Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery, although some states in the territory found ingenious ways to circumvent the measure. White in Ohio recognized that they would be guided by the interdict in the Ordinance, and they ratified a clause prohibiting slavery at the Constitutional Convention of 1802. Most whites, especially migrants from New England, did not want to practice slavery. Some migrating Southerners shared this point of view. They left the South intending to live in a region that practiced free labor. Yet, whites in Ohio shared the prejudice of most southern and northern racists. They subjugated blacks in their laws and, as an alternative to slavery, proposed colonizating its African American and residents. Most whites--even liberal whites--doubted that blacks and whites could live peaceably in the same community. Consequently, most whites supported the colonization movement to expatriate African Americans. The following documents describe Ohio's commitment to colonization as a means to solve the slavery and race problem in the United States.
Resolution on colonization. Approved January 29, 1818, Laws of Ohio.
Whereas a number of the good people of this state, have by a memorial expressed their most ardent wishes for the emancipation and colonization of the people of color of the United States; Therefore,
Resolved by the general assembly of the State of Ohio, That our senators in Congress be instructed, and our representatives be requested, to use their
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Publication information: Book title: The Black Laws in the Old Northwest:A Documentary History. Contributors: Stephen Middleton - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 19.
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