As the minor German states are now for the most part incorporated in the North German Confederation, it will probably be sufficient to reply to the correspondence without giving a summary of it:
Oldenburg, Senate documents, 1st session 36th Congress, vol. ii, pp. 129, 221; Hanover, ditto, p. 143; Frankfort, pp. 231, 235; Hamburg, p. 171. It appears from these latter papers that a system existed by which a citizen of Hamburg who wished to expatriate himself was required to procure a discharge (“austritt”) from the “nexus,” a law bureau appointed for the purpose.
This discharge was only given on proof being afforded that the applicant had fulfilled his military obligations. (Letter from syndic of Hamburg, June 18, 1850.)
Bremen, ditto, pp. 191, 195, 211. In a dispatch to Mr. Schleiden, of the 9th of April, 1859, Mr. Cass thus explains himself: “It is undoubtedly true that this Government has acquiesced in the opinion expressed by Mr. Wheaton, that when a citizen who has been liable to military duty leaves his own country without permission and without having performed this duty, and is naturalized in another country, he may be held to discharge his liability whenever he is found again in his native state. This opinion, however, is regarded by this Government as applying not to cases of inchoate liability, but to cases only where the liability has been complete.”
This correspondence turned upon the question of the right of Bremen to surrender to another German state a naturalized American owing military duty to such state. The United States contended that such a surrender could not be acquiesced in; and Bremen maintained that there was a double duty to do it—1st, in virtue of the existing arrangements on the subject with the other states; and 2d, because a defaulter from military service in another state was a defaulter from the Federal army, of which the Bremen contingent formed a part.