How does evidence of a “missing” amendment influence your view of U.S. History?
Would it surprise you if you found out your government was keeping secrets from you? What if the same government promised you constitutional rights, before mysteriously eliminating them from the most important document in U.S. history?
We all have friends and family that thoroughly distrust all forms of government. Some who are reading this piece might be convinced that terrorism and assassinations have been carefully orchestrated by domestic and foreign governments. Such provocative accusations must be backed with solid evidence in order to be taken seriously. Those who claim that the U.S. intentionally and actively keep secrets are willing to present the case of the “missing” 13th amendment. Does this historical mess-up serve as an example that the U.S. government is engaged in concerted, long-term deception of American citizens?
The truth is that the are two different iterations and ratifications of the 13th amendment; both of which have absolutely nothing in common except for their numbered title.
The original 13th amendment (passed by Congress May 1st 1810 and then ratified on December 9th 1812) states:
“If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the united States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”
This amendment is explicit in barring any U.S. citizen from occupying any government positions, including court judges, if they to hold titles which give them preferred status in society. America was and is a land that was created with the idea of everybody being equal. After Great Britain realized that thwarting the U.S. via military muscle was not going to work, they turned to infiltrating the relatively new American social order. Nobles and judges who aligned with international associations could then have influence over American operations if they could be granted power based on their title alone. This amendment was a direct result of that concern. Some claim that this original amendment bars ALL judges from serving in public office.
The current 13th amendment, ratified in December of 1865, abolished slavery and indentured servitude (except when used as a criminal punishment). The phantom 13th amendment can be found in state and federal constitutions and documents up until 1868.
There are disputes about whether the ratification on the original 13th amendment is valid. The amendment was introduced and ratified by 12 states before the war of 1812. After the war, most states moved onto addressing important recovery issues, while Virginia became the 13th state to ratify the 13th amendment in 1819. Some argue the ratification was too late to be of any significance and that the addition of Louisiana as a state required the ratification of a 14 states, instead of 13.