No. 381.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 220.]

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 No. 1.)

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 emperor.

[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 happiness.”

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 government.

“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. 220.—Translation.]

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.

Kaitaku Chokuan.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 220.]

General Capron to Governor Kuroda.

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.

[Page 797]

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 labors.

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 citizen.

Commissioner and Adviser of the Kaitakushi.

His Excellency Kuroda Kiyetaki, Kaitaku Chokuan.