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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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The Japanese Embassy on the Atlantic.


May/June 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 14, 1860.


Arrival at New York and Departure for Washington without going Ashore—The Voyage from San Francisco.

The Japanese embassy by this time is in Washington. We have published full details of their arrival in San Francisco, and the personnel of the company. The voyage from San Francisco to Panama occupied eighteen days. The arrival at New York, on the 10th, has already been reported. The Roanoke reached Sandy Hook about 6 P. M. It has been known for some time that the Government at Washington had changed its programme for the reception of the Japanese, and that the Navy Department had issued orders to have the ship intercepted before she entered this port, and ordered to Hampton Roads, where a steamer, specially chartered for the purpose, is to receive and convey them to Washington. To carry out this plan copies of official dispatches from the Secretary of the Navy were put on board of each of the Sandy Hook pilot boats, with directions to deliver them to Flag-officer McCluney, as soon as the Roanoke should make her appearance off this port. A vessel belonging to the Navy-yard was also detailed to wait at Sandy Hook for the same purpose. Contrary to expectation, the arrival of the ship has been delayed several days longer than was generally expected, and she has come at last at a time, under such circumstances, as to balk in part the designs of the Navy Department. A strong southeast gale prevailed all day yesterday, and the weather outside was very hazy. A large fleet of merchant ships came in from sea, and several of these, when they first made their appearance, were mistaken for the long looked for frigate.

At 3 o’clock P. M. she was first seen by the pilot boat Jane, (No. 1,) steaming in from the southeast, with all her canvas spread. Shortly afterwards Milvamer, one of her pilots, was put on board, she then being some fifty miles off shore. At five and a half P. M. she made her appearance southeast of the Highlands and, upon making the land, she immediately shortened sail. She came in very rapidly under the pressure of steam and canvas. The pilot boat George Steers, with two reporters on board, being already on the way out to meet her. At half past 6 o’clock she passed Sandy Hook, and at 7 o’clock anchored near the Southwest Spit. Here Capt. Elias Smith, a reporter of the New York Times, went on board from the pilot boat George Steers, and delivered to Flag officer McCluney a copy of the dispatches from the Navy Department, which directed that the ship should not enter the port of New York, but proceed at once to Hampton Roads. It is needless to say that this order produced a feeling of profound disgust and disappointment among all the officers of the ship—a feeling which was generally shared by the crew. The Japanese, it is said, approved of the arrangement of allowing them first to see the President and the officers of the Government. Their time in the country is to be very limited.