Mr. Tripp to Mr. Olney.

No. 235.]

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 Tewel.

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 were issued.

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.,

Bartlett Tripp.
[Page 20]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 235.]

Mr. Tripp to Count Goluchowsky.

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 same.

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 uninformed.

Permit me to again renew, etc.,

Bartlett Tripp.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 235—Translation.]

Count Welsersheimb to Mr. Tripp.

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, etc.,

Welsersheimb,
For the Minister.