Mr. Van Valkenburgh to Mr. Seward.
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.