Page images
PDF
EPUB

ing that protection by official interference and by other acts which may eventually lead to the employment of force. This consideration, taken in connection with the clear provisions of law in that respect and with the well-defined policy of the law, induced the Department to issue the circular of October last, prohibiting the granting of letters of protection except in the form of passports, and prohibiting the granting of passports to any but citizens of the United States.

Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Washburne, min. to France, Oct. 4, 1870,

MS. Inst. France, XVIII. 428. See Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr.
Boker, min. to Turkey, April 19, 1872, MS. Inst. Turkey, II. 400.

In denying a request for a passport for a native British subject who had declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, Mr. Bayard said: “A declaration of intention does not involve abjuration of original allegiance. That only takes place when the party is finally admitted to citizenship. We have a naturalization treaty with Great Britain, by the first article of which the full effect and validity of lawful naturalization is mutually recognized, and by implication change of allegiance is not recognized until lawful naturalization is complete. There would seem to be, therefore, no obstacle to the party in question quitting this country under a British passport."

Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Wilson, Oct. 17, 1885, 157 MS. Dom.

Let. 392.
See Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Melvin, Oct. 26, 1885, 157 MS. Dom.

Let. 447; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Coleman, chargé at
Berlin, No. 334, July 10, 1888, For: Rel. 1888, I. 616; Mr. Bayard,
Sec. of State, to Mr. Stein, Aug. 28, 1888, 169 MS. Dom. Let. 503.

Since passports can be issued only to citizens of the United States, the Secretary of State has no power to issue a certificate of domicil, or a certificate stating that he is " satisfied " that a certain individual has his domicil in the United States."

Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Develin, Oct. 21, 1887, For. Rel. 1887,

355. See supra, $ 491.

“I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th ultimo, with which you transmit certain documents in relation to the Reverend Guido F. Verbeck, a native of the Netherlands and a missionary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church of America. Among these documents is a letter written by the Honorable William H. Seward, on the 5th of April, 1859, to Townsend Harris, esq., then minister of the United States to Japan, stating that, while Mr. Verbeck, who was then about to set out for that country, having only declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States and not having been naturalized, was not entitled to

receive a passport, yet it was held in the celebrated Koszta case that a declaration of intention was sufficient to entitle the bearer to the protection of our Government and of its naval authorities abroad.' And in conclusion Mr. Seward said: Mr. Verbeck is a very worthy man, and I beg to commend him to your protection, which may, perhaps, be needed under the peculiar circumstances of his migration to Japan.'

“You state that Mr. Verbeck, since his return to the United States in 1889, ‘has made every effort to complete his naturalization and become de facto an American citizen, but without success,' and that you are · informed by one of the judges of the court of common pleas of this city and county (New York) that there is no way known to our laws by which his desire can be realized. As the ground of this opinion is not disclosed, it is supposed that it refers only to the period of residence in the United States which our naturalization laws require. In view, however, of the fact that Mr. Verbeck is unable now to obtain naturalization, you request that the Secretary of State give him a letter similar to that written by Mr. Seward in 1859.

The Department has carefully examined the papers submitted to it and the various rulings on the question presented, and has failed to discover that the law has ever been so construed as to permit the Secretary of State to grant a letter of the purport of that now requested. It may not, perhaps, have been observed that the letter of Mr. Seward was not written by him as Secretary of State, but nearly two years before he came into this office, when Jeremiah S. Black was Secretary of State. It was, therefore, only a letter of personal commendation and not an official guarantee of protection. The duties of the Secretary of State on this subject are well defined. In an instruction to the minister of the United States to the Argentine Republic, of March 27, 1867, Mr. Seward, then Secretary of State, said: 'Passports are the only protection papers known in the law, or sanctioned in this Department.' Mr. Marcy, who conducted the correspondence in the Koszta case, three years later, in an instruction to one of our ministers of April 10, 1856, said that a passport could with propriety be issued “neither to an alien who may have become domiciled in the United States nor to a foreigner who has merely declared his intention to become an American citizen, although both of these classes of persons may be entitled to some recognition by this Government. The most,' he continued, that can be done by you is to certify to the genuineness of their papers when presented for your attestation, and when you have no reasonable doubts of their authenticity. The authorities of foreign states may pay such respect to these documents as they may think proper.' I shall only quote one more ruling of the Department, as follows: ‘It is clearly the duty of the Secretary of State not to authorize passports to be

H. Doc. 551—vol 3—57

granted, issued, or verified in foreign countries by diplomatic or consular officers of the United States to or for any other persons than citizens of the United States. If this law apparently operates harshly upon persons who, by reason of their declaration of intention to become citizens of the United States, suppose themselves entitled to the protection of its representatives abroad, it is for the law-making power to determine whether it is wise to change the policy which has so long been established. While the law remains as it is, I can see no official protection which can be extended to persons who are not citizens of the United States.'

“This was written by Mr. Fish, when Secretary of State, on October 4, 1870, to the minister of the United States to Switzerland, and expresses clearly and comprehensively the construction uniformly given to the law both before and afterwards.

"The Department has not failed to observe that it has been inferred from the documents now before it, as stated in your letter, that Mr. Verbeck has constantly been recognized as under the protection of the United States, and treated in all respects as a citizen thereof.' The strongest evidence to that effect is the certificate given by Mr. De Long on April 10, 1873. In this certificate Mr. De Long stated that he was unable to issue a passport because Mr. Verbeck could not at the time produce other evidence of citizenship than a declaration of intention, and that he consequently issued the certificate in lieu of a passport. In regard to this certificate, it is to be observed, in the first place, that it was directly in conflict with the law as previously construed by Mr. Marcy, by Mr. Seward, and by Mr. Fish, as Secretaries of State, in the instructions above quoted, and as uniformly construed by their successors. In the second place, it may be noticed that, on the same day as that on which the certificate was issued, Mr. De Long gave Mr. Verbeck, who appears to have been on the point of visiting Europe, a letter commending him to the most favorable personal and official acquaintance of the minister of Holland in Rome, and requesting the latter, if Mr. Verbeck should by any chance become involved in trouble, to intervene and do all in his power to aid him. To this Mr. De Long added the request that the minister would also present Mr. Verbeck to the minister of the United States at Rome.

“ If Mr. Verbeck should become involved in any difficulty it would not be improper, in view of his previous history and long connection with an American board of missions, for the minister of the United States in Tokio to extend to him his good offices. But, as the law authorizes an assurance of official protection only to citizens of the United States, the Department is not permitted to go further. The leading prescription of the conditions of citizenship is as binding upon the Department as upon the courts; and, as Mr. Verbeck has not complied with those conditions so as to enable him to be admitted to citizenship, the Department is unable, by giving him such a letter as that requested, to assume to confer upon him a status that the law denies to him.”

Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Cobb, Dec. 5, 1890, 180 MS. Dom. Let. 95.
See, also, Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Nortz, April 3, 1890, 177 MS.

Dom. Let. 146.

Where a diplomatic representative issued a certificate that the person named therein had “declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States," and urged that, as he also asserted an intention to become “ fully naturalized ” “ at the earliest opportunity,” “ he be accorded the protection and courtesy usually given citizens of the United States," the Department of State declared that the issuance of such certificate was a violation both of the laws of the United States and of the regulations of the Department, and directed that steps should be promptly taken to recall it." Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Russell, No. 285, Aug. 21, 1899, MS.

Inst. Venezuela, IV, 662.

IV. APPLICATIONS.

1. FORMS AND EVIDENCE.

$ 503.

For some time after the establishment of the Government of the United States no definite rules were prescribed with regard to applications for passports or the evidence on which they were granted. The lack of definite requirements apparently resulted in many persons obtaining passports who were not entitled to them. A circular concerning applications and the evidence by which they must be accompanied was issued by the Department of State in 1815, and since that time various regulations have been established and enforced.

6. In order

that you may be furnished with passports for Mrs. Susannah Smith (you mother-in-law), your wife, and two children, it will be necessary that you send us proof of your own and of the citizenship of the first-mentioned lady, and that you likewise inform us of the Christian name of Madam Latour. A certificate from the clerk of the court before which you became naturalized, or an intimation from any respectable person in Baltimore, that he knows Mrs. Smith and yourself to be citizens of the United States, will be sufficient."

Mr. Brent, acting chief clerk, to Mr. Latour, Aug. 14, 1804, 14 MS. Dom.

Let. 353.

66

Respect for the passport of an American minister abroad is indispensable for the safety of his fellow-citizens travelling with it, and nothing would be so fatal to that respect as the experience that his passport had been abusively obtained by persons not entitled to it. All passports should be gratuitously given, and a record or list kept of all those which you may deliver, containing the name and voucher of American citizenship of the persons to whom they are given. They may be refused even to citizens of the United States who have so far expatriated themselves as to have become bound in allegiance to other nations, or who in any other manner have forfeited the protection of their own.

Protections to seamen are not included under the denomination of passports, nor are they ever granted by public ministers. Seamen may, nevertheless, like other citizens, occasionally want the passport of the minister, and be equally entitled to it.”

Mr. Adams, Sec. of State, to Mr. Nelson, min. to Spain, No. 2, April 28,

1823, MS. Inst. U. States Ministers, IX. 175. See, also, Mr. Adams, Sec. of State, to Mr. Allen, Nov. 30, 1823, MS.

Inst. U. States Ministers, X. 123.

[ocr errors]

ic

Your observations on the importance of great care in preventing foreigners from protecting themselves under American passports are very just, particularly in the case of Spaniards who use them to evade the laws of Mexico. In proportion to the care which all our public agents ought to take in giving proper protection to our citizens, ought to be their circumspection in preventing others, not entitled to that privilege, from usurping it. The President therefore highly approves the precautions you have taken in the instances you mention. And you are instructed to use every proper endeavor to convince the Mexican Government of the sincerity of your exertions to detect impositions of this kind in pursuance of what you may assure them is the wish of the President."

Mr. Livingston, Sec. of State, to Mr. Butler, June 26, 1831, MS. Inst. Am.

States, XIV. 203.
For a printed form of application that came into use in 1830, see Hunt's

Am. Passport, 45.

“ I am directed by the Secretary to acquaint you, in answer to your application for a passport for Francis W. Lusak, that the proof of citizenship which accompanied that application is not deemed satisfactory. It is expected that all naturalized citizens who may wish passports will either send to this office the certificate of citizenship, granted by the court in which they were admitted, or that they will exhibit the same to a notary or other magistrate, who must certify · under his official seal to the fact of such an exhibition."

Mr. Brent, chief clerk, to Mr. Cooper, Feb. 23, 1832, 25 MS. Dom. Let. 29.

« PreviousContinue »