No. 6.

Mr. Francis to Mr. Frelinghuysen .

No. 53.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of communications transmitted by me to the Imperial and Royal minister of foreign affairs and translations of notes from Count Szögyényi in response thereto, together with some accompanying papers, in regard to the arrest by the military authorities at Krakau of Louis Feinknopf, a citizen of the United [Page 6] States, with a view of exacting from him service in the Imperial and Royal army.

The case may be stated as follows: Feinknopf, born at Krakau, Galicia, in 1860; emigrated to the United States in 1876; naturalized and declared a citizen of the United States April 3, 1882, by the United States district court for the southern district of Ohio; subsequently established residence in New York City; for first time since emigration visited his native place, Krakau, arriving there October 20, 1884; summoned by military authorities of that place to report for duty in the Imperial and Royal army October 23; claimed exemption from such service on ground of his United States citizenship, and in evidence thereof presented his certificate of naturalization; permitted to visit Vienna 26th of October to confer with United States minister, in whose hands he placed certificate of naturalization and other papers establishing facts as above stated.

In interview with Baron Pasetti, at foreign office, on the subject, October 27, I presented to him the papers bearing conclusive evidence in this case, and said that, in a matter so clear as to exemption from military conscription under the treaty of 1870 between the United States and Austria-Hungary, I hoped instructions would be promptly communicated to the proper authorities at Krakau to release Feinknopf from arrest as one owing service in the Imperial Royal army, and to erase his name from the rolls as owing such service. October 28, I addressed a note to Baron Pasetti, copy of which is herewith inclosed, carefully recapitulating the facts, and earnestly repeating this request. In an interview with him at the foreign office November 7, I called his attention to the fact that I had received no reply to my note of October 28, as above, and said that delay in this matter was embarrassing. He replied that the subject had been referred to the proper department and he would request a prompt decision thereon. Hearing nothing further on the subject, I addressed a second note to Baron Pasetti, November 21, copy of which is inclosed, pointing out that continued delay involved hardship and injustice toward a citizen of the United States who was entitled, under treaty obligations, to prompt release from the claim made upon him by the military authorities at Krakau. On the same day I had a personal interview with Count Szögyényi, first chief of section, ministry of foreign affairs, and presented to him Feinknopf’s naturalization certificate and other papers. He said there had been delay in this case because of unavoidable circumstances, but it should now have prompt attention. Still the delay was prolonged, and meantime Feinknopf wrote me that he was obliged to conceal himself at Krakau to avoid being forced into the army. November 29 I received first note from foreign office on this subject, translation of which is inclosed, saying the matter had been referred to the ministry of public defense with request of urgency. December 5 I again pressed Count Szögyényi in personal interview for a decision in the case. He replied that he was doing all that was possible to hasten this result, which could not be much longer delayed. I said to him that the proofs being conclusive it would seem that the relief to which Feinknopf was entitled should at once be granted to him.

The count replied that “we at the foreign office have to work through the ministry of war, and there is the delay.” I answered that I could only know the Imperial Royal Government in the premises as it was represented at the foreign office, and that I believed the war department did not make treaties. I was reassured that no effort would be spared to hasten a satisfactory conclusion of the question. But no result [Page 7] having yet been announced, I addressed a third note on the subject to Count Szögyényi, dated December 16, copy of which is inclosed, urging that answer be made to my request, and setting forth reasons which it seemed to me should have prevailing weight. Still no decision came, and on December 23 I again called upon Count Szögyényi, and immediately on meeting him he exclaimed: “This case of Feinknopf’s has given me more trouble than any affair I have had to deal with at the foreign office.” He said with emphasis that the ministry of foreign affairs agreed with me as to facts and conclusions, and that Feinknopf could not be held to serve in the Imperial Royal army, but it had been assumed elsewhere that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant his discharge. He then requested me to furnish him with Feinknopf’s naturalization certificate, which had been previously examined by both Baron Pasetti and himself and returned to me, saying he feared it had been their mistake not to have taken this certificate for the information of the ministry of war in the beginning. I handed him the paper, remarking that while recognizing his excellent intentions in dealing with the subject under consideration, I must respectfully insist upon an answer to my request in behalf of Feinknopf.

His excellency declared there could not be much longer delay. December 28 I received a note from Count Szögyényi (translation of which is inclosed), stating that delay was caused by objections of the Imperial Royal commander of the respective army corps, and that Feinknopf’s naturalization certificate (which had been presented by me at foreign office for information and use, if required, October 28, and on several subsequent occasions, and always returned after observation until December 23, when Count Szögyényi retained it, as mentioned above) would likely be the means of bringing the whole affair “to a speedy and favorable decision.” Delay still continued, however, and on 8th January, in interview at foreign office, I again earnestly pressed Count Szögyényi for quick decision, saying that such delay seemed unjustifiable. He replied that “we at the foreign office are doing all we can to hasten the decision.” Receiving intelligence from Krakau January 10, that Feinknopf had been arrested, placed in the barracks, and impressed into service as a common soldier, I addressed a note, January 10, to Count Szögyényi, copy of which is inclosed, strongly protesting in behalf of my Government against this proceeding, and requesting that Feinknopf be promptly relieved from his practical imprisonment.

January 10th I received a note from Count Szögyényi, translation of which is inclosed, announcing that the Imperial Royal military commander at Krakau had been ordered by telegraph to grant a furlough to Feinknopf, pending decision of the case. January 10th I sent a note to Count Szögyényi, copy inclosed, acknowledging above, and insisting that the discharge be unconditional. January 12th a note was addressed by me, copy inclosed, to same, with telegram from Feinknopf’s mother at Krakau of same date, stating that her son had not been furloughed. January 13th I received a note from Count Szögyényi, copy inclosed, stating that he had received a communication from the Imperial Royal ministry of war to the effect that an order had been sent by telegraph to the military authorities at Krakau, 9th instant, to liberate Feinknopf on furlough immediately.

January 14th note from same was received by me (copy inclosed), stating on authority of the Imperial Royal ministry of war that Feinknopf was liberated on furlough 9th instant, “As I was convinced from the beginning,” says Count Szögyényi. January 20th sent a note to the latter in reply (copy inclosed), with letter from Feinknopf, showing that [Page 8] he was arrested and placed in barracks January 8th, and was held as a common soldier until January 13th, when he was released on furlough, not “immediately”on 9th, as his excellency had been erroneously informed, also repeating, with earnest urgency, my request that he be discharged unconditionally from all claim to service in the Imperial Royal army January 22nd I received a note from Count Szögyényi (translation inclosed), announcing that the Imperial Royal ministry of public defense had, on the evidence presented, ordered the discharge of Louis Feinknopf “from the military service, by virtue of articles 1 and 2 of the treaty of September 20th, 1870.”

February 2nd I transmitted a note to Count Szögyényi (copy inclosed), acknowledging receipt of above, and informing his excellency that a letter received by me from Feinknopf declares that on 30th January he was informed at office of military authorities at Krakau the order for his discharge had just been received, and that five days more would elapse before the certificate could he delivered to him.

In this communication I also referred to the embarrassing delay in the decision of the case as attributable to no omission of mine in furnishing complete evidence from the beginning of Feinknopf’s exemption under the treaty from military service in the Imperial Royal army, and to correct erroneous inference that might possibly be drawn from his excellency’s allusion in his note of December 28th, to the naturalization certificate as having been left by me at the foreign office a few days prior to that time.

From this detailed statement and the accompanying correspondence, to which latter I invite your attention, it will be seen that for a period of nearly three months Louis Feinknopf, a citizen of the United States, owing no service to the Austro-Hungarian Government, nor accused of any crime, was subjected to annoyance and persecution, and finally to a deprivation of his personal liberty, by the military authorities at Krakau, unchecked by governmental power until the period of his release on furlough, January 13th, and his unconditional discharge as subsequently ordered, but which had not been executed up to January 30th; this, too, in violation of treaty obligations and after the facts and evidence were laid before the ministry of foreign affairs, proving that the military proceedings against him would involve a violation of the treaty of 1870, with resulting assault upon the personal liberty of a citizen of the United States. The ministry of foreign affairs never expressed any doubt as to Feinknopf’s exemption from military duty here under treaty; in personal interviews the fact was conceded. The unjustifiable delay which permitted the wrong to be done, with the aggravation of forcible arrest and impressment into service while the case was pending, was no doubt owing to the obstruction of military authority. But governments make treaties and are bound in good faith to execute the solemn agreements, allowing no departments within their own organization to retard or defeat their provisions to the injury of persons or property. It has occurred to me that, referring to this case as an example, it might be expedient for the Department, in the interest of American citizenship, to remind the Government of Austria-Hungary that such delay and wrongful proceedings as have characterized this case are inadmissible and afford reasons for serious protest. Awaiting instruction on this head, if instruction is deemed advisable by the Department.

I have, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Page 9]
[Inclosure in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Baron Pasetti .

Your Excellency: Referring to my interview with your excellency, yesterday afternoon, relative to an American citizen, one Louis Feinknopf (Leibel being the Hebrew rendering of the name Louis), who has been notified by the military authorities at Krakau to report for service in the Austrian army, I have the honor to submit the facts in the case for the consideration of your excellency.

Leibel (or Louis) Feinknopf was born at Krakau on the 2d of January, 1860. His father, Markus Feinknopf, died many years ago. His mother, a widow, still resides at the old home in Krakau. In September, 1876, being then sixteen years of age, Leibel (or Louis) Feinknopf emigrated to the United States, no one of his family accompanying him. Nearly six years thereafter—his residence being continuous in that country from the period of his arrival there—he was naturalized and declared to be a citizen of the United States, by the district court of the United States for the southern district of Ohio, on the 3d of April, 1882.

On Monday, October 20, Leibel (or Louis) Feinknopf arrived at his native place (Krakau) from America, for the purpose of visiting his mother and other relatives. On the 23d of October he was notified by the military authorities at Krakau to appear and report for service in the Austrian army. He answered the summons, protesting, however, that as an American citizen he owed no such service, and requesting that he be permitted to visit Vienna to confer with the United States minister there in a matter so vitally affecting his rights.

The permission was promptly granted, and Feinknopf reported tome at this legation, yesterday morning, October 27.

I have presented to your excellency, in brief, a statement of the facts in this case. The question now recurs, can the American citizen Feinknopf be properly held for service in the Austrian army?. I think the treaty of 1870 between the United States and Austria-Hungary should settle this question. Article I, of that treaty, reads as follows:

“Citizens of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, who have resided in the United States of America uninterruptedly at least five years, and during such residence have become naturalized citizens of the United States, shall be held by the Government of Austria and Hungary to be American citizens, and shall be treated as such.

It will be conceded, I think, that Feinknopf has met all the conditions for admission to American citizenship above set forth, and must therefore be recognized as a citizen of the United States under the terms of Article I of the treaty.

But being an American citizen can he still be held for military service in his native country? In answer to this, the vital question in the case, I beg leave to call your excellency’s attention to Article II of the treaty:

“In particular, a former citizen of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, who, under the first article, is to be held as an American citizen, is liable to trial and punishment, according to the laws of Austro-Hungary, for non-fulfillment of military duty.

  • “(1) If he has emigrated after having been drafted at the time of conscription, and thus having become enrolled as a recruit for service in the standing army.
  • “(2) If he has emigrated whilst he stood in service under the flag or had a leave of absence only for a limited time.
  • “(3) If, having a leave of absence for an unlimited time, or belonging to the reserve or to the militia, he has emigrated after having received a call into service, or after a public proclamation requiring his appearance, or after war has broken out.”

“On the other hand, a former citizen of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, naturalised in the United States, who by or after his emigration has transgressed the legal provisions on military duty by any acts or omissions other than those above enumerated in the clauses numbered 1, 2, and 3, can on his return to his original country neither be held subsequently to military duty nor remain liable to trial and punishment for the non-fulfillment of his military duty.

It does not appear that Leibel (or Louis) Feinknopf “has transgressed the legal provisions on military duty by any acts or omissions enumerated in the clauses numbered 1, 2, and 3; and this being conceded he cannot be held here (quoting the language of the treaty) to military service nor remain liable to trial and punishment for non-fulfillment of his military duty.”

In this connection the undersigned begs leave to call your excellency’s attention to a case almost exactly similar to this one, which was presented by Mr. Phelps in a note from this legation to His Excellency Count Kalnoky, F. O. No. 23, of the date of June 3, 1882, and the reply thereto by Count Szögyényi for the minister of foreign affairs, [Page 10] 18637/7 dated October 6, 1882, wherein it is announced that the sentence passed upon the persons named, Leeb and Jacob Mörser, American citizens, has been repealed, and that they were discharged, their case coming under the provisions of Article II of the treaty of September 20, 1870, by which they were exempted from military service in the Austrian army.

Your excellency will observe by reference to this case as above that the decision arrived at applies to the one to which I now urgently call your attention.

The undersigned claims in behalf of Leibel (or Louis) Feinknopf exemption from military service in the imperial royal army under the provisions of the treaty of September 20, 1870, and respectfully requests that instructions be communicated by the Government of his Imperial Majesty to the military authorities at Krakau to discharge the said Feinknopf from arrest and discontinue all proceeding intended to exact from him service in the Imperial Royal army.

The undersigned avails, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Baron Pasetti .

Your Excellency: Referring to my note F. O. 11, of the date of October 28, 1884, relating to the case of Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf, an American citizen, who has been summoned by the military authorities at Krakau to report for assignment to duty in the Austrian army, I have the honor to state that so far he has received no notification assuring him exemption from his service to which he is entitled under the treaty of 1870 between the United States and Austria-Hungary, and he writes me, under date of November 19, that the summons is still held as binding upon him.

I again earnestly invoke the attention of your excellency to this subject as one that concerns the personal liberty and rights of a citizen of the United States. If the representation of this case as made by me is an accurate statement of the facts, as I think it is, Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf is no more subject to conscription for service in the Austrian army than any native citizen of the United States would be on visiting this country, and it would seem that he should be promptly relieved from arrest and his name erased from the military roll.

I need not say, what will readily occur to your excellency, that for a period of four weeks he has been subjected to anxiety and inconvenience in consequence of the proceedings of the military authorities at Krakau against him, and very properly he asks that in his behalf there may be accorded the protection assured him as an American citizen under solemn treaty obligations.

Respectfully requesting reply to my communication of October 28 on this subject, an answer to this note as soon as may be convenient to your excellency,

I have, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 53.—Translation.]

Count Szögyényi to Mr. Francis .

Referring to the esteemed note of the 21st instant, F. O. No. 13, I have the honor to inform the honorable John M. Francis, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, that I have immediately transmitted the documents concerning the case of Louis Feinknopf to the Imperial Royal ministry of public defense with the request that, as the matter was urgent, the decision might be sent in the briefest possible time.

The undersigned embraces this occasion to renew to the honorable envoy of the United States of North America the expression of his high esteem.

For the minister of foreign affairs.

SZÖGYÉNYI
[Page 11]
[Inclosure 4 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Count Szögyényi .

Your Excellency: Referring to my notes, numbered 11 and 13, of the dates of October 28 and November 21, respectively, and the note of your excellency numbered 27180/7, dated November 29, treating of the case of an American citizen, Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf, who was summoned in October last by the military authorities at Krakau to report for duty in a regiment to which he had been assigned, I now beg leave to state that, in my notes referred to, together with memoranda on the subject handed by me to your excellency on the 28th of November, namely: (1) Certificate of the birth of the said Feinknopf; (2) notarial certificate showing the year when he emigrated to the United States, and (3) the summons served upon him by the military authorities at Krakau, the evidence is presented that under the treaty of 1870 the American citizen, Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf, cannot be held to do military duty for Austria-Hungary, and I therefore requested that he be relieved from arrest and his name be stricken from the military roll at Krakau.

The case appeared so clear in the light of recent precedent as well as from the evidence presented, that it seemed to me a decision would be arrived at without much delay; but seven weeks have already elapsed since the matter was brought to the attention of his Imperial Royal Majesty’s Government, and I am not yet advised as to its action, if action has been taken by it in the premises. I take the liberty, therefore, of again calling your excellency’s attention to this matter, seeing that further delay may involve serious inconvenience, as to me it will be embarrassing.

I avail myself, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Enclosure 5 in No. 53.—Translation.]

Count Szögyényi to Mr. Francis .

In the matter of Leibel Feinknopf, the Imperial Royal ministry of foreign affairs respectfully begs to convey to the knowledge of the Hon. M. Francis, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, that the Imperial Royal Statthalter (governor of province) at Lemberg has reported by telegraph that the Imperial Royal commander of the respective army corps has raised objections to the discharge of the above named from military service, which will cause a renewal of investigations to which is to be attributed the delay in coming to a decision of the case.

In the mean time the Imperial Royal Statthalter (governor of province) at Lemberg has been put in possession of Leibel Feinkopf’s naturalization certificate, deposited here a few days ago by the honorable envoy of the United States of North America, which document is likely to be the means of bringing the whole affair to a speedy and favorable decision.

The Imperial Royal ministry of foreign affairs, not losing sight of this matter, will do everything in its power to effect an early settlement, and will immediately advise the envoy of the United States of America of such fact.

The undersigned, &c.

For the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

SZÖGYÉNYI.
[Inclosure 6 in No. 53.]

Louis Feinknopf to Mr. Francis .

Sir: I arrived here this morning and was immediately arrested by the authorities at Krakau, forcibly enlisted in the army, and now find myself in their power, without seeing my way out of it, for I am at this very moment at the soldiers’ retreat and in uniform. If there is anything that can be done for me it must be done at once, for I am in great distress and I only look to you for help. The papers which you gave me were taken from me and were not respected.

I pray you to do your utmost, and go in person to the ministry of foreign affairs, show them my dispatch so that the case meets with speedy attention.

Yours &c.,

LOUIS FEINKNOPF.
[Page 12]
[Inclosure 7 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Count Szögyényi .

Your Excellency: Referring to my interview with your excellency on the 8th instant respecting the case of Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf, an American citizen who, in disregard of treaty obligations, has been deprived of his liberty by the military authorities at Krakau, I now desire to enter a formal protest in behalf of my Government against the wrongful action of the Krakau authorities referred to. Their course seems to have been the more indefensible from the fact that many weeks prior to the action complained of the Government of his Imperial Royal Majesty had been fully informed of the status of Feinknopf as an American citizen clearly entitled under the treaty of 1870 to exemption from any military service to the latter power.

In view of information received by me from Krakau this morning to the effect that Feinknopf was, on the 8th instant, forcibly taken to the barracks, compelled to put on the military uniform of a soldier in the ranks, and placed under the strictest surveillance; and furthermore, that, showing to the authority which consigned him to this indignity, a certificate issued by this legation On the previous day, the 8th instant, to the effect that his naturalization certificate and other papers named had been placed in possession of the ministry of foreign affairs and were still held by said ministry, the Krakau authority referred to refused to return the said certificate to Feinknopf on his demand for the same. In view of these facts, and considering also that this citizen of the United States is still held by the military power in deprivation of his liberty, and under the most rigorous supervision as if a prisoner guilty of criminal misdoing, I must earnestly repeat my request that the said Feinknopf be promptly relieved from his practical imprisonment by the military authorities at Krakau, and that his name be stricken from the military roll as owing service in the Imperial Royal army.

Your excellency will permit me the liberty to suggest that this case seems to be one involving the invasion of personal rights, and it will no doubt occur to the mind of your excellency that some explanation of the long delay in its disposition in a form for record would be desirable in the interest of the cordial amity existing between two great and always friendly nations. At the same time I desire to thank your excellency for the earnest personal interest your excellency has from the beginning manifested in this case to secure its satisfactory adjustment.

I avail myself, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Inclosure 8 in No. 53—Translation.]

Count Szögyényi to Mr. Francis .

The imperial royal ministry of foreign affairs, in transmitting herewith the telegram of Leib Feinknopf, of the 8th instant, has the honor of informing Hon. John M. Francis, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, that the imperial royal military commander at Krakau has been ordered by telegraph to furlough the above named, pending the decision of the case.

In view of this fact the imperial royal ministry of foreign affairs reserves to itself the privilege of making further communication to the honorable envoy of the United States as soon as the competent authorities have brought the matter to a decision, which intention had been made known also in the note of the 28th ultimo, No. 29856.

For the minister of foreign affairs.

SZÖGYÉNYI.
[Inclosure 9 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Count Szögyényi .

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the esteemed note, 153/7, of this day’s date, informing me that the military authorities at Krakau had been instructed by telegraphic order to release upon furlough Louis or Liebel Feinknopf, the [Page 13] American citizen who had been consigned to the barracks at that place and put in uniform for service in the imperial royal army, as stated in my communication of this day which had been dispatched when the note of your excellency, as above, was delivered to me.

It is satisfactory to know that Feinknopf has been allowed his liberty pending the decision of his case by the imperial royal government, but it is still important that his rights under the solemn guarantees of treaty shall be promptly and fully recognized to the end that he may have the liberty of action accorded to any citizen of the United States, who, visiting this country, has violated no law of the Imperial Royal Government.

And I have to urge most earnestly that the decision which has beer, so long delayed, to the injury of an American citizen who has been the subject of military prosecution at Krakau, may be rendered at as early a day as possible.

I renew, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Inclosure 10 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Count Szögyényi .

Your Excellency: Referring to your excellency’s note of the 10th instant, No. 153/7, informing me that an order had been sent by telegraph directing the military authorities at Krakau to liberate on furlough the American citizen Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf, pending decision by the Imperial Royal Government upon his case, I now hasten to transmit to your excellency a dispatch received at this legation this evening, by which it appears that up to the time when this dispatch was written (apparently at a late hour this afternoon) Feinknopf had not been granted the furlough as above.

I need scarcely assure your excellency that this delay involves additional embarrassment. To my mind, as I think it must also appear to your excellency, the course of the military authorities at Krakau in this matter seems entirely unjustifiable.

Your excellency will oblige me by returning the inclosed dispatch as convenience may permit.

I have, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Inclosure 11 in No. 53—Translation of telegram.]

Mother of Feinknopf to Mr. Francis .

Up to this hour my son has not been furloughed.

FEINKNOPF.
[Inclosure 12 in No. 53.]

Count Szögyényi to Mr. Francis, January 13, 1885.

Sir: Referring to your note of yesterday, No. F. O. 29, the inclosure of which I have the honor to return to you, I beg to inform you that, having this morning again communicated with the imperial royal ministry of war, I have received the answer that on Friday last, 9th instant, a telegraphic message has been sent to the military authorities at Krakau, ordering them to immediately liberate on furlough Ciebel Feinknopf.

I have, &c.,

SZÖGYÉNYI.

P. S.—I am just informed that the minister of war has to-day telegraphed to Krakau to inquire whether the order given on Friday has been executed. No answer has been received up to this hour. As soon as I receive the answer I shall not fail to transmit it to your excellency.

[Page 14]
[Inclosure 13 in No. 53.]

Count Szögyényi to Mr. Francis .

Sir: I beg to inform you that, according to a communication I have just received from the imperial royal ministry of war, the order given on Friday last to liberate, on furlough, L. Feinknopf, has been, as I was convinced from the beginning, immediately executed by the military authorities at Krakau.

I have, &c.,

SZÖGYÉNYI.
[Inclosure 14 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Count Szögyényi .

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s replies under date of January 13 and January 14, respectively, to my note of the 12th instant (F. O. 29) in regard to the case of Louis (or Leibel) Feinknopf.

In your excellency’s note of January 13 it is stated that the imperial royal ministry of war informed your excellency that “a telegraphic message had been sent to the military authority at Krakau ordering them immediately to liberate on furlough Leibel Feinknopf,” and in your excellency’s note of January 14 it is stated that, according to a communication your excellency had just then received from the imperial royal ministry of war, the order given on Friday, January 9, was “immediately executed by the military authorities at Krakau;” and your excellency remarks in this connection, “as I was convinced from the beginning.”

In regard to the positive statement that Feinknopf was released on furlough Friday, January 9, which statement was undoubtedly founded upon assurance to that effect given by the proper military authority at Krakau, I desire to call the attention of your excellency to the fact that a telegraphic message from the mother of Feinknopf, dated Krakau, January 12, 4.45 p.m., which I inclosed in my note of the same date for your excellency’s observation (since returned to me) declared that up to that hour her son had not been furloughed. This of itself might not be accepted as conclusive proof of the fact, as, receiving his furlough, he might have neglected to inform his mother that he had been released. But this seemed to me improbable, and I hastened to communicate with Feinknopf on the subject. I inclose herewith copy of his reply to my letter of inquiry which, it will be seen, is both categorical and specific in its statement of the dates of his arrest and committal to the barracks and his release upon the furlough granted. It would appear from this communication that, arrested on Thursday, the 8th of January, he was held and treated as a common soldier until Tuesday, January 13, a period of five days, and that the telegraphic message sent by the imperial royal ministry of war to the military authorities at Krakau on Friday, January 9, was not “immediately” executed; that is to say, it was not carried into effect at that date, nor until Tuesday, January 13.

I have deemed it proper to submit this statement to your excellency in view of the unjustifiable course of the military authorities at Krakau toward a citizen of the United States, against which I made earnest protest in my note to your excellency (F. O. 26) of the date of January 10.

And furthermore, I have to repeat with earnest urgency the request that, upon the evidence which has been presented in this case establishing under the second article of the treaty of 1870 the exemption of Louis (or Liebel) Feinknopf from all liabilities to do military service in the imperial royal army, his furlough be canceled by a certificate of such exemption, and that his name be erased from the military rolls at Krakau as owing the service attempted to be exacted from him. No attempt has been made to refute this evidence; yet after the lapse of nearly three months since his arrest, during which time he has been subjected to painful apprehensions, personal inconvenience, pecuniary sacrifice, and finally to the indignity of forcible impressment into the military organization at Krakau, where he was held five days under strictest military discipline, the case is still undecided by the Imperial Royal Government; the claim to military service he does not owe is not withdrawn; his situation is simply relieved by a furlough, the latter in itself implying that the claim upon him is still maintained.

I must, therefore, while acknowledging the spirit of courtesy and justice with which in repeated interviews your excellency has discussed with me this question, our views [Page 15] and conclusions apparently involving no differences of opinion, seriously reiterate the request that the rights of Louis (or Liebel) Feinknopf as a citizen of the United States, who has violated no law of the Imperial Royal Government and owes it no military service, shall be fully recognized, and that he be accorded the unconditional exemption to which he is entitled from further claim to such service. And in this connection I may say that delay of action in the case increases embarrassment, as it seriously interferes with the course of justice toward a citizen of a friendly power.

I avail myself, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.
[Inclosure 15 in No. 53.]

Louis Feinknopf to Mr. Francis .

Sir: Your very kind and pleasing letter of the 14th instant came duly to hand. I am at a loss how to express the thanks which I owe you. You have really done more for me than a father could do for his own child, and I can proudly say America and the Americans shall live forever. My mother did not misinform you. I was not liberated until Tuesday, January 13. On Monday evening I was yet under strong guard at the military retreat. I was arrested on Thursday, January 8, and kept till Tuesday, January 13, and was treated as a common soldier. I can vouch for the truth and prove it with the papers of my furlough, and I do sincerely hope that my liberation will soon follow, as I am very anxious to get away from this country.

With thanks and prayers for your long life, I remain, &c.,

LOUIS FEINKNOPF.

P. S.—My dear mother sends her heartfelt thanks and her best thanks and good wishes.

[Inclosure 16 in No. 53.—Translation.]

Count Szögyényi to Mr. Francis .

In pursuance of the note of the 10th instant, No. 153, the imperial royal ministry of foreign affairs has the honor to inform the Hon. John M. Francis, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, that the imperial royal ministry of public defense has decided that Louis Feinknopf, of Krakau, assigned to the thirteenth regiment of infantry, Graf. Huyn, on the 23d October, 1884, be discharged from the military service by virtue of articles 1 and 2 of the treaty of September 20, 1878, it having been authentically ascertained after steps had been taken with that end in view by the honorable North American envoy, that Feinknopf was naturalized in the United States in 1882, and is therefore, by treaty stipulation, not subject to military duty in this country.

The necessary orders for carrying out this decision have already been given to the competent authorities.

The ministry of foreign affairs does not omit at the same time to inclose herewith to the honorable the North American envoy the naturalization certificate and the notarial act concerning Feinknopi’s emigration to America, mentioned in the note of December 16 last, No. 19, with the information that the other two inclosures of the above mentioned note have not yet been received from the imperial royal authorities, but that they have been asked for.

The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew assurance of his profound esteem.

For the minister of foreign affairs:
SZÖGYÉNYI.
[Inclosure 17 in No. 53.]

Mr. Francis to Count Szögyényi .

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s esteemed note 1814/7, dated January 22, 1885, announcing that the imperial royal ministry of public defense had decided upon the evidence presented in the case of Louis [Page 16] Feinknopf, a citizen of the United States, arrested at Krakau, October 23, 1884, charged with owing military service to the Imperial Royal Government, that the said Feinknopf be discharged from such service by virtue of articles 1 and 2 of the treaty of September 20, 1870. And your excellency transmits at the same time as inclosures the naturalization certificate of Louis Feinknopf, and accompanying notarial certificate in reference to his emigration to America.

In regard to the discharge of the said Feinknopf from military service as mentioned, your excellency observes that “the necessary orders for carrying out this decision have already been given to the competent authorities.” For your excellency’s information, I will state that on the 30th ultimo, applying at the proper office of the military authorities at Krakau for his discharge certificate, Feinknopf writes me that in answer to his request it was stated that the order for his discharge had just been received, and that five days more would elapse before the certificate would be delivered to him.

Referring to the delay in reaching a decision in this case, in your excellency’s note 29856/7, dated December 28, 1884, your excellency is pleased to remark as follows (after stating that objections had been raised to the discharge of Feinknopf by the imperial royal commander of the respective army corps, rendering necessary a renewal of investigations, to which was to be attributed the delay):

“In the mean time the imperial royal statthalter (governor of province) at Lemberg has been put in possession of Leibel Feinknopf’s naturalization certificate, deposited here a few days ago by the honorable envoy of the United States of North America, which document is likely to be the means of bringing the whole affair to a speedy decision.” (Translation.)

This averment in the absence of explanation might leave the impression that until the time mentioned, namely, a few days prior to the 28th of December, I had failed to furnish the necessary evidence—Feinknopf’s naturalization certificate—required to secure his discharge from military service. But the fact is, I presented this certificate for the information of Baron Pasetti during my first interview on this subject at the foreign office, which he looked over and returned to me. In an interview with him on November 7, I again presented for his excellency’s observation this certificate and other papers as establishing the facts carefully stated in my note of October 28th, which certificate was again returned to me. Again, personally delivering to his excellency Count Szögyényi my note addressed to Baron Pasetti, November 21, I offered for his (Count Szögyényi’s) observation or use the papers in the case, including the naturalization certificate referred to, which latter was returned to me after a hasty glance over the paper. And, as your excellency will doubtless remember, it was not until December 23 that your excellency, again receiving the naturalization certificate at my hands, requested that it should be left with you for the purpose of facilitating an early conclusion of the whole matter.

I take the liberty of setting forth these facts, your excellency, in no reproachful sense, but to show that the embarrassing delay in the case so justly decided was through no neglect or omission on my part to supply the needed evidence for a prompt decision; and at the same time it gives me pleasure to bear evidence of the interest always expressed by your excellency to bring the matter to an early and honorable conclusion.

I embrace, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.