Weckherlin to Mr. Bayard.
Legation of the Netherlands,
March 17, 1888.
(Received March 19.)
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
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
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
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
- 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.,
Certificate of birth of Alexander
Registration Department, Health Office,
To all whom it may
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,
Naturalization certificate of Simon
United States of
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.
In witness whereof I have hereunto
affixed the seal of the said court at
Philadelphia, this seventh day of
October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and
sixty-three (1863), and of the sovereignty and independence
of the United States of America the
Philip S. White,
Per F. Augs. Trego,
Affidavit as to the identity of Simon Alexander
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,
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.
Certified to under the seal and signature of C. H. Backer,
president of the district court of Amsterdam, Netherlands.