No. 682.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Blaine.

No. 376.]

Sir: I have the honor, referring to my No. 375 and previous dispatches therein mentioned, respecting the emigration of Fridolina Vögelin and Theresa Hauser, to inclose herewith an affidavit respecting a conversation which I had with Wirth-Herzog of Aaran, through whose agency those women were shipped to New York on the Suevia. He fully admitted that the commune of Böttstein paid for their passage and that the two women were of the very lowest order of prostitutes.

Consul Mason telegraphs me that he mailed my No. 375 at ten this [Page 1126]morning, and that he has affidavits from the police and of an official character which will be forwarded to you through this office.

I send a similar affidavit to the one inclosed to the collector at New York.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 376.]

Affidavit of Nicholas Fish.

To-day, at a few minutes before 11 o’clock, Mr. Wirth-Herzog, of Aaran, an emigrant agent, licensed as such in the canton of Argovie, called at this office and asked to see Mr. Hofacker. He was told that he was not here, but that Mr. Fish would like to speak with him. Mr. Wirth-Herzog said that he came to see Mr. Hofacker about the alleged sending of an insane girl by the name of Vögelin, who had been forwarded through his agency to New York from Basle on the account of the commune of Böttstein, canton of Argovie; that the said Vögelin was of sound mind and that the statement as to her insanity was untrue.

I then asked him if Vögelin was not a notorious prostitute of the lowest sort. He said with a smile, she was “liederlich” (a loose character). I then asked him if the woman Vögelin was not accompanied by another woman of the same character, from the same place, and he said, “Yes.” I then said, “Are they not both prostitutes of the lowest class? He admitted that they were, but said that he was not aware of it when his sub-agent, Frei, made the arrangements for their shipment. He fully admitted that the commune council of Böttstein, canton of Argovie, paid the passage of the two women to New York. I advised him not to send any more such persons to America, and in general not to accept emigrants whose passage is paid by the communes unless they produce a certificate of good moral character and are not destitute of means.

Mr. J. E. Hinnen, consular agent at Berne, whose mother-tongue is German, was present during our conversation, and my own knowledge of German, in which the above-described conversation took place, is sufficient to enable me to swear that I understood all that was said by Mr. Wirth-Herzog.

I solemnly swear that the foregoing is a correct statement of my conversation with said Wirth-Herzog.


I, John E. Hinnen, consular agent of the United States of America at Berne, hereby certify that Nicholas Fish, to me personally known, personally appeared before me, and by me being duly sworn, signed the foregoing affidavit, and stated under oath that the same was a true and correct statement of the facts therein mentioned.

I further certify that I was present at the conversation described in the aforesaid affidavit, and that the statements therein contained are correct and true.

[consular seal.]