Mr. Seward to Mr. Van Valkenburgh.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your very interesting dispatch of the 16th of January, No. 3. You have explained the attitude of the several contending parties in Japan, their policies and purposes, in a more lucid manner than it has yet been presented to the notice of this government.
Revolution having begun with a formidable development of civil war, we must regard its future course as altogether uncertain. It is not doubted that you will practice a wise discretion, and that you will adhere to the existing government while it still maintains its power. You will neither take position adverse to, nor will you prematurely commit the United States to any political power which may come up in these convulsions.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
R. B. Van Valkenburgh, &c., &c., &c.