No. 611.

Mr. Cramer to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 199.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith inclosed, a copy of a letter from Mr. George L. Catlin, United States consul at Zurich, dated the 19th of January, 1885, reciting the sad case of a boy, and applying for a passport for him.

[Page 795]

It appears from a certificate of birth and baptism issued by the pastor of the German Presbyterian Church of New York City that said boy was born in New York City, and is the illegitimate son of a widow, from Regensdorf, of canton of Zurich, Switzerland, who appears to have been residing in that city at that date; whether her husband was a citizen of the United States is not quite certain. On her return she received a passport from this legation.

From the dates of the documents it appears that she returned to Switzerland with her son at a time when the latter was about four years of age. She has since died.

The following is an exact transcript of the records of this legation concerning the passport issued:

Record of passport No. — for Mrs. —— ——, accompanied by a minor son, of the United States of America. Description, none given. (Naturalized.) Authority, see voucher No. 193.

Now, said boy has not been in the United States since the year. 1871. Under these circumstances I am unable to decide whether he is a citizen of the United States. If the Department decides that he is a citizen, I request to be informed whether, he being in such needy circumstances as Consul Catlin reports, this legation may issue a passport to him gratis.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 199.]

Mr. Catlin to Mr. Cramer.

Sir: I venture to call your attention to the case of —— —— (a boy); age, 18; born at New York, September 7, 1866, and now employed at Aussersihl, in the suburbs of this city, as a baker’s apprentice, without other compensation, than his board and lodging. He is an orphan, but I have in my possession a passport issued in the name of his mother, now deceased, showing her to have been also a citizen of the United States. I have also his baptismal certificate, authenticated by the Swiss consul at New York. The youth is absolutely penniless, but is called upon almost daily by the authorities for his legitimation papers, and as he has no means to pay a fee for his passport, though claiming, and I trust rightfully, American citizenship, I beg to refer the matter to your kind consideration, and remain, &c.,