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stantly attacking them. On the other hand, the most truly liberal politicians and their organs, such as the Messenger of Europe and the St. Petersburg Gazette (of the Academy), are in favor of removing from the Hebrews all restrictions whatever, and thus aiding them to coalesce with the rest of the population. A strong movement is also going on among the Hebrews themselves for their elevation and enlightenment. Schools are founded, journals are established devoted to their interests, and pamphlets and books are published, not only to call the attention of Russians to the injustice they are doing to the Hebrews, but for their own profit and instruction. There are efforts at reform, too, to free the lower classes from the not infrequent tyranny of the kagal and the rabbinical councils.
There is need of all this and much more; for, in spite of the recent reforms, the condition of the Hebrews in Russia, massed together in the western provinces, without room for productive occupation or healthy competition, is growing worse and worse. Indeed, a recent Hebrew writer, Mr. Orshansky (The Hebrews in Russia, by T. G. Orshansky, St. Petersburg, 1872, page 13), says that “the general economical progress of Russian life bas proved injurious to the interests of the Hebrew population; and goes on to show that the emancipation of the peasants, the organization of credit banks, the railways, the changes made in government contracts, brandy, farming, &c., the lowering of the tariff, and cessation of smuggling, the rural and munici. pal self-governments, have all been prejudicial to the Hebrews. Their former clients, the proprietors, are learning to do without them as factors and managers; the peasants get loans at the banks; the improvement in the communications have ruined the country taverns; there is less liquor drank; there are fewer uses for middlemen, and it is harder to live off of the weaknesses and follies of other people.
That the Hebrews were in such a position as to be ruined by the increase of the general prosperity is not their fault, but that of the laws which placed them in this position, and forced them to such means of livelihood. There is an historical reason for it. The old Polish laws forbade the peasants to engage in trade; the nobles thought it beneath their dignity. The Hebrews, who were cut off from agriculture and other pursuits and professions, naturally monopolized the trade of the country, and fell into this position of being the factors, the go-betweens, and the agents of both the upper and the lower classes, making, of course, their profit from each. With the changes in the laws which benefit both upper and lower classes, by making them more indopendent, the Hebrews are cut off from the means of livelihood which the oppression of centuries had condemned them to seek, and are reduced to their present deplorable condition. To quote again the words of Mr. Orshansky, page 42: "In the life of the Hebrews of Western Russia are noticed all the symptoms of the social malady known under the name of proletarianism-a lack of settled residences, constant change of domicile and vagrancy, lamentable sanitary conditions, and, as their consequence, a great mortality, a lowering of morality, a want of means, and an insignificant amount of profits and money saved.”
This shows the absolute necessity of some change. The spirit of modern Russian legislation is to fuse together the differ nt races that inhabit the empire and to make then all Russiads. It is obvious that this object cannot be attained, so far as the Hebrews are concerned, while laws exist which render them a separate and distinct body, and, by casting a slur on them, cause them only to shut themselves still more, and to resist all attempts to draw them into normal relations with the rest of the body politic.
Mr. Jewell to Mr. Fish.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, St. Petersburg, October 30, 1873. (Received November 18.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter marked A, received from an American citizen, one Theodore Rosenstrauss; also, copy of a note marked B, by me addressed this day to the imperial government. Had there been time before the expiration of his license to have communication with you and waited for instructions I should have done so. But as there was not, and as the disturbing of Mr. Rosenstrauss in his lawful business appears to me to be in flagrant violation of our treaty stipulations with Russia, I concluded to act at once I trust my action will meet your approval.
In conversation with Mr. de Westmann yesterday, in regard to this case, he remarked that he was tired of making these cases exceptional," by which I conclude that the law of the province in which Kharkoff is located is against Mr. Rosenstrauss in this matter. Should this be found so, and the imperial government declines to interfere in his behalf, and the authorities of Kharkoff decline to renew the license of Mr. Rosenstraus, and thus compel him to leave or at least to wind up his business, I desire instructions as to my further action in this matter. I have tried to impress upon the Russian Government both in my conversation and my note that we demanded for American Hebrews the same treatment and protection which the native Hebrews receive. Mr. de Westmain called my attention to the replies of his government to Mr. Clay in regard to this case. But there are many gaps in the files at this legation, and thus far I have searched in vain for the dispatches referred to.
Mr. Rosenstrauss is agent for American sewing machines, and other goods, and is said to be a man of wealth and good character. I hear of no complaint against him other than that he is a Hebrew. It is also said that this matter is being pushed by his rival in business. I have, &c.,
(Inclosure 1 in No. 8.)
Mr. Rosenstrauss to Mr. Jewell.
KHARKOFF, September 20 (October 2), 1873. Having learned from the newspapers of your arrival at St. Petersburg, I beg to lay before you my case, which, owing to the death of our former minister during last spring, remained in an anxious suspense until now, and I do hope that you will find it one of an unmerited persecution without myself having done anything in the eyes of the law and justice to provoke it.
My passport and the records of the American legation will show that I am an American citizen; and as such I have settled here in Kharkoff, in 1863, as mechanic and merchant of the second guild, opening a store of mechanical, optical, physical, and also different American goods, and having gained the confidence of the public bere and the vicinity, my business is prospering as well as I can wish it.
After an ineffectual trial some years ago to disturb me in my quiet, peaceable way of attending to my own business, by sole reason of being of Hebrew religion, and in consequence of the timely interference of the American legation, I was let alone by order of the Russian high authorities to that effect until now.
During last December, bowever (1872), when I desired to pay my customary license, the license commissioners refused to issue it to me, saying that only Hebreros of Russian birth could do business in the city of Kharkoff, but that foreigners of Hebrer religion are not enjoying the same privilege."
I was obliged to pay for first guild license, that is to say about 600 roubles instead of the second guild, 150 roubles, which I used to pay for nine years past. Moreover, I had to sign a writing to the effect that I should not ask for any further license in future (that is from January, 1874) unless I first obtain the permission of the imperial ministry of the finance and of the interior."
Having been protected formerly by the American legation and the Russian high anthorities in peaceably carrying on my business here, the same as any other American citizen could do of whatever religion he might be, I am surprised that the permission to renew my license should be denied me now again by the sole reason of my religion. Being quite convinced that there is nothing that could be bronght against me in social, moral, political, or commercial point of view, and therefore resting always in perfect security, I have extended my business, have entered into different contracts here and with foreign commercial houses, and here I have many outstanding debts that cannot be at present collected; at the same time a large and mostly American stock of goods on hand that could not be sold in one year. Moreover, I have induced my brother-in-law, Bernhardt Frankfurter (also of Hebrew religion), to come ont with his family from America, and he made a sacrifice of almost all he had in
America to come and join in my business at Kharkoff, for whom and his family I became thus responsible.
Under these serious circumstances threatening me with certain ruin in my business enterprise, I beg to lay my case before you, and asking your kind protection to bring my case to the enlightened notice and attention of the Russian imperial government in order that my rights of a peaceable American citizen should be protected by its subordinates, until I respect and most anxiously defer to the laws of the country in which I live, and that my religion should not be made a crime, obstructing all my otherwise prosperous business enterprise.
I trust you will find it convenient to interfere in my favor without much delay, as time is already drawing near when I ought to have my customary license renewed; and beg to remain, with great respect, Your most obedient servant,
THEODORE ROSENSTRAUSS, American citizen, of the firm “ Theodore f Co.," Kkarkoff.
(Inclosure 2 in No.8.)
Mr. Jewell to Mr. de Westmann.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
St. Petersburg, October 30, 1873. The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, in presenting his compliments to his excellency the actual privy councillor de Westmann, directing the imperial ministry of foreign affairs ad interim, &c., &c., &c., has the honor to lay before his excellency the complaint, which when seen please return, of Theodore Rosenstrauss, a citizen of the United States, now living and doing business in the city of Kharkoff in Southern Russia, copy of which is herewith inclosed and made part of this communication.
From it and the records of this legation, it appears that for about ten years the said Rosenstrauss has been settled and doing business in Kharkoff in optical, mechanical, and other American goods; that in 1865 and 1869 he was disturbed in his peaceful onterprise by the local police threatening to close his establishment on account of his Hebrew religion.
In both cases, however, at the request of this legation, he received the timely assistance and protection of the imperial high authorities, as it became evident that his business rivals sought to drive him from the city. He has since pursued his business unmolested as tradesman and merchant of the second guild.
It further appears that when last December he made application to renew his liceuse, he was told by the license commissioners of the place that Russian Hebrews could do business in Kharkoff, but foreigners of Hebrew religion were not allowed the same privilege"; that he was obliged at that time to pay for a license of the first guild, about 600 roubles, instead of that of the second guild, or 150 roubles, as for the nine preceding years; that he was at the same time compelled to sign a writing laid before ħim to the effect that he would ask for no future license unless he obtained permission to continue his business from the imperial ministry of finance and that of the interior; that without these permissions his establishment would be closed at the end of the year. The complainaut having felt quite confident of protection by the imperial gov. ernment against these persecutions, and having gained the confidence of the community by his upright mode of conducting business, has greatly extended the same, has made important business connections and obligations in Russia and abroad, has now quite a large stock of mostly American goods on hand, and has many debts due him.
It is evident from all this that the sudden closing of his establishment would be ruinous to his interests. Therefore the undersigued has the honor to invite the attention of His Imperial Majesty's government to this case, and to submit, that as the United States of America tolerate all religious beliefs, making no distinctions whatsoever, they claim equal protection for all their citizens in their lawful enterprises, without regard to their religious principles, provided always that they obey the laws of the country in which they reside; that furthermore the terms of the existing treaty of 1832, article 1, between the imperial government of Russia and the United States, expressly covenant and insure to the citizens of each “liberty to sojourn and to reside in all parts whatsoever of said territories in order to attend to their business affairs; that they shall enjoy to that effect the same security and protection as the patives of the country wherein they reside, on condition of their subunitting to the laws and ordinances there prevailing.”
The undersigned has entire confidence that he need only to call the attention of the high-minded government of His Imperial Majesty to this case to insure that permanent orders be issued with all convenient speed to the proper authorities that the said
American citizen, Theodore Rosenstrauss, shall in no manner be interfered with simp!, on account of his religion.
The undersigned respectfully further asks that notice may be given him of any action in this matter on the part of the Government of His Imperial Majesty:
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to tender to his excellencs the assurance of his high esteem and profound consideration.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Jewell.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, Vorember 20, 1873. SIR: Your dispatch No. 8, of the 30th ultimo, relative to the case of Theodore Rosenstrauss, has been received. The course which you thougbt proper to take in regard to the matter is approved. The withholding from him the trade license to which you refer, on account, as is understood, of his being a Hebrew of foreign birth, seems to be in direct violation of the first article of the treaty with Russia of 1832. The purpose of that article was to place all citizens of the United States in that country on the same footing as native Russians. A definitive opinion upon the subject, however, cannot be formed without an examination of the notes of the Russian foreign office to Mr. Cassius M. Clay, adverted to by Mr. Westmann. You say that no such notes are on file in the legation. There are none such here, so far as can be ascertained, and there is no reference to the case in Mr. Clay's dispatches. It is consequently suggested that you apply for a copy of those notes, of which, when received, you will forward transcripts to the Department. I am, &c.,
Mr. Jewell to Mr. Fish.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, St. Petersburg, December 15, 1873. (Received Jan. 5, 1874.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 8, dated November 20, in regard to the case of Rosenstrauss.
Mr. Schuyler immediately found for me the previous correspondence about Rosenstrauss, which proved to be on file, consisting of three communications from Rosenstrauss to Mr. Clay, dated respectively December 2 (14), 1865, August 27 and September 29, 1867, three notes from Mr. Clay to the foreign office, dated February 3 (15), 1866, September 9, 1867, and October 9 (21), 1867, and two notes from Mr. Westmann to Mr. Clay, dated August 28 (September 9), 1867, and January 13 (25). 1868.
There is nothing further except the marriage certificate of Rosenstrauss in 1863, and the dispatch of Mr. Schuyler, No. 27, October 31, 1872 with the letters therein referred to. I inclose to you herewith copies of these papers, marked A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H.
With regard to the case itself, it appears that the Russian law forbids Hebrews to reside in Kharkoff, but, by a law of 1863,
It is permitted to Hebrew merchants of the first guild of the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Poland to inscribe themselves, on the general conditions and outside of the boundaries of their present residence, as merchants of the first guild in all cities in general of the Russian Èmpire as well as of the Transcaucasus and obtain the right of constant residence in them according to the rules laid down in the commercial code.
Being a merchant of the first guild, Rosenstrauss has clearly the right to reside in Kharkoff under the first article of the treaty of 1832.
There seem, however, to be two exceptions which may possibly be applied to the case of Rosenstrauss. The above permission to merchants of the first guild is only applicable when they have been inscribed five years, and is not applicable to those Jews who are under accusation or the surveillance of the police, or who have been condemned by a court or placed under suspicion.
We have at all events a right to claim for Rosenstrauss exactly the same privileges that other Jews of the first guild possess, whatever else we might claim.
The Russian foreign office, as will be seen from the papers, decidedly objects to considering an American Jew simply as an American citizen, throwing his quality of Hebrew out of the question, and refuses to grant greater privileges to a foreign than to a native Jew.
The government even goes further, and says that foreign Jews “known for their social position or their great trade may receive, on a special permission to be granted by the ministers of finance, the interior, and of foreign affairs, a license to trade and a certificate of the first guild."
But I am of opinion that, under our treaty, American Jews should certainly not be subject to any greater formality or difficulty in obtain. ing trade licenses and certificates than native Jews.
Unless instructions are given to the contrary, I shall insist, if possible, that Rosenstrauss shall have the same right of protection and residence as native Jews, neither more nor less. I have, &c.,
(Inclosure A in No. 20.)
Mr. Rosenstrauss to Mr. Clay.
KHARKOFF, December 2 (14), 1865. Your EXCELLENCY: Your dispatch I received last evening, for which, with your assurance of protection, I thank you.
Now, I beg leave to inform your excellency of my present situation. Two years ago I moved with my family from Voronesh here, opened stores in optical, physical, mechanical, and different American goods. Soon I obtained the greatest confidence here and throughout the vicinity; my business to this day has gone as well as I could wish it, from which circumstances I have received many enemies among the merchants, especially A. Edelberg, optician, mechanic, &c., who was formerly the only merchant in this branch till I came, and who is exerting his utmost to cause me to quit business here.
During the last five months I have been weekly disturbed by the police, who are throwing as much difficulty as possible in my way, to force me to quit Íbárkoff. The principal cause is because I cannot produce a certificate of christening. I went to the governor, Count Severs, for the first time, who told me in presence oś the police master, that for American citizens no such papers are required, and that I should not be disturbed any more.
On the 29th last month, I was sent for by the police master, by whom I was told that without producing the certificate of christening, I have no right to carry on busi