June 19, 1862 – Lincoln signs legislation prohibiting slavery in U.S. territories

President Abraham Lincoln signs legislation prohibiting slavery in the territories of the United States.

The law read simply:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

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