to Mr. Evarts.
Berne, January 15, 1881. (Received February 1.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith an extract from the Schweizerische Auswanderungs Zeitung of this morning, respecting the emigration in July last from Rudolfingen, canton of Zurich, of Heinrich Ruegger, an infirm Swiss, suffering from an incurable cataract.
If the statements in the newspapers are correct, the emigrant in question obtained a portion of the money for his journey from members of his family, a portion by contributions from his townsmen, perhaps obtained by begging a trifle from his commune, and 25 francs from the poor-funds of his town. The contract for his emigration is said to have been made by the authorities of the commune with the emigrant agency of Schneebeli & Co., at Basle, for the sum of 160 francs. The man is described as being now in the poor-house at Ottokee, Ohio!
I have written to Consul Mason, at Basle, to investigate the matter, so far as the emigration contract is concerned, and I have requested Consul Byers, at Zurich, to ascertain the facts concerning the action of the authorities at Rudolfingen in the premises.
The same article gives us an idea of what the very numerous assisted emigration from the canton of Argovie is. It would appear that, in some cases at least, the property which those emigrants leave behind them is, to a considerable extent, consumed by costs which they have no power of controlling, and from which they derive no benefit.
The same newspaper contains the advertisement of the “Compagnie Général Transatlantique,” who profess to carry emigrants at cheaper rates, and to furnish them with greater comforts, than the other steamship companies.
* * * * * * *
I have, &c.,
- This makes but 188 francs.—N. F.↩