Tuesday, February 19, 2013


February 19, 2013


Jackson, Mississippi (JFK+50) Our last post on the movie LINCOLN was critical of a mistake made in the film's version of the vote by Connecticut senators on the 13th amendment, but today we compliment LINCOLN's influence on a much needed move to correct an oversight in Mississippi's approval of the amendment. 

This information comes from a story published by the Clarion Ledger on February 17, 2013 titled "Historic oversight corrected:  Film LINCOLN inspires look into slavery vote."

According to the Ledger, when Georgia ratified the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery meeting the necessary 3/4 required for ratification, there were 4 states remaining which rejected it.

In the aftermath of the 13th Amendment's adoption, however, New Jersey ratified in 1866, Delaware in 1901, Kentucky in 1976 & Mississippi in 1995.

But here's where the movie LINCOLN comes in.

After watching the film, Dr. Ranjan Batra*, a University of Mississippi Medical Center professor, did some research & could not find a verification that the state of Mississippi had ever officially adopted the 13th Amendment.

                           Dr. Ranjan Batra
                              UMMC Image

*Ranjan Batra, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology & Anatonical Sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, received his BS degree in Biophysics at the University of Guelph, Ontario in 1976 & his PhD at Syracuse University in 1983.  

Dr. Batra is currently doing research on how the frequency of sound is analyzed by the brain.

Dr. Batra discussed the matter with Ken Sullivan** who verified with the United States Archives that state officials had never sent notification of Mississippi's approval of the 13th Amendment.

On the National Archives website there is an asterisk beside Mississippi which indicated to Mr. Sullivan that Dr. Batra's concerns were valid.

**Ken Sullivan, a friend of Dr. Batra, also works at the UMMC in Jackson.
Mr. Sullivan was interviewed by Roland Martin on his role in this matter.

Mr. Sullivan says that he was 'stunned' by this information & that while it was not legally necessary for any more states beyond the required 3/4 to approve, he believes it is important for Mississippi to finally officially approve the 13th amendment because it was a 'dark spot' in our history.

You can access the interview using the following link: 

Ken Sullivan Interview

In 1995, a resolution to approve the 13th Amendment, which had been introduced by Senator Hillman Frazier, was approved by the state legislature, but for whatever reason the approval never got to the National Archives.

Mr. Sullivan then arranged for Mississippi's Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, to complete & send to the Archives the  necessary paperwork.

So, Mississippi officially approved the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution on February 7, 2013.