Institutionalization of Racism in the Founding of the United States of America

Declaration of Independence 1776   http://memory.loc.gov/const/declar.html

 

The deleted clause http://www.heritage.org/research/features/almanac/pdf/slavery.pdf  

 

US Constitution  1787  Three Clauses dealing with Race

There were three clauses that institutionalized the subordinate status for African descendants in the original writing of the US Constitution.  Please note and reflect upon the meaning of the sections of the Constitution in red.

 

1. The Three/Fifths Clause

Article 1 Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

 

2. Continuation of the International Slave Trade

Article 1 Section 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

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.

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 tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

 

3. Declaration on Fugitive Slaves

Article 4 Section 2. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.

A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.

No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: White and Negro Population in the Colonies 1750 estimated

 

Colonies

White

Negro

 

New Hampshire

  20,955

     550

Massachusetts

183,925

   4,073

Rhode Island

  29,879

   3,010

Connecticut

108,270

   3,010

New York

  65,682

 11,014

New Jersey

  66,038

   5,354

Pennsylvania

116,794

   2,872

Delaware

  27,208

   1,496

Maryland

  97,623

  43,450

Virginia

129,581

101,452

North Carolina

  53,184

  19,800

South Carolina

  25,000

   39,000

Georgia

    4,200

     1,000

 

 

 

Source: US Department of Commerce.  Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, Part 2  Bureau of the Census  Washington, DC 1975

 

 

 

Table 2: Black Population, Census of 1790

 

State

Slaves

Free

Maine

 

     536

New Hampshire

     157

     630

Vermont

 

     269

Massachusetts

 

  5,369

Rhode Island

     958

  3,484

Connecticut

   2,648

  2,771

New York

 21,193

  4,682

New Jersey

 11,423

  2,762

Pennsylvania

    3,707

  6,531

Delaware

    8,887

  3,899

Maryland

103,036

  8,043

Virginia

292, 627

12,866

North Carolina

100,783

  5.041

South Carolina

107,094

  1,801

Georgia

  29,264

     398

Kentucky

  12,430

     114

Tennessee

    3,417

     361

Source; Negro Population in the Unites States 1790-1915 Arno Press and the New York Times (New York, 1965)

Table 3: Average Prices of Prime Field Hands (young slave and unskilled)

 

1800

1808

1813

1818

1828

1837

1843

1848

1853

1856

1860

Washington, Richmond and Norfolk, Va

$550

$500

$400

$700

 

$900

 

 

$1250

$1300

 

Charleston, SC

500

550

450

450

450

1200

500

700

900

 

1200

Louisville, Ky

400

 

550

800

500

1200

 

 

 

1000

1400

Middle Georgia

450

650

450

1000

700

1300

600

900

1200

 

1800

Montgomery, Ala

 

 

 

800

600

1200

650

800

 

 

1600

New Orleans, La

500

600

 

1000

700

1300

800

900

1250

1600

1800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  Phillips.  The Slave Economy of the Old South: Selected Essays in Economy and Social History Ed. Eugene Genovese Louisville State University Press Baton Rouge, 1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes on the State of Virginia  Thomas Jefferson (An Excerpt)

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3h490.html

 

 

….“Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites, ten thousands of recollections by the blacks of the injuries they have sustained, new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.  To these objections which are political, may be added others which are physical and moral.  The first difference which strikes us is that of color.  Whether the black of the negro resides in the reticular membrane between the skin and scarf skin or in the scarf skin itself, whether it proceeds from the color of the blood, the color of the bile, or from that of some other secretion, the difference is fixed n nature, and is as real ad if its seat and cause were better known to us.  And is this difference of no importance?  Is it not the foundation of a greater or less share of beauty in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of color in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances, that immovable veil of black which covers the emotions of the other race?  Add to these, flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their judgment in favor of the whites, declared by their preference of them as uniformly as is the preference of the Oranootan for the black woman over those of his own species”…..