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America. One learned a few words of English, then almost drifted into a library or an evening school. At work a similar situation seemed to prevail, with everyone subject to the same regulations and faced with the same dangers, in a setting where nationality distinctions seemed to disappear; one worked, and in time the
John Sven was born in Finland and calls himself a Finn. He now petitions the Court to be admitted a citizen of the United States. The granting of this petition is opposed by the Government on the ground that being a Finn he is a Mongolian and not a "White-person" within the meaning of Sec.2169. United States Sev.Stat., which provides that "The provisions of this title shall apply to aliens being free white persons and to aliens of African nativity and to, persons of African descent."
According to-ethnologists, the Finns in very remote times were of Mongol origin; the various, groupings of the human race -into families is arbitrary, and, as respects any particular people, is not permanent but is subject- to change_, and modification through the influence of climate, employment, intermarriage, and other causes. There are indications that central and western Europe was at one time over-run by the Finns; some of their stock remained, but their racial characteristics were entirely lost in their remote descendants, who now are in no danger of being classed as Mongols. The Osmanlis, said to be of Mongol extraction, are now among the purest and best types of the Caucasian race. Changes are constantly going on, and thrice occurring in the lapse of a few hundred years with any people may be very great.
The chief physical characteristics of the Mongolians pre as follows: They are short of stature, with little hair on the body or face; they .ave yellow-brown skins, black eyes, black hair, short flat noses, and oblique eyes.. In actual experience we sometimes, though rarely, see natives of Finland whose eyes are slightly oblique. We sometimes see them with sparse beards and sometimes with flat noses; but Finns with a yellow or brown or yellow brown skin or with black eyes or black hair would be an unusual sight. They are almost universally of light skin, blue or gray eyes, and light hair. No people of foreign birth applying in this section of the country' for the full rights of citizenship arc lighter skinned than those born in Finland. In stature they are quite up, to the average. Confessedly Finland has often been over-run by the teutons, and by other branches of the human family who, with their descendants, have remained within her borders and are now called Finns. They are in the main indistinguishable in their physical characteristics from those of purer Finnish blood. Intermarriages have been frequent over a very long period of time. If the Finns were originally Mongels, modifying influences have continued until they are now among the whitest people in Europe. It would, therefore, require a most exhaustive tracing of family history to determine whether any particular individual born in Finland had or had not a remote Mongol ancestry. This, of course, cannot be done, and was not, intended. The question is not whether a person had or had not such an ancestry, but Whether he is now a "white person" within the meaning of that term as generally understood. This is the practical construction which has been uniformly been placed upon the law, so far as I am advised. Under such law Finns have always been admitted to citizenship, and there is no occasion now to change the construction.
The applicant is without doubt a white person within the true intent and meaning of such law.
The objections, therefore, in my opinion should be over-ruled, and it will be so ordered.
Reprint of Duluth District Judge W. A. Cant's statement and decision in the case of John Svan and 16 other Finns in which it was "officially" declared that the Finnish people are not members of the yellow race.
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