Mr. Bartlett to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to report that I arrived in Stockholm on the 29th
ultimo, and found that the Hon. James H. Campbell, my predecessor, haddelivered his letter of recall and taken leave of his Majesty the King on the 29th of March. The 30th being a holiday, I did not communicate with the [Page 729] minister of state and foreign affairs until the 31st I called in person upon Count Manderstrom and presented the office copy of my letter of credence. I was received by his excellency with unaffected cordiality and without ceremony. He stated that he would take the orders to his Majesty the King, in regard to my presentation, and communicate them to me at the earliest moment.
My interview with Count Manderstrom was about twenty minutes in length, during which he expressed great surprise, together with unbounded admiration for the wonderful recuperative powers of our country as exhibited in the present state of our financial affairs after such an exhaustive war. The present differences between the President and Congress as to the manner of the final adjustment of our state affairs he looked upon as a division upon mere matters of detail as to the method of removing the traces of the great storm that had swept over our country, which but little affected our national standing with European governments. The secretary of foreign affairs then spoke of a paragraph he had read in the papers, stating that “the honorable Secretary of State, William H. Seward, intended visiting Europe this summer, and would be in Paris some time in June,” and asked me if it were true. I replied that I had not heard before leaving America that such was your intention, but hoped it was true. He then said, “Mr. Seward’s accomplishments and record rank him amongst the most distinguished statesmen and diplomatists of the world, and I regret that the inaccessibility of our country to travellers, who have but little time to spare, may deprive us of the honor to receive so distinguished a visitor.” After many other highly complimentary expressions he terminated the interview with the same kindness and cordiality with which he received me.
On Monday, June 3d, I received written notice from the secretary of foreign affairs that I would be received by his Majesty the King on Tuesday at one and a half o’clock p. m., and would be conveyed to the great palace of Stockholm in the carriage of the King, and be escorted by the vice-master of ceremonies, Baron Bennet.
At the appointed hour on Tuesday I was accordingly escorted to the palace, where with but little ceremony I was received by his Majesty the King in the audience chamber.
I had barely stated the fact of having been appointed by the President minister resident of the United States of America near his Majesty’s person, when his Majesty interrupted me, and taking the sealed letter of credence from my hand commenced an easy conversation upon ordinary topics. Very soon, however, getting upon millitary affairs, he gave me a rapid review of his military system, and concluded by saying that he had ordered ten thousand rifles from the Remmington Rifle Company, New York State, and expected soon to receive them. Nothing was said during our interview, which lasted perhaps a half hour, upon any political subject whatever. His Majesty’s manner was characterized by an openness and freedom which conveyed the impression to me that I had been received by him with pleasure, as the representative of a great nation.
Upon the conclusion of my audience with his Majesty the King, I was escorted to the apartments of the Queen, and received by her with a warm welcome to Stockholm, and a great many pleasantly expressed wishes that my residence would be a happy one at the Swedish court.
I was lastly escorted by Baron Bennet to the apartments of the Queen Dowager, Josephine, who also extended a welcome to me in the same easy and impressive manner which had characterized the receptions of the King and Queen.
* * * * * * * *
I am, sir, with the highest consideration of respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.