Prince Hohenlohe to Mr. Bancroft.
Mr. Minister : In reply to the letter of the 10th of July last, about Mr. William Bardroff’s reclamation, addressed to me by Mr. John C. Wright, at that time charge d’affaires of the United States in Prussia, I now have the honor to communicate to you as follows :
According to the constitution of the kingdom, the Bavarian subject is not presumed to have expatriated himself, to have emigrated, till he has completely passed into the subjection of another country ; his mere absence from his country and his residence abroad, however long it may be, do not deprive him of his primitive nationality.
From what Mr. J. C. Wright says, Mr. Bardroff became a citizen of the United States in 1865 ; and only from that time is he considered to have lost his character as a Bavarian subject.
As he was born in 1842, he became amenable to the conscription law on the 1st of January, 1863, and as he did not obey the laws of his country, Mr. Bardroff was declared refractory by a sentence pronounced on the 27th of July, 1864.
His reclamation is consequently devoid of foundation ; and he owes his condemnation to his non-compliance with the laws, in not serving out the time due, previous to the change of his primitive nationality for another.
I am sure, Mr. Minister, these facts will convince the Secretary of State that this suit has been conducted in accordance with the laws of the kingdom; and you will permit me to express the great satisfaction which the government of the King, my august master, feels at seeing this communication submitted to the judgment of a statesman who expressed himself as indicated in the despatch of which I have the honor to enclose you a copy, on the views adopted by the Bavarian government in its international relations.
I beg you to accept, Mr. Minister, the assurance of my very high consideration.
Hon. George Bancroft, Envoy Extraordinary, &c., &c., &c.