On this Date…Illinois Was the First State to Ratify the 13th Amendment

Today marks the first day of Black History Month and a celebration of the achievements and contributions of Black Americans in our nation’s history. 

On this day in 1865, our state became the first in the nation to ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.

Pictured here is a telegram from Senator Lyman Trumbull to Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby notifying him that the U.S. House had voted to send the 13th Amendment to the states for ratification. He urged the Governor to let Illinois be the first state to do so. Both the Illinois House and Senate quickly approved a joint resolution to ratify the amendment on February 1, 1865. Governor Oglesby immediately signed the resolution, making Illinois the first state in the nation to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Learn more about the document at: https://www.ilsos.gov/departments/archives/online_exhibits/100_documents/1865-trumbull-oglesby-13th-amend.html