"It is proper to say that these questions concern solely the relations between the Government and persons who may claim its protection as citizens of the United States": Presented to Ulysses S. Grant by his secretary of state Hamilton Fish
Opinions of The Principal Officers of the Executive Departments and Other Papers Relating to Expatriation, Naturalization, and Change of Allegiance.
Fish, Hamilton. (Ulysses S. Grant).
Item Number: 95911
Washington: United States Department of the State Government Printing Office, 1873.
Ulysses S. Grant’s copy of this collection of letters of opinion requested by him to his cabinet regarding expatriation and allegiance. Octavo, bound in full red Presidential presentation binding, gilt titles to the spine and front panel, raised bands, inner dentelles, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Presentation copy, inscribed by Grant’s Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish on a bookplate affixed to the front free endpaper, “With the respects of Hamilton Fish. Washington, 17 February 1874.” American politician Hamilton Fish served as the 16th Governor of New York from 1849 to 1850, a United States Senator from New York from 1851 to 1857 and the 26th United States Secretary of State from 1869 to 1877. Recognized as the the “pillar” of the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, Fish is considered one of the best U.S. Secretaries of State by scholars, known for his judiciousness and efforts towards diplomatic moderation. In near fine condition. An exceptional association.
Passed the year before Ulysses S. Grant became the 18th President of the United States, the Expatriation Act of 1868, regarding the right to renounce one's citizenship, asserted that "the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people" and "that any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officers of [The United States] government which restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government". Grant supported the act, stating that with its enactment the United States had "led the way in the overthrow of the feudal doctrine of perpetual allegiance." This collection of papers contains an 1873 letter from Grant to the principle officers in each of the Executive Departments of the the United States government requesting their opinions on further matters of allegiance and expatriation with their responses.