Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

No. 82.]

Sir: The following is a translation of the response made by the King of Denmark to the address voted by the Rigsdag, a copy of which I enclosed in my No. 79, of 7th instant:

We thank the Rigsdag for the unanimous accord with which in its address it has adopted the views which we have expressed in our opening speech, upon our external situation. This accord which reigns among our people will strengthen our government in the persevering efforts which it makes, to consolidate, so far as is within its power, our friendly foreign relations, and to avoid real difficulties without sowing the seeds of new complications and new conflicts.

The expression of a desire to avoid sowing the seeds of new complications and difficulties may be considered an exact and definite indication of the policy that will be insisted upon by the government of Denmark in reference to the demand by Prussia for special guarantees for the German population in North Schleswig.

Touching that matter I herewith enclose the French text of an address signed and published by four hundred and twenty-six Germans domiciled in North Schleswig.

The document itself is the only information I have on the subject which it discusses. [Page 662] Whether it has been in any [manner] partially influenced, or whether it is be considered a fair representation of the feelings and opinions of the Germans residing within the disputed territory, I have had no indication.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


In view of the demand of special guarantees for the Germans in Schleswig, with which Prussia has opened the negotiations relative to the execution of the peace of Prague, the Germans settled in Denmark have thought they ought to bear witness to the very kind and considerate manner with which they have been treated in our country.

The committee appointed at Odense has drawn up the following declaration, which, without having been publicly circulated, has in brief time received 426 signatures:

We have learned with real joy through the public press that the Prussian government has opened negotiations with the Danish cabinet in view of the definite settlement of the questiontion of North Schleswig, and on this occasion we cannot but express the hope that the two governments may succeed in showing it in such manner that the result may be lasting relations of friendship between Germany and Denmark, which must be regarded as particularly desirable on account of the numerous relations which exist between the two countries.

But we have at the same time learned that the Prussian government has judged necessary to lay down certain conditions for the eventual reunion of North Schleswig with Denmark, and among others, to require special guarantees for the Germans settled in the districts which Shall be retroceded. This demand was well constituted to fill us with astonishment, but we find it yet more extraordinary that it has been supported by all the German press—the only exception is perhaps the Gazette of Cologne—and that it is considered as natural and well founded under existing circumstances. In presence of this manner of seeing it, we, undersigned Germans by birth, but long settled in Denmark as Danish subjects, regard as a sacred duty as much toward our new country, to which guarantees of this kind can only create embarrassment in the future, as to truth, which should be dear to all of us, to declare before Germany, and even before all Europe, free from the influence of anything but our own feelings; 1st. That as well during the sad season of war, when our former countrymen inflicted such wounds on Denmak, as at this moment, when the Danish population of Schleswig suffers a hard oppression of which thousands of Schleswig refugees bear witness, we never met with, nor do we now meet in our new country anything but kindness and cordial hospitality as well on the part of the Danish government as of our fellow-citizens; 2d. That grounding: ourselves on our exact knowledge of the real state of things we can assert with entire certainty that there is no need of special guarantees from the Danish government for the security of the German population in the district of North Schleswig which may be eventually retroceded.