Mr. Van Valkenburgh to Mr. Seward.

No. 32.]

Sir: On the 30th ultimo several soldiers belonging to the advance of the Mikado’s army, on their way to Yedo, visited this place, and this[Page 707]continued on the two days following. They appeared to be under no command, and their presence evidently caused some uneasiness both among the foreign and the native population. Uninvited they entered foreign houses and behaved quite rudely. I agreed with my colleagues upon a preventive measure of joint occupation of the approaches to this town, copy of which agreement I herewith have the honor to transmit, inclosure No. 1.

In accordance therewith I addressed a letter to Commander S. P. Carter, commanding the “Monocacy,” and senior naval officer, inviting him to carry out this agreement in co-operation with the naval and military authorities of the other nationalities, and I now transmit inclosure No. 2, copy of his reply; covering copy of the arrangement entered into by him for the protection or defense of this town.

A system of passports was also established; such passports were issued by the legations and countersigned by the governor of the port, by whom they are distributed only to such two-sworded men who resort hither on duty or on lawful business.

This measure, now in operation, has given general satisfaction at this place, and the uneasiness first experienced has entirely subsided.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


The undersigned representatives of France. Great Britain, Italy, Prussia, and the United States, taking into consideration the present troubled state of affairs, and the fact that large numbers of armed men are straggling into the foreign as well as the native quarter of the town of Yokohama, unattended apparently by responsible officers, and that the government also appears unable to maintain order, hereby agree to request their respective naval and military commanders to adopt the following measures:

1. To occupy permanently the posts marked in the annexed plan, conjointly with Japanese guards. The foreign commanders should not for the moment interfere with the ingress of any Japanese, unless called upon to do so by the Japanese guard, but should be prepared to resist foreigners generally in case of alarm or attack.

More explicit instructions will be given for their guidance as soon as possible.

2. To concert measures to land additional forces in case they should be required.


Commander Carter to Mr. Van Valkenburgh.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for your information a copy of the arrangements made this day by the naval and military commanders of the treaty powers for the protection and defense of the foreign settlement of Yokohama.

I shall be obliged if you will send me a copy of the second letter, written and signed conjointly by the ministers, on the subject of restricting the Japanese entering Yokohama to those provided with a pass from one of the consulates.

Some of the commanders who were at the conference had been furnished with a copy of the above letter, but I have not yet received one.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. CARTER, Commander.

Hon. R. B. Van Vankenburgh, Minister Resident of the United States in Japan.

[Page 708]


1. The naval and military commanders of the foreign nations having assembled and read over the requisitions of the foreign representative ministers, as communicated in two letters dated 2d instant, have decided to place guards at the posts as marked in the inclosed plan, as follows:

No. 1. French, two sentries.

No. 2. English, two sentries.

No. 3. English, four sentries, two bridges to defend. There should be a strong guard here, say one officer and twenty men.

No. 4. Main bridge leading to the Tocaido, an important point, furnishes by the English two officers and thirty men. Two guns to be placed at the gates to send out patrols.

No. 5. Prussian, twenty-live men; also to guard Prussian legation and patrol.

No. 6. French, sixteen men, to guard French legation and patrol; also to guard the wharf.

No. 7. American, (custom-house,) twenty-five men, as a central force and patrol. To place here two English guns, two carts with intrenching tools, and seven fire-engines, (Ocean’s.)

No. 8. French, (French hospital,) seven men. These positions to be occupied immediately after the approval of the ministers.

2. In case of an attack in force the naval and military commanders have made every arrangement to re-enforce these posts and defend the settlement.

3. Alarm signals, as follows:

By day, two guns to be fired in quick succession from French quarters, and a signal from French flag-staff, answered by a flag at fore from each man-of-war.

By night, two guns as above, followed by a rocket, answered by a rocket from each man-of-war.