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On the first of this month, at usual conference day, I brought the matter again to the notice of Count Frijs. I repeated to him the substance of my instrucions, and suggested that there was not more than enough time left between th s and the October sessions of Congress and the Rigsdag to complete the matter and get it to Washington. Without alluding to Santa Cruz, he said the vote was the difficulty in the case; that he wanted to have another discussion with his colleagues of the cabinet, and hoped to ask to see me upon the subject again very soon.

Yesterday General Raasloff called at my house again, and said it seemed that the vote could not be avoided. I observed that if that was a clear and distinct conclusion, then we would negotiate the treaty with no reference to the vote. íor I could not put it in, which would leave it a matter to be considered and done by the Danish Government, and took occasion again to urge that if they really intended to send a commissioner to the islands to take the vote, there was no more than time left to complete the whole transaction and have the treaty ready for the December session of Congress and the Rigsdag, the indications now being, in both countries, that the respective sessions will be postponed until December. He said the matter should be urged, and again mentioned the proposition for Santa Cruz, saying they desired to know what would be the action of my Government upon the subject; and that his Government supposed that the whole proposition was or would be accepted as made, keeping the transactions separate; but that the present negotiation for the two islands only was urged forward for reasons of utility to the United States. I told him I had no indication on the subject, except the telegraphic order under which I was acting, and felt a difficulty in making any inquiry about the other, especially if it was to appear as being made on my own motion; but that if I might say that the Danish Government desired to know the conclusion of my own Government upon that branch of the proposition, I would cheerfully make the inquiry. He said that was just what he desired me to do. To-day, at my weekly conference with Count Frijs, he expressed the same desire to know the decision in reference to Santa Cruz, and proposes a special interview upon the whole matter this week.

After conference hour to-day, I received another note from General Raasloff, dated this morning, from which I make the following extract:

“I beg to reiterate what I said to you yesterday, viz, that we consider our counter proposition as having been accepted by the United States Government as a whole, although the telegraphic answer mentions only that part of it which can and will be immediately acted upon. It would be well, however, to have that point also settled between us. We shall on the first point act speedily as soon as we shall be properly prepared. I shall soon call upon you again.

I have preferred merely to state these facts in the form of a narrative. Without expressing any opinion of what the Government should do in the matter of Santa Cruz, I feel at liberty to say that if the Government ever intends to buy it at the price suggested, or thinks it worth the amount, it would greatly facilitate the pending negotiation to make that fact known. This is quite clear to me.

Yesterday a telegram from Hamburg appeared in the Copenhagen papers, stating that the last mails from the West Indies brought the information that at St. Thomas the rumor was prevalent that

of the United States, was now in Europe to buy the Danish islands. To-day, in the ante-chamber at the foreign office, my Spanish and French colleagues immediately asked me about it; and in my interview with Count Frijs he told me they had demanded of him to know if it was true. He tells me he replied that he had understood that Mr. had passed through Copenhagen several weeks ago, but that he had not seen him and knew nothing of his business. Fortunately this was the case. This occurrence is no more than I have been constantly expecting, and have wondered that it did not happen sooner. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

[Extract) No. 92.]


Copenhagen, August 17, 1807. Sir: Last Saturday, the 10th instant, at an interview appointed by Count Frijs, he expressed his preference that, without agreeing in the treaty to submit the question of cession to a vote of the people of the islands in such form as to make the vote decisive as a condition, yet to allude to it in such manner as to show the fact of the intention of the Government of Denmark to take the vote.

I declined to agree to this, upon the ground that any such reference or statement in the treaty might be construed as an agreement to submit. He thought it could be so worded as to avoid that construction, and very much prefers its insertion for political and diplomatic reasons, and asked me if I would take it ad referendum. I agreed to do so, but again urged the necessity of so conducting the negotiation as to have all things accomplished and the treaty ready for submission at both capitals in December, and that, for the sake of certainty and dispatch, I would much prefer to have, as nearly as possible, the exact form of words in which he would propose to insert it, so that I could submit a definite question. He then proposed to have that ready by the next Saturday (to-day).

To-day I called at the appointed hour, but, instead of meeting him and General Raasloff alone, I was informed by them, at a side interview, that they were engaged in full cabinet meeting, discussing a ministerial crisis. The count stated that he had not been able to give the attention to the matter which he had expected, and asked to fix next Saturday to submit to me the form he will propose.

General Raasloff informs me that he has recently conversed with an officer from St. Thomas, and learns from him, without in any way indicating the negotiation, that the people are discussing the subject of annexation, and are very well inclined to it, and that indeed the most of them look upon it as a foregone conclusion.

In view of the fact that this Government will probably order the vote to be taken, I would be obliged for your opinion of the views I expressed in my No. 81, of 12th of July, last paragraph, in relation to who shall vote.

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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward,

No. 96.)


Copenhagen, August 29, 1867. SIR: I have the honor to state that on the 27th instant I received your dispatch No. 48, of the 7th instant, and the same day read to General Raasloff the last paragraph, in which you authorize me to express the opinion of the Department in regard to the necessity and advantage of promptness. He replied that as soon as the cabinet crisis was through, which he then thought would be within a week (and further thought the King would yield), and as soon as Count Frijs had been to celebrate the marriage of his daughter on his estate in Jutland, the 15th of September, there would be nothing in the way of work.

I intended also to read that part of the dispatch to Count Frijs at weekly conference to-day, but yesterday evening received notice that the diplomatic corps would not be received to-day, and the same evening General Raasloff called again and explained that the cabinet resignation mentioned in my No. 94 had been handed in since he saw me the day before, which he supposed was the reason Count Frijs declines any further diplomatic interviews until the question of the formation of a new government is determined. I am now inclined to think this movement has been in some measure foreseen for several weeks, and has been another reason. beside the Schleswig question, that has prevented me from making any more satisfactory progress. I am confident of ultimate success if the present ministry remain in office. If another government is formed it is impossible to tell what would be their opinion of the measure.

The Prussian minister has just handed in another note on the Schleswig question. I am not advised specifically of its contents, but am assured that it can not be considered as effecting any real progress in the affair. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington,

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.] No. 97.]


Copenhagen, September 2, 1867. SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose a translation of an article which recently appeared in the editorial columns of the Faderlandet, a leading journal of Copenhagen, in regard to the reported negotiation for cession of the Danish West Indies to the United States.

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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington.

From Faderlandet.]


COPENHAGEN, August 29, 1867. The Government of the United States has for many years wished to get in possession of one of the Antilles. The desire has become stronger and stronger, and the events of the last year have rendered it almost necessary for the United States to fulfill the wish. In order to command entirely the Gulf of Mexico, which is the earnest intention of the United States, it is necessary to have a military port in the West Indies.

The Government in Washington is fully aware of this, and will no doubt neglect no opportunity to acquire by fair means or by force what it so earnestly desires. Now it so happens that out of all the Antilles there is none which suits so much the American view as the islands belonging to Denmark. The geographical situation is most decidedly happy, which has been proved by the circumstance that St. Thomas has been the central station for all the steamboats crossing these seas. whether from east to west or from north to south. St. Croix is situated abont 40 miles south of St. Thomas, and suits, perhaps, still better the American object than the first mentioned.

The harbor of Christiansted may, by some art, be made into a better port than even that of St. Thomas.

The extent of the islands is also very suitable; they are neither too small nor so great that they, like Cuba, Santo Domingo, or Porto Rico, might disagree with the principal object of the Americans, name'y. the possession of a military port.

The political relations tend in the same way. The Spanish islands are too good “milk cows” for the Spaniards to be willing to dispose of them. There can be no question of the FrenchThe American can not use the Swedish or the Dutch ones. The English own a couple of islands, very suitable, certainly, to the object of the Americans, and the author of these lines would not at all be amazed that Great Britain might once, for the sake of the so much beloved peace, and besides a good round sum of money, offer one of them to Brother Jonathan; but at present America does not like to allow its elder brother money, but reserves one upon a time to take them all by force.

Such are the facts. It is possible that the Danish Government has not bestowed upon them the necessary attention, but it possesses in every case in the minister of war a man who not only knows the wishes and objects of the American Gov. ernment, but also all that concerns our West Indian islands.

According to all these facts, nobody at home will be astonished to hear that the letters lately received from the West Indies almost all speak of the possibility of the islands being sold to the United States. The matter seems originating in the American Senator's visit to the islands last summer. But, independent of this visit, perhaps entirely fortuitous, one has been used, on account of the wish. openly pronounced by the American Government, to consider the possibility we here allude to as likely to such a degree that the question is continually starting. During the war with the Confederate States, American men-of-war were almost. continnally lying in the harbor of St. Thomas, to take care of the blockade breakers from Liverpool. Since the end of the war, no change in this regard has taken place; there are more men-of-war there, and they stop there for a longer time. The islands have become the main station for the American "cruisers" in these

seas, and a touching place for those bound for South America and the Pacific Ocean. On Mr. Seward, the State Secretary, visiting these islands two years ago, this visit was immediately set in connection with the approaching sale; and it appears so natural to the inhabitants of the island that this sale will be effected, that the smallest event is sufficient to agitate the minds and start the question anew.

This matter has been spoken of in almost all European newspapers, and with so much precision that the rumor has been half officially contradicted by the official Berlings Tidende not many months ago. But the fact has never, for what I know to the contrary, been discussed in the Danish press, although the object appears quite natural. First, it is due to the islands openly to let them know how the matter is looked upon in the mother country, that they may know if they are bought or sold, as the saying is. Secondly, the matter is of such importance that it deserves all due consideration. I am not unconscious that it must jar inuch upon Danish ears to start the question of further giving up of Danish territory, but the mere feeling can not bere be decisive; if the discussion lead to the result that it must be considered as profitable to Denmark to make such a step, it appears to me that it ought to be made, if a lavorable opportunity offers. If Denmark, by the sale of the West Indian colonies, might obtain an increase of power to resist its arch enemy and confirm the confidence of its friends, I can nevertheless fancy a decisive reason that could prevent the Government from making such a step if it proved unjust to the inhabitants of the islands.

The sale ought to be made with fair conscience. It must be proved how far that is possible. The proof does not appear difficult to me, though a regard. on account of the peculiar situation of the islands, ought to be taken to the composition of the population. The greatest difficulty might arise with regard to the colored part of the population, which is in great majority on all three is'ands, especially on St. John and St. Croix, where the inhabitants are mere agriculturists.

The Danish Government, which of all European governments first abolished the slave trade, have always with a rare humanity taken care of the slaves, and next of the emancipated.

A working population has grown up under its fatherly care on the islands, whose material condition is so favorable that it would be difficult to find the like either in Europe or anywhere else. Even before the slave emancipation not a little had been done by the Danish Government for the mental development of the population, by the establishing of regular schools.

The welfare of this working population-would it suffer any essential injury by the possible sale of the islands to the United States? As matters are now going on in America I do believe that Denmark, without any fear of committing any wrong to that part of its inhabitants, may transmit their future welfare to the care of the American Government. The public opinion in America would no more than in Denmark allow any wrong to be done to the colored population.

But care ought not to be taken alone of the working class. In consequence of the anterior slavery, one has been too much inclined, as well in Europe as in North America, to take exclusive care of the working classes and their welfare. Now, as this must be considered as entirely secured, it will not be superfluous to pay attention to what regards the planters. There is not the least chance of believing that the old oligarchy will revive in any way, either direct or indirect.

The present planters belong to a very different class from the earlier. They are people who are, to me, to the islands as mere working people; that is to say, overseers shortly before or shortly after the emancipation. By dint of labor and economy they succeeded in buying the properties, as their value was diminished in an almost incredible manner. There is almost no trace left of the earlier class of planters, who might properly be compared to our great estate holders. A rich planter may exceptionally be met with, but very rarely,

How would the sale of our Indian islands to the United States affect the interest of this class of the population? There can be no doubt but that it would prove very advantageous to them. That of which the islands, in an economical point of view, are most in need of is an increase of strength to work. The planters have been obliged to import, at great expense, laborers from Calcutta for rather short time, and with the obligations of bringing them back. This fact is in itself enough to show how high must be the wages for laborers and how little chance there is of fear of a too great increase of the strength to work. The fact is that the islands are capable of nourishing a population of workmen almost the double of the present. This want of strength to work, of which the production of the islands is now suffering, can only be remedied by an emigration of laborers from the United States, and it is very likely that such would take place if the islands were sold.

The other great want of the islands is capital. The discount of the islands being at 9 per cent serves best to show how great is the want. The law establishing 6 per cent rendered matters still worse. It is within a very small compass, and the conditions are often pretty hard-that the islands are provided with capital from the mother country. The cause is obvious; we can not spare money from our own enterprises. This want would also be relieved if the islands were disposed of to the United States. Not that great capital would be poured into the islands from North America, but it would follow naturally from a greater increase of welfare, the necessary consequence of cheaper work, provided the augmentation of the working classes would take place, and besides the more advantageous market the islands would find in America for their productions. Under the supposition that their productions were brought duty free into the United States, the planters would, as long as the heavy duty of importation on sugar continues there, obtain almost double the price compared to what they do now. There is no chance of believing that America would, as Denmark does now, treat the islands as a foreign country in regard of the duty of importation on sugar.

The islands would undoubtedly be incorporated in the United States. The islands bear, as is well known, all their expenses. The expenses are very great, in consequence of maintaining a pretty strong military force-very great. The taxation of St. Croix is heavy. 'These expenses would cease in the case that one of the islands was made into an American military port. As to the planters and other proprietors of the islands, ainong whom many belong to the colored population, it seems that the sale of the islands to the United States, far from being pernicious, must rather be advantageous to them. Another circumstance ought still to be taken in consideration, that among the inhabitants of the islands there is but a small number of such Danes whose mother language is Danish. With the exception of the military force and the employers there are scarcely two hundred.

The islands have never been colonized. They were bought after their colonization had been effected. Certainly the inhabitants are bound to Denmark with ties such as a humane and mild government alone can form, but it is not the tie of blood. Let the sorrow of the inhabitants in the first moment of separation be ever so bitter, I believe that time will soon heal the wound.

Reasons against the sale of the islands to the United States have been produced in regard to England and France. As to England the sale may, perhaps, be disagreeable, but I do not find the least reason that any respect should be had to that country. Our understanding with France is very different. Regards ought certainly to be taken to the latter country, provided they be not carried so far that they might be pernicious to us. I do not believe it would be difficult to prove the convenience to the Imperial Government, not only from a Danish point of view, but also from a French. Regards to France ought only to be taken, as far as we obtain from that country the help we count upon in what regards our self-existence; but I feel convinced that this help will be obtained with as much more facility as we are stronger. In the like manner, as we increase our own strength do we increase the minds of our friends to help us. By selling to the United States our islands against a good sum of money, Denmark can augment very much its military force, especially its ironclad fleet.

I presuppose, as a matter known to all the readers, that Denmark does not draw any immediate profit of its colonies; Government does not collect any revenue; they consume themselves all the taxes.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

No. 98.]


Copenhagen, September 5, 1867. Sir: It was my intention to read to Count Frijs to-day at conference the last paragraph of your dispatch, No. 48, of the 7th August, in relation to promptness in the pending negotiation; but yesterday evening it was announced there would be no conference with the diplomatic corps to-day, and on calling at the foreign office to ask for a special interview with the minister, I learn he is not in town.

I have had an interview to-day with General Raasloff, who asked me to call at his house. He assures me, and says I may assure you, that the matter will be closed in time for the December session of Congress and the Rigsdag, and that Count Frijs told him before leaving town to proceed with the arrangement of details as far as it can now be done, and that on his return from Jutland the matter should be brought to a close.

The general informs me that another Copenhagen journal has commenced the discussion of the cession. He thinks this public discussion is in some things to be

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