to Mr. Evarts.
Berne, January 24, 1881. (Received February 9.)
Sir: Referring to my dispatches numbered respectively 330 and 331, I have the honor to inclose herewith an extract from the Schweizerische [Page 1110]Auswanderungs Zeitung, of January 22, respecting the emigration of Heinrich Ruegger. It contains a statement from one of the guardians of the poor, who assisted Ruegger to emigrate, and who claims that the accusation of “shoving him off,” on the part of the commune, is unwarranted, because Ruegger repeatedly asked for assistance to emigrate, which was refused him by the poor-board repeatedly, “because they could not conceal the fact that the emigrant would no more find his fortune in the New World than he had in the Old, And this was not due to Ruegger’s shortsightedness, which in no way prevents him from performing agricultural labor, but on account of his aversion to labor and his dissolute life.” He also accuses Ruegger of having been an inmate of a forced labor establishment, and of having been guilty of numerous frauds or swindlings which merited punishment. He states in extenuation of the action of the people and officials of Rudolfingen that they assisted Ruegger to emigrate from motives of compassion!
This explanation appears to be satisfactory to the editor of the newspaper; it can hardly, however, prove so to the tax-payers in Ohio who have to provide for Ruegger’s support.
The explanation, coming as it does from a clergyman and one of the overseers of the poor, furnishes us with a striking illustration of the convenience made of our country as a receptacle for the paupers of very many of the Swiss communes. Its acceptance as satisfactory by the editor represents, in my opinion, the manner in which it would be viewed by a large portion of the press and of the people of this country.
I have, &c.,