SOURCE: ConSource Inc.

November 26, 2008 10:43 ET

From Three-Fifths a Person to Chief Executive: Founders' Documents on Highlight Historic Nature of First Black President's Election

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 26, 2008) - In connection with the election of the new President-Elect, Barack Obama, America's First African-American President, The Constitutional Sources Project, creator of, an online library of the Founders' constitutional documents, today identifies documents from our Founding Fathers that reflect their ideas on the Executive Branch and African-Americans. The documents reflect the Founders' differing opinions on the subjects and highlight the magnitude of electing America's first African-American President.

"The First African-American President: Founding Father Documents on the Executive Branch and African-Americans" highlights the wide divide between how the Founders thought of African-Americans and who would qualify for the presidency.

The delegates of the Constitutional Convention had contrasting interpretations on the subject of African-Americans and slavery, the largest difference of opinion occurring between the northern and southern delegates. One delegate labeled the importation of slaves as "dishonorable to the American character," while many southerners interpreted the question on slavery as a state matter, not a federal issue.

"Gouverneur Morris said slavery would bring upon this nation 'the curse of heaven,'" said Lorianne Updike, President and Executive Director of The Constitutional Sources Project. "While he and other Founders like John Dickinson certainly fought for equality, they probably never anticipated anyone of African descent being able to vote let alone being elected president. These documents demonstrate just how far we have come as a nation since the Framing of our Constitution."

To view "The First African-American President: Founding Father Documents on the Executive Branch and African-Americans," click here.

About The Constitutional Sources Project

The Constitutional Sources Project has created®, the free online library of the Founders' constitutional documents. Since its public launch last Constitution Day, September 17, 2007, ConSource has attracted over one million unique visitors, including sixth graders in Alaska studying American History to Supreme Court justices reviewing whether individuals have a constitutional right to bear arms. Current collections include James Madison's handwritten notes of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers, the Anti and Pro-Federalist Papers, state ratification debates for eight states, the Bill of Rights' legislative history, the papers of George Washington and George Mason, pre-1787 state constitutions, charters, and bills of rights, constitutional precedents. ConSource will eventually contain texts and images for all constitutional sources from Antiquity to 1992 when the 27th Amendment was passed.

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