Mr. Bancroft to Mr. Fish.
Berlin , June 30, 1874. (Received July 23.)
Sir: My last act of public duty before leaving Berlin shall be to ask you to express to the President my grateful sense of the honor which he has done me in the language which he used in granting me my discharge from the public service. I can receive it with a good conscience, for I have never, so far as I know, missed an opportunity of carrying out the instructions of the Department, and promoting to the best of my ability the honor and the welfare of the country. Ton in Washington can hardly conceive the degree of comfort secured to our German fellow-citizens by the peaceful security which they obtain for their visits in Germany by the treaty of naturalization. From 10,000 to 15,000 of them come yearly to their mother country now, without suffering the least anxiety, where before many of them, in order to see their friends, were obliged to remain on the other side of the frontier or come into Germany stealthily, running the risk of arrest every hour.
During the war between Germany and France, great efforts were made to turn the current of opinion and the feeling of the German government against the United States on account of sales of arms to one of the belligerents. It was to me a very great source of satisfaction that complaints were happily prevented. Our happy cooperation in the San Juan arbitration led to the most pleasing and satisfactory results. Take it for all in all, my mission to Berlin has rounded off in the pleasantest manner the years of my life that have been devoted to the public service, and I may say that my unsolicited appointment by Mr. Johnson and my new commission from Mr. Grant have made to me the years of my great old age the flower of my life.