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THE CASE OF MR. SMITH
by Paraleaglenm, ©2011
(Apr. 29, 2011) — Ramsay’s Petition in the Case of Mr. Smith, May 22, 1789, was a thorough analysis of by what mechanisms a person became a U.S. citizen. #1, if I recall, was ‘by birth or inheritance.’ It was based on his nine-page Dissertation published in 1789.
James Madison countered that ‘place of birth’ was the primary principle, i.e., jus solis as practiced in the states as English colonies.
Mr. Smith’s parents died some years prior to 1776 and he was taken to England to be raised and educated, returning to his birthplace, S. Carolina, at age 23. Seven years later, at age 30, he ran for congress and his citizenship was challenged.
The congressional hearing sided with Madison, disregarding Smith being ‘born’ of British subjects and not ‘inheriting’ U.S. citizenship from his parents in 1776.
Ironically, only ten months later, (March 26, 1790) the 1790 Uniform Naturalization Act was passed following Dr. Ramsay’s Dissertation and Petition . . . not the jus solis position of James Madison.
Under the 1790 Act, Smith would have been required to apply for naturalization at a court of proper jurisdiction.
Note: The Wong Kim Ark case is analogous; the proper application of law would have been his appeal to the denial of his application for naturalization because of the Burlingame Treaty and the Chinese Exclusionary Act, the proper jurisdiction of SCOTUS, NOT misinterpreting the 14th Amendment to create jus solis citizenship where it never was. Cf. the Hausding and Greisser cases cited in Chief Justice Fuller’s dissent in Wong Kim Ark.
And to the same effect are the rulings of Mr. Secretary Frelinghuysen in the matter of Hausding, and Mr. Secretary Bayard in the matter of Greisser.
Hausding was born in the United States, went to Europe, and, desiring to return, applied to the minister of the United States for a passport, which was refused on the ground that the applicant was born of Saxon subjects temporarily in the United States. Mr. Secretary Frelinghuysen wrote to Mr. Kasson, our minister:
You ask “Can one born a foreign subject, but within the United States, make the option after his majority, and while still living abroad, to adopt the citizenship of his birthplace? It seems not, and that he must change his allegiance by emigration and legal process of naturalization.” Sections 1992 and 1993 of the Revised Statutes clearly show the extent of existing legislation; that the fact of birth, under circumstances implying alien subjection, establishes, of itself, no right of citizenship, and that the citizenship of a person so born is to be acquired in some legitimate manner through the operation of statute. No statute contemplates the acquisition of the declared character of an American citizen by a person not at the time within the jurisdiction of the tribunal of record which confers that character.
Greisser was born in the State of Ohio in 1867, his father being a German subject and domiciled in Germany, to which country the child returned. After quoting the act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment, Mr. Secretary Bayard said:
Richard Greisser was no doubt born in the United States, but he was on his birth “subject to a foreign power,” and “not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” He was not, therefore, under the statute and the Constitution a citizen of the United States by birth, and it is not pretended that he has any other title to citizenship.
2 Whart.Int.Dig. 399.
The 14th Amendment was proposed only nine weeks after passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Act. The 1866 Act began with “That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States . . .” Cf. The 14th Amendment’s “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States”
http://books.google.com/books?id=LVoLAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA94&lpg=PA94&dq=case+of+mr.+smith+South+carolina+madison+ramsay&source=bl&ots=KRLvYsCuXi&sig=uL3-Pm1NHFEL6FZt-EbI40n-Vhk&hl=en&ei=juW6Td_kKJOasAOrkdS7BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false , or http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_2_2s6.html
http://www.scribd.com/doc/36590701/Ramsay-1789-Dissertation-on-Citizenship , or http://www.scribd.com/doc/33807636/A-Dissertation-on-Manner-of-Acquiring-Character-Privileges-of-Citizen-of-U-S-by-David-Ramsay-1789
 U.S. Const. Art. III, Section 2, Clause 1. Subjects of Jurisdiction. “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, . . . “