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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

Which was the ground work of the apportionment


April, 1785, Congress being to call on the States to raise a million and a half of dollars annually, for twenty-five years, it was necessary to apportion this among them. The States had never furnished them with their exact numbers. It was agreed, too, that in this apportionment, five slaves should be counted as three freemen only. The preparation of this business was in the hands of a committee; they applied to the members for the best information they could give them, of the numbers of their States. Some of the States had taken pains to discover their numbers. Others had done nothing in that way, and, of course, were now where they were in 1775, when their members were first called on to declare their numbers. Under these circumstances, and on the principle of counting three fifths only of the slaves, the committee apportioned the money among the States, and reported their work to Congress. In this, they had assessed South Carolina as having one hundred and seventy thousand inhabitants. The delegates for that State, however, prevailed on Congress to assess them on the footing of one hundred and fifty thousand only, in consideration of the state of total devastation, in which the enemy had left their country. The difference was then laid on the other States, and the following was the result.

[Illustration: Population Estimates--1785, page424]

Still, however, Congress refused to give the enumeration the sanction

of a place on their journals, because it was not formed on such evidence, as a strict attention to accuracy and truth required. They used it from necessity, because they could get no better rule, and they entered on their journals only the apportionment of money. The members, however, as before, took copies of the enumeration, which was the ground work of the apportionment, sent them to their States, and thus, this second enumeration got into the public papers, and was, by the English, ascribed to Congress, as their declaration of their present numbers. To get at the real numbers which this enumeration supposes, we must add twenty thousand to the number, on which South Carolina was quotaed; we must consider, that seven hundred thousand slaves are counted but as four hundred and twenty thousand persons, and add, on that account, two hundred and eighty thousand. This will give us a total of two millions six hundred and thirty-nine thousand three hundred inhabitants, of every condition, in the thirteen States; being two hundred and twenty-one thousand three hundred more, than the enumeration of 1775, instead of seven hundred and ninety-eight thousand five hundred and nine less, which the English papers asserted to be the diminution of numbers, in the United States, according to the confession of Congress themselves.

Page 272.'_Comportera, peut etre, une population de 30,000,000_.' The territory of the

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