Mr. Fogg to Mr. Seward

No. 102.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that my successor, Mr. Harrington, reached Berne last Friday, the 13th instant. The same day I called upon the president of the confederation to ask as early a day as convenient for the [Page 223] reception of the new minister. The president named Monday, the 16th instant, at noon, as the day and hour. Accordingly, precisely at noon to-day I accompanied Mr. Harrington to the executive chamber in the Palais Federal, where we were received by the president and the chancellor of the confederation.

On presenting my letter of recall I addressed some brief remarks to the president, agreeably to the general tenor of your instructions. I send you herewith copies of my address to the president and of the president’s response. I also send, by permission of Mr. Harrington, copies of his remarks and of the president’s response.

As the train is waiting which takes me to Paris on my way home, you will please excuse the brevity of this despatch.

Your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States of America.

Mr. Fogg’s address to President Schenk

Mr. President: I have the honor to present to your excellency the enclosed letter from Mr. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, advising you of my proposed retirement from the mission with which I have been honored for several years near the government of the Swiss Confederation In performing this duty it gives me pleasure to assure your excellency, as I am instructed to do, of the friendly sentiments of the President of the United States towards the government and people of Switzerland, and of his determination to lose no opportunity to improve and strengthen the relations of sympathy and good will so long and so happily subsisting between the two countries. I should do injustice to my own feelings, Mr. President, if I did not, in this hour of parting, say something more. When I entered upon my mission here, my country was just entering upon the most fearful crisis that can try a nation—a civil war—in which two diverse and hostile civilizations are contending for the mastery, and where, the sword once drawn, the one combatant or the other must perish. I need not tell you that this great crisis is happily passed, the government and republican institutions of the United States, emerging from their baptism of blood, stronger than ever. Slavery, our great national reproach, has perished in the conflict it provoked; and henceforth no incubus remains to cripple the influence or stay the advancement of liberal principles and popular government upon the American continent.

Many new and important questions will undoubtedly arise out of the armed conflict which has just closed, and whose solution will tax the wisdom of the wisest. Of their peaceable solution, however, in accordance with the demands of reason and justice, I have no doubt.

Mr. President, I have alluded to this subject because I know how profound is the interest which the republicans of Switzerland feel in regard to all that concerns their great sister republic on the other side of the Atlantic. I shall never forget the friendly sympathies with which our long struggle with rebellion was watched, and the joyful enthusiasm with which the triumph of the government was hailed in every portion of the Swiss Confederation. Still less can I forget the universal expression of indignation and mourning which followed the assassination of our great and generous President, whose fidelity, wisdom, and moderation had been so conspicuous as, even in a bloody war, to extort the admiration of the world.

Mr. President, I bid you, and through you, all your colleagues of the federal council, farewell. I return to my country to find it more happy than when I left it. I shall carry with me precious memories of your free and beautiful land, and of your people, whose independence and liberties may God preserve.

[Translation. ]

President Schenk’s response to Mr. Fogg

Mr. Minister: By the letter you have just now communicated to us, we have learned that you are going to leave our country, and to retire from the mission with which you were charged by your government near the Confederation during late years.

During this time the eyes of the Swiss people and of the whole world were fixed almost exclusively on the great events of your country. We saw—not spring into existence, for it existed and was in preparation through a decade of years—but burst into action, the rebellion, which tended to nothing less than to tear asunder the glorious Union of North America. We saw it suddenly plunged into a war, which became from year to year more vast and more [Page 224] formidable. We saw the star-spangled banner of the republic surrounded by enemies and by dangers; but we saw also that it was protected by a heroic nation, and that the greater the danger, and multiplied force of enemies, the more did strength, unity, confidence, and patriotism increase. During this time, the Swiss people—I dare will aver it—shared with you, Mr. Minister, in the sorrow, indignation, fears, hopes, trust, and, at last, also in the joy, when humanity triumphed over slavery, and the republic over its enemies within and without. The Swiss people felt only too well that the fate of the great republic involved also a portion of their own destinies. That period will remain inscribed with all those emotions on our memories, and we cannot remember them without calling to mind at the same time the worthy representative of the United States who has become so united in feeling with and so dear to us.

Carry with you, Mr. Minister, our thanks for the assurances of good will you have been pleased in the name of your government to renew to us, and please to say to your government how happy we are to witness the continuance and the strengthening of the relations of sympathy which so happily exist between the two republican nations.

Mr. Harrington’s address to President Sckenk

Mr. President: In presenting to your excellency my letter of credence as minister resident of the United States near the Swiss Confederation, I am instructed by the Secretary of State to assure you of the friendly sentiments entertained by the government and people of the United States towards the Swiss Confederation.

I am further authorized to say that the United States in their recent struggle for unity and for the supremacy of the national government, have, among other adverse influences, had to contend with a disposition, at least on the part of some foreign powers, to interfere in the contest. In opposing this disposition they have not been unmindful that the integrity of the Swiss Confederation was under similar circumstances externally threatened, but the Swiss nation, by prudence and firmness, successfully averted the danger. The recollection of that successful achievement of Swiss wisdom and virtue had no small effect in cheering us and enabling us to persevere in the same course.

It will be my pleasure, Mr. President, as well as my duty, to preserve, and, if possible, to strengthen the friendly relations so happily existing between the two republics.


President Schenk’s response to Mr. Harrington

On receiving the communication which you have just made to me, I must at once express our great satisfaction that the government of the United States has not allowed any interval in the representation in Switzerland. We see therein, with great pleasure, proof positive of the interest it feels for the Swiss people and government, of which we are happy now to receive new assurances. We also attach great importance to the continuance of this friendship, and will not forget on our part to do all that depends on us to keep up and add to the friendly relations which exist between the two countries. You have pleased to tell us that in the recent contest the government and people remember the partially analogous position in which Switzerland was placed some years ago, when a part of the cantons took arms against the confederation, and foreign powers menaced us with their interference. You remark that the people of the United States found encouragement in the recollection of the course which in that condition had been followed by the confederation, and the success which had crowned that course. Allow me to reply, Mr. Minister, that the encouragement which the United States may have found in our recent history is but little in comparison with the fresh impulse and additional strength which our thoughts and our republican convictions have drawn out from your magnificent history of recent years. When after the terrible assassination of President Lincoln, happening at a most critical moment, the republic, without being shaken for an instant, continued its course with a sure and firm step, that was for us, as for you, a triumph of republican institutions, and powerful strengthening of all hearts in the love of these institutions.

Accept, Mr. Minister, the assurance of our deep sympathy in the happiness of your country, for the President and his government who have sent you to us, and be convinced that we will endeavor to facilitate, as much as will depend on us, the accomplishment of the mission with which you are charged.