Mr. Hengelmüller to Mr. Uhl .
Washington , May 16, 1895 .
Highly Esteemed Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge, with thanks, the receipt of your note of the 8th instant, No. 27, whereby your excellency had the kindness to furnish me the information which I had requested concerning the American citizenship of Friedrich Hellebrand.[Page 12]
Your excellency stated, at the same time, that this information was furnished without prejudice to the position taken by the United States in relation to the prima facie evidence furnished by passports, and prefaced your esteemed note with some remarks in which that position was defined at length, and reference was made to the correspondence between the Imperial and Royal ministry of foreign affairs and the American legation at Vienna which grew out of the return to Austria of certain American citizens who had formerly been Austrian or Hungarian subjects.
In this connection, I would remark that it did not come within the scope of the inquiry which I was instructed to make to raise a discussion relative to the questions of principle thus arising.
I do not know what circumstances led the Imperial and Royal authorities to entertain doubts concerning the American citizenship which had been actually acquired by Friedrich Hellebrand notwithstanding the fact that he was in possession of a regular passport. By way of possible explanation, and as a purely private supposition, I nevertheless take the liberty to call your excellency’s attention to the circumstance that passport No. 3897 was issued by the State Department to Frederick Hillebrandt, whereas the bearer of said passport is enrolled in the military list of his original place of residence as Friedrich Hellebrand.