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|Collection Reference Number
|From Archive Folder
|Documents Relating to 1824
|Certificate confirming the citizenship of John Harris, an African American
|23 October 1824
|Savage, Ezekiel (fl. 1824)
|Government document; Legal document
|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.
|Naturalization Freemen African American History Congress Law Maritime
|Savage, Ezekiel (fl. 1824) Harris, John (b. 1792)
|Government & Politics; African Americans; Naval & Maritime; Law
|The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
|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.
|The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
|Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859