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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Bates, Edward (1793-1869) Opinion of Attorney General Bates on citizenship.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05775 Author/Creator: Bates, Edward (1793-1869) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Pamphlet signed Date: 1862 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: With original wrapper. First edition printed by the Government Printing Office. Inscribed on front cover to R. R. Hazard from Bates in 1863. This pamphlet is a printing of a letter from Bates to Salmon Portland Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, answering the question "whether or not colored men can be citizens of the United States." Bates answers, "the free man of color, mentioned in your letter, if born in the United States, is a citizen of the United States, and, if otherwise qualified, is competent, according to the acts of Congress, to be master of a vessel engaged in the coasting trade."

People: Bates, Edward, 1793-1869.
Hazard, R. R., fl. 1863.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Slavery, Civil War, Suffrage, African American History, Lincoln's Cabinet, Law, Freemen, Maritime, Commerce, Merchants and Trade

Sub Era: The American Civil War