Mr. Seward to Mr. Harris.

No. 24.]

Sir: Your despatch of July 10 (No. 29) has been received.

You perhaps are informed now for the first time that your appointment as the first commissioner to Japan was made by President Pierce upon the joint recommendation of Commodore Perry and myself.

You will do me the justice, therefore, to believe that I sincerely sympathize with you in your suffering from ill health, and that I regard your retirement from the important post you have filled with such distinguished ability and success, as a subject of grave anxiety, not only for this country, but for all the western nations.

The President instructs me to say that he accepts your resignation with profound regret, and to present to you an assurance of his entire satisfaction with the manner in which the responsibilities of your mission have been discharged.

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Mr. Robert H. Pruyn has been appointed to succeed you, and, I presume, will reach Yedo as early as January next. You will, of course, remain in the discharge of official duties until relieved by his arrival.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Townsend Harris, Esq., &c., &c., &c., Yedo.