The best definition of citizen, according to European writers, which I have been able to find, is a "native or inhabitant of a city vested with its freedom and liberties." The "freedom and liberties," or "privileges and immunities," essential to a citizen, were those I have mentioned; and although the name was original confined to the inhabitant of a city, yet when these principles were diffused among, and conferred on, the inhabitants of the country, they, having the same attributes, took the name. The rights of an American citizen are essentially the same: to elect, be elected, and bear arms in his defence; they are essential, for, divest him of these, and you divest him of his citizenship. He has other essential rights, those of property and personal security under the protection of laws fairly administered; but he has these in common with foreigners, and in some respects with slaves."<quoted text>
- Senator John Holmes, of Maine, Dec. 9, 1820.[Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. FROM GALES AND BEATON'S ANNALS OF CONGRESS, FROM THEIR REGISTER OF DEBATES; AND FROM THE OFFICIAL REPORTED DEBATES, BY JOHN C RIVES. Pg. 681.(John Holmes (March 14, 1773 July 7, 1843) was an American politician. He served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and was one of the first two U.S. Senators from Maine).