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The Jeffersonian Proviso

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'üTo tke Editor of the Cincinnati Gazetle : Gentlemen : - I desire to cali the attention of your readers to a rernarkable fact which has not been noticed, so far as I have observed. in any of the discussions, which have irisen in reipect to the limite iou of Slavery. It is this : The proposition of Mr. Jefferson, in 1784 was notthat slavery should be excluded froni the Territory North West of the Ohio ibut that Slavery should be excluded from all territory ceded, or to be ceded by individual State to the United States, wherever situated. On the lst March, 1784, a comraittee, at the liead of which was Mr. Jefferson, submitted a plan for the Government of - not the North Western - but the Western Territory. This Territory was described as laying between the thirtyjirst degree - then the extreme Southern boundary of the United States, and the Northern boundary, not then exactly defined, but Norlh of the forty seventh degree. It was proposed to divide the territory into seventeen States, the first eight laying between the Mississippi and a line drawn due north from the thirty first parallel to the northern boundary of tha United States, through the fall of the Ohio ; the next eight lying between this line and a similar lino drawn through the western cape of the mouth of the Great Kanawha, and the other State was to possess the Territory, lying between the last line, Lake Erie, Pennsylvania and the Ohio river. After thus providing for the división of the whole territory of the United States, acquired or to be acquired, without respect to degrees of latitutde, into independent States, the Plan of Jefferson proceedeci to provide that thnse States houlJ be free States. This was the Proviso which he proposed ; " Provided, that after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there ■hall be neither slavery or involuntary servitud in any of the said States, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have beenduly convkted to have been personally güty." The Proviso was stricken out ot the plan on the 19th of April, 1784, on the motion of I Mr. Spaight of North Carolina, eleven States being rupreseiited in the vote. t The question on motion to strike out in that Congreso was i put in this form, " Shall the clause stand t" If nine States voted " aye," the motion to strike out failed ; il' do States or any less number than nine voted " aye" the clause was slricken ' out. Upon the question being put, on Mr. ' Spaight's motion, "Shall this clause stand V' NewHampshire, Massachusetta, Rliode Island, I Connecticui, New York, New Jersey and Pa., I geven States voted " aye." Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina, three States, voted " no;" and North Carolina was divided. Thus it appears that seven States were for the Proviso and three against it. Of the three thus against it, one was Virginia, represented by three delegates, of whom one, Mr. Jefferson, was for it, and two, Messrs. Hardy and Mercer, were against it. Had but one of Mr. Jefferson's colleagues shared his spirit, and had Mr. Spaight of North Carolina voted with his colleague Mr. Williamson, the Proviso would have been adopted. The eleven States present and voting were represented by twenty .three delegates. Of these, sixteen voted for the Proviso and seven only against it. Thus with a majority of two thirds of the delegates in its favor, the Jefferson Proviso was defeated. What vast consequences have followed


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