 17.9cm (8 1/8 x 7 1/16")
Mount: 43.7 x 34.7cm (17 3/16 x 13 11/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, he realized that his executive decree was vulnerable to constitutional challenge in the courts. Moreover, in practical terms, his historic proclamation was only enforceable by the continual presence of federal troops throughout the South. A constitutional amendment outlawing slavery was needed. In his reelection bid of 1864, Lincoln risked his political survival and his place in history for this cause. "Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish," he vowed, "I give my heart and hand to this measure."
On January 31, 1865, just two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment, banning slavery. This composite picture depicts the members of Lincoln's administration and members of Congress who supported the amendment.