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Collection Reference Number GLC04289
From Archive Folder Documents Relating to 1824 
Title Certificate confirming the citizenship of John Harris, an African American
Date 23 October 1824
Author Savage, Ezekiel (fl. 1824)  
Document Type Government document; Legal document
Content Description Partially printed. Savage signs as notary public, confirming Harris's status as a citizen of the United States. Harris, born in Alexandria, Virginia, "is a free coloured man, now residing in said Salem and never has been under allegiance to any foreign Prince or States." Notes physical characteristics of Harris, including that he is five feet, six inches tall and 32 years old. Printed text indicates this document was implemented because "the Act of the Congress of the United States, 'for the relief and protection of American Seamen'" did not make provision for African Americans to obtain certificates of citizenship at the custom houses. With a covered seal.
Subjects Naturalization  Freemen  African American History  Congress  Law  Maritime  
People Savage, Ezekiel (fl. 1824)  Harris, John (b. 1792)  
Place written Salem, Massachusetts
Theme Government & Politics; African Americans; Naval & Maritime; Law
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Additional Information While the document states Harris is a citizen, he is, in fact not a citizen. African Americans did not gain citizenship until the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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