Mr. Vignaud to Mr. Bayard.
Paris, December 29, 1887. (Received January 10.)
Sir: I have the honor to send herewith a copy and translation of Mr. Flourens’ reply to my last communication, insisting upon the discharge of Gendrot. Mr. Flourens says the minister of war can not comply with the request, and repeats the usual reply made by his department to applications of this kind having reference to French naturalized Americans, viz, that Gendrot can apply to the courts of justice, and that if he secures a judgment declaring that he is not a Frenchman he will be discharged.
Mr. Flourens is undoubtedly aware that the remedy he suggests here is, in this peculiar case, illusive. The French courts of justice can adjudge that a Frenchman who has been naturalized abroad has lost his original national character, because French law so states it. But Gendrot being a natural-born American, son of a Frenchman, remains a Frenchman according to French law. His application to the courts can not therefore be successful. It seems that he has so understood his case, for I am informed by his father that, being about to be arrested again and imprisoned, he has left France.
I have, etc.,