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the charge of unauthorized expatriation, the American legation at St. Petersburg will be instructed to do what it properly can for his relief, in the direction of protecting him from loss of liberty or damage in property.
Mr. Hitt, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Pierczynski, Oct. 3, 1881, 139 MS.
Dom. Let. 208; Mr. Hitt, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Hoffman, chargé
“ As a naturalized American citizen, you would, if provided with a passport, be entitled to all the protection due to a native-born American citizen. This does not imply that you would be free from molestation should you return to your native country [Russia), and it is not improbable that you would be subjected to various incon veniences, perhaps to arrest. In this case every effort would be exerted in your behalf by the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States, though it is impossible to say with what result. You yourself must, of course, be the judge of the advisability of the visit you contemplate."
Mr. Davis, Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr. Newding, Feb. 14, 1883, 145 MS.
Doin. Let. 529.
“I have to observe upon the subject that the Russian Government does not admit the right of expatriation, but holds that a Russian subject who leaves Russia without the permission of the Emperor breaks the laws of his country, and the code provides punishment therefor.
“ Russia has no treaty stipulations with the United States which in any way modify the case so far as our citizens are concerned. If, therefore, one of these returns to the jurisdiction of the offense which had been entirely committed before his naturalization here, the Amerscan passport which will be given him on proper application will assure the earnest attention of our diplomatic and consular officers in case there may be any proper opportunity of service to him. The Department cannot, however, guarantee freedom from detention, nor protection and release in case charges are there prosecuted, for infractions of Russian law committed by the individual while a Russian subject and before any obligation was acknowledged by him to the United States."
Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Halpern, Nov. 27, 1883, 149
MS. Dom. Let. 20; Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Turrill, March 19, 1884, 150 MS. Dom. Let. 325; Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of
State, to Mr. Kaufman, Feb. 10, 1885, 154 MS. Dom. Let. 202. See, also, Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Adler, April 14, 1883,
146 MS. Dom. Let. 129.
“ From the responses previously made to your inquiries in Mr. Wagner's behalf, it appears that the brunt of the charge against him was that he, a minor, quitted Russian jurisdiction in advance of attaining the age when he might be called upon for military service. He was born at Lodz in 1852, and in 1874 became liable to military service. He came to the United States in 1869, five years before the liability could rest upon him. When the technical offense, styled 'evasion of military duty, which is the sole charge against him, began to exist as a tangible accusation, Reinhardt Wagner had already, by residence in the United States for more than three years preceding his majority, acquired under our statutes the preliminary rights of citizenship. No nation should assert an absolute claim over one of its subjects under circumstances like these; and it is thought improbable that Russia will persist in such a claim, even if made. There would be no limit to such a pretension; for the taking of a male infant out of Russia might be regarded with equal propriety as an 'evasion' of eventual military service. It is tantamount to asserting a right to punish any male Russian who, having quitted Russian territory and become a citizen of another state, may afterward return to Russia.
This claim is different from that put forth by some Governments for the completion of military duty fully accruing while the subject is within their jurisdiction, and actually left unfulfilled. It is, for example, claimed that a subject who leaves the country when called upon to serve in the army, and becomes a citizen or subject of another state, may, if he return to the former jurisdiction while yet of age for military duty, be compelled to serve out his term. This rule appears harsh to us, and yet it goes no further, as a matter of fact, than a contention that an obligation of service accruing and unpaid while the subject is a resident of the country, continues, and is to be extinguished in kind by performance of the alleged defaulted service. But, harsh as it is, it is wholly different from the infliction of vindictive punishment, as, for instance, exile for the constructive evasion of an inchoate obligation. To exact the fulfillment of an existing obligation is one thing; to inflict corporal punishment for not recognizing a future contingent obligation is another."
Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hunt, min. to Russia, Dec. 22,
1883, H. Ex. Doc. 88, 48 Cong. 1 sess. 7-8. This instruction related to the case of Reinhardt Wagner, who was re
ported to have been exiled to Siberia. It afterwards appeared that
he was in the United States. (For. Rel. 1885, 663; infra, p. 630.) Mr. Hunt was informed that the foregoing instruction was
read and communicated to the minister ipsissimis verbis," but was to
be used in his discretion. (MS. Inst. Russia, XVI. 366.) See, further, as to Wagner's case, H. Ex. Doc. 109, 48 Cong. 1 sess.
not to be
In reply to your question as to your liability to the military laws of Russia, should you return thither, I observe that the Czar's Government does not admit the right of expatriation to such extent as to secure immunity from the subject's obligations to the laws of Russia, if such subject comes within their jurisdiction. The code provides punishment where such a subject leaves Russia without Imperial permission.
The passport carried by an American citizen will of course assure the earnest action of our diplomatic and consular officers in his favor, if occasion should arise; but freedom from detention cannot be guaranteed, nor protection or release, in case charges are prosecuted in Russia for infractions of Russian law, committed by the individual while a Russian subject and before any obligation was acknowledged by him to the United States.
“ You appear to think your case exceptional in the regard that you left Russia at the age of eleven, or prior to the age of eighteen, but, as a matter of practice in that country, which is of especial concern to you, I may cite a case reported in despatch No. 141, of July 23, 1881, by Mr. Foster, the minister at St. Petersburg. The case was that of Isaac Goldner, who was born in Russia in 1858, but left there in 1870, at the age of twelve. Goldner was naturalized here. In 1880 he returned to Odessa, with an American passport, and was immediately arrested and held for military service.
“The minister strenuously presented the case for the favorable consideration of the Czar's Government, and on several occasions but without the desired results."
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Wolf, March 21, 1885, 154 MS. Dom.
154 MS. Dom. Let. 472; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Rosen,
“ It appears
that you were born a subject of Russia, that you left there at the age of sixteen, and have been naturalized as an American citizen. You now propose visiting Europe, and ask "Can Austria or Prussia hold me as a Russian subject.' . . . As regards your enquiry touching your liabilities in those countries, I have to say, that, according to the understanding of this Department, there exists between them and Russia an arrangement which might lead to the shortening of your stay in either country, provided it were known that you had violated the Russian law in any regard; but it is not supposed that you would be otherwise interfered with there in
any case (except, of course, you were accused of some offence named in the extradition treaties.)”
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Firuski, June 13, 1885, 155 MS. Dom.
“Any Russian going abroad without permission would be liable to punishment on his return home, whether his military duties had been performed or not. Still more severely would he be dealt with if his emigration bore the character of evasion of conscription, and the fact of his becoming a subject or citizen of another state would be ignored in treatment of him, and therefore be inefficient to protect him. The Russian Government has never shown the least disposition to swerve from this principle, and there is no reason to believe that it may be moved to do so by any argument that our Government is able to put forth. It is strongly opposed, on the contrary, to encourage anything that could be interpreted as a mitigation of its laws of conscription or of those on emigration. On this latter point the note of the foreign office, a translation of which accompanied my No. 49, of the 2d instant, on the subject of measures to prevent the immigration into the United States of paupers, indicates the unwillingness of this Government to take any action which might lead to the belief that it does not still forbid emigration. ..
“In these cases (see note, infra) and in others of former years, needless to cite, the Russian Government has shown its intention to assert its power to make its laws respected within its jurisdiction, and it refuses to admit the right of a foreign state to exempt by naturalization its subjects from their unfulfilled prior duties to the land of their birth. The fact of birth in Russia of parents at that time Russiar. subjects entails upon it duties from which the Government considers itself alone competent to grant absolution. Emigration without permission is regarded as equivalent to desertion, even though the emigrant may be an irresponsible infant, and on the return of such emigrant he is liable to arrest and punishment.
“ This Government has, in certain cases, conceded the release of the parties arrested, but this has been done, in the words of Mr. Stoughton, 'by courtesy, not by right, and in order to avoid discussion liable to affect the friendly relations with the Government of the United States.
“ It is not likely that the Government of Russia will ever consent to do more than this, release by courtesy, and then only under peculiarly favorable circumstances, in regard to persons of Russian birth, considered by it as still owing military duty, or as having disobeyed the laws of the Empire on emigration, and arrested on their return within its dominions.
“ It is difficult to see the way to obtain any redress for the injury to persons thus arrested, or to bring about the recognition of the principle maintained by our Government, as that of Russia repels all advances on our part to regulate the question by means of a treaty of naturalization, towards which overtures were made in April, 1884, by a formal note from this legation in obedience to an instruction from the Department. To this note no written reply has yet been vouchsafed by the Russian foreign office; but verbally it has been given to us to understand that the Imperial Government cannot accept our views of the act of naturalization as a citizen of the United States being sufficient to protect a subject of the Czar from punishment for offenses against the laws of the Empire committed before his emigration.”
Mr. Wurts, chargé at St. Petersburg, to Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, June 14,
1885, For. Rel. 1885, 663. This dispatch related, primarily, to the case of Israel Müller, which was
brought to the attention of the legation by Mr. Bayard's No. 21, May 25, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 058. It was stated that Müller, who was a naturalized citizen of the United States of Russian origin, was, on his return to Russia in February, 1885, arrested and thrown into prison on a charge of having abandoned Russian allegiance without permission. He was released on bail and placed under police surveillance, but four weeks later escaped and returned to the United States. His case was not brought to the attention of the legation while he was
detained in Russia. Mr. Wurts referred to three other cases, the first of which was that of
Rheinhardt Wagner. In 1883 it was reported that Wagner was exiled to Siberia, but, as stated by Mr. Wurts, it afterwards appeared that he had left Russia and was really in the United States. The second case was that of A. V. Perrin (alias Pravin), who in 1878 requested the legation to obtain permission for him to return to Russia for a few months. Mr. Stoughton, who was then American minister at St. Petersburg, informed him that if he came with an American passport and confined himself to legitimate business, he would not be disturbed, provided that he did not owe military service; but that, if he owed such service, he might be arrested, and that while the Russian Government in such cases usually, at the request of the American minister, granted a conditional release, this was regarded “as a concession from courtesy and not of right." In 1882, Mr. Perrin applied to Mr. Stoughton's successor, Mr. Hunt, who made a similar reply. Mr. Frelinghuysen approved Mr. Hunt's action and instructed him “ to abstain from any further action in the case," adding that it
* regarded as taken out of the Department's control by the admission of Mr. Perrin that he is a Russian Jew owing military service." In 1884, when Mr. Taft succeeded Mr. Hunt at St. Petersburg, Mr. Perrin again addressed himself to the legation. Mr. Taft asked the Russian Government to grant him permission to pass six weeks in the Empire. The ministry of foreign affairs replied that there were no obstacles to his return, but added that it could not guarantee him impunity if his identity with Pravin, who owed mili