Mr. Breckinridge to Mr. Olney.

No. 225.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 167, of January 23, in regard to Henry Topor, arrested at Warsaw for becoming a citizen of the United States without permission and now confined in an asylum near that city on account of insanity. I have prepared a note to Prince Lobanow, expressing the hope that on account of the irresponsible condition of the accused his case will be taken from the catalogue of controversy and he be released upon condition that a suitable escort is furnished to take him back to his family in the United States.

It seems best to act upon your general suggestion in this way.

A copy of the note is inclosed and I will deliver the original to the Prince to-morrow, his first reception day. It seems well also to try and advance the case without waiting for the hoped-for reply from Mr. Topor’s family, providing the necessary funds, so as to let him start as soon as practicable in case the result is favorable.

I inclose also a copy of a note from the foreign office of December 15/27, which has not yet been followed by the promised information and is the only addition to the papers already in your hands.

I have, etc.,

Clifton R. Breckinridge.
[Page 526]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 225.—Translation.]

Mr. Chichkine to Mr. Breckinridge.

Mr. Minister: Referring to your note of December 8/20, relative to the case of Mr. Henry Topor, I have the honor to inform you that the Imperial ministry of foreign affairs has hastened to place the subject before the minister of the interior and will not fail to communicate to you all the data obtained in this matter.

Receive, Mr. Minister, etc.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 225.]

Mr. Breckinridge to Prince Lobanow.

Your Excellency: Referring to my note of December 8/20, 1895, relating to Mr. Henry Topor, arrested for leaving the Empire and becoming an American citizen without Imperial permission, and to the kind ministerial reply of December 15/27, I now have the honor to respectfully submit a suggestion made by my Government in a recent communication upon the subject.

The police department of Warsaw, in a communication to the United States Consul November 30/December 12, No. 14271, after speaking of Mr. Topor’s arrest, says that he has been sent out to an asylum on account of being mentally deranged. The Secretary of State of the United States suggests that on account of the mental disease of the accused and the irresponsibility thereby implied it is hoped that his case will be taken out of the general category of controversy and be made the subject of the most lenient and considerate treatment. It is recognized that the Imperial authorities are now treating him with all the leniency and kindness consistent with his detention as a responsible person. It is recalled by the Honorable Secretary that in a similar case in Germany, but arising from a different cause, a citizen insane was humanely released and permitted to return to the United States upon condition that he be taken charge of by a suitable person selected by the United States Government. While Congress makes no provision for such cases, yet the Secretary of State has advised Mr. Topor’s family that if they will provide the necessary funds, and the Imperial Government will graciously grant this release, he will authorize the selection of a suitable person for the purpose, and he has empowered me to this effect.

While I have not yet received the advices kindly promised as soon as practicable by the ministerial note of December 15/27 in regard to Mr. Topor’s condition, yet as my present information is from the police department at Warsaw, through the United States consul at that city, I can hardly doubt that the further information when received will confirm, only with fuller details, that now possessed. In view of the considerations advanced I trust that pending and apart from the settlement of the general questions involved this concession may be [Page 527] graciously extended to a man in such a helpless, irresponsible, and sympathetic condition. It would seem to be a relief to all for such a man to be again with and in the charge of his family.

Submitting this to the just and humane consideration of the Imperial Government, I avail myself, etc.,

Clifton R. Breckinridge.