Mr. Stevens to Mr. Evarts.
Stockholm, July 29, 1878. (Received August 19.)
Sir: Under date of May 23, 1877, the Secretary of State gave my predecessor at this legation, instructions relative to the visit of General Grant in European countries, in the following terms:
I desire to invite the aid of the diplomatic and consular officers of the government to make his journey a pleasant one should he visit their parts. I feel already assured that you will find patriotic pleasure in anticipating the wishes of the Department by showing him that attenion and consideration which are due from every officer of the government, to a citizen of the Republic signally distinguished both in official service and personal renown.
As a national duty and a personal pleasure, I have sought to carry out the above instructions in terms and spirit.
June 1, I received a letter from M. J. Cramer, United States chargé d’affaires at Copenhagen, saying that General Grant would visit Sweden in the earliest days of July. Meeting the King soon after on one of his reception days at the palace, at which I had called for the presentation of an American citizen, I informed His Majesty, verbally, of the proposed visit of General Grant to his capital, which intelligence he received with marked cordiality. On the following day I communicated the same information to the minister of foreign affairs, in a brief note.
June 8, I received another letter from Mr. Cramer, informing me that General Grant would arrive some days later at Copenhagen than he had contemplated, which would make his visit farther north correspondingly later, and I promptly informed the department of foreign affairs accordingly. Instead of taking the direct route from Copenhagen to Stockholm, General Grant determined to visit Norway first. On the 12th of July he embarked on board the steamer at Copenhagen for Christiania. Stopping a few hours at Gothenberg July 12, he took the same steamer in the evening and reached Christiania the following day, July 13. By appointment made some time previously, the King had arranged to leave Stockholm July 18, for Norway, where he was expected to remain some weeks.
Fearing it possible that General Grant might leave Norway before the arrival of His Majesty at Christiania, he expressed his earnest wish through the department of foreign affairs and this legation, and I think also through a Norwegian official, that General Grant should prolong his visit sufficiently in Norway to enable the King to meet him at Christiania.
General Grant called on His Majesty at his palace in Christiania, and the King promptly returned the call, and the following day gave a dinner-party in honor of the ex-President.
July 22, General Grant took the express train from Christiania, and arrived in Stockholm on the morning of July 23. The undersigned and Colonel Elfwing, the United States consul here, received him and his lady at the railway station and conducted them to their hotel.
During the day the general busied himself in the usual observations [Page 824] of points of interest in the city and its environs. On the following day, July 24, the General and Mrs. Grant dined at my residence with myself and family, members of the Swedish cabinet, including the minister of state, other Swedish officials, and the foreign ministers. At a later hour of the same day a reception was had, honored by the presence of the dinner guests and largely increased by the attendance of the chief government officials and their ladies remaining in the capital in summer, some of them coining from their summer residences at a distance in the country to pay their respects to the distinguished American citizen.
On the following day, July 25, in the evening, a large association of mechanics and laboring men visited General Grant at his hotel by appointment, to pay him their respects. Their numbers were increased by other Swedish citizens to four or five thousand persons, who gathered in front of Grand Hotel, one of the largest and most extended in Northern Europe. They behaved with great decorum. The general addressed them in a few appropriate words.
It is proper for me to say that prior to the arrival here of General Grant, I had been consulted by the representative of this association, who requested me to consult General Grant as to his permission to receive the visit of this assemblage of Swedish citizens. I deemed it proper to state the proposition verbally at the department of foreign affairs, and the response was frankly and cordially in the affirmative.
The royal yacht was placed at the disposition of the ex-President, in command of an officer of the Swedish navy, which was made use of in two excursions on different days—one to the royal palace at Ulricsdol, some eight or ten miles distant, and the other excursion to Drottningholm, the summer palace of the royal family, some five miles up the Maelas.
Throughout his entire visit here General Grant has been received with earnest, orderly, and most respectful enthusiasm.
Saturday, July 27, in the afternoon of a clear and most beautiful day, the distinguished visitor took the steamer for St. Petersburg. The vessels in the harbor were crowded with national flags from deck to topmost spar, and the front of his hotel and an extensive space on the quay were packed with the thousands eager to see and to do respect to the man whose life and services for fifteen years had been so closely identified with the history of a great people in the other hemisphere—a land which many Scandinavians have found a land of promise, and to which thousands of others look with eager hope.
I have, & c.,