Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0065
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Full Text of SR0065  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois, the home state of President
3Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation 150
4years ago freeing black persons held in bondage in Confederate
5territory and used all the influence of his office to ensure
6the passage through Congress of the Thirteenth Amendment to the
7United States Constitution, became the first state in the union
8to ratify that amendment on February 1, 1865; and
9    WHEREAS, The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in
10America and states that "Neither slavery nor involuntary
11servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party
12shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United
13States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."; and
14    WHEREAS, After receiving word that the United States House
15of Representatives had approved the Thirteenth Amendment,
16Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby on February 1, 1865,
17informed the State legislature of its passage and urged its
18immediate ratification on the grounds that doing so was "just"
19and "humane"; 3 1/2 hours later, the amendment stood ratified
20by both chambers; and
21    WHEREAS, The Thirteenth Amendment officially became the
22law of the land on December 18, 1865, after 27 states - 19 in



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1the north and west, and 8 in the south - had ratified it; and
2    WHEREAS, Each February, the nation observes Black History
3Month, a time of teaching and learning about the black men and
4women who are an integral part of our nation's narrative and
5have made outstanding contributions to national life and the
6ongoing struggle for freedom, justice, and equality; and
7    WHEREAS, The addition of the Thirteenth Amendment to the
8United States Constitution marked a turning point in the
9history of American race relations; despite being by no means
10the end of discrimination, injustice, and oppression, it
11represented the beginning of a road that has stretched from Jim
12Crow laws to Brown v. Board of Education to the Selma Civil
13Rights March to the nation's first black president and beyond;
14therefore, be it
16ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we designate the month
17of February in 2013 as Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Month
18in the State of Illinois to recognize the importance of the
19Illinois General Assembly's proud vote for abolition in 1865 -
20the first in the nation - and this document's vital place in
21the annals of black and American history; and be it further
22    RESOLVED, That we encourage schools, civic organizations,



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1and other institutions in the State of Illinois, as they
2observe Black History Month, to study the passage and
3ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the leaders who
4brought the State and nation to this historic moment, and the
5effects of ratification on Illinoisans and Americans of all