No. 434.
Mr. Pendleton to Mr. Bayard.

No. 547.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt to-day of your instruction No. 265, of the 18th ultimo, in reference to the case of Hans Jacobsen, arrested on the Island of Alsen, and lately confined in Flensburg, on the charge of being a deserter from the German army.

I inclose the correspondence had with the consul at Hamburg, by whom the attention of this legation was called to this case in October last.

The facts and the question are stated in the letter of Mr. Coleman, under date of October 12, 1887, written by my direction, and the reply of Consul Lang of October 20, with its inclosure.

From these papers, as well as from the statements made in writing to the consul by the friends of Jacobsen before the consul called my attention to the subject, it clearly appears that prior to his emigration to the United States, to wit, in the month of October, 1878, Jacobsen was summoned for military service; that he had presented himself, was examined, was accepted and enlisted. After enlistment he was allowed to return for a few days to his home, being ordered to report on the 5th November next ensuing. In the interval he left Germany without leave, going to the United States.

The case falls plainly within the definition of desertion “committed before emigration,” as understood by the German authorities and by this legation, as shown by a practice unbroken, as I am advised, since the making of the treaty of 1868. By Article II of that treaty a naturalized citizen of one country returning to the other country remains liable to trial and punishment for an action committed before emigration. I therefore declined to intervene.

It will be observed that the case of Jacobsen after his arrest was sent to a military tribunal, which is never done in the case of mere offense against the civil law, as would be unlawful emigration. It will be also observed that in the inclosure of Consul Lang’s letter of October 20 last I was given to understand that Jacobsen’s own version of the facts in his case would be forwarded to me. As this has never been done, it is to be assumed that he is satisfied with the statement made in his behalf.

I note the instruction to present Jacobsen’s case to the foreign office, but in view of the facts as herein stated, and of my former decision not to intervene, and the reasons for such decision, of which the Department was necessarily ignorant at the time when the instruction was written, I shall respectfully take the liberty to suspend compliance therewith until further instructed by telegraph or otherwise.

Hoping that my action in both respects may meet the approval of the Department.

I have, etc.,

Geo. H. Pendleton.
[Page 587]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 547.]

Mr. Burke to Mr. Pendleton.

Sir: By direction of Consul Lang and on behalf of one Hans Jacobsen, I have the honor to transmit to you herewith two letters which explain themselves, and a military case” form signed by Hans Jacobsen. There is no doubt of his being an American citizen, as our record book shows that on August 24 he presented a passport at this consulate, which was issued at Washington, and received from us a certificate that he had presented the same. As will be seen from the above letters, your intervention in his behalf is earnestly requested.

I have, etc.,

Chas. H. Burke.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 547.]

military case.

Name, Hans Jacobsen; place of birth, Sonanby-Schleswig; date of birth, August 8, 1858; date of emigration to United States, October, 1878; name of ship and date of sailing, a ship from Denmark; date of arrival in the United States, end of October or beginning of November; date of declaration of intention, 16th of December, 1880; date of naturalization, do not remember, April or May, 1887; date of return to Germany, 22d or 23d of August, 1887; name of ship, Rugia; date of ship’s arrival, 22d or 23d August, 1887; purpose of return to Germany, ——; date of intended return to America, in the spring, 1888; date of military judgment, ——; cause of military judgment, ——; name of court rendering judgment, ——; amount of fine, ——; date of payment, or —— cause of non-payment, ———; date of imprisonment, August 30, 1887; when ordered to leave, ——; date of impressment, ——. Annex copies of all papers served on you in connection herewith, ——.

I, the undersigned, a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, solemnly assert the above statement to be true.

Hans Jacobsen.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 547.—Translation.]

Mr. Lassen to Mr. Lang.

The undersigned respectfully begs to place the following request before the esteemed consulate, at the solicitation of the house-owner, Andreas Jacobsen, of Lysabbelholz:

Hans Jacobsen, a son of the above-mentioned Andreas Jacobsen, emigrated from here to the United States about nine years ago, after having been enlisted as a soldier, and without asking for leave. He has remained uninterruptedly in the United States until August 25, 1887, when he returned as an American citizen. The day previous (August 24) he produced his passport (citizen papers) at the esteemed consulate. Soon after his returning home, on August 31, was, by direction of the military authorities, arrested and transported to prison in Flensburg. He is still there, and the probabilities are that the court-martial will punish him for his above-mentioned emigration. It is possible that he has already been sentenced.

Such a measure on the part of the military authorities, however, can not agree with the treaty of February 22, 1868, between the United States and Prussia regarding the citizenship of such persons who have emigrated from here to the United States, nor with the instructions pertaining thereto of the minister of justice of July 5, 1868.

According to these decrees the said Hans Jacobsen can certainly not now be punished on account of his emigration.

In the name of the said Andreas Jacobsen, father of the American citizen, Hans Jacobsen, I would most respectfully request the esteemed consulate to intervene in the behalf of Hans Jacobsen with the proper authorities and see that his rights are protected, and, if possible, his liberation effected.

Your most obedient,

H. Lassen,
Hofbesitzer und Landtagsabgeordneter.
[Page 588]
[Inclosure 4 in No. 547.—Translation.]

Mr. Johanmen to Mr. Lang.

In consequence of your esteemed communication of the 4th instant, addressed to my colleague, Mr. H. Lassen, deputy of the Prussian legislature, residing at Lysabbel, the latter has instructed me to send to you the inclosed form, filled in as well as it can be at present, and to request you at the same time to hasten to the succor of the American citizen, Hans Jacobsen.

Judgment has not yet been passed, and hence various questions contained in the form could not be answered. Hans Jacobsen is confined in the military-arrest establishment of this place.

I avail myself of this occasion to assure you of the very high regard with which I subscribe myself,

Yours, very respectfully,

Gustav Johannsen,
Deputy to the Reichstag.
[Inclosure 5 in No. 547.]

Mr. Coleman to Mr. Lang.

No. 2483.]

Sir: The letter of October 11, written by Mr. Burke by your direction, and relating to the case of Hans Jacobsen, has been received.

Replying to the same, I am instructed by the minister to request you to cause Jacobsen to be informed, through such channels as you shall find available and convenient, that if he be a deserter, duly recruited for the German army before his emigration, his naturalization and the treaties regulating nationality, concluded between the United States and the German States in 1868, will not protect him from punishment for that offense on his return to his native country. If it were a case of emigration merely, and not one of desertion, it would be different. You will perceive, from article 2 of the inclosed treaty, that he remains liable to punishment on his return here for an action punishable by the laws of this country committed before his emigration.

The letter of Deputy Lassen, which you inclose, states distinctly that Jacobsen had been “zum Soldaten ausgehoben.” If it should, nevertheless, be ascertained that he was not recruited before his emigration, the legation will be glad to be informed of the fact, and will take such steps in his behalf as the circumstances of the case shall warrant.

By direction of the minister.

I remain, etc.,

C. Coleman.
[Inclosure 6 in No. 547.]

Mr. Lang to Mr. Pendleton.

Sir: Herewith I have the honor of sending you a copy of a letter received from one H. Lassen, who has conducted the correspondence with this consulate on behalf of Hans Jacobsen.

It will be seen from this letter that Hans Jacobsen had undergone a preliminary examination as a recruit in the army of the Imperial Government, and was accepted and ordered to report for duty anterior to his departure for America.

I am, sir,

Wm. W. Lang.
[Page 589]
[Inclosure 7 in No. 547.—Translation.]

Mr. Lassen to Mr. Lang.

Having received the esteemed communication of the 15th instant of the highly honored consulate, I have to state in a preliminary way that the said Hans Jacobsen emigrated to America on the 21st of October, 1878, after he had been recruited for military service. Pursuant to an order received by him before his departure he was, however, not to enter upon service until the 5th of November following.

Upon the question, whether, under these circumstances, before his emigration he could be regarded as having been placed in the military service, I will not pass judgment, but in my opinion this is not the case.

The facts are in reality as stated. I shall, however, in so far as it may be possible, also cause Hans Jacobsen himself to answer the questions which have been submitted.

With high respect,

H. Lassen.