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The present occasion seems a fitting one for me to again assure you, as I have done in my note of April 17th, that the errand upon which these national vessels of the United States visited the waters of a state to which we are allied by ties of friendship and treaty guarantees, neither in design nor in execution justified any feeling of alarm or irritation on the part either of the government of the state of Panama or of the population thereof. The repetition of this assurance is, I feel, all that it is now needful to add to the explanation of that note.
It is, therefore, confidently hoped by the President, that the actual course so inconsiderately adopted by the executive of Panama, notwithwithstanding the ample and frank explanations made to him by Mr. Dichman, on the occasion of the official visit of the latter to Panama on the 5th of May last, and notwithstanding, moreover, an explicit promise then made by President Cervera to Mr. Dichman, of which this government was duly advised, that he would hold in abeyance any step then contemplated toward the Adams and Kearsarge, until Mr. Dichman should have made to the federal authorities at Bogotá, the communication with which he was charged, will either be promptly disavowed or satisfactorily explained by the supreme government of the United States of Colombia. For in whatever way the act of President Cervera, as communicated to the consuls of the United States at Colon (Aspinwall) and Panama on the 12th ultimo may be regarded, it cannot be deemed as otherwise than unprecedented, and, if not unfriendly in its conception as at least partaking to an unfortunate extent of the appearance of unfriendliness.
It is the purpose of the Department to place before the government at Bogotá the just grievance of this government in the matter, not in a spirit of querulous indignation at the treatment offered to its vessels under an irresponsible impulse of uninstructed suspicion, but in contidence that the apparent offense of wishing to exclude the public vessels of the United States, in time of peace, from any of the ports and places of the Colombian Union may be speedily relieved of its unhappy features, and that your note to me, to which I now reply, will be found to truly represent, as I have assumed it to do, the spirit of sincere friendship and thoughtful consideration which I cannot but believe the Colombian Government feels toward that of the United States, and which, I am not slow to affirm, is felt in like eminent degree by the United States toward their sister republic.
I am confident, Mr. Minister, that your enlightened judgment and marked friendliness will lead you to concur with me in the need of a better understanding of this strange and precipitate action of the Executive of the State of Panama. Accept, sir, &c.,
WM. M. EVARTS.
Washington, June 10, 1880. SIR: I have had the honor to receive your excellency's communication of the 5th instant in reply to mine of the 19th ultimo, the object of which was to express my confidence that the Kearsarge and Adams would be withdrawn from the ports of Bocas del Toro and of Golfo Dulce, without prejudice to the arrangements for the establishment of coaling stations that might be made with the government at Bogota by the Hon. Mr. Dichman, and as a means of facilitating those arrangements by calming the agitation which the presence and the operations of those war vessels in Colombian ports had created among the people, which agitation had naturally found an echo in official circles.
Your excellency, in informing me with regard to the subject of my aforesaid note, repeated that the object of the war vessels in question was wholly innocent and peaceful, and based upon the friendly relations which bappily exist between the United States of America and the United States of Colombia, and recognized that I had so considered it, notwithstanding the reasons of a different order which gave rise to my communications in reference to the matter, all of which was very gratifying to me.
Your excellency stated, nevertheless, with regret, that, according to official advices received by you, the Executive of the State of Panama, in pursuance, as it seems, of orders from the national Government of Colombia, had addressed 'the American consuls at Panama and Colon (Aspin wall), to the end that the aforesaid vessels of war of the United States, the Adams and the Kearsarge, should not only suspend the sounding operations in which they were engaged, but that the former should leave the port of Golfito inasmuch as it was a port not open to commerce. Although your excellency did not wish to complain in a querulous spirit, you nevertheless thought, and so repeatedly stated, that that step on the part of the authorities of Panama was by no means friendly, and at best only explicable in view of the agitation caused by a misunderstanding of the purpose with which the United States vessels had visited the aforesaid Colombian ports.
Your excellency hoped that the action of the said authorities would be disavowed by the Federal Government of Colombia, or that it would be explained in such a manner as to deprive it of the aspect of harshness which it presented, which was so opposed to the sincere friendship professed by the American Government for that of Colombia, which friendship your excellency hoped to see reciprocated by the latter, and expressed confidence that the note to which you were then replying would be found truly to represent the spirit of sincere amity and thoughtful con. sideration felt by the Colombian Government toward that of the United States.
Your excellency stated your purpose of asking such an explanation at Bogotá through the Hon. Mr. Dichman, and expressed the hope that I shared the painful impression made upon the Government at Washington by the action of the President of Panama, as well as the desire that that impression might speedily be made to disappear, and that the relations between the two governments might be restored to the same degree of cordiality that had previously existed.
As to the object of my last communication, your excellency informed me that the aforementioned war vessels, having finished their innocent task, which was to ascertain the feasibility of establishing coaling stations in the ports in question, the Adams had left the waters of Colombia, and had reached Punta Arenas before the execution of the measure adopted by the President of Panama, and that the Kearsarge had received, likewise previously, orders to return to the United States, for which reason it was probably out of Colombian jurisdiction at the date of my communication.
I hasten to inform your excellency that I have received no advices, either official or private, of the step taken by the President of Panama in relation to the vessels of war in question, and that I know only what has been published in reference to the matter by the press of Panama and New York. I remember to have read in some newspaper that the said President had received a telegram from the national government containing orders to act in the manner announced to your excellency, and it immediately occurred to me that it was possible, both by reason of the usual brevity of that style of correspondence and of the imperfection of telegraphy in Colombia, that some mistake had occurred, at least, in the expression of the intention of the Colombian Government.
I sincerely hope that such may prove to be the case, and that your excellency will be fully satisfied with the explanations which I doubt not you will receive in reference to the matter from the Hon. Mr. Dichman, among which will probably be the standing constitutional provision of that country that no foreign vessel of war shall be stationed in its ports without the express permission of the Executive.
For my own part, I do not hesitate to give the assurance that my government desires nothing so much as to maintain the relations of sincere and genuine friendship which have connected the two countries, which relations are destined daily to increase in importance, and the interruption of which, even for a short time, would be much to be regretted.
I do not hesitate to say that your excellency is not mistaken in thinking that I share the pain caused your government by the intimation given to its consuls at Panama and Colon (Aspinwall), which, if it really did emanate from the national Goverment of Colombia, must have been misinterpreted and erroneously communicated by its agents, for I am firmly convinced that that government is actuated by the same friendly spirit that your excellency recognizes in my notes, which are a mere reflex of its disposition toward the Government of the United States of America.
In conclusion, I would express my gratification that the cause of these little questions has been removed by the withdrawal of the Adams and the Kearsarge, and my hope that even the vestiges which they may have left will soon disappear, so that the field may be open to much more useful discussions, to which matters of common interest will inevitably give rise between the governments which your excellency and I represent. I reiterate, &c.,
Mr. Cramer to Jr. Evarts. No. 551.]
LEGATION OF THE U'NITED STATES, Copenhagen, August 30, 1879. (Received September 12.) SIR: Yesterday morning I received a note from the Danish minister for foreign affairs, dated the 27th instant, in which he requested me to inform him
1. Whether foreigners who settle in the United States may become naturalized as citizens thereof after having resided there for two years; and, 22, whether, in order to become naturalized, it is necessary for such foreigners to make a previous declaration that they have been absolved from the bonds that bound them to their mother country?
In reply to these questions I addressed, under yesterday's date, a note to the said minister, in which I quoted verbally sections 2165, 2166, and 2170 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, second edition, respecting the naturalization of aliens, as well as the last clause of section 102 of the United States Consular Regulations for 1874, in which it is declared that “Persons who have merely declared their intention to become citizens are not citizens of the United States within the meaning of the law," and then added :
It is evident, therefore: 1. That no alien can become a citizen of the United States who has not for the continued term of five years resided within the United States; and,
2. That such alien, when he makes application to become a citizen of the United States, is not required to make a previous declaration that he has been released from the bonds that bound him to his mother country, but that he is required, under oath, to absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity by name to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which he may be at the time a citizen or subject.
I trust that the Department will approve both the form and the substance of my reply to the minister's two questions. I am, &c.,
M. J. CRAMER.
Jr. Hunter to Jr. Cramer.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 1, 1879. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch, No. 547, of the 11th ultimo, in response to an instruction No. 297 from this Department, relative to the rumor then current at St. Thomas of pending negotiations between Denmark and, presumably, Great Britain, for the transfer to this latter government of that island, and in which you deny, upon the anthority of the Danish minister for foreign affairs, the truth of the report of such negotiations with any government looking to that end.
In reply I have to express the satisfaction with which this government receives the information contained in your dispatch, for it could not look with indifference upon the transfer of the island of St. Thomas to any European power.
Mr. Cramer to Mr. Evarts. No. 556.)
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Copenhagen, October 8, 1879. (Received October 23.) SIR: Referring to my dispatch No. 552, of the 230 ultimo, describing the condition of the Danish Islands in the West Indies, I have now the honor to further inform you that the Danish minister of finance, who is at the same time also president of the council of state, laid before the Rigsdag a bill authorizing an increase in the military garrison of these islands at the expense of the mother country.
In the course of his remarks he said that since 1867 a series of mis. fortunes had happened, especially to Santa Cruz, which rendered the condition of that island, financially, hopelessly bad. In the opinion of the government the assumption upon which the legislation for these colonies had been based, namely, their ability not only to defray their own administrative expenses, but also to pay an annual tribute into the state treasury, no longer exists, and, if left to themselves, financial ruin would surely and speedily overtake them. The total loss sustained by Santa Cruz on account of the negro riots during October, 1878, amounted to about $1,100,000, and the export of sugar between the years 1865–78 fell from about 15,000 hogsheads annually to about 3,800, thus greatly reducing the income not only of the planters, but of the communal treasury as well. But it had been found impossible to reduce the ad. ministrative expenses to a correspondingly low amount. “St. Thomas," the minister said, “is also financially retrograding.” “Therefore," he concluded, “it is high time that a final determination should be reached as to the exact position to be assumed by the mother country toward these islands, for the present state of things is no longer tenable." These appear to be ominous words. I am, &c.,
M. J. CRAMER.
Mr. Cramer to Jr. Evarts.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Copenhagen, October 17, 1879. (Received November 3.) SIR : Referring to your dispatch No. 301, of the 9th of August last, in relation to immigration into the United States of Mormons, I have the honor to inform you that, in compliance with your instruction, I have brought this matter to the attention of the Government of Denmark, in a note addressed to the Danish minister for foreign affairs, on the 3d ultimo.
Yesterday, it being the weekly conference day, I had a personal interview with him on the subject. On asking him whether he had taken any special cognizance of it, he replied that my note had been referred to the minister of the interior, but that no particular steps had as yet been taken in relation to it. As polygamy is prohibited in Denmark, he thought it would be difficult to control the emigration of any person, or set of persons, who leave their native country in accordance with existing laws.
As the Danish press has pretty generally discussed this subject, and warned people against emigrating to Utah for polygamous purposes, I did not deem it proper to add a similar warning directly through the press. I shall, however, give timely protests whenever I deem it needful. I am, &c.
M. J. CRAMER.