We are now in the time of the Articles of Confederation as written by the 2nd Continental Congress as commissioned in 1776, sent to the states for ratification in 1777, and ratified in 1781 legally federating the sovereign and independent states, already cooperating through the Continental Congress, into a new federation styled the "The United States of America". Under the Articles the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the central government.
In deciding the wording and the compromise of creating a federation of sovereign and independent states, the 2nd Continental Congress would determine what would be constituted as Federal Powers and States Powers, thus creating the first Constitution of the
In Art. 4, Sec. 1., the only Article dealing with the movement of :
"The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and redress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties impositions and restrictions, as the inhabitants thereof respectively."
This is to mean, “free inhabitants” and “free citizens” as already discussed in previous topics as, “those that had colonized through the granting patent company from 1606 – 1619, the London (Virginia) Company, and were then freed by the company allowing them to purchase and own their own lands in the new world and also by the 7 year indentured servant of the Africans brought to the new world by slave traders to be freed at the end of their 7 year term and to also be allowed to purchase and own land.” The true meaning of the word "free," as used in the English law, in the colonial charters, and in the State constitutions up to this time, when applied to persons, was to describe citizens (subjects - today's equivocal, Naturalized or Natural-born), or persons possessed of franchises (denizens - today's equivocal, Legal Resident), as distinguished from aliens (foreigners looking to join the ranks of the colony, must first register with the local governor and obey all laws as instituted for aliens, required to take an oath appointed by Parliament swearing allegiance to the King of England, and live without incident within the colony for 7 years) or persons not possessed of the same franchises. Usage, then, would give this meaning to the word "free" in this section.
The rules of Naturalization were still left up to the individual states, and each state had its own rules. The above, Article 4, only allows "free" persons to actually move freely between the Colonies, now States, and entitled them to “all the privileges and immunities” in the several states.
This was all happening during the American Revolutionary War, to wit, in the end, 1785; the
In 1787, the