On September 8, 1939, Henry Hecksher walked into the US District Court at Trenton, New Jersey, and declared his intention to become a US citizen.
But he was not yet Henry Hecksher — at least not officially. He even spelled his surname differently than we know it now.
Through this document, we learn our protagonist’s name before emigrating to the US was Heinrich Gustav Adolf Detlev Heckscher.
We learn a few other details.
Hecksher is described as a white man with medium complexion, brown eyes and blond hair. He was five foot eight inches tall and weighed 160 pounds.
When he emigrated to the US, he was not living in his native Germany. Instead, Hecksher had been living in London.
He arrived in New York on March 20, 1939, on the S.S. American Banker, a ship operated by United States lines on a transatlantic service. This means previous dates reported for his entry in the US were inaccurate.
At the time that he filed his declaration of intention to become a US citizen, Hecksher lived on Moore Street in Princeton, New Jersey. At 28, he was single and had no children.
United States, New Jersey, Naturalization Records From Various Counties, 1905-1944, via FamilySearch, s.v. “Declaration of Intention”, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C34B-1SFN-R?cc=3338294, accessed on April 17, 2021.