No. 153.
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Evarts.

No. 28.]

Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 7, which reached me on the 3d instant, I beg leave respectfully to represent that the case of Mr. Willimek belongs to a class the disposition of which has already been settled by the action of the German Government. If his statement be strictly correct in every particular, he is not liable to punishment, and may return to Germany for the space of two years without interference by the local authorities.

In order to confer with the minister of foreign affairs, as I am instructed to do, I require to be furnished with the evidence of his naturalization, and also to know his former place of residence in Germany, [Page 226] since otherwise there would be no practical means of granting the special favor which he has requested from the Department of State.

Inasmuch as cases exactly similar to his have been satisfactorily settled under the provisions of the treaty, I cannot but feel that to ask the Imperial Government for an assurance in advance would be to imply a doubt of its good faith. The records of this legation do not show any instance of a protection being granted to any naturalized citizen without the production of the documents necessary to establish his character and identity.

As a further guarantee, I herewith inclose the ministerial circulars of July 5 and 6, 1868, which have special reference to cases like that of Mr. Willimek. Furnished with this (especially if it also bears the stamp of the Department of State), he needs but to show it to the authorities of his native place immediately on his arrival and declare the probable duration of his visit, in order to be recognized and protected as an American citizen.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure to dispatch No. 28.]

Ministerial decree of July 5, 1868.

In concluding the treaty of the 22d February of this year (Bulletin of the Laws of the Confederation, p. 228), agreed upon between the North German Confederation and the United States of America, respecting the nationality of emigrants, it was the prevailing intention. That in conformity to the second article of that treaty the punishment incurred by punishable emigration is not to be brought to execution on occasion of a return of the emigrant to his original country if the returning emigrant has obtained naturalization in the other country in conformity to the first article of the said treaty.

In consideration whereof, in every case where legally valid condemnations of this kind exist against such persons, an official report is to be made to the minister of justice respecting the remission of the declared punishments and costs by way of grace; and, in order to shorten and simplify the matter, these recommendations are to be consolidated in a table, if the number of cases is large enough to justify a tabular form of report.

The minister of justice,

To all royal courts of appeal, to all royal supreme courts, and to the state attorneys-general in Kiel, Cassel, Wiesbaden, and Frankfort on the Main.

Circular of the 6th July, 1868.

In concluding the treaty of the 22d February of this year (Bulletin of Laws of the Confederation, p. 228), between the North German Confederation and the United States of America, it was the prevailing intention. That, in conformity to article 2 of this treaty, the punishable action, committed by the unauthorized emigration of a citizen of the confederation to the United States of America, should not be made the ground for a penal prosecution upon the return of such person to his former country after absence of not less than five years, and that the punishment for such action, even though already legally declared, should not be consummated if the person has acquired in America the right of citizenship in conformity to article 1 of said treaty.

The royal government is therefore instructed in the cases indicated to abstain from recommending trial and punishment, and in general from every kind of prosecution, whenever the person in question is able to produce the proof that he has become a naturalized citizen of the United States of America in conformity with the first clause of article 1.

The proper judicial authorities will be furnished by the minister of justice with an instruction in all cases where legal sentences of this kind, against the persons above [Page 227] described, exist, to report officially the remission by way of grace of the declared punishments and costs.

For the minister of the interior:

To all the governments of the monarchy.

I send a copy to you, &c., with the very humble request that you will at once be pleased to provide the bailiwicks with the proper notice.

For the minister of the interior:

To the chief president at Hanover and to the presidency of the police here, a copy in like manner for their guidance.