This report appeared in Frederick Douglass’s The North Star on October 20, 1848.
In 1847, with Douglass and M.R. Delaney as editors, The North Star was established: “…It has long been our anxious wish to see, in this slave-holding, slave-trading, and negro-hating land, a printing-press and paper, permanently established, under the complete control and direction of the immediate victims of slavery and oppression…”
The Slave Power – Politically
It appeared by the last census, that the number of slaves in the U. States, was 2,487,113.
Estimating ten slaves to one master, there were only 248,711 slaveholders. Of the legal voters of the United States, the slaveholders are about as 1 to 20.
Three-fifths of 2,487,113, is 1,492,255, which divided by 70,680, the present ratio of representation, makes 21 – the exact number of members on the floor of the House of Representatives, in Congress, sent there, under Section 2d of the Constitution, to represent the Slave Power.
The Senate has a Veto on every law, and as one-half of that body are slaveholders, it follows, of course, that no law can be passed without their consent.
No bill has passed the Senate, nor a treaty been ratified, since the organization of the government, but by the votes of slaveholders.
Appointments are made by the President, with the consent of the Senate, and of course the slaveholders have, and always have had, a veto on every appointment.
In consequence of the peculiar apportionment of Presidential Electors among the States, and the operation of the rule of federal numbers, whereby, for the purpose of estimating the representative population, five slaves are counted as three white men, most extraordinary results are exhibited at every election for President .
This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection
. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.