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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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292. ALIENS, The Revolution and.—
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292. ALIENS, The Revolution and.—

do not know that there has been any American
determination on the question whether
American citizens and Britsh subjects, born
before the Revolution, can be aliens to one another?
I know there is an opinion of Lord
Coke's, in Colvin's case, that if England and
Scotland should, in the course of descent,
pass to separate kings, those born under the
same sovereign during the union, would remain
natural subjects and not aliens. Common
sense urges some considerations against
this. Natural subjects owe allegiance; but
we owe none. Aliens are the subjects of a
foreign power; we are not subjects of a for
eign power. The King, by the treaty, acknowledges
our independence; how, then, can
we remain natural subjects? The King's
power is, by the Constitution, competent to
the making peace, war and treaties. He had,
therefore, authority to relinquish our allegiance
by treaty. But if an act of parliament
had been necessary, the parliament passed an
act to confirm the treaty. So that it appears
to me that, in this question, fictions of law
alone are opposed to sound sense.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 530.
(P. 1786)