The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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John M'Creery's Lessee v Allender, 4 H & Mett. 259 (1799)-Supreme Court Maryland


John M'Creery's Lessee v Allender, 4 H & Mett. 259 (1799)-Supreme Court Maryland -is cited 2 times in The Myth of Separation (Will probate)

Legal analysis and writing by Lee Edwards, Esq. Editing, non-legal research and writing by Jim Allison.

Major claims by Barton in his publications:

From The Myth Of separation, page 63-64, Barton writes:

Samuel Chase, like so many of the other men cited in this chapter, was a well-respected Justice with great legal influence. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and was appointed by George Washington to serve as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Below is an excerpt from the document Chase executed in the naturalization of M'Creery:

Thomas M'Creery, in order to become . . . naturalized according to the Act of Assembly . . on the 30th of September, 1795, took the oath ... before the Honorable Samuel Chase, Esquire, then being the Chief Judge of the State of Maryland . . . and did then and there receive from the said Chief Judge, a certificate thereof. . . : "Maryland; I, Samuel Chase, Chief Judge of the State of Maryland, do hereby certify all whom it may concern, that ... personally appeared before me Thomas M'Creery, and did repeat and subscribe a declaration of his belief in the Christian Religion, and take the oath required by the Act of Assembly of this State, entitled, 'An Act for Naturalization.'

What was a requirement for naturalization of immigrants? Repeat and subscribe a declaration of his belief in the Christian Religion.

Legal analysis and writing by Lee Edwards, Esq.

Facts: Two actions for ejectment; real estate title disputes. Before his death, Thomas McCreery took an oath to become a citizen of Maryland in which he was required to declare his belief in the Christian religion.

Issue 1: Was McCreery an alien or a citizen when he died?

Answer: An alien.

Issue 2: Was John McCreery, as administrator of the estate of Thomas McCreery, entitled to possession of the decedent's real property.

Answer: Yes.

Comment: Barton introduced this case to show that a declaration of belief in Christianity was required to become a citizen of Maryland in 1795. This is really a moot point since Congress, pursuant to its constitutional authority, has adopted a uniform rule regarding naturalization throughout the country. And, of course, the case was decided long before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.