Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.
Berlin, October 18, 1902.
Sir: I have the honor to report that I have been notified by Mr. Bardel to-day that the new shield was put in place at the American commercial agency at Bamberg on the 16th instant in the manner described by him in his dispatch to the Department of that date, and that I have advised him that the incident may now be considered closed.[Page 440]
After consultation with the foreign office and the Bavarian legation here, both of which showed the utmost readiness to comply with my wishes in this matter, the new shield was sent to Bamberg, and Mr. Bardel was instructed to notify the local authorities of its arrival and to arrange with them for its being put in place. The local authorities had in the meantime received instructions from Munich. Mr. Bardel was informed that it was wished that “the new shield should be put in place with enough ceremony to indicate clearly to the Bamberg public that the authorities are not in any way in sympathy with those who defiled the coat of arms of the United States, but, as the defilement was undoubtedly the act of some irresponsible (possibly drunken) person, nothing more than this is to be demanded.” He was told “to see that the incident was properly noticed in the local papers and to report as soon as the shield was placed.” He had already shown so much tact in the matter that it was felt that the determination of details could be left to him with safety, and although he submitted the programme in advance, no change in it was suggested. It seems to me that the ceremony was dignified and appropriate, and that the effect will be for good. Mr. Bardel’s predecessor in office was not highly thought of in Bamberg, and it is possible, even probable, that the defilement of the coat of arms may have been done by some one who had a personal grievance against him. In any case, there is not the slightest ground for belief that the defilement was caused through political feeling.
I shall take early occasion to express to the foreign office and the Bavarian legation the gratification felt at this satisfactory closing of the incident.
I have, etc.,