Mr. Grant to Mr. Blaine .

No. 125.]

Sir: I have the honor to place before you, at the request of Mr. Rudolph Nejedly, his application for a passport. I have declined to issue a passport to Mr. Nejedly until I receive instruction from you upon the subject, for the reason that it does not appear certain that he is entitled to the protection of the Government of the United States of America as a citizen of that country.

Mr. Nejedly was born in New York city on the 18th day of July, 1854; his father became a naturalized citizen of the United States on the 10th day of October, 1860, but in the following year abandoned his adopted home, when our country most needed the support of its citizens, and returned to Europe with his family, where he has resided ever since, and where, as far I can learn, he has done nothing to retain his American citizenship. It is true that the present applicant, Rudolph Nejedly, obtained a passport from Mr. Jay, United States minister to Austria in 1872, when he, Mr. Nejedly, was about 18 years old and likely to be conscripted in the imperial army here. Since then the applicant has done nothing that would indicate a desire on his part to maintain his American citizenship. He is employed in the Savings Bank of the City of Vienna, and I gather from his own statements that he has no intention of ever returning to the United States to reside there.

In the case of all applications for passports similar to the above, I have held and will continue to hold to the opinion, unless instructed to change my course by the proper authorities—

  • First. That a child born in the United States of foreign parents is not necessarily a citizen of the United States, but he may become a citizen of that country if at the age of 21 he will go before one of the courts having jurisdiction in the matter and take the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States.
  • Second. That the allegiance of the child follows that of his parents, and in case of the parents having become naturalized citizens of the United States, and having afterwards forfeited that citizenship by leaving their adopted country, then the child would lose with his parents his rights of protection from that country; but the child of the same parents may again revive his rights of protection as a citizen of the United States if at the age of 21 years he appears before a United States consul and takes the oath of allegiance to the United States and reënters upon the duties of a citizen of that country.

Although, as before stated, the present applicant for a passport, Mr. Nejedly, did take the oath of allegiance to the United States when he was about 18 years old, he had not then arrived at the age of maturity [Page 15] according to law, and, inasmuch as he has since then taken no action towards renewing his claims to American citizenship, and does not appear to have the least intention of returning to the United States in the future, I have declined to issue to him the desired passport unless instructed to do so.

It may be proper for me to add here, Mr. Secretary, that I have obtained, indirectly, information to the effect that the several European governments which demand universal military duty from their male subjects have recently agreed that each country would furnish to the others a list of the names of the subjects of their several governments who are residing within its own boundaries at the time the census is taken. The census of Austria-Hungary is now being taken, for which reason there is a great pressure upon this legation coming from persons applying for passports.

Having placed before you, at his own request, Mr. Rudolph Nejedly’s application for a passport,

I have, etc.,

F. D. Grant.