Mr. Lothrop to Mr. Bayard.
St. Petersburg , February 10, 1888. (Received February 28.)
Sir: Mr. Isidore Albert, who claims to be a citizen of the United States, has sent to me a petition to His Majesty the Emperor, praying for pardon, which he asks me to present to the Emperor.
The facts of the case, so far as known to me, are disclosed in Mr. Albert’s letter to me, a copy of which is inclosed herewith, and in my reply to him, a copy of which is also inclosed (Nos. 1 and 2).
I should perhaps say that though I have no other information, the internal evidence of his letter leads me to infer that Mr. Albert was not a native citizen of the United States.
I also suspect that when he entered the Russian military service as a medical officer he must have taken an oath of allegiance to the Emperor.
On the whole, I feel satisfied that I ought not to take any official action in the matter without your instructions. I have felt it my duty on so many occasions to remonstrate energetically against the action of the Russian authorities against our citizens in respect to matters which, as we claim, were outside their rightful jurisdiction, that I feel a delicacy in interfering where their jurisdiction is unquestionable.
For this reason I beg to ask your instructions.
Of course, forfeiture of all civil rights and perpetual exile in Siberia for the offense of accepting a bribe of nine rubles seems a most extraordinary sentence. But this is so completely a matter of domestic concern and policy as perhaps to make any remonstrance in that respect inadmissible. Besides, it is not disclosed what was the act for which the paltry bribe was taken. It is possible that it was so grave as to excuse if not justify the severity of the penalty.
I am, etc.,