INTERNATIONAL BLACK MIGRATION
The U.S. Constitution contains a curious clause that, by the ambiguity of its language, shows the embarrassment that the Philadelphia Convention felt about the continuing importation of slaves:1"The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importations, not exceeding 10 dollars for each person."2 The word "slaves" would certainly have been more straightforward in this clause--and more embarrassing.
But while Congress could not prohibit importation before 1808, it did pass a number of measures before that date that regulated or prohibited other aspects of the slave trade. In 1794, Congress prohibited "carrying on the Slave Trade from the United States to any foreign place or country" though the law was "loosely drawn____________________