Mr. Dun to Mr. Gresham.
Tokyo Japan, September 4, 1893. (Received September 25.)
Sir: Referring to Mr. Coombs’s dispatch No. 70, of date December 27, 1892, relative to the gift of $350 in recognition of the praiseworthy services of certain villagers of the prefecture of Tokushima, Japan, in rescuing the crew of the American vessel North American wrecked off the coast of Japan, July 23, 1892, and inclosing a list of the names of the villagers most conspicuous for their services in the rescue, to the end that an engraved silver medal might be presented to each, I have the honor to inform you that owing to a natural delicacy on the part of the Japanese Government in commending one of their own officials and to a lack of information which has but recently come unofficially to my knowledge, the legation was unaware that the attentions and kindness extended to the crew of the North American after their rescue were largely due to the personal efforts of Mr. Yoshiomi Seki who was, at the time of the rescue, governor of Tokushima prefecture, and to whose humane services I now have the honor to call your attention.
Governor Seki made a journey of 30 miles on horseback over a rough mountain road to the scene of the wreck to see that the wants of the distressed men were supplied.
He sent them medical assistance, saw that they were housed, fed, and clothed, and finally arranged for their conveyance to Kobe where they were safely handed over to the care of the U. S. consul. Governor Seki was formerly an officer in the Japanese navy, and his knowledge there gained of the requirements in such emergencies enabled him to act promptly and intelligently in giving relief to the distressed crew of the ill-fated North American.
In this connection I have the honor to suggest that in addition to the silver medals to be given to the villagers in recognition of their noble services by the Government of the United States, it would be a graceful act to present to Governor Seki some token in testimony of the appreciation of the Government and people of the United States for his humanity and sympathy shown to our countrymen in distress. Should you approve of what I have herein suggested, I have the honor to make the further suggestion that any small piece of silver or other object either for ornament or use, with a suitable inscription engraved upon it, would be appropriate, and would, I feel confident, be highly prized and appreciated by Governor Seki.
I have, etc.,