The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister.
Washington, June 2, 1906.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 1st ultimo, in which you request for Elisabeth Abeldt-Fricker and her minor child permission to enter this country, the woman, who is of Swiss origin and is the divorced wife of an American citizen, being of infirm mind.
It appears that Mrs. Abeldt-Fricker soon after obtaining her divorce in Kansas left the United States, returned to Switzerland, her native country, and established a residence at Brugg with her parents until, within a short time, she was removed to an insane asylum.
Under the practice of the Department of State a widow or a woman who has obtained an absolute divorce, being an American citizen and who has married an alien, must return to the United States, or must have her residence here in order to have her American citizenship revert on becoming femme sole. Conversely, an alien woman who marries an American citizen and secures a divorce from him in the United States and returns to her native country must be held to have abandoned her citizenship acquired by marriage and to have intended to adopt her native allegiance.
The views above expressed seem also to be in keeping with the provisions of the continental codes, which enable a woman whose nationality has been changed by marriage to resume it when she becomes a widow, on the condition of her returning to the country of origin.
Under the circumstances of the present case, the department is of the opinion that Mrs. Abeldt-Fricker has lost her nationality of an American citizen; and, as the statutes of the United States prohibit the landing of insane aliens, it would seem to be impossible to allow her to land in this country.
The conclusion as above expressed, with regard to the mother, would not, however, apply to the child, as the latter was born in the United States, and is, therefore, an American citizen.