criterion; because it is only under the pretext that the laws have transformed the negroes into subjects of property, that a place is disputed them in the computation of numbers; and it is admitted, that if the laws were to restore the rights which have been taken away, the negroes could no longer be refused an equal share of Representation with the other inhabitants.
"This question may be placed in another light. It is agreed on all sides, that numbers are the best scale of wealth and taxation, as they are the only proper scale of Representation. Would the Convention have been impartial or consistent, if they had rejected the slaves from the list of inhabitants, when the shares of Representation were to be calculated, and inserted them on the lists when the tariff of contributions was to be adjusted? Could it be reasonably expected, that the Southern States would concur in a system, which considered their slaves in some degree as men, when burdens were to be imposed, but refused to consider them in the same light, when advantages were to be conferred? Might not some surprise also be expressed, that those who reproach the Southern States with the barbarous policy of considering as property a part of their human brethren, should themselves contend, that the Government to which all the States are to be parties, ought to consider this unfortunate race more completely in the unnatural light of property, than the very laws of which they complain?
"It may be replied, perhaps, that slaves are not included in the estimate of Representatives in any of the States possessing them. They neither vote themselves, nor increase the votes of their masters. Upon what principle, then, ought they to be taken into the Fœderal estimate of representation? In rejecting them altogether, the Constitution would, in this respect, have followed the very laws which have been appealed to, as the proper guide.