No. 294.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts.

No. 913.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that General U. S. Grant and suite arrived at Nagasaki, Japan, on the 20th ultimo, and that on the 21st ultimo I met him at that port, upon the request of Prince Date and his excellency Mr. Yoshida, who had been appointed by His Majesty the Emperor, to receive General Grant and family as the guests of the empire. The General was most cordially welcomed to Japan by the Japanese officials, and also by the people of Nagasaki, and was entertained as the nation’s guest during his stay in that city. He left Nagasaki oh the 26th of June for Tokeiy on board the United States steamer Richmond, escorted by His Majesty’s man-of-war Kongo-Kuan, and also by the United States steamer Ashuelot.

The General arrived in Yokohama on the 3d of July, and was saluted by the war vessels of Russia, Japan, France, and the United States, the German man-of-war displaying the Imperial ensign in honor of the General. The English men-of-war in port made no recognition of the General, owing to the order issued by Her Britannic Majesty’s colonial secretary, Sir Michael Hicks Beach, to the effect that Her Majesty’s war vessels should not salute General Grant as he was but a private gentleman. After the salute, the General was received at the Japanese admiralty landing by His Majesty’s ministers of state, and conducted at once to Tokei, where he was met by the governor and received an address of welcome from the citizens of Tokei; after which he was conducted by Japanese officials, under a guard of honor, to the palace of Euriokwan, which had been assigned to him by the Emperor. The palace [Page 644] assigned to the Ex-President, with all its surroundings, is the finest in the empire.

On the 4th of July, their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, gave audience to General and Mrs. Grant, and received the distinguished visitors with marked consideration in the presence of the princes of the empire, the prime ministers, Admiral Patterson, and several naval officers and the officers of this legation. I inclose a copy of the Emperor’s address and of General Grant’s reply on the occasion of his reception, as published in the Tokio Times of the 12th instant:

On the same evening the citizens of the United States resident in Tokei gave the General and family a reception, and welcomed him to Japan in appropriate addresses. The Emperor, on the 7th instant, gave a dinner to the General and his family, at which the Emperor, with several of the chief ministers of state, was present, and at which I was also present with Mrs. Bingham. On the same day His Majesty also held a review of the troops of this and neighboring garrisons in honor of General Grant. The citizens of Tokei gave an entertainment to General Grant on the evening of the 8th instant in the College of Engineers, the most spacious and elegant structure of the kind in Japan, on which occasion the attendance was about twelve hundred people. The extensive grounds of the college were most beautifully illuminated with lanterns decorated with the flags of the two countries. I inclose an account of this generous and very significant reception of General Grant by the people, as published in the Tokio Times of the 12th instant, and also a copy of General Grant’s speech at Nagasaki as published in the same paper, and an account of his entertainment at that city from the Japan Herald of the 10th instant, and which account contains, among other things, the remarks made by me at Nagasaki.

There is no room to doubt that this government and people, by the unprecedented attentions shown to General Grant, manifest not only their great admiration of and respect for their distinguished guest, but also their respect for the government and people of the United States, and their appreciation of the fact that our government was the first to bring them into the comity of civilized states, and has been the first to accede to their request that the right to regulate their own commercial affairs, domestic and foreign, may no longer be restricted or denied.

As my visit to Nagasaki was not an absence from my post under instructions, and did not cut me off from communication by telegraph with the legation nor from a speedy return thereto, and as the legation was kept open during all the period of my journey, I trust that my action in the premises may meet your approval.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 913.—Tokio Times, July 12, 1879.]

Since his landing in Yokohama, General Grant has been chiefly occupied in visiting and receiving visitors, sight-seeing, and partaking of the most genial hospitality on the part of his warm-hearted entertainers. On Friday, the 4th instant, the distinguished traveler, accompanied by Mrs. Grant, were [was] admitted to an audience with the Emperor and Empress. After offering not merely a graceful but a cordial welcome to the General, the Mikado addressed him in words of which the following is the translation:

“Your name has been known to us for a long time, and we are highly gratified to see you. While holding the high office of President of the United States, you extended to our countrymen special kindness and courtesy; and when our ambassador, Iwakura, visited the United States, he received the kindest civilities from you. The [Page 645] kindness thus shown by you has always been remembered by us. In your travels around the world you have reached this country, and people of all classes feel gratified and happy to receive you. I trust that during your sojourn in our country you may find much to enjoy. It gives us sincere pleasure to receive you; and we are especially gratified that we have been able to do so on the anniversary of American Independence. We congratulate you, therefore, on this occasion.”

The General replied as follows:

“Your Majesty: I am very much gratified for the welcome you accord me here today, and for the great kindness with which I have been received, ever since I came to Japan, by your government and your people. I recognize in this, friendliness toward my country. I can assure you that this feeling is reciprocated by the United States; that our people, without regard to party, take the deepest interest in all that concerns Japan, and have the warmest wishes for her welfare. I am happy to be able to express that sentiment. America is your next neighbor, and will always give Japan sympathy and support in her efforts to advance. I again thank your Majesty for your hospitality, and wish you a long and happy reign, and for Japan prosperity and independence.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 913.—Tokio Times, July 12, 1879.]

Her Majesty the Empress received the lady guest with charming grace and sympathy, and a few pleasant words were exchanged. In the evening the double event of the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and the presence in their midst of the second savior of their country, was taken advantage of by the American residents of the capital to entertain the Ex-President and his party at a banquet at the Uyeno Seiyoken, a fete which will be forever memorable to those who participated in it. Since then no effort has been spared to make the sojourn of the tourists agreeable and varied in its phases. The princes of the blood, ministers, and all the prominent members of the society of the capital have visited at the Euripkwan. On the 7th, there was a brilliant review in honor of the general. On the 8th, a gorgeous festival was arranged for him by the citizens of Tokei in the great hall of the Kobu Dai Gaku, This was really a superb display, and quite a new departure on account of the large throng of Japanese ladies. The same feature was noticeable at the similar entertainment provided by the merchants of Yokohama for Grant in the town hall. On this occasion Mr. Hirayama Ginta, the famed pyrotechnist, seems to have outdone all his previous efforts both in the quality and the number of his brilliant but evanescent beauties.

On the 10th instant, the General remained at home and received numerous visitors, including the committee of Yokohama residents appointed to superintend the arrangments of the entertainment to be given by the stranger community of the port. At the choice of the guests the time has been fixed for some day in the first week in August. On the 15th or 16th of this month, the General and his party will sail for Xezo, where they will remain for a few days, then return to Tokei, whence a trip to Nikko will be undertaken. According to present plans the sojourn in this empire of the ex-President of the United States will terminate on the 25th of August.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 913.—Tokio Times, July 12, 1879.]

One of the most important and significant statements of conviction respecting the rights of eastern nations, and especially the independent privileges of Japan, that has proceeded from any high and, commanding authority, was announced by General Grant at Nagasaki, in a speech responsive to the address of the governor of that place. It has not hitherto been printed fully, and we are gratified to place it upon record here:

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen: You have here this evening several Americans who have the talent of speech, and who could make an eloquent response to your address. I have no such gift, and I never lamented its absence more than now, when there is so much that I want to say about your country, your people, and your progress. I have not been an inattentive observer of that progress, and in America we have been favored with accounts of it from my distinguished friend whom you all know as the friend of Japan, and whom it was my privilege to send as minister; I mean Judge Bingham. The spirit which has actuated the mission of Judge Bingham—the spirit of sympathy, support, and conciliation—not only expressed my own sentiments, but those of America. America has much to gain in the East; no nation has greater interests at stake. But America has nothing to gain except what comes from the cheerful acquiescence of the Eastern people, and insures them as much benefit as it does us. I should be ashamed of my country if its relations [Page 646] with other nations, and especially with these ancient and most interesting empires in the East, were based upon any other idea. We have rejoiced in your progress; we have watched you step by step; we have followed the unfolding of your old civilization and its absorbing the new. You have had our profound sympathy in that work, our sympathy in the troubles which came with it, and our friendship.

“I hope that our friendship may continue; that it may long continue. As I have said, America has great interests in the East. She is your next neighbor. She is more affected by the Eastern populations than any other power. She can never be insensible to what is doing here. Whatever her influence may be, I am proud to believe that it has always been exerted in behalf of justice and kindness. No nation needs from the outside powers justice and kindness more than Japan, for the work that has made such marvelous progress in the past few years is a work in which we are deeply concerned, and in the success of which we see a new era in civilization. This we should encourage.

“I do not know that I can say anything more than this in response to the kind toast of the governor. Judge Bingham can speak with more eloquence and, as a minister, with authority. But I could not allow the occasion to pass without saying how deeply I sympathize with Japan in her efforts to advance, and how much these efforts are appreciated in America. In that spirit I ask you to unite with me in a sentiment: ‘The prosperity and the independence of Japan.’”

[Inclosure 4 in No. 913.—Extract from the Japan Daily Herald, July 10, 1879.]

General Grant at Nagasaki.

General Grant has come and gone. As our readers are aware, the Richmond, with the general and family on board, arrived early Saturday morning last, and received the customary salutes. The day was made one of great rejoicing, and there could have been very few indeed who did not join some way or other in welcoming the great warrior and statesman. During the morning salutes were being fired on all sides, and as the day wore on it became evident that by sundown Nagasaki would come out in all the brilliancy which chochin could produce.

In the afternoon, as agreed upon, a deputation of the residents waited upon General Grant, and the following address of welcome was read by Commodore Furber, to which the General feelingly replied.

General U. S. Grant:

You have been so fêted in other lands during your two years’ tour, that now, as you cross the threshold of this ancient empire, which in twenty-five years has attempted to revolutionize the traditions of twenty-five centuries, we, representing the foreign community of Nagasaki, are sensible that any welcome we can offer you will appear but a poor one, compared with the receptions you have met with from the larger and more wealthy ports in China.

Be assured, however, that no more genuine feelings of respect and admiration exist in any community than those’ which are felt toward you by the foreign residents in Nagasaki, and which prompt us to offer you our sincere and hearty welcome to Japan.

We feel much gratified by your visit. We wish you a pleasant journey through this Empire, and a safe return to the country of your birth, to enjoy the well-merited reward of your brave deeds and successful government.

We have the honor to be, with much respect, your most obedient servants,

  • E. G. Furber,
  • Ching Sing Leong,
  • V. Florent,
  • H. de Figueiredo,
  • T. B. Glover,
  • H. J. Hunt,
  • H. Iwersen,
  • H. K. Koning,
  • J. V. Petersen,
  • F. Ringer,
  • E. Rogers,
  • G. H. C. Salter,
  • Taikee.

The committee of thirteen, representing the United States of America, British, French, German, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese residents of Nagasaki, Japan.

June 21, 1879.

After dark Nagasaki began to look very pretty, scarcely a house being conspicuous through want of some attempt at illumination. Many of the buildings on the settlement were exceedingly beautiful and exhibited a great deal of taste in their decorations, while the hill lots sparkled out from the surrounding darkness like fairy palaces of surprising forms. Altogether the scene was a very pretty one, and only our oldest residents can recall a similar occasion which took place some years ago. It was the [Page 647] intention to have repeated the illumination during the general’s stay, hut the weather was unpropitious and the idea was in consequence abandoned.

On Tuesday a grand dinner in native style was given by the Japanese in honor of their distinguished guest, and the opportunity was taken for the presentation of the following address:

General U. S. Grant:

In the name of the citizens of Nagasaki, we offer you a sincere welcome at this small town. We feel greatly honored by your visit to Nagasaki, and still more so by your becoming our guest this evening.

Any outward signs of respect and hospitality we offer you are but a fraction of our kindly feelings toward you, and are quite inadequate to express the great admiration we have for you.

On your return to your own great country, after having visited this eastern empire, we trust you will carry away with you pleasant reminiscences and friendly feeling toward our country and people. We wish you a successful career and a long life and health to enjoy the illustrious name and position you have made for yourself.

The dinner at which you have honored us with your company is given in this country to convey from the hosts the well wishes and friendship they feel towards their honorable guest; and in the hope that a long and sincere intimacy may be promoted between our guest and those we have the honor to represent to-night, we have offered you this poor entertainment.

We have the honor to be, with much respect, your most obedient servants,

awoki kiuhichiro,

matsuda gengoro.

June 24, 1879.

We are not in a position, nor indeed would our space allow, to reproduce the many speeches made during the General’s visit, but the following from the Hon. Mr. Bingham, United States minister, in reply to Mr. Yoshida, who proposed his health, is worth recording:

Mr. Bingham, in response to the sentiments of personal regard offered by Mr. Yoshida, acknowledged the courtesy to himself, and said that he came hither to join the official representatives of His Majesty the Emperor, and also the people of Nagasaki, in fitting testimonials of respect to General Grant, the friend of the United States of America, and the friend as well of Japan.

He also said that he came to join in the quality of United States minister, bearing a commission issued by the distinguished guest of the evening, under whose administration as, President of the United States the minister received his appointment. Mr. Bingham stated that it had been his endeavor to faithfully discharge his duties in such manner as would strengthen the friendship between the two countries and promote the commercial interests of both, and that he did not doubt that by so acting he reflected the wishes of the illustrious man who is the guest of the empire, and the wishes also of the President and people of the United States.

“The government of my country,” said he, “has, by the recent treaty with Japan, manifested its desire that justice may be done, by according to Japan her right to regulate her own commercial affairs. To do justice is the highest duty, as it is the highest interest of civil government.” It is much to be regretted that the almost constant downpour of rain with which we have been favored for nearly the last three months had not ceased during the General’s short stay, as the few lions we possess lose more than, a great deal of their interest in the wet weather. However, we believe most was made of what Nagasaki had to show, and we feel sure, that in spite of the rain and other circumstances, which render a visit to Arita unadvisable, the General’s first insight into the character of the Japanese, with their readiness to entertain and their liberal notions of hospitality, will not be forgotten as he passes through the empire, and his visit to this country will do much to strengthen the ties that bind America and Japan together.—[Rising Sun and Nagasaki Express.]