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paupers, and paid their passage money for the United States; but the paupers have adopted the plan of getting there through Canada, on account of the moderate charge of the passage ; by which means they have taken more money with them into the country.
It is the general opinion of the owners of vessels, that during the last two years the number of paupers immigrating to United States and Canada has been very much diminished. Very few have gone there from this large county (Yorkshire), as labor has been easily obtained and wages have improved.
A merchant who had a vessel sailed from the port of Hull this year, with several families, states that all but three appeared able to bear their own expenses, and some, though in appearance poor, were known to have in their possession considerable property. Another counteracting effect of the immigration of paupers, is the return of several within the last year or two, to their parishes, which are bound to receive them, and the knowledge of such proceedings deters other overseers from being so ready to assist as they were some years ago. Liverpool being the principal port from whence immigration takes place, I beg to enclose you herewith a statement (A) that has been published of the number who have sailed from the 1st January to the 5th July last, designating the countries to which they have gone and the number for the years 1833-34 and '35.
A society was formed some time since for the purpose of sending young females out to New South Wales, but, as will be perceived by the enclosed resolution (B) passed hy them, they now decline recommending any further immigration there, owing to the excessive immorality stated to prevail there. With great respect, I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
Consul U. S. A, Kingston-upon-Hull. Hon. LEVI WOODBURY, Secretary of the Treasury, Washington.
United States Consulate, Bremen, Sept. 5, 1836. SIR-I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed circular of the 7th of July, 1836, requesting information respecting deportation of paupers from Great Britain, and other places, &c. I am sorry that the information is not to be procured from authentic sources, for, properly speaking, it cannot be said that paupers are deported from Germany, though it may sometimes (but very rarely) be the case that families, almoners, and civil authorities, in order to get rid of a burdensome fellow or troublesome subject, pay what is necessary for such a person to cross the Atlantic-but among the German immigrants, a great number of whom annually embark at this port, and who nearly all go to the United States, there are many persons and families who, when they have paid for the passage, have little or no money left, and probably many of them, on arriving in the United States, are quite destitute of all. The different gov. crnments of Germany are in general not much pleased with the spirit of immigration, several years since predominant in Germany, and, as is said, try by all means to keep their subjects at home. The immigrants very often loudly and bitterly complain that the said governments, before they give the people the permission to depart, put as many obstacles as possible in the way of the persons who intend to immigrate. Such immigrants, as I hear, must usually prove to their governments that they have money enough to pay their travelling expenses and for their passage, the said governments being afraid that the immigrants may, by travelling, uselessly spend their little fortune, and then return, and come on the charge of the community, and the immigrants are therefore obliged to renounce and give up all their rights aš natives of the country. After the immigrants have got the permission to immigrate and set out, then their former gov. ernments do not further care for them.
The letters or circulars addressed to the United States Consuls at Hamburg, Munich, Leipsic, and Cassel, which were sent to me with the said circular of the 7th of July last, enclosed, have immediately been put in the post-office. I have the honor to remain, with the greatest respect, your most obedient servant,
For JOSHUA DODGE,
H. W. BOHME. To the Hon. LEVI WOONBURY, Secretary of the Treasury, at Washington.
Consulate of the U. States of America, Leipsic, March 8th, 1837. SiR-On receipt of your circular letter of July 7th, 1836, I made inquiries in respect to the transport of paupers from this country to the United States; but state affairs being conducted not so openly as may be desired, I have not been sucsessful until of late, when, by confidential communications, I have learned things which will require energetic measures upon the part of the United States to be counteracted.
Not only paupers, but even criminals, are transported from the interior of this country to the sea-ports, in order to be embarked there for the United States.
A Mr. De Stein, formerly an officer in the service of the Duke of Saxe Gotha, has lately made propositions to the smaller States of Saxony for transporting their criminals to the port of Bremen, and embarking them there for the United States, at $75 per head, which offer has been accepted by several of them. The first transport of criminals, who, for the greater part, have been condemned to hard labor for life, (among them two notorious robbers, Pfeifer and Albrecht,) will leave Gotha on the 15th of this month; and it is intended to empty, by-and-by, all the work-houses and jails of that country in this manner. There is not a doubt that several other States will imitate this nefarious practice. In order to stop it, I have sent an article into the General Gazette of Augsburg, wherein I have attempted to demonstrate that this behavior was contrary to all laws of nations, and that it was a shameful behavior towards a country which offers the best market to German manufactures.
It has of late, also, become a general practice in the towns and boroughs of Germany, to get rid of their paupers and vicious members, hy collecting means for effectuating their passage to the United States among the inhabitants, and by supporting them from the public funds.
This practice is highly injurious to the United States, as it burdens them with a host of paupers and criminals, and also deters the better and wealthier class of the inhabitants of this country from immigrating to the United States. The property the latter class has of late exported annually to the United States, has been calculated at a sum of from two to four millions of dollars, and it is to be expected that this very profitable immigration would increase from year to year, in case the honest people of this country would not have to fear to be associated in the new country with the worst class of their countrymen. This, indeed, seems to be the secret motive of the above-mentioned measures. It is intended to stigmatize thereby that country which the wealthier class of the farmers and mechanics commence to consider as the land of promise. To remedy that evil, I would propose the following measures.
1. That all persons intending to immigrate to the United States, wonld have to produce to the Consul of the United States, in the sea-port, a testimonial from the magistrate of their residence, purporting that they have not been punished for a crime (political punishments excepted) for the last three years; that they are able to maintain themselves by their labor or capital. 2. That the Consul of the United States, in the sea-port, should have to certify these testimonials ; and that the masters of ships, who would take a passenger without such a testimonial, should have to pay a considerable fine on landing him in the United States. 3. That the Consul of the United States, in the sea-port, should have power to refuse his certificate to all those immigrants who, in his opinion, would become a burden to the community on their arrival in the United States. I am, sir, with high consideration, your most obedient and humble servant,
F. LIST. Hon. LEVI WOODBURY, Secretary of the Treasury.
The message and accompanying documents were referred to a Select Committee, of which Mr. Russell, of New York, was made chairman, who made a report, July 2, 1838, accompanied by two bills, one for the revision of the naturalization laws, and the other in relation to the introduction of foreign paupers and convicts. Mr. Beatty, from the Butler di strict, Pennsylvania, who, happening to be a naturalized citizen, for reasons stated by him, asked for time to submit a counter report, in response to the monstrous doctrines which, he said, were contained in the report. They were the doctrines of '98, revived in full force. He stated that the gentleman from New York had had the whole session to prepare his report, and had only presented it now on the eve of the session. After some remarks from Messrs. Hamer of Ohio, Garland of Virginia, Rhett of South Carolina (who dissented from the views of the majority), Lincoln of Massachusetts (who assented to them), Reed of Massachusetts, Hoffman of New York, and Russell of New York-Mr. Cushman of New Hampshire, moved the previous question, which prevailing, the bill was committed, and no further action was had on it during the remainder of the session. See Congressional Globe of 1837-8, p. 489. At the next session, on the 4th of February, 1839, Mr. Russell again made an effort to obtain action thereon. He said it would be recollected by the House, that, last session, the Select Committee on the subject had reported a bill to prevent the introduction of foreign paupers and convicts into the United States. Subsequent events had shown the importance of that bill, and the necessity of action upon it, and he, therefore, moved that the bill be made the special order for next Thursday week. Mr. Cambreleng hoped no more special orders would be adopted, especially as they had several already. Other objections were made ; Mr. Russell moved a suspension of the rules, but the motion was rejected. See Congressional Globe of 1838–9, p. 168.
No further movement on the subject, it appears, was made in Congress until the session of 1844–5, and then no definite action was had. In the mean time, however, the practice of importing into this country, from Europe, the refuse of her population, which had for years beon practiced by some of the authorities of Great Britain, was renewed by some of the German States, as will be seen by the letter noticed below. A letter from the American Consul at Hesse Cassel, as we learn from the Newburyport Herald, published in 1839, states that the government of Hamburg deported from time to time these criminals, who had either been condemned for life, or a long period. They gave them the choice, either to endure their time or immigrate, in which case the government paid their passage. The letter of the Consul stated as follows:
“ This price the Bremen ship-owners could only afford by always carrying a large number, to obtain which, they had their agents over the interior of Germany, and induced the lower class which live in a very impoverished state, to immigrate, by making them believe that laborers were so much demanded in the United States, that able-bodied men could earn as soon as landed two dollars a day.”
Another letter from Mr. List, Consul at Leipsic, published in the same
paper, stated :
“ Not only paupers, but even criminals are transported from the interior of this country, in order to be embarked there for the United States.”
We learn, also, from Niles' Register, Nov. 16th, 1839, vol. Ivii., p. 177, that a Mr. De Stein, formerly an officer in the service of the Duke of Saxe Gotha, had then lately made propositions to the smaller States of Saxony, for transporting their criminals to the United States at $75 per head; which offer had been accepted by several of them. The first transport of criminals, who for the greater part had been condemned to hard labor for life, (among them two notorious rohbers, Pfeifer and Albrecht,) would leave Gotha on the 15th of the month, and it was intended by and by to empty all the work-houses and jails of the country in this manner, and there was little doubt that several other States would imitate the nefarious practice. It had evidently become a general practice in the towns and boroughs of Germany, to get rid of their paupers and vicious members, by collecting the means for effecting their passage to the United States, among the inhabitants, and by supplying them from the public funds.
Notwithstanding these evidences, however, of foreign governments thus flooding our country with their convicts and paupers, Congress could not, it would seem, be aroused to the danger. During the session of 1844-45, Hamilton Fish, of New York, again introduced the subject in the House of Representatives, and a resolution was, on motion, adopted, directing the Committee on the Judiciary to “report to the House whether any, and if any, what further legislation is necessary to prevent the introduction of foreign paupers or criminals,” but no report seems to have been made or further action had. p.
See Congressional Globe 1844-45, p. 209. In the Senate, at the same session, Mr. Johnson, of Louisiana, offered a resolution requesting the Secretary of State “to communicate to the Senate such information as may be in possession of the Department of State, as to the practice of foreign governments in transporting their criminals and paupers into the United States; and he shall also communicate copies of such instructions, if any, as may have been given by the government of the United States to its consuls and other agents in foreign governments upon this subject, and copies of such reports, if any, as may have been received from such consuls and agents in relation thereto ;' but it does not appear to have ever been considered or passed. See Congressional Globe 1844-45, p. 48.
PAUPER AND CONVICT IMMIGRATION-CONTINUED.
On the 3rd of March, 1845, Mr. Berrien made a report in the Senate from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which had been referred sundry resolutions and memorials in relation to immigration of paupers and convicts, from the testimony accompanying which the following abstract is made. See Senate Document 173, 28th Congress, Second Session.
Dr. Samuel B. Martin returned, in writing, the following statement, in reply to interrogatories propounded to him, and was sworn thereto:
Baltimore, February 3rd, 1845. GENTLEMEN–I commence by stating, that I had the honor of serving this, my native city, in the capacity of health officer, for fifteen years.
In the year 1826, during the six months of my duty, (I was only required to visit and examine the vessels, and persons on board, from the 1st of May to the 1st of November, of each year,) I examined into the condition of 1,604 foreign passengers. In my annual report of that year, I called the attention of the mayor and councils of the city to the great influx of passengers, among whom I discovered a number of paupers, &c.
In the year 1830 (six months thereof), there arrived at this port 4,084 foreign passengers. I again called the attention of the mayor and councils to the subject; for which see my report, in the Appendix to the city ordinances, dated 26th December, 1830.
In the year 1831 (six months thereof,) there arrived at the port of Baltimore 4,381 foreign passengers. I again renewed my call on the attention of the mayor and councils to the growing evil, and to the important fact of the introduction among us of the halt, the lame, and the blind.
In the year 1832, (during six months,) there arrived 11,546 foreign passengers. I found it necessary to reiterate my call on the mayor and councils, for their attention to the condition of those immigrants, much the same as in my former complaints. This rn