/ Modified jan 17, 2013 5:16 p.m.

American Experience: The Abolitionists

Part three of the series examine the forces leading to war and to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Tuesday at 9 p.m. on PBS 6.

The Abolitionists: Part Three: 1854-Emancipation and Victory

abolitionists_fire_spot (PHOTO: PBS)

The battle between pro-slavery and free-soil contingents rises to fever pitch. During his raid on Harpers Ferry, John Brown is captured, then executed, becoming a martyr for the cause. Abraham Lincoln is elected president in 1860. Southern states secede, war breaks out and the conflict unexpectedly drags on. On New Year’s Day 1863, it is announced that Lincoln has emancipated the slaves in rebel territory. African-American men may now enlist in the Union forces; two of Douglass’ sons go to war. In December 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, banning slavery in all states — forever.

American Experience: The Abolitionists, Tuesday at 8 p.m. on PBS 6.

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