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Liz Crocker, Ph.D. @liminalphase
, 12 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
I love that Twitter gives me access to so many wonderful historians, scientists, & scholars. Out of curiosity, I did as suggested and went to read the debates. You can find them here with no password needed:…
Below are a few excerpts I grabbed /1
Senator Trumball: My own opinion is that all these persons born in the United States and under its authority, owing allegiance to the United States, are citizens without any act of Congress. They are native-born citizens. /2
There is then a lengthy debate about how to handle native and black individuals (remember this is 1866). It becomes clear that the opposition to allowing black people to vote comes down to racism and not quality of legal arguments (Warning: racial slur) /3
Senator Johnson: The honorable member reads the Constitution as if it said that none but white men should become citizens of the United States; but it says no such thing, and never intended, in my judgment, to say any such thing. /4
All from Jan 30, 1866. Lunch break is over but the discussions and debates in that archive are all quite fascinating and relevant. I encourage everyone to take a look

Also, note I'm a social scientist but not a historian so send your questions to @skantrow, not me! /5
May 30th Sen Howard proposed additional language to clarify citizenship for the 14th amendment. "Every person born within the limits of the US, & subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law & national law a citizen of the US". States laws cannot take this away /6
Sen Cowan from PA then rants about how if this is allowed, a "flood" of Chinese immigrants will overrun California, polygamy will be rampant, risks of cannibals settling, and "infestations" of "gypsy gangs" (Warning: racial slurs & racism) /7
To which the senator Conness from California responds that Chinese immigrants are a net positive to the state & both the courts & public feel laws restricting their entrance & work to be bad. /8
Then Conness suggests the only invasion of PA that he knows about was white Southerners during the Civil War & notes PA didn't claim states rights in not recognizing nearby states' citizenship laws when their neighbors came to help in the war /9
Conness then points out the "Gypsy" problem doesn't really exist & xenophobia being used for to stoke fears. He says anyone born here should have civil rights & that anyone "claiming to have a high humanity" deprecates that is beyond his understanding & comprehension /10
Conness, "We are entirely ready to accept the provision proposed in this constitutional amendment, thus the children born here of Mongolian parents shall be declared by the Constitution of the US to be entitled to civil rights & equal protections before the law w/ others" /11
Then the discussion again brings up how to handle untaxed Native American nations and what relationship they will have with the US. You can read this additional convo for yourself starting pg 2890 in the 1st session of the 39th Cong… /12
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