No. 510.
Mr. Cramer to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 18.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 13th instant a communication was received by this legation from Mr. Byers, United States consul at Zurich, relating to the shipment to New York of an improper person—a pauper and drunkard—by the town authorities of Woelflin-swyl, canton of Aargau, in violation of the laws of the United States and of Switzerland on the subject of emigration. A copy of Consul Byers’ letter is herewith inclosed. As it was too late to send a cablegram, requesting the Department to prohibit that person from landing, I felt it my duty to address a note to the President of the Swiss Confederation, protesting against the proceedings of the town authorities in the case of the said pauper, and requesting the punishment of the guilty parties. A copy of this note is herewith inclosed.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 18.]

Mr. Byers to Mr. Cramer.

Sir: I would respectfully call your attention to the fact that the gemeinde authorities of Woelflinswyl, canton Aargau, on October 28 shipped to New York, per steamer St. Germain, at its own expense, a certain Conrad Hort, a man absolutely without means, a drunkard, and by some pronounced blödsinnig or weak-minded.

I went to the town of Woelflinswyl personally and with a witness, and satisfied myself that the gemeinde did send this man to America, in violation of the laws of Switzerland and of the United States. The town president and his clerk admitted also to me that the gemeinde had shipped numerous other persons to the United States-in order to be rid of them, one of whom was reported even worse than Hort. In this case of Hort the gemeinde president and secretary stated that the man’s expenses to the United States were paid for fear he would become a burden to the town. They denied that Hort was weak-minded; but some of his neighbors, and especially a gentleman who had him in his employ, declared to me that they considered him weak-minded, a drunkard, and incapable of making a living. I inclose you an article on the subject from the Zofinger Tagblatt of November 10. The statements made in that article are true, as Mr. John Frey, of Zurich, secretary of this office, can testify. I do-not doubt but the legation will lose no time in demanding from the federal council that the parties directing and aiding in this violation of laws of both countries be punished. This is the more necessary as acts of this kind are not of unfrequent occurrence in canton Aargau.

I will also lay the matter before the Department at Washington in a letter to-day.

I remain, &c.,

[Inclosnre 2 in No. 18.]

Mr. Cramer to the President of the Swiss Confederation.

Sir: The undersigned, minister resident of the United States of America, has he honor to inclose herewith: (1) A copy of a letter from Mr. Byers, the consul of the [Page 801]United States at Zurich, to this legation, of November 11, 1882; (2) a printed extract from the Zofinger Tagblatt of November 10, 1882. Both these documents relate to the fact that the gemeinde authorities of Woelflinswyl, canton of Aargau, on October 28, per steamer St. Germain, shipped to New York at its own expense a certain Conrad Hort, a man absolutely without means, a drunkard, and by some pronounced weak-minded (blödsinnig). The truth of this fact cannot be doubted, as the evidences in its support, furnished by Consul Byers, are strong, clear, and incontrovertible.

This proceeding on the part of the town authorities of Woelflinswyl and the emigration agent, V. Ursprung (a subordinate agent of Messrs. Schneebeli & Co., of Basel) is a flagrant violation of the laws both of Switzerland and of the United States regulating the matter of emigration and immigration. It is too late to telegraph to my Government to prohibit said Conrad Hort from landing in the United States. I have therefore to request your excellency to have the goodness to cause the town authorities of Woelflinswyl, as well as Mr. Ursprung, the emigrant agent, or all those who committed this flagrant violation of the laws of both countries, to be punished according to the laws of Switzerland, and also to cause the concession to be withdrawn from the said emigration agent. In this connection it may be stated that said town authorities have on previous occasions committed similar violations of law. These are acts of unfriendliness towards the United States on the part of such local authorities, which, it is to be hoped, the Government of the Swiss Confederation will cause to be punished to the extent of the Swiss laws.

The undersigned seizes, &c.,