March 2, 1807: Congress Prohibits Importation of Slaves

 

One of the last examples of how non-controversial some restrictions on slavery were in the early Republic, the passage of an Act prohibiting of the importation of slaves was passed on March 2, 1807 with the enthusiastic support of President Thomas Jefferson.  The Constitution had prevented Congress from passing such an Act until January 1, 1808, so Congress was acting on the earliest possible date.  In 1794 Congress had already prevented American ships from being outfitted as slavers.  Although prior to the Civil War some pro-slavery fire eaters called for the re-opening of the slave trade, the Confederate Constitution prohibited it.  Quite a few observers at the time thought that the elimination of the importation of slaves would lead to the death of slavery in the South.  More’s the pity that this prediction proved erroneous.  Here is the text of the bill: (more…)

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Published in: on March 2, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on March 2, 1807: Congress Prohibits Importation of Slaves  
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