Mr. Tripp to Mr.
Vienna, February 28,
1897. (Received March 20.)
Sir: I have the honor to hand you herewith copy
of correspondence of this legation with the imperial and royal ministry
of foreign affairs of Austria-Hungary in the case of Mae or Mendel
It seems from the note of the ministry of foreign affairs that Mr.
Tewel’s arrest was caused by reason of the erroneous name given in the
certificate of naturalization and passport, in which he was described as
Mae Tewel instead of Mendel Tewel, his true name, and that he was
discharged upon proof that he was in fact the person to whom the papers
I have no information as to how the error occurred, but am led to presume
that the clerk who made the entry of the judgment of naturalization in
his case may, as has in so many other cases occurred, have incorrectly
understood and written the foreign name in his records, and the victim
of such mistake has for reasons of supposed safety subsequently adopted
it as his true name.
I have, etc.,
[Inclosure 1 in No.
Mr. Tripp to
United States Legation,
Vienna, January 28,
Your Excellency: Complaint has been made to
this legation by Mae Tewel, a naturalized citizen of the United
States, that he has been arrested and held to answer for violation
of the military laws of Austria-Hungary, before the district court
at Tarnow, Galicia.
The facts, so far as they have been communicated to this legation,
are stated as follows:
Mae Tewel, a native of Brosteck, Galicia, emigrated to the United
States in 1885, where he continuously resided until December, 1896.
On the 7th of September, 1896, he was naturalized a citizen of the
United States at Fork, in the State of Pennsylvania, and a
certificate of naturalization was duly issued to him. In December,
1896, desiring to visit his relatives who reside in Galicia, he
applied to the Department of State at Washington for a passport,
which was duly issued to him, bearing date December 21, 1896, and
numbered 18735. On or about the 14th of January, 1897, Mae Tewel,
accompanied by his wife and two children, arrived in Krakau, having
with him his certificate of naturalization and passport.
On the 25th of January, 1897, Mae Tewel was arrested by the police at
Krakau, charged with violation of the military laws of
Austria-Hungary, in having failed to perform his military duty, and
was turned over to the provincial court at Tarnow, where he is still
held in custody. Upon his arrest he exhibited his certificate of
naturalization and passport and claimed exemption from arrest and
immunity from punishment under the treaty existing between the
United States and Austria-Hungary. The authorities, however,
declined to release him, but took away from him his passport and
certificate of naturalization, and have since declined to return the
I shall be glad if your excellency will cause this matter to receive
immediate attention, and to be given to this legation, at the
earliest possible moment, the grounds of the arrest and detention of
Mae Tewel, of which at this time his family are wholly
Permit me to again renew, etc.,
[Inclosure 2 in No.
Count Welsersheimb to Mr. Tripp.
Vienna, February 24,
Sir: The ministry of foreign affairs has
not omitted to act in compliance with the desire expressed in the
esteemed note of January 28, No. 171, and has made investigations
touching the reasons leading to the arrest of Mae Tewel, a
naturalized American citizen.
A communication received from the imperial and royal ministry of
justice conveys to the knowledge of this ministry the fact that
Mendel Tewel was arrested at Krakau on suspicion of violation of
paragraph 45 of the military law of April 11, 1889, No. 41.
The person arrested was in possession of a passport and a certificate
of having acquired American citizenship, the documents having been
given, however, to a person named Mae Tewel, which first of all
required [Page 21] proofs of identity
to be produced. As soon as this question had been settled by
affidavit of witnesses, Mae Tewel was set at liberty on January 28
last, in compliance with Article II of the treaty of September 20,
1870, and criminal proceedings against him discontinued.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to renew,
For the Minister.