The Maryland Historical Society welcomes Dr. Richard Bell for an interactive virtual program exploring the origins and far-reaching impacts of the Three-Fifths Clause, the most infamous part of the original 1787 federal Constitution. Far more insidious than is commonly understood, the clause wove slaveholder power into the fabric of each of the three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—shaping every aspect of federal policy regarding slavery for decades to come.

Dr. Bell will identify the framers of the Three-Fifths Clause, explore how it did its work, reconstruct all the opposition to it, and consider its legacy in our post-slavery world. Dr. Richard Bell is a professor of history at the University of Maryland and author of the new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home (Simon and Schuster, 2019).


This virtual program is free and open to all audiences. Registration is required. After registering for the program, attendees will receive an automated confirmation email with connection instructions. We will connect via Zoom which, is available for free download here:

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Add to Calendar 20200624 America/New_York Let’s Talk about the Constitution: The Three-Fifths Clause