Ghost Amendment: Letter to Congress

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To my Senators and Representative in Congress:

In 1861, just before the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as president, Congress made a half-hearted gesture to keep the slave states in the union by adopting House Resolution No. 80, which sent to the states for ratification a proposed constitutional amendment (the "Corwin amendment") which would have forbidden federal interference with slavery. Two states, Maryland and Ohio, actually ratified the amendment.

Although the Civil War made the Corwin amendment a virtual dead letter, neither the enabling resolution nor the text of the proposed amendment itself set a deadline for ratification. Technically, therefore, this pro-slavery amendment is still open for states to ratify.

I believe that it would be an important symbolic gesture for Congress to rescind H.R. No. 80 of 1861 and exorcise from our constitutional house this "ghost amendment" that represents the horror and injustice of slavery. Please support legislation to bring this about.

For more information about the history of H.R. No. 80, please visit the following link:


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