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A Letter to the Hon. Samuel Eliot, Representative in Congress From the City of Boston

In Reply to His Apology For Voting For the Fugitive Slave Bill

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Published: 1851
Language: English
Wordcount: 20,604 / 67 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 61.4
LoC Categories: HN, HT
Downloads: 306
Added to site: 2010.02.06
mnybks.net#: 26580
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Politics
Excerpt

ee for the continuance of the African slave-trade. Nevertheless, this committee, of their own will and pleasure, inserted in their draft the following clause:--"No tax or duty shall be laid by the legislature on articles exported from any State, nor on the migration or importation of such persons as the several States shall think proper to admit, nor shall such migration or importation be prohibited." To understand the cunning wickedness of this clause, it must be recollected that Congress was to have power to regulate foreign commerce, and commerce between the States; and hence it might, at a future time, suppress both the foreign and domestic commerce in human flesh, or it might burden this commerce with duties. Hence this artfully expressed perpetual restriction on the power of Congress to interfere with the traffic in human beings. As this grand scheme was concocted in the committee, and not in the Convention, it may be interesting to inquire into its paternity.

In the debates which ensued

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