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The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the

W. E. B. Du Bois

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Constitution, the ever-alert Rutledge, perceiving that the results of the laboriously66 settled "bargain" might be endangered, declared that he "never could agree to give a power by which the articles relating to slaves might be altered by the states not interested in that property."22 As a result, the clause finally adopted, September 15, had the proviso: "Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the 1st and 4th clauses in the 9th section of the 1st article."23

36. Settlement by the Convention. Thus, the slave-trade article of the Constitution stood finally as follows:—

"Article I. 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."Read More

Community Reviews

I got this book for twenty-five cents at the thrift store but imagined it would be a dry read and one I would probably never get to, but then one night I flipped through the first pages. There was no turning back. To be honest I was shocked by how little I knew about the enterprise. This book was Du

This was du Bois' PhD thesis at Harvard. It is meticulously researched and footnoted. It covered many things I did not know before and I consider myself informed. The citizens of the northern states were as deeply implicated in the continuation of the slave trade as those in the south who owned slav

"Here it was that the fatal mistake of compromising with slavery in the beginning, and of the policy of laissez-faire pursued thereafter, became painfully manifest" W.E.B. Du Bois explains, "for, instead now of a healthy, normal, economic development along proper industrial lines, we have the abnorm

A remarkable book that you should read for a number of reasons:

1. Du Bois. Period.
2. Black History: Du Bois was the first Black person to get a PhD from Harvard, and this was his thesis.
3. History: Du Bois's account is bracing, and upends the myth that white Americans like to tell themselves about h

The title should probably more appropriately read: "Failed Efforts to Suppress the African Slave-Trade," as until the victory of the Union Army the United States government made no effective effort to end this abomination.

Although written over 125 years ago, it by no means reads that way. In many re

Not the easiest book to read but well worth the effort and time. Lots of details that you will not find anywhere else.

The 1969 introduction by Norman Klein gives an interesting overview of the strengths, weaknesses, and unique contributions, particularly by raising awareness of then-to-fore undiscussed issues, in DuBois' original thesis.

DuBois' own Apologia to his work, written in 1954 (some 60 years after initial

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