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Thus in attempting to set ourselves right before the world as a' democracy of equal citizens, we have only complicated it and given rise to false conclusions.
With the utmost possible respect and deference, I have to submit that the construction given by those gentlemen who declined to wear any uniform after the passage of the resolution of Congress, and before the_ receipt of the circular referred to, which is stated to have been their course in the published accounts I have seen, was right; and that the construction given in the circular cannot be maintained. 1 have not the whole act of 28th July, 1866, before me, which is always necessary for a thorough conclusion, but only the section 34 given in the circular. From that section, nothing else appearing, it would naturally seem to be a sort of honor by brevet conferred upon those who served as volunteers in the civil war, by putting them always thereafter, in some things, as dress and title, upon an equality ‘with regular officers of the army and navy ; and that the “occasions of ceremony” referred to are such ceremonies of a naval, military, political and funeral character as occur within the United
- States, and recognized or directed by the government or some department
thereof. Then turning to the very short resolution of Congress of 27th March last, it
would seem that the object of it must have been to prevent our diplomatic agents from doing that which was believed to be inconsistent with our political institutions, and to indicate what would appear most natural for us to do at foreign courts, and if so, the policy of the act applies to all equally, no matter what may have been the past official position at home of some of them.
In this view the words “not previously authorized by Congress ” do not mean or refer to what was previously authorized, but to what shall be previously authorized before it is worn. That section 34 did not refer to a diplomatic uniform, nor was thought to confer any privilege in regard to it, would seem to be shown by the fact (as I am informed) that several had worn their military uniforms before the passage of that act, in the exercise of that discretion indicated by Mr. Marcy's circular, and by virtue of which others wore a non-military uniform. And if section 34 clearly did embrace diplomatic agents’ uniforms and ceremonies, I would still hold that the object and positive character of the resolution of 27th March require that the words “ previously authorized ” shall be construed to apply to the prohibition from “ wearing any uniform,” except such as may hereafter be authorized by Congress if it sees fit to do so; and therefore that to this extent it repeals section 34, rather than refers to it, on the well-known rule of construction that a subsequent act repeals all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with it, though not specially referred to.
Pufiendorf, in his chapter on interpretation says: "That which is only permilled gives place to that which is commanded ;” and “ alaw forbidding the doing anything is to be preferred before a law directing the doing anything.” These just and sound rules of construction seem to me exactly applicable to this case. “
I cannot too distinctly assure you that I feel not a particle of personal interest or preference in the matter. My first desire was simply to know what the law was, that I might obey it, and now my solicitude is that our government may have a consistent and just policy. and not one which is uselessly and inconveniently open to criticism ; and furtlier, that some of the courts of Europe that are sensitive on such points should have no occasion to ask why we appear to show more deference to Paris, St. Petersburg, and one or two others, than we do to themselves.
If Congress agrees with the department in the construction given it ought promptly to amend the law.
I am, sir,‘ very respectfully, your’ obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Mr. Yeaman 10 Mr. Seward.
No. 101.] l . LEGATION on‘ THE UNITED STATES, Copenhagen, September 8, 1867.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch, No. 51, of the 23d of August, and have felt extremely gratified with the good opinion you have so kindly expressed of my pamphlet on allegiance and citizenship. I have sent one to Mr. Bancroft, as requested.
General Raasloff, Danish minister of war, saw it on my table and asked for a copy. He at once, without having read it, entered into a conversation upon the subject, in which he spoke with much candor of what he conceived to be the difliculties on both sides; and remarked that he did not think the Danish and other European governments really cared so much about the service, nor even so much about the law question involved, as that they wanted regularity of proceedings, mutuality or reciprocity of legislation, and certainty and fulness of proof of a man’s status. He said it was idle to wish to hold a man to service who did not wish to be a citizen; but observed that they nearly all leave Europe without obtaining a release, as they might; and some abuse their acquired status, or wish to carry two characters. I observed all such would have to be questions of fact. ‘
He said the whole question was one of immense importance, involving often no less than a man’s citizenship and personal liberty,-and ought to be settled on some basis satisfactory to all parties. As one feature of a settlement he suggested what appeared to me a measure of 'some value : that the State Depart
. ment should be furnished regularly with lists of persons naturalized in the
courts, and that the department, through its legations, should furnish these lists to the department of foreign aifairs of the government of the man’s natural allegiance. He thought the several governments would make no further claim over men whose names were thus furnished, except when they left already in default, and that we. could much better make such information the basis of a notice, actual or implied, that such men must not be arrested. I referred to the passport and judicial certificate; but he thought the other plan preferable and more reliable. It might sometimes have the advantage of preventing the annoyance of a citation or arrest, so that there would be no occasion for,showing the passports, provided it is distinctly understood such men must not be meddled with. The general thought it was due to the government here to have a defence against fraud, and supposed the case of a Danish subject leaving here without release, the presumption of Danish citizenship continues. He naturalizes in the United States ; goes elsewhere and gets into trouble ; is dealt with as an American, but claims to be a Dane. The Danish government, desiring to discharge its duty of protection, would yet not wish to be imposed upon. It has no evidence here of change of citizenship, and the man is still prima facie a citizen. I submit his suggestion as one well worthy of consideration. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, GEORGE H. YEAMAN. Hon. WILLIAM H. Snwaun, Secretary of State, Was/Lington, D. C.
Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward. No. 103.] LEGATION on Tue UNITED STATES, - ' Copenhagen, September 21, 1867.
SIR: Admiral Farragut arrived off this capital with his fleet on the 13th instant, and after exchanging salutes with the forts in the harbor, was visited
and welcomed to the city by the commandant of the naval station. He at once sent Lieutenant Commander Watson, of his staff, on shore to announce his arrival to me, and to ask when he might wait upon me at the legation. I at once asked permission to make the first visit to the Admiral on board his flagship, and started with his aid to do so, but we learned the Admiral was already
on shore, and he immediately called at my house. On the 16th the Admiral and _
Mrs. Farragut, the captains, and the two senior commanders, a part of the staff, the Danish ministers of marine and of war, the envoys and ministers of the diplomatic corps, and the American ladies accompanying their husbands of the fleet, were invited to dine at my house. I much regretted the absence from town of Count Frijs, the minister for foreign ai:'t'airs, and the more so as he has expressed a desire to meet with the Admiral during his European cruise.
On the 18th the Admiral gave a reception on board the flag-ship Franklin, which was attended by several members of the Danish cabinet and several members of the diplomatic corps, who were duly saluted in the order of their precedence. Music, dancing, and a most elegant collation were enjoyed by the ladies and gentlemen present. In the evening of the same day General Raaslofi', the Danish minister of war, entertained the visitors and several prominent Danes in a most hospitable and elegant manner.
On the 19th I had a special audience of his Majesty the King, for the presentation of the Admiral and eight of his principal oificers, Captains Pennock, Strong,'Le Roy, Wyman, Harmony, Foltz, and Shirk, and Commander Watson. I had previously received a very kind note from General Othohu, grand marshal of the palace, regretting that the absence of the Queen, and the deep mourning of the royal family on account of the recent death of the Queen’s father, had prevented such attentions to the Admiral and his distinguished oiiicers as they would otherwise have paid them, and asking them and myself to dine with the King at 6 o’clock at his country chateau. At the presentation the King cordially repeated the invitation in person. At dinner we met the King of the Greeks, the Crown Prince of Denmark, and two of the King’s brothers. It
‘ was in all respects an agreeable and exquisite piece of hospitality, and our dis
tinguished ofiicers properly felt that under the circumstances it was an extremely kind and complimentary attention on the part of the King. The King first drank with the Admiral, proposing “the prosperity and happiness of the United States ;” to which the Admiral appropriately responded. Soon afterwards his Majesty proposed to me his “pleasure at meeting so many of my (your) renowned and heroic countrymen,” and for which I thanked him, as well as for his very polite attentions to them. He drank the healths of Captains Pennock, Strong, and Le Roy, and again proposed with the Admira , “the most renowned of naval captains,” which disconcerted the patriot hero far more than the battle of Mobile or the gauntlet of the forts. Being said in a low, soft tone, I did not know precisely what was done in time to volunteer any verbal assistance. The King probably wanted no response or speech-making, and in any event the Admiral’s modest silence and earnest bow, with “thank your Majesty,” was the most impressive answer. ‘
The King of the .Greeks, the crown prince, and the other gentlemen present, expressed a lively desire to be acquainted with the Admiral and his oificers, and I had the pleasure of presenting them all during the evening. They spoke with enthusiastic admiration of the Admiral’s naval exploits, with which they seemed quite familiar, especially the King of the Greeks, who was educated for the
Danish navy; was in the service when elected King, and has a keen apprecia-
tion for daring naval feats. He will soon return to Athens by the way of St. Petersburg, where he will be married next month to the eldest daughter of the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia. He gave our oflicers a most pressing invitation to visit his country before returning to the United States, and expressed himself to me as being very much gratified with the resolution of Congress concerning Cretan aifairs. ‘ .
I desire to render my distinct and emphatic testimony of the extremely happy and favorable impression which the accomplished ofiicers of the Admiral’s fleet have made on this court and on public opinion here. They are an honor to the American name and the American naval service, and wherever they have gone the effect of their visit and their intercourse with society has been an unmixed advantage to our reputation and to our political interests.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
M'r. Seward to Mr. Yeaman.
No. 59.] DEPARTMENT or STATE,
Sm: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 8th of September, No. 101, which relates to the interesting subject of the effect to be secured by naturalization, in the United States, of persons emigrating from and dissolving their allegiance to foreign nations. Your suggestion that records of naturalization should be preserved in the Department of State, and that transcripts thereof should be furnished to the governments whose allegiance is renounced, has much merit, and will be cheerfully brought to the atten
_tion of proper committees in Congress. I will not conceal from you, however,
that the difiiculties attending such a proceeding are so great as to make it seem impracticable. Two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) emigrants, male and female, .old and young, arrive in this country annually. In the course of a few vears all of them become citizens by admission in the federal, State, and territorial courts, in the 40 and more States and Territories of the Union.
In so great a number of cases, there would be much confusion of names. Especially, transcripts in which the names of wives, widows, and infant children should be mentioned, would give very uncertain information to the foreign States concerned. After much reflection I have formed the opinion that the democratic principle of the natural right of men to change their homes and allegiance, as the hope of improvement or other motives may prompt them, is to become an acknowledged principle throughout the civilized world, and that the sooner it is accepted by European States, as it has been by our own, the better it will be for all parties concerned, and for the peace and welfare of all mankind.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Mr. .Harvey to Mr. Seward.
No. 419.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Lisbon, December 7, 1866. '
SIR : My No. 414 has already informed you of the measures adopted here, upon the receipt of a telegram from our minister at Rome, requesting a ship of war to be sent immediately to Civita Vecchia. The United States steamer Swatara was intercepted in the Mediterranean and ordered there, as soon as Rear-Admiral Goldshorough came into this port.
Subsequently, information was received of the arrest of the conspirator John H. Surratt, at Alexandria, whence he had escaped from the papal territory, accompanied by a request that a ship of war should be sent to Malta to receive him. Orders were communicated by telegraph, on Monday, for the Swatara to go there, but, as there might possibly be some interruption or accident, the United States steamer Frolic was despatched there from this port yesterday morning, for the same purpose. Whichever vessel may receive him will proceed directly to Washington with the prisoner.
In order that the government might be fully apprised of these proceedings, I sent the following telegram yesterday :
Hon. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Minister of the United States, London :
Please inform the Secretary of State, by Atlantic cable, that United States steamer Swatara was ordered, by telegraph from Civita Vecchia, on Monday, to Malta to receive Surratt, and that Frolic left here to-day, on the same errand, to prevent mishaps. He will be sent to
Washington immediately. JAMES E HA . RVEY.
It is believed that these precautions will be effective, and that the wretched criminal, who was concerned in the foulest conspiracy ever known in our history as a nation, will be soon delivered over to the tribunals of justice.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C’.
Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.
No. 420.] LEGATION on THE UNITED STATES, Lisbon, December 7, 1866.
SIR: I enclose herewith a translation of an oflicial notice modifying the quarantine imposed upon ships coming from American ports, and making it retroactive to the first of November. This change is quite important to the whaling trade of New England, which is just about starting out on its annual voyage, and which this year is expected to be unusually large. It is, therefore, desirable that immediate publicity should be given to the fact.
The rendezvous of the whaling fleet is at Fayal, and our consul there made