« ÎnapoiContinuați »
become a citizen of the United States because of her husband's naturalization, despite the fact that she had married her alien husband before the new law went into effect. Consequently, Mrs. Ellen Kelly, as wife, was entitled to an interest in her deceased husband's property, and the partition she requested was granted. That act of 1855 had operated to make her a citizen of the United States automatically upon her husband's naturalization.
One clause of this act, “and who might herself be lawfully naturalized,” came up very frequently for interpretation. This clause received very careful consideration in Leonard v. Grant, which arose in Oregon in 1880. There the court was concerned with the citizenship of Mrs. D. G. Leonard, a woman who had been born in Switzerland, and who had married Leonard, a native-born American, in 1875. What qualifications for her naturalization had to be shown to prove that Mrs. Leonard became a naturalized American by marriage with Leonard? Did she have to prove that she was a free white person or one of African nativity or descent;' that she had resided in the United States five years before her marriage;s that she was of good moral character and attached to the principles of the Constitution, and that she had renounced all titles of nobility,' if any she had?
The court decided that it was not necessary for those things to be proved in order for her to be deemed a citizen. All that had to be proved, the court held, was that she was a free white person or one of African blood, for her to have acquired American citizenship upon her marriage to Leonard. In other words, the statute referred only to a race or class eligibility, and not to the residence and character prerequisites. Mrs. Leonard was a free white person, and for that reason was naturalized by her marriage.
Chinese women, of course, have not been eligible for naturalization since 1882.10 Consequently, their marriage to Americans has not made them citizens. 11 The same rule has been applied to Arabians, Burmese, Hindus, Japanese, and Koreans. They are not white persons.
In other respects, however, the 1855 act operated contrary to the best interests of the United States and her people.
Thus it was that the common law governing the citizenship of alien women who married Americans was changed by the statute of 1855. Thenceforth marriage to an American, or naturalization of the alien husband, automatically transformed the alien woman into an American citizen. This situation continued to exist until 1922.
From 1789 to 1907 marriage to an alien did not in itself deprive an American woman of her native citizenship. If she continued to reside in the United States, she remained an American. However, during the period from 1855 to 1907, despite the fact that no law was passed relating to the citizenship of American women who married aliens, there was a changed attitude on the part of the courts. They seem to have been influenced by the principle of the act of 1855 and by the act of July 27, 1868, which declared that it is an inherent right of all citizens to sever their allegiance to the United States.13
6 Leonard v. Grant, 1880, 5 Fed. 11.
7 Race eligibility for naturalization by judicial process prescribed by the acts of March 26, 1790 (1 Stat. L. 103, c. 3) and July 14, 1870 (Stat. L. 16, 256), respectively; still prescribed.
8 Residence requirement for naturalization prescribed first by the act of June 18, 1795 (1 Stat. L. 414, c. 20), raised to 14 years by the act of June 18, 1798 (1 Stat. L. 566), but restored by the act of April 14, 1802 (2 Stats. L. 153, c. 28); it has remained unchanged ever since, except as indicated in Chaps. Vand VI, post.
• Requirements uniformly prescribed since 1790.
12 Other ineligible aliens: Arabians (7 Fed. 2d. 728), Burmese (28 N. Y, S. 383), Hindus (261 U. S, 204), Japanese (260 U. S. 178), and Koreans (273 Fed. 207).
The common-law rule of perpetual allegiance was abrogated by the act of 1868, and thereafter the courts searched for evidence of an American woman's election to expatriate herself after marriage to an alien.
Between 1855 and 1907 removal from the United States after marriage to an alien did operate to expatriate an American woman. It was so held, for instance in the case of Ruckgaber v. Moore in 1900.14
In that case an American-born woman had married a Frenchman and, after the marriage, lived continuously in France until her death. She owned certain personal property in New York, and this she devised to her daughter, who had married a subject of Germ any and had lived in his native country from the date of the marriage until this case came before the court. There was no evidence that the daughter had ever resided in this country.
Under what he thought was authority granted by the war revenue act of 1898, Moore, Federal internal revenue collector in New York, had levied a legacy tax on the property the mother had willed to her daughter. The daughter paid the tax under protest, and later brought suit in Federal court to recover the amount of the tax from the collector.
The court held that unless the United States had jurisdiction over the mother or the daughter, the tax could not lawfully have been levied. Since there was nothing to show that the daughter was born in the United States or even had ever lived here, the court as once turned to a consideration of the American-born mother's citizenship status at the time of her death. Unless she was a citizen of the United States when she died, our Government had no jurisdiction over her.
First, the court referred to the fact that three leading countries France, Great Britain, and the United States, then had laws which automatically naturalized the alien woman who married one of their citizens. Next, it referred to the act of 1868, which recognized the inherent right of all American citizens to expatriate themselves. Then the court held that the laws of a foreign country became operative if the American woman elected to take her alien husband's nationality. Removal from the United States and residence in her husband's country, the court said, indicated such an election. Since the American-born mother had elected to expatriate herself by going to reside in France after marriage with an alien, she had completely severed her ties of allegiance to this country and become an alien.
Inasmuch as the mother was a nonresident alien, the court held that the United States had no jurisdiction over her, and the tax had been levied and collected unlawfully. Subsequently the daughter recovered the legacy tax she had paid the revenue collector.
13 Act of July 27, 1868, R. S. secs. 1999, 2000, and 2001; cf. Appendix 0, p. 64, infra.
1 Ruckbager v. Moore, 1900, 104 Fed. 947; affirmed, 114 Fed. 1021. See also Jennes v. Landes, 1897, 84 Fed. 73; Wallenburg 0. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 159 Fed. 217.
Thus, between 1776 and 1907 the marriage of an American woman to an alien alone was not sufficient to deprive her of her native citizenship. But if she took up a permanent residence abroad with her husband at any time before September 22, 1922, and if she acquired as a result of the marriage the nationality of the country of which her husband was a citizen or subject, she lost her American citizenship.
Suppose that during this period and prior to March 2, 1907, an American woman married an alien and lost her American citizenship by marriage and residence abroad with her alien husband, and that after he died she wished to return to the United States and regain her native citizenship. Could she do so? There was no statute on the subject, and but one court decision. (Moore v. Tisdale, 1848, 5 B. Mon., Ky., 352.) The practice of the Department of State, however, was to permit a woman who had lost her American citizenship in this manner, to reacquire it by resuming permanent residence in the United States subsequent to the termination of the marital status and prior to March 2, 1907.
An interesting case on repatriation during this period is that of Nellie Grant Sartoris, the only daughter of Ulysses S. and Mrs. Grant, who was born in Illinois in August of 1855. She came with her family to reside in Washington when General Grant assumed command of the Union Army in 1864. Scarcely had the Civil War ended, when Grant's magnificent record swept him, a man with but little political background, into the presidency: For a few years, however, her schooling fully occupied her time, and then, when she had finished that, her parents sent her with her brothers to visit relatives and travel in Europe. Aboard the S. S. Russia, returning home from a prolonged visit, Nellie met a young Englishman by the name of Algernon Charles Frederick Sartoris. Before the Russia had docked in New York, Nellie and Sartoris were engaged to be married.
On May 21, 1874, they were married at the White House. The certificate of their marriage is unique. It was countersigned by David K. Cartter, chief justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, and certified to by Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, and Sir Edward Thornton, British ambassador to the United States.
A few hours after the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Sartoris left Washington by special train for New York. Two days later they embarked on the S. S. Baltic for England. Their home was established in Hampshire, England, where they lived until Sartoris died in 1896.
Doubtless little thought was given at the time to the effect of Nellie's marriage upon her citizenship. Sartoris was an Englishman, and the law of Great Britain provided that if any alien woman should marry a native-born or naturalized subject of Great Britain, that woman herself should be deemed to be a naturalized subject of Great Britain.15 By the operation of the English law, Nellie became an English subject upon her marriage with Sartoris. But did she cease to be an American citizen? While there was no statute governing this question at the time of her marriage, the act of 1868 had recognized an American citizen's right to expatriate himself, and the courts had taken it upon themselves to hold that an American woman's removal from this country after marriage with an alien operated to expatriate her.
16 Same as note 3, p. 16, supra.
The operation of the laws already mentioned was supplemented by the terms of the treaty of May 13, 1870, between Great Britain and the United States. 16 In that treaty the United States and Great Britain mutually agreed that if a citizen of either country should become a naturalized citizen of the other, the country whose citizen the person had formerly been should recognize that naturalization as valid. Because Great Britain had not yet recognized the right of its citizens to expatriate themselves, as we had done in the act of 1868, this treaty was necessary to eliminate the conflict between the citizenship laws of the two countries. The United States had entered into similar treaties with a number of other countries, 17 so that by the time of Mrs. Sartoris' marriage the expatriation policy of the United States in those cases was well settled.
After Sartoris died in 1896, Mrs. Sartoris returned to the United States to reside. Resumption of permanent residence in the United States by a former American woman who had married an alien and acquired as a resu
a result of the marriage the nationality of the country of which her husband was a citizen or subject, under the practice of the Department of State, operated to restore her American citizenship. But there was no specific provision in our laws whereby a former woman citizen who had lost her citizenship by marriage and residence abroad, could regain it.
Nellie Grant Sartoris petitioned Congress for relief. That body, anxious to honor her illustrious father, as a tribute to his patriotism, on May 18, 1898, passed the following special act:
“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Nellie Grant Sartoris, daughter of General Ulysses S. Grant, be, and she is hereby, on her own application, unconditionally readmitted to the character and privileges of a citizen of the United States.” 18
Resumption of permanent residence in the United States had caused Mrs. Sartoris to reacquire American citizenship under the previously mentioned rules of the Department of State. The special act of Congress, therefore, was not necessary.
Congress had followed the lead of other nations and had passed the act of February 10, 1855, providing that upon marriage to an American the alien woman who might herself be lawfully naturalized ipso facto acquired American citizenship, if she herself were eligible for naturalization. This law remained in effect until 1922.
There was no statute directly covering the citizenship status of the American-born woman who married an alien between 1855 and 1907 It was held that an American woman who married an alien prior to March 2, 1907, lost her American citizenship (1) if she took up a permanent residence abroad with her husband at any time prior to September 22, 1922, and (2) if she acquired, as the result of the marriage, the nationality of the country of which her husband was a citizen or subject. She reaquired American citizenship if, subsequent to the termination of the marital status and prior to March 2, 1907, she resumed a permanent residence in the United States.
16 Treaties, conventions, etc., between the United States and Other Powers, Vol. I, p. 691. This treaty resulted in part from the War of 1812.
11 C1. Appendix Q, p. 64, infra.
CHAPTER IV. THE PRINCIPLE OF NATIONAL IDENTITY ADOPTED
ABSOLUTELY In 1900 there was no statute regulating the citizenship of American women who married foreigners. Of course, the citizenship status of alien women who married Americans was governed by the act of February 10, 1855-marriage automatically made them citizens of the United States. The act of July 27, 1868, had recognized the right of Americans to expatriate themselves. When an American-born woman married a foreigner and went to reside permanently in her husband's country, if, as a result of that marriage she acquired the nationality of her husband's country, the courts held this to be evidence of her election to cut off her allegiance to her native country, and that she had ceased to be an American citizen. After her husband had died, she was repatriated by resuming a permanent residence in the United States.
There were many countries which had adopted the principle of single nationality, and this caused some conflict between the law of the United States and that of other countries. To conform with the law of foreign countries, the act of March 2, 1907, was duly enacted, and the United States also adopted the principle of single nationality
That law declared:
Thenceforth American women were expatriated automatically by marriage. Without their wish or their consent, marriage became an expatriation process for them, just as it had since 1855 been a naturalization process for alien women who married citizens of the United States or whose husbands became naturalized Americans.
There was just one progressive provision in that law. While it expatriated the American woman who married an alien, it did provide her with a clear statutory means of repatriation after her husband had died or she had been divorced. So long as the martial status continued, however, she was compelled to remain an alien. After the marriage relation had been terminated, repatriation was possible for her in one of three ways. The expatriated American woman residing in this country became an American citizen again merely by continuing to reside here. Such a woman, if residing outside the United States, could recover her lost citizenship by returning to this country to reside or by registering as an American citizen with a United States Consul abroad within one year after the marital relationship had been terminated by the death or divorce of her alien husband. The requirement of registering before a consul within one year after termination of the marriage is considered directory only, and not mandatory, and failure to register within the year, if satisfactorily explained, does not necessarily result in the loss of American citizenship or of the right of protection.
Just how the act of 1907 operated is shown by the case of Ethel Coope, who was born at Redwood City, Calif., December 3, 1885, and who has always resided in the United States. On March 14, 1909, she married Gordon Mackenzie, a British subject who had
1 Cf. H. Doc. 326, Fifty-ninth Congress, especially at p. 1; report of James Brown Scott, David J. Hill and Gaillard Hunt on "Citizenship, Expatriation and Protection A broad."
2 34 Stat. L. 1228.