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of foreign affairs, I offered to invite to this legation, for the purpose of giving such instruction, a very capable young gentleman now at Kanagawa, who has been professor in an institution in California, and to provide for his support while so engaged.

Meanwhile I proposed to make known their wishes to the government of the United States, and suggested it was possible the President might, in view of the great advantages which would result, cause a suitable instructor to be provided. I was answered that the government preferred to send the men to the legation, and it was desirable that no delay should take place in commencing instructions.

I have thought it proper to make this detailed statement, as it is extremely desirable that all official correspondence with our minister and consuls shall be in our own language, thus insuring greater freedom in our intercourse.

It is very obvious that this imposes an unpleasant burden on the legation, in which I must, to some extent, share; but I did not feel at liberty to refuse the request, and am pleased to say, that, I think the gentlemen attached to this legation will faithfully and successfully discharge the duties which they have so cheerfully assumed.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant, ROBERT H. PRUYN,


Secretary of State, Washington.

Minister Resident in Japan.

No. 1.

To His Excellency Robert H. Pruyn, Minister Resident of the United States of America, &c., &c.:

In our country there are but few who have a knowledge of the English language. It will not be in accordance with the stipulation in our treaties with the several powers if conferences cannot be held in that language when the time for doing so will have arrived; and, besides, it will also cause inconvenience at interviews. It is, therefore, desirable for us to send suitable persons to your legation to receive instruction in that language. We now request your excellency to make an arrangement for that purpose, and give us your reply in writing.

With respect and esteem, the 18th day of the 5th month of the 2d year of Bunkin, (the 15th June, 1862.)


No. 2.

Yedo, June 18, 1862.

In reply to your letter of the 15th instant, I have the honor to say that it will afford me great pleasure to receive at this legation such young men as you may wish to send for the purpose of receiving instruction in our language.

Messrs. William Ingraham Kip and Robert C. Pruyn, secretaries attached to this legation, have, at my request, kindly undertaken to devote such time each

day, except on our Sabbath day, as may be necessary for the purpose of such instructions; and Mr. Portman, the interpreter of this legation, will, with great pleasure, give such time as he may be able to spare from his duties for the same


With respect and courtesy,


Minister Resident for the United States of America, &c., &c.


Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.

No. 31.]


Yedo, June 30, 1S62. SIR: It becomes my painful duty to inform you of another outrage on the British legation, which has terminated fatally.

Colonel St. John Neale, her British Majesty's chargé d'affaires, arrived in Japan on the 23d of May last. He has been confined to his house for some weeks by sickness, from which he is not yet entirely recovered. Several private notes passed between us while he was detained at Yokohama, on the subject of the state of feeling in Yedo, in relation to which many unfounded and highly exaggerated rumors prevailed there. I was finally informed by Colonel Neale that he had determined to take up his residence in this city, which he accordingly did on the 11th instant.

On the night of the 26th instant, when the British legation was surrounded by a Japanese guard of five hundred and eighty-five men, and was also guarded by thirty marines and sailors from her Britannic Majesty's steamer Renard, and by a lieutenant, sergeant, and twelve men from the military mounted train, the sentinel, a sailor from the Renard, stationed at the chamber door of Colonel Neale, was desperately wounded by a Japanese, and died during the day.

Colonel Neale was aroused by the cries of the wounded man, as was also the corporal of the British guard, a marine from the Renard, who was in the vicinity going the rounds. The corporal was then attacked, and almost instantly killed, but not until he had succeeded in firing his revolver.

For the particulars of this affair, as far as they have transpired, I beg to refer you to the following enclosures: No. 1, Mr. Neale to Mr. Pruyn; No. 2, Mr. Pruyn to the ministers of foreign affairs; No. 3, Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Neale.

Not having received any communication from the ministers of foreign affairs, I wrote to them the next morning a letter, a copy of which I transmit, (enclosure No. 4.)

In the afternoon of that day one of the governors of foreign affairs, the senior governor of Kanagawa, came to the legation, and, after saying that an officer had been directed the previous day to give me all the information in their possession, (which had not been done,) he assured me that the visit of one of the governors had been prevented by their engagements till near midnight in the necessary investigation of the affair. I called his attention to the necessity of energetic action; and that it would be of great advantage to the Japanese government to anticipate, as far as possible, any requirements of the British government. I assured him that I did not wish that any innocent person should suffer; and that it was a principle of law that it was better that the guilty should escape rather than that innocent persons should be punished. I asked whether any arrests had been made.

The governor then made the following statement: One of the Japanese guard had been suddenly seized with a kind of madness, and it was supposed he alone had been engaged in the attack. He had been found dead with a bullet in his

body, and that he had committed suicide. That, as I was aware, a spear or lance had been found, and they hoped by that means to trace the other assailants, if more than one had been engaged.

I called his attention to the fact that the corporal had twenty wounds-some made with a sword, others with a lance; that it appeared to me, in view of the number of wounds inflicted, and the fact that some were in front and others in the back, that more than one person must have been engaged in the attack. That while it properly belonged to Colonel Neale to indicate what he should expect to be done to effect the arrest of all who had participated in or been privy to the outrage, my friendship for the Japanese government induced me to say that I had carefully examined the premises; that whether one or more were engaged in the attack, it was evident that no one could have escaped from the premises without directly passing by one of the guard-houses; and that, as the guard had been alarmed by the pistol-shot and noise, such escape could not have been effected without the knowledge of some of their number; that traces of blood could be seen leading to one of the guard-houses in a different direction from that taken by the deceased soldiers; that one of the Japanese guard had admitted he had seen the assassin-had claimed, as a ground of merit, that he had fought with and been wounded by him, and then had run to the guardhouse to give the alarm. That it unfortunately happened that the guard-house was within sight and call of this guard and of the transaction; that his wound was a slight scratch on the back of his leg, sustained while he was running away; and that his flight had given an opportunity for the attack on the corporal, who was coming to his aid; and that if he had done his duty the life of the corporal would have been saved, and the assailant, if only one, killed or arrested. That it was idle to have any guard, unless it was perfectly understood that all would be held to a strict responsibility; that I would advise that a rigid examination be at once instituted; that every one guilty of cowardice or neglect of duty should be at once arrested, and when that was done I was of opinion that the government would be in possession of information which was now withheld by some of the guard.

The governor admitted the force of these suggestions, and said he was satisfied that there had been criminal negligence and great cowardice.

As Mr. de Wit, the consul general of the Netherlands, was in the city on a visit for a few weeks, I visited the British legation in his company on the receipt of Mr. Neale's letter, and there, very fortunately, found Monsieur de Bellecourt, the minister of his Imperial Majesty, who had come up from Yokohama to consult with his colleagues on another subject, not having heard of the attack.

We at once assured Mr. Neale of our sympathy, and of our disposition to view this affair as one in which our government had a deep interest. I informed Mr. Neale that I had addressed the ministers of foreign affairs immediately on the receipt of his letter, and briefly acquainted him with the contents of my letter. He expressed himself highly pleased.

It is the intention of Colonel Neale, as he informed me, to wait for the instructions of his government.

We then discussed the propriety of uniting in a letter to the ministers. I called their attention to a fact, which I had learned from Mr. de Wit the previous day, that in February the ministers had distinctly admitted that the ancient law of Japan, punishing with death any foreigner found within the empire, had never been repealed, and that this was, therefore, an invitation and provocation to these assaults. Monsieur de Bellecourt also remarked, that the ratification of the treaty with France used the language, "The Tycoon of Japan, in the empire of the Mikado;" that the ministers had admitted to him and Mr. Alcock that the treaties had never been ratified by the Mikado, while I was able to state that Mr. Harris had informed me that the ministers had declared that they had been ratified, except so far as related to Osacca. It was finally con

cluded that it was best to raise no questions which would imply a doubt as to the validity of the treaties, or any concern as to the existence of the law in question, and that the ministers of France and the Netherlands should individually address the ministers, as I had already done.

Nothing has yet transpired which enables me to inform you of the cause of the outrage.

On the night of the attack the American legation, about a mile distant, had a guard of two hundred and eighty-four Japanese officers and men, as appears from the return furnished at my request. The legation of the Netherlands, of which Mr. de Wit was the sole inmate, had also a Japanese guard. Although neither of these legations required so large a guard as the British legation, I am satisfied that the latter was the best protected of the three, even in the absence of the numerous attachés and the guard of fifty-four British officers and sailors armed with carbines and revolvers. If hostility to foreigners instigated the attack, it appears remarkable that it should have been made in this quarter. It therefore occurred to me that a quarrel between some of the British and Japanese guard might have occasioned it. Colonel Neale says he is not aware of any such provocation, though it was possible that offence may have been given by the presence of British soldiers and sailors.

I can only assign this motive: The attack took place, according to the Japanese computation of time, just one night after the anniversary of the attack in 1861, and it is possible that some one or more of the friends of the parties who lost their lives in that attack, or were subsequently punished for it, may have sought the gratification of their vengeance. And, as it was a holiday in some parts of Yedo, the joint stimulus of revenge and intoxication may have induced it.

As it is very probable that the President and yourself may be pleased to hear what I think of my own safety, I beg to remark, that my position cannot be said to be free from danger. Only a few days since one of the governors for foreign affairs informed me there was a decided improvement in the feeling of the people, and that it would not be long before every part of Japan might be visited with safety. Yet it cannot be disguised that all the officers of the western powers in Japan are sentinels in the outposts of civilization. It is here as with our own Indian tribes. The first notice of the attack is written in the

blood which it causes to flow. The bolt comes out of an unclouded sky.

I think, however, that the fact that I never go armed, which is well known to the officers, and that I rely entirely upon the Japanese for protection, are favorable to my safety.

I can only add that I am extremely careful to avoid unnecessary exposure, and I indulge the hope that under the good providence of God our intercourse with Japan may continue unstained by blood.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant, ROBERT H. PRUYN,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Minister Resident in Japan.

No. 1.

Colonel Neale to Mr. Pruyn.

Yedo, June 27, 1862.

SIR: It is with deep regret I have to inform you that this legation has passed through the ordeal of another murderous assault on the part of Japanese assassins. About midnight, last night, the sentry at my bed-room door was suddenly attacked and desperately

wounded, his life being despaired of. The corporal, going the rounds at the same moment, was murderously assailed a short distance off, but he managed to reach my door, and there he fell and died. The British escort and guard from her Majesty's ship Renard being now mustered, remained under arms the rest of the night within my drawing-room. The number of the assailants cannot precisely be ascertained: possibly there was only one; but, to the unaccountable disgrace and utter want of vigilance of the Japanese guards, which the Japanese government has taken credit for having posted in such numbers for our protection, the assassin or assassins passed through their lines and effected the murderous acts I have described.

I shall necessarily address the Tycoon's ministers in terms suited to the gravity and intolerable atrocity of the event which has transpired, and shall do myself the honor of transmitting to you a copy of my remonstrance upon the occasion.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

H. B. Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires and Acting Consul General in Japan.

Mr. ROBERT H. PRUYN, &c., &c., Japan.

No. 2.

Mr. Pruyn to the ministers of foreign affairs.

LEGATION OF the United States in JAPAN,

Yedo, June 27, 1862.

It is but a few days since I had the pleasure of congratulating the Japanese government and the British minister, by direction of the President of the United States, on the punishment of two more of the assailants on the British legation, in the month of July, 1861.

It is with astonishment and pain that I now learn from Lieut. Colonel Neale, her Britannic Majesty's chargé d'affaires, the particulars of another assault at midnight on the British legation, which has resulted in the death of two British soldiers, who lost their lives in his defence, at the very door of his bed-chamber. Either by the negligence or connivance of the numerous Japanese guards around the legation, the assailants passed through their lines to make the assault, and escaped unmolested.

The attack on the legation in 1861 had one redeeming feature: several of the Japanese guard on that occasion sealed with their blood their fidelity to their trust. I am sorry to learn from Colonel Neale that, on this occasion, no evidence either of fidelity or courage was given. The only guard known to be vigilant basely fled.

It must be expected that so great and powerful a country as Great Britain, distinguished for the high regard which, in common with the civilized powers of the world, it pays to the safety of the lives and property upon all who rely upon its protection, and especially to the sanctity thrown around all diplomatic repre'sentatives accredited to her Britannic Majesty, will view this transaction with grave displeasure, and demand signal and ample atonement.

The President of the United States, as the sincere friend of the Japanese government, will be deeply grieved when informed of this new outrage. In advance of the instructions which he may give me, I deem it proper to say, in presence of the serious case now presented, that whatever else may be done or required, the Japanese government should act with the utmost possible promptitude and vigor in the arrest and punishment of the guilty participators in this outrage, and all their aiders and abettors. The repetition of these attacks will degrade Japan in the opinion of the whole civilized world; and it is for the gov

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