Our Founding Fathers believed that slavery was against the Law of Nature but did not know how to end it at the time of founding but did intend for slavery to perish. The Constitution was ratified in 1789. ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 1 states, "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 one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person." In 1808, Congress abolishing the slave trade at the earliest date allowed per ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 1 of the Constitution. Thus proving that the intent of ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 1 of the Constitution was to end the slave trade. Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves - Wikipedia "The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 (2 Stat. 426, enacted March 2, 1807) is a United States federal law that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States. It took effect in 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution." Daniel Webster testifies to the fact that the Founding Fathers intended for slavery to perish. Daniel Webster THE CONSTITUTION AND THE UNION 1 March 7, 1850 (In the Senate) http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/Webster7th.pdf Page 271 "And now, let us consider, sir, for a moment, what was the state of sentiment, North and South, in regard to slavery at the time this Constitution was adopted. A remarkable change has taken place since, but what did the wise and great men of all parts of the country then think of slavery? In what estimation did they hold it in 1787, when this Constitution was adopted? Now it will be found, sir, if we will carry ourselves by historical research back to that day, and ascertain men's opinions by authentic records still existing among us, that there was no great diversity of opinion between the North and the South upon the subject of slavery; and it will be found that both parts of the country held it equally an evil, a moral and political evil. It will not be found, that either at the North or at the South, there was though there was some, invective against slavery as inhuman and cruel. The great ground of objection to it was political; that it weakened the social fabric; that, taking the place of free labor, society was less strong, and labor was less productive; and, therefore, we find, from all the eminent men of the time, the clearest expression of their opinion that slavery was an evil. They ascribed its existence here, not without truth, and not without some acerbity of temper and force of language, to the injurious policy of the mother country, who, to favor the navigator, had entailed these evils upon the colonies. I need hardly refer, sir, to the publications of the day. They are matters of history on the record. The eminent men, the most eminent men, and nearly all the conspicuous politicians of the South, held the same sentiments, that slavery was an "evil," a "blight," a "blast," a "mildew," a "scourge," and a "curse." There are no terms of reprobation of slavery so vehement in the North at that day as in the South. The North was not so much excited against it as the South, and the reason is, I suppose, that there was much less at the North; and the people did not see, or think they saw, the evils so prominently as they were seen, or thought to be seen, at the South. Then, sir, when this Constitution was framed, this was the light in which the convention viewed it..." Page 273 "...there was an expectation that on the ceasing of the importation of slaves from Africa, slavery would begin to run out. That was hoped and expected." Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States, testifies to the fact that the Founding Fathers believed that slavery was against the Law of Nature, that it was evil, that it was not possible for them to end it at the time of the founding, but did intend for it to perish. “Corner Stone” Speech Alexander H. Stephens Savannah, Georgia March 21, 1861 “Corner Stone” Speech | Teaching American History "The prevailing ideas entertained by him [Thomas Jefferson] and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature – that it was wrong in principle – socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent [temporary] and pass away. " So while Stephens acknowledged that the Founding Fathers knew it was against God's will, had no idea how to end it quickly, and designed for slavery to pass away, Stephens then turned around and said that the Founding Fathers had it all wrong. "Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. . . . and the idea of a government built upon it. . . . Our new government [the Confederate States of America] is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid – its cornerstone rests – upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man. That slavery – subordination to the superior [white] race – is his natural and moral condition. This – our new [Confederate] government – is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth." So there can be no better witness than Alexander Stephens. The final proof that Stephens and Webster were correct that the founders intended for slavery to perish can be found in the Founding Fathers' actions following the ratification of the Constitution in 1789. In 1789, following the ratification of the Constitution, Congress expanded its fight to end slavery by passing the Northwest Ordinance. That law - establishing how territories could become States in the new United States - forbade slavery in any federal territories then held; and for this reason, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin all eventually came into the nation as free States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Ordinance And don't forget that they abolished the slave trade in 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution.