Mr. Peirce to Mr. Olney.

No. 451.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copies of recent correspondence in regard to John Ginzberg, from which it will be seen that he has been convicted of the charge brought against him and condemned to deprivation of civil rights and to banishment from the Empire.

It appears that what Mr. Ginzberg himself wants is to leave Russia and to return to the United States, but it now becomes a question of how he is to be transported there. The penalty for remaining in Russia beyond a limited time after the sentence is like that of return after banishment—deportation to Siberia. The officials at the foreign office have given me a verbal assurance that the case shall remain in statu quo for six weeks pending advices from the Department. If the means can be furnished he can travel to the frontier in such way as he sees fit, except that his route must be determined beforehand, with the consent of the Imperial Government. If his friends can not furnish the money for a more comfortable means of making the journey he can be marched to the frontier by “étape” in the usual manner for criminals. But it will be necessary to furnish means to pass him through Germany so that he will not be prevented by the regulations of the German Government regarding paupers from crossing the frontier.

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All Ginzberg’s letters to this legation indicate that he is destitute of the means to pay for his journey to the United States.

Awaiting your instructions, I am, etc.,

Herbert H. D. Peirce,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 451.]

Mr. Ginzberg to Mr. Breckinridge.

Good Master and Gentleman: Upon my soul I can not understand the Russian ways how they do justice. I can tell that the arrest is lying on me more than two years’ time.

And behold my case was finished on the 6th of September, 1896, and still they are keeping me now in such a little town—Loguishin, Russia—where no employment can be for such a man like I am. Now, I pray you, beloved master, show kindness to me and pity me, for I am a true man for the United States of America, and ask, please, the judges of Russia, let them send me my American papers quick as it is possible, because I have now a place for employment in the United States in the city of New York. There is a girl waiting for me; she would like to get married for me; and I have promised her that I will be her bridegroom. Therefore, beloved master, I pray you finish my case and send me out from Russia the same way like the Minsk judges are willing to do it.

Yours, etc.,

John Ginzberg.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 451.—Translation.]

Mr. Chichkine to Mr. Peirce.

Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: Referring to the note of the legation of the United States under date of September 25 last, I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a copy of the sentence of the Minsk district court relating to the case of Simon (alias John) Ginzberg.

As it appears from the said document, Ginzberg is, in virtue of article 325 of the Penal Code, condemned to the deprivation of all civil rights and to perpetual banishment from the Empire.

In communicating to you the foregoing, please, Mr. Chargé d’Affaires, accept, etc.,


September 9, 1896, in the presence of the assistant attorney, N. K. Gavriloff, and the assistant secretary, A. P. Kozitch, the following sentence was returned, based upon §§ 829–834 and 842 of the statutes of the criminal court, by the member of the court, A. A., Prostomolotoff.

[Page 513]


6th day of September, 1896.

By oukase of His Imperial Majesty, in the criminal department of the district court of Minsk, represented as follows: President, J. V. Mouchketoff; members of the court, X. F. Solovievitch, A. A. Protomolotoff, with the assistance of the secretary, E. F. Loponchansky, and in the presence of Mr. Assistant Attorney N. K. Gavriloff, with the participation of a sworn jury, the case of Simon Jankel Ginzberg, aged 29 years, was heard, recognized guilty (but deserving leniency) in that, being a Russian subject, he left his native land and went to America, and on the 10th of August, 1886, became, without permission of the Government, a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, and that in the autumn of 1894 he voluntarily returned to Russia. Referring to the decree of laws governing the above verdict the sworn jury of the district court found that the action of which Ginzberg is found guilty (according to collection of laws of the governing senate of 1878 under No. 21), by his own admission, of the crime defined in § 325, part 1st of the penal code, and entailing with it for the person found guilty the deprivation of all civil rights and perpetual banishment from the Empire, which sentence is pronounced upon Ginzberg. The cost of the present case, according to §§ 976–999 of the statutes of criminal courts, to be paid by Ginzberg and in case of his inability to pay, said costs to be borne by the Crown. Documents referring to the identification of Ginzberg now in the possession of the court to be returned to him.

In conformity with the above and with § 776 of the statutes governing criminal courts, the district court declares, according to the decision of the sworn jury, that the commoner of Little Laguishin, district of Pinsk, Simon Jankel Ginzberg, aged 29 years, based upon § 325, part 1st, of the Penal Code, is deprived of all civil rights and is sentenced to perpetual banishment from the limits of the Russian Empire; the costs of the trial to be paid by Ginzberg, and in case of his inability to pay, said costs to be defrayed by the Crown, the documents relative to the identification of Ginzber, now held by the court, issued to Ginzberg by the Government of the United States to be returned to Ginzberg as belonging to him.

The original bears the proper signatures.

True copy of the original.

[Signature illegible.]
Acting Secretary of the District Court of Minsk.


A. Lavrovitch, Assistant Secretary.