Minister Furniss to the Secretary of State.

No. 15.]

Sir: I beg leave to inclose herewith the correspondence between this legation and our consular agent at Port de Paix, wherein I informed him that in view of the ruling of the State Department relative to the citizenship of Dr. J. R. Paradis (see department’s dispatch No. 693,a of April 26, 1905) the settlement of his estate should be a matter for the Haitian courts.

I have, etc.,

H. W. Furniss.
[Inclosure 1.]

Consular Agent Abegg to Minister Furniss.


I profit by this opportunity to submit to your kind judgment the following case which has lately come to my official notice.

The late Dr. J. R. Paradis, who died last October, has left certain personal property and values which, in the absence of any heirs, have been deposited in the office of a reliable foreign merchant here. Doctor Paradis having been a citizen of Porto Rico, I have several times been requested to take charge of the estate of the deceased, which I have declined to do for the following reasons:

Before his death Mr. Paradis, in virtue of his American passport, signed by the honorable Secretary of State, had applied to the American legation for protection in a financial dispute between himself and the Haitian Government, concerning the payment of titles amounting to several thousand dollars. The legation informed Doctor Paradis in June, 1905, that, according to a decision of the Department of State, he could not be considered an American citizen, having been absent from Porto Rico over thirty years.

The question arises now, Which consulate will have to take charge of the estate? Mr. Paradis had been obliged to leave his native land, Porto Rico, as a young man on account of political difficulties with the Spanish Government, and has up to his death remained a citizen of Porto Rico, inasmuch as he has not become a citizen of any other country.

I shall be very thankful to you if you will kindly give me your appreciation of the case, and remain, sir,

Your most obedient servant,

C. Abegg,
American Consular Agent, Port de Paix, Haiti.
[Inclosure 2.]

Minister Furniss to Consular Agent Abegg.

Sir: I regret that through an oversight that portion of your letter of January 31, 1906, which referred to the late Dr. J. R. Paradis has remained unanswered.

[Page 878]

In reply thereto I have to inform you that in view of the State Department’s dispatch No. 693, of April 26, 1905, copy inclosed, I shall have to rule that as American consular agent you have no official right to take charge of the estate of the deceased.

The question as to who shall look after it will be a matter for the Haitian courts.

Respectfully, yours,

H. W. Furniss,
American Minister.