Mr. Campbell to Mr. Seward
Sir: In my despatch of the 25th ultimo, No. 16, I called the attention of my government to the subject of emigration from Sweden and Norway to the [Page 201] United States. Since that time the official newspaper, published in Stockholm, called the “Post och Surikes Tiedmingar,” of the 26th ultimo, contains an order issued from the civil department of his Swedish Majesty’s government, in relation to emigration to America, a copy of which order, together with a translation thereof affixed, (No. 1,) is herewith enclosed.
I feel very certain that Congress has not, and will not adopt any proposition to “subject emigrants to a loss of freedom for a certain period,” however State legislatures may establish laws to enforce contracts in the forms and ways known to most civilized nations. Yet, I have not thought proper to protest against what appears from the order itself to have been a report from a Swedish consul, that such an act “was being drawn up to be laid before Congress,” when no official character is assigned it. In fact, the Swedish authorities are sorely perplexed at the threatened loss of numerous of their most valuable artisans and laborers, and the order in question shows the extent to which they feel themselves obliged to go to arrest emigration.
We might join issue with the assertion contained in the order, that “experience has shown that many of those who have in former years emigrated to the United States have been disappointed in their hope of obtaining a better subsistence.” This is doubted by the class which supplies emigration, for they know, from public and private channels, that experience, in most instances, points to a directly opposite conclusion. It is also well understood here that the governing classes in Sweden and Norway are interested in throwing every possible barrier in the way of depopulation, and, unless the department shall direct otherwise, I propose to leave the order in question to the press, to emigration societies, and to private correspondence.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.