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1865 February 11: The 13th Amendment Making its Way Through the States

February 12, 2015

The following article on what will become the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and on peace, comes from the February 11, 1865, issue of The Polk County Press.

The Constitutional Amendment–Peace &c. 

The States of Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, New York and West Virginia have ratified the Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery in the United States.

The subject of ratification is also up before the legislature of every other State, not in rebellion, in the Union.  Wisconsin will, without doubt, ratify the amendment with but little opposition.

In Illinois the Democrats to a man voted against it, and we dare say that in the Legislature of our won State, such bright lights of Democracy as SAT. CLARK,¹ will be furious, and will in long winded speeches endeavor to defeat the object.  Happily, however, there is a large majority of loyal men in our Legislature, there being but very few Democrats of the SAT. CLARK school in that body.

Freedom and the Union is henceforth joined together, for the people WILL ratify the amendment.

The South by their late action in the peace movement have shown us that there is no peace except the Government acknowledge their independence.  This, the Government of the United States, will never do.

The people have spoken in tones of thunder from the Pine Tree State to the Golden Sands of California, that the “Union must and shall be preserved.”  The people will back “Honest Old Abe” in his firm stand to crush the rebellion by force of arms.  The war MUST go on ;  the armies MUST BE FILLED ;  the people MUST sacrifice still of their blood and treasure, for the Union MUST be the basis of the only peace “our land of liberty” will ever see.

We have, upon which to place our hopes, a gallant navy, and the best army the world ever produced.  Our trust is in the All Wise, who will guide them to victory.  Let all men take courage.  The end will be glorious !

1.  Satterlee Clark (1816-1881) was the Wisconsin state senator from Horicon from 1862-1872.

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