German Boy to North America in1855
WOW, what a finding! This passport is very unusual as it was issued to an eight-year-old boy in 1855. I have seen plenty of passports but never such an old one issued for a young boy. Extremely unusual. What even more adds to its rarity is, that the passport is from The Principality of Reuss-Gera (called the Principality of the Reuss Junior Line). Schleiz was the capital of the small principality Principality of Reuss-Schleiz till 1848. The Principality of Reuss-Gera was a sovereign state in modern Germany, ruled by the House of Reuss members. The Counts Reuss of Gera, of Schleiz, of Lobenstein, of Köstritz, and of Ebersdorf, each became princes in 1806, and they and their reigning successors bore the title Prince of Reuss-Gera.
The territories of four separate branches of the Junior Line amalgamated between 1824 and 1848. In 1905 the Principality of Reuss Junior Line had an area of 827 km2 (319 square miles) and a population of 145,000, with Gera as its capital. In the aftermath of World War I the territory of the Junior Line merged with that of the Elder Line in 1919 as the Republic of Reuss, which in its turn became part of the new state of Thuringia on 1 May 1920.
Interesting is also the entry in the passport, where the signature should be it reads… “ist des Schreibens noch unkundig” (“is still ignorant of writing”).