Mr. Jackson to Mr. Olney .
Berlin , July 13, 1895 . (Received July 30.)
Sir: In December last Mr. S. C. Scott, of Lyons, Clinton County, Iowa, after some previous correspondence with the Department at Washington, addressed this embassy on the subject of the relations between Prussia and Waldeck.
By virtue of the laws of Iowa a nonresident alien is prohibited from inheriting real estate in that State, but by the terms of the treaty of 1828 between the United States and Prussia, which, of course, supersedes the State law, a Prussian is capable of inheriting real estate in the United States, and it was Mr. Scott’s desire to ascertain whether, in view of the special relations existing between Prussia and Waldeck, residents of Waldeck were subjects of Prussia in the sense of the treaty of 1828. As this question had not been raised by the Department, it was considered best to treat the matter in an informal manner, and soon after Mr. Scott’s letter was received, acting under the ambassador’s instructions, I had a conversation with one of the law officers of the German foreign office on the subject, and an answer was promised me in a few days.
The foreign office, however, upon consideration, decided to give the matter its formal attention, and so informed the embassy in February last, and recently, after communicating with the authorities of Waldeck, an official reply has been received.
In this reply it is stated that, although the so-called “treaty of accession” concluded between Prussia and Waldeck in 1867 and continued in 1887, affected neither the political independence of Waldeck as one of the Federal States included in the German Empire, nor, in consequence, the continuation of the special local allegiance of the natives, the inhabitants of Waldeck, as well as all other subjects of the Empire, are, according to article 3 of the Imperial constitution, to be treated as natives in Prussia, so that they are placed upon the same footing as Prussians in regard to the acquisition of real estate and in all matters of legal protection. Under the rules (Grundsatze) now in force in Waldeck, as to the acquisition of real property, no special restrictions are placed upon foreigners, and, “therefore, if this question should, in the State of Iowa, be decided to the advantage of a subject of Waldeck, reciprocity would undoubtedly be practiced in Waldeck.”
I have communicated this reply to Mr. Scott, and now make this report to the Department as it may find the matter of interest.
I have, etc.,