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power to issue a certificate of naturalization; and it is quite immaterial whether the certificate of naturalization was or was not issued. Inasmuch as the power to make a decree admitting Kuhnagel to citizenship was a power derived from the statute, and inasmuch as the statute did not confer upon the parish judge of the twelfth judicial district court for the parish of Rapides, Louisiana, any authority whatever to annul the decree of the 16th of October, 1872, with stronger reason is it true that no such power existed in Aristides Barbin in 1882, as judge of the twelfth judicial district court of the State of Louisiana, to annul a decree made by H. L. Daigre, who was judge of the twelfth district court in 1872.

The majority of the Commission, Baron de Arinos and Mr. de Geofroy, gave an opinion, in which they said :

We accept the French citizenship of Kubnagel, as we believe the certificate of his Dataralization obtained by misrepresentation of material facts.

In the case of Joseph Bouillotte, No. 130, the Commission gave an opinion, in which they say:

In tbe Kuhnagel case this Commission held that we had the right to examine the original proceedings for naturalization, and finding that the certificate of naturalization was obtained by misrepresentation of material facts, we held it to be null and void.

The reasons on which the majority of the Commission acted are not of record, but it is understood that they were satisfied that Kuhnagel was not a minor when he arrived in this country, and that inasmuch as a preliminary declaration bad not been made by himn previous to the 16th of October, 1872, the proceedings then had were null and void. The question, therefore, of the right of Aristides Barbin to make a decreo annulling the decree of his predecessor of the 16th of October, 1872, was not considered by the Commission.


This case was analogous in some respects to that of Kubpagel, No. 138. The issue was the citizenship of the memorialist.

In the month of October, 1868, and prior to the Presidential election of that year, Ryau & White, attorneys at law, applied to the parish court of Rapides Parish, on a petition signed by themselves and not verified by oath, to reinstate an alleged record of citizenship, and, on said application, they obtained the following order :

It is ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the judgment of citizenship in favor of Joseph Bouillotte, to date and take effect from the 1st day of January, 1854, to be revived, restored, re-established, with the same force and effect as the originals had previous to their destruction by fire in May, 1864.

Ryan & White were examined, and testified severally, that, while they had no recollection of the circumstances under which the petition was prepared and presented, they could state without qualification that they were authorized by Bouillotte to prepare and present the petition.

They asserted that they had never presented a petition unless they had authority from the person named as the petitioner. They admitted, however, that they had no recollection of the facts in this case.

White said: I certainly would not have filed this petition, or any other petition, without being authorized by petitioner; that I know, and is not a matter of supposition (p. 199).

Bouillotte denied that he had any knowledge of said petition, or that he gave any authority to Ryan & White.

The record showed that the papers of the parish court were destroyed by fire in 1864, and that the legislature gave authority to the judge to hear testimony and make decrees for the purpose of re establishing the

rights of parties as land-owners as they would have existed if the evi. dences of title had not been so destroyed.

Bouillotte denied having been admitted to citizenship in 1854, as was stated in the decree of 1868.

The decree quoted was dated October 7, 1868, and the next day Bouillotte was registered as a voter, and as a prerequisite he made oath that he was a citizen of the United States. Again, August 17, 1878, he took the same oath (pp. 117–119).

Bouillotte admitted that he had voted at local elections and that he had voted ovce at a general election, but he denied that he had taken the oath as stated.

One Kelley, who was sustained by two witnesses as a man of good reputation as to truth and veracity, and not impeached by any one, stated that he was present in court in 1853 or 1854 when Bouillotte took the preliminary oath to be admitted to citizenship.

This statement was denied by Bouillotte.

It further appears from the records in this case, and in that of Kuhnagel's (reported above), that many electoral frauds were committed in that parish from 1868 to 1880.

Subsequently, Bouillotte petitioned the judge of the twelfth judicial circuit, who made the following order (7th of January, 1882):

This cause came on to be heard at the present session on the petition of Joseph Bouillotte and the exhibits filed herewith, and was argued by connsel and considered by the court. And the court being of opinion that Joseph Bouillotte is not a citizen of the United States, and has not hitherto and never was admitted to become a citizen of the United States according to law, and that no record of his ever baving been 80 adınitted was destroyed by fire in May, 1864, or ever had any existence. It is therefore

decreed that the said decree of the late parish court of the 7th of October, 1868,

is hereby wholly annulled, vacated, and set aside. There was testimony introduced by the defendant Government tend. ing to prove that Bouillotte was not born in France at the time and place as averred in the memorial.

This point, however, was not considered by the Commission.

The counsel for the French Republic argued that Bouillotte had never changed his nationality; that under the laws of the State of Louisiana he had the right to vote at municipal elections and to hold municipal offices; that if he voted at general elections he did it under duress, and the counsel for the French Republic referred to the history of the electoral frauds committed in the Rapides parish; and, further, that the decision of the case by judicial authority was final and conclusive upon the Commission.

The counsel for the United States maintained the following propositions, viz:

1. That Bouillotte is not the ignorant and incompetent man that he represents himself to be when he attempts to repudiate the oath of allegiance which he took and subscribed the 8th day of October, 1868, as the sequel to the re-establishment of his claim to citizenship in the United States.

2. That the claimant does not prove his birth in France.

3. It is proved negatively that he was not born at the place and at the time alleged in his memorial, and testified to by him on two different occasions during his examination.

4. That the certificate of the birth of Antoine Bouillotte in 1815 has no legal relation to Joseph Bouillotte, inasmuch as the identity of Joseph Bouillotte with Antoine Bouillotte is not proved, and inasmuch, fürther, as the circumstances which are established tend to show that they

are different persons, born at different times, and bearing different Dames.

5. If it were otherwise in regard to the proof touching nativity and primary citizenship in France, the evidence of naturalization in the United States is so far conclusive as to require the Commission to refuse to take jurisdiction of the person of Bouillotte and of the case as set forth in his memorial. (See the case of Alexander, Hale's Report, p. 15.)

6. That he represented himself to the public as a citizen of the United States, and accepted office upon the basis of such citizenship, and it is not, therefore, competent for him to repudiate a citizenship which he recognized when he thought it to be for his advantage.

The case was dismissed for want of jurisdiction, M. Lefaivre dissenting.

Subsequently, a motion, supported by a brief, was presented by the counsel for the French Republic for a rehearing, which was granted.

The case was reargued at length. The counsel for the French Re. public contended that Bouillotte had never lost the animus revertendi, as defined in article 17 of the Civil Code of France; that the burden of proof was upon the defendant Government and not upon claimant.

And, lastly, that the Commission having held Kubuagel to be a French citizen, that decision should apply to Bouillotte.

The majority of the Commission-Baron de Arinos and Mr. Commis. sioner Aldis-sustained the position taken by the counsel for the United States, and in their opinion they say:

The defense is : That the claimant has established himself in the United States without any intention to return to France, and thereby has lost his French citizenship according to the Civil Code of France.

We hold that the declaration of au intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce all allegiance to France (the first step in naturalization) is prima facio proof of the "sans esprit de retour." It may be rebutted by satisfactory proof to the contrary.

In this case the following facts are proved : The claimant came to the United States in May, 1650. In August, 1850, he came to Alexandria, in Louisiana, and has ever since resided there-a period of nearly 34 years. He has never returned to France. He has a family aud a home. He has been established in business as a carpenter and å merchant, and has been reasonably successful. He has owned real estate and buildings for many years. He has voted and held office. There is nothing to show that he bas ever expressed the intention of returning to France. His parents in France are dead, and there is nothing to show that he has either friends or property there to return to.

The majority of the Commission then review the testimony with care and considerably in detail, and they say:

In the Kuhvagel case the Commission held that we had the right to examine the original proceedings for naturalization ; and finding that the certiticate of naturalization was obtained by misrepresentation of material facts, we held it to be null and void. In this case we examined the original proceedings, and finding that they were not frandulent, but that Bouillotte made his declaration voluntarily to become an Amer ican citizen, aud to renonuce his allegiance to France, we hold the declaration sufficient and in powise affected by fraud.

We tind, therefore, that the claimant had establish himself in the United States withont any intention of returning to France, and thereby has lost his French nationality. The claiın is therefore dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

The French Commissioner, Mr. Lefaivre, said: Without renewing the discussion with my respected colleagues upon the period of confusion in civil registers and in the evidence of citizenship resulting from civil war, I persist in my suggestion that the judgment of a regular United States court denies to Bouillotte the American citizenship, and asserts consequently bis French nationality. Therefore I maintain and confirm my dissenting opinion in this case.

Upon the reading of this decision the counsel for the French Republic entered a formal protest, on the ground that the decision of the Com. mission was contrary to the laws and to the jurisprudence of France.

I protest on behalf of the French Government against the decision this day made and subscribed by two members of this Commission in the case of Joseph Bouillotto o. The United States. According to the laws of France and to its well-settled jurisprudence, this claimant is a French citizen. This Commission was organized under à convention directing the commissioners to apply to the facts developed in each case the laws of the respective countries, particularly when, as in this case, the question is one depending exclusively upon municipal jurisprudence, and not to create a code of laws originating in its own will, resting on mere passing impressions, and in conAict with well-established rules and usage, and with public law, justice, and equity. The counsel for the French Republic reserves to his Government the right to assert its own laws and to maintain its time-honored principles. France asserts its right to protect its own citizens everywhere throughout the whole world, and if decisions rendered here are of such a nature as to put them in jeopardy, the French Government reserves to itself the right to ask the Government of the United States for a revision of decisions entirely unacceptable.


In this case the claimant set forth in his memorial that Admiral Porter seized and appropriated to the use of the United States two lots of cotton-one numbering 391 bales and the other numbering 42 bales, and all of the value of $87,682.50.

Abou seventy witnesses were examined, and the record covered more than 700 printed pages.

Deucatte came to the United States from France in the year 1831, and at the close of the proceedings he had been a resident of this country for about fifty-two years. In all that period he had not returned to France, and upon the divorce of his wife, who was a French woman, he was married a second time to an inhabitant of Louisiana. In the year 1848 the claimant made oath before the district court of Avoyelles, by which he renounced his allegiance to France, and declared his intention to become an American citizen. There was no evidence, however, that that intention had ever been effected by a decree of natural. ization. It was shown in proof that in the year 1867 in a proceeding before a United States district court in the State of Illinois, Deucatte had declared that he was a French citizen, and in the judgment given by the court he was so described. It did not appear, however, that the court had knowledge of the declaration made by Deucatte in 1848 of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, nor did it appear that the attention of the court was called to the Code of France, by which it is declared that the nationality of a French citizen is lost by residence abroad, "sans esprit de retour."

The majority of the Commission, Baron de Arinos and Commissioner Aldis, gave an opinion, in which they say:

Under the third provision of the Civil Code-that French citizenship shall be lost by an establishment in a foreign country without an intent to return (sans esprit de retour)-we have frequently decided that the declaration of an intention to become an American citizen, accompanied by such facts as are proven in this case, are full and satisfactory proof of the loss of French citizenship. In consistency with these decisions we find that the claimant is not a French citizen, and are therefore obliged to disallow the claim.

The reasons assigned would lead legally to the conclusion that the Commission intended to dismiss the claim upon the ground that the tribunal had not jurisdiction.

The French commissioner, M. Lefaivre, dissected from the conclusions of the majority, and said:

In my opinion the declaration of the claimant of his intention to become an American citizen, made in 1848, was only the first step in the process of naturalization, and this intention was never carried out. First, we find the claimant in 1867, in a proceeding before the United States district court in Illinois, declaring himself to be a French citizen, and the judgment of that court so characterizing him. It was not necessary, in order to give jurisdiction to the court, that the claimant should declare himself a French citizen. Therefore, there is no reason to doubt the truth of the dec. laration and the correctness of the finding of the court.

Moreover, there is no proof that the claimant ever voted or held office in this coun. try, and numerous witnesses testify to his French citizenship and his expressed intention to return to France. He must, therefore, be considered as having retained his French citizenship.


The claimant averred in his memorial that on or about the 29th day of June, 1863, General Butler seized and appropriated to the use of the United States quantities of lumber and other movable property, of the value of $15,010. He also averred that his place of business was wrongfully seized and closed by General Butler, to the damage of the memorialist in the sum of $80,000 more.

It appears also from the memorial that Petit was naturalized by the district court of the parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, in the year 1868.

The counsel for the United States interposed a demurrer, upon the ground that the claimant was not a citizen of France, but was a citizen of the United States.

Thereupon the memorialist filed an amendment to his memorial, in which he set forth that in the year 1870 he left the United States, returned to France, and resumed at once his nationality as a French citizen, and that since that time he had exercised all the rights of a citizen of France, and had been recognized as such by the French authorities. In the month of September, 1881, five months after his original memorial was filed, he was reinstated as a citizen of France by the act of the French authorities.

It was claimed by the counsel for the United States that the mere fact of his return to France in 1870, although followed by acts of citizenship and by a recognition of his citizenship by the French authorities, did not constitute him a citizen of France. In support of this position the 18th article of the Civil Code of France was quoted, in these words:

A native of France who shall have lost his citizenship may always recover it on reentering France with the authorization of the king, and on declaring that he wishes to remain there, and that he renounces all distinction contrary to French law.

Article 17 of the French Code was also cited, in which it is declared that French citizenship is lost by naturalization acquired in a foreign country. Resting upon the fact of the naturalization of Petit in the United States and the 17th and 18th articles of the Code of France, the counsel for the United States claimed that Petit did not become a citi. zen of France until the 12th day of September, 1881, when he was duly reinstated. As the date of bis reinstatement was not only subsequent to the date of the treaty, but subsequent also to the presentation of his claim, the counsel for the United States contended that the Commission had not jurisdiction of his case. The special counsel for the claimant made answer as follows:

The evidence in the case shows that Petit was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1818; that he remained a citizen of France until October, 1868, when he was naturalized as

H. Ex. 235— 6

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