“Fidelity to the principles of the Constitution was the true foundation of the anti-slavery cause.”


Among the many challenges to the statesmanship of the framers of the Constitution, none was more fundamental or intractable than the problem of slavery. On August 21 the Constitutional Convention, meeting in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, officially took up a provision that forbade the Congress they were designing forever to tax or prohibit the importation of slaves anywhere in the United States. Heated discussion erupted immediately.