Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 8, 1885
Mr. Pendleton to Mr. Bayard.
Berlin, November 2, 1885. (Received November 16.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith the annual report of the “military cases” (prepared by Mr. Coleman, secretary of legation), which have during the past year required the attention of this legation and been brought to a conclusion. The inclosure embraces cases Nos. 107, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, and 128. Pending cases are reserved for a subsequent report.
I have, &c.,
Annual report of “military cases.”
(107) Louis Lang.—Born at Wadern, in Prussia, July 27, 1853; emigrated to the United States, at the age of twenty-three, in April, 1876; naturalized April 27, 1881.
After some correspondence Lang furnished the legation with the necessary details of his case on the 18th of September, 1883, and on the same day the legation submitted to the foreign office his statements and complaint, which were as follows: Lang returned on a visit to Germany on the 7th of September, 1883, intending to return to the United States in about a year. He was at once ordered by local authorities, under a judgment of the royal land court at Trier, dated October 26, 1878, to pay a fine of 300 marks for alleged violation of military duty, or to suffer one month’s imprisonment. The local authorities having refused to comply with certain directions contained in the Prussian ministerial decrees issued to enforce the treaty of February 22, 1868, which Lang, at the instance of the legation, had submitted to them, the legation [Page 429] inclosed his certificate of naturalization, and begged that the foreign office would cause the case to be investigated, and the fine imposed to be remitted, if the facts were found to be as stated. Lang was on the same day informed of the action taken in his behalf.
On the 22d of September Lang advised the legation that he had been compelled to furnish security for the amount of his fine. On the 27th of September the foreign office notified the legation that an investigation had been ordered, and at the same time returned Lang’s certificate of naturalization. On the same day this intelligence was conveyed to Lang, and his citizen paper sent back to him. On November 25, 1884, nothing more having been heard of the case, the legation wrote to Lang to ascertain how it stood, but received no answer, from which it was inferred that he had returned to the United States. Nothing further has been heard from him. A similar inquiry was thereupon addressed to the foreign office, from which a reply was received stating that a decision had not yet been reached. It was not until July 20, 1885, that the legation was informed by the foreign office of the final decision—that all proceedings against Lang should be discontinued.
Cases Nos. 108 to 114, both inclusive, are contained in the general report accompanying Minister Kasson’s dispatch No. 61, of November 3, 1884.
(115) David Lemberger.—Born in the United States July 28, 1862, as the son of an American citizen of German birth, naturalized March 23, 1860.
This case was laid before the legation by the United States consul at Stuttgart on August 22, 1884, and a passport for Lemberger was applied for at the same time. The legation on the same day submitted the following statements and complaint of Lemberger to the foreign office, inclosing with them, as evidence of his citizenship, the passport issued to him in response to his application: Lemberger had come to Germany in May, 1870, and was residing at Rexingen, in Wurtemberg. He had been mustered into the 105th infantry regiment and ordered to appear for service on the 6th of November following. He had been born in the United States, had never been naturalized in Germany, was in no sense a German subject, and was not liable to military service. An early investigation of the case and Lemberger’s release from military service were requested in case his statements were found to be correct. Lemberger was at once informed, through the consulate at Stuttgart, that intervention in his behalf had been made. On April 1, 1885, the foreign office notified the legation that Lemberger’s name had been stricken from the army rolls, on the ground that the investigation had shown that he could not be regarded as a German subject. Lemberger was at once advised of the favorable result reached, and his passport was returned to him through the consulate at Stuttgart.
David Lemberger appears again in “military case” No. 126.
(116) Gerhard Wientjes.—Born at Bocholt, Prussia, in 1861; emigrated at the age of thirteen with his parents to the United States; personally naturalized August 5, 1884.
The statements and complaint of Wientjes, received at the legation on September 8, 1884, were on the following day submitted to the foreign office, and were as follows: Wientjes returned to Germany on a visit about the 1st of September, 1884. On the 4th of that month a sheriff’s officer came to him and presented a summons from the royal amts court of Bocholt requiring him to pay 160 marks for neglect of military duty, under penalty of having his property seized and sold. In default of payment, Wientjes’s watch, chain, and other effects were seized, and were to be sold on the 12th instant unless the sale should be countermanded. The foreign office was informed that Wientjes desired to leave Germany at an early day. A prompt investigation and the return of Wientjes’s property and the remission of the fine imposed were requested in the event of its being found that the facts were as stated. Wientjes’ certificate of naturalization and other papers were inclosed as evidence of the facts, and the communication was marked “urgent.” Wientjes was on the same day notified that the legation had intervened in his behalf.
On the 13th of September the foreign office was notified that the order of sale had been countermanded; that an investigation had been instituted, and that the result of the same would be duly communicated. On November 6 following the legation received a letter from Wientjes’ attorney informing it that his jewelry and other effects had now been returned by the authorities, and requesting that Wientjes’ passport (meaning certificate of naturalization) should be sent to him in order that he might transmit the same, with the other personal effects, to Wientjes in the United States, whither he had returned on the 17th of September. He was informed in reply that Wientjes’ papers would be returned as soon as they were received back from the foreign office.
Though the case was practically settled, the legation, in order to perfect its files, addressed the foreign office on April 30, 1885, asking what result had been reached. A reply, with which Wientjes’ papers were returned, was received on the 6th of May following, stating that all proceedings against him had been discontinued. Wientjes was, on the same day, notified of this decision, and his papers returned to him through his attorney at Bocholt.[Page 430]
(117) Charles Weniger.—Born at Königsee, in Germany, in 1861 (day not stated); emigrated to the United States in 1872; naturalized June 3, 1884.
The Department of State, in its instruction No. 5, of August 22, 1884, directed the legation to investigate the case of Charles Weniger, residing in New York City, and to take such action in his behalf as the facts should warrant. The legation addressed the foreign office in a note dated September 29, 1884, submitting Weniger’s statements and complaint, which were as follows: He emigrated to the United States in 1872 at the age of twelve years with his mother; his father having preceded them the previous year. Weniger had always resided in the United States since his emigration. A notice had appeared in the official journal at Königsee summoning Weniger to appear for military duty, in default of which his inheritance, derived from his mother, would be seized. The father was also verbally summoned by the sheriff to produce his son.
The foreign office was requested, in view of the facts set forth, to cause Weniger’s name to be erased from the military rolls, and the proceedings against his inheritance to be annulled. On the same day the legation informed the Department that it had intervened in behalf of Weniger. On December 8, 1884, a note was received from the foreign office informing the legation that all proceedings against Weniger had been discontinued, and that his name had been stricken from the army rolls. This decision was at once communicated to the Department of State in dispatch No. 99 of December 8, 1884.
(118) Theodore Petersen.—Born at Osterterp, Schleswig, May 4, 1860; emigrated to the United States October 23, 1878; naturalized November 27, 1883.
After some previous correspondence, by which the necessary particulars of the case were obtained and an effort made to induce the local authorities in Schleswig to withdraw an order of expulsion from the country pronounced against Petersen, by sending him, to be exhibited to them, certain Prussian ministerial decrees issued to enforce the treaty of February 22, 1868, the legation, under date of October 7, 1884, presented the following statements and complaints of Petersen: In January, 1884, Petersen returned to Osterterp on a visit to his relations, intending to return to the United States after the completion of his visit. At the time of the act complained of he was sojourning at Osterterp, respecting all the laws and living in a peaceable and orderly manner. In the latter part of August last he was summoned to appear before the hardesvogt (sheriff), and verbally told that he must leave the country within three days. No cause was known and none was alleged for this official order, and the officer refused to put the order in writing. Finally, being threatened with imprisonment if he remained, Petersen left in obedience to the order of expulsion. The early attention of the foreign office was requested in the case, and the hope was expressed that the facts as alleged might be investigated and that, upon their verification, the order of expulsion and all proceedings thereunder might be revoked. Petersen was at once notified through his attorney at Osterterp, he having himself left the country and gone to Denmark, that intervention had been made in his behalf.
On the 14th of October the foreign office notified the legation that an investigation had been ordered, and that the result of the same would be communicated when reached. Some correspondence ensued between Petersen and the legation relating to his future address and the progress made in the case. On the 11th of December following the foreign office informed the legation that the investigation made had shown that Petersen had participated at Osterterp, in the month of June last, in a demonstration hostile to Germany, and of a decidedly provocatory character, made by inhabitants of Northern Schleswig, and having for its aim enterprises involving high treason against the Government and the German population of the country. The Prussian Government had considered it requisite, in the interest of public order, to expel from Prussia all foreigners who took part in that affair, and who, by so doing, abused the residence permitted them within the territory of that state. In consequence thereof expulsion had also been decreed against Petersen. The foreign office expressed regret at the impracticability, under the circumstances, of causing a change to be made in the measures which had been taken. On the date of the receipt of the foregoing note, Petersen was informed of the decision arrived at in his case, and a copy of the note containing the same was transmitted to him. The case was fully reported to the Department of State under date of December 15, 1884, in dispatch No. 101.
On January 18, 1885, Petersen wrote to the legation denying that he had been guilty of the acts charged against him, asking that intervention in his behalf might be repeated, and requesting the return of his papers. These were at once transmitted to him, but his request for further intervention could not, under the existing circumstances, be complied with.
(119) Ferdinand Revermann.—Born at Naperville, III., October 17, 1860; called in person at the legation on the 31st of October, 1884, and stated his case.
The legation, on the same day, communicated to the foreign office his statements and complaint, which were as follows: The father of the young man in question, [Page 431] Henry J. Revermann, emigrated to the United States in 1850; was duly naturalized in 1856, and resided there continuously until 1871, in which year he returned to Germany provided with a passport for himself and family as American citizens. The Landrath at Münster certified in 1880 that, as the son Ferdinand was born a citizen of the United States, his name would be stricken from the military rolls, and this was done, He was, however, on the 11th of October of the same year, summoned before the Landrath at Münster, and told that, by order of the Royal Government at Münster, he must either become naturalized in Germany or leave the country. Against this action he appealed by protest to the said Royal Government, and on the 17th of October received a reply declining to modify the order and directing his expulsion in case of his failure to apply for naturalization within three days. He declined to be naturalized, and applied for four week’s time to prepare for leaving the country, also offering security that at the end of that time he would leave. In answer he was told verbally to leave by November 1, or he would be put out or into prision. He claimed to have conducted himself in a peaceful and orderly manner while living in Germany as a native American citizen, in perfect obedience to the law.
In view of the imminence of the date fixed for the forcible expulsion of said Ferdinand, the foreign office was requested to take such measures that the order complained of might be at once suspended, until the investigation should be made, and that if the facts should be found to be truly stated, the order might be wholly revoked.
According to intelligence received by the legation from Revermann, under date of November 8, he had not, up to that time, been expelled.
On January 2, 1885, a reply, dated December 31, 1884, was received from the foreign office, conceding the correctness of the statements of fact made in the note of the legation respecting Revermann’s case, but declining to cause a change to be made in the measures taken against him. Prompted by some other cases which had arisen the Imperial Government had already assumed the task of causing a close examination to be made respecting the legal status of the sons of those Germans who, as naturalized citizens of the United States of America, had, during the minority of their sons born in America, returned in their company to Germany to reside there permanently.
As regards the fathers of such sons, no doubt could exist that they were to be regarded as having renounced their naturalization by a longer sojourn in Germany than one of two years, as provided in the treaties regulating nationality, concluded with the United States in 1868; but it was conceded that the sons of such persons were American citizens, and that they could not be made to perform military service in Germany. International principles, however, permitted the refusal to such persons of sojourn in Germany, and the adoption of measures against them, as soon as such a course should seem requisite in the interest of public order. Such condition was assumed to exist by the German Government when the actual circumstances indicated that the persons in question used their American citizenship for the purpose of withdrawing themselves from the duties, and in particular from the military duty, devolving upon the domestic population, without being disposed to abandon their permanent sojourn in Germany and the advantages connected therewith. The United German Governments proposed to act in the future, with respect to all such cases, in accordance with the principles thus presented. The decision in his case was communicated to Revermann.
On the 5th of January the legation addressed a note to the foreign office offering some observations upon the contents of the note of the foreign office, and stating that the questions involved in the case were reserved for the consideration of the Government of the United States.
Under date of January 6, 1885, the legation reported the case, with the correspondence with the foreign office, to the Department of State. On February 7, following, the Department communicated to the legation the views of the Government of the United States upon the principles stated in the communication of the foreign office of December 31, 1884, directing that these views, in large part essentially at Variance with those stated by the German Government, should be laid before the foreign office. This was done in a note dated February 25, 1885.
On the 16th of the following May the foreign office replied, contending that their interpretation of the treaties of 1868, as giving the German Government the right to treat returning naturalized Americans, residing in Germany for more than two years, as having renounced the nationality acquired by naturalization, was correct; but intimating that a harsh use of this right would not be made. The inherent right to expel foreigners when deemed proper, before claimed in the note of December 31, 1884, was also reasserted.
On the 19th of May, 1885, the legation transmitted to the Department of State, with comments thereon, the latest correspondence with the foreign office on the subject. Nothing more was heard at the legation of Revermann, father or son, after the decision of the foreign office respecting the latter was communicated to him.[Page 432]
(120) Ernst F. Heitmüller.—Born at Hüpede, Germany, December 25, 1860; emigrated to the United States January 20, 1878; naturalized November 10, 1884.
Heitmüller appeared in person at the legation and made the following statements and complaint, which the legation submitted to the foreign office on the 29th of January, 1885: He had, for the first time since his emigration, returned to Germauy a few weeks before for a temporary visit in order to collect a sum of money inherited by him, arriving at Hüpede on the 5th of December, 1884. On the 9th of that month he announced his presence to the magistrate of the town, stating his purpose to remain about six months to collect the inheritance, and at the same time exhibited his certificate of naturalization as an American citizen. Two days later a gendarme came to the house of his stepmother, where he was staying, and said he would arrest him and take him to Hanover, adding that if he had money he could go by rail, otherwise they would have to walk—a distance of some 9 miles. He inquired for what he was arrested. The gendarme replied that it was not yet certain that he had arrested the right man. On his arrival at Hanover he was taken to the jail (Zellengefängniss), where a police official caused all of his personal effects, money, citizen paper, and other papers, to be taken from him. He called attention at the time to his American citizenship, and to the paper proving it. The official made a note on a protocol or paper, and Heitmüller was then conducted to a cell. On the next day, December 12, he was brought before another official, who said to him, “You are Friedrich Heitmüller, and have been fined for evasion of military duty.” He replied, “My name is Ernst Heitmüller,” and he was then sent back to his cell. On the day following, December 13, he was brought again before the official, who told him that he had been fined 300 marks for evasion of military duty, which amount he must pay, with cost. He answered that he had not the money with him, but would procure it if allowed three days’ time. He was informed that this could not be done, but that he should announce to the officer in charge of the jail that he wished to write a letter. He was then taken back to his cell again, and demanded of the jailer to obtain for him from the officer in supreme charge permission to write a letter. The jailer put him off from day to day, and finally informed him that he could not write until he had passed a month at the prison. His cousin, meantime, found out his place of confinement and visited him in the prison on the 3d of January. The facts were reported immediately to Heitmüller’s uncle, who, on January 5, was permitted to pay the fine and obtain his release. In the payment of the fire an allowance at the rate of 5 marks per day during an imprisonment of twenty-six days, was made—130 marks—and a balance of 240.54 marks was paid in money.
The legation requested that the alleged facts might be investigated, and expressed the hope that, if the statements were found to be correct, the German Government would appreciate the gravity of the offense committed by the local officers referred to, against a peaceful American citizen, who gave them the proof of the citizenship which exempted him from military liability according to the treaty of 1868, and the explicit orders of the minister of justice (July 5, 1868) and the minister of the interior (July 6, 1868). The offense appeared to be aggravated by the unusual denial of the privilege of communicating by letter with either his relations or the officers of his own Government, and by the unnecessary prolongation of his confinement. Under these circumstances, if verified, if was hoped that the German Government would not find its sense of justice satisfied by the refunding of the fine, but would also find a method of signifying to the offending officials its sense of the unusual hardships inflicted upon the complainant without cause. In conclusion, the ultimate return of the inclosed certificate of naturalization was requested.
Under date of Februarys, following, the foreign office informed the legation that an investigation had been ordered, the result of which would be duly communicated. Some correspondence ensued between Heitmüller and the legation respecting the progress of his case, the present custody of his citizen paper, and the address to which he wished it to be ultimately returned to him.
On April 4 the legation made a preliminary report of the case to the Department of State, and was informed in reply, under date of the 23d of the same month, that the action taken by the legation was approved, and that further instructions would be deferred until the promised reply from the foreign office was received. In the mean time the legation had, at the request of Heitmüller, who was about to return to America, furnished him with a written statement, needed to facilitate his departure from Germany, that his certificate of naturalization was in the hands of the German authorities.
On the 10th of August following, the legation transmitted to the Department of State a copy of a note, dated July 28, 1885, received from the foreign office, informing the legation that the return of the fine paid by Heitmüller had been ordered, but that the implicated officials denied his statements as to aggravating circumstances, and that the imperial authorities credited those denials. The legation stated at the same time that it would take no further action in the case, unless the Department should otherwise instruct.[Page 433]
On the 11th of August the legation notified Heitmüller of the decision reached in his case, inclosing a copy of the note received from the foreign office, and returning his citizen paper. Under date of August 26, 1885, the Department of State expressed to the legation its gratification at learning of the repayment to Heitmüller of the fine. Nothing has been heard from Heitmüller at the legation since the decision in his case was communicated to him.
(121) Frank Austin, alias Ferdinand Ostertag.—Born at Berlin, Prussia, in February, 1853 (or 1852); emigrated to the United States in 1871 or 1872; date of naturalization uncertain.
On March 19, 1885, Benno Ostertag, Austin’s brother, and, on the 23d of the same month, Isaac Doss, called at the legation and made sworn statements of the facts in the case, which seemed satisfactory as to its merits and appeared to sufficiently establish the identity of Frank Austin with Ferdinand Ostertag.
On the 24th of March the legation submitted to the foreign office the following statements and complaint in the case: It appeared that the family name of the complainant, and that by which he was known at the time of his emigration, was Ostertag, his first name at that time being Ferdinand. It was alleged that he was born at Berlin about the month of February, 1853 (or 1852), and emigrated to the United States about the year 1871, where he had since resided, and where he was duly naturalized under the name of Frank Austin. He had returned on a visit to Germany in January last, and was arrested at Berlin on the 19th of March on a judgment for violation of military duty, condemning him to pay a fine of 150 marks, and was taken to Rummelsberg, near Berlin, where he was then confined. His naturalization paper was in the hands of the recruiting commission at Berlin, and the “precise date of his naturalization could not therefore be given. Being in prison, the complainant could not give the legation personal information; evidence had, however, been produced at the legation showing that the said Ostertag and Austin were one and the same person; that after his arrival in America he had changed his name, as many other foreigners had done, only for the purpose of adopting one more in harmony with the language and use of his adopted country; that he was always known thereafter by the name of Frank Austin, had conducted his correspondence in that name, and had been so naturalized. Austin being exempt by the terms of the treaty of February, 1868, from the proceedings taken against him, it was hoped that the case might be speedily investigated, and that lie might be released as early as possible, and the judgment be annulled if the alleged facts were found to be true. The evidence of identity on the files of the legation would, if desired, be submitted to the foreign office for examination.
On March 31, 1885, Austin himself called at the legation, and stated that he had been liberated, the remainder of the fine claimed from him, after the deduction of the allowance made for the term of actual imprisonment, having been paid under protest. Some jewelry and a small amount of money belonging to him were still in the hands of the authorities. The legation took his address, and informed him that it had little doubt that his property would be returned to him, together with the fine.
After some intervening correspondence between the legation and Austin’s brother touching the progress of the case, the foreign office informed the legation, under date of August 25, 1885, that the fine had been remitted and the return of Austin’s property ordered. On the date of the receipt of this note, August 28, the legation notified Austin, through his brother, of the favorable decision reached in his case.
A peculiar feature of the above case was the radical change of name made in the United States, as shown by the complainant’s certificate of naturalization, from Ferdinand Ostertag to Frank Austin, the latter not being even a translation of Ostertag. Translations of names had in some earlier cases caused trouble to their bearers, and had necessitated intervention by the legation. In Austin’s case it was not surprising that the German authorities should have been unwilling to concede, without satisfactory evidence, the identity upon winch the case depended.
(122) Constant A. Golly.—Born in Alsace-Lorraine, December 19, 1858; emigrated to the United States in January, 1875; date of naturalization not known; held a passport issued by the Department of State.
After some previous correspondence between the legation and Golly touching his apprehensions that proceedings would be taken against him by the local authorities, Golly informed the legation, in a communication received on April 6, 1885, that he had been definitively ordered to leave the country. On the same day the following statements and complaint of Golly were submitted to the foreign office: The complainant, having been duly naturalized in the United States, and having a passport issued by the Department of State at Washington, on the 1st of April, 1880, made a temporary visit to his aged fat her at Felleringen, near Wesserling, in Alsace: He again returned for a visit in January, 1884, finding his mother in poor health. His father was dead, and his own assistance was required by his mother, he being an only child. He had continued since the above date to aid the little business on which the family was dependent for support. He had all the while continued in his intention to return to the United States, and was only detained here by the business referred to, [Page 434] and by the earnest desire of his sickly mother, whom he thought it unfilial to leave under the circumstances. He had been advised that no objection could properly be made to his stay for at least two years. He had, however, now received, under date of March 31, 1885, a notice from the local authorities ordering him to leave the country within seven days, on pain of expulsion. There was no statement of any disorderly conduct. Under these circumstances it was hoped that the foreign office would be pleased to cause orders to be sent to suspend the order until an inquiry could be made into the facts. It was hardly necessary to call attention to the hardships of such an order applied to a citizen of the United States who had embarked in business in aid of an aged parent, on faith of his rights under the treaty while he continued to comply with the laws of the country of his residence. In conclusion, such prompt action and ultimate order as justice and right should require were requested. Golly was, on the same day (April 6), informed of the action which the legation had taken in his behalf.
Under date of April 14 the foreign office informed the legation that a suspension of the measure of expulsion had been ordered, pending the investigation of the case. On the day of the receipt of the above communication, the legation notified Golly of the suspension of the order of expulsion, and, in reply, was thanked by him for its action, under date of April 19. Some correspondence with Golly, touching the progress of his case, ensued, and on May 14 a communication was received from the foreign office, dated May 12, making known to the legation the decision reached in the case.
After some preliminary statements of facts, which tallied with those made by Golly the legation was informed that he had returned to his widowed mother at Felleringen, on the 1st of January, 1884, and had remained there ever since. The mother possessed a not inconsiderable fortune, and carried on a grocery business at Felleringen, the management of which she had for some time past intrusted almost exclusively to her son. Under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that Golly himself had not denied to the German authorities that he had returned to Alsace-Lorraine to reside there permanently, the rules obtaining in Alsace-Lorraine, with respect to persons who have emigrated from there in order to evade military duty, were applied to his case, and he had been expelled from that country by an order of the district president at Colmar, dated March 19, 1885. The execution of the measure had been postponed by the district president until May 7 for the reason that Golly, after receiving the order, had made the declaration that he would probably make application to have Alsace-Lorraine allegiance bestowed upon him. In case he should not apply for renaturalization the expulsion could not be dispensed with, since it would have to be assumed, in accordance with the state of the case, that Golly had only emigrated in order to avoid military duty. The legation at once notified Golly of the decision in his case, sending him a copy of the communication from the foreign office, and, in dispatch No. 261, of May 16, 1885, reported the case, with correspondence, to the Department of State. Nothing further was heard at the legation of Golly, and it is presumed that he has sought renaturalization in Germany.
(123) Meyer Gad.—Born in Russian Poland; emigrated to the United States from the province of Posen, in Prussia, in 1879; naturalized September 30, 1884.
After some preliminary correspondence between the legation and Gad, and the legation and the American consul at Breslau, in Prussia, the legation was, on April 20, 1885, placed by Gad in possession of the necessary details in the case, and on the same day presented the following statements and complaint of Gad to the foreign office: Gad, then being a Russian subject, emigrated to the United States in 1879, from which time he had there resided until his recent return to Prussia on a visit, and to dispose of business. He had been naturalized in the United States in due form of law, as appeared by his certificate dated September 30, 1884. He had been ordered to leave Kempen (his place of sojourn in Prussia) prior to his emigration, solely on the ground of his being a Russian subject, no offense being charged against him. His object now was to sell some property belonging to him at or near Kempen, and then to return with his family to the United States for permanent residence. It was now reported to the legation that the Landrath of the district had ordered him to leave,’ without special cause therefor, before the 4th of May, prior to which time he would not be able to complete the disposition of his property. It had always been his intention to return to the United States in August next. Under these circumstances it was hoped that the German Government would find it just to give him the benefits of the treaty, and to direct the local authorities to allow him to complete his lawful business in Prussia, so long as he was obedient to the laws. It was requested that the order of expulsion complained of might be suspended pending an investigation of the facts, and that, if these were found to be correctly stated, an order might be issued in compliance with the complainant’s request. Gad’s certificate of naturalization was inclosed as evidence of his nationality, with the request for its ultimate return. Gad was, on the same day, April 20, 1885, informed of the action taken in his behalf.
Under date of April 24 the legation was informed by the foreign office that an investigation of the ease had been ordered, the result of which would be duly communicated. [Page 435] On the 16th of June following, some correspondence relating to the progress of the case having ensued between the legation and Gad, the foreign office communicated the result of the investigation made, which showed that the former Russian subject, Meyer Gad, had been expelled from Prussia in the year 1878, after having been discharged from the service of a merchant, Bloch, at Kempen, at that time his master, for several dishonest acts. He had thereupon gone to Austria and then to America, where he had acquired citizenship. As he had never been a German subject, the treaty of February 22, 1868, could not apply to his case. After an application made in 1882 by the wife of Gad, residing at Kempen, for permission for her husband to sojourn there, had been refused, the latter had himself appeared at Kempen, at the beginning of February last, with the purpose of settling there. He was told that he must leave Prussia within six weeks. With this order he had not complied, and later on, in a communication addressed to the Landrath at Kempen, he declared that it was his purpose to commence a business at that place, with a capital of 10,000 marks, which he claimed to possess. From this it would appear, contrary to the assumption contained in the note of the legation, that he had not in reality had even the intention of returning to America.
Although, in general, sojourn in the German Empire, in so far as particular reasons to the contrary might not exist, was permitted to the citizens of the United States, as also to other foreigners, the Royal Prussian minister of the interior was nevertheless of the opinion that the measure of expulsion adopted against Gad before his naturalization as an American citizen must be maintained, and the more for the reason that his personality and past history would not seem to justify exceptional considerations for his wishes. The foreign office expressed regret that Gad’s request could not under existing circumstances be complied with.
On June 19 the legation informed Gad of the decision reached in his case, inclosing to him at the same time a copy of the communication conveying that decision. Gad wrote to the legation on the 23d of June, thanking it for its effort in his behalf, and requesting the return of his passport, which was immediately sent to him.
Under date of June 22, 1885, the legation reported the case, with the correspondence with the foreign office, to the Department of State. On July 9 the Department acknowledged the receipt of the dispatch, stating, after various comments on the case, that it did not appear that objection could be made to the German Government’s refusal to receive back to the scene of his alleged former misconduct Meyer Gad, who appeared to have been Russian by allegiance of birth, American by allegiance of naturalization, Austrian by allegiance of residence, and German, if he could be, by allegiance of personal election, adding that there was no treaty that covered Gad’s case, since he was not a German by origin, but the subject by origin of Russia.
(124) Frank Buddack.—Born at Brückenkopf, Prussia, August 3, 1859; emigrated to the United States in June, 1877; naturalized February 6, 1885.
On April 25, 1885, a communication was received from Buddack, in which he informed the legation that he had been arrested and compelled to pay a fine for violation of military duty, and asked that intervention might be made in his behalf. The legation at once replied to his letter, inclosing the customary military case form, to be filled in with the necessary details and returned. This form having been duly returned on April 30, the legation on the same day submitted the following statements and complaint of Buddack to the foreign office (after first reciting the facts as to birth, emigration, and naturalization, as above stated): Buddack had returned to Germany in April, 1885, to make a visit of six months to his relatives, having procured return steamship tickets for himself and wife. On the 23d of that month he was arrested at Nakel, and under judgment of the Landgericht at Schneidemühl, dated June 25, 1880, was compelled to pay a fine of 150 marks, under penalty of being imprisoned for a period of four weeks. It was hoped that the foreign office would kindly cause an early investigation to be made in the case, and the fine paid to be returned, if the facts were found to be as stated. In conclusion, Buddack’s certificate of naturalization, and his receipt for the amount of the fine, were inclosed, with a request for their ultimate return.
On the 2d of May the legation informed Buddack of the action it had taken in his behalf. Under date of May 7, 1885, the foreign office acknowledged the receipt of the note of the legation, and stated that an investigation had been ordered, the result of which would be communicated to the legation.
After some correspondence between the legation and Buddack relating to the progress made in the case, and to the purpose of Buddack to return to the United States at an early day, a note was received from the foreign office on August 7, informing the legation that the necessary steps had been taken for the remission of Buddack’s fine and the return of his papers. The legation at once notified Buddack of this fact, and at the same time sent his papers back to him. Finally, under date of September 17, 1885, the foreign office informed the legation that the fine had been repaid. This intelligence was immediately conveyed to Buddack who has not since been heard from at this legation, and who has probably returned to the United States.[Page 436]
(125) Rudolph Lieffert.—Born at Soest, Prussia, in 1867; emigrated to the United States at the age of two years, where his father became naturalized March 1, 1883, during the son’s minority.
On May 6, 1885, Lieffert appealed to the legation to intervene in his behalf, and on same day the legation submitted the following statements and complaint made by him to the foreign office: In the year 1869 Lieffert, then two years old, having been born at Soest, Prussia, in 1867, emigrated with his father to the United States, where the father became a citizen, and where he still resided. At the age of ten years Lieffert was sent by his father to Germany to visit his grandparents, and to acquire an education, and had resided with them at Magdeburg for the last five years. The object of his visit having been accomplished, his father had recalled him to his home in Brooklyn, N. Y. Furnished with papers for his journey to the united States, which, as the legation was informed, were considered sufficient for the purpose by the authorities at Magdeburg, Lieffert was about to depart on the steamship Polaria, sailing from Hamburg on the 1st of May, when he was arrested on the suspicion of attempting to evade military duty in Prussia. His money and papers were taken from him and not returned, and he was not released from confinement until a relation had furnished security on the following day. He was thus deprived of the use of his baggage, which remained on the steamship which had already sailed, and he was not permitted to leave Hamburg. He was compelled to rely on his relations there for his support, and he represented his condition to be one of great distress. The legation hoped that the foreign office would have the kindness, in view of the urgency of the case, and if the facts, on investigation, were found to be as stated, to cause the speedy discontinuance of the proceedings taken against Lieffert. On the same day, May 6, 1885, the legation informed Lieffert of the action taken in his behalf, promised to advise him of the result of the same when reached, and advised him to apply, through the American consulate at Hamburg, for a passport, as his arrest had probably been owing to his lack of a document sufficiently attesting his American nationality.
Under date of the 11th of May the foreign office informed the legation that immediate steps had been taken to cause an investigation to be made of the case. On the 23d of June following the legation received a communication from Lieffert informing it that, after a relative had furnished security for his return to Magdeburg, his effects had been restored to him, and he had returned there to await the arrival from America of his father’s certificate of naturalization for which he had written, and which had now been received. He also asked to be informed in what manner he could secure an American passport. He was at once instructed by the legation on this point. On the 6th of June he appeared in person at the legation, and stated that his difficulties with the Hamburg authorities had been satisfactorily settled. He applied for a passport, received the same, and proceeded to Hamburg and the United States. His case has thus been practically adjusted, although no final communication on the subject has as yet been received by the legation from the foreign office.
(126) David Lemberger (2d case).—Born in the United States, July 28, 1862, as the son of a citizen of German birth, M. H. Lemberger, who was naturalized March 23, 1860.
The legation had already once intervened in behalf of Lemberger to obtain his relrase from military service, and a successful result had been attained. (See case No. 115.)
After some correspondence with the American consulate at Stuttgart, concerning threats made by the local authorities to Lemberger that he would be expelled from the country unless he became naturalized in Germany, the legation was, on June 3, 1885, informed that this alternative had been definitively presented to him. The case was submitted to the foreign office on the following day. Attention was called to the circumstance that the German Government had recently, at the instance of the legation, caused his name to be stricken from the army rolls. The facts as to his birth and the nationality of himself and father, as presented to the foreign office in a former cote from the legation, were recapitulated, and the foreign office was further informed that, while residing at. Rexingen, in Wurtemberg, and conducting himself, so far as the legation was aware, in a peaceful and law-abiding manner, Lemberger had been notified by the local authorities, under date of May 28th last, that he must acquire German allegiance by the 11th of June following, under penalty of expulsion. The legation expressed the hope that an early investigation of the case might be made, and that the measures taken against Lemberger might be discontinued. Lemberger was at once informed that intervention had been made in his behalf. The foreign office, in reply, informed the legation, on July 13, 1885, that several extensions of time in which to make his election had been granted to Lemberger, the last being to the 20th of July; that it could not advise the authorities at Wurtemberg to withdraw the order against Lemberger; that those authorities had felt impelled to adopt that measure for the reason that he belonged to the class of persons who employ their foreign allegiance simply for the purpose of evading military service in Germany, referring [Page 437] in this connection to certain occurrences and principles discussed in the notes from the foreign office, dated April 26 and May 16, 1885 (see case No. 119, Ferdinand Revermann). This decision was at once communicated to Lemberger, and, under date of July 16, 185, the case was fully reported by the legation to the Department of State, in dispatch No. 36. In reply thereto a communication was received from the Department, making inquiries as to the time of the return of Lemberger’s father to Germany, the present residence of father and son, and the action taken by them since the communication to the son of the decision reached in his case.
After making an investigation as to such of these facts as were not already known to it, the legation informed the Department, in dispatch No. 55, of August 31, 1885, that Moses Lemberger, the father, had returned to Germany in 1875, and had ever since been engaged in business at Rexingen, in Wurtemberg; that both father and son still resided there; that the father was looking for a place at which his son could acquire German allegiance on the cheapest terms; and that citizenship at Münster, in Wurtemberg, had been promised the son.
(127) C. L. George (unfinished).
(128) Jacob Wilhelm Thraenert.—Under date of August 18, 1885, one Kobolke, a German subject, wrote to the legation, informing it that his nephew, Jacob W. Thraenert, a native citizen of the United States, sojourning in Berlin, bad been ordered to leave the country. In reply, he was requested to come with his nephew to the legation to furnish it with the necessary details in the case. This he did, and on August 22, 1885, the legation submitted the following statements and complaint of Thraenert to the foreign office: Jacob W. Thraenert, a native-born citizen of the United States, had been required to leave Prussia within fourteen days from the 14th of August. His father, Heinrich Thraenert, emigrated in 1854 to the United States, and in due time became a naturalized citizen there. He resided at Aurora, in the State of Indiana, where his son, Jacob Wilhelm, was born on the 18th day of January, 1865. The father died at Aurora in 1873, and two years later the son came to Germany in company with his mother, who had since married again. He had lived in several places in Saxony, and in each had practiced his trade as a basket-maker, first as apprentice and afterwards as workman (gehül e). Some eight weeks ago he had come to Prussia and to Berlin, where he was then working at his trade with the basket-maker O. Fiebig, and contributing from his earnings to the support of his uncle, Adolph Kobolke, residing in Berlin, and a native-born subject of Prussia, whose allegiance had never been abandoned. The testimonials which Thraenert held from his former employers showed him to be an industrious, faithful, and orderly person, and it was understood that his present employer concurred in this testimony. He had some time ago received from his elder brother, a native of the United States, living in Texas, money to pay the expenses of his return to America, and he would have returned at that time but for the fact that, without his fault or connivance, the money was lost to him. He had never abandoned his citizenship or residence in the United States, and intended to return there. When, in obedience to a summons, he appeared at the office of the chief of police, no other reason for the order expelling him was given than that he was a foreigner. In view of the rapid approach of the day designated for his departure, the hope was expressed that the foreign office would cause an early investigation of the case to be made, and the order to be revoked upon verification of the alleged facts. In conclusion, it was requested that Thraenert’s certificate of birth and the order for his expulsion, which were inclosed, might be ultimately returned.
Under date of September 13, 185, the legation received a note from the foreign office, of the following import: Thraenert had, under a judgment of the schöffen court, at Döbeln, Saxony, dated May 9, 1885, been sentenced to and had suffered an imprisonment of ten days. On the ground of this punishment the police president had, on the 14th ultimo decreed Thraenert’s expulsion. As the sojourn in Prussia of foreigners who had been punished was, on principle, not permitted, the appropriate authorities had not found themselves in a position to direct the revocation of the order of expulsion issued against Thraenert. The legation at once wrote to the basket-maker, Fiebig, requesting him to bring Thraenert to the legation to learn the result of the investigation of his case, made by the foreign office.
On the 23 of September Thraenert called at the legation, asked for the return of his papers, and stated that he had been verbally informed by a police officer that he might remain in Berlin. This permission was, as the sequel showed, erroneously understood by Thraenert to mean that the order for his expulsion had been wholly withdrawn. It was, no doubt, intended to operate only until the police should receive definite instructions from the higher authorities. The legation informed Thraenert of the contents of the communication received from the foreign office in his case, and returned his papers. On the 21st of October, Thraenert returned again to the legation, and presented a notification in writing from the police president, reiterating the earlier verbal order of expulsion, and informing him that he must leave Prussia within fourteen days of the date of the service of the document, under penalty [Page 438] of forcible expulsion. He said he was quite willing to go, provided he could procure in time the money necessary to defray his traveling expenses to America.
From the statements made to the legation by Thraenert, and by his master, the basket-master, it appeared that the offense committed was technical rather than real. He, and other young men, had been summoned or permitted to assist in extinguishing a fire that had broken out in an inn in a small town in Saxony. With the consent of the owner of the inn, some of the young men thus assisting, Thraenert not being of the number, brought up from the cellar some beer for the refreshment of the party, and brought with it, but without the owner’s consent, some wine. Thraenert’s offense, as alleged, consisted only in partaking of this wine, which he drank on the spot. The legation was favorably impressed by the appearance and demeanor of young Thraenert, and was assured by his uncle and by his master that he was of good moral character and not capable of willfulinjury to any one.