Letter to Uriah Tracy

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Title: Letter to Uriah Tracy
Author: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
Description: In 1804, Federalist Senator Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) called for a constitutional amendment apportioning each state's representation in the House of Representatives solely on the basis of the number of freemen. Such an amendment would have overturned the Three-Fifths Compromise and greatly reduced the number of slave state representatives. While Federalists, during the first years of the nineteenth century, attacked the three-fifths clause as a source of Republican power, they hesitated to directly challenge the institution of slavery itself. Their descendants, however, would assume a leading role in the antislavery campaign. Nevertheless, it is striking that as early as 1804, Adams was already thinking in terms of a "Slaveholding power." In a letter written from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated July 17, 1804, Adams writes about the possibility of an amendment against slavery, the fact that the House of Representatives represents freemen, and discusses the New York elections.
Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/2374.OX/62434
Date: July 17, 1804

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