New York Tribune 1896: Those born of non-citizen parents may not be eligible for POTUS.

The issue of which I write on this blog – whether a person born with dual allegiance is eligible to be Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces – has been discussed at numerous times in our nation’s history.  It’s not like it was just made up by people who do not support Obama.


Back in 1896, the issue of whether a citizen – who was not born of US citizen parents – could be President of the United States was discussed in the Tribune (aka New York Tribune) during that Presidential campaign.  Here is the full text of the story (see pg. 131 at link):

The question as to whether the Labor candidate for the Presidency would, if chosen by a majority of the electoral vote, be entitled under the Constitution to take his seat is one which since his nomination at Chicago has been frequently and freely discussed, but not satisfactorily disposed of. The facts which are fully admitted by both parties in regard to Mr. Schurmann are these—namely, that his parents, Johannes Schurmann and Barbara, his wife, reached Now York by the sailing ship Hamburg, of the Black Ball Line, on the 18th day of August, 1848, as German immigrants, and that on the following day, in a lodging-house at No. 5 Greenwich Street, the present Labor candidate for the Presidency of the United States was born. Is he, under these circumstances, “a natural-born citizen” in the sense implied by the fifth clause of Art. II. of the Constitution? Various Attorney-Generals of the United States have expressed the opinion that a child born in this country of alien parents, who have not been naturalized, is, by the fact of birth, a native-born citizen entitled to all rights and privileges as such, and the State Department has always acted on this presumption in deciding upon questions of this nature brought before it. There is, however, no United States statute containing any provision on the subject, nor have any judicial decisions ever been made in regard to it. It is at best an open question, and one which should have made Mr. Schurmann’s nomination under any circumstances an impossibility. Fortunately, the result of the campaign appears no longer doubtful, yet to the misguided voters of the Labor Party, even when led up to a forlorn hope at the polls, it would no doubt be some consolation to know that they were casting their votes for a candidate concerning whose eligibility no possible question could be afterward raised. [emphasis added]

The Tribune mentions that this issue had been “frequently and freely discussed”.  So what does that tell you about President Chester Arthur?  It tells you that while the issue was “frequently and freely discussed” as to Schurman, it was not discussed at all as to Chester Arthur.

This is because Arthur concealed the fact that he, like Scurmann, was not born of US citizen parents.  Both Schurmann and Arthur were born with dual allegiance.  Had the nation been aware of Arthur’s status as a British subject, there would have been no question about Schurmann’s eligibility.  Arthur had recently been President in 1895 (typo) 1885.

Had it been known Arthur was a British subject, the Tribune certainly would have mentioned that fact in the article.

If Arthur’s dual allegiance had been known, there would have been no point in writing the article about Schurmann.  (This blog first revealed Arthur’s deception to the nation in December 2008.)  And since the Tribune stated that the issue had been frequently discussed – while not mentioning Chester Arthur – it gives credibility to the importance of the issue then and now.

Chester Arthur was responsible for appointing Justice Horace Gray to the US Supreme Court.  Gray went on to write the controversial decision in Wong Kim Ark.  That decision appears, perhaps, to have been an attempt to protect Gray’s robe since Gray might have been removed from the bench had Arthur’s status as a British subject become known prior to the Wong Kim Ark decision.  (Should this issue ever reach the Supreme Court as to Obama, both Sotomayor and Kagan would have an ethical responsibility to recuse themselves.)

Thank you, Chester Arthur.  Good lookin’ out, bro – for yourself that is.  Ditto to Gray?  That’s an open question.  The stench of ineligibility causes big ripples if left to rot the nation’s Constitutional core.

Chester was also responsible for forcing the US military to salute the British flag.

Furthermore, the Tribune article was republished in, “The Presidential Campaign of 1896: A scrap-book chronicle” by George Lynde Catlin, 1925.  That book was copied into Google from the Harvard College Library (Obama attended Harvard law).  And the reason for the book?  The intro is telling (go to pg. 5 in the pg. counter):

“Descended as you are from an ancestry identified with the earliest traditions of our republic, and reared, as you have been, under influences and teachings purely American, every incentive is offered you to improve yourself, in your day and generation, a good and useful citizen of these United States.  Assuming integrity of character, fairness of judgment, and unselfishness of purpose to be the prime requisites of good citizenship, I go one step farther to urge upon you the necessity of acquiring a thorough acquaintance with the political history of your country…

In the study of these events you will note the invariable triumph of a living, active American patriotism over the dangers successively arising to confront it.  Chief and foremost among these averted dangers I place that one with which we were menaced in 1896 by the combined alien forces of Socialism, Anarchy, and Atheism.”

You think Obama wasn’t aware of the Presidential campaign of 1896?  Anyone who answers that question in the affirmative has no respect for Obama’s intelligence.

by Leo Donofrio, Esq.  (…with another big hat tip to the research team)

24 Responses to “New York Tribune 1896: Those born of non-citizen parents may not be eligible for POTUS.”

  1. Of course Obama knows this history. He is using the same strategy as Chester Arthur did, letting the issue of WHERE he was born become the main issue. However he also knows that CA is not precedent because the public was not aware of his non citizen father, which is why Obama made such a big deal about Obama SR. as a Kenyan before the election. He is consciously trying to set the precedent, and is relying on the apathy and lack of constitutional knowledge of A2S1C5 among the citizenry, along w/ the help of a complicit media.
    But Obama didn’t count on smart patriots exposing him, and is now stuck perpetuating the BC controversy. He is now trying to run out the clock (snap the ball before the red challenge flag comes out).
    My question is, if he succeeds in finishing his term, and is somehow allowed on the 2012 ballot, or decides not to run, will the questions raised in the public sector, and the court cases not heard for standing, offset the precedent?

  2. Adjudicative Fact; “There is no acknowledged “legal’ definition of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen”. <Period

    As you know the efforts I have made through various Federal Departments and/or sub-divisions and well as the Courts is based upon that FACT.

    An interesting proposition of Law inquires whether anyone that occupies an Executive Office can be said to be legally occupying those Offices sans the legal definition of the ONLY Constitutionally recognized form of citizenship eligible for that office.

    The ONLY historical reference to the 'idiom' emanating from the Constitution is the repealed Act of 1790 which temporarily 'modified' the then understood definition by temporarily 'enlarging' the circumstances by which the U.S. would recognize a person born 'as if' a natural born Citizen.

    We may never know if the records of debates of the 1795 3rd Congress on the subject have been scrubbed or simply non-existent, but I choose to acknowledge the wisdom of that Congress' recognition that they had overstepped their jurisdiction in several ways Constitutionally.

    Accepting the 'Adjudicative Fact' above, acknowledging that there is NO surviving legislation or promulgated laws and that there is NO case law on the specific question, (rendering ALL 'dicta' that may be found in various cases, though perhaps informative, merely dicta not rising as considered 'Judicial Dicta'), the Clause its-self MUST be recognized as the Statutory Law in the 1st instant.

    These facts puts the subject in a unique Constitutional position in that the demands of the Clause are at once 'prerequisite and imperative' providing for NO discretionary interpretation;

    "No person except….shall be …".

    "No person except" must be taken to mean from birth, i.e., 'born' as such, 'Prerequisite'. "Shall be" must be taken to mean determined 'as such', i.e., conforming to the circumstances and condition since birth, 'imperative'.

    But what makes the subject even more unique is the intervening 222 years of being without an 'acknowledged 'legal' definition of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen which puts the ONLY means of of obtaining 'relief and remedy' is through the Original Jurisdiction of the SCOTUS under similar circumstances as found in Marbury v Madison.


  3. I respect the intelligence but not the man. What he has done has been artfully clever.

  4. FYI typo:

    Arthur had recently been President in 1895 should read 1885

    ed. It was atypo, fixed it. thanks. leo

  5. Otherwise, great post & thanks to the research team. I’ve been wondering when we would hear from them again.

    ed. It’s not undead revolution lately (dont know what happened to them)…its a regular reader here. Leo

  6. “and reared, as you have been, under influences and teachings purely American”

    Not a claim that Obama can make, especially since his 1st book is about the dreams of his Kenyan father, rather than those of his American mother. That in itself as “all telling” as to his influences.

  7. Interested Says:

    an interesting tidbit.

    Gov. Strong, Alaska. Far different explanation than what is written in the Alaska Governor’s Hallway, (much more in line with not born on soil) but this from Wikipedia

    President Wilson declined to reappoint Strong to a second term as governor and his final day in office came in April 1918. According to U.S. Senator, and Alaskan history expert, Ernest Gruening this was because the President has been given information indicating the Canadian-born Strong had never been naturalized as a United States Citizen.

  8. “Arthur had recently been President in 1895.”
    Chester Arthur left office in March of 1885 and was dead in 1886.

    “You think Obama wasn’t aware of the Presidential campaign of 1896? Anyone who answers that question in the affirmative has no respect for Obama’s intelligence.”
    I believe that the law firm that explored the eligibility question for Obama thoroughly researched its history and found a way to justify the candidacy or to avoid the question. I don’t know if Obama would have cared about his Constitutional eligibility beyond his reach for the Presidency. Not has he only showed his lack of respect for the Constitution, he has shown a general ignorance of much of history…

  9. The Republican VP candidate in 1884 was John Logan, a former Civil War General and Machine Party Boss born in the United States to an educated Irish born father. Like the 1880 campaign, no mention was made of the vice president’s father’s citizenship status in the press. John Logan and Chester Arthur had very similar backgrounds, but, unlike the Garfield/Arthur ticket, the Blaine/Logan ticket was defeated at the polls.

    In 1880, a popular political awareness was developing from the distaste for machine politics/corruption and machine politicians. The movement actually began before 1880 and lead to the democratic presidential nomination of Horace Greeley, a “liberal” Republican (liberal for anti-machine, anti-corruption) in 1872. The rebellion gained enough clout for Grover Cleveland (VP Hendricks) to defeat the “Halfbreed” Blaine/”Stalwart” Logan Republican ticket in 1884. The political awakening during the Gilded Age was similar to the political awakening of today.

  10. Leo,
    The SCOTUS has refused to hear every case about eligibility, and the new justices (appointed by Obama) don’t remove themselves from the discussion. Congress has ignored just about every Constitutional law on appropriations, and created more debt in 2 years than in all US history, combined. Obama resigned and broadened the ‘Patriot Act’, has ordered more assignations of US citizens than all other POTUS (in 2 years), refused to enforce laws, refuses to protect state borders. Where do you go when the Government is illegal and the SCOTUS is deaf, dumb, and blind?

    ed. somewhere else… – leo

  11. witch_wyzwurd Says:

    You make this topic captivating Leo! Your research is meticulous and your reasoning is commendable! I only hope you get a shot at a good current radio interview with a host who lets you develop your points clearly. Too bad the Coast to Coast interview didn’t work out; this is definitely not a topic that can be squeezed into a sound bite. I did listen to the interviews on the other shows back then too. I really think Alex Jones and you would hit it off.

  12. Actually there have been four SCOTUS cases defining Natural Born Citizen;
    The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)
    Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 3 Pet. 242 242 (1830)
    Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)
    Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)

    ed. what am I missing, George? – leo

  13. borderraven Says:



  14. borderraven Says:


    You might like this.
    Posted on Tue Jan 18 2011 13:20:48 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time) by rxsid

    “Strunk v Paterson (Obama): First time in the USA since 1824; Judge has opined on what Natural Born citizen is; Concludes Obama is not a NBC.

    Via Chris Strunk; The first time anywhere in the USA since 1824, that any Judge has opined on what Natural Born citizen is and concluding that BHO Jr. is not NBC.

    This affidavit will be notarized tomorrow and duly served by two days mail upon Justice Schmidt and the State in regards to the appearance on a personal and confidential basis with the intent that Plaintiffs understanding of the record of the hearing be entered into the court record enabling further action by Plaintiff when the Order shown as Exhibit C is entered and forwarded by the State to Plaintiff.

    That I am producing a duplicate for Dr. Orly Taitz Esq. so that she may forward it to the SCOTUS in her action presently there. -snip-

    From the affidavit;
    6. The Court asked to know Plaintiff’s understanding of the difference between “Native” and “Natural” born citizen, to wit Plaintiff explained on a blood and soil basis as of the Law of Nations as related to the 1961, 1963 and 1969 Vienna Convention Treaty matters as to citizenship status as with the children of diplomats and tourists who were not certified admitted by the U.S. Customs Service; and

    7. Plaintiff provided the Court with a copy of the SCOTUS decision in McCreery’s Lessee v Somerville 22 US 354 (1824) (see Exhibit B), and

    8. That the Court responded favorably to Plaintiff’s argument and contention expressing familiarity with the difference between the Natural and Native born, as there is within Jewish law similar precedent and commented that the Court agreed there is a difference and would read the SCOTUS decision Plaintiff provided….

    Full affidavit embedded below.



  15. Obama’s eligibility is very much like the Global Warming Issue. It doesn’t matter how many Americans know that Obama is not eligible to hold the office, the elected officials and the media (even FNC) will ignore the facts and pretend we area bunch of radicals and racists for bring up the subject. If elected officials (Republicans and Democrats) cared about the Rule of Law and the Constitution, Congress would force the courts to allow them to examine all of Obama’s records to see if he should be impeached for treason. (If he knowingly hid information which would have kept him from being eligible, that is treason. Why won’t people call it what it is?) Americans want to know for sure if this man has been elected to the highest office in the land when he should never have been allowed to run in the first place. People in the criminal justice system know that if a person gos to such lengths to hide his background, likely there is something in that background information which would be incriminating.

  16. George Says:

    March 9, 2011 at 12:08 AM
    Actually there have been four SCOTUS cases defining Natural Born Citizen;
    The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)
    Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 3 Pet. 242 242 (1830)
    Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)
    Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)

    ed. what am I missing, George? – leo


    None of the cited cases were of the issue of the definition or nature of a ‘natural born Citizen’, therefore the ‘dicta’ referring to NBC’s may be taken as informative but can not be construed to rise to the level of ‘Judicial Dicta’ or controlling in matters of LAW.

    ed. I only see three listed…- leo
    Correct me if I am wrong…

  17. Great research work, attorney Donofrio.

  18. Well, there is a myriad of cases that many consider definitive ‘case law’ on the subject of natural born Citizen and I am only pointing out that NONE of them, these listed or any others that may be found, where on the SPECIFIC QUESTION as to the acknowledged ‘legal definition of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen.

    In other words, there is NO case law on the subject of natural born Citizen, only ‘dicta’.

    There are many 100’s and perhaps many 1,000’s on ‘citizens’ and ‘naturalization’ that are the body of ‘case law’ that often has over-ruled previous applications of law and a cause for laws to change.

    But as Judge Waite said in Minor;

    “…For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.”

    And that is the same status of ALL cases that have made mention of ‘natural born Citizen’.

    The time will come when an authoritative ‘Brief’ and perhaps supportive ‘Amicus” will be appropriate but I find that if one constrains their view of American Citizenship from the Declaration of Independence and the laws of the various States under the Articles of Confederation up to the adoption of the Constitution you are left with a very precise understanding of the nature and circumstances requisite for an understanding and definition of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen.

    Under the Rule of Law it MUST be there that the SCOTUS looks 1st and, upon finding that the practices and applications having been consistent with the history of ‘citizenship’ in general, will come away with the correct and proper definition, meaning and intent for the Constitutional idiom.

  19. slcraig,

    you say in an earlier post:

    Adjudicative Fact; “There is no acknowledged “legal’ definition of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen”. <Period

    Could you give me a citation for that? It's needed for a little project I'm working on. And I'd really be interested in speaking with you offline if you have the time and inclination. You can reach me at

  20. juriggs Says:

    March 10, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    you say in an earlier post:

    Adjudicative Fact; “There is no acknowledged “legal’ definition of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen”. <Period

    That is from a pending Motion at USCA 10th on a Petition for Administrative Review.

    After 2 1/2 years of attempting to be “Certified” as being in conformity to the requisite circumstances of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen I have confirmed that NO Federal Department or sub-division acknowledges a ‘legal’ definition for NBC.

    They have however acknowledged me as being a ‘native born U.S. Citizen’.

    Along with the Motion for Notice of Adjudicative Fact there is a pending Motion for the Certification of Constitutional Question and a couple of miscellaneous Motions to complete the record for transfer to SCOTUS under Original Jurisdiction.

    Tomorrow will be a full 30 days that the 10th has spent considering mine and the Respondents Responses to the Courts Show Cause Order.

    We’ll see.

  21. Great site and excellent summaries. I posted link on FB and Canada Free Press in some birther articles. You should send to Judi McLeod and ask her to publish this.

    All For One and One For All!

  22. Obama just posted his Long Form Birth Certificate

    Obama’s long form birth certificate confirms he was/is INELIGIBLE to be President – since he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen.

    By diverting attention to his birth certificate, Obama is hiding his ineligibility in plain site. US birth is necessary but insufficient. BOTH his parents would have had to be US citizens at his birth.

    Obama’s father: Barack Hussein Obama, Birthplace: Kenya, East Africa.

    Birth to an alien Kenyan colonial, who was NEVER a US citizen, gave Obama British citizenship at birth. That automatically negated his being a “natural born citizen”, thus irreparably disqualifying him from being president.

    Refusal to provide prima facie evidence of his qualifications further disqualified Obama by breaching Amendment XX sect 3 of the US Constitution. Since as “president elect” he refused his burden of proof, he consequently had “failed to qualify”.

    Obama is INELIGIBLE. His inauguration was “Null and Void” and “of No Effect”.

    Uphold the Constitution. Restore the Rule of Law.

  23. Robert Laity Says:

    ” Natural-Born citizen is One born IN a country of parents who are citizens”-Minor v. Happersett,USSCt.,ACCEPTED definition unanimously.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: