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and models to be followed. Liberty of conscience and
tutions. Superiority in political science and morality.
Congress. Propositions by the British government.
WRITINGS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
TO THE PRESIDENT 1
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
In answer to the question upon which you have done me the honor to require my written opinion in the words following:
"Has Congress a right under the powers vested in it by the Constitution to make a regulation prohibiting slavery in a territory?"
My opinion is that it has.
And in answer to the question in the words following:
"Is the eighth section of the act, which passed both Houses on the 3d instant for the admission of Missouri into the Union, consistent with the Constitution?" 3
My opinion is that it is.
Which is respectfully submitted.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
1 In his Memoirs for 1820 Adams has recorded the impressions made upon his mind by the Missouri question and the formation of a conviction may be there traced. See especially the entries for February 23, 24, and March 3 and 5, 1820. 2 Interdicting slavery forever in the territory north of latitude 36° 30′.
'The original form of this question was, whether the eighth section was applicable only to the territorial state, or could extend to it after it should become a state. The discussion and reasons for changing the question are given in Memoirs, March 3, 1820.