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Md. Senate rescinds 1862 vote for slavery

Maryland's Senate unanimously voted Wednesday to rescind support for a constitutional amendment it approved in 1862 to protect the institution of slavery.

Amid the Civil War, Maryland was one of the few states to ratify the Corwin Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which historians considered a last-ditch effort to save the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln. 

The amendment never collected enough support to pass, and has long since become a footnote in history.

Maryland lawmakers did vote in 1864 to abolish slavery in the state, and approved what eventually became the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery in the country.

But some lawmakers wanted to erase what they considered a blot on Maryland's history and formally rescind support for slavery.  

The Corwin amendment, named after its sponsor at the time, Rep. Thomas Corwin of Ohio, read "No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

The measure now goes to the House of Delegates. 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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