Mr. Peirce to Mr. Olney.

No. 161.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 126, of October 12, relating to Anton Yablkowski, and inclosing copy of his application for a passport.

I note that Yablkowski, in his application for a passport, stated that he was born at Inowradaw, which is a small town of Prussian Poland. I have therefore addressed a letter to the United States consul at Warsaw, requesting him to secure all the data which he may be able to obtain bearing upon the place and circumstances of Yablkowski’s birth, as they may affect his original nationality, as well as upon any change of nationality previous to his American naturalization. I have also requested him to obtain, if possible, copies of all the evidence and of any official documents in this case. I inclose copy of this letter.

It has seemed to me prudent to secure these documents in this way, if it can be done, rather than to make a request through the ministry of foreign affairs, preferring, if possible, to maintain the status of the case exactly as it is until your instructions are received. At present it might be said to be parallel to the arrest of a deserter found under a safe-conduct within the enemy’s lines.

Should it prove that Yablkowski was a German and not a Russian subject originally, the case would of course present a very different aspect from its present one. It is not impossible that this may be the result of further inquiry, as, evidently from the fact of the man’s being at large, although accused of something involving so severe a penalty, the evidence against him is not thought to be very strong. Inowradaw is close to the frontier, and he would speak the same dialect as the people in Poland on the other side of the line.

I have, etc.,

Herbert H. D. Peirce,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
[Page 1107]
[Inclosure in No. 161.]

Mr. Peirce to Mr. Rawicz.

Sir: I am in receipt of a dispatch from the Department of State in regard to the case of Anton Yablkowski.

It seems that in his application for a passport he stated that he was born in Inowradaw, Prussia.

As I desire to know the exact facts in this man’s case, who may after all have been a German subject although a Pole by birth, I will thank you to see him and obtain all the facts in his case. You will please discover, if you can, whether he was really born in Prussia or in Russia, and whether he ever became a Russian subject; and if so, how. In short, get from him as complete a history of any point bearing upon this question as you can.

You may say to Yablkowski that this legation has his case in hand and is using its influence to secure his discharge as an American citizen.

I also desire a copy, if you can obtain it, of the evidence on which this man is held, and of any legal documents or processes in his case. No doubt these copies can be secured through the imperial ministry of foreign affairs, but in view of the expedition which you may be able to secure, and tor other reasons, I deem it best that you should obtain them if possible, and if not, that you should communicate the fact to this legation without loss of time.

I am, etc.,

Herbert H. D. Peirce,
Chargé d’Affaires.