I suspect this was a hypocrisy of the time. One of the purposes of the constitution was to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves". I don't think slavery was explicitly addressed. It said "importation of persons" and talked about people "bound to service for a term of years. Prisoners? Paid workers? Purposely vague. I suspect it was already rampant in the colonies and the powers-that-be took advantage of the ambiguity, (or made it ambiguous for that purpose) until the 13 Amendment was passed. To me though, it seems that the government was already prohibited from enforcing slave ownership one way or the other but allowed for it anyway. I think the real shortcomings of the original constitution were that voting rights withheld from natives and "three fifths of all other persons".
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