Slavery and the U.S. Constitution
- Paul Finkelman
The word slavery does not appear in the U.S. Constitution until the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished the institution throughout the nation. However, throughout the main body of the document, slaves are referred to as “other persons,” “such persons,” or in the singular as a “person held to Service or Labour.”
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895.