Mr. Foster to Mr. White.
Washington , November 7, 1892.
Sir: I have received Mr. Wart’s No. 249, of October 17 last, in regard to the case of Jacob Goldstein, an American citizen, imprisoned at Harkov (Kharkov).
The statements of the reply of the Russian foreign office, appear to be a repetition of the allegations made by the authorities of Harkov in their communication to the United States consul at Odessa, dated September 11–28, 1892, copy of which was sent to your legation with the other correspondence by Mr. Heenan.
It is noted that, by the admission of the Russian authorities themselves, Mr. Goldstein’s passport and certificate of naturalization have been sent to New York for investigation.
This proceeding naturally occasions some surprise, and is only explicable on the conjecture that the Russian authorities are ignorant of the Federal character of these papers. The Government of the United States is the sole judge of the competence and validity of the passport which it issues and of the evidence of national citizenship on which it is granted. It does not pertain to the authorities of New York to examine the validity of a United States passport.
If any question were raised as to the identity of the bearer or the legality of his naturalization this Government would be happy to investigate any offered testimony throwing doubt on the case, upon the request to that end, through the proper channel. So far as concerns any charge against the prisoner of fraudulent impersonation of the Jacob Goldstein to whom the passport purports to have been issued it is proper to say that the evidence now furnished to this Department states that Jacob Goldstein’s mother, wife, and children reside in New York City, while the mother of Yankel Zlotow, the fugitive with whom Goldstein is confounded, still resides in Harkov, and it would seem fails to identify her alleged son.
The application upon which passport No. 35320 was granted to Jacob Goldstein, or Zheikop Goldschtein, as he signs his name, avers his birth at Cszelecz, in Russia, on or about July 4, 1802, and his naturalization, before the superior court of the city of New York, October 8, 1888. The place of birth so given conflicts with Mr. Goldstein’s allegation of German birth made in his petition addressed to Mr. Heenan who will be directed to make inquiry in this regard.
The name Cszelecz appears to be Hungarian or Galician, but the town is not identified on any map in this Department.
I am etc.,