No. 418.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 327.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit a copy of the instructions sent Mr. Merrill, United States consul at Jerusalem, for his government in the matter of American naturalized citizens resident in his consular jurisdiction whom the Imperial Government proposes to convert into Turkish subjects. See my dispatch No. 315, January 24 last.

Very respectfully, &c.,

LEWIS WALLACE.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 327.]
[Extract.]

Mr. Wallace to Mr. Heap.

Sir: Your attention is respectfully called to the accompanying note verbale from the Sublime Porte, and you are requested to be so good as to send a copy of it to Mr. Merrill, the United States consul at Jerusalem, for his information. Touching the subject of the said note, you are also requested to instruct Mr. Merrill as follows:

There are three classes of persons to whom the note of the Sublime Porte may have application: First, a class claiming American citizenship who have not even taken out the first papers required of them by the law; second, a class asserting the claim who have gone so far as to take out the first paper renouncing their original allegiance, but there stopped; and a third class who have in every point perfected their naturalization as citizens of the United States.

If Consul Merrill finds within his jurisdiction persons claiming his protection who are fairly within the first of the classes given, he will inform them they have no claim upon him; if he finds any who are properly of the second class, he will examine their papers, take copies of them, and report upon their authenticity. Of this second class he will also inqnire when they left the United States, how long they have been in Palestine, what business they are there engaged in, if any, why they came abroad, why they took up residence in Palestine, whether they intended to return to America when they left its shores, why they have not returned, and if they intend to return. He will keep record of their answers, together with all evidence of whatever kind he can procure for or against such intention. When his inquiries are concluded he will transmit a full report of everything pertinent to the subject to this legation through your consulate, the object being to refer each of such cases to Washington for consideration there. As to persons whom he may find of the third class, if they are orderly and going about their lawful business, whatever it be, they have a right to live there unmolested. This right is derived from the ancient capitulations, of late days reaffirmed by treaties existing between the two Governments; that for conveniency, rather than a yielding up of principle, the United States have in instances temporarily submitted to claims insisted upon by friendly Governments against naturalized citizens of the United States, formerly subjects of those friendly Governments, but who voluntarily returned and placed themselves under their jurisdiction; that as yet all such cases have been settled by amicable diplomatic arrangements; that the United States have never admitted the right of a foreign Government to decide upon or nullify in any manner the franchises conferred under its naturalization laws, much less have they sanctioned the extraordinary principle which appears for the first time enunciated by the Sublime Porte—that if a person naturalized in the United States, but resident in Turkey, has lost his original nationality, it having been other than Turkish, he becomes an Ottoman subject regardless of his American naturalization; that whatever ground in right this principle may have as respects naturalized American citizens formerly Turkish subjects, it cannot be permitted application to a naturalized American citizen originally the subject of a power not Turkish. In accordance with these views, Consul Merrill will be informed that all naturalized citizens of the [Page 544] United States within his jurisdiction have a right to call upon him for protection, and that it is his duty to protect them. To that end he must, if necessary, exhaust the means usually of resort on such occasions.

* * * * * * *

Very respectfully, &c.,

LEWIS WALLACE.