On the old US census slaves were counted as three fifths of a person. The North (which had few slaves ) felt that the south should not count them at all since they could not vote, travel, or do much of anything that as not their master's will. The three fifths compromise allowed the south to gain an advantage in the number of representatives it could send to the house without acknowledging the humanity of a large number of its citizens.
U.S. Constitution as ratified in 1787. Article I, section 2 stated, among other things:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

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