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Chapter 13

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
A Short History of the United States Navy

by
George R. Clark et al.

published by
J. B. Lippincott Company,
Philadelphia & London 1939

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 15

This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

p220 XIV
The Mexican War
Perry's Expedition to Japan

The Mexican War

While President Polk, early in his administration (1845‑1849), was framing a treaty with Great Britain that should establish our claim to Oregon — the name applied to the vast territory in the extreme northwest — he was also attempting to secure the Pacific slope to the south; for he had already recognized the immense future value of California with its harbor of San Francisco. This territory, owned by Mexico and as yet undeveloped, President Polk wished to purchase at a fair price; but Mexico, ill disposed because of the annexation of Texas to the United States and torn by civil dissension, would not consent. Her refusal, however, did not discourage the determined President.

On the 13th of May, 1846, when troubles relating to Texas had become acute, Congress by a joint resolution recognized a state of war as existing between Mexico and the United States. Nearly a year previous, Commodore Sloat in command of the American squadron on the Pacific coast had been given confidential instructions as to his course of action should Mexico show herself "resolutely bent on hostilities."1 When he heard that war had begun, Commodore Sloat sailed north, and, on July 7, 1846, took possession of Monterey. Two days later, by his orders, Captain Montgomery took possession of San Francisco, and when Commodore Stockton, who had relieved Sloat, p221entered Los Angeles the month following, our flag was flying over every commanding position in California.

A campaign in the extreme west had also been planned by the army. Brigadier-General Kearny had begun a march to the Pacific early in July, stopping long enough before Santa Fé to scatter an army of Mexicans, three times his force, and to occupy the city. When he arrived at the eastern border of California and heard that the navy had largely anticipated him, he sent most of his troops back. But just about the same time the Mexicans recaptured Los Angeles. Kearny had now only 110 dragoons and mounted riflemen; but, co‑operating with Stockton, who furnished a large force of sailors and marines, he marched from San Diego to Los Angeles and after a two days' battle made permanent the authority of the United States in California.2 The rest of the war was on the east, or Gulf, side of Mexico.

The general situation at the beginning of the war corresponded in many respects with the situation a half century later, when the United States was fighting, not Mexico, but Mexico's mother country, Spain. Commodores Sloat and Stockton in the far west, like Admiral Dewey in the far east, acted with decision, and, falling upon a detached portion of the enemy that were ill prepared, at once took possession of a vast territory. In consequence, the plans of the Navy Department in both wars were chiefly concerned with the slower and more extensive operations nearer home.

The chief work for the navy was, therefore, to blockade and seize the Mexican ports on the Gulf; these were from north to south, Tampico, Tuxpan, Vera Cruz, Alvarado, and Frontera. Later, the co‑operation of the navy was required for the army, when the plan of military p222campaign changed a long march from the Rio Grande through the interior by General Taylor, to a short advance from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico by General Scott. The navy was to assist in the transportation of troops to Vera Cruz and in the attack on that city.

The "Home Squadron," upon which this duty fell, was at the beginning of the war under the command of Commodore David Conner. Its early work was lacking in results because of two reasons: First, it was handicapped by having no gunboats of shallow draft to cross the bars at the mouths of rivers. Second, the commander of the squadron, though possessing many excellent qualities, was ill adapted to the service required. Captain W. H. Parker says of him: "I knew Commodore Conner well; I was his aid for some time. He had served with distinction in the War of 1812, and was in the Hornet when she captured the Penguin, where he was badly wounded. He was an educated man and a brave officer; but during the war he always seemed to be too much afraid of risking his men; he lacked moral courage, and would not take the responsibility his position imposed upon him. Consequently he failed."3

The naval operations before Vera Cruz were naturally of much greater magnitude than at any other point. Here the ships covered the landing of the army, and by a very nice piece of organization disembarked 10,000 in one day. Later, a naval battery with guns and men from the ships did excellent service in the attack upon Vera Cruz.

Among the officers who had a minor part in the operations on the Gulf were Farragut and Porter, who were later to win renown, but were as yet unknown. At the outbreak of hostilities both had appointed to the Department for active duty; but although they possessed unusual p223qualifications for service about Vera Cruz, they were kept waiting for several months.

Farragut knew Vera Cruz, for he had served five years in the Gulf, and had been present on the U. S. S. Erie when, nearly twenty years earlier, the French had taken the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa, the chief defense of the city. And it was because he was confident in his knowledge that he wrote to the Department, urging that the fleet early in the war should bombard the castle or attack by escalade4 at night. Knowing the character of the Mexicans, he believed either method of attack would be successful, and he wanted to win honors for the navy. In referring to what he had learned from the operations of the French, he later remarked, "I . . . had taken great pains to inform myself as to the local advantages in attacking the place, measured the depth of water all around the fort, and marked the penetration of every shell from the French ships; . . . in so doing I had not at the time looked forward to a war with Mexico, but I had made it a rule of my life to note these things with a view to the possible future."5 It was just this thoroughness of Farragut that eventually was to enable him to fly the admiral's flag, but in the Mexican War the opportunity for making it tell was denied him. When at length he was given a ship, he was ordered to blockade Tuxpan. There for five months and a half, where nothing ever happened, he remained; and the only enemy he had to deal with was yellow fever, which very nearly proved fatal.

Porter also knew Vera Cruz, for when he was a boy of fourteen his father was commander-in‑chief of the Mexican Navy, and with his father he lived for a while p224in this very Castle of San Juan. It was, however, not until nearly ten months after the beginning of hostilities that his request for active service was granted. He had, in the meantime, submitted to the Department a plan in many respects resembling Farragut's. It provided for the exploding of several cases of gunpowder placed under the bastions of the castle by Captain Taylor, the submarine engineer. Porter had volunteered to rush in through the breach made by the explosion with fifty picked men, and seize the top of the castle.6 The scheme was novel and suggested many difficulties in its operation, but Porter had nerve and knew how effective were surprise and deeds of daring in fighting Mexicans. Porter's plan, like Farragut's, failed to gain serious consideration.

To Porter's great satisfaction, however, he was sent to Vera Cruz in time to take part in the attack. His duty was that of first lieutenant on the Spitfire, Captain Josiah Tattnall, of the "Mosquito Fleet." When the army had been landed, Commodore M. C. Perry, who had relieved Connor, wished to learn the position of the enemy's guns, and directed the Mosquito Fleet to draw their fire. The night previous Porter spent in a row boat, moving daringly about under the enemy's guns in order to take soundings. In morning he acted as a pilot and guided in the Spitfire and the Vixen, each with two gunboats in tow. They advanced to a position between the Castles of San Juan and Santiago and opened fire on the fortifications. In reply, the heavy guns of the forts began a furious cannonade, which if it had been well directed would have sunk the little vessels. Shot and shell splashed around them, but, incredible as it may seem, did practically no harm. The army and the navy looked on breathless and amazed. Commodore Perry p225anxiously signalled a retreat; but Tattnall, following the famous example of Nelson at Copenhagen, told his quartermaster not to look at the flagship and continued the bombardment. At length, Perry sent his fleet captain, Mayo, to the Spitfire with peremptory orders to retire, and was reluctantly obeyed.

The war ended on February 2, 1848, when according to the treaty the United States came into possession of an immense area which included, not only Texas, but the present States of California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. In return Mexico was given $15,000,000 and released from the payment of claims, amounting to $3,000,000, held against her by American citizens.7

Although our naval officers and seamen for several months continued to exhibit courage, resource, and daring, yet the Mexican War cannot be regarded as of great importance in the history of the navy. As the enemy had no force to meet our ships on their element, the army bore a far more conspicuous part. At the same time the navy, through its spirited co‑operation, made possible several victories of the army, the most important of which was Vera Cruz; and for this service gained recognition.

Perry's Expedition to Japan

The acquisition of California opened the way for trade with the Orient. American merchants had already made a beginning, and for some years our whalers had been carrying on extensive operations in the Japanese Sea. The United States earnestly desired friendly relations with Japan for three reasons: 1. To protect our shipping; in stress of weather foreign vessels could not take refuge p226in Japanese ports, and when wrecked on the Japanese coast the crews were thrown into prison. 2. To facilitate trade with Asia; Japan had rich industries, she lay on the route to Cina, and she had deposits of coal of the greatest value to steamers making the long voyages. 3. To succeed where England, France, Portugal, and Russia had failed, for they had long been seeking trade relations in vain.

There were several steps that led up to the opening of Japan. The first was the success that Commodore Lawrence Kearny achieved in China. We had had no legitimate commerce with that country, but when in 1842 Commodore Kearny with the Constellation and the Boston arrived at Macao, he heard of the favorable treaty that England had just obtained from Cina and decided to act at once. Addressing a direct and friendly communication to Viceroy Ke, minor guardian of the heir apparent and governor of two provinces, he asked that the citizens of the United States should "be placed upon the same footing as the merchants of the nation most favored." This he followed up by fearlessly sailing to Canton for an answer. The reply was favorable, and he strengthened the good feeling that had been created, with the assurance that the United States would not protect her merchants caught smuggling opium. Thus it was Commodore Kearny who was largely responsible for a proclamation issued a few months later giving to the United States and other nations the same commercial privileges that had been granted to Great Britain.

Four years later Commodore Biddle with the Columbus and the Vincennes entered Yedo Bay. Nine years earlier the Morrison, an unarmed ship that attempted to land shipwrecked Japanese sailors, had been fired upon by the forts. Biddle was treated with more respect. The Japanese, with a show of great generosity, brought p227him supplies, but they would allow no one to land; and to the offer of friendly intercourse, they replied, "Go away and do not come back any more." In 1849 Commander Glynn with the Preble visited Nagasaki and compelled the release of some American sailors who had been shipwrecked the year before and imprisoned. During this transaction he discovered that the Japanese knew all about our recent victory over Mexico and had been considerably impressed. Returning home he reported that the time was unusually favorable for the United States to try the moral effect of an armed demonstration. A large expedition was accordingly authorized, and to Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, on March 24, 1852, was given the command.

In organizing his squadron Perry encountered many vexatious delays. Had he waited for the twelve ships assured him, he might never have seen Japan. However, the months of waiting were not given entirely to idleness. Charts of Japanese waters were secured from Holland at a cost of $30,000. And, through book collectors in New York and London, Perry gathered all the important literature relating to the Japanese. By these and other means he carefully acquainted himself with Japanese history, customs, and manners.

Commodore Perry sailed from Norfolk, November 24, 1852. On arriving in China, he continued his study and preparation. Finally, when all was ready, he directed his course toward the very heart of Japan. On July 8, 1853, with the steam frigates Susquehanna and Mississippi, towing the sloops of war Saratoga and Plymouth, he moved slowly up the bay of Yedo and dropped anchor off Uraga, a city twenty-seven miles from the capital, Yedo (Tokio). This was the first appearance of a steamer in Yedo Bay; and great was the astonishment of the natives to see the huge ships approaching directly against the p228wind. A cordon of small boats soon surrounded the vessels, and the curious natives caught at the chains and attempted to clamber on board. This and many other liberties had been permitted by foreign ships in the past, but now the Japanese were forcibly given to understand that they must keep off. Perry, in coming to the exclusive nation, had decided fairly to outdo them in exclusiveness, and had given orders forbidding communication with the natives except from the flagship. Even when the Vice-Governor of Uraga appeared in a small boat and an interpreter declared his rank, he was kept waiting until he had explained why he, and not the Governor, had come. p229And when the gangway was lowered and the dignitary came on board, he was by no means permitted to see Commodore Perry. Perry, because of his rank as the great ambassador of the President, would meet no one less than a "counsellor of the Empire" (cabinet minister). However, Lieutenant Contee, acting as Perry's representative, informed the Vice-Governor of the friendly mission on which the Americans had come, and of the letter written by the President to the Emperor, which Commodore Perry would deliver with appropriate formalities. The Vice-Governor's immediate answer was that "Nagasaki was the only place, according to the laws of Japan, for negotiating foreign business, and it would be necessary for the squadron to go there." To this "he was told that the commodore had come purposely to Uraga because it was near to Yedo, and that he should not go to Nagasaki; that he expected the letter to be duly and properly received where he then was; that his intentions were perfectly friendly, but that he would allow of no indignity."8

[image ALT: A map of Japan, with Corea and the Sea of Japan; on it the ports of Hakodadi, Tokio, Yokohama, Simoda, Uraga, Shimonoseki and Nagasaki are marked.]

Japan

Perry had resolved to use force only as a last resort; yet that he might be prepared for emergency he had already cleared the decks and begun drilling the crews as in war. It was indeed a time of uncertainty. Though on the ships all was very quiet that evening, on the shores the blazing of beacon fires from every hill top and the tolling of a great alarm bell gave indication of the tremendous excitement that was rapidly spreading among the people.

At seven o'clock the next morning two large boats that came alongside the Susquehanna brought the Governor of Uraga. Again the exclusive commodore would not deign to treat with an official beneath his rank, but delegated p230Captains Buchanan and Adams to confer with him. The first suggestion from the new conferee was "Nagasaki"; and again this met with an emphatic refusal. The captains said that the commodore "would persist in delivering the letter where he was; and, moreover, that if the Japanese Government did not see fit to appoint a suitable person to receive the documents in his possession addressed to Emperor, that he, the commodore, whose duty it was to deliver them, would go on shore with a sufficient force and deliver them in person, be the consequences what they might." The Governor now requested an opportunity to send to Yedo for further instructions. This he said would require four days; he was informed the commodore would wait only three. Before departing the Governor asked what the ships' boats, busily engaged since daylight in surveying the bay and harbor, were doing. And when he was told he strongly protested, urging that it was against the Japanese law to permit such examinations. The quick reply was "that the American laws command them, and that Americans were as much bound to obey the American as he was to obey the Japanese laws."

Perry was well aware "that the more exclusive he should make himself, and the more unyielding he might be in adhering to his declared intentions, the more respect these people of forms and ceremonies would be disposed to award him. And thus it happened that on the day following the Governor's visit, Sunday, Perry, who from his boyhood up had been careful in Sabbath observance, refused to admit on board his ship several mandarins who had come to make an unofficial visit. If the Japanese had been familiar with the language of their visitors they would have been further edified by one of Isaac Watts's hymns sung in the morning service: "Before Jehovah's awful throne, Ye nations bow with solemn joy."

As can be easily imagined, communications taken p231to Yedo by the Governor of Uraga had the effect of an earthquake. For even if the Japanese were not to be shaken out of their prejudice against foreigners by Perry's friendly purpose, they were tremendously disturbed by his individual firmness and power. They were shrewd enough to recognize that if they forcibly resisted him, he might land, and by dwelling in it defile the Holy Country. They especially dreaded this, because the government was already in an unstable condition and the dynasty in power was threatened with rebellion.

Of this internal disorder Perry had no knowledge. But he was rejoiced by the Governor's returning, on the day appointed, with the answer that the President's letter would be received by an official of superior rank with fitting ceremonies. Almost immediately the Governor proceeded to arrange with Captains Buchanan and Adams, the time, place, and even the minutest details for the formal delivery and acceptance of the letter.

Two days later (July 14), shortly before eight o'clock, the Susquehanna and the Mississippi moved down the bay, and inshore, towards a large and highly decorated reception hall which the Japanese had quickly erected. At a signal from the Susquehanna, 300 officers, sailors, and marines filled fifteen launches and cutters, and with stately procession moved toward the shore. When they had gone half way, a salute of thirteen guns from the Susquehanna began to boom and re‑echo among the hills; this was to announce that the great commodore, the august ambassador of the President, upon whom no Japanese eye had yet been privileged to gaze, was embarking in his barge.

"On the arrival of the commodore, his suite of officers formed a double line along the landing place, and as he passed up between, they fell into order behind him. The procession was then formed and took up its march toward p232the house of reception, the route to which was pointed out by Kayama Yezaiman [the Governor of Uraga] and his interpreter, who preceded the party. The marines led the way, and the sailors following, the commodore was duly escorted up the beach. The United States flag and the broad pennant were borne by two athletic seamen, who had been selected from the crews of the squadron on account of their stalwart proportions. Two boys, dressed for the ceremony, preceded the commodore, bearing in an envelope of scarlet cloth the boxes which contained his credentials and the President's letter. These documents, of folio size, were beautifully written on vellum, and not folded, but bound in blue silk velvet. Each seal, attached by cord of interwoven gold and silk with pendent gold tassels, was encased in a circular box six inches in diameter and three in depth, wrought of pure gold. Each of the documents, together with its seal, was placed in a box of rosewood about a foot long, with lock, hinges, and mountings all of gold. On either side of the commodore marched a tall, well-formed negro, who, armed to the teeth, acted as his personal guard." These negroes, the pick of the squadron, were giants in stature and attracted great attention from the Japanese, who had never seen blacks before. This pomp and parade, carefully planned for effect, seems to have been highly successful.

As Perry and his suite entered the reception hall, magnificent in its hangings of violet-colored silk and fine cotton, two princes, who were seated on the left, rose, bowed, and resumed their seats. They had been appointed by their government to receive the documents, and their dignity was appalling; during the entire interview they sat with statuesque formality uttering not a word nor making a gesture.

[image ALT: A lithograph of a ceremony under a very large tent, the walls of which are painted with trees. A sort of altar is set up in the background, around which about a dozen people are loosely gathered, seated and in long robes on the viewer's left and standing in western dress on the right. A larger number of people stand in the foreground, facing the altar and thus with their backs for the most part turned to the viewer: again, Orientals on our left, westerners on our right. Among the Orientals four figures are stiffly seated on a mat. Between the foreground and the altar area, three shallow steps extending the width of the tent. It is the presentation of a letter from the President of the United States to the Emperor of Japan in 1858.]

From a lithograph by W. Heine, an artist accompanying the expedition

Delivery of the President's Letter

The complete ceremonies occupied not more than a half hour. For some minutes after the commodore had p233taken his seat there was absolute silence, broken finally by the Japanese interpreter asking the American interpreter if the letters were ready for delivery and stating that the princes were ready to receive them. "The commodore, upon this being communicated to him, beckoned to the boys who stood in the lower hall to advance, when they immediately obeyed his summons and came forward, bearing the handsome boxes which contained the President's letter and other documents. The two stalwart negroes followed immediately in rear of the boys, and marching up to the scarlet receptacle [prepared by the Japanese for the letters], received the boxes from the hands of the bearers, opened them, took out the letters, and, displaying the writings and seals, laid them upon the lid of the Japanese box — all in perfect silence."

The commodore then directed his interpreter to inform the Japanese that he should leave in two or three days, but would return the following spring for an answer. When they inquired if he should return with all four vessels, he gave the prompt assurance, "All of them and probably more, as these are only a portion of the squadron." After a further impressive silence, and a repetition of the formal bowing with which the conference had begun, Perry took his departure.

Before leaving the bay of Yedo the Susquehanna had another visit from Yezaiman, Governor of Uraga, who, after being shown over the ship, was urged to remain and see the engine in motion. The interest of the Japanese was keenly aroused and there could be no doubt of the favorable impression produced by this striking example of American inventive genius. Perry advanced farther up the western shore of the bay within ten miles of Yedo, all the whole taking soundings, and again he caused the Japanese evident uneasiness. Then he retraced his course and sailed for China.

p234 While the American ships were wintering in Hong Kong, Commodore Perry had his suspicions aroused by the unusual movements of some French and Russian ships in the vicinity, and he feared lest they were secretly planning a visit to the bay of Yedo, with the purpose of snatching the advantages he had gained. He resolved not to be anticipated; and although navigation in those waters was supposed to be extremely dangerous in winter, he sailed for Japan on the 14th of January, 1854. Entering Yedo Bay with three steam frigates and four sloops of war he steamed twelve miles beyond Uraga, and on February 13 came to anchor twenty miles from Yedo.

Shortly after Perry's first visit, the Japanese Emperor had died. The Japanese officials had sent the Americans news of this while the squadron was at Hong Kong, and had requested that they defer their return as it might create confusion. Perry suspected the genuineness of the report; at least he could see no reason why he should not be near to comfort his new friends in their bereavement. On arrival he was well received, but the Japanese dignitaries who conferred with his captains — for Perry was still playing his rôle of exclusiveness — at once requested that the ships put back to Uraga, where they said preparations had been made to treat with the Americans and to give an answer to the President's letter. Perry, feeling that it would be dangerous to yield in a single instance, replied, through his captains, that Uraga was unsafe and inconvenient for the ships, and further that it was the custom of civilized nations to treat at the metropolis. When the dignitaries continued to insist on Uraga and the captains to refuse, Perry settled the difficulty in a characteristic way. Without warning, he moved the squadron forward until within sight of Yedo. This induced the Japanese promptly to adopt a conciliatory p235tone; they then proposed for the treaty ground Yokohama, almost opposite where the ships were anchored, and this was at once accepted.

On the eighth of March, the day that had been set for beginning the negotiations, the commodore with 500 men and three bands of music, went ashore to the "Treaty House," erected for this especial occasion. At an early stage in the negotiations, the Japanese expressed a willingness to enter into friendly intercourse with the United States, but were seemingly determined to grant nothing. Three weeks of conference followed, and as the commodore continued to show the firmness and dignity that had already won prestige for him and as he kept his men strictly under discipline, the Japanese came to regard their persistent visitors with increasing tolerance.

In the middle of the negotiations Perry delivered to the Japanese the presents that the storeship had lately brought from America, designed especially for this people, and he sent ashore officers and workmen to prepare the gifts for exhibition. Among them were agricultural implements, clocks, two telegraph instruments, three Francis life-boats, and a Lilliputian railway. The last had a locomotive, tender, car, and rails, but was so small that it could scarcely carry a child of six. "The Japanese, however, were not to be cheated out of a ride, and, as they were unable to reduce themselves to the capacity of the inside of a carriage, they betook themselves to the roof. It was a spectacle not a little ludicrous to behold a dignified mandarin whirling around the circular road at the rate of twenty miles an hour, with his loose robes flying in the wind, . . . [clinging] with a desperate hold to the edge of the roof, [and] grinning with intense interest." In return the Japanese brought generous presents of lacquered work, pongee, umbrellas, dolls, and various other things, together with the substantial remembrances p236of 200 sacks of rice and 300 chickens. Then, after this evidence of friendliness, they entertained their guests with wrestling matches between their champions, enormously fat and muscular. Later the Americans received seventy of the Japanese on board the Powhatan and the cook fairly outdid himself in setting forth a dinner which, as the Japanese did not pay much attention to order in eating the various dishes of food loading the tables, is described as the most "confused commingling of fish, flesh, and fowl, soups and syrups, fruits and fricassees, roast and boiled, pickles and preserves"; all of which the Japanese consumed in large quantities, and became fairly "uproarious under the influence of overflowing supplies of champagne, Madeira, and punch, which they seemed greatly to relish."

On Friday, March 31, 1854, Commodore Perry and four commissioners signed a treaty written in the English, Dutch, and Chinese languages. This guaranteed succor and protection to shipwrecked Americans; permission for a ship in distress, or overtaken by storm, to enter any Japanese port; the opening of the ports Simoda and Hakodadi, where Americans could secure water, wood, coal, and provisions, and enjoy, with some restrictions, trade relations.9

Larger privileges were later granted by the treaties of 1857 and 1858. England, quick to follow the advantage gained by the United States, six months after Perry p237(September, 1854), also secured commercial rights, and Russia and Holland were only a few months later. Thus if Perry's expedition had been planned solely for our own commercial profit, there might have been disappointment. But the prestige gained by the American commodore, who had shown himself such an able diplomat, and the honor that came to our nation in having drawn Japan from her isolation, proved an ample recompense.

A similar achievement by an American naval officer, requiring not less skill and patience, was that of Commodore Robert W. Shufeldt in opening up Korea. A previous attempt by Rear-Admiral John Rodgers had resulted in a battle in which 350 Koreans were killed or wounded, but the Korean government would not enter into any negotiations. For four years Shufeldt strove, first through the Japanese, and then through the more friendly Chinese, to reach the Korean King. Finally the high dignitaries in Peking were convinced of the advantages that would result to them if Korea would establish treaty relations with the western powers, and they lent their influence. As a result the long-sought‑for treaty was secured and signed with elaborate ceremony (1882). It was more comprehensive than the initial treaty with either China or Japan. Great Britain, Germany, and other nations were watching, and soon they pressed forward to obtain like treaties. In each case they accepted the American draft as their model.a


The Authors' Notes:

1 Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1846, p378.

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2 Bancroft, H. H, History of California, vol. V.

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3 Parker, Recollections of a Naval Officer, p53.

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4 Escalade: surmounting the walls or ramparts of a fortification by means of ladders or scaling.

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5 Loyall Farragut, The Life of David Glasgow Farragut, p157.

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6 Soley, Admiral Porter, p59.

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7 Cambridge Modern History, VII, 397.

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8 This and the following quotations relating to the opening of Japan are from Hawks's Narrative of the Expedition to Japan. This is the official account, compiled from Perry's notes under his immediate supervision.

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9 An interesting souvenir of Perry's expedition is preserved at the U. S. Naval Academy. It is an ancient bronze bell, said to have been cast in 1168, which was presented to Perry by the Regent of Napha, one of the Lew Chew Islands, a dependency of Japan. Among the many flowery sentences inscribed on the outside, one gave the assurance that if the people would bear in mind to act rightly and truly, and the lords and ministers would do justice in a body, the barbarians would never invade their country.


Thayer's Note:

a This paragraph was added in the 1927 edition; the complex details are given much more fully by C. S. Alden in Makers of Naval Tradition2, pp107‑110.


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