to Mr. Bayard.
Paris, June 17, 1887. (Received June 27.)
Sir: On the 11th instant I received from you a telegraphic instruction directing me to use my personal good offices to ascertain the cause of Baron Seillière’s detention, and obtain his release if possible.
I had already received a visit from the Mends of Baron Seillière, and, upon their representation that he had made declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, I interested myself in his behalf so far as to request that he might be seen by his American friend and a physician. This request was addressed to the director of the insane asylum wherein he was confined, who declined to admit any one to his presence. Meanwhile I referred his friends to Mr. Kelly, an American lawyer in Paris, through whose intervention it was ascertained that he had been regularly confined on the certificate of two physicians as to his insanity.
On the receipt of your telegram I gave Mr. Kelly a letter of introduction to the minister of justice, and I took him in person to see the minister of foreign affairs, to whom I also addressed a note, copy of which is here annexed, advising him that I had been instructed to use my personal good offices in behalf of Baron Seillière, and if possibly to procure his release. Mr. Kelly read to the minister a memorandum of the facts in the case, with full reference to the authorities, both French and American, which would justify the French Government in releasing Baron Seillière, leaving to his American friends the responsibility of taking care of him.[Page 304]
I had some conversation myself with Mr. Flourens in support of the views presented by Mr. Kelly, but I was careful to inform him that my intervention was purely personal, and that I did not intend to exceed the limit prescribed in your instruction.
Mr. Flourens observed in reply that he so understood my intervention, and that it would give him great pleasure to comply with the wishes I had expressed in behalf of Baron Seillière if it should be in his power to do so.
The difficulty he suggested in the case had reference to the rights of Baron Seillière’s family, which had been the subject of judicial proceedings and inquiry before he left France for America. He did not enter into detailed statement of how important he considered these proceedings, but he said they would be the subject of inquiry, if not by the minister of the interior, who has charge of the insane asylums, then by the minister of justice, to whom all legal questions would be referred.
Mr. Kelly is now in charge of the case, representing Baron Seillière’s American friends, and he informs me that he hopes to secure the active co-operation of Baron Seillière’s brother in the efforts-he is-making to secure his release.
I have, etc.,