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title:“Rufus King to Colonel Pickering”
authors:Rufus King
date written:1803-11-4

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

Rufus King to Colonel Pickering (November 4, 1803)

New York, Nov. 4, 1803.
Congress may admit new States, but can the Executive by treaty admit them, or, what is equivalent, enter into engagements binding Congress to do so? As by the Louisiana Treaty, the ceded territory must be formed into States, & admitted into the Union, is it understood that Congress can annex any condition to their admission? if not, as Slavery is authorized & exists in Louisiana, and the treaty engages to protect the property of the inhabitants, will not the present inequality, arising from the Representation of Slaves, be increased?
As the provision of the Constitution on this subject may be regarded as one of its greatest blemishes, it would be with reluctance that one could consent to its being extended to the Louisiana States; and provided any act of Congress or of the several states should be deemed requisite to give validity to the stipulation of the treaty on this subject, ought not an effort to be made to limit the Representation to the free inhabitants only? Had it been foreseen that we could raise revenue to the extent we have done, from indirect taxes, the Representation of Slaves wd. never have been admitted; but going upon the maxim that taxation and Representation are inseparable, and that the Genl. Govt. must resort to direct taxes, the States in which Slavery does not exist, were injudiciously led to concede to this unreasonable provision of the Constitution.

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