Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 5, 1881
to Mr. Blaine
Berlin , June 30, 1881. (Received July 22.)
Sir: I have the honor to forward you herewith a return of the so-called military cases of naturalized Americans which were settled between this legation and the imperial foreign office during the year 1880, amounting to twenty in all, against twenty-six in the previous year. Of these seventeen have been decided favorably to the claimants; two from Alsace-Lorraine adversely, and one (No. 68) was found to be a case of desertion before emigration.
I have much pleasure in adding that up to the 9th May of the current year no new cases requiring the intervention of the legation occurred, and that the four which have arisen since then will probably not cause any complications.
I have, &c.,
report of military cases settled during the year 1880 and the first half of 1881.
51. Peter Jons.—Was born 17th December, 1849, at Elfelde, Schleswig-Holstein; emigrated to the United States May 8, 1869; was naturalized there 18th January, 1878, and returned in December, 1879, to his native town. Soon after his arrival there he was compelled to pay a fine of 150 marks for unauthorized emigration. The legation was informed of the case on the 17th January, by the acting consul at Hamburg, and on the 20th January addressed a note to the foreign office, and received in reply a promise of prompt investigation.
On the 24th February a letter was received from Jons, to say that he was about to leave for the United States, and that his fine, if refunded, might be paid over to the Hamburg consulate for him.
On the 12th May the foreign office informed the legation that the repayment of the fine had been ordered, and, finally, on the 21st of June, that it would be paid to Consul Müller. This, it is presumed, was done, as nothing more has been heard of the case.
52. Alphonse Lester.—Was born in Schweighausen, Alsace-Lorraine, on the 29th January, 1854, and left Germany in May, 1871, spent some years in France, and then emigrated to the United States, where he was naturalized 29th July, 1879, and where he still resides. Lester was informed by a written order from the authorities of Sennheim that a fine for absence from military duty had been levied upon him, which would be forcibly collected.
On the 9th February the legation sent a note to the foreign office, remonstrating against the proceedings, to which a reply was promptly received that the case would be investigated. Nothing further was heard of the case until 10th October, when the legation was informed by the foreign office that Lester’s fine had been remitted because he had served in the French army, which was at once communicated to him.
53. Alois Fischer.—Was born at Aschbach, Alsace-Lorraine, on the 23d July, 1854; emigrated to the United States in August, 1872; was naturalized 16th September, 1878, and still resides there. After his departure a fine of 600 marks for alleged neglect of military duty was imposed upon him, and his inheritance was attached as security for the same. Mr. Fischer’s brother, who resides in Germany, brought the case to the notice of the legation on the 9th September, 1879, but for want of substantiating documents the intervention of the legation was impossible, until the 12th February, 1880. An investigation was at once promised, but it was not until the 7th October that the foreign office finally informed the legation that Fischer was still considered a German subject, and that his fine could not be remitted, which was duly communicated to him. The case was also reported, to the Department of State on the 18th October, in dispatch No. 162, as being another case of refusal of the German Government to extend the treaty of 1868 to Alsace-Lorraine. (See cases 34, 48, and 49.)
54. William Essmüller.—Was born at Detlinghausen, Hanover, 9th December, 1849; emigrated to the United States 27th January, 1871; was naturalized 1st December, 1877, and returned to Germany in November, 1879. Soon after his emigration the provincial court of Verden, in Hanover, sentenced him to a fine for neglect of military duty, and attached his father’s property as security. Essmüller had returned to Germany to get his share of his father’s estate, and therefore begged the legation to endeavor to have the attachment removed. On the 10th March, 1880, the legation called the attention of the foreign office to the case, and on the 21st June was informed in reply that the fine had been remitted by imperial pardon. This was at once communicated and his papers returned to Essmüller through the consul at Bremen, as Essmüller had already left for America.
55. Jean Pierre Quirin Schang.—Was born at Sternbiedersdorf, Alsace-Lorraine, 20th March, 1853; emigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen, from Havre, 1st June, 1868; was naturalized 26th January, 1880, and had not at the time of his appeal to the legation returned to Germany. After the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine the tribunal of Saargemund put an attachment on Schang’s share of his deceased father’s property as security, for a fine levied on him for neglect of military duty. The case was brought to the notice of the legation in October, 1879, by Schang’s ucle, a resident of Alsace, but much time was required to procure the necessary evidence of citizenship from America, so that the matter could not be brought to the attention of the foreign office till the 20th March, 1880. A prompt investigation was promised, but it was not until the 10th October following that the legation was informed by the foreign office that the fine was remitted on the ground that Schang emigrated before the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, which was communicated and his papers returned to Schang on the following day.
56. Lazard Rosnwald.—Was born at Schalbach, Alsace-Lorraine, 23d January, 1854; emigrated to the United States 20th August, 1872; was naturalized 14th November, [Page 474] 1878, and returned to Germany on a visit 1st July, 1879. In May, 1880, he was notified by the authorities of Saarburg that he must leave Germany before the end of the month, though he had only been in the country about eleven months and had a certificate from the mayor of Lixheim that his conduct was good. The legation called the attention of the foreign office to the case on 20th May, requesting that proceedings might he suspended by telegraph, which, the legation heard the next day from the foreign office, was done. About a month later the foreign office informed the legation that Rosenwald had never been told to leave, and might stay a year longer. Rosenwald, in reply, held to his original statement that he had been ordered to leave. There was no claim made by the foreign office that Rosenwald was still a German citizen, though he emigrated subsequent to the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine and had not been absent ten years, and indeed by allowing him the balance of his two years it was apparently admitted that the fourth clause of the treaty applied to Alsace-Lorraine.
57. Frederick R. Schmidt.—Was born at Spitzendorf, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, 7th September 1853; emigrated to the United States 20th March, 1869; was naturalized 1st February, 1878, and at the time he became known to the legation had not returned to his native country. The legation was informed on the 19th May, 1880, that the local court at Königsee had imposed a fine on Schmidt for alleged neglect of military duty and that an attachment as security for the same had been placed upon his property. On the 22d May the legation intervened with the German Government, and on the 1st July, 1880, was informed that the fine was remitted. This result was at once communicated to Schmidt, and his papers returned to him through the consul at Sonneberg, who had reported the case.
58. Wendolm Frueh.—Was born at Oberhausen, Grand Duchy Baden, 21st October, 1852; was put back by the military authorities for feeble health; emigrated to the United States 15th July, 1872; was naturalized 23d October, 1878, and returned to Germany 9th May, 1880, for the purpose of taking his mother back with him to America. On the 21st May he was arrested by the authorities of Oberhausen, made to pay a fine of 319 marks, and informed that he must perform military service, his papers, which showed him to be an American citizen, being, according to his statement, disregarded. The legation applied to the foreign office in his behalf on the 4th June, 1880, and on the 10th August was informed, in reply, that the fine, which apparently had not been actually paid, would he remitted and that the attachment for the same on his property would be taken off, but that there was no truth in the statement that he had exhibited his papers to the authorities or that he had been imprisoned.
59. Aloys Grehres.—Was horn at Zinsweiler, Alsace-Lorraine, 24th June, 1856; emigrated to the United States, 30th June, 1872; was naturalized there 4th September, 1877, and had not returned to Germany when his case was brought to the notice of the legation by his mother in January, 1880, in consequence of a fine of 600 marks being imposed upon him. The legation at first supposed that this was a case of fraudulent naturalization, as the date of his emigration to America was misstated by his mother, and consequently had to write to America to ascertain when he first arrived there, and a second delay occurred on account of his citizen paper not being forwarded with this information, so that it was not till June 11 that intervention was possible, and not till 30th November that the foreign office informed the legation without further comment that Gehres was pardoned. The interesting point in the case is that this fine was remitted by the German Government, although Gehres was a native of Alsace, notwithstanding their recent decisions that citizens of that province did not come under the treaty of 1868.
60. Abraham Zadick.—Was born at Adelnau Posen, 7th March, 1846; emigrated in May, 1863, to the United States, where he was naturalized 17th September, 1868. On the 4th June, 1880, he returned to his native place and was at once forced by the local authorities to pay a fine of 150 marks for alleged neglect of military duty. He appealed to the legation for protection on the 26th June, and on the 28th the attention of the foreign office was called to his case. On the 20th August the legation was informed, in reply, that his fine would be repaid him, which it is presumed was done, as the legation has heard no more from him since sending him back his papers with the information on the 26th August.
61. Aaron Weill.—Was born at Reichshofen, Alsace-Lorraine, 2d June, 1855; emigrated 22d August, 1872, to the United States, where he was naturalized in December, 1879, and returned in January, 1881, on a visit to his native place. Soon after his return he was notified by the authorities that a fine of 600 marks had been imposed on him for neglect of military duty. This he refused to pay, and was then informed by the civil authorities that unless he left the country within four weeks he would be forcibly mustered into military service. By the advice of the legation, Weill protested against this, and appealed to his rights as an American citizen, which, however, the authorities entirely disregarded. The legation called the attention of the foreign office to the case on the 28th June, 1880, and advised Weill to remain quiet and await the result of the investigation.
On the 14th October the legation received a reply from the foreign office, accompanied [Page 475] with a long report in the case from the court of Alsace, to the effect that Weill’s fine could not be remitted, as he had not yet lost his Alsace-Lorraine citizenship. The accompanying report set forth that inasmuch as the portion of the North German constitution, which included the treaty of 1868, was never extended to the German Empire or to the province of Alsace-Lorraine, therefore the naturalization treaty of 1868 did not apply to Alsace-Lorraine. This case was thus classed with the previous decisions in Alsace-Lorraine cases (Nos. 34, 48, 49, 53).
On the following day, after the receipt of this note, the legation was informed by Weill that he had been imprisoned. The case was then reported to the Department (dispatch 160, 16th October, 1880), and a note of remonstrance was addressed by the minister to the foreign office (19th October, 1880), in reply to which the legation was informed on the 30th October that the case had been referred to the governor of Alsace-Lorraine for fresh investigation. On the 28th October, the minister again addressed the foreign office, asking for a remission of Weill’s punishment. The progress of the case was then again reported to the Department. (Dispatch No. 165, 1st November, 1880.) On the 3d November the legation received a telegram from Weill that he was released from prison, which was at once telegraped to the Department. On the 20th November the legation received a note from the foreign office, stating that Weill was pardoned and his fine remitted, but without further comments. Subsequently, however, in a note to the legation (4th March, 1881), reviewing the general question of the arrest of American citizens, the foreign office remarked on the Weill case that:
“Weill was liable to military duty, as he still owed allegiance to Alsace-Lorraine; that he had withdrawn himself from the performance of his duty, and was discharged from arrest and pardoned on exceptional consideration of the circumstance that he had been induced to return to Germany by information furnished him by the legation of the United States in Berlin.”
This was not strictly correct, as Weill had had no correspondence with the legation previous to his return to Germany, but he had, when first molested for neglect of military service, been informed by the legation that he was entitled to the benefit of the treaty of 1868, as had been the case with every other citizen coming from Alsace-Lorraine up to that time. The decision of the foreign office was thus, as they themselves admit, an entirely new departure from the preceding decisions of their own government. The case ended by the whole correspondence being forwarded to the Department of State. (Dispatch No. 176, 22d January, 1881.)
62. Nicholas Victor Gabriel.—Was born in Petit-Tanquin, Alsace-Lorraine, 14th April, 1853; emigrated from Havre to the United States 10th September, 1872, and was naturalized 8th June, 1880, and remained in the United States. After his departure the authorities imposed a fine of 933.17 marks on him for neglect of military duty and attached some property belonging to him in his native town as security, although he left Alsace before the date at which he would have been liable to military duty under the treaty between France and Germany. The case was brought to the notice of the legation in September, 1879, but owing to the delay incident to writing to America and procuring Gabriel’s citizen paper, which he had not up to that time taken out, the legation could not intervene for him till July, 1880. No answer was received from the foreign office until 10th October, 1880, when the legation was informed that Gabriel was still considered a German citizen, and consequently his fine could not be taken off. This reply was transmitted to Gabriel through his lawyer, and was also communicated to the State Department on the 18th October, in dispatch No. 162.
63. Franz Reinsch.—Was born in the province of Silesia, Prussia, 11th July, 1849; emigrated to Austria in January, 1869, where he remained three years. In 1872 he went to the United States, and after a residence there of over six years was naturalized as an American citizen on the 27th November, 1878. In December, 1879, he came back to Germany to get his sisters, and returned with them to America in February, 1880. During this stay in his native town the authorities of Mittelwald obliged him to pay a fine of 150 marks for unauthorized emigration, although he furnished evidence of his American citizenship. On the 3d July the legation addressed the foreign office in his behalf, and on the 20th August received a reply that the fine was remitted. On the 9th September the amount of the fine was sent to the legation by the foreign office, and was at once converted into a bill of exchange and sent to Reinsch. Nothing more has since been heard from him.
64. Solomon Bloch.—Was born at Scherweiler, Alsace-Lorraine, 8th August, 1853; emigrated in July, 1872, to the United States, where he was naturalized 21st April, 1879. On the 4th December, 1876, a fine for neglect of military duty was imposed upon him by the imperial landgericht at Colmar. On the 11th August, 1880, the legation appealed to the foreign office to have the fine removed, and after a delay of seven months was finally informed on the 24th March, 1881, that the fine had been remitted, because Bloch was no longer in possession of German citizenship. The explanation of this decision is not apparent, as there were no circumstances in Bloch’s case different from other Alsace-Lorraine cases which had lately been decided unfavorably, and Bloch had [Page 476] not been away from his native land ten years, which the foreign office had decided was necessary for losing German citizenship.
65. Carl Eggers.—Was born at Edemissen, Göttingen, from whence he emigrated in his seventeenth year to Austria, where he resided until 1873, and then emigrated to the United States, where he was naturalized on the 16th June, 1880, and continued to reside. In consequence of his leaving Germany, an attachment was put upon the property left him by his parents, which he was then unable to dispose of. The legation addressed a request to the foreign office on the 17th of August, 1880, to have the attachment removed, and was informed in reply on the 1st December that the attachment had expired by limitation, and that Eggers was at liberty to sell his property, which information was duly communicated to him through his lawyer.
66. C. R. Muller.—A naturalized American citizen; returned to Germany in 1876, at the age of twenty-eight years, and remained there until August, 1880, in business. His visit having thus exceeded by two years the time allowed by the treaty of 1868, he was ordered by the local authorities of Bockenheim, Prussia, to leave the country within eight days. As he could not find a purchaser ready to take his business off his hands at such short notice, he applied to the legation to have his time of grace extended, which could only be asked as a favor from the German Government. At the request of the minister, the foreign office promptly and courteously allowed him the additional three months requested.
67. Jacques Loeb.—Was born in Reichshofen, Alsace-Lorraine, 31st March, 1855; emigrated in August, 1872, to the United States, where he was naturalized 30th June, 1879. In the summer of 1880, Loeb returned to Germany on a visit to his native town, and was arrested by the local authorities, but released on exhibiting his citizen paper. Subsequently he was fined 600 marks for neglect of military duty, and advised to apply for a pardon. This Loeb said that he did ineffectually. On the 4th November, 1880, the legation addressed a note to the foreign office claiming the remission of Loeb’s fine under the treaty of 1868. After a delay of six months the foreign office on the 24th May, 1881, replied that the fine was remitted on the ground that Loeb is no longer a citizen of Alsace-Lorraine, though there was apparently no essential difference between his case and those of John Schehr, Michael Pacquet, the brothers Hess, Joseph Lauber and N. V. Gabriel. The case was fully reported to the Department in dispatch 169, 4th November, 1880, and in dispatch 209, 1st June, 1881.
68. Jacob Engelandt.—Was born at Bruholtz, Schleswig-Holstein, 6th August, 1851; emigrated to the United States, 9th August, 1871, where he was naturalized in 1879, and returned to Germany in October, 1880. On the 31st October he was summoned to pay a fine for neglect of military duty and was imprisoned at Rendsburg. After obtaining the necessary documentary proofs in the case, the legation intervened in his behalf on the 13th November, 1880, and asked that he might be released pending the investigation of his case, which was promptly granted. As it appeared from Engelandt’s statement that he had emigrated after the completion of his twentieth year, there was a probability that he was a deserter, and the legation while awaiting the reply of the foreign office, wrote to the consul at Hamburg to find out what he could in the case, and received a reply from him inclosing a letter from the general of the district, stating that Engelandt, at the time of his emigration, had already been enrolled in the German army, and was consequently a deserter at the time of his return. On the 19th December a similar reply was received from the foreign office, which, as it could not be disproved, had to be accepted as a final decision of the case.
69. Auguste Guerold.—Was born at Lening, Alsace-Lorraine, 20th February, 1858; left Alsace 4th January, 1871, before the signing of the treaty of Frankfort; sailed from Havre 28th August, 1875, for the United States; was naturalized there 18th September, 1880, and had not returned to Germany. On the 10th November, 1879, the authorities of Altersdorf imposed a fine of 15 marks on him for neglecting to appear at muster in July, 1879, although it would seem that he had never been a German citizen. The legation intervened in his behalf on the 7th January, 1881, and after a delay of six months, on the 4th June, 1881, received a reply from the foreign office that Guerold, being no longer a citizen of Alsace-Lorraine, his fine was remitted, of which he was promptly informed through his father, who continues a resident of that province.
70. John C. Hagedorn.—Was born in Wendel, Schleswig-Holstein, 30th May, 1852; emigrated in June, 1868, to the United States, where he was naturalized 18th May, 1880; returned on a visit to Germany 10th July, 1880, and was at once forced to pay a fine of 150 marks by the local authorities of Blankenese for neglect of military duty. The legation intervened in his behalf on the 30th December, 1880, and on the 9th April, 1881, was notified that he was pardoned, of which he was at once informed through the consul of the district.