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The Voluntary Act of abandoning or renouncing one's country and becoming the citizen or subject of another.
EXPATRIATION. The voluntary act of abandoning one's country and becoming the
citizen or subject of another.
2. Citizens of the United States have the right to expatriate themselves until restrained by congress; but it seems that a citizen cannot renounce his allegiance to the United States without the permission of government, to be declared by law. To be legal, the expatriation must be for a purpose which is not unlawful, nor in fraud of the duties of the emigrant at home.
3. A citizen may acquire in a foreign country commercial privileges attached to his domicil, and be exempted from the operation of commercial acts embracing only persons resident in the United States or under its protection. 2 Cranch, 120. Vide Serg. Const. Law, 318, 2d ed; 2 Kent, Com. 36; Grotius, B. 2, c. 5, s. 24; Puffend. B. 8, c. 11, s. 2, 3 Vattel, B. 1, c. 19, s. 218, 223, 224, 225 Wyckf. tom. i. 117, 119; 3 Dall. 133; 7 Wheat. 342; 1 Pet. C. C. R. 161; 4 Hall's Law Journ. 461; Bracken. Law Misc. 409; 9 Mass. R. 461. For the doctrine of the English courts on this subject, see 1 Barton's Elem. Conveyancing, 31, note; Vaugh, Rep. 227, 281, 282, 291; 7 Co. Rep. 16 Dyer, 2, 224, 298 b, 300 b; 2 P. Wms. 124; 1 Hale, P. C. 68; 1 Wood. 382.