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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 237   View pdf image (33K)
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1780.                                 LAWS of MARYLAND.

                                            CHAP. VIII.
An ACT to declare and ascertain the privileges of the subjects of
                                France residing within this state.

Preamble.     WHEREAS, in and by the thirteenth article of the treaty of amity and
commerce between his Most Christian Majesty and the United States
of America, it is provided that the subjects and inhabitants of the said
United States, or any of them, shall not be reputed aubains in France, and consequently
shall be exempted from the droit d'aubain, or other similar duty, under
what name soever they may by testament, donation, or otherwise, dispose of their
goods, moveable and immoveable; and their heirs, subjects of the said United
States, residing whether in France or elsewhere, may succeed them ab intestat,
without being obliged to obtain letters of naturalization, and without having the
effect of this concession contested or impeded, under pretext of any rights or prerogatives
of provinces, cities, or private persons, and the said heirs, whether such
by particular title, or ab intestat, should be exempt from the droit d'detraction, or
other duty of the same kind, saving, nevertheless, the local rights or duties, as
much and as long as similar ones are not established by the United States or any
of them:  And whereas the exemptions aforesaid have been confirmed by a declaration
of the Most Christian King, bearing date the twenty-sixth day of July,
anno domini seventeen hundred and seventy-eight, by which it is also established,
that the subjects or the United States of America shall enjoy within his dominions
the privileges of nations the most favoured:  And whereas, as well upon the
ground of equality and reciprocity, as because of the generous and important aid
afforded to the United States by the Most Christian King, their great and illustrious
ally, in the present war with Great-Britain, suitable returns are due from the
said states in general, and from this in particular, by granting and establishing,
on our part, like and special privileges and advantages in favour of the subjects of
Subjects of
France to enjoy
the same
rights as citizens
of this
state, &c.
    II.  Be it therefore enacted, by the general assembly of Maryland, That the
subjects of France within this state, who have come or may come to sojourn or
reside within the same, for the purposes of commerce or otherwise, shall have and
enjoy all and every the rights, privileges and exemptions, of the full and free citizens
of the state, without taking any oath, or giving any promise of allegiance or
fidelity to this state.
Proviso.     III.  Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to
grant to the subjects of France, or the other dominions of his Most Christian  Majesty,
who shall continue subjects of his said Majesty, and not qualify themselves
as citizens of this state, any right to purchase or hold lands or real estate, but for
their respective lives or for years, or to invest them with the privilege of voting in
any election, or the capacity of enjoying any civil office, or of being eligible as
governor, member of the council, or general assembly, or as a delegate to congress.
Subjects of
France who
qualify, may
devise lands, 
    IV.  And be it enacted, That in case any subject of France, or other dominion
of his Most Christian Majesty, who hath qualified or shall qualify himself as a
citizen of this state, by settling therein, and by giving those assurances of allegiance
and attachment to the same, which are or shall be required of the citizens of
the same, shall die seized in fee of any real estate, the last will or testament of
such decedent, in favour of the subjects of his Most Christian Majesty, or any of
them, whether residing in France or elsewhere, shall be good and available in the
law, and the devisee or devisees appointed in and by such will or testament shall
be deemed to be citizens of this state, for the purpose of taking and recovering
such devise or devises; or if such decedent hath died or shall die intestate, the
natural kindred of such decedent, whether residing in France or elsewhere, shall
inherit his or her real estate, in like manner as if such decedent and his kindred
were the citizens of this state.
Proviso.     V.  Provided nevertheless, That whenever any subject of France shall become
seized in fee of any real estate within this state, by virtue of any such last will or

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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 237   View pdf image (33K)
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