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the report of the Committee on Elections in the congress of the United States, in the case of John Bailey, which transpired in 1824; this report was approved by congress, and Mr. Bailey ejected from his seat by a large majority of the house, without distinction of party. On inquiry into the meaning of the word "inhabitant," as used in the constitution of the United States, in reference to the qualification of a representative in the congress of the United States, the committee remark: "having examined the case in connection with the probable reasons which influenced the minds of the members of the convention, it may not be improper, before an attempt is made at a further definition of the word, a little to consider that of 'citizen,' with the view of showing that many of the misconceptions in respect to the former, have arisen from confounding it with the latter. The word 'inhabitant,' comprehends a single fact, locality of existence; that of 'citizen,' a combination of civil privileges, some of which may be enjoyed in any state of the union; the word 'citizen' may properly be construed, a member of a political society; and although he might be abroad for years, and cease to be an inhabitant of its territory, the right of citizenship may not thereby be forfeited, but may be resumed whenever he may choose to return."
From what has already been said, it must appear, that the words "citizen," and "inhabitant," cannot be considered synonymous. In the 3d section of the 2d article of the state constitution, the words "inhabitant" and "citizen” are used in juxtaposition; the representative is to be not only a citizen of the United States, but an inhabitant also of the state. Another authority may be found in Vattel, supporting very clearly this distinction; in book I., ch. 19, § 213, he says, "the inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country; bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state, while they reside there, and they are bound to
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defend it, while it grants them protection, though they do not participate in all the rights of citizens." This authority shows very plainly the distinction between the citizen and the inhabitant; and that the latter appellation is derived from abode and habitation, and not from political privileges.
In further support of this principle of distinction, reference may be had to the act of congress of the 1st March 1790, entitled "an act providing for the enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States;" this act provides, "that the marshals of the several districts of the United States shall be, and they are hereby authorized to cause the number of inhabitants within their respective districts to be taken;" it further provides, "that a perfect enumeration and description of all persons resident in the district, shall be made;" thus showing, in the opinion of congress, that the persons residing in or living in the respective districts, were the inhabitants thereof. This is also the sense in which the term "inhabitant" is used in the state constitution. Whenever the qualifications of eligibility for office are defined, it uses the term "citizen of the United States," as contradistinguished from inhabitant; so, on the contrary, when the qualifications of a voter or elector are named, it uses the word "inhabitant," and has no reference to that of citizen. Nor are the terms, in that instrument, confounded or used indiscriminately, as equivalent phrases; thus, art. II., § 27, "all white male inhabitants shall enjoy the right of an elector;" not all white male citizens who are inhabitants; so, in § 12 of the schedule, it conferred the right of voting at the first election held under the constitution, on all white male inhabitants, actual residents of the state at the time of signing the constitution; showing most distinctly, that citizenship of the United States was, by no means, regarded as one of the qualifications of an elector. It embraced all who were, at the time, actual residents of the state, without regarding how long they had been residents; it was enough, if
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they were so at the time specified. Again, the constitution uses the word "inhabitant," when referring to the masses of population, including all; thus, senators and representatives are to be apportioned according to the number of white inhabitants. Art. II., § 5. "An enumeration of all white male inhabitants shall be made." Art. II., § 31. All lands which have been granted as a common to the inhabitants, &c. The general assembly shall have power and authority to grant the same privileges to the inhabitants of the said villages of Cahokia and Prairie du Pont, as are granted to the inhabitants of other towns. Art. VIII., § 8.
So, in the state legislature, the terms, and the distinction between, citizen and inhabitant have ever been understood and used. Thus, the act for taking the census provides for making an enumeration of the inhabitants of the state. R. S. 114; Gale's Stat. 135. The act of 1827, relative to grand and petit jurors, has these peculiar expressions: "that all free white male taxable inhabitants in any county of this state, being natural-born citizens of the United States, or naturalized according to the constitution and laws of the United States and of this state, between the ages of 21 and 60 years (with certain enumerated exceptions), shall be considered and deemed as competent persons to serve on grand and petit juries." R. S. 378; Gale's Stat. 395. In this provision, the exception therein contained of citizenship, clearly indicates that an inhabitant is not necessarily a citizen; on the contrary, it asserts the obvious distinction, and that the term does not by any means imply citizenship. It would be almost a waste of labor to attempt to prove the contrary; hence, it would be no more than rational, to suppose that distinction to be well understood and settled.
If any doubt could be supposed to remain, in reference to the true interpretation of the meaning of the constitution on this question, it is supposed such doubt will be dissipated on recurring to the provision of the election
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law, passed by the first legislature held under the constitution, by which the judges of the election are to test the elector's right of suffrage. This act was approved and in force on the 1st March 1819; the 14th section is as follows: "And be it further enacted, that whenever any person shall present himself to give his vote, and either of the judges shall suspect that such person does not possess the qualifications of an elector, or, if his vote shall be challenged by any elector who has previously given in his vote at such election, the judges of the election shall tender to such person an oath or affirmation, in the following form: 'I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I have resided in this state for the period of six months immediately preceding this election; that I have, to the best of my knowledge, attained the age of twenty-one years; and that I have not voted at this election;' and if the person so offering his vote, shall take such oath or affirmation, his vote shall be received, unless it shall be proved, by evidence satisfactory to all the judges, that the said oath or affirmation is false; but if such person refuses to take such oath or affirmation, his vote shall be rejected." The residue of the section declares, that taking a false oath, in order to vote, shall be deemed perjury and punished as such. This act was the first exposition, given by the first legislature which sat after the organization of the state government; it is its solemn and deliberate interpretation of the constitution, on the qualifications necessary to be possessed by the person claiming the right of an elector, and should be held to be conclusive of its real meaning; it is couched in the almost literal language of the constitution, and is, as such, its best exponent.
What are the facts the person offering to vote is required to depose? 1. That he is a resident of a particular township: 2. That he has resided in the state six months immediately preceding the election: 3. That he has, to the best of his knowledge and belief, attained the age of twentyone years; and that he has not voted at the election at
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which he then offers to vote. The term "resident," to which he is required to swear, may be considered less restricted in its sense and meaning than "inhabitant," for which it seems to have been used as equivalent; it is, certainly, not to be considered more comprehensive, and implying other qualifications than those enumerated. If the term "inhabitant" had been used, instead of "resident," it would not have implied more than is implied by the term "resident," though the literal language of the constitution. Indeed, if any inference is to be drawn from the use of the term "resident," it is certainly fair to presume, that, by its use, the members of the legislature intended to declare that the term "inhabitant" did not imply "citizen," but one who was a resident of the state; and is an explicit interpretation that the term "inhabitant" meant, absolutely, one who dwells in the country. What is a resident, but an inhabitant? and is it not directly contradistinguishable from a citizen, who may not be an inhabitant?
There is one remarkable fact connected with the history of the adoption of the election law by the first legislature, and that is, that one-third of the persons who were members of the state convention which framed the constitution, were members of that general assembly; hence, the inference is irresistible, that the interpretation they have put on the 27th section of the 2d article of the state constitution, which defines the qualifications of an elector, by the election law of 1819, is the only true exposition of that article. In 1821, the act of 1819 was revised, and the only change made in the oath required to be taken by electors, was the substitution of the word "county" for "township." In the years 1823, 1825 and 1833, this act again underwent revision; but no change was made in this section, except the addition, after the words "county of," of the words "in the state of Illinois;" thus leaving the provisions of the section, to this day, as they stood, as to the qualifications of electors, at its adoption. It has, therefore, been the fixed and unchanged legislative inter