Mr. Seward to Mr. Pruyn

No. 24.]

Sir: Your despatch of June 30 (No. 31) has been received.

The President has received with profound emotion the information that some unknown Japanese subjects have assassinated two British marines, stationed at her Majesty’s legation for the protection of the minister.

Earnestly desirous that, on all such occasions, you shall be found using your best exertions to secure the safety of the representatives of other treaty powers, and their protection in all their national rights, the President has directed me to examine carefully the record you have sent, and to report to him whether, in this instance, there had been any delinquency on your part. It is with great pleasure that, upon receiving my report, he has been satisfied that your proceedings have been, in all respects, the best that could have been adopted to co-operate with and sustain the British legation, and to bring the government of the Tycoon to a just sense of the gravity of this new outrage, and of the danger which it brings [Page 1054] to the empire. You will persevere in the same course of proceedings hereafter, and you will especially inform the ministers for foreign affairs that, while the United States will hereafter, as heretofore, prove themselves a generous friend, yet that the safety of all representatives, citizens and subjects, of all the treaty powers, must and will be insisted upon, as an indispensable condition of the continuance of the relations between this country and Japan, which have been so happily established.

The discretion with which your own personal deportment seems to be regulated is approved, and I pray God for your continued safety and usefulness in the important mission with which you are charged.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Robert H. Pruyn, Esq., &c., &c., Yedo.