You asked about my source for the information on the original 13th Amendment, which reads:
"If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them."
The link to that source is right there in my comment on SFGate to which you refer. If you read the essay printed there, it addresses both of your stated objections against the amendment.
OBJECTION: "The closest that TONA ever came to ratification was still 2 states short."
RESPONSE (from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/E/thirteen/thirt19.htm ):
"...Sen. Mitchell wrote [to researcher Larry Dodge, claiming the 13th Amendment had not been properly ratified] that, "Article XIII did not receive the three-fourths vote required from the states within the time limit to be ratified." (Although his language is imprecise, Sen. Mitchell seems to concede that although the Amendment had failed to satisfy the "time limit", the required three-quarters of the states did vote to ratify.)
Dodge replies: 'Contrary to your assertion.., there was no time limit for amendment ratification in 1811. Any time limit is now established by Congress in the Resolves for proposed amendments.'
In fact, ratification time limits didn't start until 1917, when Sect. 3 of the Eighteenth Amendment stated that, 'This Article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified within seven years from the date of submission ... to the States by Congress.' A similar time limit is now included on other proposed Amendments, but there was no specified time limit when the 13th Amendment was proposed in 1810 or ratified in 1819.
Sen. Mitchell remained determined to find some rationale, somewhere, that would defeat Dodge's persistence. Although Sen. Mitchell implicitly conceded that his 'published by error' and 'time limit' arguments were invalid, he continued to grope for reasons to dispute the ratification:
'... regardless of whether the state of Virginia did ratify the proposed Thirteenth Amendment... on March 12, 1819, this approval would not have been sufficient to amend the Constitution. In 1819, there were twenty-one states in the United States and any amendment would have required approval of sixteen states to amend the Constitution. According to your own research, Virginia would have only been the thirteenth state to approve the proposed amendment.'
Dodge replies: 'Article V [amendment procedures] of the Constitution is silent on the question of whether or not the framers meant three-fourths of the states at the time the proposed amendment is submitted to the states for ratification, or three-fourths of the states that exist at some future point in time. Since only the existing states were involved in the debate and vote of Congress on the Resolve proposing an Amendment, it is reasonable that ratification be limited to those States that took an active part in the Amendment process.'
Dodge demonstrated this rationale by pointing out that, 'President Monroe had his Secretary of State... [ask the] governors of Virginia, South Carolina, and Connecticut, in January, 1818, as to the status of the amendment in their respective states. The four new states (Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, and Illinois) that were added to the union between 1810 and 1818 were not even considered.'
From a modern perspective, it seems strange that not all states would be included in the ratification process. But bear in mind that this perspective is based on life in a stable nation that's added only five new states in this century -- about one every eighteen years. However, between 1803 and 1821 (when the 13th Amendment ratification drama unfolded), they added eight states -- almost one new state every two years. This rapid national growth undoubtedly fostered national attitudes different from our own. The government had to be filled with the euphoria of a growing Republic that expected to quickly add new states all the way to the Pacific Ocean and the Isthmus of Panama. The government would not willingly compromise or complicate that growth potential with procedural obstacles; to involve every new state in each on-going ratification could inadvertently slow the nation's growth.
For example, if a territory petitioned to join the Union while an Amendment was being considered, its access to statehood might depend on whether the territory expected to ratify or reject a proposed amendment. If the territory was expected to ratify the proposed Amendment government, officials who favored the Amendment might try to accelerate the territory's entry into the Union. On the other hand, those opposed to the Amendment might try to slow or even deny a particular territory's statehood. These complications could unnecessarily slow the entry of new states into the nation, or restrict the nation's ability to pass new Amendments. Neither possibility could appeal to politicians. Whatever the reason, the House of Representatives resolved to ask only Connecticut, South Carolina, and Virginia for their decision on ratifying the 13th Amendment -- they did not ask for the decisions of the four new states. Since the new states had Representatives in the House who did not protest when the resolve was passed, it's apparent that even the new states agreed that they should not be included in the ratification process.
In 1818, the President, the House of Representatives, the Secretary of State, the four 'new' states, and the seventeen 'old' states, all clearly believed that the support of just thirteen states was required to ratify the 13th Amendment. That being so, Virginia's vote to ratify was legally sufficient to ratify the 'missing' Amendment in 1819 (and would still be so today)."
OBJECTION: "...even if it had passed, Barack Obama would be no less eligible to serve as President for using the title 'Esquire' than Ron Paul would be for using the title 'Doctor' since titles of nobility relate to bloodlines (Duke, Duchess, etc.) and not things like knight, esquire, etc. which are conferred on people without relation to bloodline."
RESPONSE (from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/E/thirteen/thirt08.htm):
"In Colonial America, attorneys trained attorneys but most held no 'title of nobility' or 'honor'. There was no requirement that one be a lawyer to hold the position of district attorney, attorney general, or judge; a citizen's "counsel of choice" was not restricted to a lawyer; there were no state or national bar associations. The only organization that certified lawyers was the International Bar Association (IBA), chartered by the King of England, headquartered in London, and closely associated with the international banking system. Lawyers admitted to the IBA received the rank 'Esquire' -- a 'title of nobility'. 'Esquire' was the principle title of nobility which the 13th Amendment sought to prohibit from the United States. Why? Because the loyalty of 'Esquire' lawyers was suspect. Bankers and lawyers with an 'Esquire' behind their names were agents of the monarchy, members of an organization whose principle purposes were political, not economic, and regarded with the same wariness that some people today reserve for members of the KGB or the CIA...
"The missing Amendment is referred to as the 'title of nobility' Amendment, but the second prohibition against 'honour' (honor), may be more significant. According to David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and Webster's Dictionary, the archaic definition of 'honor' (as used when the 13th Amendment was ratified) meant anyone 'obtaining or having an advantage or privilege over another'. A contemporary example of an 'honor' granted to only a few Americans is the privilege of being a judge: Lawyers can be judges and exercise the attendant privileges and powers; non-lawyers cannot."
In other words, persons like Barack Obama and Ron Paul would not be ineligible to hold government office and lose their U.S. citizenship on the basis of being doctors or lawyers, which was not considered problematic at the time the amendment was drafted; rather their loss of citizenship and ineligibility to hold office would be due to the fact of their having accepted membership in privileged cartels (the American Bar Association, American Medical Association) which are similar in nature to the International Bar Association of the revolutionary era which the 13th Amendment intended to proscribe for U.S. citizens and government officeholders.
Given the general lack of understanding that this is the law of the land, of course, a reasonable solution might be to grandfather in any persons holding such titles that were granted before a certain date. Whether or not that could be legally accomplished in light of the plain language of the amendment is less clear. It is possible that the Constitution might have to be amended.
Having one's U.S. citizenship revoked, however, would not if the laws were properly followed be as serious as it appears at first glance. Properly interpreted, it would not mean that one had to leave the United States, as the Constitution grants the federal government no authority over which persons may physically reside in the United States. I believe states also have the power, under the 10th Amendment, to allow non-U.S.-citizens to vote in state and local elections.
I agree with Mike Acree that referring to the 13th Amendment issue as a "conspiracy" is misleading (and, as it relates to your concerns about the Libertarian Party's credibility, counter-productive). As I read the history, the amendment was essentially tossed out as the result of a lack of communication between the legislature of the state of Virginia, whose ratification was the final act needed to pass the amendment, and the Secretary of State's office in Washington, which prior to that ratification informed Congress, via the president, that the 13th Amendment had not yet been ratified, and never corrected this assertion following Virginia's approval (from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/E/thirteen/thirt11.htm ):
"...on December 31, 1817, the House of Representatives resolved that President Monroe inquire into the status of this Amendment. In a letter dated February 6, 1818, President Monroe reported to the House that the Secretary of State Adams had written to the governors of Virginia, South Carolina and Connecticut to tell them that the proposed Amendment had been ratified by twelve States and rejected by two (New York and Rhode Island), and asked the governors to notify him of their legislature's position. (House Document No. 76) (This, and other letters written by the President and the Secretary of State during the month of February, 1818, note only that the proposed Amendment had not yet been ratified. However, these letters would later become crucial because, in the absence of additional information they would be interpreted to mean the amendment was never ratified)."
But as is explained later on that same page of the essay ( http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/E/thirteen/thirt11.htm ), the Virginia legislature *did* vote to ratify, and this ratification was generally understood at the time to have been the final ratification needed to make the 13th Amendment the law of the land:
"There is question as to whether Virginia ever formally notified the Secretary of State that they had ratified this 13th Amendment. Some have argued that because such notification was not received (or at least, not recorded), the Amendment was therefore not legally ratified. However, printing by a legislature is prima facie evidence of ratification. Further, there is no Constitutional requirement that the Secretary of State, or anyone else, be officially notified to complete the ratification process. The Constitution only requires that three- fourths of the states ratify for an Amendment to be added to the Constitution. If three-quarters of the states ratify, the Amendment is passed. Period. The Constitution is otherwise silent on what procedure should be used to announce, confirm, or communicate the ratification of amendments.
Knowing they were the last state necessary to ratify the Amendment, the Virginians had every right announce their own and the nation's ratification of the Amendment by publishing it on a special edition of the Constitution, and so they did.
Word of Virginia's 1819 ratification spread throughout the States and both Rhode Island and Kentucky published the new Amendment in 1822. Ohio first published in 1824. Maine ordered 10,000 copies of the Constitution with the 13th Amendment to be printed for use in the schools in 1825, and again in 1831 for their Census Edition. Indiana Revised Laws of 1831 published the 13th Article on p. 20. Northwestern Territories published in 1833. Ohio published in 1831 and 1833. Then came the Wisconsin Territory in 1839; Iowa Territory in 1843; Ohio again, in 1848; Kansas Statutes in 1855; and Nebraska Territory six times in a row from 1855 to 1860."
Given your evident prejudice against what you dismiss as a "conspiracy theory", my guess is that you will not want to accept the above information, but I'm rather curious as to how you will respond.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
P.S. - I would suggest this thread is more suited to the LPSF-discuss list than to LPSF-activists.