Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herwith No. 1, translation of a letter from the minister for foreign affairs, informing me of the total destruction by fire of the palace of his Majesty the Tycoon, at Yedo, on the 25th ultimo. These buildings had only been finished shortly before my arrival, the old palace having been destroyed by fire in 1859. Rumor says the destruction was the work of Stotsbasi, one of the imperial family, and that powder was used in effecting it. While, the information that the Tycoon had escaped is rather strange language in reference to a fire which commenced as early as 6 o’clock in the evening, and gives some color to the rumor, the better opinion is that the fire was accidental. It is said to have originated in the women’s apartments, and that the Tycoon’s principal concubine, who was the accidental agent in the affair, has committed hara-kiri, (suicide.)
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Washington.