to Mr. Blaine.
Berne, April 29, 1881. (Received May 16.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copies and translations of a correspondence between the Council of Burgess of Neuveville and this legation respecting the proposed emigration to Sardis, Ohio, of a poor widow, thirty-three years of age, accompanied by her four children, between five and ten years of age, now residing at Langnau, canton Berne.
I, of course, could not in any event enable the Olivier family to avoid the customary inspection at landing at New York, nor could I exempt them from detention there were that inspection to show them unfit to immigrate, as requested to do by the Burgess’ Council.
The facts that it is necessary to ask “this special consideration” for this family, that the request comes from the guardians of the poor, and that they are willing to furnish a subsidy for emigration, all tend to show that an inspection of the family on landing is much to be desired, unless the tax-payers of Sardis are desirous of receiving this class of immigrants without any visible means of support.
I have therefore furnished the collector at New York with a copy of the correspondence.
In my answer to the Burgess’ Council I dwelt upon the fact that they furnished me with no means of judging of the fitness of the family for emigration, and that the names of the alleged friends and acquaintances were not stated, and that there was no document showing that they were prepared to assist her in case she required it, or to return her to Neuveville should she become a charge to the community at Sardis.[Page 1153]
I profited by the opportunity thus afforded to bring to the notice of the Burgess’ Council the frequent reshipment of objectionable emigrants from New York, I believe that were the commissioners of emigration at New York to make it known that they will exercise an active vigilance to detect objectionable immigrants, that they have already caused a considerable number to be sent back, and that they will continue such reshipments with unabated energy, the communal authorities would be more careful about speculating in this manner. An announcement of this nature drawn up by the commissioners of emigration and published in the “New York Staats Zeitung,” the “Amerikanischer Schweitzer Zeitung,” and the “New York Handels Zeitung” would find its way into the German and Swiss press. If properly drawn up, it would deter many foreign paupers from reaching the charitable institutions of the United States.
The present case is a striking proof of the excellent effect produced by the prompt return of the two women from Böttstein, and the announcement of the facts in regard to them. It has aroused public attention to the question, and it has awakened a feeling of anxiety on the part of the guilty communes lest the speculation in which they have so long indulged should now be broken up or become a losing one.
I have, &c.,