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regretted, hut in some other respects will be advantageous, and says he should have preferred that it had not occurred, but that its effect is not all bad. I think I can discover that he regards it as a cause for a little more speed in the matter.

I yesterday received from you a telegram in cipher, but having neither cipher nor key I am unable to read it. The cipher and key may have been mailed to me and may not yet have arrived, but supposing it also possible that the telegram was sent through to me by mistake, I have sent it to Mr. Adams for translation; rather a slow and circuitous method.

General Raasloff and Count Frijs feel much interest in knowing the determination of the Government in regard to Santa Cruz. I think they in some degree regret having separated them as propositions, though as negotiations they had to be, and are now acting under a sense of honorable obligation to go forward with the present affair. But clearly they expected, and now much desire, the whole proposition to be accepted, and acting de noureau would not now make the proposition in its present form. They think, and no doubt with much reason, that their relations, or rather the relations of the Government with the islanders, with the people here, with the Rigsdag. and with France. can be more successfully managed by making the cession entire. I feel no hesitation in saying that their views about the vote, and their activity in procuring a ratification here, and their earnestness and decision in resisting any foreign representations, would be sensibly and favorably affected by our accepting Santa Cruz. Of course I can express such an opinion only in the utmost contidence. We have reached a stage where failure would be positively painful. And I may say that, since I am better acquainted with the quality of the harbor in Santa Cruz, my estimate of the value of the island to us is materially altered. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.) No. 100.]


Copenhagen, September 7, 1867. Sir: Recently, La Preese, of Paris, published a telegram from Berlin asserting that the United States had offered Denmark $8,000,000 for the Danish West Indies; and yesterday the Folkets Avis, of Copenhagen, noticing the telegram, published an elaborate editorial comment, the tenor of which is, that the true policy of Denmark is to sell, but the writer supposes that European governments would not permit a sale to the United States. This is the third paper of this city which has discussed the matter at length. The Dagbladat, the principal liberal journal, has not yet spoken. I can not but regard the whole discussion as premature and injurious. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Yeaman. No. 60.]


Washington, September 23, 1867. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches of the 5th of September, No. 98, and of the 7th of September, No. 100.

In regard to the notoriety which the negotiati n to which you refer has attained, it is necessary to remember that the habits and practice of republican government always render even a ternporary silence concerning important measures of policy suspicious and generally impossible. The press of all civilized nations, now universally employing the agency of the telegraph, has unavoidably and properly become a combination of great power, and is always more active in procūring

facts which are involved in any uncertainty or mystery than in disseminating authentic information about which there is no effort at concealment. The difficulty which it was foreseen would attend the preservation of confidence between the two Governments in regard to the negotiations has been one of the strongest motives upon our part for urging speedy decision upon the Government of Denmark.

As the case stands, it seems to me now more extraordinary that so little of the negotiations has transpired, than it is that our proceedings have not remained altogether confidential.

You mention in yonr No. 98, that you have reason to believe that the Danish Government now regret their having dissevered the proposition, by assenting to sell St. Thomas and St. John, with the reservation of Santa Cruz. You inform me further that in your opinion the Danish Government would now much desire that their own proposition for the sale of the three islands should be reinstated and accepted. You assign the reason upon which this opinion is founded, namely, that the relations of the Government with the inhabitants of the islands, with the people of Denmark, with the legislature of that country, and with France. could be more successfully managed by making a cession of all, than by a cession of the two islands of St. Thomas and St. John. Impressed with this opinion, you imply rather than express a recommendation that we shall open the question and accept the cession of the three islands upon the Danish terms.

The President has at no time entertained a doubt that the division of our original propos tion, so as to exclude Santa Cruz from the negotiation, would prove a hindrance in Denmark. He remains of the opinion that our proposition was well conceived, having reference to our situation at the time it was made. Circumstances, however, seem now to have changed. I leave out of view parallel negotiations in other quarters. In the purchase of Russian America we have invested a considerable capital and incurred the necessity of a large expenditure. The desire for the acquisition of foreign territory has sensibly abated. The delays which have attended the negotiation, notwithstanding our urgency, have contributed to still further alleviate the national desire for enlargement of territory. In short, we have already come to value dollars niore, and dominion less.

Under these circumstances it would be more difficult now than it has heretofore been to accept the three islands at the price which is set upon them by the Government of Denmark. The best we could do now would be to accept the two upon the terms which seem to have been agreed upon. I do not hesitate to say that procrastination of the negotiation even for those two islands may wear out the popu-, lar desire for even that measure of partial acquisition.

The Danish negotiators have asked us to consider that the habits of Denmark are slow. Surely the statesmen of that country can well understand that, on the contrary, in the United States all political movements necessarily require vigor and promptitude.

This long communication explains at large my brief telegraphic dispatch which you received on the 4th instant, and were then unable to determine for want of cipher, but which cipher, it is presumed, has already reached you, or will reach you before this paper shall come to your hands. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.



No. 101.]


Copenhagen, September 27, 1867. SIR: The Danish Government manifests renewed anxiety to learn what will be the ultimate action in regard to Santa Cruz.

The Danish negotiators insist upon inserting in the convention a clause to the following effect: “ It is, however, understood and agreed that His Majesty the King of Denmark, before proceeding to the ratification of this convention, reserves to himself to give to the native population of the above-named islands an opportunity of expressing their adhesion to this cession” (or, their wishes in regard to this cession). They consider this as an invitation to the people to affirm the cession, and not as a condition precedent, or a negative power, over the subject. They deem it a proper deference to modern European custom, and necessary in

the present attitude of their other foreign relations. I am not able to express any decided opinion whether the negotiation can be concluded without it. I have urged against it every possible argument and consideration, and so far without avail.

For Article III of the draft you have furnished me they propose to substitute the following:

“ The inhabitants of the ceded islands may, at their choice, preserve their nationality, or, if they prefer it, be admitted to the enjoyment of all the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens of the United States, and they shall be maintained and protected in the full exercise of their liberty, their right of property, and their religion.”

I have not been able to discover any means by which I can materially hasten the progress of this business.

General Raaslofs now speaks of going to the islands as cominissioner to take the vote, and of returning to Europe by the way of Washington, I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seuard to Mr. Yeaman,

[Confidential.) No. 61.]


Washington, September 28, 1867. Sir: Please say to General Raasloff that I have received his note of the 10th instant. I reply through the legation only because a question might hereafter arise concerning the propriety of discussing directly with a member of the Danish Government a question which is in negotiation between the two countries. I write, however, in this form as fully

and as frankly as if I were writing directly and confidentially to General Raasloff.

We can not now modify our previous instructions without putting the negotiations in great jeopardy. Procrastination has abated an interest which was at its height when we caine successfully out of a severe civil war. No absolute need for a naval station in the West Indies is now experienced. Nations are prone to postpone provision for distant contingencies. Besides, other and cheaper projects are widely regarded as leasible and equally or more advantageous. If with reference to the present negotiation for the two islands it is necessary or convenient to the Danish Government that there shall at the same time be pending a question of an ultimate transfer of a third island, let the Danish Government send us a protocol through your legation, to be dealt with as, on consultation, we shall find practicable and expedient. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. GEORGE H. YEAMAN, Esq., etc., Copenhagen.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seuard.

No. 106.)


Copenhagen, October 1, 1867. Sir: I have the honor herewith to inclose a confidential note of this date, just received from General Raasloff, which speaks for itself. His suggestion is interesting in itself and in its relations to the negotiation. He, of course, understands that the United States will not send an agent to take any official part in conducting the election: but for suggestion and friendly influence and cooperation the measure would be beneficial.

The memorandum from me to which he alludes was an informal draft of a substitute for Article III. If the language and form are changed, the article will be left in substantial conformity with your instructions to me in your dispatch No. 38. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington.

HELLEBECK, October 1, 1867. MY DEAR SIR: I shall send you this note the mouent I arrive in town, which will be a little after 2 p. m.

I feel confident that we shall be able to sign the convention in a week or so (if we can agree, which I hope), and that a commissioner will then be sent immediately from here to the West Indies. Let me, therefore, suggest to you that you write by this mail and request Mr. Seward to cause ships of war to be sent at once to the same place, and an agent or agents properly provided with instructions and all that may be useful to assist the Danish commissioner in his work, and to do whatever else circumstances may require.

I think it is necessary that this should be done at once, because, once the convention signed here, time will be scarce and action must be had without đelay.

I will call at your house in the evening, probably after having seen Count Frijs, and will then give you my opinion about the memorandum you sent me on Satuday. Very truly, yours,

W. RAASLOFF. His Excellency Hon. GEORGE H. YEAMAN,

Minister Resident United States, Copenhagen.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

No. 107.]


Copenhagen, October 3, 1867. SIR: Yesterday, at the request of Count Frijs, I had another interview with him in regard to the pending negotiation. He assured me that he very much desires the accomplishinent of the cession; that he fully appreciates its importance to the United States, its financial advantages to Denmark, and its political advantages in cementing the friendship between the United States and Denmark, and which he thought material. But he observed that the most important and vital question now pending in the foreign relations of Denmark was that concerning the retrocession of the Danish or north portions of Schleswig by a fair execution of the fifth article of the treaty of Prague; and that, however great to Denmark might be tbe advantage of a cession of the Danish West Indies, it could not possibly outweigh the disadvantages that would result from doing anything that would injure the position of Denmark in the Schleswig affair by weakening her claim to a vote in Schleswig, or by lessening the moral force of a popular expression. For these reasons he found it necessary not only to ask the approbation of the people of the islands, but also equally necessary that their consent or approval should be referred to in the treaty, though not agreed upon as a condition precedent. It is to be, in his language, “unilateral," but he regards it as so indispensable that he can not advise the King to make a treaty without it. General Raasloff would yield the point, and has exerted himself to have it yielded by the count, but he seems inmovable. I have no doubt of bis sincerity, both in desiring to make the cession and in thinking the vote necessary in the present attitude of the relations between Denmark and Prussia.

I have constantly opposed this vote, giving what I thought good reasons for my opposition, especially as to the insertion in the treaty. But I am convinced, by information from the islands, and the tendency of public sentiment here, that the annexation would be voted willingly and by a very large majority. And whether the people would vote thus or not, the point now is--and this is the only way to get the islands-and we had better get them that way than not at all-had we better risk an unfavorable vote than to refuse to negotiate on account of the vote. I am sure you will not deem it amiss in me to express my opinion thus freely. Yesterday I sent you by cable the following telegram in cipher:

" Denmark quite ready to conclude, if vote mentioned in treaty. Considers favorable vote sure. Desires explicit acceptance of Santa Cruz."

Without repeating the suggestions and argument of former dispatches, I would not deem my duty fully discharged without again impressing upon you my opinion of the favorable effect it would have here if you could express the intention of the Government to accept the offer of Santa Cruz. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward,

[Extract.) No. 108.]


Copenhagen, October 7, 1867. SIR: * *

* Saturday, the 5th instant, I received from you a telegram, which I translato as follows:

“No condition of vote in treaty. If Denmark wants to negotiate for Santa Cruz by separate treaty, send draft here for consideration."

Upon the receipt of this I promptly advised Count Frijs and General Raasloff that I proposed at once to close the treaty by inserting a clause sinıply stating the 1act that the King would afford the people an opportunity of freely expressing their approbation of the cession.

After my dispatch 107, of the 3d, and my hasty private notes of 3d and 4th instant, inclosing note from General Raasloff, I learned that the interviews of the French minister had assumed a more serious aspect, and that Count Frijs was really astonished that the British and Spanish ministers had not approached hiin, and expected their remonstrances daily. I then sent you the following telegram in cipher:

* France knows our offer, and remonstrates. Denmark expects other remonstrances. Prompt action desirable. Vote in treaty indispensable.”



I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State.

Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward. No. 110.]

COPENHAGEN, October 15, 1867. SIR: When General Raasloff said I might telegraph that Denmark was quite ready to conclude if the vote was mentioned in the treaty, he no doubt thoughtso, and so did Count Frijs; but with other members of the cabinet, especially the minister of finance, the minister of the interior, and the under secretary for foreign affairs, I seem to be negotiating consecutively with six men instead of two. I have concluded it is time to bring this state of affairs to an end, and therefore I yesterday addressed to General Raasloff a semiofficial note, of which I have now the honor to inclose a copy. It will explain to you a part only of the innumerable difficulties that are met with at every step of the negotiation. For weeks past it has been the subject of uninterrupted labor, thought, and anxiety and of interviews far too numerous to keep any record of them.

In handing this note to the General yesterday, I took occasion to observe to him that it appeared to me that some of his colleagues were under the impression that the United States wanted the islands so much that they would accept them on any terms whatever, and that if he wanted the negotiations to be successful he had better promptly relieve them of that delusion. You will appreciate my reasons for addressing such a note to him, owing to the part he bears in the negotiations, and from the fact that these propositions are sent to me through him and not in an official note from Count Frijs.

I have a private note from the General to-day, saying he had already made good use of my letter and hoped to do still more with it.

I have just this moment received your confidential dispatch No. 61, and will deliver your message to the General this evening. He has sent me word that he wishes to send you a letter in my next mail. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington. .

Mr. Yeaman to General Raasloff.


Copenhagen, October 14, 1867. DEAR SIR: I herewith inclose, at your request, a draft of such articles as we have discussed and about which there has been some difference of opinion, putting

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