In 1810, U.S. Senator Philip Reed of Maryland proposed the above amendment to the U.S. Constitution, essentially stating that anyone accepting a title of nobility would be stripped of their citizenship. Under such an amendment, individuals like Sir Rudy Giuliani, or possibly even lawyers adopting the title 'esquire', could lose their status as U.S. citizens.
At the time, 13 states were needed to ratify the amendment, but only 12 are known to have done so prior to the war of 1812. Controversy arises because most government records were lost when the British burned down Washington DC in 1814. Some people now believe that the amendment was actually ratified, as did many states and government agencies throughout the 1800's. Even the U.S. President, James Madison, was apparently unsure of the amendment's status and sent delegates to undecided states in 1817 to determine if they had voted to have it ratified.
Officially, the amendment was never ratified, but remains open for ratification if enough states vote to do so. However, many state and federal printings of the Constitution included the amendment until around the Civil War, lending credibility to the theory that it was ratified and later swept under the table once the new 13th amendment abolishing slavery was added.
Was it a conspiracy? Or just a case of misunderstood constitutional law and bad record keeping? Read the whole story at Daily Kos or on Wikipedia and decide for yourself.