After their statements, holding a significant number of

After the United State broke off ties with Great Britain for independence, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and other drafted the Declaration of Independence.  Duncan & Juncker, (2004) write that the declaration contained words proclaimed America’s ideals of independence and freedom to all across the world. Even at the time of the writing of the Declaration, almost half a million of African Americans were slaves. Most of these slaves lived in the south, and they comprised of the 40% of the population of the South. Many colonists, including George Washington and Jefferson who opposed slavery, denouncing it as “repugnant” and “evil” and at the same time, contradicting their statements, holding a significant number of African American in their houses as slaves. The Southern colonies, being the richest in America at the time, relied entirely on slaves for their tobacco, indigo and rice plantations. They therefore were not ready to let the slaves go. The first United States government came into existence in 1781 after the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, which was silent on slavery and left the powers to regulate slavery to the individual states (Duncan & Juncker, 2004). The Articles of Confederation failed due to many factors such as the inability to govern and levy taxes, which led to the drafting of the new constitution. During the drafting process, the question as to whether slaves should be counted as part of the population arose. The states with largest populations were to have strong political powers. They also were to pay high taxes.  As the southern states led in number of slaves, they agreed to count slaves as part of the population, such as the 3/5 of a slave would be counted in the population. The delegates from the North agreed and a compromise that each slave would count as three fifths of a person was adopted. The compromise brought up another question as to whether slave trade should be discontinued or what should happen about importing of new slaves. Ten states had outlawed slave trade, and three larger states, Georgia, North and South Carolina threatened to leave the convention of creating the new constitution if slavery was outlawed. A special committee worked on the compromised that slave trade would not be banned, until 1800. The convention later voted to extend the date to 1808. Southern states also made a new demand that the Northern states should capture and return all escaped slaves to the south, which was passed through the Fugitive clause. The fugitive clause was a set back to the freed slaved, as they were recaptured and returned to slavery. In 12 out of 16 presidential elections, a slave owner from the south won, extending slave trade past 1800.One of the key aspects of African American slave escape and fugitive tactics consisted of the underground railroad. This network of various routes and multiple checkpoints of running away into free states and Canada was used for nearly a century. Within its last decade, the railroad experienced its peak of 100,000 slaves escaping their owners and traveling mostly north with the help of many allies, other slaves, and abolitionists (Clinton 2005).    As a way to find their way north and to certain safe houses, they were told to look for the North Star in their initial day of escaping and keep going in that direction until they meet someone who is helping them and continue their checkpoints and head their way to freedom (Still 1970). Few of the routes lead to major routes that lead to major ones that landed the now free slaves into few midwestern states as well as northeastern as well. The routes themselves were loosely vague and most slaves who were able to receive aid were from the upper portion of the south. The slaves in the deep south had a deeply difficult time to try escaping the several hundreds of miles to reach the very first free state (Clinton 2005). While most of the travel was by foot, it was a challenge itself to find food, shelter, and water, all while hiding from slave owners and white people in general in the huge region of the deep south.  In the five years between 1803 and 1808, South Carolina alone imported 400,000 slaves (Jones, 2004). These were so many slaves that pushed slavery to other regions like Louisiana and Georgia. The Northern States were reluctant in fighting slave trade as they were more concerned about the new government and feared to be in conflicts with the south. Most of the states thought that slavery was a passing cloud and that it was bound to fail sooner. The invention of the cotton gin made the cash crop all the more lucrative. This new technology led to the skyrocketing in the number of slaves. With the silent North and a silent Articles of Confederation on the issue of African Americans held as slaves, some of the slaves approached the courts for justice and their freedom.     Ehrlich, (2007) gives an account of the court decision of Dred Scott vs. Sanford in 1857.  Scott was an enslaved man of the Negro African race who had been taken by his owners to free states and he attempted to sue for his citizenship in the US. In an 8 hour decision written by Chief Justice Rodger Taney, the court denied his request. This was because Americans that of African descent, currently a slave or not, they were not permitted to US citizens and Congress itself is powerless to ban slavery altogether. This judgment was a landmark decision which held that a black man whose ancestors were brought into the U.S as slaves whether enslaved or free could not become a U.S citizen, and therefore had no powers to sue in a federal court. The court also denied the national government power to regulate federal territories which were acquired after the United States was created. The decision for Dred Scott and the African slaves around the country had their identities solidified by marking them as “other” when it came to their identity and placement in the young United States.