Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Nagasaki, Japan, 1860-1906

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Retrieve imperfect matches to accommodate spelling variations or approximate spellings sometimes found in historical documents.


Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Nagasaki, Japan, 1860–1906

This collection consists primarily of despatches addressed to the State Department by U.S. consular officials at Nagasaki, Japan, between January 2, 1860, and July 28, 1906.

Nagasaki was one of the Japanese ports opened to the United States under the terms of the Harris Treaty of July 1858. Britain and other nations secured similar trade and diplomatic privileges in Japan, and a multinational settlement was soon established at Nagasaki Interspersed throughout the collection are such documents as occasional memoranda prepared by other State Department officials, letters from officials of other departments of the U.S. government and officials of the Japanese government, communications from American private citizens, and English-language news clippings.

Subjects to which the despatches relate include trade and market information; the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM); Japanese cultivation and production of rice, silk, cotton, sugar, oranges, and U.S. wheat; U.S. extraterritoriality; catastrophic typhoons and floods; the inadequacy of customs facilities; labor and wages in Japan; the Japanese tobacco trade; Japanese emigration to the U.S. Pacific coast; harbor improvements; and treatment of seamen.

Some despatches are covering letters for enclosures of a routine nature forwarded by consular officials to the State Department, such as reports on consular fees received and trade. In accordance with departmental policy adopted in 1870, most statistical enclosures were removed from their covering letters and distributed among other records of the State Department or sent to other departments of the U.S. government.

Collection Facts

Date Range:
8 manuscripts; 1,422 items; 4,809 pages
Source Institution:
National Archives (United States)
Foreign steamships in Nagasaki, Japan.
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