The Passport in America: The History of a Document
The Passport in America:
The History of a Document
by Craig Robertson
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"I should consider a passport as necessary a means of protection in Europe as a pistol would be in one of the rough Western settlements." This pearl of wisdom, worthy of Tocqueville, was offered by Mr. J. H. Rosenbaum, notary public, to a New York Times reporter in 1882. Rosenbaum, whose office was on lower Broadway, went on to describe the challenges involved in helping clients handle the application process: "Single ladies who apply for passports sometimes blush or even show signs of anger when I ask them their age or perhaps the length of their feet but I show them the law on the subject, and they are generally satisfied. We usually require about $2 for our services."
The length of their feet? As we learn in Craig Robertson's fine new history, The Passport in America, the ladies should almost certainly have
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