Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.
States Legation, Japan,
April 21, 1875.
(Received May 25.)
Sir: General Horace Capron, a citizen of the United
States, having been for some years in the service of His Imperial Japanese
Majesty’s government in the capacity of commissioner and adviser of the
kaita-kushi, (or agricultural department,) and being about to return to the
United States, was invited to audience by the Emperor at the imperial palace
on the 10th instant, on which occasion the Emperor addressed the general,
expressing the high appreciation by His Majesty of the valuable service
rendered by the general, &c., and received from General Capron an
appropriate reply. I have the honor to inclose herewith the address made by
His Majesty, together with the reply thereto of General Capron. (Inclosure
It is not to be questioned that the work of opening the island of Yesso, so
wisely inaugurated under the direction and advice of General Capron, if
prosecuted in accordance with the methods adopted under his advice, will
greatly promote the material interests of this people, and, in the words of
His Majesty, “advance the happiness of the empire.”
I have the honor to also inclose copies of the correspondence between His
Excellency Governor Kuroda, the head of the agricultural department of
Japan, and General Capron. (Inclosures 2 and 3.)
It is a pleasure to record these acknowledgments of the great and faithful
service rendered by an American citizen to this empire.
I am, &c.,
[Inclosure 1 in No. 220.]
general capron’s audience with the
Tuesday, April 13,
[From the “Japan Weekly Mail,” April 13, 1875.]
At an audience of His Majesty Mikado with which General Capron was
honored last week, His Majesty addressed him as follows: [Page 796]
“Since your engagement with the kaitakushi, intrusted as you have
been with the work for the settlement and development of the
island of Hakaido, you have so assiduously and faithfully
executed your responsible duties and advised the chokuan that
the important work of the department has been successfully
carried out, and is, daily progressing to our satisfaction.
Indeed, your services were valuable, and deserve our high
appreciation, and it is hardly a matter of doubt that the future
progress of that island, the fruit of your labor, will much
advance the happiness of my whole empire.
“Now, on your return to your country, on the termination of your
engagement, I have to acknowledge your valuable services, and
wish to express my good wishes for your future prosperity and
General Capron replied: “I am deeply grateful for the kind words
your Majesty has spoken, and I take great pleasure in the
opportunity of personally thanking your Majesty for them, and
for the many other kindnesses extended to me by your Majesty’s
“The reception which your Majesty was graciously pleased to
extend to me upon my arrival in this empire, and this additional
mark of your Majesty’s kindness, will always be a source of
profound gratification to me.
“I beg especially to express my deep sense of satisfaction at
your Majesty’s allusion to my services. It is a matter of
congratulation to me that the work in which I have had the
privilege of assisting has been deemed worthy of your Majesty’s
appreciation, and it is my earnest desire that as time
progresses, and all difficulties incident to the beginning of so
great an undertaking have been overcome, it may still further
merit your Majesty’s regard.
“I earnestly hope that your Majesty may continue long in health,
prosperity, and happiness.”
[Inclosure 2 in No.
Governor Kuroda to General Capron.
General Horace Capron:
Dear Sir: Upon your departure upon the
expiration of your engagement with this government in a position which
you have for years so worthily occupied as commissioner and adviser to
this department, permit me to summarize the benefits we have derived
from your services:
In the early days of our work you have carefully examined the influences
of climate and the capabilities of the soil of the island of Yesso, and
submitted very matured plans of operations for its development. Such
works, consequently, as far as circumstances would permit, have been
carried out, and their results are gradually being-realized; the system
of transportation much improved by new roads upon the land and
steamships on the sea; the profitable undertaking, of farming; examples
in breeding and rearing of foreign stock; the collection of foreign
fruits, grains, and vegetables; while much valuable machinery and
labor-saving machinery and tools have been successfully introduced into
the country; geological, mineralogical, and laud surveys inaugurated and
greatly progressed in, so that our industries are largely augmented.
These improvements so much advance our progress that we anticipate a
prosperous future for the island; and the final success of our project
is, we fully believe, attributable to your efforts, and I beg, as a
proof of our high appreciation of your valuable services, and also as a
memento of our friendly sentiments, to present the articles accompanying
this letter, which you will please accept.
15th day of 4th month, anno 8th Meiji, (April 15,
[Inclosure 3 in No. 220.]
General Capron to Governor Kuroda.
April 16, 1875.
Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the
receipt of your excellency’s communication of the 15th instant, with the
accompanying articles enumerated in your memorandum, which you are so
kind to say are presented to me as a memento of our friendly intercourse
during the time of my engagement as the commissioner and adviser of this
department of the national government.
It would be an affectation on my part to attempt to disguise the deep
sensations which your letter and presents have produced in me, more
particularly the flattering manner in which you have spoken of my past
services and the benefits which you claim to have been the results of my
I can conceive of no greater honors than have been conferred upon me,
both by His Imperial Majesty and your excellency, in this direction, and
I assure you that I shall bear back with me to my children and to my
Government, with the proudest satisfaction, these evidences of faithful
services rendered as one of the pioneers in this work of progress in
this nation, which is most anxiously watched by every American
Adviser of the Kaitakushi.
His Excellency Kuroda Kiyetaki, Kaitaku Chokuan.