Yes Virginia, There Is A Ratification
After examining Dodge's evidence of multiple publications of the "missing" Amendment, Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove conceded the Amendment had been published by several states and was ratified by twelve of the seventeen states in the Union in 1810. However, because the Constitution requires that three-quarters of the states vote to ratify an Amendment. Mitchell and Hartgrove insisted that the 13th Amendment was published in error because it was passed by only twelve, not thirteen States. Dodge investigated which seventeen states were in the Union at the time the Amendment was proposed, which states had ratified, which states had rejected the amendment, and determined that the issue hung on whether one last state (Virginia) had or had not, voted to ratify.
After several years of searching the Virginia state archive, Dodge made a crucial discovery: In Spring of 1991, he found a misplaced copy of the 1819 Virginia Civil Code which included the "missing" 13th Amendment. Dodge notes that, curiously, "There is no public record that shows this book [the 1819 Virginia Civil Code] exists. It is not catalogued as a holding of the Library of Congress nor is it in the National Union Catalogue. Neither the state law library nor the law school in Portland were able to find any trace that this book exists in any of their computer programs."
(1) Dodge sent photo-copies of the 1819 Virginia Civil Code to Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove, and explained that, "Under legislative construction, it is considered prima facie evidence that what is published as the official acts of the legislature are the official acts." By publishing the Amendment as ratified in an official publication, Virginia demonstrated: 1) that they knew they were the last state whose vote was necessary to ratify this 13th Amendment; 2) that they had voted to ratify the Amendment; and 3) that they were publishing the Amendment in a special edition of their Civil Code as an official notice to the world that the Amendment had indeed been ratified.
Dodge concluded, "Unless there is competing evidence to the contrary, it must be held that the Constitution of the United States was officially amended to exclude from its body of citizens any who accepted or claimed a title of nobility or accepted any special favors. Foremost in this category of ex-citizens are bankers and lawyers."