Mr. Van Valkenburgh to Mr. Seward
Sir: With reference to the state of affairs in this country, I have the honor to send you herewith copy translation of a document received by me on the 6th instant, from Ogasawasi Iki No Kami, (inclosure No. 1,) but which I was unable to get translated in time for the last mail by the China. It is a brief history of the principal events which have transpired in this empire in the last 2,000 years, and gives the reasons inducing the Tycoon to resign his authority. It is substantially the same thing related to me by the minister for foreign affairs in my interview with him on the 20th November.
By the kindness of Sir Henry Parkes, K. C. B., her Britannic Majesty’s representative, I am enabled also to inclose (No. 2) copy translation of a document forwarded to him by the minister for foreign affairs, giving the latest information we have as yet received from Kioto.
Excitement still prevails to some extent in this city, and the entire country. The government seems to be in a lethargic state; robberies [Page 607] and murders among the Japanese are occurring every day and night. Armed bands of discharged soldiers enter merchants’ houses and rob the inmates, murdering them when opposition is shown, and the government seems to be unable or unwilling to prevent them.
I intend leaving Yokohama on the 21st instant, in the Shenandoah, for Osaka and Hiogo, to be present at the opening of those places. All of my colleagues now in Japan, viz, the representatives of France, Great Britain, Holland, and Prussia, have informed me of their intention of being present at the same time. I trust my action in this matter will meet with approval.
I have the honor, sir, to be your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.