Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hubbard.

No. 275.]

Sir: The inclosed copy of a report made by me to the President under date of the 22d instant, and of the dispatch of Consul Birch at Nagasaki, therein referred to, will apprise you of the circumstances under which I sought the direction of the President regarding the proper method of carrying out the purpose of the joint resolution of Congress, approved May 24, 1888, to enable the President of the United States to extend to certain inhabitants of Japan a suitable recognition of their humane treatment of the survivors of the American bark “Cashmere,” which was abandoned in the vicinity of the island of Tanegashima, in September, 1885.

As you will perceive by the report of the United States consul at Nagasaki, that officer, in pursuance of the instructions of this Department, consulted with the Japanese authorities of the district and obtained through them a very carefully considered expression of the views of Watanabe, governor of Kagoshima Ken, within whose jurisdiction Tanegashima is situated, upon the subject of the contemplated employment of the amount appropriated. The governor’s recommendation is that the bulk of the sum be bestowed upon the inhabitants of the island as a common fund, to be used for educational and industrial purposes, the fund or capital being invested in such a way that the interest accruing therefrom shall be sufficient to maintain educational institutions of the character suggested, in perpetuity, for the benefit of the islanders.

Before submitting the matter for the President’s consideration and direction, I obtained an informal expression of Mr. Mutsu’s general concurrence in the recommendation of Governor Watanabe, with the acceptable suggestion that the whole of the fund in question shall be devoted to the purpose indicated, without diversion of any part of it as personal rewards to Japanese subjects not residents of Tanegashima.

I have now received the President’s directions in the premises. He fully agrees with the suggestions made as aforesaid by certain Japanese officials resident in the neighborhood of the proposed beneficiaries and acquainted with their situation, to the effect that the best application which could be made of the donation of this Government would be its use in furtherance of the educational advantages of the people of the island of Tanegashima. The President remarks that this island is reported to have an area of about 100 square miles and a population of about 22,000, but that the inhabitants of the two villages of Isekimura and Akimura appear to be entitled to an especial recognition of their humanity and generosity, and assuming that they do not lie far apart, he considers that the school to be established or endowed should be located in one or the other of the villages named, or else to be accessible to the residents of both. Adopting this line of action, as proposed, the [Page 530]President directs me to instruct you to confer with His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Government with a view of procuring its action and consent to such an arrangement as we have in mind 5 and obtaining the assistance of that Government, and of the officials of the locality interested, in accomplishing the purposes set forth in my report.

I have therefore to instruct you to carry out the President’s direction in the premises by laying the subject before the Japanese minister for foreign affairs and inviting his excellency to take steps for the suitable employment of the fund in the manner and to the ends suggested. The actual disbursement of the money should be made by the hands of the Japanese officials, but it will be proper that some clear understanding should be arrived at as to the general features of the plan to be adopted by the Japanese Government. From the informal suggestion made by a member of the Japanese legation here, it is thought that a sum not exceeding $1,500 would suffice for the erection of a suitable school building on which perhaps should be placed a tablet inscribed with a brief statement of the gift by the United States and the circumstances leading to it. The remainder of the fund might be invested in the Government securities of Japan and the income be devoted to the maintenance of the school and the compensation of the teachers.

You will at the same time suitably express to his excellency the pleasure we have in thus seeking to carry out in a permanent and conspicuously useful way the material expression of the desire of the people of the United States, through their national law-givers, to recognize the high service rendered to humanity by the inhabitants of Tanegashima; and our gratification at thus being able to add another proof of the lasting esteem in which we hold the people of Japan and the high value we set upon their friendship and that of their Government.

Upon reaching a practical solution of the problem now presented and obtaining satisfactory assurances of the active co-operation of the Japanese Government in receiving and applying the $5,000 which Congress has placed in the President’s hands for the purpose above described, you are authorized to draw in favor of the Japanese Government or the proper officer thereof, upon Messrs. Brown, Shipley & Co., our London bankers, for £1,027.8.8, the equivalent of $5,000, and to deliver such draft to the Japanese minister for foreign affairs on behalf of the beneficiaries and take his receipt in triplicate therefor.

You may render a special account of this transaction, and you will request the Japanese Government to advise the Government of the United States when the arrangement now contemplated shall be fully completed, in order that the information may be laid before Congress.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 275.]

Mr. Bayard to the President.

The undersigned has the honor to request the directions of the President regarding the proper method of carrying out the joint resolution of Congress, approved May 24, 1888, “to enable the President of the United States to extend to certain inhabitants of Japan a suitable recognition of their humane treatment of the survivors of the crew of the American bark Cashmere.”

The resolution referred to reads as follows:

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, [Page 531]authorized to extend to the inhabitants of the island of Tanegashima, Japan, a suitable recognition of their kind and humane treatment of the survivors of the crew of the American bark Cashmere, lost off that coast in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and to convey to the Government and people of Japan an expression of the high appreciation in which the Government and people of the United States hold such humane services.

Sec. 2. That the sum of five thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to enable the President to execute the purpose aforesaid.”

The circumstances of the rescue of the crew of the Cashmere and the narrative of the conspicuous humanity and generosity shown to them by the inhabitants of Tanegashima Island are found in the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives (Report 401, House of Representatives, Fiftieth Congress, first session, accompanying House resolution 95), which was submitted by Mr. Morrow, on the 14th of February, 1888, as follows:

“‘On the 11th of September, 1885, the American bark Cashmere, bound on a voyage from the city of Philadelphia to Hiogo, Japan, encountered a violent typhoon near the coast of Japan. The fury of the gale soon reduced the vessel to a hopeless wreck. The officers and crew numbered fifteen, consisting of the master and his son, first and second mate, carpenter, eight seamen, steward, and cook. The first and second mate perished on the 13th of September while engaged in heroic efforts to save the vessel. A few hours later the master was swept overboard and lost. At this time when the dismantled vessel was apparently unable much longer to resist the violence of the storm, seven of the men managed to get into the only remaining boat and set out in what appeared to be a hopeless effort to reach land.

“The captain’s son, the carpenter, and three of the crew were compelled to remain with the floating wreck. After two days of suffering, without food or water, the seven men who took to the boat landed in a famished condition on the little island Tanegashima, inhabited by Japanese fishermen and peasants. These kind-hearted and hospitable people hastened to feed, clothe, and dress the wounds of the unfortunate castaways, and in every possible way administered to their wants. As soon as the latter were able to travel the islanders provided them with transportation to the Japanese city of Kagoshima, where they were also hospitably received and kindly treated for eight days, when they were sent to Kobe, where the United States consul took them in charge and placed them on board a vessel bound to San Francisco.

“In the mean time, the wreck upon which were left the captain’s son and four members of the crew, was unexpectedly kept afloat by the buoyancy of its cargo of kerosene stored in cans in the hold of the vessel. For seven days and nights after the departure of the boat the five men remained on the wreck, crowded into a small space under the forecastle, with only a few raw yams to eat and a little vinegar to drink. Their suffering from hunger and thirst was most intense. The helpless craft finally drifted in sight of land,’ and the men constructed a raft with which, after much toil and danger they reached shore and found they had lauded upon the same little island of Tanegashima, where their comrades in a boat had a few days before been rescued from the perils of the sea.

“The Japanese, unwearied in their kindness, again hastened to the shore to rescue, feed, clothe, and administer to the wants of this second party of unfortunate strangers, which they did with even more kindly generosity and a greater sympathy than before, as the last party were in greater distress than their comrades. After ten days of careful treatment, the second party had sufficiently recovered health and strength to travel and they were also sent to Kobe, from which place they were sent to Yokohama by the American consul, and from the latter port they obtained passage on a vessel to New York. The escape of these poor sailors from the misfortunes that had overtaken them was most miraculous, but the humane and generous treatment they received at the hands of the kind-hearted Japanese was the feature of the story they had to tell when they reached home.

“Our shipwrecked sailors have not always been so fortunate in that part of the world. The Japanese have never failed when occasion required to show their sympathy for people in distress, but this kindly disposition is in marked contrast with the barbarous conduct of many other people on the Asiatic coast. Instances have been reported where our shipwrecked sailors have been subjected to the most cruel and inhuman treatment, and the power of the Government has been invoked to punish such inhumanity.

“It is the boast of our civilization that we seek to cultivate the highest order of fraternal obligations for the relief of distress in times of peril and disaster, whereby we spread abroad a spirit of friendliness and universal brotherhood. The present instance should not be allowed to pass, therefore, without some suitable recognition of the humane conduct of the Japanese towards the survivors of the American bark Cashmere.

“The committee, therefore, recommend the passage of the accompanying resolution.”

[Page 532]

To the end of devising and adopting a suitable and effective recognition by this Government of the humane action of the inhabitants of Tanegashima on the occasion referred to, the consul of the United States at Nagasaki, Japan, was instructed on the 5th June, 1888, to report his own views and the views, also, as far as they might be properly ascertainable, of the Japanese authorities relating to the disbursement of the sum appropriated by Congress.

The undersigned has the honor to lay before the President a copy of the report of the consul, from which it will be seen that he has consulted with the Japanese authorities of the district, and has obtained through them a very carefully considered expression of the views of Watanabe, governor of Kagoshima, within whose jurisdiction Tanegashima is situated, upon the subject of the contemplated employment of the amount appropriated. While suggesting a small personal compensation to certain men, strangers in the island, who were present at the time, and who aided in the rescue of the crew of the Cashmere, he recommends that the remainder of the sum appropriated be bestowed upon the inhabitants of the island as a common fund to be used for educational and industrial purposes, the fund or capital being invested in such a way that the interest accruing therefrom shall be sufficient to maintain educational and industrial institutions in perpetuity for the benefit of the islanders.

One of the most conspicuous and gratifying evidences of the moral and intellectual advancement of Japan in our day is seen in the rapid development of education among the inhabitants of that island in the serious endeavors of the Imperial Government to promote popular education in every way.

The geographies show this district to consist of many islands, a large part of them small, not easily or regularly accessible, destitute of facilities for commerce, and inhabited by a laborious community engaged in fishing and in agriculture. These circumstances are naturally an impediment to the enforcement and practical extension of the comprehensive scheme of popular education designed by the Japanese Government; and, as pointed out by the consul in his report, such islands as Tanegashima are necessarily devoid of the school facilities which the more central, populous, and prosperous districts of the Empire enjoy. The proposition, therefore, of employing the money appropriated by Congress in the practical and benevolent way suggested by the governor of Kagoshima will, it is trusted, commend itself to the approval of the President.

The undersigned has recently brought the subject informally to the attention of His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s legation at this capital, and has obtained the ministers full concurrence in the suggestions so made, with the recommendation, however, that the entire fund appropriated be devoted to the purposes described, without the diversion of any part thereof to the recompense of individual Japanese subjects. The minister is understood to regard any such personal reward specially bestowed upon non-residents of the island as calculated to make invidious discriminations against the resident islanders, whose services in aid of the crew of the Cashmere were equally if not more deserving of remuneration. In this view of the case the undersigned is disposed to acquiesce.

The undersigned has therefore the honor to request the direction of the President with a view, should he deem it proper to do so, of instructing the minister of the United States in Japan to come to an understanding with the Government of His Imperial Japanese Majesty whereby the entire amount appropriated by Congress for the purpose of extending to the inhabitants of the Island of Tanegashima a suitable recognition of their kind and humane treatment as aforesaid, may be delivered to the Japanese Government for the endowment of educational institutions on that island in the manner suggested by Governor Watanabe; and further, in the event of the offer being accepted as tendered, to provide that the sum in question be placed by the President’s warrant upon the Treasury at the disposal of the Secretary of State for delivery to the Imperial Japanese Government.

Respectfully submitted:

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 275.]

Mr. Birch to Mr. Rives.

No. 111.]

Sir: In my dispatch to the Department of State No. 101, and dated August 20, 1888, acknowledging the receipt, July 9, 1888, of communication No. 32, and dated June 5, 1888, I expressed the hope that I would be able to write the Department by the next mail a full expression of not only my own views, but those of the Japanese authorities, relative to the proper disbursement of the money appropriated by Congress [Page 533]to enable the President of the United States to extend to the inhabitants of the island of Tanegashima, Japan, a suitable recognition of their kind and humane treatment of the survivors of the crew of the American bark Cashmere, lost off the coast of Japan, September 18, 1885.

The delay in forwarding the report has been longer than I anticipated, and in order that the Department may know that it was necessary, I have the honor to submit the following cossespondence between this consulate and the Nagasaki Kencho relative to the matter.

[Untitled]

No. 757.]

Governor Yoshio Kusaka, Kencho:

Sir: I beg to send inclosed a copy of a joint resolution of Congress appropriating $5,000 to enable the President of the United States of America to extend to certain inhabitants of Japan, a suitable recognition of their humane treatment of the survivors of the American bark Cashmere, lost off the coast of Japan on September 18, 1885.

The Department of State desires from me a full expression of my views as to how this money may be laid out to the best advantage. To this end I think it better to have your views as to the best way of disbursing this money, and will consider it a favor if you will write me fully on the matter. The Department of State suggests that a part at least should be presented to the inhabitants, not in actual money, but in some articles suitable to their use.

I am, etc.,

John M. Birch
,
United States Consul.

[Untitled]

No. 77.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of the 10th instant, inclosing the copy of a joint resolution of Congress appropriating $5,000 to enable the President of the United States of America to extend to the inhabitants of the island of Tanegashima a suitable recognition of their humane treatment of the survivors of the American bark Cashmere, lost off that coast on September 18, 1885.

I beg to state in reply that as I am not in a position to give you my own views on the matter, I have communicated the purport of your letter to the governor of Kagoshima Ken, requesting him to give his views as to the way of disbursing the money to the best advantage, and I would be glad to furnish you with the information as soon as I should receive an answer from the government of that prefecture.

I have, etc.,

Y. Kusaka
,
Governor of Nagasaki Ken.

[Untitled]

No. 113.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, in respect to your dispatch of the 10th July last, that after I had communicated to Governor Watanabe of Kagoshima Ken on the 19th July inclosing translations of your letter and its inclosure and asking him to furnish me with his views as to the best way of disbursing the money proposed to be presented to the inhabitants of Tanegashima, I received a letter from Governor Watanabe on the 11th ultimo, but as it was an unsatisfactory answer, I again wrote to him on the 21st ultimo on the subject.

I then telegraphed him on the 24th instant, asking him to furnish you with his views on the matter as early as possible, and have received his telegram on the 25th instant, answering that he is now making necessary inquiries and adding that navigation to the island being inconvenient the required information can not be obtained early.

I would forward you any information as soon as I receive it from Governor Watanabe.

I have, etc.

Jiro Nakamura
,
Secretary, etc.

[Untitled]

No. 126.]

Sir: In answer to your communication of the 10th July last, I now have the honor to forward to you a copy of a letter I received from Governor Watanabe of Kagoshima [Page 534]Ken, furnishing me his views as to the disbursement of the money intended by the Government of the United. States to be presented to the inhabitants of the Tanegashima Island.

I trust that the letter of Governor Watanabe will explain itself to you.

I have, etc.

Y. Kusaka
,
Governor of Nagasaki Ken.

Letter of Watanabe, Governor of Kagoshima Ken, to the Nagasaki Kencho.

“Three years and upwards have passed away since part of the crew of the wrecked American ship Cashmere arrived at Akimura on the island of Tanegashima, November 15, 1885, and on the 20th of the same month others of the crew arrived at Isekimura on the same island, so that it is now a difficult matter to ascertain the real fact concerning the rescue of the unfortunate Americans in consequence of each exaggerating his own supposed merit. It may, however, be taken as certain that there have been eight or nine persons resident in Akimura and four or five persons in Isekimura who have endeavored directly to aid in the rescue of the shipwrecked men, and that indirect assistance has been given by the inhabitants at large. Among these residents who happened to be staying at these muras (villages) at that time from other muras, i.e. travelers who have merely taken their residence for a short time, there were five men who did all in their power to assist and succor the unfortunate Americans. Of the five men two were schoolmasters and three were merchants.

“Now, it is suggested that the sum of money presented by the Government of the United States of America shall be owned by the inhabitants of Akimura and Isekimura as a common fund, and not separately as individuals, and shall be used for educational and industrial purposes, investing the fund or capital in such a way that the interest accruing therefrom will be sufficient to maintain the two great institutions, education and industry, in perpetuity.

“The above is a mere general view, without entering into details, as it is impossible to say more without studying all the conditions of the island and its inhabitants. Now, the only means to reward the five men aforesaid, who had but a temporary residence in the village named, but who used their utmost endeavors to save the shipwrecked seamen, is to present to each one a sum of money. As for articles which might be sent from the United States of use to the inhabitants of Akimura and Isekimura, it is suggested that articles which could be used for educational and industrial advances would be suitable, these matters being in a very primitive condition and at their lowest ebb. The selection of the articles must, however, as a matter of course, depend upon the discretion of the giver.”

The idea of using the money appropriated by Congress to endow a school on the island of Tanegashima, advanced by Governor Watanabe, meets with my approbation. It would indeed be a suitable recognition by our Government of the kind and humane treatment of the survivors of the Cashmere by the Japanese. The island of Tanegashima is south of the island of Kinshin, being separated from the latter by Van Diemen Strait–has an area of about 100 square miles and a population of about 22,000, consisting of fishermen and farmers. It is distant from Nagasaki about 150 miles and is a part of Kagoshima Ken. The people are poor. The population of the villages Isekimura and Akimura numbers about 300.

In accordance with the present national system of education in Japan, attendance at the elementary schools in which morals, reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught is compulsory upon all children between the ages of six and ten years, and each school district in the Empire must be provided with elementary school accommodation for its children. These schools are supported partly by tuition fees and partly by local taxes. The length of term yearly depends largely upon the wealth and prosperity of the district, as the instruction, not being gratuitous and as there is no permanent school fund in Japan, the population of remote or thinly populated districts or in districts where there has been a failure of the crops can not bear the expense of a long term. If there exists, however, in any district a satisfactory private or endowed elementary school, this is permitted to take the place of the government school, provided it is under the control of the governor of the Ken (department) who is directed in school matters by the regulations of the department of education of the Imperial Government.

The population of Tanegashima is a poor one and remote from the wealthier and more civilized portions of the Empire, and is able only to a small extent to reap the advantages of the present system of education which prevails generally in Japan, and the generosity of our Government could not be exercised in a better direction than in providing for this outlying island a school in which regular instruction will be given not only in the simpler elementary branches above named, but in geography, history, physics, drawing, the English language, agriculture, and commerce. I am [Page 535] reliably informed that the amount appropriated by Congress would be sufficient to endow such a school. The school, should it be established, would be a memorial institution; it would convey to all the high appreciation in which our Government holds humane services. It would meet the approval, command the respect, and enlist the sympathy and support of the minister of state for education as well as the local government at Kagoshima.

The governor of Kagoshima in his letter suggests that something might be done toward industrial advancement, but I doubt this, and I am not sure that anything could be sent from America suitable to the use of the Japanese. For example, the idea of presenting the Japanese with agricultural implements does not commend itself for the reasons that agricultural conditions of America are altogether different those which exist here. The American implements would practically be useless to the Japanese farmer. The same may perhaps not be said as regards specimens of various teaching appliances, as outline maps, globes, etc., or articles connected with education, should the school be established. Text-books other than those printed in Japanese and English would be of no practical benefit. To the five men not permanent residents of Isekimura and Akimura, who aided in the rescue, I would suggest that the sum of $200, or $40 to each man, be presented.

I am, etc.,

John M. Birch.