No. 380.
Mr. Birney to Mr. Evarts.

No. 125.]

Sir: I have the honor to state that upon receiving your No. 114, of date 9th August, relating to Mormon migration, I had an interview with his excellency Baron van Lynden van Sandenburg, minister for foreign affairs.

I explained to him the purport of your dispatch. He seemed interested in the object proposed, and promised that his government would have done whatever could be found practicable to prevent proselyting by Mormons among the people of the Netherlands. He thought it might be difficult in many cases to discover motives of immigrants, but said they could instruct officers at the several ports of the country to make investigation.

The minister on the next day sent one of his secretaries to my bureau [Page 853] to obtain the law of Congress upon the subject, manifesting an interest to be fully advised.

I then addressed to him the note hereto annexed. It was accompanied by a copy of the major part of your dispatch; all indeed, except the instructions addressed to me personally.

I have received the reply of the minister, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, with a translation.

So far as I can learn, the agents of the Mormons have not made much effort within the Netherlands during the last two years. They are more active in Sweden, Norway, and in England.

I have, sir,

[Inclosure 1 in Mr. Birney’s No. 125.]

Mr. Birney to Baron Van Lynden van Sandenburg.

Sir: My government instructs me to lay before you a subject to which it attaches much importance. Its views are set forth in the accompanying paper, which is an extract from a dispatch of Hon. Mr. Evarts, Secretary of State, addressed to the undersigned.

I am requested to urge earnest attention to the subject-matter of this communication, in the interest not merely of a faithful execution of the laws of the United States, but of the peace, good order, and morality which are cultivated and sought to be promoted by all civilized countries.

I will be pleased to learn from you how far the United States may depend upon the sympathy and co-operation of the government of His Majesty in relation to the subject herein referred to.

Your excellency will please accept assurances of my high consideration.


His Excellency Baron Van Lynden van Sandenburg.

[Inclosure 2 in Mr. Birney’s No. 125.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have hastened to communicate to the minister of marine, of commerce, and of industries the note of your government, of which you have been so kind as to send me an extract through your favor of the 6th of this month, No. 3.

My colleague has, at my request, made known the contents of this document to the commissioners authorized in different parts of the country to watch over the passage and transport of the emigrants, inviting them to kindly inform the Government of the King if they have been able to discover that migration has taken place for the Territory of Utah from the Netherlands; and whenever the case occurs to call the attention of persons interested to the penalties imposed by American legislation against polygamy in practice among the Mormons.

As soon as these steps shall have led to any result, I will not fail, Mr. Minister, to revert to this subject; and, in awaiting, I seize the occasion to reiterate to you the assurances of my high consideration.


Mr. Birney,
Minister Resident of the United States of America.