Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward

No. 23.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the Princes of Aki, Sendai, and Thizen have been ordered to occupy the territories of the Prince of Shoshu, or Nagato.

Some time after the issue of these orders one of Satsuma’s steamers, the “Sir Charles Forbes,” on her way through the Inland sea, was fired on by the batteries of Nagato, and the steamer was sunk.

I have been promised, from a Japanese source, a copy of the letter addressed by the Prince of Satsuma to the government of the Tycoon, complaining of this outrage.

It is claimed, I understand, by Nagato that the vessel was fired on at night, and that it was not known she belonged to Satsuma.

Nagato’s position of outlawry is sufficient, if any doubt could have existed, to demonstrate the wisdom of sending the Wyoming against him. And I may remark that no occurrence has made such a deep and favorable impression on this government.

If one vessel could accomplish so much, how can we possibly resist the navies [Page 487] of America and Europe, is the natural question; and the number of those who judge successful resistance possible must be small, if indeed any prince can be found so arrogant and ignorant.

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

ROBERT H. PRUYN, Minister Resident in Japan.

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