At the common law, Husband and wife were “one” and The Man was The One. The legal name of this concept is “coverture”.
Married women weren’t separate legal entities in their own right. Their legal identity was subsumed under their Husband’s. Married women weren’t “citizens” in their own right.
Vattel and our Framers had the FATHER in mind in their concept of “natural born citizen”: The Man is the one who counts!
Later on, with Married Womens’ Property Acts in various States, female suffrage with the 19th Amendment, etc., this legal fiction of the wife’s legal identity being subsumed into that of her husbands, was ended. [However, as a holdover, married women still sometimes refer to themselves as Mrs. John Smith instead of Mrs. Mary Smith.]
At the time of our Framing, coverture was in full force and effect. SO it was the FATHER’s citizenship which counted. That is…
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