Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pacific Commercial Advertiser Reports: Japanese Embassy in Washington, Part Four

Six months after the Japanese ambassadorial delegation arrived in Honolulu the Pacific Commercial Advertiser featured further news of their travels in the United States. ‘The Japanese at Washington: Incidents of Their Visit’ was featured in the August 2, 1860 edition of the paper.

The following is the fourth section of the news story. Again, no author is listed. I am at this point assuming that the text was taken from various newspaper sources that managed through the mails to reach Honolulu.



I give you a cordial welcome, as representatives of his imperial majesty the Tycoon of Japan, to the American government. We are all much gratified that the first embassy which your great empire has ever accredited to any foreign power has been sent to the United States. I trust this will be the harbinger of perpetual peace and friendship between these two great countries.

The treaty of commerce, whose ratification you are about to exchange with the Secretary of State, cannot fail to be productive of benefits and blessings to the people both of Japan and of the United States. I can say for myself, and promise for my successors, that it shall be carried into execution in a faithful and friendly spirit, so as to secure to both countries all the advantages they may justly expect from the happy auspices under wich it has been negotiated. I rejoice that you are pleased with the kind treatment which you have received on board our vessel-of-war, whilst on your passage to this country. You shall be sent back in the same manner to your native land, under the protection of the American flag. Meanwhile, during your residence among us, which I hope may be prolonged so as to enable you to visit different portions of the country, we shall be happy to extend to you all the hospitality and kindness eminently due to the great and friendly sovereign whom you so worthily represent.

The President handed them a copy of his address, and then shook hands with them.

The subordinate Japanese officers were also brought in and introduced.

The Cabinet officers were present in the following order: -Messrs Cobb, Floyd, Toucey, Thompson, Holt and Black, and their relative official positions were briefly explained.

Lieutenant General Scott was next introduced, and they warmed greeted him, evidently delighted with his fine, commanding appearance, and in view of his public position.

General Cass asked for Vice-President Breckinridge to introduce him, but he was absent.

Speaker Pennington, as Speaker of the House, was then introduced to the distinguished visitors.

The Japanese again repeated their profound bows and finally retiring, and the impressive scene closed. The demeanor of the Japanese was exceedingly grave and solemn. Their appearance contrasted strangely but impressively with that of the deeply interested spectators. During the entire ceremony, whenever the eyes of a Japanese official were raised from the ground, they were directed to the President and to his countenance only. So rigidly was this practice observed, that it seemed that no one of the Japanese could have seen the countenances of those surrounding them, excepting those of the few distinguished gentlemen to whom they were introduced.

(Next: The Presents)

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