Mr. Harris to Mr. Seward.

No. 29.]

Sir: I have to pray you to be pleased to lay before the President my respectful request to be recalled as minister resident of the United States in Japan.

My first commission as the agent of the United States in this country dates back to August 4, 1855, and during the whole period I have been absent but once from my post of duty. This was under a sick certificate, and the whole time of absence was only fifty-one days.

The extraordinary life of isolation that I have been compelled to lead has greatly impaired my health, and this, joined to my advancing years, warns me that it is time for me to give up all public employment.

I could wish to be relieved early next January, as this would enable me to pass the Red Sea, on my return, in the month of March.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TOWNSEND HARRIS, Minister Resident.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.