Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, For the Year 1887, Transmitted to Congress, With a Message of the President, June 26, 1888
to Mr. Bayard
Paris , July 6, 1887. (Received July 25.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction No. 238, of June 24, in relation to the case of Baron Seillière.
I have nothing to add to my Nos. 432 and 437, under dates June 17 and June 25, unless it be to assure you that I never gave any occasion for the friends of Seillière to represent to you that I only awaited instructions to make a formal official demand upon the French Government for his release. My personal good offices were promptly given him in view of his inchoate American citizenship, as you express it in your letter of June 23 to Mr. Mullaly, and they were continued in obedience to your instructions by cable.
Judicial proceedings have been instituted in behalf of his children to obtain his release, and his counsel, Mr. Kelly, continues to urge me to make a formal demand upon the French Government for his release. I shall not, of course, accede to his wishes without your instruction to that effect, nor shall I, as at present advised, recommend any such action on your part.
I inclose herewith a printed memorandum signed Edmund Kelly of counsel, together with sundry affidavits communicated to me as an appeal for diplomatic intervention in this case.
I do not feel called upon to discuss the three propositions submitted in this memorandum for your consideration or to analyze the analogy between the case of Seillière and the numerous citations submitted therein.
Mr. Kelly has from the outset acted as the counsel of Seillière’s American friends, and has always been of opinion that the only effective service he could render his client was to secure for him the diplomatic intervention of the American Government, and he has maintained this view with great zeal and ability.
He knows very well that I have not felt at liberty to recommend such intervention, and that I am of opinion that the French law, in pursuance of which Seillière was confined, although open to much criticism and liable to abuse, has been complied with.
I inclose herewith copy and translation of Mr. Flourens’s note, in reply to my letters to him, under date of 15th and 20th ultimo, tendering my personal good offices in behalf of Seillière, and I refer you to the French Journal Officiel of the 25th ultimo,* sent you last week, for the report of the debate in the French Chamber, to which Mr. Flourens refers, as embodying the views of the French Government in relation to the law of 1838. In this debate you will find set forth all the principal facts connected with Seillière’s confinement.
I have, etc.,
Mr. Flourens to Mr. McLane .
Sir: In accordance with your desire, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt’ of your communications of the 15th and 23d of last month.
The information which Mr. Bayard had instructed you to procure, in an entirely unofficial and friendly manner, as you have been careful to remind me on different [Page 314] occasions, in regard to the circumstances under which the confinement of Baron Raymond Seillière has taken place, was given, as you know, in a most complete manner to the tribune of the Chamber of Deputies by my colleague, the minister of the interior, in the session of the 24th of June.
As to the release of the patient, as you also know, by the provisions of the law of the 30th June, 1338, it can only be ordered by a judicial decision. It is henceforth for those persons, to whom the aforesaid law gives the power of applying for such a decision, to have recourse, if they judge it expedient to do so, to the proper civil courts for that purpose.
Mr. Kelly to Mr. McLane .
paris , July 8, 1887.
Dear Sir: In view of establishing the facts necessary in order to justify a petition to the United States Government to demand the surrender of the person of Baron Seillière, now confined in a lunatic asylum under conditions which his friends; consider an outrage upon his rights of personal liberty, I have caused to be prepared a series of affidavits by such persons in France as happen to have knowledge of the matters of fact necessary to be proved. In view also of the questions of international law, public and private, raised by this case, I have prepared a memorandum, of which I hand you herewith two copies, the object of which is to show that, upon the affidavits presented, Baron Seilliére has made a case for the intervention on, his behalf of the Government of the United States.
I have been particularly induced to make this application in this form by the fact that it is, as I understand, the rule of the Department that such application be made upon affidavit, and by the fact that in a letter of the Secretary of State to John Mullaly, of the 7th of June, in regard to this case the Secretary of State wrote that “should justice be arbitrarily denied him (Baron Seillière) and the facts showing such to be the case be laid before the Department, supported by affidavit, the case, when so presented, will be examined in connection with the inchoate rights of American citizenship of Baron Seillière; as expressed by his declaration, made in California in August last, of his intent to become citizen of the United States, and such steps will be taken as our national duty prescribes.”
I hand you inclosed lists of the affidavits accompanying this memorandum-, twelve as to the sanity of Raymond Seillière, six as to his domicile in the United States. Four more affidavits have not been signed as yet, in consequence of the absence of the affiants; they will be handed to you next week. I beg to point out that most of the witnesses on the subject of domicile are in the United States of America. The friends of Baron Seillière will put a list of those persons able to testify on the subject at the disposal of the Department.
I beg on this occasion to express my own hearty thanks, and those of all Baron Seillière’s friends, for the great personal trouble you have taken to secure the release of Baron Seillière, by the tender of good offices on his behalf. Conscious that, under the instructions you have received from Washington it is impossible for yon to go further than you have already done, I now venture to express the hope that you will communicate the memorial and affidavits accompanying this letter to the Department, with such an expression of opinion on your own part as you may consider the unfortunate condition of Baron Seillière to-day, and the peculiar circumstances which surround his case, may justify.
Your obedient servant,
Affidavits as to domicile of Baron Seillière.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America,
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Alexander d’Ullmann, commander, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I reside at 3 avenue Frochot, Paris, and am of the age of twenty-one years and over. I am intimately acquainted with the Baron Raymond Seillière, as appears by my affidavit made this day before the consul-general of the United States in Paris. It is of my personal [Page 315] knowledge that Baron Raymond had definitely abandoned his domicile in France, and had finally made his home in the United States of America, with the further intention of becoming an American citizen. As appears by my affidavit above referred to, I have been on terms of intimate acquaintance with the baron for a long time. He has expressed himself freely to me as to his intentions, both on business and personal matters, and he has repeatedly declared to me in the most positive manner that he had left France for good, and that it was his intention to settle permanently in America, He had to my most certain knowledge made business arrangements and plans which would of themselves have involved a long stay in America. He had, moreover, made there many warm friends, socially, to whom he had become attached, He came abroad on business with the intention of remaining not more than six weeks or two months, and of returning towards the end of July to the United States. His coming to Europe was purely for business reasons. He had engaged for himself and valet a return passage to the United States. He had engaged a villa at Newport, the lease to commence on the first of August. In the month of April he had engaged through me a civil engineer, M. Henri Guasco, to go out to America for a term often years. He was to be personally attached to the baron, and in his personal service, and was to join the baron in New York in the month of October. The baron suggested that in the interval M. Guasco should perfect himself in the English language. I annex copy of the letter which, at the request of the baron, I wrote to Guasco conveying these terms, which he accepted.
I also annex receipt from C. G. Gunther’s Sons, showing that the baron had deposited with them his furs to keep during the summer. I could probably adduce many other instances in proof of the baron’s intention to return; but it has been for so long a time well understood and accepted as a matter of course that he intended to make America his home that I have long ceased to remark any indications of his intention, I always regarded that as perfectly settled.
I recall two further instances: First, the baron, in going to America in 1886, had obtained and taken with him the papiers de famille, which, under French law, it would be necessary for him to produce in matters affecting his status. Secondly, that it was his intention, more than once expressed, of purchasing, in his own name, real estate in America, and that he was aware that for this purpose it would be necessary for him to become an American citizen.
Bought of C. G. Gunther’s Sons, fur dealers and furriers, etc., 184 Fifth avenue, storage charge, 33,947, $7, for 1887. Paid May 5, 1887.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America
At London, England, ss:
Charles H. Gifford, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am a resident of the city of New York; a dental surgeon by profession, and am of the age of twenty-one years and over. I am thoroughly well acquainted with the Baron Raymond Seillière, as I have stated in another affidavit, which I hereby make a part of this affidavit. The baron was called to France on business early in May. Just before sailing he expressed to me his intention of purchasing a return ticket, and thought that his business in Europe would not occupy him more than six weeks. He made his plans for returning in August to America, and had made arrangements which would involve his presence there for years thereafter. He had, for example, engaged my time for five years to work for him there in developing certain enterprises. The baron had frequently expressed to me, and to others in my presence, his intention definitely to leave France and permanently make his home in America. I have heard him repeatedly say he had met with bad treatment in France; that his family and relatives had abused his generosity, and deeply wronged him; that it was his intention to abandon France; that he was greatly delighted with America; that America was the place to live in; that it was only among a people of such energy and push as the Americans possess that he could find congenial associates. All his plans, both business and otherwise, were to my knowledge based upon his intention to take up his home in America. He unquestionably had the intention of becoming an American citizen, as he had made his plans for purchasing real estate in various [Page 316] parts of the country. He had left instructions that all his letters and correspondence should he sent to my house and retained by me. The business enterprises in which he was engaged would be of a kind to require his personal attention and supervision for many years to come. He often expressed his liking for America and the Americans, and great weariness of France. He had made a great many warm social friends, and his repeated expressions of attachment to the country confirmed in my mind his declared intention to make America, not only his place of business, but his home.
Sworn and subscribed to before me.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America
At London, England, ss:
Philip M. Harder, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am a resident of the city of Brooklyn, and am of the age of twenty-one years and over. I am well acquainted with the Baron Raymond Seillière, and have been for several months connected with him in business matters. On the 7th May he sailed for France, intending to remain abroad not longer than six weeks, in which time he then expected to be able to attend to those business affairs which alone called him to France. He informed me, just before he sailed, that he had purchased a return ticket, and should be back in New York early in August. The baron had acquired an interest in certain business enterprises in America which required his return by that time, and which would require his supervision and personal attention for many years to come. It is of my personal knowledge, therefore, that his business interests were such as to require his immediate and permanent return. It is also of my personal knowledge that he had acquired these business interests out of his determination to make America his home. I have heard him declare dozens of time that America was the only place for him; that America was his home. I have frequently heard him make use of such expressions as “I have done with France,” I will make America my home,” et cetera. He most unquestionably had the intention of becoming an American citizen. He had planned making large investments, in his own name, in real property throughout the United States. This I know of my own personal knowledge, and also from the instructions he had given to various assistants to that effect. The baron had taken a great liking to the Americans and to their ways of doing things, and frequently asserted that America was the only place to live. The statements as to his intention to return were made not only to me, but in my presence to a variety of gentlemen, sometimes in a business, sometimes in a purely personal way, but always in a most unmistakable and positive manner. He was always emphatic on that point.
Signed and subscribed to before me.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America
At Paris, France, ss:
Charles F. Livermore, of the city of New York, being duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:
I am well acquainted with Baron Seillière, as I have already stated in another affidavit this day subscribed by me, which I hereby make a part of this affidavit.
Both in America and during the voyage the baron has repeatedly expressed to me and to others in my presence, his intention of abandoning France and making his home in America. I recall that he spoke on this subject with great earnestness and decision, making use of such expressions as “America is the only place to live in”; “I am tired of France”; “I have left it for good”; “I like America and the Americans, and I mean to make my home there”; “I mean to be an American”; “I have come to America to stay,” and the like. He was in this respect one of the most enthusiastic proselytes, and his enthusiasm for the country of his adoption knew hardly any limits. The expressions [Page 317] and declarations made use of on these occasions were such as to leave no doubt in my mind that he had definitely abandoned his domicile in France, and had permanently established himself in America with the intention of there remaining.
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
John Darling, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I have resided for the last nineteen years in the United States of America, and have made them my permanent home. I am of the age of twenty-one years and over. About nine months ago I was engaged by Baron Raymond Seillière as his valet, and accompanied him throughout the United States, spending much of the time in New York and Washington. Towards the latter part of April I was offered a similar position in the service of Mr. Secretary Whitney, of the United States Navy. I then asked the baron what were his intentions in regard to myself. He asked me why I wished to know, and I told him of the position which had been offered me, and that I wished to be in the United States. He replied that he could pay me as much as Secretary Whitney could, and engaged me for two years—for a minimum term of two years—in the same capacity then held by me, saying: “I shall only begone to France two or three months. Come with me. Although you do not speak French, I can probably make you useful. We shall return by the 1st of August.” I cite this instance as one of the many which I could recall that the Baron Seillière intended to return permanently to the United States and make his home there, an intention which he had frequently expressed in my presence. I have never heard him express any other intention since I have been in his service. The engagement that I made with him for a minimum term of two years was upon the distinct understanding that we were to remain in America.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America,
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Joseph Baudrais, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I reside at 29 Rue der Chateau, Neuilly-sur-Seine, and am of the age of twenty-one years and over. I am intimately acquainted with Baron Raymond Seillière, as I have set forth in an affidavit signed by me ‘before the American consul on the 30th of June. I desire to supplement that affidavit by stating that the baron had made known to me his formal decision to establish himself permanently in the United States. The various interviews which I had with him at the Hotel Vendôme, referred to in my aforesaid affidavit, were based upon his decision to make his home in the United States. Their object was to come to an understanding as to the assistance which I, through my business relations in Paris, could, by representing him here, render to the affairs which he was himself to conduct in America. These arrangements had nearly been concluded in a manner satisfactory to myself, and apparently so to him, when he was seized and con fined. I certainly should not have desired or attempted to enter into any such business relations with the baron, or assume the responsibility of representing him in Paris, if I had not believed him to be in the full possession of his faculties and entirely sane, and this I most positively affirm that I believed him to be, and still believe that he was, up to the last moment when I saw him.
Affidavits as to sanity.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America,
City of Paris, BepuMe of France, ss:
Alexandre d’Ullmann, being duly sworn, deposeth and says:
I am a resident of the city of Paris, France, and am of the age of fifty-three years. I have been acquainted with the Baron Raymond Seillière for more than ten years, and have known him intimately for more than eight years. During all that time he has always impressed me as being a man of great mental and bodily vigor, extremely generous, warm-hearted, earnest, and of keen sensibilities. He has always been extremely generous and free-handed, especially towards the members of his own family. He has, to my knowledge, for fifteen years past spent something like 200,000 francs per annum for his sister, the Princess of Sagan, to enable her to live in the luxury which she craved. It was the intention of his father to leave him the lion’s share of his estate, to the disadvantage of the sisters and brothers of Baron Raymond, and it was only on the refusal of Baron Raymond to accept a larger portion than those of his brothers and sisters that the father made his four children legatees in equal parts. For many years a partner in the banking-house of Demachy, R. et F. Seillière, he became the leading spirit of that house, and practically took upon himself the entire responsibility for the conduct of the business. He was a man of enormous energy, and great executive ability. Supported by his iron frame and robust physical health, he was able to do the work of many ordinary men.
After having been robbed of more than two million of francs at the Cercle de la rue Royale, under circumstances which brought to light the famous scandal of that club, he found himself obliged to reduce his expenses, to cease his allowance to Madame de Sagan, and to call in various loans, which he had made with his accustomed generosity. It was at this moment that the exasperation of his family, at seeing this source of supplies shut off from them, took the form of the application for the appointment over him of a conseil judiciaire. This act on the part of his relatives—relatives to whom he had shown such generosity—deeply wounded him. He spoke often of it; usually in a tone of great sadness. There were times when the ingratitude thus manifested deeply angered him, but as a rule his tone was one of grief. He often declared that it was impossible for him to comprehend how his brothers and sister, of whom he had always been so fond, who had always seemed fond of him, and upon whom he had showered so many benefits, could take this hostile attitude. It is true that he had just lost a large sum of money, but he was certainly the only one of his family who worked, and the only one who made money. His brother Frank had been for many years a member of the banking-house, but had done absolutely nothing in its affairs, and for years had not even appeared at its offices. The entire weight of the responsibility of the business had for years rested upon the baron’s shoulders. He alone of his father’s heirs had been active and successful in business, whereas the others did nothing but profit by his activity and toil. He earned and spent; they did nothing but spend; and, in large part, they spent what he earned. All this which I affirm is of my personal knowledge, as well as the substance of repeated declarations made to me by the baron. It was in recounting these facts that the grief and indignation of the barest against his family were most commonly manifested. He finally determined to expatriate himself and go to live in the United States, with the idea of commencing life anew. He accordingly left France on the 6th of June, 1886. I have been, as I have already stated, his intimate friend for many years, and was thoroughly acquainted with the circumstances under which he came to leave France.
I know well how strong and deeply-rooted was the feeling which had led him to abandon his country. On the first day of October, 1880, he cabled to me to join him in America. I left France on the 16th of that month, and from the 28th of October, 1886, to the 19th of May, 1887, I have not left him a single day.
I assisted him at New York in the creation of business relations and in the establishment of certain business projects of his, explained and elaborated by him with such clearness, accuracy, and vigor as to be the subject of common remark among those with whom he came in contact. He was busily occupied for months in explaining his projects to the leading financiers of Wall street, and this became known to many of the most prominent men of business circles and otherwise of New York, Washington, and elsewhere in America. He developed his projects with such success that in spite of the fact that a French court had appointed a conseil judiciaire over him in France, a body of capitalists commissioned [Page 319] him to return to Europe to make preparations for a business enterprise of great importance, interesting directly both America and France.
I was present at numberless interviews between the baron and financiers and business men of all shades; have myself often conversed with them in regard to him, and been present when he was made the subject of conversation with others. I never heard a suggestion that there was the least taint of insanity or mental aberration about him. On the contrary he was always referred to as a man of unusual mental ability and of remarkable clearness and sagacity. He frequently spoke with great warmth and energy when advocating his plans, for he was a man who put the whole force of his powerful nature into whatever he had on hand. I never heard the slightest intimation made, either with reference to such occasions or to any others, that his mental condition was in any way abnormal.
I do not feel myself at liberty for obvious reasons, to mention freely the names of the persons with whom he entered into business relations, or what those relations were, but I may mention that among the persons who were interested with him in business enterprises were Mr. Levi K. Morton, late minister of the United States to France; Mr. Charles F. Livermore; Mr. C. Waterbury, 5 New street; Mr. John E. Develin; General Newton, the engineer; Mr. Hoguet, of the Emigrants’ Savings Bank; and ex-Mayor Grace, all of New York. He was on more or less confidential relations with his banker, Mr. Drexel, of Drexel, Morgan & Co., and Mr. White, of White, Morris & Co. He was on intimate social relations with many of the above-mentioned gentlemen and others; as, for example, Mr. Newcombe, Admiral Baldwin, Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt, Mr. Henry Clews, and August Belmont, of New York; Mr. George P. Lathrop and his brother Francis, of Boston, but then of New York; Mr. William Goddard and Professor Gammell, of Providence, II. I.; Mr. Leland Stanford, of San Francisco, whose guest he had been in California: Mr. Fairbank, the dealer in lard; Mr. Decoven, the banker; and General Chetland, all of Chicago; also many of the members of the diplomatic corps at Washington; as, for example, Mr. West, the British minister; Baron Struve, the Russian minister; Count Lippe, the Austrian chargé d’affaires; Senor Muruaga, the Spanish minister; M. Roustan, the French minister, and also George C. Bancroft, the historian, and Brother Tobias, for many years chief of the School of Christian Brothers, also of Washington; Secretary Whitney of the Navy; Secretary Endicott, of the War Department, with whose family he was also acquainted. He also, on one or more occasions, in February last, had interviews with the President, Mr. Cleveland. He was also a very warm friend of Dr. Millard, the eminent physician of New York. A letter of introduction from him I hereto annex and make a part of this affidavit. In it the baron is introduced as an accomplished scientist, a friend of many of the most noted physicians, a gentleman whom it is a pleasure to know. The baron was being constantly entertained at dinner and otherwise by many of the gentlemen above named, and many of them have repeatedly dined with him. I was myself present on some of those occasions, antedating but a few weeks his seizure and confinement as a raving lunatic.
For the fact that he was well known in business and social circles, particularly in New York and Washington during the last winter, I need only refer to the daily papers of those cities during that period, which contained constant mention of his movements.
I most positively affirm that up to 4 o’clock in the afternoon of the 19th May he had not in any respect altered or changed from what he was while in America.
The baron and myself sailed on the Gascogne from New York on the 7th day of May, and during the eight days of the voyage he was almost continually in the society of such people as Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Livermore, Mrs. Pearson, the Baroness Itajuba, Mr. Chambers, of the New York Herald, Count Sala, the secretary of the French embassy at Washington, Mr. Baudais, of Paris, and myself. We saw each other continually. I can positively affirm that there was nothing in his conduct during the voyage which bore the least trace of mental aberration, or which excited any remark or suspicion that came to my knowledge.
We arrived at Havre on the 15th of May, and at Paris on the evening of that day. He had spoken to me during the voyage of an idea which he said had just occurred to him, of attempting a reconciliation with his family, and had said to me that he thought his aunt, the Duchesse de Berghes, seemed to him the most suitable person to effect that reconciliation; but I recollect that the baron on leaving me said, “If ever at Paris I am as much as an hour late at any appointment, have me searched for by the police, for I certainly shall have fallen into some trap laid for me by my sister.”
On Monday, the 16th May, the morning after his arrival, he went to visit his aunt, the Duchesse de Berghes, and on leaving her house he came to see me. He said, “It was quite an inspiration of mine to charge my aunt with the mission of this reconciliation; she has just said to me, my dear Raymond, it is not a reconciliation that you need, but a satisfaction, a punishment of those who have wronged you.” During that day (Monday) he received from the Duchesse de Berghes a note, asking him to return and see her the following day, Tuesday, the 17th, at 11 o’clock. This appointment he kept. I saw him on [Page 320] his return, and he said to me that his aunt had greatly excited him against his family, and that he had spoken with vehemence of his wrongs and of their base ingratitude. He said his aunt seemed entirely to sympathize with him, and begged me to have a magnificent bouquet of roses sent her as a token of his gratitude for her sympathy and kind reception. On the following day, the 18th, he did not call on his aunt or any member of his immediate family, but he received from his aunt an appointment for Thursday, the 19th, in the afternoon, on the occasion of the fete, of the Assumption. I have subsequently learned that it was at this interview he was entrapped and carried to the insane asylum at Vanves. I saw him on Wednesday, the 18th, and Thursday, the 19th, the day of his disappearance. A number of us were assembled on that day in the parlor of Mr. Livermore, at the Hotel Vendôme. I remember present, among others, Mr. and Mrs. Livermore, Mrs. Pearson, Mrs. Robin, as well as myself. We talked for some time together, up to the time when the baron had to leave to keep his appointment with his aunt, and I solemnly declare and affirm that he was not in the least excited, and that he was in his normal state of mental and physical vigor, genial, affable, and entertaining, and that there was absolutely not the slightest mark of mental aberration about him, or anything which gave rise to comment alter his departure, or which, in my opinion, could give rise to any suspicion of insanity. I can, therefore, positively affirm that Baron Raymond Seillière was seized and locked up as a lunatic on a day when more than ten people had seen him in good health and perfectly sound mind.
The prefect of police subsequently caused an investigation to be made with the object of establishing what was the state of Baron Seillière in America, and also in Paris during the four days which followed his arrival there. This investigation was made by Mr. Veron, the commissaire of police, and the following witnesses were examined: Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Livermore; the Prince de Sagan, the husband of the Princess de Sagan, at whose written request Baron Seillière was confined; Comte Sala, the first secretary of the French embassy at Washington; M. Baudrais; Georges de Cassagnac, brother of Paul de Cassagnac; M. Vernier, the conseil judiciaire of the baron, and myself. All these persons declared that the baron was in a perfect state of health, mental and physical, not in the least insane, as was also declared by the minister of the interior at the Chamber of Deputies, session of Friday, 24th June, as appears by the official report of that session, in the Journal Officiel of June 25, 1887. Mr. Veron, the commissaire of police, permitted me to examine the certificates of the doctors, which are now in the possession of the Government, and on examining them I discovered that the report had been signed on the 18th May.
It should be recalled that, as I have already stated, the baron had not gone to see his aunt on that day, and could not have been then and there examined by the doctors Mottet and Decaisne. As I have already stated, Baron Raymond called upon his aunt on the 17th, but he always declared to me that he was alone with her, and that no one else was present. My memory is perfectly clear, from his various accounts of his interviews with his aunt, that he had had no interview with these doctors up to the last time I saw him, at 4 o’clock on the 19th.
Since his confinement at Vanves repeated attempts have been made to obtain an interview with him, both by me and by other persons who were intimate friends of the baron, traveling with him and associated with him in business. These attempts, although supported by all the influence we could bring to bear, have proved fruitless; whereas the Princess de Sagan, at whose written request he was confined, and certain friends of hers have been allowed free access to him. None of his friends from America have been permitted to see him.
The foregoing affidavit, having been carefully read over by me, is hereby subscribed by me in evidence of its correctness.
Robert M. Hooper,
Dear Dr.: This will introduce to you the Baron de Seillière, of Paris, Monsieur de Seillière is an accomplished scientist and friend of many of the most noted physicians of Paris. He desires to perform some experiments, which he desires some young physician to aid him in, and which he will describe to you.
I shall be very glad if you can be of any service to Monsieur de Seillière. You will find Monsieur de Seillière a gentleman whom it is a pleasure to know.
Very truly yours,
The envelope is addressed: “Dr. Wm. N. Hubbard; Bellevue Hospital, foot of East Twenty-sixth street.
“From Dr. Millard, to introduce Monsieur de Seillière.”
Consulate-General of the United
States of America
At London, England, ss:
Charles H. Gifford, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am a resident of the city of New York, and a dental surgeon by profession. I am of the age of twenty-one years and over. I have been acquainted with the Baron Raymond Seillière in the city of New York from the month of March, 1887. I first met him on business, but our acquaintance was both business and social, and I had ample opportunities of knowing him in both ways. For the month preceding his sailing in the Gascogne., 7th May, I saw him almost constantly every day, and sometimes all day long. I was interested with him in business affairs which called for the exercise, in the highest degree, of judgment, common sense, clear-headedness, prudence, and sagacity.
In all these qualities he was a constant surprise to me; I have never met the man who was his equal in these respects.
He had also the most remarkable memory, both in accuracy and scope, which has ever come under my observation. From a business point of view I found him to be a born organizer, with great grasp of mind and correctness of action. He was a man of exuberant energy, both physical and mental. His energy in conversation often took the form of great vigor of expression. He was impressionable, excitable, and rather sanguine.
He entered into every project and every matter with great warmth. The test, however, which he was constantly applying both to his own actions and to any projects submitted to him was that of their soundness from the point of view of common sense. I never saw a trace of anything irrational in any word or act of his. He was a man remarkably accurate and precise in his speech, and I have invariably found the representations that he made to be scrupulously correct. Although a sanguine man, as I have already said, he was emphatically free from anything like hallucination, either in regard to business affairs or resources, and I have always found his statements to be understatements rather than otherwise. He lived well, slept well, ate well, and took a good deal of exercise with great regularity. He was extremely abstemious as to drinking, and rarely touched anything but a glass of Bordeaux with his dinner. His time was very fully occupied with business affairs, his appointments succeeding one another all day long with many of the prominent business men of New York City and elsewhere.
I have often heard him made the subject of conversation, and have conversed with others regarding the baron, and have never heard a suggestion on intimation made that he was in any respect lacking in mental soundness, or had shown the least trace of aberration of mind, lean positively affirm that, during the time that I knew him, up to the time that he sailed on the 7th of May in the Gascogne, he was a perfectly sound and remarkably able and clear-headed man.
Sworn and subscribed to before me.
United States Consul-General, London.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America
At London, England, ss:
Philip M. Harder, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am a resident of the city of Brooklyn, and am of the age of twenty-one years and over. I first became acquainted with Baron Raymond Seillière in New York, in the month of April last. I was introduced to him by business friends, and our meeting was for business purposes of an important nature. The interview was satisfactory, and we, from that time forth, became interested in certain business enterprises, relating, among other things, to an invention for the preparation of food for the army, etc., which greatly reduced the food in bulk. The nature of these enterprises was such that I was constantly brought into communication with him. I saw him every day, and frequently two or three times a day, from that time up to the time when he sailed, oh the 7th of May, in the Gascogne for France. I had frequent occasions to discuss business affairs with him. Baron Raymond was the clearest-headed business man I ever saw in my life. Although a free and brilliant conversationalist, his speech, when he was talking business, was extremely brief, pointed, and clear. The instructions which he gave to persons who were his assistants were always strikingly brief and clear. He could al [Page 322] ways be understood, and there was never any occasion to ask him a second time. He had the most remarkable memory I have ever known in regard to facts and figures, and could give facts which happened ten years ago, with the day and the hour of their occurrence, perfectly. I could not pick out in the city of New York, nor, in all my business relations, a man who was clearer-headed in matters of business than he was. I frequently heard him made the subject of conversation, and never heard it suggested or hinted in any way that he was other than a perfectly sane and remarkably able man. He was a man of marked personality. I know at the time of sailing he had purchased a return ticket, and intended to be back in New York early in August; our business relations required that he should be back at that time, and the baron was satisfied that in six weeks’ time he could transact the business affairs which had called him abroad. If any man is sane, Baron Raymond Seillière was sane up to the moment when I last talked with him on the deck of the steamer about to sail from New York.
Sworn and subscribed to before me.
United States Consul General, London.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America,
Paris, France, ss:
Chas. F. Livermore of the city of New York, being duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:
I am a resident of the city of New York, and of the age of sixty years and over. I am well acquainted with Baron Raymond Seillière. who is, as I am informed, now confined in an asylum in or near Paris. I first met the baron socially in America and after came frequently into contact with him and came to, know him very well. I crossed the ocean on the same steamer with him, the Gascogne, which sailed from New York on the 7th of May, arriving at Havre on the 15th of that month.
We proceeded at once to Paris, arriving there the same evening, and I saw him daily thereafter until and including the 19th. On the 19th, the day of his disappearance, he came to see me in reference to a dog he had agreed to purchase for me. He was perfectly natural, calm, and composed. There were several persons present on that occasion. There was nothing in his manner which appeared to excite their suspicion as to his sanity. We conversed for some little time, and he left my parlor at or about half-past four, saying that he had an appointment with his aunt, the Duchesse de Berghes, and showing me a note from her requesting him to call at that hour. He told me that he had already seen her since his arrival in Paris, and that through her he hoped to bring about a reconciliation with his family. The baron, on leaving me at half-past four, agreed to return at half-past eight to receive my answer with reference to a breakfast to which we were invited on the following day. He did not return that evening, and I sent him a note, asking him to call the following morning. I have never seen him since. I remember that the baron said in my presence to a friend on the day of his arrival in Paris, “If I am ever an hour late in keeping an appointment, you may be sure that I have fallen into some trap, of which I long had a suspicion. In such case, notify the police and hunt me up.”
I had known him socially and otherwise, more or less intimately, for six months in America. I had been in daily and almost hourly companionship with him on the steamer, and in Paris had seen him almost as much. From the first to the last I found him always sociable, genial, and entertaining; remarkably fell-informed, the possessor of a memory which in exactitude and scope I have never seen equaled; a man of very sound judgment and with more than usual, vigor, physical as well as mental.
I have never heard the suggestion or intimation made that he was in any respect lacking in mental health, nor has the suspicion ever occurred to my own mind. Since his confinement as an alleged lunatic I have searched my memory for any action, gesture, or word which would support such a theory, and I can recall none.
I am absolutely convinced that, up to the moment when I last saw him, Baron Raymond Seillière was a man in unusually perfect mental and physical health, as sane as any man I ever knew, although eccentric,
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Mr. J. Baudrais, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I reside at Neuilly-sur-Seine (Seine), No. 29, rue du Chateau. I have known Baron Raymond Seillière intimately since my visit to the United States. I knew him most intimately during the time which preceded his confinement. I saw the said Raymond Seillière at New York on the 7th day of May, 1887. I saw him in Paris every day up to the time when he was taken to the asylum. I was at the house of the aforesaid Baron Raymond Seillière on the evening before he was taken to the asylum, at the beginning of a conversation which he had with Mr. Vernier, his counsel, and I heard him talking about his affairs with the said Yernier in the most rational manner; I was even struck with the touching sentiments of affection which he expressed in speaking of his brother, Frank Seillière. I saw him on the morning when he was confined, and I left him at about 10 o’clock in the morning at the door of the Prince de Sagan.
He was then perfectly calm and rational. During all my relations with the said Raymond Seillière I have never known him to be subject to any hallucinations whatever. He was of a mercurial temperament, and became easily excited when he spoke of his difficulties with his family. He was a man of great energy, and inclined to believe in the success of the affairs which he undertook; he was not, however, any more unreasonable than persons inclined to engage in great enterprises usually are.
I declare especially that, on the morning of May 19th, during our whole conversation, he was perfectly calm and rational, and had entire control of himself.
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Mr. C. Ravaut, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I reside at No. 15 rue de la Paix, where I am engaged in business as a jeweler. I have known Baron Raymond Seillière since the year 1864, He called at my house on Wednesday, the 18th of May last, at half-past 12 o’clock; our conversation lasted for twenty minutes. I observed nothing in his manner that could lead me to think that he was mentally unsound; on the contrary, he impressed me as a man having perfect control of himself.
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Mr. Louis Bontron, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I am the door-keeper of the Hotel Vendôme, in the Place Vendôme, at Paris. Baron Raymond Seillière put up at the Hotel Vendôme during the night between the 15th and 16th of May. I may be mistaken with regard to the date, but it was between the 15th [Page 324] and 16th or the 14th and 15th. I remember that he was expected until 1 o’clock in the morning, at which hour he arrived. I saw him constantly at the hotel; he repeatedly conversed with mo in relation to some commissions which were to be performed for some Iriends who were to come to see him, and concerning the duties of my position. I saw him ibr the last time on the afternoon of May 19th. During the whole time that he re mained at the hotel he was perfectly rational, showing no signs of mental aberration whatever, and always giving me his instructions in a very precise manner, and withou the slightest confusion.
I did not observe the shadow of any hallucination in him. His condition on the 19th of May was the same that it had been on the days preceding; he went out and came in frequently, and I saw him every time he did so; I consequently saw him a good many times. His condition was always that of a rational man having perfect control of himself.
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss.
John Darling, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am thirty-nine years of age. For the last nine months I have been valet to Baron Raymond Seillière and constantly in his service, traveling with him in the United States, and being with him day and night. He was a man most actively engaged in business matters, and everywhere he went, notably in. San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Washington, was in relation with men of great prominence in business and social circles. I remember, for example, that he had frequent business interviews and dined with Armour, the pork packer of Chicago, and that he dined with Mr. Medill, the editor of the Chicago Tribune. He was entertained at dinner by many of the leading men of New York, including Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt, the Goelets, the Burdens, August Belmont, Mr. Levi P. Morton, the ex-minister of the United States to Fiance, and the Livermores. I repeatedly had to leave cards with these persons after the dinners. I also recollect that he entertained at dinner, at the Hotel Brunswick, ex-Mayor.Grace, Henry George, Father Doucey, and the Marquis do Mori. All these men were his friends, and he was on terms of intimate social relation with them.
I have frequent ly heard him in conversation with them and with hundreds of others. I have watched his dealings with men; I have been present at his interviews, both business and social, with men of airgrades, and I have never observed the least indication on his part of anything like unsoundness of mind. He talked with great clearness and force. He was a man of somewhat excitable temperament, and when roused expressed himseli with warmth. He slept well, ate well, worked hard, walked a great deal, and wa3 very energetic, both physically and mentally. I should call him a remarkably healthy man. I never knew him ill a day except once, when he had a sore throat, which was cured the next day. Ho was not subject to headaches or depression of spirits. Ho was cheerful and genial. He was not irritable. I never saw him out of temper all the time I have been with him, nor had a crossword from him. He was not at all erratic or changeable. I never observed in him anything like a tendency to change his mind without apparent reason. As already stated, I have been with him constantly during these nine months, often day and night. It never once occurred to me that he was otherwise than a sane man. I never had the least fear. There was never anything in his conduct which appeared to me strange, and I can positively affirm from the intimate acquaintance I have thus had with him that he is as sane a man as ever I saw, and a far more able and clearheaded man than almost any one I know.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America,
City of Paris, Republic of France:
Paul le Duc, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
My name is Paul le Due, and I am at present residing at No. 15 rue Poncclet, Paris. I have been the valet de chambre of Baron Seillière since 1883, during which time I have not left him, except from the month of September last until the 15th of May, which was the day of his arrival in France.
In my capacity as a confidential servant I know the disagreements which have separated the baron and his family, but I do not think it proper for me to state what they were. Things being viewed from the baron’s stand point, ho had serious grievances against his family. He was of a lively, sanguine, and excitable temperament, and I always found him very deeply affected when he spoke of his family or when anyone spoke to’him on that subject. I have, however, never seen him in an irrational condition, and I have never seen him under any hallucination; especially I have never heard htm say that he was a cousin of the Virgin Mary, the son of Jesus Christ, or anything of that kind. He was exceedingly talkative, and made use of a great many gestures; his condition was that of a man greatly excited by anger, but he never did anything that might not have been expected from a man in anger.
He arrived in France on the 15th of May last. In obedience to his orders I met him at Havre. I accompanied him to the Hotel Vendome at Paris. Ho vrent out and came in without telling me where he was going, but always appeared perfectly sane, i On Ascension Day, May 19, he returned at 4 o’clock, as usual, threw himself on his bed, telling mo that ho had an appointment at the house of his aunt, the Duchess de Berghes, at half-past 4, and told me to wake him at twenty-five minutes past 4. I woke him at twenty-five minutes past 4, and he told me to let him sleep a quarter of an hour longer. At the end of that quarter of an hour I roused him again. He arose, and when leaving the house told me to wait for him. There was nothing abnormal in his conduct when he left me. We conversed a few minutes before he went out. He told me that he would not be gone for more than three-quarters of an hour at the utmost, and that I must not leave the house until he came back. Since then I have not seen him.
Consulate-General of the United
States of America,
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss,
Madame Josephine Krantz, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I am a lady’s maid. In that capacity I accompanied my employers on board the Gascogne, which sailed from New York on the 7th of May, and arrived at Havre on the 15th of the same month. I was in the first cabin with my employers. Baron Raymond Seftliere was one of the passengers, and conversed freely with my employers and with every one on board. I frequently had occasion to hear him talk, and saw a great deal of him; ho always conversed in a rational manner, and never said anything indicating mental aberration; he was under no hallucination, and always appeared like a man who was mentally sane and had perfect control of himself.
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Dominique Bonardi, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I reside at No. 15 rue Gaucliois, Paris. I am sixty-two years of age. I have knowii the Seillière family for more than forty years. I was brought up there. I have knowii Baron Raymond Seillidre since he was a little child. I saw him very often just before his departure for America in the summer of 1886. I saw him on the day after his return from America, that is to say, on the 16th of May. Since then I have seen him every day and even several times a day until the 19th of May, on which day I saw him for the last time between 11 and 1 o’clock. He sometimes remained for an hour in conversation with Commander d’Ullmann, in whose service I am.
On all these occasions he was very calm, and apparently in good health. I never observed any excitement in him or heard him raise his voice higher at one time than at another in the course of these interviews. They conversed about business matters. When I saw him on his return from America I did not iind him at all changed since I had seen him before, except by age. I never observed the slightest sign of mental aberration in him, and he always appeared to me as sound in mind as he was in body.
United States Consulate
City of Paris, Republic of France, ss:
Pauline Cuillerier, wife of Dominique Bonardi, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I am the wife of Mr. Dominique Bonardi, who has signed the foregoing deposition. I have been in the service of Commander d’Ullman for a number of years. I have carefully read the statements made by my husband in the foregoing deposition, and I declare that they are true, to my own knowledge. I confirm every word that he has said. I am convinced that Baron Raymond Seillière was perfectly sound in mind the last time that I saw him, namely, about noon on the 19th of May.
Affidavit as to the law.
City of Paris,
Republic of France, ss:
Raymond Magnier, being duly sworn, deposes as follows:
I am an attorney of the court of appeals. I live at 16 Boulevard Malesherbes, Paris, Was called to the bar November 18, 1848, and have practiced my profession before the court of appeals of Paris since that date. In the practice of my profession, I have daily had occasion to occupy myself with the consideration and decision of questions of French law. Being consulted as to the rights which may be enforced by the friends of a person in an insane asylum, as to the legal course which his friends may take ha behalf of the person confined, before what courts the case should be brought, and as to the method of procedure before these courts, I have given the following opinion:
Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the law of June 30, 1838, reads as follows: “Any person detained or confined in an insane asylum, his tutor, if he is a minor, his curator, any relative or friend, may at any time apply to the court of the place where the asylum is situated, which, after the necessary proof has been made, will decree the immediate release [of the person confined] if there be ground therefor.”[Page 327]
The right of the friends of the person confined to petition the court in their own names to relieve the person detained is therefore formally established by paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the law of June 30, 1838.
The same article, in the same paragraph, defines the competent court. It is the court of the place where the asylum [in which the insane person or the person alleged to be insane is confined] is situated.
What are the methods of procedure before this court?
Paragraph 4 of the said Article 29 of the law of June 30, 1838, defines them in the following terms:
“The decision shall be rendered merely on the petition in chambers and without delay; the grounds thereof are not to be stated; the petition, judgment, and the other proceedings to which the complaint may give rise are to be stamped and recorded, (en débet), the costs not being taxed.”
The law in this paragraph of Article 29 “establishes a rapid and economical course of procedure.”
No summons; no plea in bar; a mere petition in chambers; no charge for stamps and recording; directions to the court to decide immediately and without delay.
The jurisdiction of the court in chambers was not established by any special law nor by any title of the code of civil procedure fixing generally the competence of this court and the course of procedure in it. It is only in particular cases, specified in each instance, that various provisions of the laws and of the code of civil procedure have declared that legal proceedings should be set in motion merely by petitions to the court filed, not in the open court, but before the court in chambers.
The proceedings before the court in chambers are not, then, generally speaking at least, by the method of petition and answer, and they are essentially secret—no notification of motions, no pleadings.
The Tribunal de la Seine is, however, accustomed, on request made, to authorize the party petitioning to make, either himself or through his attorney or counsel, an argument in support of his petition.
The court in chambers may and should surround itself with all the proof calculated to aid it in rendering its judgment; it can commission physicians to examine the person whose release is requested; it can even cause this person to appear and examine him; but it can not order arguments or examination in public; it cannot proceed to the examination of witnesses—in a word, the power conferred on the court in chambers is a discretionary power.
What characterizes this power belonging to the court, which is secret, absolute, within its discretion, and without public control, is that, while every judgment, under pain of nullity, must contain the statement of the reasons determining the court’s decision, in this case paragraph 4 of Article 29 of the law of June 30, 1838, expressly declares that the grounds of the decision are not to be given.
The court in chambers enters judgment in the following words: The petition is refused, or granted.
The procedure is, therefore absolutely established as discretionary in the interest of the person confined; but it may also be turned against him.
The judgment may, however, be appealed to the court of appeals, which proceeds in the same manner as the court below.
Memorandum re Raymond Seillière.
The Baron Raynpnd Seillière has been for many years one of the most notable characters in Paris. The fortune which he inherited from his father has not laid idle in his hands, as in the hands of his brothers. An active partner in the firm Demachy and Seillière, he has devoted himself to large enterprises with an indomitable energy and extraordinary business insight. What, however, has served most to popularize him in France is the open-handed liberality he has always shown to those who were immediately around him. The millions that he made with one hand he distributed in magnificent largesses with the other. This munificence, of which his family did not hesitate to profit, as is shown by one of the affidavits annexed to this memorandum, appears when [Page 328] exercised in other directions to have excited the jealousy of one of his brothers and of his only sister.
I am not in possession of the exact details of the family quarrel which ended in the appointment of a conseil judiciaire; the only person who could give me these details with accuracy is the Baron Seillière himself, to whom I am refused access. Such facts as I have, however, I shall endeavor to present as nakedly as possible, without comment, and particularly without setting down all the explanations thereof offered by the Baron Seillière’s friends, hoping thereby to eliminate from this memorandum the personalities which have already played too important a part in the political treatment of the question.
Upon the threat of Francois Seillière, the brother of Raymond, to have a conseil judiciaire appointed over the person of Raymond under articles 513, 514, and 515 of the Code Civil, Raymond served upon his brother by huissier a solemn declaration in the nature of an affidavit, dated the 10 th September, 1885; which opens with the following passage:
“That Baron Raymond Seillière has certain knowledge of the fact that the threat to appoint a conseil judiciaire is the result of an unavowable conspiracy entered into between Francois Seillière and Georgina Gaiiffet, the wife of Galiffet, the mother-in-law of the latter, who together have circumvented the Princesse de Sagan, sister of the affiant; that the plot resulting from this conspiracy, of which Francois Seillière is the active instrument, has one object, namely, to secure the fortune of the affiant by the pressure of vain and chimerical threats in the nature of blackmail and with a view to preparing the way to attack later on any will the affiant may make in case such will be not favorable to them.”
It goes on to say that the persons so conspiring have not even had the delicacy to conceal their veritable intention, and have not hesitated to communicate it to strangers, whose testimony the affiant declares himself able to produce.
The above declaration is important as it tends to show that the relations of Raymond Seillière were, as early as the 10th September, 1885, endeavoring to create the impression that Raymond was not in the possession of his mental faculties.
Whether confinement in a lunatic asylum was then contemplated is not clear; it is important, however, in this connection, to point out that the Princesse de Sagan had already had recourse to confinement in a lunatic asylum with two members of her own family; in 1875 she got her brother, the Baron Roger, confined in a lunatic asylum, and in 1881 she had recourse to the same plan with her own eldest son. Both these gentl emen were released from the asylums in which they were confined with the greatest difficulty and are now alive, well, and in full possession of their faculties.
The proceeding for the purpose of securing the appointment of a conseil judiciaire was at last instituted, and ended in the appointment of Mr. Vernier in thatv capacity. Raymond has always claimed that the decision rendered in this case was an outrage; I confine myself to pointing out that the judgment did not in any way cast imputation upon the mental sanity of Raymond. In order to secure the appointment of a conseil judiciaire it is only necessary to show that the person for whom the appointment of the conseil is requested is prodigal in his expenditure. Such a proceeding is entirely unknown to our courts. The effect of it was to place the whole of Raymond Seillière’s fortune in fhe hands of a stranger, and to put a dangerous check to all the enterprises in which Raymond was at that time engaged.
These circumstances have been dwelt upon because it is important to explain the reasons of Raymond’s departure for America. He became thoroughly imbued with the conviction that he could not obtain justice in France, and he then decided once and forever to shake off the bonds that bound him to the country under the laws of which such an affront had been put upon him, and to start anew in one with whose institutions and people he had long been in cordial sympathy.
In America Raymond appears to have been presented to persons occupying the highest positions in our State; he appears also to have had financial transactions with some of our shrewdest business men and to have immediately become interested in a variety of American enterprises to which he had made up his mind to devote himself.
He immediately took steps to have himself naturalized a citizen and filed a declaration of intention in California. He hired a house in Newport; and finding that there was a great field in France for working a patent of which he was negotiating the purchase in America, he sailed for that country on the 7th of May, taking a return ticket and securing his return passage in the City of Rome, leaving for New York on the 3d of August next. Not anticipati ng the importance it might have hereafter to have it carefully set forth that he had abandoned the intention of returning permanently to France and had acquired that of making his permanent domicile in America, he took no precautions to have this made a matter of record, except by the declaration filed in California as above stated. His own lips are now sealed by the application of the lawof 1838. It is [Page 329] only, therefore, hy the observations which he may have let fall during his stay in America, and by such details in his life as throw light upon the subject, that we can come to any conclusion as to what his real intention was. Trivial though the incident may be, it is useful in this connection to note that upon going to France he took the precaution to have his furs stored with Gunthers, in New York, thereby clearly showing his intention of spending the following winter in our country. He left also a deposit of money with Wright, Morris & Co., 102 Broadway. The amount of this deposit was originally $20,000. It is not known how much he has drawn on this sum, but it is supposed that there still remains a considerable balance in their hands. The annexed affidavits also show that he had induced some Frenchmen, and had endeavored to induce others, to abandon France and join him in his new home in the United States. They also abundantly prove that at all times he declared it to be his fixed intention to acquire a permanent domicile in the United States and that he had abandoned all idea of resuming his original domicile in France.
He arrived in Paris on the 15th May, took rooms at the Hotel Vendôme, and saw a great number of people upon his arrival.
It appears that there was one subject upon which it was difficult for him to speak without losing his temper. Whenever reference was made to the treatment he had received at the hands of his family his anger was apt to express itself in loud language and violent gesture. As, however, he approached France his naturally good heart and in forgiving disposition seemed to get the ascendancy and he often spoke of his desire to reconcile himself with his family. The person whom he thought best able to bring about such a reconciliation was the Duchesse de Berghes, upon whom he called. It was at the house of the Duchesse de Berghes, we are now given to understand, that the doctors saw him; it was there that he was bound by three men and carried off by violence to the asylum of Dr. Fabret.
The circumstances under which this was done are not certainly known to us; they are only gathered by inference from such papers as have come to us, and by the failure to contradict those inferences on the part of the family. They are not, however, likely to be erroneous, inasmuch as there has been, in the first place, a violent newspaper controversy, in which certain papers have been inspired by the friends of Raymond, and certain others by those at whose demand he was confined. In the second place, there has been a debate at the Chamber on the subject, at which important statements were made and left uncontradicted, though a contradiction thereof was challenged.
It appears from the papers, which were put into the hands of Mr. Jules Gaillard, the deputy who raised the question in the Chamber, that there was a first certificate made by Drs. Mottet and Decaisne on the 18th of May, and a second certificate on the 20th of May, signed by Dr. Decaisne. On the 16th May Raymond made his first visit to the Duchesse de Berghes. He has stated to his friends that he was received by her with the greatest cordiality; that she went so far as to say that she would secure for him, not merely a reconciliation, but an apology. She made an appointment with him by letter for 11 o’clock on the next day. Raymond showed the letter to Mr. Livermore. Raymond has given his friends—notably Commander Ulmann and Mr. Livermore—a detailed account of that interview. It appears that she did much to excite him on that occasion against his family, dwelling in emphatic terms on the wrong they had done him; at that interview she made a subsequent appointment with him for the 19th. It is important to observe in this connection that the first medical certificate was made on the 18th, a day which he spent exclusively with friends who certainly played no part in his confinement. It is certain that on the 18th no doctor had access to him. It seems probable, therefore, that the medical certificate is wrongly dated the 18th May, or that if it were executed on that day it referred to an interview on the preceding day. In order that the.certificate should have been written at all prior to the 20th the only reasonable hypothesis is that the doctors were concealed in the room of the Duchesse de Berghes, and that she deliberately excited him by emphasizing the wrong that he had suffered at the hands of his family for the purpose of working him up to a condition that would justify a medical certificate to the effect that he was in a state of cerebral excitement. The doctors, however, on that occasion were unable to make a positive report that Raymond was sufficiently insane to justify confinement. They concluded, however, from the state of excitement in which they saw him, that “if he does not become calm it will be necessary to confine the invalid.”
This is not a declaration under which confinement is permissible under the law of 1838. It appears however that a more categorical report was made on the 20th May by Dr. Decaisne, couched in the following terms:”Referring to the opinion rendered on the 18th May, 1887, I consider that, both with a view to the security of Raymond Seillière and of the rest of his family, whom he threatens, it is proper to put him in a lunatic asylum.”
Now, the day that he disappeared was not the 20th May, but the 19th May. We know that he left the hotel at a quarter to 5 on the 19th May, having given instructions to his [Page 330] valet not to go out, as he expected to return shortly. We also know that before arriving in France he had requested his American friends, if he was an hour late for an interview to immediately put detectives on his track, as he feared that his relatives might endeavor to put him in an asylum, that being a favorite plan with the Princesse de Sagan. We also know the reasons he had for suspecting that such a plot was being hatched. It seems, therefore, certain that he was seized and bound on the 19th May, and kept in the house of the Duchesse de Berghes, in a state, probably, of uncontrollable rage during the night between the 19th and 20th, and that it was in this condition that Dr. Decaisne saw him on the 20th and rendered his final certificate. It seems difficult to believe that any man possessed of human temper could remain bound during twenty-four hours and continue to express himself in pleasant terms with regard to those who had so handled him.
On the 20th May Raymond Seillière was expected to breakfast at Mr. Livermore’s. For reasons we know now he did not keep his engagement. On the 20th Mr. Livermore received the following card from the Princesse de Sagan, whose acquaintance he did not have the honor of enjoying:
“La princesse de Sagan présente ses civilités et priequ’on nes’inquiète pas de son frère, le baron Seillière; il a été rejoindre son frere Franck a Wildbad. Il est en bonne santé et reviendra souspeu.”
“The Princesse de Sagan presents her compliments and begs that no one be anxious about her brother, the Baron Seillière; he has gone to join his brother Frank at Wildbad. He is in good health and will return shortly.”
The statement contained in this letter was a delicate falsehood made for the purpose of misleading Mr. Livermore and preventing the inquiry which the Princesse de Sagan seemed at that time to fear.
Since his confinement none of his friends have had access to him, not even his counsel. Only two letters have been seen from his hand; these two letters are addressed to the minister of the United States asking for his intervention. The first of these letters referred to a previous letter which the minister has never received. Both of these letters, through written in very poor English, betray no evidence of insanity.
The prefet de police, upon being called upon to examine into the case, called seven or eight witnesses to testify as to the condition of the baron just prior to his confinement. These seven or eight witnesses testified unanimously that Raymond Sellière though excitable, was absolutely sane.
A few days after his confinement a doctor was deputed by the proeureur dela République, in compliance with the law of 1838, to examine him. The report of this doctor was read to me by the assistant district attorney “substitut,” who has special charge of lunatic asylums. This certificate stated that he was suffering from maniacal loquacity “lequacité maniaque;” that he was under certain hallucinations—namely, that he had purchased an American patent called pmdre de mdnde, with which he expected to make his fortune; that he had acquired American nationality; that he had written to the American consul, and that he was waiting for the intervention of the American Government. These were the only so-called hallucinations set forth in this certificate. So far from being hallucinations every statement contained in that certificate was practically true. While in America he had begun negotiations to secure the control of an American invention called Meat Powder, with which not only he but all his friends expected to make their fortunes. He had taken such steps in America as, according to the advice he had received, were sufficient to entitle him to the protection of the United States Government, Whether he had written to the consul is a thing we can not know; but we do know that he had written to the minister, though the first letter written was apparently intercepted. Nevertheless it was upon these supposed hallucinations that the doctor designated by the district attorney (proeureur de la Republaque) decided that Baron Raymond Seillier was mad.
The access of his friends and of his counsel was refused on the ground that the medical man had decided: that he was in such a mental condition as to require “repose and medical care.” It is interesting to observe, now what has apparently been the effect of the “repose and medical care” to which he has been subjected. The minister of the interior having received notice that the matter was to be brought before the Chamber by Mr. Gaillard, requested the head of the department to himself visit Raymond. Seillière arid make report thereupon. On the 20th of June Mr. Gragnon, the prefet of police, reports that the effect of “repose and medical care” upon the man that entered the house of the Duchesse de Berghes sane and left it bound hand and foot to be conveyed to a lunatic asylum upon the certificate of Drs. Mottet and Decaisne, was that be was now a raving, maniac, “the son of Jesus Christ and the cousin of the Yirgin Mary.”
If the “repose and medical care” which Raymond Seillière enjoys at Dr. Falret’s can make a man whowas sane on the 19th of May a raving maniac on the 20th June it does not seem unreasonable on the part of Raymond Seillière’s friends to take every measure the law, whether private or public, can give and imagination can devise to save him from a continuation of the same.[Page 331]
From all these facts it appears incontrovertible that a man of large heart and powerful intellect, who had abandoned the country of his nationality out of a sense that a wrong had been done him there and thrown himself upon the protection of the United States, by taking such steps as under the precedents established by the Government itself were declared sufficient to entitle him to such protection, has been while in full possession of his faculties bound in a private house by his own relations, kept in that house for twenty-four hours, carried way to a lunatic Asylum, and there subjected to treatment which has had for consequence to make Mm to-day, if we are to believe the accuracy of Gragnon’s report, a raving maniac. All this has been done in secret. I shall show that no public investigation is allowed under the law; that under the law he is deprived of the benefit of counsel; deprived of the opportunity of cross-examining witnesses; deprived of every proceeding in the nature of habeas corpus; deprived of every safe-guard thrown around personal liberty under the Constitution of the United States.
Under the circumstances above stated, Baron Seillière has, in two letters addressed to the United States minister at Paris, requested the intervention of the United States Government on his behalf. The United States minister, in compliance with instructions from Washington authorizinghim to use his good offices to secure Baron Seillière’s release, has proceeded as far with the minister of foreign affairs as his instructions permit. By frequent personal visits he has represented to the French Government the interest which he unofficially takes in the case. I understand that no definite answer has as yet been given by the French minister; but I learn that the French minister does not consider himself authorized to order the release of Baron Seillière upon a mere tender of good offices for that purpose, inasmuch as Baron Seillière is regularly confined in conformity with the law of 1838.
The contention of Baron Seillière is that the law of 1838 violate admitted rules for the maintenance of justice in judicial inquiries to an extent that the United States Government has in previous cases considered sufficient to justify intervention whenever a person entitled to protection was concerned.
In order to sustain this contention, I propose to consider:
- What are the rules of international law which have guided the United States Government heretofore as to intervention?
- Assuming that Baron Seillière is entitled to the protection of the United States Government, does this case come within the ruler?
- Does the status of the Baron Seillière entitle him to the protection of the United States Government?
I shall confine myself in the following argument to the precedents cited by Francis Wharton in the International Law Digest, published last year, going outside of this work only where I have to discuss such questions as that of French nationality, which do not come within its scope. My object in adopting this course is that the citations made herein will be the easier verified by the Department, and because the principles and precedents therein cited are sufficiently exhaustive and complete to make recourse to other works unnecessary.
I.—What are the Rules of International Law which have Guided the United States government heretofore as to intervention?
In his first volume Mr. Wharton, after explaining that the general principle which has guided the Government heretofore has been that of non-intervention, proceeds, on page 187, to state the exceptions to this role, first and foremost amongst which is the following:
relief aot protection of citizens abeoad.
“This exception applies not merely to citizens of the United States, but to persons domiciled in the United States. The rule is that wherever a person of either of these classes claims the protection of the Department, or redress in case of injury, the Secretary, on afiidavits showing the nature of the danger or wrong will instruct the Minister, in the country from whieh the danger or wrong proceeds, to ask explanation, and in case of danger or wrong being proved, to insist on relief or redress.”
In vol. 2, p. 649, Mr. Wharton lays down the principles whieh have been adopted by the Department on this subject, as follows:
Quoting Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. Morrow, February 17, 1888.
“When application is made to this Department for redress for the supposed injurious actions of a foreign judicial tribunal, such application can only be sustained on one of two grounds:
- “1. Undue discrimination against the petitioner as a citizen of the United States in breach of treaty obligations; or
- “2. Violation of those rules for the maintenance of justice in judicial inquiries which are sanctioned by international law.”
Quoting again Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. McLane, June 23, 1886:
“That the state to which a foreigner belongs may intervene for his protection when he has been denied ordinary justice in the foreign country, and also in case of a plain violation of the substance of national justice, is a proposition universally recognized.
“One of the highest authorities on international law, Valin, says:
“To render legitimate the use of reprisals, it is not at all necessary that the ruler against whom this remedy is to be employed, nor his subj ects, should have used violence, nor made a seizure, nor used any other irregular attempt upon the property of the other nation or its subjects; it is enough that he has been denied justice.”
Not only the principle therein laid down, but the cases which I shall now cite clearly show that in case redress is required against the application of a law under which the applicant deems himself to have been wronged, it is by no means necessary to show that the law is inhuman or barbarous. It is only necessary to show that it has worked “palable inj ustice” or that “justice has been denied” or “undeserved indignities have been inflicted” or that the law is “exceptional and harsh in operation,” “dispensing with all the safe-guards of personal security,”or that there has been a “denial of the usual means of redress,” a “refusal of counsel,” a “refusal of the opportunities of examining witnesses face to face on trial, and of producing witnesses in defense;”or that it is “absurd to seek justice oy judicial processes.” The Department has gone so far in this direction as absolutely to insist, on the release of an American who was imprisoned for debt, on the ground that “imprisonment for debt, whire no criminal offense is committed, is contrary to what are now considered recognized principles of international law.”
I beg now to quote the words of the dispatches instructing our diplomatic agents abroad to intervene in the cases above referred to: Wharton, II, 434, quoting Mr. Cass, Secretary of State, to Mr. Body, March 3, 1860:
“The United States believe it to be their duty, and they mean to execute it, to watch over the persons and property of their citizens visiting foreign countries, and to intervene for their protection when such action is justified by existing circumstances, and by the law of nations.”
Wharton, II, 436, quoting Mr. Evarts, Secretary of State, to Mr. Foster, September 4, 1880:
“If the meaning of the action of the Russian Government in a particular case ‘is that a citizen of the United States has been broken up in his business at St. Petersburg simply for the reason that he is a Jew,’ then it should be made clear to the Government of Russia that the religion professed by one of its citizens has no relation whatever to that citizen’s right fo the protection of the United States.”
Wharton, II, p. 437, quoting Mr. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State, to Mr. Morton, March 25, 1884:
“Undeserved indignities inflicted by French authorities on a naturalized citizen of the United States, traveling with a passport, on a process for compelling him, as a Frenchman by birth, to perform military service, will, though followed by a release, be ground for diplomatic appeal to France for redress.”
Wharton, II, p. 437, quoting Mr. Frelinghuysea, Secretary of State, to Mr. Lowell, October 22, 1884:
“The United States nevertheless contend that such special laws as to persons exceptional in character and harsh in operation, dispensing with all the safeguards of personal security, can not be applied with propriety to citizens of the United States who may be peacefully sojourning or traveling in any part of Her Majesty’s dominions.”
Wharton, II, pp. 437, 438, quoting Mr. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State, to Mr. Morgan, February 17, 1885:
“The Government of the United States recognize the right of Mexico to prescribe the reasonable conditions upon which foreigners may reside within her territory, and the duty of American citizens there to obey the municipal laws; but those laws can not disturb or affect the relationship existing at all times between this Government and its citizens. The duty is always incumbent upon a government to exercise a just and proper guardianship over its citizens, whether at home or abroad. A municipal act of another State can not abridge this duty, nor is such an act countenanced by the law or usage of nations.”
Wharton, II, pp. 438, 439, quoting Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. Gebhard, September 9, 1885:
“The case in which this Government assumes to interfere in behalf of one of our citizens, where redress may ordinarily be had in the courts of the country in which he claims to have been wronged, is that of a denial to him by those courts of the usual means of redress.”
Wharton, II, pp. 439, 440, quoting Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. Jackson, July 20, 1886:[Page 333]
Without; quoting from this dispatch, I may briefly say that it referred to the Cutting case, and the main contention of it was that the Mexican law had been “harshly executed.” “an interpretation of the evidence against him refused”; that he was “refused counsel”; that he “was given no opportunity for cross-examination”; that “bail was refused,” and other aggravations fully set forth in the report.
Wharton, II, p. 443, quoting Mr. Bayard. Secretary of State, to Mr. Jackson, July 26, 1836:
“Under these circumstances, I instruct you to call upon the Mexican Government to direct that the prosecution against Messrs. Gaskill and Ward be brought at once to trial, and that the proceedings should be conducted in such a way as to give the accused in advance a statement of the witnesses to be produced against them, and the opportunity of cross-examining these witnesses on their behalf in defense.”
Wharton, II, p. 444, quoting the opinion of Dr. Miller in the Slaughter-House cases, 16 Wall, 79, 80:
“Another privilege of a citizen of the United States is to demand the care and protection of the Federal Government over his life, liberty, and property when on the high sea or within the jurisdiction of a foreign government. Of this there can be no doubt, nor that the right depends upon his character as a citizen of the United States. The right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, are rights of the citizen guarantee by the Federal Constitution.”
Wharton, II, pp. 444, 445, quoting U. S. Cruikshank, 92 U. S., 1542:
“Citizens are members of the political community to which they belong. They are the people who compose the community, and who, in their associated capacity, have established or submitted themselves to the dominion of a government for the promotion of their general welfare and the protection of their individual as well as their collective rights.”
Wharton, II, 445, 1 Op., 53, Bradford, 1794:
“A nation ought not to interfere in the cause of its citizens brought before a foreign tribunal except in a case of refusal of justice or of palpable injustice.”
Wharton, II, 612, quoting Mr. Forsyth, Secretary of State, to Mr. Semple, February 12, 1839:
“The proposition that those who resort to foreign countries are bound to submit to their laws as expounded by the judicial tribunal is not disputed. The exception to this rule, however, is that when palpable injustice, that is to say, such as would be odious to all the world, is committed by that authority towards a foreigner, for alleged infractions of municipal law, of treaties, or of the law of nations, the government of the country whereof the foreigner is a citizen or subject has a clear right to hold the country whose authorities have been guilty of the wrong accountable therefor.”
Wharton, II, 613, quoting Mr. Conrad, Acting Secretary of State, to Mr. Peyton, October 12, 1852:
“The refusal of a Chilian court, in 1852, on the trial for crime of an American citizen to hear testimony on behalf of the defendant, would, if sustained by the Chilian Government, be considered by the United States as a gross outrage to an American citisen, for which it will assuredly hold Chili responsible.”
Wharton, II, 614, quoting President Buchanan, second annual message, 1858:
In this case the United States Government notified the Mexican Government that if it carried into effect a decree banishing from the country an American citizen who had refused to pay a tax called a forced loan which had been imposed upon all capitalists, irrespective of nationality, and therefore without discrimination against him, that adopt “the most decided measures that belongs to the powers and obligations of the representative office.” The banishment having been enforced, political relations between the two countries were suspended.
Wharton, II, 618, quoting from Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, to Mr. Foster, December 16, 1873:
“In case of a denial of justice the right of intervention through diplomatic channel is allowed, and justice may as much be denied when, as in this case, it would be absurd to seek it by judicial process, as if it were denied after having been sought.”
Wharton, II, 620, 621, quoting from Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, to Mr. Cushing, December 27, 1875:
“This Government has not claimed that citizens of the United States who place themselves in a foreign jurisdiction carry with them the particular immunities surrounding trials Jn their own country, nor has it insisted that peculiar advantages to the accused, such as trial by jury and the habeas corpus, are or must be a part of the jurisprudence of foreign countries, but we have claimed that by international law and by the usages and customs of civilized nations, a trial at law must be conducted without unseemly haste, with certain safeguards to the accused, and in deference to certain recognized rights, ir order to mete out justice.”[Page 334]
Wharton, II, p. 626, quoting Mr. Evarts, Secretary of State, to Mr. Goodloe, March 14, 1879:
“The state to which a foreigner belongs may interfere for his protection when he has received positive maltreatment, or when he has been denied ordinary justice in the foreign country, and the state of the foreigner may insist upon immediate reparation in the former case.”
Wharton, II, p. 626, quoting from Mr. Blaine, Secretary of State, to Mr. Lowell, June 2, 1881:
“But whatever may be the necessity, in the estimation of Her Majesty’s Government, for the existence and enforcement in Ireland of the exceptional legislative measures recently enacted in respect to that country, this country can not view with unconcern the application of the summary proceedings attendant upon the execution of these measures to naturalized citizens of the United States of Irish origin, whose business relations may render their presence necessary in Ireland or any other part of the United Kingdom, or whose filial instincts and love for kindred may have prompted them to revisit their native country.”
Wharton, II, p. 642, quoting Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. Langston, March 28, 1885:
“The release of Van Bokkelen is now asked on independent grounds. It is maintained, first, that continuous imprisonment for debt where there is no criminal offense imputed is contrary to what are now generally recognized principles of international law.”
Wharton, II, p. 645, quoting Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. Jackson, July 20, 1885:
“Oppression of a citizen of the United States by a Mexican customs officer is a, subject for diplomatic intervention and the party concerned is not confined to a judicial remedy.”
Nor is intervention denied in case the person who claims the protection of the United States Government suffers maltreatment under the laws of the Government to which he once belonged. Not only did the Government interfere to protect a naturalized citizen who was wrongfully detained by Germany in violation of a treaty (see Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, to Mr. Davis, November 21, 1876, Quoted by Wharton, II, p. 435), but it intervened in behalf of a Frenchman by birth in the absence of all treaty, who had suffered undeserved indignities from the French authorities (see case above cited, Freling huysen to Morton, March 25, 1884). And the intervention of the United States Government on the imprisonment of naturalized citizens under the coercion bill in 1881, above referred to, took place in favor of persons who were originally British subjects.
I have not found, amongst all the precedents that I have examined, a single case reported whene the American Government has had occasion to demand the delivery of persons confined under the French law of 1838, but for the simple reason that no such demand has ever before been refused. Such demands were made when both Messrs. Washburn and Morton were ministers at Paris, and.in no case was the right of the American Government to make this demand questioned; on the contrary, the American citizen so confined was immediately delivered over at the request of our Government.
In these cases I am given to understand that the American citizens confined under the law of 1838 had suffered no illtreatment and had set forth no special grievance. There was no allegation that the parties were not insane, no reason for suspecting the entire good faith of the confinement. These cases, therefore, were entirely free from the aggravating circumstances which make the present case one having special right to the sympathy of the public and the protection of our Government.
I now come to the study of the next question.
II.—Assuming that Baron Seillière is entitled to the protection of the United States Government, does this case come within the rule?
In order to intelligently discuss this branch of the question, it is necessary to refer briefly to the French law of 31 May, 1838, under which Raymond Seillière was and is still confined.
Upon a first reading of this law one is struck by the number of apparent safeguards by which it is surrounded. It is only upon a careful examination of it that the inutility of these safeguards is discovered.
The only details of the law which it is necessary for me to discuss are those connected with the recourse given by the law to those persons who desire to investigate into the conditions under which a friend or relation has been confined.
The confinement having taken place under the circumstances hereinbefore stated, the only recourse given to Seillière’s friends is that set forth in articles 14 and 29.
Article 14 provides that even before the person confined is cured he must be set free on the demand of either, first, a curator appointed as set forth in a subsequent article; [Page 335] second, a husband or wife; third, in the absence of husband or wife, an ascendant; fourth, in the absence of ascendants, a descendant; fifth, the person who shall have signed the request to have a party confined; sixth, any person authorized by the family council. This article has little or no application to the present case. Raymond Seillière has neither ascendant, nor wife, nor legitimate descendants to intervene. The family council is composed of the very persons who have had him confined. The person who signed the request to have him confined is the Princesse de Sagan, his sister, and, as he alleges, his bitterest enemy. A curator has been appointed at the instance of the attorney-general, but in view of the fact that Raymond Seillière is to-day positively declared to be a maniac, the curator will of course take no steps to have him set at liberty.
Article 29 provides that any person may apply to the court having jurisdiction over the lunatic asyhfm in which the alleged insane person is confined, and the court “shall, after having made the necessary verifications, if it thinks proper, order an immediate release. This decision shall be rendered upon a simple petition en chambre de conseil and without delay. The judgment shall contain no explanation of the reason therefor.”
The important feature of this procedure is its clandestinity. It is purely ex parte. There is no public debate, no production of the person of the party alleged to be insane, no examination of witnesses on the one side or the other, and consequently no cross-examination of either. The judges decide en chambre de conseil—that is to say, in a private room. All other judgments, save in the case of adoption, have to set forth the reasons which determine them. This case, therefore, is one of two exceptions to a salutary rule. Experience has shown the practical working of this procedure to be as follows: Upon petition for the release of a person confined in a lunatic asylum being addressed to the court, the court, in perfect good faith, appoints a physician to examine into the case; the physician, guided by the medical certificates already rendered, his own responsibility being covered thereby, reports conformably to those certificates, and the judgment rendered maintains the status quo.
I must not abstain from admitting that the law provides for an examination of every person confined in a lunatic alsylum, as in this case, by a doctor prescribed therefor by the prefect within three days after notice, and that within fifteen days after his admission the doctor at the head of the asylum is bound to deliver a certificate to the prefect setting forth the progress of the lunatic’s disease.
All these apparent safeguards, however, remain in the same vicious circle. The original medical certificate on which confinement is obtained determines the direction which all these other procedures ultimately take. All persons charged by the law with the duty of examining into the condition of the insane person feel that their responsibility is covered by the original certificate. They have no interest themselves in the matter, and prefer the personal security assured by a confirmation of what has already been done to the annoyance which would result from a controversy with a professional comrade.
But it is not necessary for me to dwell upon the defects of this law: the whole press, even that part of it which had most warmly taken up the defense of those who had secured this confinement, has admitted that the law of 1838 was a blot upon their statutes,* and the minister of the interior himself, when challenged upon this case in the Chamber, found it inexpedient to propose a law amending the same, a proposition to which the Chamber responded by a vote of urgency. A comparison of this law with our own statutes on this subject will bring into strong relief the features of it against which Raymond Seillière has most to complain. Had he enjoyed the real safeguards thrown around the liberty of the individual by our Constitution and by our laws, full light would have been made upon all the circumstances attending this case before the “repose and medical care” to which he has been subjected, had reduced him to the state of lunacy in which he is now declared to be.
The minister of the interior in the debate at the Chamber expressed his astonishment that no application had been made to the court under article 29 above referred to. The reason why this application has not been made is that there is considerable precedent to maintain the argument that if a party has voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of a foreign court, he has no longer the right to demand the protection of his government.
Wharton II, p. 445, quoting the opinion of Attorney-General Bradford, 1 Op. 53, 1794:
“When a suitor applies to a foreign tribunal for justice he must submit to the rule by which that tribunal is governed.”
See also Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State, to Mr. Gebhard, September 9, 1885, quoted by Wharton II, p. 439.[Page 336]
I am not sure that this principle applies to the present case and that if recourse had been taken under article 29, it would have precluded Baron Seillière from demanding the protection of the American Government, but as all counsel I consulted agreed with me that recourse under article 29 would be absolutely futile, it was not deemed advisable to expose Seillière to the chance of having this recourse used against him, there being some weight in the argument that if Seillière had submitted his case to a French court, he had thereby admitted the jurisdiction of these courts and must abide, therefore, by their decision.
But Seillière has systematically declined to avail himself of any opportunity for securing his release except such as might be exercised through the intervention of the American Government. All the information we have concerning his attitude is consistent with this statement; indeed, his attitude in this connection was considered by one of the doctors as one of the evidences of his insanity.
But there is still a better reason for not appealing to the French courts to-day, for we are informed that however sane Seillière may have been on the day he was confined, the treatment to which he has been subjected since has succeeded in bringing about the very lunacy his confinement was intended by the law to prevent. The only remedy given under the law is a recourse by petition to the court to have the sanity of the party confined looked into with a view to securing his release if found not to be insane. If Seillière is insaue—and far be it from us to deny so high an authority as the prefect of police on this subject—then the French courts are bound to keep him where he is. Now, his friends contend, and assuredly with reason, that a treatment which has begun by destroying a man’s intellect may very well end by encompassing his death, and it is for the life of Raymond Seillière that they appeal to the Government upon which he had been advised lie had a right to rely. They are sure that in proper hands he will recover the reason he has lost; they are equally apprehensive that if allowed to remain where he now is he will be driven to suicide or gradually brought, as hinted by the report of a medical statement of the case by Dr. Mottet—in articulo mortis. * Recourse to French Tliis article appeared in several papers:
société médico-psychologique.—le cas du baron seillière.
La Société médico-psychologique, qui tient ses séances, 13 rue de l’Abbaye, est une Société savante qui s’occupe exeiusivement de l’étudede l’aliénation mentale et des maladies nerveuses. Fondee depuis cinquante ans, elje compte parmi ses membres presque tous les médieins aliénistea, quelques philosopbes et jurisconsultes.
Il y avait foule pour entendre les explications du docteur Mottet sur l’internement du baron Seillière. Nous allons citer un des passages de cette conférence, à titre de document.
Après avoir relaté les premiers incidents de l’incarceration à la maison Falret, le docteur lit quel-ques extraits éerits par Seillière:
“Ma généalogie precise, Jupiter et Junon, Confucius, Salomon, etc. Uri rejeton apparatt dans le désert, c’est Mahomet, d’où moi.—Je suis petit-fils de don Juan d’Autriche. Mohamet eut une seule fille légitime, ma grand’mére, la reine des pures.”
Ce délire, vous le reconnaissez sans peine, dit M. Mottet, n’est pas un délire de fraîche date. On y trouve des idées systématiquement liées entre elles.
M. Gaillard, à la tribune de la Cliambre, nous a reproché de ne pas avoir écrit le mot “aliénation.” Mais aliénation mentale est un terme vague; le mot manie est, au contraire, un diagnostic, la manie étant une variété d’aliénation, M. Gaillard devait pourtant se rappeler l’histoire récente d’un de ses collèagues, M. Villeneuve, dont la maladie a débute comme celle du baron Seillière et qui est aujourd’hui a l’article de la mort.
M. Falret raconte ensuite jour par jour la maladie de M. Seillière depuis so internement.
Le malade est completement isolé. Il n’a jamais vu d’autres malades de la maison. Il a de véritables crises épileptoïdes suiviesde syncopes. Le 23 juin, il en a eu trois. Pendant ces accès, il a brisé deux portes et a moitié assommé un domestique, avec un verre enveloppe dans une serviette. Il a refuse des ailments pendant deux jours, voulant jeûner quarante jours, mais se prétender au trente-huitième jour de jeune. Le colonel Gallet. dans une de ses visites,.fur complètement desha-billa par lui et forcé de se promener tout nu dans le jardin. Il a simule la cecite, la surdite, la pa-raysie, se pretendant empoisonne. Il n’a jamais eu la comisole.
Depuis deux jours, il a de frequents retours a la raison. Hier, dans un de ses moments lucides, il m’a remercie de mes soins et m’a dit: J’ai ete bien malade, je viens d’avoir une crise, j’en aideja eu a la suite de ma flevre typhoi’de. Ge ne sera rien. J’ai ete remis a la suite d’un sejour dans ma propriete de l’Oise. Je demande a y retourner.”
Apres une discussion interessante sur l’etat du malade, qui p.eut, parait-il, mourir rapidement a la suite d’une crise, la Societ6 medico-psychologique vote a l’unanimite 1’order de jour suivant:
“LaSociet6 medico-psychologique, en presence des attaques violentes qui sont produits contre deux de ses membres, apres avoir pris connaissance de l’alfaire, renouvelle a MM. Falret et Mottet sa sympathie, approuve completement leur conduiteet passe a 1’ordre du jour.”
courts, therefore, was at all times futile as to relief; it was injudicious in the effect it mighthave on this applicaiion, and to-day is rendered useless in form as well as in fact by the success of the conspiracy with which it was powerless to cope.
Assuming for a moment that Seillière is entitl ed to the protection of the United States, and for the purposes in argument, assimilating his position to that of an American citizen, I deferentially submit that to be bound by force, removed from the friends of one’s adoption, all access to them interrupted, all assistance from them shut off, and to be exposed [Page 337] to such “repose and medical care” as has succeeded in transforming a man unanimously declared by all who know him to have been sane on the 19th of May into a raving lunatic on the 20th June is a case of such palpable injustice and ill-treatment as our Government has not hesitated to consider justifying its intervention in the past.
The friends of Seillière declare this whole proceeding to be a conspiracy and the law of 1838 to have in this case connived at the perpetration of a crime. It is not necessary, however, to have recourse to this theory in order to justify the intervention of the Government. Admitting that all has been done in perfect good faith. I repeat that it is not unreasonable on the part of the friends of Baron Seillière to make every effort to rescue him from “repose and medical care” which have reduced him to the condition in which he is alleged to be; and that a law the regular working of which has had for effect to derange the reason of a man who all his life enjoyed the reputation of unusual business sagacity comes within the class of legislation which justifies the intervention of our Government on behalf of those persons entitled to its protection who have proved its victims.
I come to the third and last part of this argument. Does the status of Baron Seillière entitle him to the protection of the United States Government?
III.—Does the status of Bacon Seillière entitle him to the protection of the United
Assuming that the law of 1838 in its application to this instance has occasioned palpable injustice of such a nature as to justify the intervention of the American Government on behalf of, a person entitled to its protection, the question now arises whether the status of Raymond Seillière entitles him to the protection which he has claimed.
As has been already stated Wharton in his first volume, page 87, says that, although “the rule is non-intervention, an exception is to be found in the case of relief and protection of citizens abroad, and in this connection adds:” This exception applies not merely to citizens of the United States, but to persons domiciled in the United States.
As early as 1804 the Supreme Court of the United States was called upon to express an opinion as to the effect of domicile on status. In the case of The Venus, 8 Cranch, p. 254, the Supreme Court laid down several principles which are applicable to the present case. Amongst others, it confirmed the principles laid down by the court of England that “a person who removes to a foreign country, settles himself there and engages in the trade of the country, furnishes by these acts such evidence of an intention permanently to reside there as to stamp him with the national character of the state where he resides.”
It also laid down the principle that “in questions of this subject the chief point to be considered is the animus manendi. If it sufficiently appear that the intention of removal was to make a permanent settlement or for an indefinite time, the right of domicile is acquired by a residence of even a few days.” The opinion in this case was written by Judge Washington, and was approved by Judge Story, who is at pains to state that “the question of the effect of a domicile on national character has received the peculiar attention of the court,” and that he “entirely approves of the opinion expressed by Judge Washington on this point.”
The same question arose as to the domicile of Kosciusko in the case of Ennis vs. Smith, 14 Howard, p. 422. It was answered according to the principles laid down in The Venus.
In the case of the Friendschaft, 3 Wheaton, 14, the court held that “the native character does not revert by a mere returning to his native country to a merchant who is domiciled in a neutral country at the time of a capture, and who after the capture leaves his commercial establishment in the neutral country to be attended to by clerks in his absence, visiting his native country merely on mercantile business, and intending to return to his adopted country.”
In Thrasher’s case, Mr. Webster, then Secretary of State, for the first time, in unmistakeable language, laid down the principle that domicile acquired in the United States had for effect the transfer of the allegiance of those acquiring such domicile from the government to which they originally belonged to the government of the place where they acquired the new domicile. (See Wharton, II, 482.)
This theory was maintained and insisted upon by Mr. Marcy, the Secretary of State, in 1853, in the famous Roszta case. The force and eloquence of the arguments by which he maintained the right of the United States to interfere on behalf of a Hungarian who had acquired a domicile in the United States, and by force to rescue him from the hands of the Austrian Government, who had secured his arrest in Turkey, have become classical on this subject. (Wharton, II, 485.)
“Whenever, by the operation of the law of nations, an individual becomes clothed with our national character, be he a native-born or naturalized citizen, an exile driven [Page 338] from, his early home by political oppression, or an emigrant enticed from it by the hopes of a better future for himself and his posterity, he can claim the protection of this Government, and it may respond to that claim without being obliged to explain its conduct to any foreign power, for it is its duty to make its nationality respected by other nations and respectable in every quarter of the globe.
“This right to protect persons having a domicile, though not native-born or naturalized citizens, rests on the firm foundation of justice, and. the claim to be protected is earned by considerations which the protecting power is not at liberty to disregard. Such domiciled citizen pays the same price for his protection as native-born or naturalized citizens pay for theirs. He is under the bonds of allegiance to the country of his residence, and if he breaks them incurs the same penalties; he owes the same obedience to the civil-laws, and must discharge the duties they impose on him; his property is in the same way and to the same extent as theirs liable to contribute to the support of the Government. In war he shares equally with them in the calamities which may befall the country; his services may be required for its defense; his life may be imperiled and sacrificed in maintaining its rights and vindicating its honor. In nearly all respects his and their condition as to the duties and burdens of government are indistinguishable, and what reasons can be given why, so far, at least, as regards protection to person and property abroad as well as at home, his right should not be coextensive with the rights of native-born or naturalized citizens. By the law of nations they have the same nationality, and what right has any foreign power, for the purpose of making distinction between them, to look behind the character given them by that code which regulates national intercourse? When the law of nations determines the nationality of any man, foreign governments are bound to respect its decision.”
Mr. Marcy’s position is sustained by Calvo, Vol. II, p. 95, one of the authorities most quoted in France. The facte of the Koszta case are best given by President Pierce in his message of 1853, quoted by Wharton, vol. 2, p. 358:
Martin Koszta, a Hungarian by birth, came to this country in 1850, and declared his intention, in due form of law to become a citizen of the United States, After remaining here nearly two years he visited Turkey, While at Smyrna he was forcibly seized, taken on board an Austrian brig of war, then lying in the harbor of that place, and there confined in irons, with the avowed design to take him into the dominions of Austria, Our consul at Smyrna and legation at Constantinople interposed for his release, but their efforts were ineffectual. While thus imprisoned, Commander Ingraham, with the United States ship of war Saint Louis, arrived at Smyrna, and after inquiring into the circumstances of the case, came to the conclusion that Koszta was entitled to the protection of this Government and took energetic and prompt measures for his release. Under an arrangement between the agents of the United States and of Austria he was transferred to the custody of the French consul-general at Smyrna, there to remain until he should be disposed of by the mutual agreement of the consuls of the respective Governments at that place. Pursuant to that agreement he has been released, and is now on his way to the United States. The Emperor of Austria has made the conduct of our officers who took part in this transaction a subject of grave complaint. Regarding Koszta as still his subject, and claiming a right to seize him within the limits of the Turkish Empire, he has demanded of this Government its consent to the surrender of the prisoner, a disavowal of the acts of its agents, and satisfaction for the alleged outrage. After a careful consideration of the case, I came to the conclusion that Koszta was seized without legal authority at Smyrna; that he was wrongfully detained on board of the Austrian brig of war; that at the time of his seizure he was clothed with the nationality of the United States; and that the acts of our officers, under the circumstances of the case, were justifiable and their conduct has been fully approved by me; and a compliance with the several demands of the Emperor of Austria has been declined.”
It is difficult to conceive language more explicit than that in which Mr. Pierce describes Koszta as being “clothed with the nationality of the United States.” Now, Koszta had not been in the country quite two years, and had done no more towards completing his naturalization than the mere declaration of his intention to do so. He is therefore relatively in exactly the same position to the American Government as Raymond Seillière.
It has been alleged that Seillière does not come within the Koszta case, because he had returned to the country of his original nationality. It is not possible to maintain this objection in the face of the cases already cited, where the Government was not deterred from interfering on behalf of naturalized citizens who had suffered ill treatment or arrest at the hands of a foreign government by the fact that these naturalized citizens had originally belonged to the foreign government in question. The Friendscliaft case (3 Wheaton, 14) established the principle that a return to his native country merely on mercantile tile business does not affect the status of one who has acquired a domicile in an adopted country. And the United States Government have followed this principle in matters of intervention, for it did not hesitate to intervene on behalf of a naturalized citizen of Frenchedgin [Page 339] who had suffered “undeserved indignities” at the hands of French authorities (Wharton, II, 437); and on behalf of another of German origin who had been arrested by the German Government (Wharton, II, 437); and still another who had been ejected from German territory (Wharton, 437).
Again, if the United States Government has not hesitated to interfere in behalf of naturalized citizens who were originally British subjects, and to demand in their favor from the British Government the safeguards to personal liberty which “were assured to United States citizens by the Constitution of their adopted country, in face of the fact that England had long stood out alone among all, the countries of the world against the doctrine of expatriation, maintaining her position in the terse and arrogant maxim: “Once an Englishman, always an Englishman,” it does not seem possible to maintain that the United States Government will decline to intervene in a similar case when it finds itself in the presence of a country which has always admitted the right of expatriation, and has in the seventeenth article of its Code expressly provided that French nationality is abandoned by the acquisition of a permanent domicile abroad, accompanied by a loss of animus revextendi.
This point of French law is of sufficient importance to justify a moment’s study. The words of the French Code are unmistakable:
“La qualité de Franyaiseperdrapar * * * tout éstablishment fait en pays étranger, sans esprit de retpur. Les etablissements de commerce nepourront jamais etre consideres comine ayant ête faits sans esprit deretour.”
An effort has been made to throw a certain amount of confusion on this subject by citing the numerous cases in which the court of cassation has held that a mere declaration of intention to acquire a foreign nationality was not sufficient to strip a born Frenchman of his original nationality, It has apparently been taken for granted that the contention that Seillière had lost his French nationality was founded upon the declaration that he filed in California of his intention to become an American citizen. I cannot, however, state too emphatically that this is a great mistake. Seillière has never contended that his declaration of intention had either stripped him of his French nationality, or invested him with that of the United States. The declaration is simply one of the elements that go to show the acquisition by him of domicile in the United States. It is his domicile in the United States, and not the declaration of intention, on which he depends. In taking this stand he is as much protected and supported by the law of the land which he has abandoned as by the law of the land on whose protection he has thrown himself.
As I have before stated, the language of the code on the subject can not give rise to, interpretation or construction, for the words are too free from ambiguity or uncertainty of meaning. The cases to which I refer have held very properly that a mere declaration of intention to acquire foreign citizenship is not sufficient to strip a born Frenchman of his original nationality. They are all of them based, upon the plain principle of common sense, that a man can not escape the responsibility he owes to his own government by performing an empty formality relatively to another. In other words, a declaration of intention unaccompanied by the acquisition of a permanent domicile has no effect upon nationality.
This principle has not only decided every case that can be cited on this subject in France, but also inspired the caution of the United States Government in certifying the papers of those persons who can show no better proof of a right to its protection than the mere declaration of intention. It is evident that one who has not resided in the United States long enough to complete his nationality is put at a disadvantage by the fact that he is not able, without considerable difficulty, to prove the fact of his domicile in the United States. And in the absence of this proof it is difficult, and indeed improper, for the United States Government to clothe him with the full rights of an American citizen. It would be unseemly in the extreme for the United States Government to give passports entitling to its full protection Frenchmen and Germans who had merely filed a declaration of intention to be naturalized for the purpose of escaping military duty in their own country. On the other hand, there is not a single case in all the books where the United States has failed to give its fullest protection to every person who has been able satisfactorily to prove the fact that he has acquired a permanent domicile in the United States. On the contrary, every ease on the subject has given rise to language on the part of those who had a right to speak which entitled the counsel of Seillière, in America, to advise him that he could go to France without fear, certain that under the precedents laid clown by the officers of our Government he could count upon its protection.
As a matter of fact, both under the French law and under own, the whole question of the right of Seillière to our intervention is confined to the examination of not a question of law, but a question of fact. Whether Seillière acquired a domicile in the United States or no is, under the circumstances of the case, reduced to the question “did he abandon France without the intention of returning, to acquire a permanent domicile in the United [Page 340] States.” The French law of domicile differs from the American law in its application to the study of this question in only two points:
- First. According to French law, an establishment in America for the mere purpose of commerce cannot be deemed sufficient to strip him of French nationality, whereas it would be considered sufficient under our law if coupled with animus manendi to entitle him to the protection of our Government under existing precedents.
- Second. Story considers that a permanent domicile is acquired wherever there is an indefinite intention to remain, and does not think it dependent upon a definite decision never to return, whereas the French Code, in order that a new domicile in a foreign country should effect a change of nationality exacts a definite decision never to return.
It would not be necessary to entitle Seillière to the intervention of our Government that he should be able to satisfy the requirements of the French law as well as those of our own; on the contrary it has always in the past protected persons domiciled within its territory regardless of the law of the country to which the person so domiciled originally belonged; but, as a matter of fact, he is able to satisfy the requirements of both laws; he has stripped himself of his French nationality by the abandonment of animus revertendi as completely as he has acquired right to the protection of our Government by the acquisition of a permanent animus manendi. Taking therefore the more exacting requirements of the French law on this subject, the question whether Seillière has acquired a permanent domicile in America under the requirements of this law is a pure question of fact, and must be treated as such.
I venturo to submit that the affidavits annexed upon which this memorial is founded prove satisfactorily that Raymond Seillière had definitely abandoned all intentions of returning permanently to France, and had a bona fide intention to make his home in the United State? There being no doubt as to the correctness of the thesis that such a state of facts is sufficient to entitle him to the protection of the United States Government under our law, even though it did not strip him of French nationality under French law, the duty of our Government appears to be confined to a study of the question whether Raymond Seillière has indeed acquired a domicile within the terms above stated.
In the study of this question the facts that we have to guide us are briefly as follows:
- On leaving France for the United States he provided himself with a certificate of the death of both his parents—these being the papers that it would be necessary to produce under French law in all matters affecting status.
- He has filed a declaration of his intention to become an American citizen.
- I have already explained that the only importance attached to this declaration is that under the existing decisions it constitutes prima facie evidence of domicile in the United States. I understand this to mean that it throws the burden of proof on those who deny the acquisition of a domicile in the United States.
- He has hired a house at Newport from the 1st of August.
- Before leaving America on a journey to France to extend over two months he had taken a return ticket, and had actually secured room No. 70 on board the City of Rome returning the 3d August. His stay in France was to be only for two months.
- Before leaving for France ho stored his furs with Gunther, thereby indicating his intention to spend the winter in New York.
- On the 1st of October, 1886, he cabled to Commander Ullmann requesting Ullmann to go out to him to America. Commander Ullmann states that at Seillière’s invitation he promised to make his home in America with him. Commander Ullmann from that time became his confidential adviser.
- On the 19th of April, 1887, Commander Ullmann wrote to an engineer, Henry Guasco, of Poissy, a letter copy of which is annexed to this memorandum requesting him to go out with his family to America for ten years, and suggesting that he complete his studies in the English language. He was to be in the personal service of Raymond Seillière; the engagement with him was to be countersigned by Mr. Waterbury. This letter indicates the intention of the Baron Seillière to remain at least ten years in America.
- Testimony of friends as to the numerous and emphatic declarations made by Raymond Seillière to the effect that he had abandoned France for ever, and intended to make his home in the United States.
It has been alleged that the Koszta case must not be cited as a precedent, because the Government had in that case to defend a somewhat arbitrary act already committed, and that its action might have been different had it been called upon to deliberately decide the course it would adopt, instead of having to defend a course already adopted. I venture to submit that the Xosfetacase was not the first in which a great principle had been laid down. The same principle had been established in Thrasher’s case, and it naturally flowed from the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Fete. Moreover, I can not believe that the United States Government would in glowing language assert a great principle to defend an action in the past and with unconscious hypocrisy abandon it to avoid responsibility in the future. Raymond Seillière cut himself adrift [Page 341] from France, where he believed himself to have been wronged, in order to throw himself upon the protection of the Government where he hoped that his future, at least, would be safe. He took all the steps which, under the precedents already established by the Government itself, entitled him to its protection; and under the guaranty which these precedents gave him, returned for two months to his own country in the sincere belief that he would receive at the hands of our Government all the protection to which a citizen is entitled. His generous desire, on the one hand, to discredit the suspicions as to the intentions of his family, which we now know to have been only too well founded, and his strong belief, on the other hand, in the ability of his adopted country to help him, lured him into the trap into which he has now fallen. The wrong that has been done him is irreparable—for more hopeless of remedy than all other wrongs, it has been done under the color of law. However culpable the conspiracy which insnared him, it was authorized by the French law of 1838, against the provisions of which he now appeals to the Government of his adoption. If it is possible to imagine that pecuniary damages would compensate him for the loss of personal liberty, and for the anguish, of mind, which his enemies now boast has dethroned his reason, even these would be refused to him by Trench courts, in view of the regularity of the proceedings under which the crime has been committed. It is difficult to see how the case of Raymond Seillière can be distinguished from that of Koszta, so far as the questions of law and justice in it are concerned. It is inconceivable that the principle which the United States with one-half of its present power in population had the courage to assert and to act upon in 1853, will be abandoned by them to-day in a cause which is undistinguishable from that in which these principles were first asserted, and which has fully as much claim upon the sympathies of mankind. If it required courage to assert this principle in 1853, in 1887 the assertion of any other would be inconsistent with its dignity and self-respect. But it is not necessary to entertain the possibility of an abandonment of the strong policy adopted in the Koszta case, for the present Secretary of State has during this very administration not hesitated to insist on full justice being rendered by foreign governments to all persons entitled to his protection. It is, therefore, with entire confidence that we leave the lamentable history of Raymond Seillière in his hands.
Of Counsel, 36 Avenue de l’Opéra, Paris.
- Not printed herewith.↩
Dr. Colineau in 1870 summed up the provisions of the law of 1838 as follows:
“Les asiles des fous sont des enters à la porte desquels il faut laisser toute espérance. Ce sont des fabriques d’ahénation chronique. Une fois, leur seuil franchi, l’emprisonnement y est élevé à la hauteur d’une methode. C’est l’arbitraire illimité, l’arbitraire sans rivages qui preside aux placements. C’est le régime du bon plaisir clandestin, ou le despotisme organisé. Les asiles sont des oubliettes. Le premier venu peut, armé de la signature du premier médecin venu, jeter un citoyea dans unasile sans autre forme deprocès.”↩
- [Extract from la Petite Republique française 30th June, 1887.]↩