Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts
Tokei, Japan , November 15, 1877. (Received December 13.)
Sir: It is a relief to be able to say that from all advices the Asiatic cholera has happily disappeared from Japan.[Page 482]
In my No. 629, of date the 19th of September last, I acquainted you that this pestilence had appeared in Yokohama, 20 miles distant from this city. It is safe to state that about one-half of the persons attacked by the disease died, and that within the past two months eleven hundred persons died by this scourge in Nagasaki and its vicinity, an equal number in Osaka and Kioto (or Saikio), and about one thousand in Yokohama, Tokei, and vicinity. Of the loss of life from this cause in the country at large, I am not advised.
In the division of this city in which our legation is located, known as Tsukidji, there were but six deaths from cholera, which is in my opinion largely attributable to the fact that upon the first appearance of the plague in this location a board of health was organized, and its measures promptly enforced by this government, upon the request of my colleagues and myself. I regret to say that a Mr. Perry, his wife, and two children, American citizens resident here, were attacked by the disease, and that Mr. Perry and one of his children died. I solicited and obtained a place for their burial in this city. His wife and surviving child were provided for, chiefly by private contributions, and sent home to San Francisco, where their family friends reside. It would seem from the results of the efforts of the health boards of this city of a million of people, that the Asiatic cholera may be arrested by the prompt and liberal use of such disinfectants as carbolic acid, and by a careful regimen, thorough cleanliness, and the prompt removal of all impure matter from the vicinity of dwellings.
I have the honor to inclose a copy of an article on the subject from the Japan Daily Herald of this date (inclosure 1). I have no doubt the disease came from India to China and thence to Japan. I trust it may not find its way to America or Europe.
It seems to me not improper that I should again call the attention of the Department to the need of an appropriation of a few thousand dollars to be used as occasion may require, under the direction of the State Department, for the relief in case of sickness, or for the burial in case of death, of destitute citizens of the United States not in the merchant or naval service, who may in foreign lands suffer from disease or die. In my No. 212, of date the 6th of April, 1875, I brought this subject to the notice of the Department, and beg leave respectfully to refer you thereto.
I have, &c., &c.,