Enforcement of 13th

The Constitution set up a national government of limited powers, which the Bill of Rights further constrained. The 13th Amendment was the first major attempt to expand these powers since the nation’s founding. It specifically granted Congress the authority to enforce the amendment’s purpose of abolishing slavery—serving as a model that future amendments would follow.

Dec 13, 1863
Wilson proposes abolition amendment in the House

Slavery, being incompatible with a free government, is forever prohibited in the United States; and involuntary servitude shall be permitted only as a punishment for crime. Congress shall have power to enforce the foregoing section of this article by appropriate legislation.

Jan 31, 1865
The 13th Amendment

Section One: 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. Section Two: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.