Mr. Schuyler to Mr. Fish.
Saint Petersburg, July 20, 1875. (Received August 9.)
Sir: In accordance with the programme Which had been decided on when it was expected that the Emperor would remain a longer time abroad, the King of Sweden and Norway arrived at Riga on the 9th of July, and after a few hours stay, proceeded immediately to Moscow, where he remained for several days.
At noon of the 14th he entered S. Petersburg by special train, being met at the station by the Emperor and all the grand-dukes. Here a breakfast was prepared for him, and he proceeded immediately to Peterhof, the present summer residence of the Imperial family.
He left here last evening, the 19th, on his return to Sweden, in the Swedish flag-ship “Vanadis,” under the convoy of a Russian squadron.
His stay here was occupied partly in visiting St. Petersburg, and partly with the usual festivities attendant on such visits—a military review at the camp, a review of the fleet at Cronstadt, and a grand dinner and open-air fête at Peterhof.
During the dinner the King proposed the following toast:
“I drink to the health of His Majesty the Emperor Alexander. I came here to grasp the hand of a good neighbor, and I found that of a friend. The reception that I have met with from you, sire, and everywhere in your states, adds to my gratitude.”
The government thinks that this visit of King Oscar II will have a great effect in strengthening those friendly relations between Sweden and Russia which for the last few years have been rapidly increasing. There are now no causes of jealousy between these countries, and the ancient feelings of enmity which have endured for centuries are gradually dying out.
The King did not feel that he could visit Finland, as that province had been taken from Sweden so lately.
Finland, however, has too long enjoyed a semi-independence to wish to return to Sweden, and feels itself more secure under the protection of a great power than under that of a small one. There is in Finland no Swedish party, and the coterié called by that name is literary rather than political. Its members desire only to preserve the language and culture of Sweden—those in which they were educated—hating to submit to the prevalence of the Finnish or of the Russian language.
The press, in discussing the visit of the Swedish King, lay stress on the advantages which might arise to Russia and to England by coming into closer relations with the Scandinavian countries, and thus forming, as it were, a northern league, which might oppose itself to any possible encroachments of Germany.
I have, &c.,