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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 26 March
On this day in 1788, Federalist No. 75 was published, “The Treaty Making Power of the Executive” by Alexander Hamilton. 1
In 1790 on this day, Congress passed the 1790 Naturalization Act, establishing a uniform rule of naturalization. “…allowed an individual to apply for citizenship if they were a free white person, being of good character, and living in the United States for two years. Upon receiving the court’s approval they took an oath of allegiance which was recorded. The individuals’ citizenship was also extended to any children under the age of 21, regardless of their birthplace. 2
One notable birthday on this day in 1749, that of William Blount. Blount was born in North Carolina, served in the militia for a time during the Revolutionary War, and later served in public office. Blount had a passion for the western lands and accumulated as much western land as he could, over one million acres. He served in the state legislature and as a delegate to both the Continental Congress and the Federal Convention, where he signed the Constitution. When the Southwest Territory was formed (included all of present-day Tennessee), Washington appointed Blount governor of the territory. Blount pushed for Tennessee statehood and the territory met the requirements under the Northwest Ordinance, although the Federalist-controlled Congress held off addressing the request. Blount proceeded without Congress by calling a constitutional convention where a state constitution was drafted and approved. He then declared the territorial government terminated and the new Tennessee state constitution operational. No longer governor, Blount served as senator from Tennessee. He was involved in a scheme to assist the British in capturing New Orleans, which was discovered and Congress expelled Blount through a bill of impeachment. 3
1 “The Federalist Papers,” Library of Congress, thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html
2 “1790 Naturalization Act,” US immigration legislation online, library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/1790_naturalization_act.html
3 “William Blount,” North Carolina History Project, northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/126/entry/; “To Arrest an Impeached Senator,” senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/To_Arrest_An_Impeached_Senator.htm