By JB Williams Thursday, April 29, 2010
Were ANY of the Founding Fathers “natural born citizens” of the United States?
No… they were not. Not even one of the Founding Fathers was a “natural born citizen” of the United States of America, even though some of them had indeed been (native) born on what would become U.S. soil.
None of them were “natural born citizens” because all of the Founding Fathers were born prior to the existence of the United States of America. No one could be the “natural born citizen” of a nation that did not yet exist.
America declared its independent status as a sovereign nation on July 4, 1776, breaking away from England and British rule. But the United States of America was not formed until September of 1787, with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The Founders had no choice but to exempt themselves from Article II—Section I—Clause V of the Constitution they wrote and ratified. But there would be no other exemptions or exceptions from that moment forward.
So, how could any of them become President of the United States?
The Founders made this possible with this portion of Article II—Section I—Clause V; - “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution;”
They included a grandfather section in the clause pertaining to constitutional qualifications for the office of President, - A ONE-TIME exemption from the “natural born citizen” requirement for president.
They clearly separate themselves “citizens” from others who had to be “natural born citizens” in order to hold the office of president. Citizens, who were not “citizens” at the time of the Adoption of the
Constitution, would forever after need to be “natural born citizens” to
reside in the Oval Office.
Excluding citizens at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution, who shall be eligible for the office of president?
“No person except a natural born Citizen”
We know why they had no choice but to exempt themselves, but why did they exempt only themselves? What was so important about “natural born citizen” status that they made it possible for only a “natural born citizen” to hold the office of president after the adoption of the constitution?
What did the Founders mean by the term “natural born citizen?”
As with all written laws or contracts, they are a collection of carefully chosen written words of known specific meaning or definition. Any time you study documents, you must use definitions of words as they existed at the time the document was written, as words occasionally change definition over time. In the case of a document as important as the U.S. Constitution, it is vital that we have the proper meaning or definition of those words at the time of the writing and ratification of the document, in order to properly interpret the document.
I am using Webster’s 1828 First Edition Dictionary to define the written words, as it is the closest I have access to for the era 1776-1787.
The word BORN is defined by this dictionary as—“To be born, is to be produced or brought into life”
This word is simple enough and few people want to debate what the word means.
The word Citizen is defined by the 1828 Dictionary as—“The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides; the freeman of a city, as
distinguished from a foreigner, or one not entitled to its franchises.”
This word is also widely accepted and seldom debated. However, ONLY as it relates to the current resident of the White House, Barack Hussein Obama, there seems to be great confusion over the meaning of the word “natural,” as it relates to whether or not Barack Hussein Obama is constitutionally eligible to be president of the United States.
Yet the word NATURAL is no more complicated than the words born or citizen.
Clearly, due to the Founders grandfather clause, any “citizen” could hold the office of president at the time of the adoption of the constitution. But after that, “No person except a natural born Citizen” could hold the office of president, or vice president for that matter.
The word NATURAL is defined as follows, in the 1828 Webster’s dictionary
—“Pertaining to nature; produced or effected by nature, or by the laws of growth, formation or motion impressed on bodies or beings by divine power. Thus we speak of the natural growth of animals or plants; the natural motion of a gravitating body; natural strength or disposition; the natural heat of the body; natural color; natural beauty. In this sense, natural is opposed to artificial or acquired.”
Natural (Pertaining to nature - In this sense, natural is opposed to artificial or acquired)
Born (To be born, is to be produced or brought into life)
Citizen (The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides)
As these were likely the actual definitions in play at the time these words were drafted into the U.S. Constitution, this is most likely exactly what the Founding Fathers meant by these words.
As a quick aside, for those having trouble with Obama’s alleged birth
place, it is only the term “NATIVE” which refers to place of birth.
Native—“Conferred by birth; as native rights and privilege - Pertaining to the place of birth; as native soil; native country; native graves - One born in any place is said to be a native of that place, whether country, city or town.”
Is Barack Hussein Obama a “Natural Born Citizen” of the United States? Although NO authenticated evidence has been offered to support the claim, those who claim that Obama was born in Hawaii would be claiming only that Obama is a “native born citizen” of the United States. As
“native born citizen” is NOT the requirement for president in the Constitution, this is an argument of no real consequence.
Being born in Hawaii would make Obama a “native born citizen,” but not necessarily a “natural born citizen” of the United States.
Even if we accept the notion that Obama was “native born” to Hawaii,
which was a U.S. state at the time of Obama’s alleged birth in August 1961, we would only be accepting the notion that Obama is a “native born” citizen, not a “natural born citizen.”
If Article II—Section I said - “No person except a native born Citizen”
shall hold the office of president, an authentic birth certificate from Hawaii would indeed solve the problem, although no such birth certificate has ever been offered by Obama. This terminology would have qualified some of the Founders as well, without the need for a grandfathered exemption.
However, “No person except a natural born Citizen”
shall be eligible for the office of president.
As a result, a Hawaiian birth certificate would not be enough to qualify
Barack Hussein Obama, II - as eligible for the office he currently holds. Something else would be required…something more.
Obama supporters shouldn’t feel unfairly singled out however, as without
the grandfather clause, no Founding Father could have held the office of president either, and they were all white men. In fact, all white men would have to meet the exact same requirements as Obama today. Article II—Section I mentions nothing about color or race.
What is required to be a “natural born citizen?” In a word, nature… as in, natural law, or as the 1828 Webster’s dictionary puts it—“Pertaining to nature; produced or effected by nature, or by the laws of growth, formation or motion impressed on bodies or beings by divine power.”
WOW!—“impressed on bodies or beings by divine power.”—“produced or effected by nature, or by the laws of growth”
In terms of “nature’s effect” on human beings, what we know is the reproductive system and time honored natural laws pertaining to
Webster’s 1828 definition establishes birthright
or privilege, to which a person is entitled by birth, such as an estate descendible by law to an heir, or civil liberty under a free
Such as, a child inherits his/her father’s name automatically at birth, as well as heir to his fortune and his citizenship.
No man-made laws are needed. In every civilized nation on earth, the
“natural born child” automatically inherits their father’s name and all other related birthrights upon birth, with no statute required.
If Barack Hussein Obama’s father had been a legal citizen of the U.S. at
the time of Barack II birth, Barack II would enjoy not only his father’s name, but his citizenship in the United States as well, and no man-made law could block his birthright to status as a “natural born citizen” of the USA.
However, Obama’s father was at no time a citizen of the USA. He was at
all known times in his life, a citizen of Kenya, which at the time was still under British rule.
Barack Hussein Obama II father was a legal citizen of Kenya. As the
“natural born” son of Barack Hussein Obama I, Barack Obama II is the “natural born citizen” of Kenya, which is why his family, friends and the press referred to him as “Kenyan Born
” all the way up until he decided to run for the office of president.
From that moment forward, Obama, his friends and the press has denied
that he was a “natural born citizen” of Kenya, and claimed that he was a “natural born citizen” of Hawaii.
But here’s the problem—Even if Obama was born in Hawaii, a “native born”
citizen of the United States (which has yet to be proven), he was still the “natural born citizen” of his father, and Kenya.
This would have made Barack Obama II a “dual citizen” of both the USA and Kenya.
And this is why the Natural Born Citizen clause exists in the U.S. Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama is the poster-child for why the Founding Father’s
placed Article II—Section I—Clause V in the U.S. Constitution.
Dual citizenship means dual or divided national loyalties. That’s why
the qualification for the highest office in the land is “natural born citizen.” An individual with NO reason for dual or divided national
It is on the basis of this research and further research into the history of the term “natural born citizen”—that I wrote The Bottom Line on Natural Born Citizen
and make the claim that DC Knows that Obama is Ineligible for Office