Copyright © 1999. Slavery and the Ratification of the Constitution. All rights reserved.

Slavery and the Ratification of the Constitution

Purpose of This Mini-Edition

This edition is excerpted from A Necessary Evil? Slavery and the Debate Over the Constitution, ed. John P. Kaminski (Madison, Wis.: Madison House Publishers, 1995). The full volume contains, in addition to what is here, chapters on slavery during the Revolution and Confederation, the debate over slavery in the Middle States, slavery in the Federal Period, and a concluding chapter on the attitudes toward slavery held by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. Even as an excerpt, this edition still provides the reader with the debates that took place over slavery in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and in the struggle for ratification of the Constitution in New England and the South.

The purpose of this edition is to demonstrate that it is possible to present documents to readers over the internet with nearly the same fidelity to accuracy and detail that can be provided in a volume. If you are using a browser (such as Netscape or Explorer) that allows you to use frames, you may split the screen and reduce the type size, thereby permitting you to view almost the same amount of type per screen as is on each page of the volume; on the left side of the screen, you will see a table of contents, with the document you are viewing highlighted. This edition also provides you with the same variety of type styles, annotation, and index that the volume offers. In addition, the search engine offers you searching capabilities that are not possible in an index. You can search for words and phrases, speakers, speakers on specific topics, or in reference to words, etc. Finally, of course, you can use this volume in your office on your computer, even if you do not own the volume and your library does not have it. But you should remember that the volume contains far more information in the chapters that are not included here and should be consulted. The edition here is only a sample, however substantial, of the greater riches that are contained in the volume.


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