225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
H.R. 40, a Bill to Establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization and Enable Aliens to Hold Lands under Certain Conditions, was introduced in the Senate on March 4, 1790. The bill provided that “any Alien being a free white person” who had resided within the United States for two years could file a petition for naturalization in any common law court located in a state in which they had resided for at least one year. After “making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States,” such person would become a citizen. It also provided citizenship for children of U.S. citizens who were born abroad.