3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2018 5:46 AM by ronancrowley

    Records of WWI emergency passports issued abroad to non-U.S. citizens?

    Newbie

      I am trying to uncover details of the emergency passport that was issued to James Joyce, the Irish writer, by the American Consulate at Trieste in late 1914 or early 1915. The Consul at the time was Ralph C. Busser. Joyce was, of course, an Irish-born British citizen, but when Great Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary in August 1914, the American Consulate at Trieste took charge of British interests in the region. That included supplying passports to non-U.S. citizens as they fled Austria-Hungary.

      Joyce was issued a passport by the American Consulate sometime before the end of June 1915, at which point he used it to travel, with his immediate family, to neutral Switzerland. The American Consulate has long since uprooted from Trieste, however, so I am hoping the History Hub community might be able to help. Where might a record of this unusual passport application have ended up? More generally, where would I find the archives of the American Consulate at Trieste?

      Thanks for any and all assistance!

        • Re: Records of WWI emergency passports issued abroad to non-U.S. citizens?
          Ryan Bass Adventurer

          Dear Mr. Crowley,

           

          The records of the American Consulate at Trieste can be found here: United States Consular Records for Trieste, Italy, ca 1821-1923.

          These records are in the custody of the Textual Reference Branch of the National Archives at College Park, MD. If you have questions regarding these records, please contact them at archives2reference@nara.gov. Thank you for your question to HistoryHub and best of luck in your research!

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Records of WWI emergency passports issued abroad to non-U.S. citizens?
            Adventurer

            Dear Mr. Crowley,

            Thank you for your request to the History Hub. We received a few weeks ago your inquiry regarding this topic, and our search returned the same results as previously provided to you.

             


            We searched the following records in Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State and RG 84: Records of Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State:

            ●Name Card Index to the 1910-29 segment of the Department of State central files (RG 59);

            ●Index to Passports Issued Abroad, 1906-1918 (RG 59);

            ●Files of the U.S. consulate in Trieste relating to British interests (RG 84).


            We located no evidence that an emergency passport was issued to James Joyce or to any other non-U.S. citizen.  Such an action would have been illegal since those persons were not citizens of the United States.

             

             

             

            Sincerely,

             

            Textual Reference Operation

            National Archives at College Park, MD

             

            18-33325

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Records of WWI emergency passports issued abroad to non-U.S. citizens?
              Newbie

              Many thanks for these helpful replies.

               

              I can’t speak to the legality of the practice but, during the First World War, when citizens of nations friendly to the US were stranded in countries with which they were now at war, US Embassies did indeed issue passports to non-US citizens. Such items occasionally still turn up at auction.

               

              Here, for example, is an image of an emergency passport issued by the US Embassy in Berlin to a British subject, one Sara Goldstein, on 14 September 1914. The embassy officials simply altered a US emergency passport to resemble a British passport. (The image appears with an article on Neil Kaplan’s excellent passports site.)