Sunday, October 21, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Strike That...Reverse It...

Harvard University Library website
Ooops....I started my series of posts on immigration history in the United States with the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, and wouldn't you know, I should have started it earlier.  Well, until I can build a time machine or Doctor Who can come and whisk me back a couple months I'll just have to rectify the situation by inserting the missing post here.

(INSERT MISSING POST, a.k.a. - The Naturalization Act of 1790)

This Act is short and sweet (if only it were so today).  Residency in the US for 2 years (and don't be naughty) and you and your children are considered citizens.  Now I was always taught that a wife's citizenship was also tied to the husband, but I see no mention of this in the Act.  Could it be that naturalization wasn't always this way for women?  Could it be that women were considered even less significant than children to not even warrant being mentioned?  Is it automatically an assumption that wives are included due to the era of the legislation?  If anyone knows, please share.

"Congress of the United States:


Begun and held at the City of New-York, on Monday the Fourth of January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety.

An ACT to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.

BE it enacted by the SENATE and  HOUSE of  REPRESENTATIVES of the United States of America, in Congress assembled,  That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any Common Law Court of Record, in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court, that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the Constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a citizen of the United States.  And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States.  And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens:  Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States:  Provided also,  That no person heretofore proscribed by any State, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.
JOHN ADAMS, Vice-President of the United States,
and President of the Senate

APPROVED, March 26th, 1790.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, President of the United States."