Background for Abolition Acre


The truth about the founding of the Nation is that we were born in a horrible contradiction.

Our Declaration of Independence:      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Our Constitution:   “Representatives shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, three-fifths of all other persons…” (Article I, section 2)

“The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think      proper to admit, shall not be prohibited prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight…….”  (Article I, section 9)

“No person held to service of labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another shall be discharged from such service, but shall be delivered up on claim  of the party to whom such service may be due……”Article IV, Section 2)


The determination of representatives empowered slaveholding States.                    The slaves were declared to be less than fully human! The system of bringing slaves into the country was secured for at least 20 years! The slaves who escape are to be returned to the slave “owners”!

This contradiction is a part of the founding political life. It cannot be denied by any review of the facts of our beginning. Given such a foundational start helps us understand the contradictions which we see daily as we note acts which defy our stated beliefs.  This political contradiction is rooted in the actions of our founders, who clearly  acted in contradiction. To deny that is simply to be wrong!