On December 2, 1806, in his sixth annual message to Congress, widely reprinted in most newspapers, President Thomas Jefferson denounced the “violations of human rights” attending the international slave trade saying;
“I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the approach of the period at which you may interpose your authority constitutionally, to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best interests of our country, have long been eager to proscribe.”
As a result, the House and Senate finally agreed on a bill called An Act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eight.. now known as the “Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807.”
The measure was approved on March 2, 1807 when President Thomas Jefferson signed the bill into law.
At the time, many in Congress believed the act would doom slavery in the South, but they were mistaken.
Now WE know em