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American character, to have such a feature in the Constitution." Col. Mason, from Virginia, remarked that "not to tax, would be equivalent to a bounty on the importation of slaves." And on a motion to subject them to a "duty," in the common language used concerning merchandise, Mr. Madison "thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men." And when the proposal came up, of 1808, as the year before which Congress should not prohibit the foreign slave-trade, he remarked, Twenty years will produce all the mischief that can be apprehended from the liberty to import slaves. So long a term will be more dishonorable to the American character than to say nothing about it in the Constitution.” And in support of the principle that the Government should have the power to tax the importation of slaves, and even prohibit it altogether, Col. Mason remarked, "This infernal traffic originated in the avarice of British merchants. The British government constantly checked the attempts of Virginia to put a stop to it. The present question concerns not the importing States alone, but the whole Union. The evil of having slaves was experienced during the late war. Had slaves been treated as they might have been by the enemy, they would have proved dangerous instruments in their hands. But their folly dealt by the slaves as it did by the tories. He mentioned the dangerous insurrections of the slaves in Greece and Sicily; and the instructions given by Cromwell to the Commissioners sent to Virginia, to arm the servants and slaves, in case other means of obtaining its submission should fail. Maryland and Virginia had already prohibited the importation of slaves expressly. North Carolina had done the same in substance." The law of North Carolina "imposed a duty of five pounds on each slave imported from Africa; ten pounds on each from elsewhere; and fifty pounds on each from a State licensing manumission."-Mr. Williamson. It is obvious to notice here the early appearance of a watchful jealousy of the spirit of emancipation, and efforts to discourage it.] All this would be in vain, if South Carolina and Georgía be at liberty to import. The Western people are already calling

What was Col. Mason's remark? Mr. Madison's, and the occasion of it? And what on the proposal of 1808?

Where did Col. Mason say the slave-trade originated? What did he call it? Whom did he say the question concerned?

What evil was felt during the war? What in Greece and 'Sicily? Cromwell's instructions?

What was the law of North Carolina?

What can we notice here?

Give his farther remarks.

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out for slaves for their new lands, and will fill that country with slaves, if they can be got through South Carolina and Georgia. Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves. They prevent the emigration of whites, who really enrich and strengthen a country. They produce the most pernicious effect on manners. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities," etc. But to all arguments there was opposed the determination of the three Southern States. And it is remarkable that on all occasions where slavery was brought into view, they showed more determination and less argument than on almost any thing else. Mr. Rutledge was not apprehensive of insurrections, and would readily exempt the other States from obligation to protect the Southern against them. Religion and humanity had nothing to do with this question. Interest alone is the governing principle with nations. The true question at present is, whether the Southern States. shall or shall not be parties to the Union. If the Northern States consult their interest, they will not oppose the increase of slaves, which will increase the commodities of which they will become the carriers." Mr. Pinckney said, "South Carolina can never receive the plan if it prohibits the slave-trade. In every proposed extension of the powers of Congress, that State has expressly and watchfully excepted that of meddling with the importation of negroes. **** If slavery be wrong, it is justified by the example of all the world. He cited the case of Greece, Rome, and other ancient States; the sanction given by France, England, Holland, and other modern States. In all ages one half of mankind have been slaves." General Pinckney "declared it to be his firm opinion that if himself and all his colleagues were to sign the Constitution and use their personal influence, it would be of no avail towards obtaining the assent of their constituents." [i. e. if it allowed Congress to prohibit the slave-trade.] "South Carolina and

With what did the three Southern States meet these arguments? What did they show more and less of, when slavery was brought to view?

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Mr. Rutledge's remark? What of religion and humanity? Of interest? What did he call the true question? "If the Northern States"-what?

Mr. Pinckney's remark? What examples did he cite?

Gen. Pinckney's remarks?

Georgia cannot do without slaves. ** * He contended that the importation of slaves would be for the interest of the whole Union. The more slaves, the more produce to employ the carrying trade; the more consumption also; and the more of this, the more revenue for the common treasury. He admitted it to be reasonable that slaves should be dutied like other imports; but should consider a rejection of the clause " [forbidding Congress to meddle with the subject,] "as an exclusion of South Carolina from the Union." Mr. Baldwin "had conceived national objects alone to be before the Convention; not such as, like the present, were of a local nature. Georgia was decided on this point. That State has always hitherto supposed a General Government to be the pursuit of the central States, who wished to have a vortex for every thing; that her distance would preclude her from equal advantage; and that she could not prudently purchase it," [a General Government,] "by yielding national powers. From this it might be understood in what light she would view an attempt to abridge one of her favorite prerogatives." Mr. Rutledge added, "If the Convention thinks that North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, will ever agree to the plan, unless their right to import slaves be untouched, their expectation is vain. The people of those States will never be such fools as to give up so important an interest." Many members from the North would have left the matter entirely with the States where slavery existed, because it was a privilege which, as sovereign powers, they had heretofore enjoyed; and they would take them as they were, if they took them at all, rather than risk the whole experiment by trying to make them what they ought to be. But on the other hand, some were as strenuous that Congress should have some power over the subject as the Southern States were that the power should be left in their own hands. The result was that the first clause, as it now stands, was adopted, after an unsuccessful attempt to fix on the year 1800. Mr. G. Morris wished the clause might read, "the importation of slaves into North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, shall not be prohibited," etc. This he thought would be most fair, as it was just what was meant. "He wished it to be known also

What did he contend? How did he attempt to prove it? What did he admit?

Mr. Baldwin's remarks? Mr. Rutledge's remarks?

What division among Northern members?

What other year was attempted to be fixed on than 1808?

What motion did Mr. G. Morris make? What were his reasons? Would not that have been fair and proper?

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

that this part of the Constitution was a compliance with those States." There appeared to be a dislike to such plain terms, however, and a fear that members and people from those States might not like the change of language. Indeed it is probable that those most earnest for the restrictions of the clause would have been rather ashamed to see their own names or those of their States recorded in such connection. Mr. Morris saved them the trouble of voting against his motion by withdrawing it.

"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,” etc. This is a writ known in English law, by which the body of a person is obtained, that he may be delivered from false imprisonment, or any illegal detention, or from one court to another. It is considered one of the greatest safeguards of liberty. In England it is issued by any of the four courts of Westminster Hall in term time, or by the Lord Chancellor, or one of the Judges in the vacation. In the United States it is issued by the Judges of the United States Courts. It is directed, to the person in whose custody the prisoner is, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner, with the day and cause of his imprisonment; and if it appear that his detention is illegal, he is set at liberty.

No objection against this clause could be in the minds of the Convention; but as it was possible that in the cases specified a bad use might be made of this writ, a small latitude of discretion was allowed to Congress, with the right to judge when the exigency has arisen in which it may be used.

What objection was made? What is probable?

How did Mr. Morris save them the trouble of voting against his motion? What is it con

What is the object of the writ of habeas corpus? sidered? By whom is it issued in England? In the United States? To whom is it directed? What does it command?

What if it appear that his detention is illegal? Or that the Court to try him is interested or partial?

What exceptions to this clause?

Who shall judge when the exigency has arisen which requires the suspension of this privilege?

No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law shall be passed.

No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

"No bill of attainder," etc. Bills of attainder are special acts of the legislature, inflicting capital punishment without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. They are an assumption of the Judicial by the Legislative power. The attainder is an effect of the judgment or sentence, and appears in this, that the person so sentenced, or attainted, can no longer inherit lands from his ancestors, or transmit to his posterity those of which he has possession. Attainder is a corruption of blood, and of course divests the person attainted of hereditary honors. It also extends sometimes to posterity. The occasions of it are conviction of treason or felony. The lands of a person attainted revert to the crown. Hence a perpetual temptation in despotic governments, to effect the attainder of rich nobles, in order to secure their estates to the crown.

In other governments, bills of attainder have not been, and perhaps still are not, unfrequent. No doubt exists of the propriety of forbidding them in our Constitution.

Ex post facto laws are such as pronounce an action punishable, or at least illegal, which was not against any law when committed. Laws which mitigate the punishment of a crime, after it is committed, are not ex post facto, in the objectionable sense, because, though they are retrospective, and retroactive, they are in favor of the citizen. Some thought the prohibition unnecessary, as there was no lawyer or civilian but would pronounce them void of themselves. Others thought it should be confined to criminal cases, saying that no Legislature ever did or could entirely avoid them in civil cases. Mr. Hamilton's plan contained this prohibition.

"No capitation or other direct tax,” etc. This clause is

What are bills of attainder? What assumption are they?

What is attainder? In what does it appear?

What farther definition? What are the occasions of it?

What temptation in despotic governments?

What remark of other governments?

What are ex post facto laws?

What laws are not ex post facto, and why?

What are capitation and direct taxes?

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