Mr. Adee to Mr. Thompson.

No. 260.]

Sir: I have received your No. 378,1 of June 30 last, accompanied by ten passport applications covering a period from January 1 to June 30, 1895. They have been examined and found to be correct.

There are, however, six cases to which I will direct attention for the future guidance of your legation and for convenience. I will here enumerate their essential features, as follows:

  • No. 41, J. A. Carlton, of Alabama, where he was born November 28, 1846. His permanent residence is given at Meridian, Miss., where he follows the occupation of railroading. He left the United States April 12, 1868, and says that he intends to return within a year. He has been absent twenty-seven years, and wants the passport for protection and travel. Has five minor children, all born in Brazil.
  • No. 42, B. Hammond Green, a native of Louisiana, born September 1, 1857. His permanent residence is Winn Parish, in that State, where he follows the occupation of a farmer. He left the United States January 10, 1867, and expects to return in eighteen months. He has been absent twenty-eight years, and desires the passport for protection and travel. Has five minor children, all born in Brazil.
  • No. 43, Joseph E. Whitaker, a native of Alabama, where he was born June 1, 1845, but is now a permanent resident of Georgia, where he follows the occupation of farmer. He left the United States January 31, 1867, and expects to return within a year. He has been absent twenty-eight years, and wants the passport for protection and travel.
  • No. 44, James M. Pyles, a native of Georgia, where he was born November 9, 1856. Is now a resident of Mariana, Fla., and a farmer by occupation. He left the United States January, 1867, married at Santa Barbara, and has three minor children. He intends to return to the United States within one year, and desires a passport for protection and travel. He has been absent about twenty-eight years.
  • No. 45, John F. Whitehead, a native of Tennessee, where he was born April 6, 1835. His permanent residence is Columbus, Tex., where he follows the occupation of a farmer. His nine minor children were all born in Brazil. He left the United States June 20, 1868, and expects to return in one year. He wants the passport for protection and travel. He has been absent twenty-seven years.
  • No. 46, Patrick H. Scurlock, a native and resident of Alabama, halving been born there February 13, 1853. He left the United States January 23, 1867, and has had eight children born in Brazil. He has been absent twenty-eight years, and expects to return to the United States within one year; wants the passport for protection and travel.

These cases have heretofore been under consideration. The Department’s No. 134, of May 31, 1894, approved your action in declining to issue passports to these gentlemen, based upon the fact of their long residence in Brazil, where they have each been upward of thirty years, and of the apparent absence of any intention on their part to return to the United States and perform the duties of citizens thereof. This action was taken without prejudice to their American citizenship in case of their desire to return or of their right to ask the intervention of this Government [Page 72]should they be drafted into the Brazilian army. Each case, in such a contingency, could only be decided on its special merits.

Subsequently the Hon. John T. Morgan, of Alabama, on June 24, 1894, transmitted to the Department a letter from Mr. Joseph E. Whitaker, whose present application is No. 43, complaining of your action in refusing him a passport. Senator Morgan was given a copy of your No. 233, of May 3, 1894, and of the Department’s No. 137, of May 31 of that year, in order to demonstrate that Mr. Whitaker’s criticism of your action was undeserved. (See Instruction No. 145, of June 29, 1894.) It also stated that the Department’s action, as expressed in its No. 137, contemplated joining the fact of twenty-seven years’ residence in a foreign country with the absence of any definite intention to return to the United States, and observed that in case a reasonable intention of the applicant to return was established to your satisfaction, it should not be overborne by the circumstance of such long residence abroad, to which your No. 137 referred.

“While,” says Mr. Uhl, in his No. 145, “these persons may not be able now to fix a date in the near future for their return, obvious preparations on their part to return to their native land may properly be taken into account.”

Your No. 377, of June 24, 1895, announced that you had issued passports to the following American citizens, residing with their families at Santa Barbara, viz: Messrs. B. H. Green, J. E. Whitaker, J. M. Pyles, and P. H. Scurlock. My reply of July 23, 1895 (No. 253), intimates that no opinion could be expressed as to the propriety of your action pending the receipt of the usual quarterly returns of the applications from which the merits of the several cases appear.

It is evident that the Department intended to give these gentlemen the benefit of every consideration, notwithstanding their long residence abroad, to receive a passport in case they were able to declare their intention to return to the United States within a reasonable time. Acting upon that theory and comformably to the spirit of your instructions, you issued them passports.

I find the time specified within which each expects to return to the United States is as follows: Mr. Carlton, within a year; Mr. Green, within eighteen months; Mr. Whitaker, within a year; Mr. Pyles within a year; Mr. Whitehead, within a year, and Mr. Scurlock, within a year.

Under all the circumstances, therefore, it is the Department’s reasonable expectation that these gentlemen will be able to fulfill their expressed intentions to return to the United States within the periods named. In case, however, either should apply to you for the renewal of his passport, you will, before issuing it, promptly report the case to the Department, accompanied by such statement of facts in support of his application as the applicant may determine to present for the Department’s full understanding of such case.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary
.
  1. Merely transmits passport applications.