By Nathaniel Weyl

Publication by way of Nathaniel Weyl, William Marina

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Yet, all in all, the authors of the Constitution had proceeded, by means of masterly compromises, to forge a viable nation from a matrix of states divided against one another by many issues, but by that of slavery more than any other. ''Although this constitutional doctrine would he made explicit by the Tenth Amendnwnt. it would be systematically \·iolated and destroyed through subsequent legislati,·e aggrandizement and judicial construction_ "'Farrand, Rf'curds, III, 254---55. CHAPTER FOUR ''"'''"'''"'''"''''''''"'''"'''"'''"'''"'' ~~~ Alexander Hamilton and John Adams Suppose Congress should at one vote, or by one act, declare all the negroes in the United States free, in imitation of that great authority, the French sovereign legislature, what would follow?

He had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the South Carolina legislature to allow him to raise a force of three thousand Negroes with which he proposed to drive the British out of Georgia and conquer eastern Florida. He was on good terms with Washington largely because his son, Colonel John Laurens, was an intimate friend of Alexander Hamilton. Washington wrote him on March 20, 1779: The policy of our arming slaves is in my opinion a moot point, unless the enemy set the example. For, should we begin to form battalions of them, I have not the smallest doubt, if the war is to , be prosecuted, of their (the British) following us in it, and justifying the measure upon our own ground.

3 The compromise plan was objectionable because it would stimulate the African slave trade by increasing the political power of those Southern States which continued to import Negroes. Gouverneur Morris was opposed both to slavery and to the creation of a democracy in which political power was based on mere numbers. As Madison reported his remarks, Morris could not persuade himself that numbers would be a just rule at any time. The remarks of (Mr. Mason) relative to the Western Country had not changed his opinion on that head.

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