No. 412.

Mr. Kuki to Mr. Frelinghuysen.


Sir: During the disturbance at Seoul, Corea, in December last, several Japanese subjects, who had in vain been seeking safety in different places from the violence of the mob, took refuge in the United States legation. A number of other Japanese who had been taken prisoners by the Chinese troops were released at the instance of the United States minister, and were likewise afforded asylum and protection at [Page 568] the United States legation. Thus twelve Japanese subjects of both sexes were succored by General Foote, and during the time they were inmates of the legation he and Mrs. Foote were untiring in their efforts to make their condition more comfortable.

Finally, having obtained assurances from the Chinese and Corean officials that the refugees would not be harmed, General Foote provided an escort, composed of Chinese and Corean troops, under the command of Mr. Barnadon, naval attaché to the legation, and sent them, together with four soldiers, who had been detailed by the Japanese minister to guard the United States and British legations, to Chemulpo, where they arrived in safety.

“These Japanese,” the official Japanese report of the émente declares, “owe their lives and safety entirely to the humane and zealous efforts of the American minister.”

Those efforts on the part of the United States representative in behalf of my defenseless countrymen, efforts which greatly increased his own danger and rendered his position insecure, have awakened throughout Japan a feeling of deep gratitude to General Foote, and I have been instructed by His Imperial Majesty’s Government to bring them to your attention, and through you to, tender to General Foote their profound thanks for his brave and humane conduct on the occasion referred to.

Permit me, sir, in fulfilling this agreeable duty, to add, that acts such as I have recounted not only reflect the high character of the person who performs them, but they tend directly to draw closer the bonds of friendship and good-will which happily exist between our respective countries, because they demonstrate that deeds of generous bravery overstep the bounds of national limits.

I avail myself, &c.,