“If you want to argue it had other rationales for being implemented, that’s fine, but I think the reality is as Madison paints it — it was what had to be conceded to the Southern states to get past their objections so they would play ball.”
From the Convention, Elbridge Gerry (representing the southern state of Massachusetts?):
“The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men. He urged the expediency of an appointment of the Executive by Electors to be chosen by the State Executives. The people of the States will then choose the 1st. branch: The legislatures of the States the 2d. branch of the National Legislature, and the Executives of the States, the National Executive. This he thought would form a strong attachnt. in the States to the National System.”
From the Convention, Rufus King (representing the southern state of Massachusetts?):
“He was much disposed to think that in such cases the people at large would chuse wisely. There was indeed some difficulty arising from the improbability of a general concurrence of the people in favor of any one man. On the whole he was of opinion that an appointment by electors chosen by the people for the purpose, would be liable to fewest objections.”
From the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton (representing the southern state of New York?):
“It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”
In short, there was a multitude of reasons for the creation of the Electoral College, and it is somewhat misleading to present the reason as appeasement to Southern slaveowners.