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)).
You are like a schizophrenic and his visions of things that arent there.
It's you who is seeing things that are not there.
so I guess theres just no hope for you.
There is plenty of hope for me. You however, have your nose stuck somewhere else. Just the other day I had to correct you about the subject of Steinkauler in SCOTUS 1939 case of Perkins v. Elg because he was referred to as a native born citizen where you erroneously concluded that a native born is always a natural born citizen.
|> By that strain of Birther "logic" blah, blah, blah ...
What we've outline to you is fact.
Listen, I know you may not like it. It may not fit in with your After-Birther talking points, as you obviously don't know what the hell you're talking about. But it is what it is.
In particular, the Court noted the Constitution's requirement that the President be a natural-born citizen, a condition whose meaning could be derived only by reference to English common law in existence at the time see US v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), referencing Minor v. Happersett (1874).
Again: "that the President be a natural-born citizen ... a condition whose meaning could be derived only by reference to English common law in existence at the time". That does NOT include a 20th century Immigration Act ... common law in existing at the end of the 18th century!
If you knew ANYTHING about the events surrounding the Framing, you'd know the 2nd and 3rd "Committee of Eleven" in 1787 actually considered THREE Executives to have a strong, internal set of Executive "Checks and Balances." See, they were a little concerned about a single President usurping power like King George III (rather ironic with Obama in 2010). The problem the delegates in 1787 had envisioning THREE Executors, however, was Executive responsiveness in a crisis.
The delegates ALSO considered requiring Senators to be "Natural Born Citizens" as well (which Massachusetts recommended to Congress in 1798). The 1787 delegate compromise, however, was to lessen the citizenship requirements of Senator, while strengthening that of the SINGLE Executor.
For the office of President, the Framers felt that a SINGLE Executor who had unquestionable loyalty was the best way to hedge against infiltrators, or as John Jay put it, the "admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government."
The Framers had good reason to be so paranoid between 1776 and 1789, monarchs like Prince Henry of Prussia, and the Bishop of Osnaburgh (2nd son of George III), tried to invite themselves to become Americas new king.
... what does Blackstone's Commentaries say in regards to British subjects, Allegiance and "service to two masters" (i.e., Dual Citizenship)?
If you ever return to reality, youll understand that
1401 tells you who is a natural born citizen.
Oh, really?! You need to do your homework, son.
Clue in Congress on you false presupposition, as they have
To define the term `natural born Citizen' as used in the Constitution of the United States to establish eligibility for the Office of President.
I had forgotten about that attempted unconstitutional legislation. I haven’t seen you post it in awhile. :-)
<>We know that NBC is nowhere defined, so we have to think a little.<>
Instead of that little thinking of yours, try reading the article at the top of this thread and the following Supreme Court cases wherein NBC is clearly defined:
I have foreign-language dictionaries which take the pronounciation of southern England as standard so tell the foreigners using the dictionary that an "r" at the end of a word is silent.
There's Obama's fall-back position--have his mother's marriage to Barack Sr. declared null and void because his father was married to someone else at the time. If that doesn't work, claim that Frank Marshall Davis was his real father.
Of course, this is assuming that Barack Jr. was born in the US.
The 12th amendment, adopted in 1804, says "But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."
I think it’s a New England trait. Didn’t JFK say “fahmah” for “farmer” and “Cuber” for “Cuba”?
Oh yeah, that the definition of Natural Born Citizen wasn't in the English translation of de Vattel's 'The Law of Nations' until 1797 and therefore you said that definition tying NBC to it didn't exist. You are an idiot. Obviously, you were soooo full of you know what...the word starts with an 'S'.
Very likely. One of my customers from the Boston area had a typical set of "odd" pronunciations. Forward came out "fah-wood". Peabody was "pee'-buh-dee".
Was there ever a challenge to Spiro T. Agnew's eligibility?
I don’t know. Agnew’s father was an immigrant, but I don’t know when (or if) he became a naturalized citizen. Was his mother also an immigrant?
According to census records, his immigrant father was a resident alien (non-citizen) and his mother was American when Agnew was born. I don't know if he received citizenship later but the important fact is that he was not a citizen at Agnew's birth.
If he/she then spent at least 14 years on US soil, Drew would be correct. Might have a bit of a problem getting 53% of the vote though.
Not quite. The NBC requirement also applies to the Vice President, according to the last sentence of the Twelfth Amendment:
But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.
You should be ashamed of your self, but at least you openly demonstrate how absurd the depth you'll sink to defend your position and love for the bamster.
If the NBC clause in the Constitution doesn't matter to you why should the 14 years? Why should he have to be 35?
Don't even bother responding, troll.
Damn, I almost thought the wiggster had returned, whew!
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