Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.
Paris, June 17, 1885. (Received June 30.)
Sir: At the instance of Mr. Charles Drevet, who claims to be an American citizen, I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following request:
Mr. Drevet was born September 28, 1864, at Paris, where he has been living since. His father, Leon Drevet, a Frenchman, went to the United States in 1852. In 1858 he made his declaration of intention; in February, 1859, he married an American lady, and a year later, 1860, he came back to France. In 1869 he returned to the United States, and the same year (June 3, 1869) he took out his second papers. Shortly after, he resumed his residence in France.
From this statement of facts it appears that Drevet was born in France; that at the time of his birth his father had not yet perfected his naturalization, and that when this act was so perfected, he, Drevet, was not in the United States, where, indeed, he never has been. I may add that father and son have been domiciled here for many years, and that they have not expressed any intention of returning to the United States.
Charles Drevet thinks, however, that he has the right to be considered as an American citizen, and asks to be famished with the certificate required by French law of December 16, 1874, stating that he is so considered by the United States Government.
This law, a translation of which was forwarded to the Department in Mr. Morton’s dispatch No. 332, states substantially that any one born in France, son of a foreigner who himself was born in France, is French unless he claims his foreign citizenship in the year he becomes of age, and produces a written certificate or attestation from his Government that he has maintained his original nationality. As Mr. Drevet will be of age on September 28, 1885, he must be provided with this certificate or attestation on or before that date; otherwise in virtue of the aforesaid law of 16th December, 1874, he will be liable to all the obligations of French citizenship.
I have, &c.,