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It is only a few weeks since I came from North America amongst my kinsfolk here, on some family affairs, and now have information from the police, by order of the town councillors of Cleves, that I must at once leave the country, or otherwise am threatened with imprisonment and compulsory banishment. Now, I have no desire to be thrust by force across the boundary like a vagabond by some uninvited attendants, my business not being, in the mean time, yet finished, so I request your honour's kind interference and counsel in this matter. The reason of this strange conduct of the police is unknown to me, as I have not been guilty of any offence, and
my passport issued by Mayor Kennett, of St. Louis, was visaed at that place as correct by the Prussian Consul. I cannot think what the police here can want with me.
Would your honour desire to inspect the passport referred to, I beg you will give me your kind notice of the fact.
With highest esteem, The Legation of the
H. VAN DE SANDT. United States of America at Berlin.
No. 3.- Mr. Barnard to Mr. Webster. (Extract.)
Berlin, June 10, 1851. The Department has heretofore been informed that Mr. Henry Von der Sandt applied to me some time ago to interfere in his behalf with the Government of Prussia. He claimed to be an American citizen in Prussia, under protection of a regular passport, and complained of harsh and unreasonable treatment, in being ordered by the authorities of Cleves to quit Prussia. In a note of the 4th of March last, I asked the Government here to review the case and the decision of the local authorities.
I have received, under date of the 21st of May, a note from the Department of Foreign Affairs, declining to reverse the decisions of the officials at Cleves, a copy of which is herewith communicated. As soon as received, a copy of this note was sent to Mr. Von der Sandt. It would appear, from a letter received from bim, dated the 25th of May, and which must have been written before the copy of the Minister's note to me had reached him, that he had been promptly notified of the final decision of the Government in his case, and of the necessity of his quitting Prussia. I send a copy of his letter, which is in German, remarking that it is written in a moderate tone of complaint of the Legation, or the Government, or somebody else, and contains an announcement of his purpose to make his grievances known both to the Prussian and American public through the newspapers.
It will be observed that Mr. Von der Sandt was not provided with a passport from the American Government, but from the Mayor of St. Louis, and that he cannot be a citizen of The United States, since he emigrated from Prussia only in 1849. His motives for leaving Prussia, and the object of his return, are stated in the Minister's letter to me, according to their understanding of the case; and Mr. Von der Sandt has refused to give the authorities any satisfaction in regard to the nature of the family affairs which he had said brought him back to his old home, or the length of time which he desired to occupy in his private business. The Government seemed to be resolved that he should not live in Prussia as a Prussian, and yet escape all the duties of a Prussian subject, under pretence or colour of being a citizen of another country. Hon. D. Webster.
D. D. BARNARD.
(Inclosure.)- Mr. Le Coq to Mr. Barnard.
Berlin, May 21, 1851. I HAVE had the honour to receive the note you have been pleased to address to me, dated the 4th of March last, transmitting the complaint of Mr. Henry Von der Sandt, a citizen of The United States, against the order which has been given to him by tho Laadrath of Cleves to quit the Prussian States, and I hasten tu communicate to you information on this subject which I have just received from the competent authorities.
Henry Von der Sandt having, at his request, received a permit of emigration (Entlassungs Urkunde), left his country, in 1849, to go to America, with the sole view of screening himself by that from the performance of his military duties in the landwehr. return now, he wishes to avail himself of his foreign character to settle and live near his relatives, under the pretext of alleged family affairs, wishing thus to wait until the time of his military obligations shall have expired, reserving himself to get out of the way again in case circumstances should render his presence still necessary under the flag
The passport of which he is the bearer, and which was issued to him by the Mayor of the city of St. Louis, Missouri, mentions neither the object nor the duration of his journey, and being thus an insufficient means of legalization, it has been deemed necessary to come to an understanding on these two points with Mr. Von der Sandt. The latter, howerer, not only refuses all explanation, but will not even come forward at the summons which has been addressed to him by the Landrath of Cleves.
In these circumstances, Sir, the King's Government could only approve and sustain the measure which Mr. Von der Sandt com
plains of; and I sincerely regret that I am not able to answer in a more favourable manner your intervention in his behalf. In restoring herewith the letter inclosed in your despatch,
I have, &c. D. D. Barnard, Esq.
No. 4.—Mr. Barnard to Mr. Webster. (Extract.)
Berlin, June 24, 1851, THE decision of the Government of Prussia in the case of Mr. Von de Sandt, of which the department is advised, has not satisfied that person, and he has written to me again on the subject. I send a copy of his letter, with a copy of one addressed to him in reply, by way of caution and counsel. Hon. D. Webster.
D. D. BARNARD.
(Inclosure 1.)-Mr. Sandt to Mr. Barnard. (Translation.)
Bremen, June 9, 1851. I HAVE received the letter of the Secretary of Legation, Mr. Fay, of the 26th May, and accompanying extracts from letters of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Prussia of the 21st May. I see, however, thereby, that you have come to an unjust conclusion, and that your decision, therefore, turns out disagreeably for me.
From the beginning: that I emigrated in 1849 is an error of fact; because, from 5th October, 1843, I threw off the bond of subjection to Prussia, and emigrated a short distance out from here. So, also, is it erroneous to say that I emigrated to get rid of the military regulations. I have fulfilled my active service period, and part of my reserve service, without fault; but if it be that I belong till my 40th year to the first and second levy of landwehr, and could not emigrate without incurring the appearance of intention to evade my military obligations, and was the military liability the only oppression in this country, there certainly would not be here so many hundreds who, daily, secretly get across the Rhine, who are not soldiers, and who have no need to fear that; and in America, also, we are not free from the duty of service, but always bound, on any peril which may menace the land, to seize our weapons.
That my non-appearance, on the verbal request of a field-guard, to appear before the burgomasters of Kelle, half a league from here, (not before the landraths,) was given out to seem to be the principal ground of my proscription, is not justice; for, a long time after my proscription, first came this summons, and not in substitution. But the mere fear of my arrest was the reason for my non-appearance ; for, had I returned the copy of my passport, which contained nothing dangerous to my personal freedom, to the burgomaster, at his request, and if my longed-for personal freedom were assured to me, I would readily enough have complied with the summons, notwithstanding the learned in the law call it indiscreet to mix up in family affairs, and occasions are not unknown here on which people have been summoned and detained by a police office.
That I desire to reside here under the name of foreigner, that I may evade the landwehr service, is also as untrue and unfounded. I wish to remain here scarcely 4 inonths longer; and, thereafter, I hopefully look forward not any more to need your protection in this country. Also, yonder in America, can the time of my citizen's rights be settled and decided by competent persons, as important and not to be disturbed, so that I can, according to my oath taken, enjoy all the rights I have claim to, with that, also, of voting.
That in Prussia only one passport signed by the Government in Washington is sufficient, was unknown to the person who issued my passport, as well as the Prussian Consul who in good faith visaed it as the legitimate pass of an American citizen. Upon this I have made this unlucky journey, and upon this I maintain that I deserve all protection, notwithstanding all devials and intrigues.
Should your Excellency, notwithstanding all this, not be in position to secure me liberty to be busy here, yet a few months, this may, at least, give you a different idea of character. With the assurance that this letter rests on truth and justice,
I remain, &c. D. D. Barnard, Esq.
H. V. DE SANDT.
P.S. For better faith in the foregoing language, I send, herewith, literal copies :
1. My passport, with the verification by the Prussian Consul at St. Louis.
2. My oath of declaration.
4. My lately received order from the Landrath of Cleves, the original whereof is with my father, H. V. de Sandt, of Bremen, where it can be seen,
and to whom
H. V. DE SANDT.
(Inclosure 2.)— Mr. Barnard to Mr. Sandt. SIR,
Berlin, June 17, 1851. Your letter of the 9th instant has been received, and I lose no time in giving you such counsel in reply to it as your case and the positions you assume seem to demand.
Your letter and the inclosures disclose certain facts wbich should be noted.
In the first place, if you were a citizen of The United States already naturalized, your passport is an invalid one. A mayor of a city in The United States cannot grant a valid passport. It must come from the authority of the general Government, and not from any State or city authority. With the visa of the Prussian Consul, your passport proved to be sufficient to enable you to get into the country ; but it was not one on which you could rely to protect you in a residence here.
But in the next place, you are not yet a citizen of The United States. Declaring your intention to become a citizen does not make you a citizen. This intention was declared so late as March, 1850, and the time required by law for your admission to citizenship after that declaration is very far short of having been accomplished.
When you ceased to be a citizen of Prussia by your permit of emigration and became a resident in The United States, the laws and Government of that country became your protection so long as that residence continued. When, however, you quitted your residence there before perfecting your naturalization, and again took up your abode in Prussia, for your own purposes, your condition was a peculiar one, and required from you a peculiar and very discreet line of conduct. It was impossible for the American Legation here to claim you as an American citizen ; though, as a resident of The United States, who had taken the first steps in good faith to become a citizen, and whom we should hope one day to see in the full enjoyment of citizenship in that country, we might have asked, and would very gladly have been instrumental in procuring for you, the free permission of the Government of Prussia to remain here for any reasonable time required by your business or your convenience.
The error in your case has been in claiming to be an American citizen, and in insisting on the right to remain here as such without declaring your object or business or the time of your proposed stay. I am quite persuaded, if you had presented yourself voluntarily or promptly, on being required to do so, before the proper authority or officer of the locality, and had laid frankly before him the exaet truth of the case-your position as a resident of The United States, intending to become a citizen, the business or objects which had brought you back to your old home, and the probable time of your necessary stay--that on eatisfying such authority or officer of the sincerity and truth of your declarations, you would not have been disturbed.
Perhaps it is not too late yet. If it is still desirable to you to remain, I should advise you to try what a frank exposition of your case before the burgomaster or landrath might be able to effect for you. But you should avoid any spirit of demand or of controversy.
. State exactly your position as it has now been laid down to you from this Legation; state exactly wherein you have been mistaken,