Rare Copy Of 13th Amendment Coming To Freedom Center

Nov 3, 2015

The Freedom Center will display a Schuyler Colfax copy of the 13th Amendment.
Credit Provided / National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

A rare, handwritten copy of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is coming to Cincinnati. The copy is known as the Schuyler Colfax copy, and is one of 14 signed by President Lincoln in addition to the original.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center says document will go on display in January.

The 13th Amendment was passed on January 31, 1865, and abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime.

The document will be part of the museum's current exhibit on the Emancipation Proclamation, which also includes a rare copy of that document. Both are on loan from David Rubenstein, managing director of The Carlyle Group, a multinational private equity alternative asset management and financial services company.

According to the Freedom Center, Rubenstein personally selected the museum to display the documents.

In a statement, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center President Clarence Newsome says, "The arrival of the 13th Amendment at the National Underground Railroad is powerful in the telling the America’s journey to freedom."

"From the arrival of the first slave ships to the history Underground Railroad to the ratification Thirteenth Amendment, our nation’s story is one that is not easy to tell but must be told. It’s ever important that we continue to educate the public about this time, as the effects of institutionalized slavery and racism continue to plague us in modern forms---inequality, injustice, generational poverty and global lack of access to healthcare—proving the inherent need for current and future generations to learn important lessons from our relatively recent past."

The 13th Amendment will be on display January through June.