Virtual Lecture - The Dark Alchemy of the Three-Fifths Clause
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Location: Zoom Virtual Lecture
Time: 7:30 pm (EST)
Join University of Maryland historian Richard Bell for a deep dive into the darkest corners of the 1787 federal Constitution. The preamble of the United States Constitution announces its purpose to secure “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” an important acknowledgement that liberty is the goal and right of all citizens. Yet, most constitutional scholars regard the 1787 Constitution as being vigorously pro-slavery, something that becomes apparent when we take a long hard look at its infamous Three-Fifths Clause. Far more insidious than is commonly understood, the Three-Fifths Clause wove slaveholder power into the fabric of each of all three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—shaping every aspect of federal policy regarding slavery for decades to come. “Considering all circumstances,” one slave-owning delegate later boasted, “we have made the best terms for the security of this species of property it was in our power to make.”
Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members and Volunteers
This lecture will be offered virtually by Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. Upon registration, you will be sent the link for the video conference to join on the evening of the lecture. If you do not receive your confirmation email after you register, please check your Spam folder, or email Carolyn Currin at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Zoom and to download the app to your computer, visit the Zoom website.
About our Presenter: Dr. Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home, which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriett Tubman Prize. He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.