Mr. Gresham to Mr. White.
Washington , March 24, 1893.
Sir: I have received your No. 48, of Jauuary 25 last, inclosing the application of William Lassonne for a passport.
After a careful examination of this application, the Department is clearly of opinion that it should be denied.
As stated by Mr. Lassonne himself, the grounds upon which be bases his claim for the issuance of a passport are exceedingly slight.
He emigrated from Hamburg, his birthplace, to New York in 1862, when 17 years of age; resided in the United States until 1868, when he became a naturalized citizen, and then went to Russia, where he has since uninterruptedly resided. He merely states that he intends to return to the United States “when able to.”
It would be difficult to conceive of a clearer case of a foreigner availing himself of the liberal laws of the United States to acquire the rights and privileges of an American citizen to be used for his protection and advantage in a foreign country, and enabling him to evade the duties of citizenship equally in the country where he was naturalized and in the country where he has been domiciled for twenty-five years.
His very vague intention of returning to the United States is altogether too indefinite to be entitled to serious consideration.
When this intention is corroborated by the fact of his acquiring a residence or domicile here, which shall appear to be in good faith, it will then be proper to consider his claims for the issuance of a passport.
I am, sir, etc.,