Original Author: Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and La Fayette S. Foster, President of the Senate pro tempore
Created: June 16, 1866
Medium: Handwritten manuscript page
This is a detail of "Article XIV" of the U.S. Constitution that passed both houses of the U.S. Congress in June 1866. The article was adopted as the Fourteenth Amendment on July 9, 1868, after three-quarters of the state legislatures ratified it. Section one of the amendment, shown here, defines American citizens as "all persons born or naturalized in the United States." The section further declares, "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens" and every citizen should be afforded "the equal protection of the laws." The Virginia General Assembly initially refused to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, but eventually relented when ratification became a condition of regaining representation in Congress. Virginia ratified the amendment on October 8, 1869.