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Our Irish President–new audio book

Way back in December of 2008, when Leo Donofrio was defending his novel invention of  the two citizen parent definition of “natural born citizen,” he spun some stories about another U. S. President who had a non-citizen father, Chester A. Arthur. One of the things Donofrio did was to publish a purported photograph of the 1884 book, “How a  British Subject  Became President of the United States” by A. P. Hinman. Donofrio obviously hadn’t read the book, and no copy then existed on the Internet. I got the book through interlibrary loan, scanned it, and now there are copies on the Internet.

Hinman believed that President Arthur was born in Canada, and hence the ineligibility thesis in his book.

Donofrio tried to put forward the theory that the naturalization status of Arthur’s father was a deep secret that he tried to hide in every way he could. In fact, as we learned in Hinman’s book, the facts of Arthur’s birth seemed to be known all over the world. A dispatch from Russia, printed in a London newspaper used the phrase “born Irishmen like the American president.” The fact that Hinman included this newspaper story in his book, and never so much as hinted that Arthur was ineligible for this reason, proves beyond a doubt that Hinman was not a subscriber to the “two citizen parent” eligibility theory, nor was it likely that any one else in Arthur’s time thought that either.

To further the process of making this interesting proto-birther work accessible, I have produced an audio book version, available through Librivox.org and the Internet Archive.

Learn more:

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6 Responses to Our Irish President–new audio book

  1. avatar
    Krosis May 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    For a moment I thought that this thread would be about O’Bama.

  2. avatar
    gorefan May 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    The first sentence of Hinman’s book,

    “The Constitution of the United States requires that both the President and Vice President should be native born.”

  3. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    the facts of Arthur’s birth seemed to be known all over the world. A dispatch from Russia, printed in a London newspaper used the phrase “born Irishmen like the American president.”

    IMHO that’s not an argument, just like the fact that some Kenyan online magazine called Obama “Kenyan-born” does not prove that it was “known all over the world” that Obama was born in Kenya.
    It’s anecdotal at best.

  4. avatar
    Rickey May 8, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    It’s no surprise that Donofrio mischaracterized Hinman’s book, just as Apuzzo and his minions repeatedly mischaracterize Minor v. Happersett. Taking things out of context is what birthers do.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    I’m not saying that Donofrio mischaracterized Hinman’s book. I’m just saying that he talked about it, but hadn’t read it. It appears that what he said derives from Thomas Reeve’s book “Gentleman Boss” that talks about the Hinman book.

    A month after I published a copy at Scribd, Donofrio gave indication that he had access to the book, responding to articles I wrote saying:

    Hinman wrote to Bayard and Bayard’s response has been erroneously cited by those who support Obama’s eligibility. For some reason I have yet to comprehend, they argue Bayard was aware of Chester Arthur having been born a British subject.

    But nothing in Bayard’s letter to Hinman supports that position.

    That is a miccharacterization of what I had written. I never said Bayard knew, but rather that Hinman knew. Even though Bayard’s reply to Hinman says that a natural born citizen is a native of the country, he seems to have changed that view, according to Donofrio (and with proper citations). He wrote:

    The evidence comes from the August 23, 1894, issue of The Nation magazine which states:

    In 1885, Secretary Bayard decided that ‘the son of a German subject, born in Ohio, was not a citizen under the statute or the Constitution, because “he was on his birth ‘subject to a foreign power,’ and ‘not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States’ “.

    Here we have an official US State Department ruling from 1885 that people born in the US of foreign parentage are subject to foreign powers and not considered US citizens.

    Bayard’s reply to Hinman said natural born = native born. By 1883 his view seemed to change from native born to include citizen-born, as he wrote:

    It is not necessary that a man should be born in this country, to be ” a natural born citizen.” It is only requisite he should be a citizen by birth, and that is the case with all the children of citizens who have ever resided in this country, though born in a foreign country.

    And then in 1885 to the position Donofrio cites.

    Rickey: It’s no surprise that Donofrio mischaracterized Hinman’s book,

  6. avatar
    Reality Check May 9, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    I started listening to the audio book. You did a fine job Doc. It is a little difficult to keep track of the towns and which side of the US border they were located. Arthur certainly came from humble beginnings. it was tragic that the parents couldn’t even afford to bury their infant son and had to sell his body for medical research.

    I found the Vermont Historical Society paper fascinating and more believable as far as Arthur’s place of birth. It certainly shoots holes in Hinman’s book. It sounds like Arthur’s vanity about his age and desire to cover up some of his possibly shady political dealings have contributed over the years to the speculation that he might not have been born where he claimed. The key takeaway is that Arthur’s fathers citizenship in itself wasn’t then and never was an issue as to whether Arthur was eligible to be VP and President.