May 20, 2022

Abolition Today

You Can Never Again Say That You Did Not Know

Full list of US states and territories with slavery exception clauses

States with exceptions:

1 Alabama: That no form of slavery shall exist in this state; and there shall not be any involuntary servitude, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted. Alabama Constitution, Section 32

2 Arkansas: There shall be no slavery in this State, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. No standing army shall be kept in time of peace; the military shall, at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power; and no soldier shall be quartered in any house, or on any premises, without the consent of the owner, in time of peace; nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law. Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, Section 25.

3 California: Slavery is prohibited. Involuntary servitude is prohibited, except to punish crime. Article I, Section 6.

4 Colorado: There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude. Colorado Constitution Article 2, Section 26 (AMENDED TO REMOVE SLAVERY LANGUAGE IN 2018)

5 Georgia: There shall be no involuntary servitude within the State of Georgia except as a punishment for crime after legal conviction thereof or for contempt of court. Article I, Section 1 Paragraph XXII.

6 Indiana: There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, within the State, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Article 1, Section 37

7 Iowa: There shall be no slavery in this State; nor shall there be involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime. Article I, Section 23

8 Kansas: There shall be no slavery in this state; and no involuntary servitude, except for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

9 Kentucky: Slavery and involuntary servitude in this state are forbidden, except as a punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Article I, Section 25

10 Louisiana: No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. No law shall discriminate against a person because of race or religious ideas, beliefs, or affiliations. No law shall arbitrarily, capriciously, or unreasonably discriminate against a person because of birth, age, sex, culture, physical condition, or political ideas or affiliations. Slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited, except in the latter case as punishment for crime. Article I, Section 3.

11 Maryland: An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” by a vote of 34 to 21 on March 1, 1870

12 Michigan: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State. Article I, Section 9.

13 Minnesota: No member of this state shall be disfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgement of his peers. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the state, otherwise than as punishment for a crime of which the party has been convicted. Article I, Section 2

14 Mississippi: There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Article 3, Section 15

15 Missouri Emancipation Ordinance of Missouri

An ordinance abolishing slavery in Missouri 1/11/1865

SEC. 2. That Slavery, or involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, shall cease to exist in Missouri on the 4th of July. 1870 and all slaves within the State on that day are hereby declared to be free. Provided, however, that all persons emancipated by this ordinance shall remain under the control and be subject to their late owners, or their legal representatives, as servants during the following period to wit: Those over ??? years of age, for and during their lives; those under 12, until they arrive at the age of 23; and those of all other ages, until the Fourth of July, 1876. The persons, or their legal representatives, who, up to the moment of emancipation, were owners of slaves thereby freed, shall, during the period for which the services of such freedmen are reserved to them, have the same authority and control over the said freedmen for the purpose of receiving the possessions and services of the same that are now held by the master in respect of his slaves: provided, however, that after the said 4th of July, 1870, no person so held to service shall be sold to non-residents, or removed from the State by authority of his late owner, or his legal representative.

16 Nebraska: There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Article I, Section 2 (there is a 2020 amendment intended to remove the exception (AMENDED TO REMOVE SLAVERY LANGUAGE IN 2020)

17 Nevada: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State. Article 1, Section 17.

18 North Carolina: Slavery is forever prohibited. Involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the parties have been adjudged guilty, is forever prohibited.

19 North Dakota: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State. Article 1, Section 17

20 Ohio: There shall be no slavery in this state; nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime. Article I, Section 6.

21 Oregon: There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the State, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted. Article 1, Section 34

22 Tennessee: That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are forever prohibited in this state. Article 1, Section 33

The General Assembly shall make no law recognizing the right of property in man. Article 1, Section 34

23 Utah: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within this State. Article I, Section 21 (there is a 2020 amendment to remove the exception (AMENDED TO REMOVE SLAVERY LANGUAGE IN 2020)

24 Vermont: That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety; therefore no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, unless he is bound by his own consent, after he arrives to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like. Chapter I, Article 1st

25 Wisconsin: There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted.

26 Washington, DC: 1862 An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons held to service or labor within the District of Columbia by reason of African descent are hereby discharged and freed of and from all claim to such service or labor; and from and after the passage of this act neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for crime, whereof the party shall be duly convicted, shall hereafter exist in said District.

27: Puerto Rico: No existirá la esclavitud, ni forma alguna de servidumbre involuntaria salvo la que pueda imponerse por causa de delito, previa sentencia condenatoria.

Data compiled by Max Parthas 2020
for The Abolish Slavery National Network and the Paul Cuffee Abolitionist Center

Abolish Slavery National Network
AbolishSlavery.us
Abolitiontoday.org

 

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