Mr. Wharton to Mr. Shannon.

No. 154.]

Sir: I have received your dispatch, No. 281, of January 19, 1893, wherein you ask instructions in regard to the case of Dr. Alberto Lacayo, who has applied to you for a passport as a measure of protection. It appears that Dr. Lacayo is a native of Leon, Nicaragua, where he was born February 27, 1857; that he sailed from Colon on or about July 7, 1872; that he resided uninterruptedly in the United States for a period of seven years, from. July 19, 1872, to March, 1879; that he was naturalized in the superior court of the city of New York on the 27th of September, 1878. His subsequent statement is to the effect that he has been several times in the United States for brief periods, and that in 1879 he was given a passport by the Department, which was renewed in 1886. He last left the United States in the summer of 1891, and for three months during the year 1890 he was mayor of Granada, to which office he was elected, as he states, “against his will”

Dr. Lacayo, from his own showing, has spent but little of his time in the United States since his naturalization; is now engaged in business as a druggist at Granada, where he has lived since 1879, and has since, in 1890, been elected to and held office under the local government of the city of his present residence.

It is probable that in accepting office he was required to subscribe to an oath to support and defend the constitution of Nicaragua and uphold its laws. This seems certainly to imply citizenship, if indeed it is not tantamount to a renunciation of his acquired allegiance.

It is to be regretted that your dispatch does not dwell upon this essential feature of his case, which should practically decide it; and for the Department’s information you will report upon this particular point.

Upon the showing before it the Department does not feel justified in authorizing you to issue Dr. Lacayo a passport. In addition to what I have here recapitulated his application fails to disclose when he intends to return for the purpose of residing and performing the duties of an American citizen. “Within a few years” is entirely too vague and indefinite. Besides, your dispatch states that he is now living with his parents and that he proposes to remain with them as long as they live.

I am, etc.,

William F. Wharton,
Acting Secretary.