Baron Saurma to Mr. Gresham.


Sir: I have the honor to forward to you herewith a duplicate of a note, written in the German language and dated January 25 of this year, relating to the extradition of a certain Jacob David, an American citizen, arrested at Meisenheim, in Prussia, and extradited upon the request of the United States embassy at Berlin on January 10, 1893.

When it was brought to my notice, only a few days ago, that an answer to this note had not been received, I caused the secretary of this embassy to make inquiries at the Department of State, where he was informed at the office of the Solicitor of the State Department that no record could be found of the said note having ever reached the Department.

As the draft of this note in the archives of this embassy bears the mark of the assistant chancellor who copied the note and who moreover remembers well the fact of having made such copy, and as the [Page 489] register of this embassy contains an entry of the number of the note under date of January 25 of the present year, it can only be presumed that the note has been lost between this embassy and the Department.

According to the prevailing practice letters and documents destined for the Department of State are either forwarded by the embassy’s messenger and handed over in the chief clerk’s office, or they are transmitted through the United States post-office in this city.

Considering the time which has elapsed since the note in question was ready for transmission, it seems hardly possible to elucidate the facts which caused the loss.

I would, however, be greatly obliged if you would deem it expedient to make further investigations in the matter.

I have, etc.,


Baron Saurma to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor, in pursuance of instructions received, to invite your attention to the following matter:

Jacob David, an American citizen, who had been arrested at Meisenheim, Prussia, was surrendered to the United States Government on the 10th of January last, at the instance of the United States envoy at Berlin, it having been previously decided by the royal district court at Coblenz that there was good ground to suspect that he was guilty of forgery.

According to the statements contained in the American press with regard to the proceedings against David, an indictment was found against him, embracing six counts, for larceny, forgery, and embezzlement, and David, after confessing that he was guilty of embezzling $400, was sentenced on the strength of this confession, no attention being paid to the other charges.

If these statements are correct, David was sentenced by the American court for the embezzlement of funds that were not public funds, and consequently for an act which, according to the treaty of June 16, 1852, which is still in force, furnished no grounds for his extradition and for which his extradition was neither solicited nor granted. The extradition was, as appears from the inclosed copy of a note from the Imperial foreign office to the charge d’affaires of the United States of America at Berlin, dated January 10, 1893, granted simply on account of the fabrication of the three papers separately mentioned in the note, and on account of the use of these forged papers with fraudulent intent. A sentence, or even a criminal prosecution of the surrendered party on account of any act other than that for which the extradition was granted, would be in violation of international principles and of the treaty rights which have accrued to the Government of His Majesty, the Emperor and King, through the extradition, as regards the United States of America.

I respectfully request your excellency to be pleased to inform me whether David has actually, since his extradition, been criminally prosecuted for any acts other than the forgery of the aforesaid three papers, and for embezzlement.

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If this should be the case, the Imperial Government would, to its regret, be compelled to call attention to the fact that the procedure chosen is not reconcilable with international principles or with the treaty rights that have accrued to it, and to ask that the sentence pronounced against the prisoner be not carried out. His Majesty’s Government, so far as it is concerned, would not be averse to granting, at the request of the United States, the subsequent extension of the extradition to the other offenses with which David is charged.

As, however, the treaty of extradition which is now in force between the United States and the German Empire makes provision neither for these offenses nor for any such subsequent grant, the Imperial Government would, to its regret, be unable to do this.

Feeling convinced that your excellency and the United States Government will regard the standpoint of the Imperial Government, as stated in the present note, as being in harmony with justice, I avail, etc.,


Baron von Rotenhan to Mr. Coleman.

The undersigned has the honor, referring to his note of the 7th instant, to inform Mr. Chapman Coleman that the extradition of Jacob David, who is wanted in Chicago for forgery, has been granted, the evidence adduced having been deemed sufficient, and it having been ascertained that David is not a subject of the Empire.

The acts of which proof has been furnished, and for which the extradition has consequently been granted, consists of the fraudulent fabrication of three documents, and of the use of the forged documents with fraudulent intent. These documents are—

A bond purporting to have been issued by Ester Wolfson, under her sign manual, at Chicago, on the 14th day of June, 1888, with the following title: “Loan No. 76, 12th series, for $500 in favor of the Prairie State Loan and Building Association, Chicago.”
A certificate (No. 331), of April 10, 1890, for 20 shares of the stock of the above-named company, belonging to Henry Rahn, for $100 each, bearing the signature of Abraham Diamond, president of the company.
A certificate (No. 448), dated February 14, 1889, for 10 shares of the stock of the same company, belonging to Messrs. Clute & Cragier, for $100 each, bearing the signature of Mayer Guttel, president of the company.

The Government president at Coblenz was instructed by telegraph, on the 7th instant, to send the accused to Bremen without delay, under a strong guard.

The undersigned hopes that it has been possible to accelerate his transportation so that David, in accordance with the desire expressed in the communication of the 4th instant, F. O. 422, may be sent to New York by the steamer which sails from Bremen to-day, and he avails himself of this occasion, etc.,

Baron von Rotenhan.