Mr. Powell to Mr. Hay.
Port au Prince, August 17, 1904.
Sir: I have the honor to state to the Department that since the Syrian trouble has occurred, I have found by accident that many of these people are in possession of false naturalization papers. These naturalization certificates, as I am informed, come from the United States circuit court of Connecticut.
A man by the name of Jacobs, a Syrian, living at Leogane, a place about 40 miles from this city, requested me to send some one for him so that he could come to our legation, stating that he was a naturalized American citizen and that he was threatened by the people, etc.
In examining into the matter I find that this man, while he possessed this certificate, had never been to the States, but had given for the certificate $150. I further learned that there are many others of a like character issued here, but the price paid for them varies from $10 to $150 each.
I propose with the approval of the Department to arrest this paper as soon as it comes into my possession and to examine all the naturalization papers of these people in this Republic, and those that are fraudulent to retain and forward to the Department. But before doing so I would like to be informed by the Honorable Secretary if I am proceeding in the right way; also, if I find that there is some one here engaged in this business, shall I have him arrested? I will be glad to have the Department instruct me as to the course I shall pursue.
I have, etc.,