No. 137.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Brulatour.

No. 321.]

Sir: Your dispatch, No. 370, of the 12th instant, relating to the application of Mr. George Schmidt for a passport for his two minor sons, Otto and Gustavus, has been received. You state that—

Mr. Schmidt, an Austrian by birth, who obtained naturalization at Cincinnati on the 1st of June, 1883, and who holds passport from the State Department dated the 3d of June, 1883, applied to your legation for passports for his two sons, Otto and Gustavus, on the ground that, being both under age, his own naturalization also conferred upon them the privileges of citizenship. Messrs. Otto and Gustavus Schmidt, having at the same time declared that they had never been in the United States, the legation refused to comply with Mr. Schmidt’s request.

Mr. Vignaud’s ruling and conclusion was entirely correct, and is approved. The young men in question are not entitled to passports. The provision of the act of the 14th of April, 1802 (section 2172, Revised Statutes of the United States), has received both executive and judicial [Page 275] construction. The Attorney General of the United States (Bates) in 1862 held that—

Under the fourth section of the act of April, 1802, to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, &c., such children, if dwelling in the United States, are declared citizens. That section, [continues the Attorney-General], provides, in brief, that the children of persons duly naturalized under any of the laws of the United States, &c., being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of their parents being so naturalized or admitted to the rights of citizenship, shall, if dwelling in the United States, be considered as citizens of the United States.

The section, of course refers to children born out of the United States; since the children of such persons born within the United States are citizens without the aid of statutory law. (10 Opinions, p. 329.)

You may, at your convenience, inform Mr. Schmidt of this conclusion of the Department.

I have, &c.,