Mr. Seward to Mr. Van Valkenburgh.

No. 42.]

Sir: Your dispatch of the 2d of December, No. 68, has been received. The telegraph had previously prepared us in some degree for the formal and definitive information which is contained in your dispatch. Upon a first view of the transaction, the Tycoon’s resignation of his powers into the hands of the Mikado would seem to be occasion for regret, although we could hardly expect anything less than serious political changes as a consequence of the sudden entrance of Japan into relations with the other nations.

Your dispatch presents the difficulties of the political situation in the empire with great clearness. I shall await with interest the progress of revolution, hoping that the projected reforms may be concluded peacefully, and that the new policy of friendly intercourse with foreign powers will not be seriously obstructed. The crisis is one, however, in which you will be required to exercise all your skill and ability for maintaining the treaty rights of the United States.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


R. B. Van Valkenburgh, Esq., &c., &c.