Skip to comments.Founder and Historian David Ramsay Defines a Natural Born Citizen in 1789
Posted on 04/02/2010 2:13:33 PM PDT by rxsid
"Friday, April 2, 2010
Founder and Historian David Ramsay Defines a Natural Born Citizen in 1789
In defining an Article II natural born Citizen, it is important to find any authority from the Founding period who may inform us how the Founders and Framers themselves defined the clause. Who else but a highly respected historian from the Founding period itself would be highly persuasive in telling us how the Founders and Framers defined a natural born Citizen. Such an important person is David Ramsay, who in 1789 wrote, A Dissertation on the Manners of Acquiring the Character and Privileges of a Citizen (1789), a very important and influential essay on defining a natural born Citizen.
David Ramsay (April 2, 1749 to May 8, 1815) was an American physician, patriot, and historian from South Carolina and a delegate from that state to the Continental Congress in 1782-1783 and 1785-1786. He was the Acting President of the United States in Congress Assembled. He was one of the American Revolutions first major historians. A contemporary of Washington, Ramsay writes with the knowledge and insights one acquires only by being personally involved in the events of the Founding period. In 1785 he published History of the Revolution of South Carolina (two volumes), in 1789 History of the American Revolution (two volumes), in 1807 a Life of Washington, and in 1809 a History of South Carolina (two volumes). Ramsay was a major intellectual figure in the early republic, known and respected in America and abroad for his medical and historical writings, especially for The History of the American Revolution (1789) Arthur H. Shaffer, Between Two Worlds: David Ramsay and the Politics of Slavery, J.S.Hist., Vol. L, No. 2 (May 1984). During the progress of the Revolution, Doctor Ramsay collected materials for its history, and his great impartiality, his fine memory, and his acquaintance with many of the actors in the contest, eminently qualified him for the task . http://www.famousamericans.net/davidramsay/. In 1965 Professor Page Smith of the University of California at Los Angeles published an extensive study of Ramsay's History of the American Revolution in which he stressed the advantage that Ramsay had because of being involved in the events of which he wrote and the wisdom he exercised in taking advantage of this opportunity. The generosity of mind and spirit which marks his pages, his critical sense, his balanced judgment and compassion,'' Professor Smith concluded, are gifts that were uniquely his own and that clearly entitle him to an honorable position in the front rank of American historians.
In his 1789 article, Ramsay first explained who the original citizens were and then defined the natural born citizens as the children born in the country to citizen parents. He said concerning the children born after the declaration of independence, [c]itizenship is the inheritance of the children of those who have taken part in the late revolution; but this is confined exclusively to the children of those who were themselves citizens . Id. at 6. He added that citizenship by inheritance belongs to none but the children of those Americans, who, having survived the declaration of independence, acquired that adventitious character in their own right, and transmitted it to their offspring . Id. at 7. He continued that citizenship as a natural right, belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776 . Id. at 6.
Here we have direct and convincing evidence of how a very influential Founder defined a natural born citizen. Given his position of influence and especially given that he was a highly respected historian, Ramsay would have had the contacts with other influential Founders and Framers and would have known how they too defined natural born Citizen. Ramsay, being of the Founding generation and being intimately involved in the events of the time would have know how the Founders and Framers defined a natural born Citizen and he told us that definition was one where the child was born in the country of citizen parents. He giving us this definition, it is clear that Ramsay did not follow the English common law but rather natural law, the law of nations, and Emer de Vattel, who also defined a natural-born citizen the same as did Ramsay in his highly acclaimed and influential, The Law of Nations, Or, Principles of the Law of Nature, Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns, Section 212 (1758 French) (1759 English). We can reasonably assume that the other Founders and Framers would have defined a natural born Citizen the same way the Ramsay did, for being a meticulous historian he would have gotten his definition from the general consensus that existed at the time.
Ramsays article and explication are further evidence of the influence that Vattel had on the Founders in how they defined the new national citizenship. This article by Ramsay is one of the most important pieces of evidence recently found (provided to us by an anonymous source) which provides direct evidence on how the Founders and Framers defined a natural born Citizen and that there is little doubt that they defined one as a child born in the country to citizen parents. Given this time-honored definition, which has been confirmed by subsequent United States Supreme Court and some lower court cases such as The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814) (Marshall, C.J., concurring and dissenting for other reasons, cites Vattel and provides his definition of natural born citizens); Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) (Justice Daniels concurring took out of Vattels definition the reference to fathers and father and replaced it with parents and person, respectively); Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242, 245 (1830) (same definition without citing Vattel); Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36, 21 L.Ed. 394, 16 Wall. 36 (1872) (in explaining the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment clause, subject to the jurisdiction thereof, said that the clause was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884) (the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations are not citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States); Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875) (same definition without citing Vattel); Ex parte Reynolds, 1879, 5 Dill., 394, 402 (same definition and cites Vattel); United States v. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D.Cal. 1890) (same definition and cites Vattel); U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (quoted from the same definition of natural born Citizen as did Minor v. Happersett); Rep. John Bingham (in the House on March 9, 1866, in commenting on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which was the precursor to the Fourteenth Amendment: "[I] find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen. . . . John A. Bingham, (R-Ohio) US Congressman, March 9, 1866 Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866), Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes (1866)).
I saw that and thought the same! Sour grapes.
That doesn't appear to be the case, now does it?
Drew will tell you that osama him self could come over here and get an American girl pregnant, take the kid back and raise him in a cave then send him over here and the kid would be eligible.....then defend the kid if he won the election
He also thinks the Founding Fathers sacrificed everything just so we could have a foreign POTUS...ask him.
for later reading
Peaceful Good Friday, my FRiend .. ;)
And still praying and praying.
Here is one library of many which have copies:
Congress would “clarify” the meaning of the phrase “natural born citizen” so that Obama would be included—anyone who had even one parent born in the US, no matter where the person himself or herself was born, would be considered a natural born citizen.
Make it stick!
When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdoms dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.s children.
|As we've demonstrated here on FR many times, if you apply EITHER Vattel's Law of Nations (Natural Law) or Blackstone's Commentaries (Common Law) to define Obama's Eligibility in the eyes of the Framers, Obama loses either way.
Vattel's Law of Nations (TWO Citizen Parents required)
Blackstone's Commentaries ("service to two masters" a/k/a Dual Citizenship)
Thanks for the ping.
The site pests seem to be in shock, no?
“I think Congress would just quickly pass a law changing the rules so that Obama would qualify.”
Not quite. No law or statute can change the Constitution. Amending the Constitution is no easy feat.
“Article V of the Constitution spells out the processes by which amendments can be proposed and ratified.
“To propose an Amendment:
“Two-thirds of both houses of Congress vote to propose an amendment, or
“Two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments. (This method has never been used.)
“To Ratify Amendments:
“Three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it, or
“Ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it. This method has been used only once — to ratify the 21st Amendment — repealing Prohibition.
“The Supreme Court has stated that ratification must be within “some reasonable time after the proposal.” Beginning with the 18th amendment, it has been customary for Congress to set a definite period for ratification. In the case of the 18th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd amendments, the period set was 7 years, but there has been no determination as to just how long a “reasonable time” might extend.
“Of the thousands of proposals that have been made to amend the Constitution, only 33 obtained the necessary two-thirds vote in Congress. Of those 33, only 27 amendments (including the Bill of Rights) have been ratified.”
The meaning of the term 'Natural Born Citizen' is already perfectly clear. To change it would require two thirds of the state legislatures to ratify.
Barry is clearly not Constitutionally qualified as intended by the framers.
At issue now is...is ANYTHING he signed (laws, agreements with other nations, etc), or any appointment he made (ex. to the SCOTUS bench) Constitutional? Clearly, IMO, everything he's done...including the health care monstrosity is illegal and thus null and void.
Just read you post....and I stand corrected. Three-fourths beats my two thirds.
Arthur may have had cover provided by a journalist, Hinman, who kept the public busy with rumors and a book suggesting that Chester had been born in Northern Ireland.
Arthur's only supreme court apointment, justice Horace Gray, may have known and wrote a naunced, and perhaps intentionally obtuse decision which suggested that there was uncertainty about natural born citizenship, while he referred to Minor v. Happersett, in which the Vattel definition is crystal clear. A careful reading of Wng Kim suggests that Gray clarified the fact that native and natural born citizenship are different. Wong Kim was determined to be a native (jus soli, born on the soil) and not a natural born citizen. But Obama obfuscators use Wong Kim as their authority that native and natural born cititzeship are equivalent. There was really no evidence that Chester Arthur was born in Ireland, but the question effectively silenced the more subtle question of his minister father's naturalization.
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