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rank of major in the Army and the relative rank in the Navy.

I have to say that special passports to officers of Army are issued upon requisitions from the War partment.

the Vol. x, p. 79,

Apr. 14, 1887.

De- Ante, p. 357.


et seq.

The Secretary of State is the only person in the Ante, p. 36 United States who is authorized by law to issue passports, and all passports or instruments in the nature of passports issued by State or municipal authorities are illegal.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Vol. i, p. 172. letter of the 15th instant transmitting copies of the law under which the secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has issued passports, and also a printed blank showing the form of the instrument thus issued. The title of one of these laws is "An act authorizing passports;" that of the other is "An act concerning the issue of passports and certificates of citizenship." The instrument issued in virtue of these laws appears to be substantially the same as those issued by this Department, with the exception that it runs in the name of the Commonwealth, instead of the United States, and certifies the bearer to be a citizen of the Commonwealth, instead of the general declaration that he is a citizen of the United States.

I have the honor to refer Your Excellency to section 23 of the act of Congress of August 18, 1856 (11 Stat., 60), prohibiting the issuing of passports by any other person (within the United States) than the Secretary of State,

Vol. v, p. 365,
Apr. 23, 1875.

and also to section 106 (13 Stat., 276) of the act of
June 30, 1864, to provide internal revenues, etc.
It seems
to me within the legitimate powers of Congress to make
the issuing of passports a source of revenue, and for the
protection of that revenue to forbid the issuing, under
any other authority, of documents serving the purpose of
passports. To Governor of Massachusetts, February 25,

Referring to the Department's letter to you of the 2d instant, you will observe that Mr. Spitzer's application was suspended for the reason that no certificate of naturalization accompanied it; also, that the paper transmitted as a substitute for such certificate was described as a passport, issued December 19, 1865, by the governor of Louisiana. This paper purports to bear the signature of J. Madison Wells as governor, to be countersigned by J. H. Hardy as secretary of the State, and to be attested by the great seal of the State of Louisiana. It describes Mr. Gottlieb Spitzer as a citizen of the United States, desiring to go to Havana, Cuba, and requests all authorities to let him " pass free and unmolested where he may go, and to give him such aid and protection as he may need." By act of Congress of August 18, 1856, reproduced in the Revised Statutes, sections 4075, 4076, 4078, etc., the Secretary of State is designated as the only officer having authority to issue passports, and prohibits, under serious penalties, any other person from granting, issuing, or verifying any passport or other instrument of the nature of a passport, and further provides that no passport shall be granted to any person other than a citizen of the United States.

As this document seems to be within the prohibition of the statute, the Department deems it expedient to retain it.

Feb. 17, 1886.

Referring to the blank form of passport and letter of Vol. ix, p. 256, His Honor Mayor Post, of Tampa, Florida, submitted by you yesterday, I have to say that the Secretary of State of the United States is the only officer in this country who can lawfully issue American passports. I refer you

to a provision upon the subject in the inclosed "general instructions.

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The Secretary of State may grant and issue passports, R. S., sec. and cause passports to be granted, issued, and verified in foreign countries by such diplomatic or consular officers of the United States, and under such rules as the President shall designate and prescribe for and on behalf of the United States; and no other person shall grant, issue, or verify any such passport.


If any person acting, or claiming to act, in any office or R. S,. sec. capacity, under the United States, or any of the States of the United States, who shall not be lawfully authorized so to do, shall grant, issue, or verify any passport or other instrument in the nature of a passport, to or for any citizen of the United States, or to or for any person claiming to be or designated as such in such passport or verification, or if any consular officer who shall be authorized to grant, issue, or verify passports shall knowingly and willfully grant, issue, or verify any such passport to or for any person not a citizen of the United States, he shall be imprisoned for not more than one year, or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both; and may be charged, proceeded against, tried, convicted, and dealt with therefor in the district where he may be arrested or in custody.

Vol. iv,

P. 374,


By a rule of long standing, the official title of a person to whom a passport is granted is never inserted.

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your application Mar. 9, 1874. of the 7th instant for a passport, in which you request that your title as adjutant-general of Rhode Island may be specified in the passport.

Vol. xiii,
P. 284,

It is not the custom of the Department to insert in passports official designations of the character indicated in your letter.

In reply to your letter of March 24, asking whether you Mar. 26, 1896. can procure for Mr. William T. Stewart a passport or

Rule 12, rules governing

applications for passports.

other paper designating him as the correspondent of your
newspaper, he being about to proceed to Cuba, you are
informed that, upon his making proper application as
indicated by the inclosed regulations and blank form, he
will be granted a passport, if it is found that he is entitled
under the law thereto; but the regulations of the Depart-
ment do not permit insertion in the passport of the occu-
pation or the title of the recipient.

Professional titles. They will not be inserted in pass-
There are no exceptions to this rule.



Some countries require that the passports of American travelers should be visaed by the diplomatic or consular (usually the latter) representatives of those countries before entering them. The

Department has nothing to do with the requirements and always declines to act as an intermediary in procuring the visa, which the holder of the passport should apply for himself.

P. 341,

I have to say that the Russian legation and consulates Vol. vii, in the United States are accustomed to visa passports Apr. 16, 1880. without the intervention of the Department.

Mar. 28, 1889.

The Department of State does not obtain visas to pass- Vol. x, p. 371, ports from foreign legations.


(See also Divorced Woman's Application.)

The widow of a citizen of the United States retains her husband's citizenship, provided she retains her American domicile. If she was of alien birth, she may be presumed to have abandoned her American citizenship if she returns to the country of her origin and resides there.

* * *

The conti


By the law of England and the United States a woman MS. instrucon her marriage with a subject or citizen merges her France. nationality in that of her husband. nental codes, on the other hand, enable a woman whose nationality of origin has been changed by marriage to resume it when she becomes a widow, on the condition, however, of her returning to the country of her origin. The widow to whom you refer may, as a matter of strict law, remain a citizen; but, as a citizen has no absolute right to a passport, and as the law of the United States has, outside of its jurisdiction, only such force as foreign

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