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persons who now are or have been citizens of the United States, shall be considered citizens, though born out of the United States, is very imperfect, since it does not apply to the children of those American citizens who have been born since April 14, 1802. The remarks of Chancellor Kent, in regard to this provision, are well deserving attention.
• It applies,' he says, only to the children of persons who then were, or had been citizens; and consequently the benefit of this provision narrows rapidly by the lapse of time, and the period will soon arrive, when there will be no statute regulation for the benefit of children born abroad, of American parents, and they will be obliged to resort for aid to the dormant and doubtful principles of the English common law. This provision leaves us likewise in doubt, whether the act intended by the words, “ children of persons,” both the father and mother, in imitation of the statute of 25 Edw. III., or the father only, according to the more liberal declaration of the statute of 4 Geo. II. This clause differs from the preceding one, in being without any restriction as to the age or residence of the child; and it appears to have been intended for the case of the children of natural born citizens, or of citizens who were original actors in our revolution, and therefore it was more comprehensive and more liberal in their favor. But the whole statute provision is remarkably loose and vague in its terms, and it is lamentably defective in being confined to the case of children of parents who were citizens in 1802, or had been so previously. The former act of 29th January, 1795, was not so; for it declared generally, that "the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States." And when we consider the universal propensity to travel, the liberal intercourse between nations, the extent of commercial enterprise, and the genius and spirit of our municipal institutions, it is quite surprising that the rights of the children of American citizens, born abroad, should, by the existing act of 1802, be left so precarious, and so far inferior in the security which has been given, under like circumstances, by the English statutes.' 2 Kent's Com.
The ease with which naturalization is effected in this country, is strongly contrasted with the difficulty which attends it in England. There, as is well known, an alien cannot be naturalized,
except by act of Parliament, which cannot be obtained without considerable trouble and expense. Even after an alien is naturalized there, he continues debarred from some of the most important privileges of citizenship. The following particular account of the mode of proceeding in England, will probably be new to most of our readers. It is taken from Dwarris's Treatise on Statutes, a work recently published in London.
Naturalization, by which an alien is put in the same state as if he had been born in the King's ligeance, (with a few exceptions introduced from jealousy of foreigners under particular dynasties,) can only be performed in this country by the transcendent power of Parliament. For this purpose an act may be passed, containing however certain disabling clauses, and such act may begin in either house.
Before the petition is presented, there are several points to be separately and attentively considered.
'No person of the age of eighteen years or upwards, can be naturalized or restored in blood, unless he have received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, within one month before the bringing in of the bill; and unless he take the oath of supremacy and allegiance in the presence of Parliament; and the Lord Chancellor, if the bill begins in the Upper House, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, if the bill begins there, have authority during the session, to administer such oaths. If then the party seeking to be naturalized, be eighteen years of age, he receives the sacrament shortly before the bill is presented. If he be not eighteen, but a minor, a petition is presented by his father or guardian, who appears for him before the committee. On proof being given that the minor seeking to be naturalized, has been educated in the Protestant religion, he will not be required to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy or to receive the sacrament.
• The petition is signed by the party making the application, and the bill may be presented the same day with the petition, and read a first time. Bills for this purpose are not required to be printed.
* These bills cannot be received in either House of Parliament, unless they contain certain disabling clauses; as by the 1 Geo. I. c. 4, unless there be a clause to declare that such person
shall not be enabled to be of the privy council, or a member of either
House of Parliament, or enjoy any office of trust, or have any grant from the Crown. So there must be inserted a clause, disabling the person from obtaining thereby, in any foreign country, any immunity or indulgences in trade, enjoyed by natural born British subjects, unless he shall have resided in Great Britain for seven years next before the commencement of the session in which he is naturalized, and shall not have been absent from the same longer than two months at one time, during the said seven years.
• As soon as the bill is presented, (if not before,) a memorial should be addressed by the petitioner to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, stating his reasons for wishing to be naturalized, his profession of the Protestant religion, and that he intends to reside in England, and is well affected to his Majesty's government, and to the constitution of this country in church and state.
Letters of recommendation also should be procured from
persons of the greatest weight and distinction in the part of the country where he has longest resided, bearing testimony to his life and orderly conduct.
On the 2d of January, 1807, it was ordered that no bill for naturalizing any person born in any foreign territory, shall be read a second time, until the petitioner shall produce a certificate from one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, respecting his conduct.
* But although this order may seem to sufficiently denote the office of the Secretary of State (for the Home Department,) as that from which the certificate of conduct ought to be obtained, yet it should seem, that the quarter to which application is also to be made, and with the greatest effect with a view to produce a favorable testimonial, is the Alien Office. All letters addressed to the Secretary of State, are understood to be transmitted to the latter office, for inquiries to be made respecting the petitioner, and if a certificate of conformity and good conduct be forwarded from that office, it will as a matter of course, receive the signature of the Secretary of State, and be sent to the Parliament Office.
As soon as a certificate is procured, a day is fixed for the second reading, on which day the oaths of allegiance and supremacy are taken by the party at the bar of the House. The bill is then committed, and the committee may sit the next day. The party, or if he be a minor, his parent or guardian attend at the committee to signify his desire to be naturalized, and witnesses must be called, (usually the parish clerk, &c.) to prove the administration of the sacrament, and the handwriting of the officiating minister to a certificate to that effect. If the bill originates with the Commons, the person applying for the bill attends and takes the oaths there, between the first and second reading of the bill. These are administered by the clerk, before the Speaker takes the chair.
• But to return to the Lords. The bill is commonly reported the same day on which the committee sits, and ordered to be engrossed. It is then read a third time, and transmitted to the Commons. At the House of Commons the engrossed bill is read a first time the day it is brought from the Lords; and on the fourth day after the first reading, read a second time. It is then committed, and the same witnesses as were before the Lords, must attend the committee to prove the administration of the sacrament. The bill is then reported, read a third time, and returned to the Lords.
When the bill has received the royal assent, the solicitor for the party naturalized will be careful to obtain a duplicate of the act signed by the clerk of the Parliaments.'
ART. VI.-OPINIONS OF LORD MANSFIELD ON COMMERCIAL
LAW - HIS JUDICIAL CHARACTER.
No person occupies a more conspicuous place in the history of the English law, and accordingly in that of our own, than Lord Mansfield. The time of his coming to the judicial station which he so long occupied in the court of king's bench, was peculiarly suited to a judicial magistrate of his character. The deeprooted prejudice of the professors of the common law, and of the English nation generally, against the civil law, had, in a great measure, shut the nation out from that great repository of legal learning. The great authority of the writings of Coke had favored this prejudice, and contributed to fix upon legal science the narrow, exclusive spirit and blind adherence to obscure, indefinite customs, arbitrary dogmas, and supposed precedents, which still, in some degree, trammel and degrade the English jurisprudence, and bind down the courts and the profession to the investigation of innumerable instances of decisions in detail, to the neglect of those broad and luminous principles, which, if pursued and always kept in view, raise the law into the rank of a liberal science. Our meaning will be obvious to any one who will read an opinion of Lord Stowell, and compare it with any case in Coke's Reports, or those of any other of the old reporters. In one case, the extensive and luminous views of the judge lead the reader to the conclusion, with an irresistible force of argument, amounting to a demonstration, while the rich learning and copious references, where the case requires their introduction, are only collateral illustrations of the doctrine which the judge establishes, on broad and indisputable general principles, more convincingly and satisfactorily to the mind, than it would be possible to do by the longest list of the most venerable authorities; while, in the old common law reports, the reader is perplexed in threading his way through an obscure maze of precedents, and dicta, scholastic subtleties, hair-splitting, and verbal distinctions and criticisms, in search, not of any broad ground of opinion, but of cases which may serve as a pattern for the decision, which pattern is to be followed with blind deference and servile exactness.
Notwithstanding the great advance of the English common law, within the last century, still it is circumscribed and fettered, by the illiberal spirit, and admiration of patterns, instead of principles, which seem to be inherent in the system itself. But the bigoted jealousy of the civil law, and love of detail and reverence for precedent instead of principle, received a rude shock under the administration of Lord Mansfield, in respect to all commercial questions; for the antique spirit of the common law, could never reach and comprehend this branch of jurisprudence. All attempts to reduce these questions within the narrow system of the old law, had totally failed, and the decisions, previous to the time of Lord Mansfield, were, for the most part, but so many blanks; for they did not, generally, result in any thing like practical, authoritative doctrines. The common law could refine upon the statutes, and the doctrines of real property, and the technical rules of legal proceedings, but no statutes had been enacted on the subject of marine law, and very little progress had