Mr. Snowden to Mr. Blaine.

No. 60.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two dispatches, Nos. 40 and 41, referring to the conscription and detention in the Greek military service of Emmanuel C. Catechi, a naturalized citizen of the United States, and to inform you that, probably owing to the absence of United States Consul Hancock from Patras, I was not promptly advised, as I should have been, of the facts in this case.

The first information I had on the subject was from a statement made by one A. J. Anagnostopoulus, a friend of Catechi, and transmitted to me through the United States consul at Athens, and which I now find, from Mr. Thomas Woodley’s report, contains several unimportant errors as to dates, etc.

Immediately on receipt of this statement, which reached me on the 18th day of September, I addressed a communication to the Hellenic minister of foreign affairs, presenting all the facts then in my possession tending to sustain the claim of Catechi to the privileges of American citizenship, and upon these requested his speedy release from military service. To this communication, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, I have received no reply.

I also wrote on the same day to Mr. Thomas Woodley, United States consular agent at Corfu, requesting to be furnished with full information on this case. His reply, inclosing a copy of his original statement to Consul Hancock, has just been received from England, where he has been sojourning for some time on account of ill health.

As I am advised by Mr. Hancock that, acting under your instructions, he has presented to the Greek foreign office a full statement of the facts establishing Catechi’s claim to American citizenship, and has also in this communication embodied the views of the Department as contained in dispatch No. 40, and has reiterated my request of September 18 for the immediate release of Catechi from military service, I do not deem it advisable to again communicate with the Greek Government on this subject until my return to Athens, which will be within a week or 10 days from date. Immediately on my return to Athens, if Catechi is still held to service, I shall in person present your views and demand his prompt release. As requested in dispatch No. 41, I shall make careful investigation into the circumstances of Catechi’s residence in Greece, whether pointing to a permanent abode there or otherwise, and communicate the same to the Department.

I have, etc.,

A. Loudon Snowden.
[Page 515]
[Inclosure in No. 60.]

Mr. Snowden to Mr. Dragoumis.

Sir: I am this moment in receipt of information to the effect that one Emmanuel C. Catechi, claiming to be a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, has been drafted into the Greek military service, and is at present detained at one of your military barracks.

It is claimed that Catechi was born in Corfu about the year 1859, and, at the age of 13, emigrated to the United States; that he resided therein for a period of about 15 years, was duly and lawfully naturalized as a citizen of the United States at San Francisco, Cal., and that on his return to Greece, some 3 years since, was duly registered as such at the United States consular agency at Corfu.

It is further claimed that on being drafted into your military service the papers establishing his rights as an American citizen were forwarded to the proper department of your Government, and that an assurance was given of his speedy release.

Owing to some cause not explained, he has been permitted to remain in military duress for a period exceeding 3 months.

I have therefore the honor, in submitting this statement, to request that Your Excellency will give early attention to this case, and as a result that the war department may very shortly issue an order restoring Catechi to his liberty.

My absence from Athens on official duty elsewhere renders it impossible for me to give to this case the personal attention which its importance demands. In this temporary absence from your capital may I not confidently rely upon your recognition of the justice of the claim I have presented by the prompt release of Catechi from your military service?

This I shall esteem as a renewed manifestation of the reciprocal feeling of good will that has so long existed between our respective Governments.

I seize this occasion, etc.,

A. Loudon Snowden.