The man, Dr. Ranjan Batra, who works at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, wondered after the movie ended what happened when each state voted to ratify the 13th Amendment.
To his surprise, he discovered that Mississippi never officially ratified it, reports The Daily Mail. A note he read on the US Constitution website said:
“Mississippi ratified the amendment in 1995, but because the state never officially notified the US Archivist, the ratification is not official.”
Dr. Batra then spoke with his colleague Ken Sullivan about the discovery. Sullivan was able to track down a copy of the resolution, which passed the Mississippi Senate and House.
State Senator Hillman Frazier, who introduced the resolution, was upset to learn the 13th Amendment was never ratified in Mississippi. The Clarion-Ledger notes that Sullivan contacted the office of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Hosemann quickly agreed to file the paperwork to make the ban on slavery official. The paperwork was filed on January 30. Hosemann received a reply from Charles A. Barth, director of the Federal Register, on February 7, saying he received the resolution. Barth added:
“With this action, the State of Mississippi has ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
Dick Molpus, who served as secretary of state when the resolution passed in 1995, was surprised to hear the error had been made. He commented, “What an amendment to have an error in filing.”
But the error has been corrected, making Mississippi the final state to ban slavery — 149 years after it was passed in Congress. Are you surprised to learn a filing error kept Mississippi from ratifying the 13th Amendment?
[Image by National Archives of the Unites States () [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]