To the People of the State of New York:
THE next view which I shall take of the House of Representatives, relates to the appointment of its members to the several States, which is to be determined by the same rule with that of direct taxes.
It is not contended, that the number of People in each State ought not to be the standard for regulating the proportion of those who are to represent the People of each State. The establishment of the same rule for the appointment of taxes will probably be as little contested; though the rule itself, in this case, is by no means founded on the same principle. In the former case, the rule is understood to refer to the personal rights of the People, with which it has a natural and universal connection. In the latter, it has reference to the proportion of wealth, of which it is in no case a precise measure, and in ordinary cases a very unfit one. But notwithstanding the imperfection of the rule as applied to the relative wealth and contributions of the States, it is evidently the least exceptionable among the practicable rules; and had too recently obtained the general sanction of America, not to have found a ready preference with the Convention.
All this is admitted, it will perhaps be said: but does it follow, from an admission of numbers for the measure of representation, or of slaves combined with free citizens as a ratio of taxation, that slaves ought to be included in the numerical rule of representation? Slaves are considered as property, not as persons. They ought, therefore, to be comprehended in estimates of taxation,