No. 900.
Mr. de Weckherlin to Mr. Bayard.


Mr. Secretary of State: I am instructed to have recourse to your accustomed kindness with a view to obtaining some information as to whether, according to the laws in force in this Republic, Alexander Menist, who was born in Philadelphia on the 8th of November, 1869, is to be considered as a citizen of the United States of America.

It appears from the inclosed documents, and from an investigation held by the communal officers of the city of Amsterdam, Holland, that the father of the said young man, who was a Netherlander by the name of Simon Alexander Menist, and was domiciled at Sneek, in the Netherlands, emigrated about the year 1854 to the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he began business as a merchant. On arriving in the United States he took the name of Simon Alexander, dropping his true family name and adopting his middle name as such.

His father was naturalized as a citizen of the United States on October 7, 1863.

In 1866 he married Miss Vogel de Haan, and of this marriage was born, on the 8th of November, 1869, at Philadelphia, a male child, whose name was entered at the health office in that city as Alexander Alexander.

Alexander Alexander is the present Alexander Menist.

The Alexander family remained in the United States until 1878. On the 11th of December, in that year, they returned to the Netherlands, where they again took the name of Menist. Since that time Alexander Menist has continued to reside with his parents at Amsterdam.

The father, Simon Alexander Menist, has now asked that his son, Alexander Menist, be entered in the class of the year 1889 of the national militia, that is to say of the army, he (the father) declaring that his son has no longer any claim to “belong” to the United States, [Page 1339] since he (the son) has resided in the Netherlands, with the intention of remaining there, since December 11, 1878.

The communal officers doubt the correctness of this opinion, which is entertained by the father both with regard to himself and his minor son.

While the fact seems to be established that Alexander Menist left the United States without any intention of returning, and that he has now voluntarily offered to serve in the army of the Netherlands, it appears, on the other hand, that Alexander Menist was born in the United States, and that his father was at that time a citizen of the United States, and domiciled in that country.

Under these circumstances, and since the communal officers of Amsterdam are not acquainted with the provisions of the law of the United States of America which govern the forfeiture of citizenship in the said Republic, my Government would be very grateful to you if you would be pleased to enable the communal officers to decide the question which has arisen, and which, in their opinion, should be decided in accordance with American law.

I beg you to return to me, with your reply, the inclosures to the present communication, viz:

Simon Alexander’s certificate of naturalization.
The certificate of the birth of Alexander Alexander.
The declaration that Simon Alexander and Simon Alexander Menist are one and the same person.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

G. de Weckherlin.
[Inclosure 1.]

Certificate of birth of Alexander Alexander.

To all whom it may concern:

This is to certify that the following is a correct copy of the birth of Alexander Alexander as filed in this department in accordance with the State laws: Date of birth, November 8, 1869; name of child, Alexander Alexander; sex, male; color, white; ward, fourth ward; No. and street, 628 South street; name of parents, Simon and — Alexander; occupation of father, dealer; name of physician, Philip De Young; residence of physician, 242 North Fifth street.

For the health officer.

Geo. E. Chambers,
[Inclosure 2.]

Naturalization certificate of Simon Alexander.

United States of America:

Be it remembered, That at the district court for the city and county of Philadelphia, held at Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America, on the seventh day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, Simon Alexander, a native of Holland, exhibited a petition praying to be admitted to become a citizen of the United States, and it appearing to the said court that he had declared on oath before the prothonotary of the district court, on the thirtieth day of March, A. D. 1861, that it was bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to the King of Holland, of whom he was at that time a subject; and the said Simon Alexander having on his solemn oath declared and also made proof thereof agreeably to [Page 1340] law, to the satisfaction of the court, that he had resided one year and upwards within the State of Pennsylvania, and within the United States of America upwards of live years immediately preceding his application; and that during that time he had behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same, and having declared on his solemn oath before the said court that he would support the Constitution of the United States, and that he did absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to the King of Holland, of whom he was before a subject. And having in all respects complied with the laws in regard to naturalization, thereupon the court admitted the said Simon Alexander to become a citizen of the United States, and ordered all the proceedings aforesaid to be recorded by the prothonotary of the said court, which was done accordingly.

Philip S. White,

Per F. Augs. Trego,
Deputy Prothonotary.
[Inclosure 3.—Translation.]

Affidavit as to the identity of Simon Alexander Menist.

On this sixth day of June, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, before me, Dirk Jacobus Leepel, notary at Amsterdam, in presence of the witnesses to be named hereafter, appeared:

Messrs. Barend Moses Gondsmit, merchant, and Barend Moses Zeeman, lapidary, both residing at Amsterdam, and known to me, notary;

Who, for love of truth and as a fact fully known to them, have declared and testified that Mr. Simon Alexander Menist, merchant, residing at Amsterdam, in the Daniel Stalpert straat, number 32, born at Sneek on the sixth of July, eighteen hundred and thirty-two, son of Alexander Abraham Menist, and of the wife of the same, Duefie Simons Zwitser, has resided about twenty-five years at Philadelphia and returned into the Netherlands on the eleventh of December of the last year, is one and the same person as Simon Alexander, under which denomination only of his first names the said Mr. Simon Alexander Menist has been generally known at Philadelphia, and under which denomination he has been entered as inhabitant into the registers of the population of that city.

The said appearers requesting to deliver an official certificate of the forenamed testimony given to me, notary, and to furnish them with copies of the same where such might be found necessary, to the benefit of the said Mr. Simon Alexander Menist.

Made and passed in the office of me, notary, in the year and on the day first above written, in the presence of Messrs. Hendrick Frederick Duyker and Antheunis van Vlaanderen, both brokers and both residing at Amsterdam, as witnesses.

And has the minute of these presents, after having been read over to them, been subscribed by the appearers, with the witnesses and me, notary.

B. M. Gondsmit.

B. M. Zeeman.

H. F. Duyker.

A. van Vlaanderen.

D. J. Leepel,

Registered at Amsterdam the seventh of June, eighteen hundred seventy-nine, volume 171, folio 170, square 4, one leaf, no reference. Received for duty fo. 80, additional duty fo. 30½, together one guilder ten cents and a half, f. 1.10½.

The receiver c. a. No. 1.


Delivered as a true copy.

D. J. Leepel,

Translated from the Dutch by the undersigned sworn translator.

A. R. Happel.

Certified to under the seal and signature of C. H. Backer, president of the district court of Amsterdam, Netherlands.