Mr. Breckinridge to Mr. Olney.

No. 188.]

Sir: I inclose herewith copy of a letter from our consul at Warsaw in regard to Mr. Henry Topor, a naturalized American citizen, arrested at Warsaw upon the charge of “leaving Russia without permission and becoming a citizen of the United States.”

Also, I send copy of my note to Prince Lobanow, of this date, protesting against such action, expressing the hope that the pending consideration of such cases will result in the removal of the differences they cause, and asking for fuller information about this unfortunate man, whose condition, at or near Warsaw, seems to be distressing. I also say that this information is desired for transmission, through the Department, to his wife. Mrs. Topor’s address is 1069 Milwaukee avenue, Chicago.

I have, etc.,

Clifton R. Breckinridge.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 188.]

Mr. Breckinridge to Prince Lobanow.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to state that I am informed by the United States consul at Warsaw that Mr. Henry Topor, a naturalized American citizen, was arrested at Warsaw in the month of September last, deprived of his passport, and sent to prison upon the charge of “leaving the Empire without permission and becoming a citizen of the United States.”

As your excellency knows from past and pending correspondence, it is incumbent upon me to protest most emphatically against any attempt to question the right of the United States to prescribe and apply the terms upon which its citizenship shall be acquired by any and all persons within their jurisdiction, and that the disregard of this citizenship, thus acquired, is considered by my Government as derogatory to that sovereign right which is inherent to all independent states, and as an unfriendly act.

I can not discharge this duty, however, without accompanying it with a statement of my hope and belief that the careful and considerate attention, which I am sure differences of this character are at present [Page 524] receiving at the hands of the Imperial Government, will result in the early amelioration or total removal of the irritating causes in an honorable and suitable manner.

The consul further informs me that this unfortunate man has, subsequent to his imprisonment, been sent to an asylum, presumably both sick and insane. How far his imprisonment, detention from his family, now in the United States, and the prospect of perpetual banishment to Siberia may have contributed to this end it is impossible to say. I should be glad if your excellency would use your good offices to secure for me a statement from the authorities at Warsaw of Mr. Topor’s exact conditions and surroundings, particularly that I may communicate such information to his wife, who seems not to have heard from him for a long time.

I avail myself, etc.,

Clifton R. Breckinridge.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 188.]

Mr. Rawicz to Mr. Breckinridge.

Sir: On the 25th ultimo I have received a letter from Mrs. Henry Topor, of 1069 Milwaukee avenue, Chicago, Ill., who inquired of the whereabouts of her husband, United States citizen Henry Topor, who with a United States passport came to this country to better his health, and as privately reported there was arrested in Warsaw. Accordingly I have directed an official correspondence to the chief of the police in this city on the subject, and to-day I have received the answer, No. 14271, from the police department here, of following tenor:

November 30/December 12, 1895.—In answer to your communication of 18/30 November, No. 1571 M. C., we beg to state to the consulate that Henry Topor vel Barieki was detained by the police authorities here, in the month of September this year, and according to the law of this country “for leaving this land without permission and becoming a citizen of the United States,” he was sent to prison for examination. Presently said Mr. Topor is sent out to asylum as sick of the mind, under the guard of the chief of said prison, on the 26th October/7th November. (Signed chief of the police.)

To-day I have also notified Mrs. Topor of the above facts.

Your obedient servant,

Joseph Rawicz,
United States Consul.