Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Born in the USA

Obama's Original Birth Certificate

Now that Obama’s original long form birth certificate has been released the question arises has there been an American president who was foreign born? The answer is maybe. Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) who was a Republican and the 21st president of the United States (1881 – 1885) was supposedly born in North Fairfield, Vermont on October 5, 1830 but he had changed his date of birth from 1829 to 1830. His early records had also disappeared in a fire.

Arthur P. Hinman, a lawyer, wrote a popular book in 1882 titled, “How a British Subject became President of the United States”. An article published June 2, 1884 in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle gives the gist of the book:

The main charge of the book is that William Chester Alan Arthur was born in Dunham Flats, Canada, on [sic] March, 1828, and that he represented himself to have been born at North Fairfield, Vermont, the birthplace of a younger brother, Chester Abell Arthur, who was born in 1830, and died a year later. It is stated that in 1834 when another son was born he received the name of William Arthur, Jr., and then the name William was dropped by William Chester Alan Arthur, and he was henceforth known as Chester Alan Arthur. The records, copies of which are given, show that in 1845 Chester Alan Arthur entered Union College, stating his age to be 16.

His father became a naturalized citizen 14 years after he was born so Arthur could claim dual citizenship of Canada and the United States.

He became President on September 19, 1881 since he was Vice-President after President Garland died from injuries inflicted in a prior assassination attempt by Charles Guiteau. During his tenure he signed a ten year Chinese exclusion law after vetoing a twenty year version and refused to overturn “Jim Crow” laws that prevented Afro Americans from voting. On the positive side he is considered the father of the American Civil service moving the appointments from patronage to examinations.

Chester Alan Arthur - 21st President of the United States, Canadian

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