The Swiss Chargé to the Secretary of State .
Washington , June 28, 1906.
Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to advise your excellency that this legation did not fail to communicate to its Government the contents of the note of June 2 from the Department of State concerning the question of the repatriation of Mrs. Elisabeth Abeldt-Fricker and her daughter Alice.
In reply to that note in which it was said that the repatriation of Mrs. Abeldt-Fricker could not be permitted, since she had lost her American citizenship by settling in Switzerland after her divorce, my Government has instructed me to submit the following considerations to your excellency:
Mrs. Abeldt-Fricker was already non compos when she came back to Switzerland in December, 1905. She was sent away from the United States by her husband, Charles Abeldt, an American citizen, who defrayed the traveling expenses, as she was not then in condition to form a decision or exercise her own will. It can not be assumed that she freely, undertook the voyage, intended to renounce her American citizenship, or desired to be reinstated in her citizen’s rights in Switzerland, which furthermore can not be granted to her.
I am further instructed by my Government to observe that the decree of divorce rendered in the Abeldt-Fricker case on November 20, 1905, by the district court of Lyon County, Kans., was, according to an express stipulation, not to take effect until six months after its date—that is to say, May 20, 1906. Mrs. Abeldt, in any event, was in possession of her American citizenship until the 20th of May last, inasmuch as she was still the wife of a citizen of the United States. At that time she had been, for several months, the inmate of the insane asylum at Konigsfelden and this legation had already had the honor to lay before your excellency a request for her repatriation.
In view of the circumstances, I have the honor, by order of my Government, to beg that your excellency will again give this matter your favorable consideration, to the end that the authorities of this country will recognize the American citizenship of Mrs. Abeldt-Fricker, as well as that of her daughter, and that the request presented by the legation in its note of May 1 be granted.
Be pleased, etc.,