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title:“Rufus King in the Massachusetts Convention”
authors:Rufus King
date written:1788-1-17

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retrieved:Sept. 28, 2023, 11:14 p.m. UTC

King, Rufus. "Rufus King in the Massachusetts Convention." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Rufus King in the Massachusetts Convention (January 17, 1788)

January 17, 1788.
Mr. King said that gentlemen had made it a question, why a qualification of property in a representative is omitted. . . . Such a qualification was proposed in Convention, but by the delegates of Massachusetts, it was contested that it should not obtain. . . .
The third paragraph of the second section being read, Mr. King rose to explain it. There has, says he, been much misconception on this section. It is a principle of this Constitution, that representation and taxation should go hand in hand. This paragraph states that the number of free persons shall be determined, by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. These persons are the slaves.1 By this rule is representation and taxation to be apportioned. And it was adopted, because it was the language of all America. According to the Confederation, ratified in 1781, the sums for the general welfare and defence should be apportioned according to the surveyed lands, and improvements thereon, in the several States. But it hath never been in the power of Congress to follow that rule; the returns from the several States being so very imperfect. [From "Debates of Convention."]
Hon. Mr. King. The principle on which this paragraph is founded is, that taxation and representation should go hand in hand. By the Confederation, the apportionment is upon surveyed land, the buildings and improvements. The rule could never be assessed. A new rule has been proposed by Congress, similar to the present rule, which has been adopted by eleven States — all but New Hampshire and Rhode Island. [From "Parsons's Minutes."]

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