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THE United States of America and his Royal Highness the Duke of Nassau having resolved, for the advantage of their respective citizens and subjects, to conclude a convention for the mutual abolition of the droit d'aubaine and taxes on emigration, have named for this purpose their respective plenipotentiaries, namely: the President of the United States of America has conferred full powers on Henry Wheaton, their Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the royal court of Prussia; and His Royal Highness the Duke of Nassau upon his Minister Resident at the royal court of Prussia, Colonel and Chamberlain, Otto Wilhelm Carl van Roeder, Comthur of the first class of the Ducal Order of Henry the Lion, etc., etc.; who, after having exchanged their said full power, found in due and proper form, have agreed to and signed the following articles:-
Every kind of droit d'aubaine, droit de retraite, and droit de detraction or tax on emigration, is hereby and shall remain abolished between the two contracting parties, their States, citizens, and Objects, respectively.
Where, on the death of any person holding real property within the territories of one party, such real property would, by the laws of the land, descend on a citizen or subject of the other, were he not disqualified by alienage, such citizen or subject shall be allowed a term of two years to sell the same-which term may be reasonably prolonged according to circumstances-and to withdraw the proceeds thereof without molestation, and exempt from all duties of detraction.
The citizens or subjects of each of the contracting parties shall have power to dispose of their personal property within the states of the other, by testament, donation, or otherwise, and their heirs, legatees, and donees, being citizens or subjects of the other contracting party, shall succeed to their said personal property, and may take possession thereof, either by themselves, or by others acting for them, and dispose of the same at their pleasure, paying such duties only as the inhabitants of the country where the said property lies shall be liable to pay in like cases.
In case of the absence of the heirs, the same care shall be taken, provisionally, of such real or personal property, as would be taken, in a like case, of property belonging to the natives of the country, until the lawful owner, or the person who has a right to sell the same, according to Article II. may take measures to receive or dispose of the inheritance.
If any dispute should arise between different claimants to the same inheritance, they shall be decided, in the last resort, according to the laws and by the judges of the country where the property is situated.
All the stipulations of the present convention shall be obligatory in respect to property already inherited, or bequeathed, but not yet withdrawn from the country where the same is situated at the signature of this convention.
This convention is concluded subject to the ratification of the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of their Senate, and of his Royal Highness the Duke of Nassau, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at Berlin, within the term of twelve months from the date of the signature hereof, or sooner, if possible.
In witness whereof, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles, as well in English as in German, and have thereto affixed their seals.
Done in triplicate, in the city of Berlin, on the twenty-seventh day of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-six, in the seventieth year of the independence of the United States of America, and the seventh of the reign of his Royal Highness the Duke of Nassau.
HENRY WHEATON. [L. S.]
OTTO WILHELM CARL VON ROEDER. [L. S.]
Statutes of the United States - Volume 9