Mr. Schlözer to Mr. Fish .

The Imperial German consul-general at Alexandria, Egypt, caused in March last a certain Leopold Ungar, prosecuted by the court at Cologne for fraudulent bankruptcy, to be arrested and surrendered to the judge of first instance at Cologne.

On being arrested Ungar asserted that he was an American citizen, and, through his lawyer, Twiney, of Alexandria, asked the intervention of the American consul-general at that place.

The latter protested against his arrest on the ground that Ungar had on the 18th day of July, 1856, acquired the rights of a citizen of the United States, and that he had received an American passport in the year 1857.

This objection could not be considered valid by the German government, for the following reason: Ungar was born in Bavaria, of Prussian parents, June 10, 1831, and was consequently a Prussian subject in the year 1850, when he emigrated to America.

In the United States he did, indeed, as above remarked, acquire the right of citizenship in July, 1856, but returned to Prussia in 1862, became a permanent resident of Cologne in 1867, received at his own request a permit to reside there from the chief of police April 7, 1867, commenced business there under the name of J. C. Merges, and never gave the slightest evidence of an intention to return to America.

Under these circumstances the imperial government thought itself justified in drawing the inference, in view of article 4 of the treaty concluded February 22, 1868, with the United States, that Ungar had renounced his American citizenship.

Mr. Twiney, the lawyer, has indeed claimed that this treaty can have no retroactive force as regards Ungar, but the imperial government is unable to concur with this view of the case; for, as Germans who emigrated to America before the conclusion of the treaty are entitled to claim its benefits, so must this instrument have a retroactive force as regards Americans who emigrated to Germany before its conclusion.

To this is added, in the present case, the circumstance that Ungar resided in Cologne uninterruptedly for five years after the conclusion of the treaty. Paragraph 3 of article 1 of the treaty is, therefore, incontestably applicable to him.

At his departure from Alexandria, Ungar left six boxes (or chests) containing valuables and articles of virtu in the care of the American consul-general. These are now in the custody of Mr. Twiney.

After it had been decided that the property of Ungar should go to satisfy the claims of his creditors so far as possible, the competent Prussian court ordered the boxes aforesaid to be surrendered for this [Page 1313] purpose. Twiney, however, refuses to give them up, on the ground that he considers Leopold Ungar as an American citizen.

For the settlement of this matter it is therefore now a matter of necessity for the court in question to obtain an acknowledgment from the Government of the United States that Leopold Ungar is a Geman subject.

In obedience to instructions received from his government, the undersigned, imperial German envoy, has the honor most respectfully to request the honorable Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State of the United States, to examine this case, and, if he, shall concur with the view of the German government, to send to the legation a recognition of Leopold Ungar as a German subject.

The undersigned begs the honorable Secretary of State, at the same time, in case such recognition shall be sent, to be pleased to inform the American consul-general at Alexandria accordingly.

The undersigned is happy to avail himself of this occasion to renew to the honorable Secretary of State the assurances of his most distinguished consideration.