to Mr. Blaine.
Berne, May 8, 1881. (Received May 23.)
Sir: Having noticed in the New York Evening Telegram of the 5th ultimo a letter from Mr. John Feierabend to the superintendent of Castle Garden respecting the case of Friedrich Kienast, of Riesbach, canton Zurich, who emigrated to the United States in June, 1880, and whom Mr. Feierabend described as a “notorious vagrant,” sent by the municipality of Riesbach on the ground that he did not want to work, I directed the vice-consul at Zurich to inquire into the circumstances of Kienast’s emigration.
I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of the reply of the commune council to Mr. Syz.
It appears that this assisted emigrant is able-bodied, but disinclined to work, and consequently had been two years in a compulsory labor establishment, and that he was afterwards employed as a scavenger. In 1879 he inherited a small fortune, which was placed in the custody of a guardian, and after he had been assisted several times he applied, in May last, to have the means to emigrate to the United States. The commune council granted his request, being of opinion “that it might be useful to him if he should live at a place where he would have to work,” and furnished him out of his own property 420 francs for the journey to Colorado, and 400 francs in cash on his arrival in America. It is stated in this letter that Kienast had recommendations to natives of Zurich in Denver City, but, as is customary in such cases, the names of the parties are not given. The balance of his property, amounting to about 500 francs, remains in the hands of the guardian at his native place.
My dispatch No. 218* will show you what difficulties Kienast might expect to encounter should he reform his ways, become a citzen of the United States, and seek to recover those 500 francs. Unfortunately, this trial of the United States as a reformatory for European delinquents has not thus far been attended with success, as the commune council state that Kienast has squandered his money in loitering about New York, a statement which is corroborated by the reported comments of the superintendent of Castle Garden respecting the man:
When lie returned from the West he threw himself on our hands. The labor-bureau manager obtained him several situations where he might have earned a fair livelihood, but he was so outrageously lazy that no employer would keep him more than a few days.
I respectfully suggest that the facts concerning Kienast’s emigration be made known to the State board of charities of New York, with the recommendation that he be sent back, if possible, to Riesbach.
I have, &c.,