No. 23.
Mr. Delfosse to Mr. Fish.


Mr. Secretary of State: The “opinion” of the honorable Attorney-General of the United States appears, at least as it has been published, to render the refusal of the Federal Government to grant the extradition of Carl Vogt, alias Stupp, to the German government nearly certain.

In this state of things, I desire now to renew the request made by the Belgian government in April, 1872, that the said Vogt, who is charged with the threefold crime of robbery, arson, and murder in Belgium, may be delivered up to justice in that country.

The result of the various phases through which this case has since passed, induces me to reiterate my request, in the hope, which is, I trust, well founded, that the Federal Government, in the exercise of that right which has been consecrated by international usage, will now be both able and willing to comply therewith.

The State of New York, in which Vogt is legally held, recently decided upon and ordered his extradition, (which, however, has been suspended on the ground that the Federal authorities alone have the right to do so.) Moreover, the enormity of the threefold crime with which Vogt is charged; the evidence furnished, which fully shows that his accusation is warranted by facts which will be impartially appreciated by courts of justice; the decision of the Federal commissioner, at New York, recognizing the value of this evidence, which has been submitted to him; the approval of this decision, expressed by the judge of the Federal district court, these accumulated circumstances, I say, as regards the question of fact, which is not contested or in any way touched by the arguments of the honorable Attorney-General concerning the interpretation of a special treaty, are so many reasons which I invoke in support of my request for the delivery of Vogt to justice in Belgium, in which country the crimes were committed, that he may be taken before the courts and tried according to law.

It would be impossible, I think, to imagine a case in which extradition by voluntary concession and good offices, in the absence of a treaty, would be more justifiable. This concession, under such circumstances, especially in view of the extradition already ordered by the State of New York, where Vogt is held, would violate no principle, would establish no compromising precedent, would protect, in a high social interest, [Page 81] the supreme rights of justice, and would, moreover, be a highly appreciated evidence of good-will toward a friendly government.

In soliciting your kind consideration of this communication, which I write in haste by reason of the urgency of the situation, I beg you to accept, &c.,