The German Ambassador to the Secretary of State.


Mr. Secretary of State: At the request of the Royal Bavarian government I have the honor to inquire of your excellency whether [Page 656]the United States Government recognizes and claims as an American citizen Jacob Bohn, said to have been born on February 16, 1885, at Jeffersonville, Ind., and at present at Ludwigshafen.

Jacob Bonn’s father, Alexander Bohn, born March 17, 1862, at Gleisweiler, emigrated to America in October, 1881, being at the time a citizen of Bavaria. On July 22, 1882, a license was issued to him to marry Anna Maria Oeffler, of Ludwigshafen, but there is no proof at hand of the conclusion of the marriage itself, from which the aforementioned Jacob Bohn is said to have sprung. It has been ascertained by inquiry that there is no record of this marriage in the matrimonial records or Clark County. The birth of the son, Jacob Bohn, is likewise not recorded in the books of this county.

Alexander Bohn is said to have subsequently acquired American citizenship, but proof of this is also lacking. It was only possible to ascertain that Alexander Bohn had received his first papers (declaration of intention) in Clark County, but not that he had acquired American citizenship in Clark County. According to a written affirmation which has been lost, Bohn made his declaration of intention to become an American citizen before the proper authority on September 13, 1884.

In 1891 the said Alexander Bohn is said by his relatives to have died in America. In April, 1892, his widow returned with her children, including her son Jacob, to Ludwigshafen, where the family has resided ever since.

According to American laws, the son Jacob Bohn must have acquired American citizenship by being born in America (of which fact, as said before, there is no documentary proof), even though his father should not have been an American.

I take the liberty to respectfully request your excellency to kindly have the necessary inquiries made of the proper authorities, and to inform me of the result in due season.

Please accept, etc.,