Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hubbard.
Washington, January 29, 1889.
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.,