* Slaves weren’t included in “We the People,” they were only the property of their owners. Because this human property, unlike a bale of cotton, could plan to run away, particular attention was paid to securing it. “A person (the indelicate word “slave” never appeared) held to service or labor in one state…escaping to another…shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” ( IV, sec. 2)
* To appease Southerners interested in gaining the maximum number of seats in the new House of Representatives, the Fathers of Our Country declared, in writing, that these “other persons” would each count as three-fifths of a human. ( I, sec. 2)
* Women did not have the right to vote, nor did Catholics and Jews in some states. White, Protestant, men had to own qualifying amounts of property. Thus, only about 6% of the new nation’s population was eligible to vote in the first presidential election and only 3%, or 38,818 people actually did.
* Even those so privileged didn’t actually vote for a presidential candidate. They voted for “electors” pledged to vote for certain candidates and even then, four of the state legislatures picked those electors, not voting citizens.
* State legislatures, not citizens, chose U.S. Senators until the Constitution was amended in 1913.
-- Mike Ferner