Mr. Thayer to Mr. Blaine.

No. 72.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 41, dated August 26, 1889, I have the honor to state that in an interview had a few days since with the minister of foreign affairs touching the completion and dedication of the Pilgrim Memorial at Plymouth, Massachusetts, I exhibited a copy of an article published in an influential paper in New York containing quotations from the above-named dispatch, and warmly advocating the erection of a monument at Delftshaven in commemoration of the departure of the Pilgrims from this country. In the same connection I said I had noticed articles of a similar tenor in other journals in different parts of our country, and that it had been mentioned in the public prints that the State Department had been instrumental in bringing the subject to the notice of the Pilgrim Society in Massachusetts, so that I knew the project was being discussed to some extent by our people.

Whether the increasing demands of the various educational, charitable, and religious organizations which always claimed the attention of the American people would admit of the employment of the necessary funds for such an object at this time I did not know, but of this I was assured, that respect and veneration for the memory of the Pilgrim Fathers as well as for the memory of those who aided them in their struggles on this side of the water is increasing with each advancing year, and that if not now certainly at no distant day action would be taken in this direction.

The minister replied that whether the movement was successful or not he was glad to know that the people of the United States had not forgotten the relation that Holland sustained to the Pilgrims, and he considered it a compliment to his people that the Department deemed the subject worthy of consideration and he wished me to thank the Department for its action in the matter and to say whenever the movement took shape the Netherlands Government would joyfully render any service in their power to facilitate the accomplishment of the undertaking.

The minister further added that he would like the privilege of showing the King and his colleague in the ministry, the articles I had relating to the subject, for he knew it would give them great pleasure to see them. He remarked in conclusion that he considered it a very bright spot in the history of Holland that it gave aid and comfort to so noble a body of men when it cost an effort so to do, and no act, in his judgment, could be more graceful and appropriate than the erection of a dignified memorial at Delftshaven, forever made historic as the place from which they first set sail.

To my surprise, while writing this dispatch I received a note from the minister referring to the same subject, a copy of which I send as an inclosure, with translation of the same and my reply thereto.

I have, etc.,

Samuel R. Thayer.
[Page 642]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 72.—Translation.]

Mr. Hartsen to Mr. Thayer.

Mr. Minister: I hastened to communicate to the King’s ministers assembled in council the contents of the letter a copy of which you did me the honor to leave with me several days ago, and wherein you most graciously suggested to his excellency the Secretary of State at Washington the idea of erecting at Delftshaven a monument similar in character to the Pilgrim statue at Plymouth, in commemoration of the Pilgrim Fathers who, after leaving Leyden, sailed from Delftshaven by way of Plymouth to America.

It is not necessary for me, Mr. Minister, to assure you that this communication was welcomed with the liveliest satisfaction by all my colleagues, and that the final realization of this project will be regarded by the people of the Netherlands, as well as the King’s Government, as a new pledge of sympathy and a further proof of the inviolable relationship which has always existed between the two nations.

I can also add, Mr. Minister, that the Government of the Netherlands appreciate at its true worth the initiative which you kindly took in this matter.

I shall esteem myself fortunate if you will permit me to have inserted in a Holland newspaper (unofficial of course) a translation of the article published in the New York Tribune of the 22d of September last, which you had the kindness to furnish me.

Accept, etc.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 72.]

Mr. Thayer to Mr. Hartsen.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 14th instant, in which you express in your own behalf and that of your colleagues of the Netherlands Government a high appreciation of the interest shown by the Department of State and myself towards the project of erecting a memorial of at Delftshaven, now a subject of discussion among our people.

In returning acknowledgments for this expression I take great pleasure in assuring you that the words of encouragement and appreciation you give will be an additional incentive in promoting the realization of an object in which the good men of both countries will experience the profoundest pleasure.

The bonds of friendship between the nations ought never to weaken so long as the memory of the Pilgrims and those who aided them in their extremity is the heritage of both.

The article referred to is at your service for the purpose you request, and I take the greatest pleasure in complying with your wishes.

I take, etc.,

Samuel R. Thayer.