Wilmot Proviso Law and Legal Definition
The Wilmot Proviso refers to a proposal to prohibit slavery in the territory acquired by the U.S. at the conclusion of the Mexican War. It was amendment to a funding bill that was created by President James K. Polk and was made to establish and fund peace negotiations with Mexico for a Treaty to end the War. In 1846, David Wilmot a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, proposed the proviso to an appropriations bill to pay Mexico for land that the United States had seized as a result of the Mexican War. The proviso itself said that any acquired land from Mexico must be free from slavery or involuntary servitude.