Mr. Hardy to Mr. Hay.

No. 188.]

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following case to the Department:

Jorge Grau y Ortegueira was born in Guayama, Porto Rico, and is now about 16 years of age. His father, Eugenio Grau, was also born in Porto Rico, and died there in 1888. The son Jorge left Guayama in 1900 with his uncle and guardian, Mr. Antonio Grau, and they have since resided in Cadiz, where the ward is pursuing his studies.

The uncle, Mr. Antonio Grau, was registered in June last in the Cadiz consulate as a native of Porto Rico. In January of this year he applied for a certificate of nationality for his nephew and ward, in order that the latter might be exempted from military service, which he had just been called upon to perform.

Having obtained, as instructed by the legation, affidavits from two credible witnesses as to the birth and residence of Jorge Grau in Porto Rico, as also an affidavit from the latter to the effect that he intended to return within three years to Porto Rico, to reside there, and the said Jorge Grau having taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, the consul, Mr. Bartleman, issued to him a certificate of nationality.

I inclose a copy of a letter received from the consul, from which it appears that some question may arise as to the exemption of Jorge Grau from military duty. It is evident that his father, having died in 1888, before the transfer of sovereignty, could not have been registered as an American citizen. He having been born in Porto Rico and not being therefore a native of the Peninsula, is the minor son, now temporarily in Spain, and intending to return to reside in the country of his origin, having taken the oath of allegiance, entitled to the protection of the United States, and therefore exemption from military service?

I have, etc.,

Arthur S. Hardy.

Mr. Bartleman to Mr. Hardy.

Sir: Referring to my letter of the 19th ultimo, and to yours of the 21st, I would respectfully state that Mr. Jorge Grau presented to me affidavits from [Page 805]two credible witnesses, also an affidavit made by himself. I then entered his name in the record book as a citizen of the island of Porto Rico, and noted his cedula, as per the Department’s circular of May 2, 1899, and issued a certificate, which I took with a letter to the office of the civil governor. The secretary of the civil governor requested me to authenticate the signature of the acting secretary of Porto Rico, which I did, and the next day received the governor’s reply.

On yesterday Mr. Grau called to thank me for what had been done for his nephew and stated that everything was satisfactory.

To-day, much to my astonishment, I receive from the alcalde a note requesting to be informed if the father of Jorge Grau is registered in this consulate as a citizen of the United States.

I take the liberty to again trouble you with this matter, as it now looks as if some impediment was to be placed in the way of Mr. Grau’s release, and the matter may have to go to Madrid for final solution before the name of Mr. Grau can be removed from the list of recruits.

Respectfully, yours,

Richard M. Bartleman.