Glad you brought up William Rawle. His father died when he was two. His Step Father was a British Loyalist supporting the Monarchy during the Revolutionary war. He was trained in Law in London England. Why would you think he would be a good reference as to what were the intentions of the Founders? (Who were on the OTHER side of the conflict.)
According to Richard W. Flournoy, citing ATTY General Black, (1922) British trained lawyers was a serious problem during this era.
Richard W. Flournoy, citing ATTY General Black.
Attorney-General Black, whose opinion of July 4, 1859, concerning the case of Christian Ernst, a naturalized American citizen of Hanoverian origin who was arrested upon his return to Hanover, has become a classic on this subject. It seems worth while to quote from this notable opinion:
The natural right of every free person, who owes no debts and is not guilty of any crime, to leave the country of his birth in good faith and for an honest purpose, the privilege of throwing off his natural allegiance and substituting another allegiance in its placethe general right, in one word, of expatriationis incontestible. I know that the common law of England denies it; that the judicial decisions of that country are opposed to it; and that some of our own courts, misled by British authority, have expressed, though not very decisively, the same opinion. But all this is very far from settling the question. The municipal code of England is not one of the sources from which we derive our knowledge of international law. We take it from natural reason and justice, from writers of known wisdom, and from the practice of civilized nations. All these are opposed to the doctrine of perpetual allegiance. It is too injurious to the general interests of mankind to be tolerated; justice denies that men should either be confined to their native soil or driven away from it against their will.
And therein lies another salient point. The Common Law of England was that Allegiance was perpetual and could not be thrown off.
How foolish is it to throw off the English law of Allegiance, yet claim the *means by which that collar was placed around our neck?
* Jus Soli is a law of Feudal Lordship. It's purpose is to bind the serfs to their masters soil. As a Monarchical based law, it is not an appropriate way to define the citizens of a Free Republic.
Maybe because George Washington appointed him the first United States Attorney for Pennsylvania?
Rawle actually studied law at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in London. This is the same law school that trained signers of the Constitution John Blair, John Dickinson, Jared Ingersoll, John Rutledge and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (Pinckney also studied law under Justice Blackstone at Oxford University).
After the Revolution, Rawle was offer compensation from the British government for his stepfather’s properties that were confiscated. He turned the money down saying that he had not done anything to deserve the compensation.
He returned to the United States, traveling on a handwritten passport issued by Benjamin Franklin (while Franklin was in Paris).
After returning to the United States, he passed the bar and in 1783 opened a law practice in Philadelphia (Rawle and Henderson, the oldest continuous law firm in the United States).
He also maintained his friendship with Franklin. In February, 1787, he became a founding member of “The Society for Political Inquiries”. The members consisted of prominent members of Philadelphia. The Society met twice a month at Franklin’s house. Benjamin Franklin was the president and Thomas Paine wrote the Society’s by-laws.
Other members of the Society include James Wilson, Governour Morris, Benjamin Rush, Trench Coxe and Robert Morris (the only man to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution). The Society suspended its meetings for the summer of 1787 so some members could attend the Constitutional Convention.
Rawle was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature and was appointed by President Washington to be United States District Attorney for Pennsylvania.