Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward
Sir: I regret to have to inform you that the Japanese government has declined to pay the indemnities I have been instructed to demand. I enclose, No. 1, a copy of translation of the letter of the minister, which, you see, does not attempt to deny or even explain the facts set forth in my letter, which, I think, fully establish the liability of the Japanese government.
The chief object in the proposed transfer of the negotiations to Washington is probably to gain time, as the embassy is first to visit all the treaty powers in Europe. It may be hoped, likewise, that if it finally yields to these claims, the Japanese government may secure the coveted closing of this port.
I enclose, No. 2, a copy of my reply. I do not yet despair of an amicable [Page 476] and satisfactory settlement, though I am without a national vessel, and nothing has been accomplished here as yet by any nation in the absence of force, or the prospect of its immediate presence.
Additional proof of this will soon be given. Baron de Rehfus has been here since the month of September, vainly urging the exchange of ratifications of the Prussian treaty. He has now gone to Yedo, and has landed a large guard of marines and sailors from the corvette Gazelle, and announced his determination to remain in that city till the exchange of ratifications shall have been effected, and I have no doubt he will now succeed.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.