5 amazing pieces of abolitionist memorabilia



2015-06-26 14:05:44

Check out these 5 pieces of abolitionist memorabilia

The 13th amendment to the US constitution passed into law 150 years ago on February 1, 1865. To celebrate we take a look at 5 amazing artefacts that tell the story of its journey from bill to legislation.

5. 1862 Act to Secure Freedom

Abraham Lincoln and his vice president Hannibal Hamlin signed this piece of legislation from 1862, titled An Act to secure Freedom to all persons within the Territories of the United States.
The lot was a stepping stone in the passing of the 13th amendment.

This copy of the act was printed as a souvenir and sold for $37,600 at Christie's New York in 2001.

4. 13th amendment proposal

Image: Skinner

This 1864 proposition for the 13th amendment features signatures from various representatives (including Hamblin) and sold for $190,000 at Skinner in 2011.

3. Mason Dixon line

Image: Christie's

The Mason Dixie line was the metaphorical line separating the free North from the slave owning South.

This original survey map represents its first iteration. Titled: A Plan of the West Line or Parallel of Latitude which is the Boundary between the Provinces of Maryland and Pensylvania, it was drawn up by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1797 and 1768.

It sold for $556,000 at Christie's New York in 2002.

2. Emancipation proclamation

Image: Christie's

This authorised edition of Lincoln's 1864 emancipation proclamation sold for $669,500 at Christie's New York in 2002.

It contains the immortal lines: "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."

While it failed to immediately stop slavery in the US, it was a step in the right direction.

1. The 13th ammendment 

Image: Christie's

This Lincoln signed copy of the 13th amendment sold for $721,000 at Christie's in 2002.

The document finally enshrined the abolition of slavery into law with the words: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist in the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction".

Two months later Lincoln was shot dead.

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