Corwin Amendment: Passed by Congress
The Corwin Amendment was passed by Congress and, as required by the Constitution, submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. The Representatives and Senators from the 7 slave-states that had already declared their secession from the Union and vacated their seats in Congress and therefore did not vote on the Corwin proposal.
Corwin Amendment: Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address was delivered March 4, 1861 and included reference to the Corbin Amendment stating that:
"... I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."
A few weeks before the outbreak of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln then sent a letter, acting through his secretary of state William Seward, to the governor of each state, conveying the proposed amendment, and noting that President James Buchanan had approved it. It was clear that Abraham Lincoln was satisfied with the Corwin Amendment and the idea of guaranteeing the right of slavery in states where it existed, although insisting that the federal government could "entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery." In Lincoln's speech at New Haven, Connecticut on March 6, 1860 he also said
We think slavery a great moral wrong, and while we do not claim the right to touch it where it exists,
we wish to treat it as a wrong in the territories, where our votes will reach it."
Possible Effects of the Corwin Amendment: The 13th Amendment
The outbreak of the Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 10, 1865) prevented the Corwin Amendment from being ratified by the required number of states and to this day it remains dormant. Had the Corwin Amendment been ratified it would have become the 13th Amendment, protecting slavery instead of abolishing slavery. It is also interesting to note that the wording of the Corwin Amendment might also have prevented the adoption of the 14th Amendment that dealt with Citizenship Rights and also some of the voting rights amendments to the Constitution. Also refer to the Causes of the Civil War
Corwin Amendment - President James Buchanan Video
The article on the Corwin proposal provides an overview of one of the major issues of his presidential term in office. The following James Buchanan video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 15th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861.