Frederickson v. Louisiana (1859)

In Frederickson v. Louisiana (1859) 64 U.S. 445, the testator was a citizen of the United States, his legatees being citizens and residents of Wurttemberg. Louisiana, where the testator was domiciled, levied a succession tax of 10 per cent on legatees not domiciled in the United States. The Supreme Court held that the treaty did not cover the "case of a citizen or subject of the respective countries residing at home, and disposing of property there in favor of a citizen or subject of the other. . . ." (pp. 447-448. (In that case the contention was the limitations contained in a treaty between the United States and the King of Wurttemburg forbidding discrimination as to the disposal or transmission of their property by subjects of the King of Wurttemburg were applicable to property in the State of Louisiana of a citizen of that State because of the accidental circumstance that the property had passed by the death of such citizen to subjects of the King of Wurttemburg, nonresidents in the United States. In holding the contention to be unfounded it was said p. 447: "But we concur with the Supreme Court of Louisiana in the opinion that the treaty does not regulate the testamentary dispositions of citizens or subjects of the contracting Powers, in reference to property within the country of their origin or citizenship. The cause of the treaty was, that the citizens and subjects of each of the contracting Powers were or might be subject to onerous taxes upon property possessed by them within the States of the other, by reason of their alienage, and its purpose was to enable such persons to dispose of their property, paying such duties only as the inhabitants of the country where the property lies pay under like conditions. The case of a citizen or subject of the respective countries residing at home, and disposing of property there in favor of a citizen or subject of the other, was not in the contemplation of the contracting Powers, and is not embraced in in this article of the treaty."