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Smith, James M'Cune. 'Citizenship' in 'The Anglo-African Magazine 1:5 (May 1859)' . New York, N.Y. : T. Hamilton, 1859. [format: newspaper], [genre: article; history]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=angloafrican1.html


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-- 148 --

before a competent magistrate, with the consent of his son, that he freed him for his power by saying, ‘Hunc sui Juris esse patior, meaque manu mitto.’ The same usage obtains in the United States, where the father (whether white or black) is free, and owns the mother of the child. The free blacks have the same parental rights which the common law give to white citizens.

5th. JUS DOMINII LEGITIMI; ‘the right of property.’ The right to hold and convey real estate has ever been enjoyed by the free blacks in these United States, except in a few of the slave states where it has been withheld by special statute. In some if not all the states, aliens do not enjoy this right, except by special statute.

6th. JUS TESTAMENTII ET HAERDITATIS; ‘ the right of making a will and of succeeding to an inheritance.’ None but Roman citizens (sui juris) could make a will, or be witnesses to a testament, or inherit any thing by testament. [7] The free blacks throughout the United States enjoy this right except in some of the slave states, where inhibited by statute law, the prohibition in most instances relating to the case only where the testator is white.

7th. IUS TUTELAE; ‘the right of tutelage or wardship.’ Any father of a family might leave whom he pleased as guardians [tutores] to his children. [8] This right is also enjoyed by the free blacks of the United States, with exceptions similar to those just mentioned.

We will next look at the Public Rights of Roman Citizens. These were Jus Census, Militiae, Tributorum, Suffragii Honorum, et Sacrorum.

1st. JUS CENSUS; ‘the right of census.’ Two magistrates were first created A. U. 312, for taking an account of the number of the people, and the value of their fortunes; (censui, agendo) whence they were called CENSORES. And this account was taken for the basis of taxes. Other duties pertained to the office, but these only relate to the United States, and therefore come within our present subject. Not only the free blacks, but even the slaves of the United States are included among those to whom the Constitution extends the JUS CENSUS; for all are enumerated as the basis of Representation, and, if need be of taxation. [9] Among the Romans, slaves as well as aliens were excluded from the JUS CENSUS.

2. JUS MILITIAE; ‘the right of serving in the army.’ The Constitution having Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 16, delegated to Congress the organization and regulation of the army, Congress has restricted the militia and regular army of the United States to free, able-bodied, white citizens; aliens however are enlisted, and have fought most of our battles. In several of the states, however, colored men were enlisted in the war of 1812. In Charleston, South Carolina, there was a company of colored men called the ‘Browns,’ in which Mr. John Mitchel, late of the city of New York was a subaltern. In Virginia, in 1777, during the Revolution, in an Act for regulating and disciplining the militia, (Statutes at large, Vol. IX, p.267.) it had been enacted that ‘for forming the "citizens" of this commonwealth into a militia’ — ‘all free male persons between the ages of sixteen and sixty’ — ‘shall by the commanding officer of the county in which they reside, be enrolled or formed into companies’ — ‘the free mulattoes in said companies to be employed as drummers, fifers and pioneers;’ and a subsequent provision was made (Same, p. 280) enlisting free negroes for actual service.

3. JUS TRIBUTORUM; ‘the right to be taxed’ is of course equally enjoyed by the free blacks in all the States of the Union: it is a mark
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Smith, James M'Cune. 'Citizenship' in 'The Anglo-African Magazine 1:5 (May 1859)' . New York, N.Y. : T. Hamilton, 1859. [format: newspaper], [genre: article; history]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=angloafrican1.html
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