No. 500.

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Taft.

No. 21.]

Sir: I inclose a copy of a letter from Hon. Felix Campbell, M. C., and of the statement of Mr. Israel Müller, which he transmits touching his arrest recently in Russia.

Mr. Müller, who is an American citizen, was professedly arrested because he had abandoned Russian allegiance without permission, a penal offense, you are aware, under Russian law.

It is probable, also, that he is a Jew, an£ his case may have been affected by that circumstance, and in this connection you are referred to previous correspondence in cases of that class, on the files of the legation.

I conclude that the matter was not brought at the time to the notice of the legation. Please report in this regard, and state your conclusions as to whether any way is open to obtain redress in this case, or to prevent the recurrence of such cases.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 21.]

Mr. Campbell to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: I beg leave to ask your careful consideration of the inclosed narrative of Israel Müller, in whose case I feel deeply interested.

Will you please let me know at your convenience what steps you may decide upon taking in this matter and oblige,

Yours, &c.,

[Page 659]
[Inclosure 1 in inclosure in No. 21.]

Mr. Müller to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: I inclose a sworn narrative of the indignity and outrage put upon me by the Russian Government on a recent visit to Russia armed with a passport of the United States. I ask you respectfully to take such action in the premises as you shall deem proper.

Any further information desired I will cheerfully furnish if required.

Yours, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in inclosure in No. 21.]

Affidavit of Israel Müller.

State of New York,
City of Brooklyn, County of Kings, ss:

Israel Müller, of the said city of Brooklyn, being duly sworn, says: I now reside at No. 440 Fifth avenue, in the city of Brooklyn, county of Kings and State of New York. I am a citizen of the United States, and was naturalized in the city of Brooklyn aforesaid on the 4th day of November, 1865, as will appear by the certificate thereof annexed hereto. I am the Israel Müller therein named and described. I was born in Pabianicie in the state of Prerkoff, in the Empire of Russia, on the 30th day of November, 1831. I emigrated from Russia, and came to reside in the United States, in the city of Brooklyn aforesaid, and arrived at the city of New York on October 22, 1859. I have since that time continuously to the present time been a resident of the said city of Brooklyn. A short time prior to January 8, 1885, I had determined on again visiting my native land, and had, with a view thereto, applied for and obtained a passport under the hand and seal of the Secretary of State of the United States, dated on or about the said 8th day of January, 1885. Having the same in my possession, I embarked at New York City for Antwerp upon the steamship Westernland on the 24th day of January, 1885. I arrived at Antwerp in eleven days, going thence from Antwerp to Cologne, which I reached on the following day; thence to Berlin and to Pabianicie, in Russia, aforesaid, in two days. I there remained at my father’s house. My father’s home is at Pabianicie, and his name is Isaac Müller.

On or about the 7th day of February, 1885, at said Pabianicie, at about 7 o’clock in the evening, I was summoned to appear at the office of the mayor of Pabianicie, aforesaid, by an officer of police, with a warrant for my arrest. Having reached the mayor’s office I demanded of the mayor upon what charge I was arrested. Turning to a book, the mayor asked me if I were Israel Müller, born at Pabianicie. I replied that I was. He asked me if I had renounced my allegiance to Russia, and taken allegiance to any other power. I replied that I had. He then directed an officer to detain me over night at the city hall at said place. Remonstrating, I said that I was an American citizen, produced my passport, and demanded the cause of my arrest again. The mayor replied: “It is because you are an American citizen that you are arrested.” He refused to return my passport, nor have I ever recovered the same. I was conducted to a room in said city hall and kept confined as a prisoner for nineteen hours. On the following day I was taken to the county seat, a place called “Lask,” before Judge Niekenstiek. The same charge was made, but my remonstrances were without avail. I had offered bail for my appearance at Pabianicie, but it was refused. At Lask, in consideration of the payment of 300 rubles, I was permitted to furnish bail, my brothers-in-law going upon my bond. Returning to Pabianicie I was at once taken sick from shock, excitement and from rheumatism and pneumonia, contracted during my confinement. I was attended daily by a physician, and was subjected to police surveillance and inspection. I made repeated requests to see the American consul, but was refused. At the end of four weeks I had recovered, and effected my escape from Russia by way of Germany. The manner of my escape and the persons who aided me in making it I do not desire to disclose, except that it may be necessary for the Department of State, as the publication would involve those persons in trouble, arrest, and prosecution. I returned to the United States on the 9th day of April, 1885. I was charged with no crime or misconduct while in Russia, and during the whole time of arrest and imprisonment I constantly protested that I had committed no crime or done no wrong.


Notary Public, Kings County.
[Page 660]
[Inclosure 3 in inclosure in No. 21.]

County court, Kings County.

certificate of naturalization, united states of america.

State of New York,
County of Kings, ss:

Be it remembered, that at a term of the county court of Kings County, held in and for the county of Kings, at the court-house in the city of Brooklyn, on the 4th day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, Israel Müller, residing within the city of Brooklyn, in said county, appeared in his own proper person, in the county court aforesaid (said court being a court of record, having common-law jurisdiction and a seal and clerk), and applied to the said court to be admitted to become a citizen of the United States of America, pursuant to the provisions of the statutes of the United States of America, and the said applicant having thereupon produced to the court such evidence, made such declaration and renunciation, and taken such oath as is by said statutes required, and the court being satisfied that the said applicant was a proper person to be admitted to citizenship, it was ordered by the said court that the said applicant be admitted, and he was accordingly admitted by the said court to be a citizen of the United States of America.