File No. 763.72115/3146
The French Ambassador ( Jusserand) to the Counselor for the Department of State ( Polk)
My Dear Mr. Councilor: Referring to previous conversations, the most recent of which took place yesterday, I beg to confirm what I said of the painful situation which would be that of people from Alsace-Lorraine if they were treated as Germans by the American authorities and submitted to the obligations imposed on the latter by the law recently voted by Congress. Numerous protests have been already received by this Embassy, chief among them that of the Alsatian society “Les Amis de l’Alsace-Lorraine” whose president is Mr. Clément Rueff of New York.
In the opinion of my Government, it would be appropriate, as I told you, that some necessary precautions be taken in view of preventing that these devoted friends of our common cause be confused with its enemies.
You were so good as to say that the suggestions I had submitted to you would be acted upon, so that pretended Alsatians should not avail themselves of facilities to which they are not entitled.
They are to the effect that, in each city where we have professional consuls or vice consuls (New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Galveston, New Orleans, Philadelphia) an examination be made of all people alleging that they are of Alsatian origin. With the help of the aforementioned Alsatian society, taking into account the documents produced by the interested parties, their knowledge of the Alsatian dialect, the deposition of witnesses, etc., our consuls would be able to certify to the real origin of each.
I should be much obliged to you if you were so good as to cause the police authorities in New York and in the cities above named, to be asked to kindly take into account these arrangements and to act accordingly.
Believe me [etc.]
I take the liberty of pointing out the urgent character of the advices to be given to the said authorities.