Mr. Seward to Mr. Morris.

No. 187.]

Sir: Your dispatch of the 31st of July, No. 266, has been received. We have for some time been apprised of the abuses which are committed concerning the privilege of citizenship of the United States in oriental countries.

This department, as you must have inferred from some of its instructions, has been engaged in endeavoring to correct these abuses.

In answer to your present request for special instructions, I have to direct that you will extend the protection of the United States only to persons who are either native born or naturalized citizens of the United States. In case of naturalization the proceeding must not consist merely in a preliminary declaration of intention, but must show a judicial process fully complete and ended before the proper courts, and in conformity with the provisions of the laws of the United States. Wherever the naturalization papers presented are either manifestly fraudulent, or well suspected of being fraudulent, you will refuse to extend protection upon them until the case shall have been examined here.

When the person who demands protection claims it upon the ground simply that he is the child of a person who has been naturalized in the United States, you will look into the circumstances and see whether the claimant has, by relinquishing his residence in the United States, or by returning to Turkey or any other foreign country, practically waived his legally acquired but provisional title as an American citizen.

You will in no case interpose in behalf of a person whose objects appear to be immoral, or illegal, or frivolous, or whose title to United States citizenship is not clear and absolute; on the contrary, in such doubtful cases you will refer yourself to this department for special instructions.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


E. Joy Morris, Esq., &c., &c., &c.