Mr. Wurts to Mr. Foster.

No. 239.]

Sir: Your instruction, No. 212, of the 23d ultimo, on the subject of the reported arrest and detention at Kharkov of Jacob Goldstein was duly received, and I at once represented the case to the Russian foreign [Page 528] office with the request that au investigation be made and information thereof be furnished me.

In all probability the cause of the arrest will prove to be as surmised, that Goldstein “is amenable to militia (that is military) duties,”

As you are aware, this legation has had to deal with a number of cases of this character, the result of which has, if my memory does not betray me, been the same, a refusal of the Russian Government to waive its right to punish a former subject on his venturing again within its jurisdiction for offense committed prior to his naturalization as the citizen or subject of a foreign state. The arguments used by us have not made the slightest impression here, and seem to be rather exhausted. I shall of course do ail in my power with them, but must respectfully beg the Department, if possible, to furnish me with some new ones, in preparation for the response of the Russian Government that Goldstein is charged with and liable to punishment for escaping abroad when close upon the age for military service, in order to evade that service by becoming an American citizen.

The penalty for this offense is exile to Siberia, but, while this Government has closely adhered to the principle involved in cases such as this is supposed to be, it has never been applied to an American citizen. The last case of the kind, which is on file at the Department, was that of Kempinski, in 1889, the result of which was that no concession was made by the Russian Government, and Kempinski was condemned, but released on his successful petition for the clemency of the Emperor. It might be well for the friends of Goldstein to advise him to prepare to follow Kempmski’s example.

I have, etc.,

George W. Wurts,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.