Thirteenth (13) Amendment

By Dallas Williams

What the amendment says

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

court case dealing with the 13 amendment

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Homer Plessy, a 7/8 white and 1/8 black man with a white appearance, refused to give up the first class paid for seat in the white only section and refused to give up his seat, causing him to be arrested and imprisoned. He then filed a petition against the judge in that trial, Hon. John H. Ferguson, at the Louisiana Supreme Court, arguing that Segregation Law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which forbids states from denying " to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the law," as well as the thirteenth amendment, which banned slavery. The court held that the Thirteenth Amendment applied only imposition of slavery itself. Eventually taken over by the U.S. Supreme Court, the outcome was 7-1 against him one Justice did not participate).


George Wilson was a very wealthy man of the Caucasian race. He lived in a mansion which had many many maids and servants. Those hired never left the house until the died and were then buried. The family of one servant there since the beginning took him to court claiming he didn't follow the thirteenth amendment, as they stated they were enslaved and they have the right to freedom. In court, it was established that this was voluntary servitude as they applied for the job, but without pay, it was considered to be slavery and imprisonment for no wrong doing. They had no people to plea for his innocence, while the extended family of those servants (slaves) had plenty of people to say that they have haven't seen their family member since they were granted this job. All servants were black or Mexican. The State of Louisiana gave him the Death Penalty for the imprisonment of over 40 people, violating their right to the 13th amendment.


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  2. "On This Day: House Passes 13th Amendment Abolishing Slavery." N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <>.
  3. "Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <>.
  4. "On the Plantations: The Abolition of Slavery Project." On the Plantations: The Abolition of Slavery Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014. <>.
  5. "The Big Plantation." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014. <*static*flickr*com%257C3224%257C2458636463_a7b9840cd6_m*jpg%2F>.