to Mr. Lothrop.
Washington, March 1, 1888.
Sir: Your No. 158, of the 10th ultimo, has been received.
In it you report the case of Isidore Albert, an alleged American citizen, who, while serving as a surgeon in the Russian army, was, according to his statement, convicted of receiving a bribe of 9 rubles and sentenced to a forfeiture of civil rights and perpetual exile in Siberia. Dr. Albert asks for such action on the part of your legation as may enable his petition for executive clemency to reach the Emperor.
From the records of the passport division in this Department it appears that Isidore Albert filed evidence to show that he, being of Russian birth, was naturalized by a decree of the United States circuit court of Boston, Massachusetts, on March 14, 1878. The circumstance that he soon after returned to the country of his original allegiance, obtained a diploma as doctor of medicine at the Imperial Medical Academy of St. Petersburg, and thereupon entered the Russian military service, is inconsistent with such obvious retention of his acquired status as a citizen of the United States, and evidences such a purpose to resume domicile in Russia as would, on the case as now submitted, make it out of the power of the Department to set up a claim of continuing citizenship against any counter-claim on the part of Russia that he had voluntarily resumed his original allegiance.
In the absence of any naturalization treaty with Russia, and in view of the well-known contention of that Government for perpetual allegiance, it may be doubted whether his entrance into the Russian military service was coupled with any recognition of his persistent status as an alien; but even if it were the fact remains, as you have very pertinently [Page 1404] pointed out, that by entering that service he voluntarily subjected himself to Russian military jurisdiction.
Under these circumstances the Government of the United States would require very positive evidence that he had not abandoned his American citizenship before it could intervene in his behalf, even to ask a pardon.
I am, etc.,