Mr. Lothrop to Mr. Bayard.
St. Petersburg, November 29, 1887. (Received December 19.)
Sir: As I have in a previous dispatch had the honor to make known to you, the laws of Russia prohibit foreign-born Jews, with some unimportant exceptions, from coming into Russia, or becoming domiciled therein.
During this year the law has been very vigorously enforced against all new-comers, and it now seems to be a fixed policy to drive out all [Page 1400] who have hitherto become domiciled in the Empire. The newspapers mention the expulsion of large bodies in southern Russia, where they principally live. I have been appealed to by several naturalized American citizens, who have been notified that they must leave the Empire by the end of the year.
I have replied to all such applications that while I should always be glad to render them any proper assistance, this was a matter wholly within the domain of Russian law, so long as foreign Jews of all nationalities were treated alike, and no discrimination made against American citizens.
The ministers of finance, of the interior, and of foreign affairs have power on petition to grant permission to remain here in special cases.
Mr. D. Waldenberg, a naturalized American citizen, but a Jew of foreign birth, long settled at Plock and doing business there, was some months ago notified that he must leave the country by the end of the year. He was so well esteemed by his neighbors that they generally petitioned for the grant of a special permission in his favor. I thought the case was one in which I could properly join in the application, and did so. No reply has been made.
I have a warm sympathy for these people whose homes and business are thus relentlessly broken up; but my concern would be even deeper if they were only temporarily living here, engaged in promoting business and commerce with their adopted country. But I regret to say that in nearly every case, and perhaps in every case, brought to my attention, they seem to be permanently settled in Russia and engaged in its domestic business.
As many of these persons, if expelled, will be likely to find their way back to America, where their hardships may attract attention, it has seemed to me proper to set out the precise facts of the case, and to show that the unfortunate condition of this class of our fellow-citizens has not been regarded here with indifference.
I am, etc.,