February 28, 1861: Jefferson Davis and the Slave Trade

Prior to the Civil War, the radical fringe of the pro-slavery movement was pushing for re-opening of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, banned under federal law since 1808.  Davis, and most pro-slavery leaders opposed this effort.  When Davis was attacked by Southern firebrands prior to the War for his opposition to a renewed international slave trade, Davis stated that his concern was for the well-being of Mississippi, a state with a large slave population, rather than abolitionist concern over the well-being of slaves.

The Confederate Constitution banned the international slave trade, except with the United States:

(1) The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.

The issue came up quite early in the term of Davis as President of the CSA, when he vetoed a measure in regard to the international slave trade. (more…)

Published in: on February 28, 2023 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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