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Slavery and the Making of AmericaDramatic re-enactment of slaves being transported on a boat
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

Time and Place return to introduction
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Welcome a New Era
1865
The thirteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishes slavery throughout the country.

1865
At the recommendation of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate Congress signs and passes the "Negro Soldier Bill," allowing slave enlistment.

1865
Joseph Johnston surrenders to Union forces

1865
General Lee surrenders to Union General Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

1865
The newly re-elected Lincoln is assassinated. Andrew Johnson, a Southern Democrat, becomes president. Johnson's Reconstruction plan offers amnesty to those promising future loyalty and requires that leading Confederate officials submit for individual Presidential pardons. States must also ratify the thirteenth amendment.

1865
Tennessee abolishes slavery.

1865
Mississippi enacts a "Black Code."

1865
Congress refuses to acknowledge state governments formed under Johnson's reconstruction plan.

1865
Congress establishes the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (The Freedmen's Bureau) to assist former slaves in the transition to freedom.

1866
Virginia legally recognizes marriages between African Americans and grants children of those marriages legitimacy and inheritance rights.

1866
The Republican majority Congress passes a Civil Rights Bill to protect the rights of blacks. After repeated presidential vetoes, Congress overrides Johnson to enact the bill

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