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Life of Albert Parsons

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ander Hamilton: others wanted free land and manhood suffrage; and still others contented the liberation of the chattel slave was included in the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, -and vice versa. A compromise was finally reached which left the rights of property in slaves, land and money intact. The assertion of the Declaration of Independence that "all men were created free and equal, and possessed certain inalienable rights, among which were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," was defended by those who favored a constitution framed in accordance with the intent and spirit of that document. The slave holding interest objected and held that the blacks –chattel slaves- were not included in the meaning or intent of the Declaration. Jon Adams, the aristocrat, who also favored a limited monarchy as against Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Henry. Washington, and others, in the memorable debate upon this question said: "What matters it whether you give the food and clothes to the slaves direct, or whether you just give him enough wages to purchase the same?" this view of the question finally prevailed and was accepted as the basis of compromise. The rights of property triumphed. The wage-worker was categorical with the chattel slave. Indeed the difference was recognized among the wealthy class as existing not only form but identical in effect. The Constitution as agreed upon by the convention was submitted to the states –the people for ratification or rejection. Though dissatisfied, the people were induced to accept it, om the ground that universal suffrage, vesting all law-making power in the people; guaranteeing free speech, free press, and unmolested assemblage, the right to keep and bear arms; speedy trial by an impartial jury, and protection against unreasonable and unlawful search or seizure of persons or property –were constitutional safeguards deemed ample protection for their rights.

The United States formed a vast, unsettled, inexhaustible region. A comparatively small strip of country from Maine to Florida was sparsely inhabited. All who desired could acquire a competency. The wage-class felt no apprehension on that score. The doors of the nation were thrown open and the poor and miserable and miserable and despoiled of every clime were invited to come to the "land of the free and home of the brave" as the "harbor and refuge of the oppressed."

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