Mr. Seward to Mr. Wright

No. 2.]

Sir: Information has been received at this department, from the United States consul at Bremen, of the shipment from that port to the United States of two sentenced criminals from Prussia. I enclose a transcript of the consul’s despatch upon the subject, from which it appears that the convicts referred to were sent to Bremerhafen by the local authorities at Wandersieben, in Prussia, under the escort of a Prussian officer, in order to be shipped to this country at the cost of the said local authorities. It further appears that one of the criminals has already sailed, and that the other, having committed a fresh offence at Bremerhafen, has been sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, at the expiration of which he will also probably be sent to the United States, his passage thither having already been paid.

You are requested to make a representation of the above facts to the Prussian government, and to express the expectation that prompt measures will be taken to prevent a repetition of such unfriendly proceedings on the part of any of the local authorities of that government. You will also state that the criminals referred to will, in case of their detection on arrival here, be promptly returned to the port whence they departed.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Joseph A. Wright, Esq., &c., &c., Berlin.


Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 159, I have to inform you of a new case of shipment of criminals to the United States. In this case the culpability of the local authorities in Prussia has been fully proved in a Bremen court, and reclamations, if you deem them necessary, can be based upon positive facts. It appears from the proceedings in the Bremen assizes, of June 15, that in the first days of March two criminals from Prussia, named Ernest Roediger and Krumholz, both incorrigible criminals, and already many times sentenced for larceny to the penitentiary, have been sent by the local authorities of Wandersieben, Prussia, to Bremerhafen, escorted by a public officer, in order to be shipped to the United States at the cost of the above local authorities. Kumholz sailed with, the Bremen ship Laura, but Roediger committed another larceny at Bremerhafen, and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, after the expiration of which he will probably be sent to the United States, as his passage is already paid. I subjoin the full evidence in the reports of two different newspapers for further use. I cannot believe that these local authorities are acting without the consent of their government; and even if they do, a diplomatic reclamation from our government would probably put a stop to this daily increasing mal-practice.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

HENRY BOERNSTEIN, United States Consul.