Skip to comments.Maybe Obama will be the Second Foreign-Born President in History
Posted on 12/03/2008 4:49:32 PM PST by Kevmo
History seems to be repeating itself.
Chester Alan Arthur Our Canadian President? Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U. S. Constitution states that No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President. Could a man born in Canada have slipped into the White House through deception?
Chester Alan Arthur (he pronounced his middle name al-AN) was, according to the official account, born in Fairfield, Vermont, Oct. 5, 1830, the son of Reverend William and Malvina (Stone) Arthur (his gravestone confirms this date). One biographer, Thomas C. Reeves, has concluded that he was born a year earlieron Oct. 5, 1829 and that Arthur changed the date no doubt out of simple vanity.1
Changing his year of birth is forgivable (Arthur was well beyond the age requirement for the presidency); but could he have changed his place of birth as well? Arthur P. Hinman thought so. Hinman, a New York lawyer, brought the issue to the attention of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in a letter early in August, 1880, while Arthur was yet a candidate for the Vice-Presidency. Arthur evidently had flip-flopped on the issue in the past. One article, dated August 13, quotes a leading Republican in a way reminiscent of more recent campaigns: Why in dont the General come out and say where he was born, and put an end to all this mystery.
Hinman first theorized that General Arthur was born in Belfast or Aberdeen, before his parents emigrated to America. Arthur could easily dismiss this theory, for he had always maintained that his father emigrated at eighteen years of agebefore he married and had children.
Hinman pushed on. The following story appeared in the New York Times of Dec. 22, 1880:
MATERIAL FOR A DEMOCRATIC LIE
ST. ALBANS, Vt., Dec. 21.A stranger arrived here a few days ago, and registered at the American House as A. P. Hinman, of New-York. Since then he has been very busy in the adjoining town of Fairfield, ostensibly collecting materials for a biography of Vice-President-elect Arthur. He has privately stated to leading Democratic citizens, however, that he is employed by the Democratic National Committee to obtain evidence to show that Gen. Arthur is an unnaturalized foreigner. He claims to have discovered that Gen. Arthur was born in Canada, instead of Fairfield; that his name is Chester Allen instead of Chester Abell [sic]; that he was 50 years old in July instead of October, as has been stated, and generally that he is an alien and ineligible to the office of Vice-President. Arthur Hinman would publish a book, How A British Subject Became President of the United States, the substance of which was related in a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article dated June 2, 1884: The main charge of the book is that William Chester Alan Arthur was born in Dunham Flats, Canada, on [sic] March, 1828, and that he represented himself to have been born at North Fairfield, Vermont, the birthplace of a younger brother, Chester Abell Arthur, who was born in 1830, and died a year later. It is stated that in 1834 when another son was born he received the name of William Arthur, Jr., and then the name William was dropped by William Chester Alan Arthur, and he was henceforth known as Chester Alan Arthur. The records, copies of which are given, show that in 1845 Chester Alan Arthur entered Union College, stating his age to be 16. Reeves dismisses Hinmans theory, while admitting that President Arthur lied about his age. He cites the Arthur family Bible, held at the Library of Congress, which gives the Presidents year of birth as 1829, and makes no mention of a child named Chester Abell.2
Notes: 1Thomas C. Reeves, Gentleman Boss: the life of Chester Alan Arthur (New York: Knopf, 1975), p. 5. 2Ibid., p. 435. Reeves notes that the doctor who delivered the President was named Chester Abell.
Was there an American president who was born in Canada?
According to the U.S constitution, a person can only become president if he or she is born in the United States. That's why there was some controversy about whether Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president, should have had the right to the job.
Arthur was officially listed as being born in Fairfield, Vermont, a town in the northwest corner of the state near the Canadian border. But over the years some people have argued that Arthur was in fact born across the border in Quebec. In fact, Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America says that despite the official birthplace, Arthur "was probably born in Canada." Other sources make the same claim, almost off-handedly, but argue that since his parents were U.S citizens Arthur's eligibility for the presidency wasn't challenged.
But in fact, his eligibility was challenged around 1881 when Arthur was the vice-presidential candidate running with James Garfield. Several of Arthur's political enemies spread rumours that he was born in Canada and should be disqualified from the race. According to Thomas C. Reeves, a biographer of Arthur's, the Democrats hired a New York attorney named Arthur Hinman to explore these rumours and make a report. Hinman seems to have gotten carried away because he came back saying that Arthur was born in Ireland and was brought to the U.S. as a boy of 14. However, Hinman abandoned this theory and later alleged that Arthur was born in Quebec (Lower Canada at the time) at his grandparents' house. Hinman says Arthur's mother often visited her parents in Dunham in Quebec. Hinman published a pamphlet in 1884 called "How A British Subject Became President of the United States."
Another biographer George Howe describes this theory as "an interesting hoax" that received little attention at the time. Because many people saw Garfield as a young, vital president, they probably didn't have to worry much about Arthur's background.
However, in 1881, Garfield was assassinated, and Arthur became president. Apparently one acquaintance was heard to say in disbelief, "Good God, Chet Arthur, President of the United States." Arthur had never held elected office in his life, but had been more of a backroom political figure. He also distinguished himself as a lawyer fighting a case in which he defended a black woman who had been kicked off a streetcar. His win in that case eventually led to the desegregation of the New York transportation system.
The day after Arthur took the presidential oath, the New York Sun ran an article refuting the claims about Arthur being born in Canada.
But there are interesting tidbits surrounding this story. First, several sources list Arthur's birth date as October 5, 1830, but Reeves said Arthur was actually born October 5, 1829 and changed the date out of vanity. Arthur's father was an Irish immigrant who first came to Canada, living in Stanstead and Dunham, Quebec and eventually preached in communities in both Quebec and Vermont. Arthur's mother, Malvina, did live in Quebec for a time and her parents lived there until the 1850s. As well, before he died, Arthur destroyed all his personal papers. And while Arthur was listed as being born in Fairfield, some residents believe he was really born in nearby Waterville, Vermont.
Reeve and other scholars (and most people of the time) dismiss Hinman's claim, but it was quite an elaborate story. According to Hinman, the Arthurs had three sons, William Chester Alan, who was born in Dunham, Quebec, Chester Abell who was born in Fairfield, and William born in Hinesburgh, Vermont. When the second William was born, William Chester dropped his "William" name and went by Chester Alan (he's the one who became president). He retained the named Chester because his other brother Chester Abell had died in infancy and so now the "Chester" name was available. He also appropriated the birth record of this second brother so that he could sustain his American citizenship, Hinman claimed.
And as for why there was no record of this death of the second son, Hinman argued that Arthur's father had sold the body to a medical school. In the end, there seemed to be no proof of this claim that Arthur was born in Canada, and there is a marker in Vermont pointing out where the 21st president was supposedly born. Arthur died Nov. 18, 1886.
Copyright © Randy Ray and Mark Kearney, The Trivia Guys. Books by TheTrivia Guys - at Amazon.com
I’m wondering if there was ever a lawsuit against Chester Arthur to determine his eligibility. It would be part of the precedence the Supreme Court needs to look at.
Thanks to X for bringing this to my attention.
Wiki is the source.
More admissions about Obama not being a natural-born citizen.
Dunham Flats, Canada?
I still think the Kenya think is a dry hole designed to block further inquiry into Husseins status upon returning from Indonesia.
the issue of how Barry Soetoro/aka Barack Hussein Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1971 at age twenty is complicated by the fact that Pakistan was under martial law at the time, the U.S. was backing the opposition in the civil war with the rulers of Pakistan, and Americans were persona non grats in Pakistan ... the travel to Pakistan on a regular American passport while Pakistan was under martial law was illegal by Pakistani regulations, but a citizen of a Moslem country anywhere in the world, as far as I have been able to discover, was not restricted from entry.
Bangladesh was formed in 1972 after the Pakistani army surrendered to--I think--the 'insurgent Hindustanis'.
Bingo, Kenyan birth to an unmarried American girl is a bit iffy ... getting adopted by an Indonesian while a minor and then traveling to Hawaii and Pakistan on an Indonesian passport is ... or would be ... the end of all of this nonsense.
Question: why couldn't this SOB sneak in over the Rio Grande, like a real illegal immigrant?
Thank you, Kevmo and MHGinTn.
Ping to #9. Also scroll down to #10, haha.
What U.S. Presidents, other than those who were born prior to the ratification of the Constitution, were not both sired and carried by American citizens?
He will not be my president, nor will I abide by any law or executive order signed into effect by him.
Try me if you must, but I will have the perfect defence.
Arthur's mother was a native of Vermont, so the situation would be very comparable to the case of Barry Soetoro if the rumor of Barry's birth in Kenya could be proven true. What a coincidence that the possible birthplace of Chester Alan Arthur has the same name as Barry's mother's maiden name.
I don't think Arthur ever produced his birth certificate either.
Show me Your Passport Ping.
See # 9 and #10.
waste of time - no. I agree probably nothing will come of it. I give it 50/50 he wasn’t born in hawaii so it is still worthwhile pursuing. Maybe some mud will stick.
He is a citizen but less clear whether he is a natural born citizen.
And if he is yet has used his Kenyan or Inodnesian citizenship to get college entry or funding or travel documents then he has exhibited divided loyalties and made himself ineligible. Why do you think he has buried or destroyed all records of college and travel prior to moving to Chicago out of law school?
Barry's mother was not quite old enough to pass citizenship to the baby and his father was a British citizen, regardless of where he was born, friend. In 1961 the law was different than today.
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