Mr. Bayard to Lieut William H. Schuetze, U. S. N.
Washington , July 3, 1885.
Sir: The President of the United States, in accordance with the suggestions of the Secretary of the Navy, recommended Congress, by a special message of January 27, 1885, to authorize him to bestow testimonials upon those officers and subjects of the Russian Government who extended aid and comfort to the survivors of the Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition and assistance to the parties dispatched by the United States Government to relieve and succor the said survivors, and to convey to the Government and people of Russia an expression of the high appreciation in which the Government and people of the United States hold the humane services so rendered.
In accordance with this advice, Congress, on the 3d March last, voted a sum of money for the above purpose, and this Department, on the 6th April, requested the Secretary of the Navy to detail a competent officer to take charge of the presents to be sent to Russia, and to personally deliver them, with the thanks of the President and people of the United States, to the officials and citizens in question.
In compliance with this request, the Secretary of the Navy has designated you to have charge of the purchase of the articles which this Government proposes to send to the benefactors of the survivors of the ill-starred Jeannette expedition, and to convey the same to Siberia for distribution, and to report to this Department for orders.
You are, therefore, hereby instructed to proceed without undue delay, and by the most expeditious and available route, to Russian Siberia, and deliver to the governor of Yakutsk the letter of this Department addressed to him (and the accompanying sword) and to the other officials in Yakutsk, Irkutsk, Tomsk, and Omsk, the letters, watches, medals, and presents, as described in the list which accompanies this instruction; and at the same time to express to all the recipients, in the most fitting terms, the thanks and appreciation of the President, the Secretary of the Navy, and the people of the United States, for the noble and humane manner in which they directly and materially aided the survivors of the Jeannette and the parties sent out to search for them.
You will receive a letter of credit on the bankers of the United States at London for the payment of the amounts in the annexed list (aggregating, [Page 667] with cost of stores, $2,600), and for your expenses, in respect of which you will duly account to this Department on your return.
I have instructed our minister at St. Petersburg to render you all necessary assistance in his power, and to ask for the free entry of your personal effects and of the testimonials, &c., which you convey, and the extension of proper courtesies to you on your arrival. You will report the details of your mission to this Department on your return, and keep me informed by the ordinary channels of your progress at such periods as may seem to you convenient and desirable. * * *
Transmitting herewith the letters to Russian officials named in the accompanying list and copies thereof, and wishing you an agreeable and successful journey,
I am, &c.,