The US mission to China in 1843 was more than an isolated policy of opening relations with a foreign country-it was about access to an entire market that would reposition the spatial order of the earth. This development in plan and in action went beyond the negotiations of a single treaty with a single country; it encompassed the entire region.
Cushing had articulated as much in his private correspondence with President Tyler when he warned of British intentions in the Pacific. In the same breath in which Cushing suggested immediate steps be made to send a mission to China, he also said that upon successful negotiations with China the envoy ought to sail to Japan and preempt British designs by being the first to secure a diplomatic treaty with that country. 142
Prior to the Opium War, Americans had sought the opening of Japan in the spirit of accessing markets after being expelled from the British mercantile system. Here the US government did come to assume a positive role as early as 1815. The difference in the case of Japan compared with China was that the Japanese offered no avenues of trade with the outside world. Whereas the Chinese allowed trade through Cantont the Japanese had shut themselves off from foreign commerce and interaction since the early seventeenth century and rebuked all attempts by merchants to visit their portst allowing only the Dutch to carry on a meager and strictly regulated trade at Nagasaki. Not until after the Opium Wart howevert with the now articulated need of action by the US government to establish an American presence in the regiont did consideration in earnest begin to open Japan. While speculation on the Japan market did entertain Americanst it was really the desire to integrate Japan into the forming American spatial ordert and the rivalry with Britain for the Pacific trade that gave urgency to such a mission. In the mid to-late 1840s and early 1850s the US began to establish steam lines to carry communications and passengers to important destinations around the globe. Through steam routes from East Asia to North America and then onto Europe the US saw the ability to control intelligencet transportation and commerce. Such technology would put the US at the center of the earth andt in the words of one US senatort "make New York to what London now is to the great settling house of the world.“143 In order to create the steam route from the American west coast to China a coaling station was needed. Japan possessed of the necessary resource, and directly on route to Shanghai, stood positioned to fulfill this role.
Unlike the China mission however, no single event or factor can explain the motivation for the Japan mission and why it occurred when it did. In the late 1840s and early 1850s a general consensus had formed in America on Japan and the action needed to be taken by the US government. From all sides of the debate-merchants, whalers, transportation investors, politicians, the Navy-voices pointed to the necessity for one reason or another to open Japan to American commerce and interaction by entering into direct diplomatic relations with that country. What this myriad of voices did have in common however, and the theme that knitted them together in the fabric of an expedition to Japan, was the idea of American spatial order of the earth, and the systems and institutions that would build this order. Under this general sentiment, the spark for positive government action came when the British press, reflective of public opinion, began a systematic campaign in the late 1840s to open Japan, and British diplomats began to draw up plans to realize this opening; Americans once again felt the threat and rushed to move before the British did and be the first to open Japan; to set the terms of interaction of that country with the West, giving America primacy and thus order. So it was that at this time, in the summer of 1851 that Daniel Webster, again Secretary of State, now under President Millard Fillmore, drew up instructions to send a mission to Japan and negotiate a treaty on behalf of the United States.
Like the treaty of Wangxia, the opening of Japan by Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1854 stands as a focal point of early US foreign policy. The Perry's mission aimed at and succeeded in throwing open an isolated Japan to the commerce of the world, convinced Japan to welcome shipwrecked sailors and laid the grounds for a merchant base to access the China market. As the US worked to reinvent interaction with Asia in terms of the Pacific trade running through the American continent the incorporation of the Japan islands into the global commercial system by Americans own design strengthened the US hand. Unlike the case of China however~ the US initiated the first treaty with Japan and thus set the terms by which this Asian country would interact with the world. This not only gave American merchants an advantage of primacy but also allowed the US to shape the relationship to its liking and gain greater control over the Pacific and the Pacific markets.
Research on the Perry mission to date (november 2007) has focused on creating a narrative of the Japan mission. Not surprisingly Perry's own account of his expedition Narrative of the Expedition to the China Seas and Japan, which was compiled by Francis Hawks with Perry's notes and under the Commodore's instruction, together with a number of transcripts and reports from the contemporary Congress, has formed the basis of not least of all, the academic analysis on the mission.144 Overwhelmingly historians have drawn on a few passages from these sources to explain the origins of the mission.145 A paraphrasing of the narrative goes something like this: 'American whalers who had been frequenting Japanese waters since the early nineteenth century were in need of ports of refuge and supplies. Compounding this requirement was the acquisition of the Oregon Territory and California in the late 1840s, which gave the US a new expansive coastline and at least four good Pacific harbors. With the discovery of gold in California, thousands of Americans began to populate the West coast. A new Whig president in office sought to expand US trade, and his Secretary of State and Secretary of the Navy were towering individuals with purpose of mind to penetrate the Pacific markets with steam powered ships. Japan, standing on the edge of the Pacific and rich in coal, was desired as a refueling depot for steam powered ships, and needed to be persuaded to open its harbors to American trade.' This reasoning, in some type of rhetorical or polemic variation can be found in Hawks, a few reports and speeches by Congressmen, and some newspapers and journals of the day.146 These sources and the explanation provided have remained the lynchpin for historians moving their narrative from recognizing Japan, to interest in the island, to positive action.
To be sure, historians have done a fine job of telling this story of Perry and the Japan mission-of recreating the narrative of the mission's inception to its success, complete with details about the Commodore's habits of command. But lacking in the often told story is a deeper understanding of what the opening of Japan meant to Americans of the day. Discussion of a Pacific steam route, for example, cannot be read simply as an explanation for opening Japan, but must be seen in the context of the day of establishing a network of trade, penetration into Asia, and international rivalry. Read in this manner, Japan appears in the historical record as but a piece of a larger regional-and even global-strategy. This is the greater story that the sources tell but is rarely recognized in the historical literature. The acquisition of the West coast, the movement of people, the patrolling of the Pacific, the individuals who formed East Asia policy, are all but parts to the larger picture of US activity. Viewed this way the horse returns to its position in front of the cart, or in our case, pretensions of global dominance precedes the land based empire.
The historical literature on the opening of Japan generally takes the event as a microcosm in and of itself, settling on a narrow frame of reference, which allows the construction of a linear causal link in the narrative, and which, by default, hinders any broader analysis of the true desires of the US government in its decision to play a positive role in forcing the Japanese government to open the island to trade and interaction. The literature further fails to explain why the US did so at this particular moment in history.
In the words of one historian after outlining the plight of whalers and the acquisition of the West coast: "Whatever the case, at some point in 1850, Commodore Perry began to outline a plan for a major diplomatic undertaking.“147 Through the use of such mechanisms, the historical narratives focus on the story telling, the causality of events, and the individuals involved. The narratives do not attempt to explain how the events or people are quilted together, or the greater meaning or strategies behind the seemingly straightforward foreign policy decision. What these narratives do do is recount the failed attempts to open Japan prior to Perry, and then tell of the arrival of majestic individuals who strut onto the scene in 1850, and who, through their prescience, willpower, and genius, succeed where others had failed.
Much like the Cushing mission, Tyler pennett's Americans in Eastern Asia has served as the basis of modern scholarship on the Perry mission. Published in 1922, Americans in Eastern Asia is very much a product of its time. Relying on the outcome of the policies of individual diplomats and officials, the work is thick with official documents and thin on analysis, giving absolute agency to the men who spoke for history, and little primacy to the trends of the times which informed these men's decisions and desires. Dennett reads the historical record as a collection of interests and failed attempts to open Japan, and then the successful acts of one man, Perry, which led to the accomplishment of the mission. Dennett dutifully notes the rise of the whale industry and the increasing need to repatriate shipwrecked sailors and to find ports of refuge for American ships. He embodies the push for markets in an American merchant's ceaseless proposals for a Japan mission. Dennett does justice in one paragraph to the need for coal and a coaling station in the East, and hinges the cumulative effort by Americans in the early 1850s on the settlement of the West coast and the discovery of gold in California.148 This "an created an atmospheric condition favorable to still further adventures," Dennett wrote, continuing with a truism that ..the times were quite different" in 1850 than they were of decades past. And therefore the Perry mission. 149
Subsequent scholarship has kept Dennett's basic interpretations and moved to fill in more story in greater detail. Peter Booth Wiley' s Yankees in the Land of the Gods follows Dennett's theme and only adds more story to the narrative. In exhaustive detail and with liberal historical imagination Wiley tells the tales of shipwrecked whalers and the intimacies of the personal lives of commodores and the glory of steamships. He remarks on Perry's close ties with New York merchants and his role in supervising the construction of new steamships. The significance of such a connection, however, Wiley does not tell, and when it comes time to explain the impetus for the mission, Wiley resorts to the practice of his predecessors and lists the events. Similarly, John Schroeder, in his biography of Perry, writes of the US expansion westward in the late 1840s and the logical move across the Pacific. For Schroeder, President Fillmore, Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Naval Secretary William Graham came into office in 1850 with desires to expand trade. Perry thus "responded to the nation's growing interest in Japan," and the mission was born.150 Likewise, the editors of the Papers of Daniel Webster draw the reasoning for the mission to having obtained the West coast and the natural desire to build a steam line across the Pacific, at which time Webster and Fillmore, ''resolved to send a mission to that secluded country.“151 The editors conclude that coal was the reason for opening Japan.
In all of these accounts the said authors give absolute agency to one man, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, or, at best, include Secretary of State Daniel Webster and Secretary of the Navy William Graham as fellow conspirators. Such analysis stems from a traditional school of scholarship on diplomatic history in which a president or secretary's policies are analyzed and judged as the movers of history. More immediate to the historiography of US East Asia policy, Dennett's influence is again unmistakable. His chapter on the opening of Japan is aptly titled "Commodore Perry's Policy" and focuses-to no surprise-exclusively on Perry. Dennett summed up his philosophy of diplomatic history with the statement: "American policies in Japan, as in China, were largely personal.“152 Scholarship on the mission has predominately followed this lead.
The challenge then, is to deduce the true desires of these men who made policy and played an active role in shaping history. Instead of interpreting the might of their character and the resolve of their spirit as some innate driving force that separates them from other men of their day or that propels them to do great things where others demure, we must ask what led these actors to make the decisions they made and to act in the ways that they did. This is not to deny the role these men played, but rather to understand from a position of greater clarity what drove them to do what they did. That is, we must abandon the subject as the ultimate historical cause and look to a broader framework and trends that mayor may not have informed the agent, but certainly framed the world within which the agent operated. 153
The historiography we have, therefore, fails to take us beyond the story of the Japan mission and into a deeper analysis of why it happened and what it meant. The scholarship is limited to the mission itself within the single context of the Japan mission in the early 1850s. (To be fair, the literature has tried to do nothing more.) Yet in order to understand what drove contemporary Americans' interest in Japan and why it was enough for the US government to intervene positively, we must look at the role Americans wanted their United States to play in the world and the spatial order they had set about to reconstruct. We must understand the importance of Japan in context of the American nomos and what the island meant to the new spatial order of the earth. Primary sources relating to those involved and the sentiment at the time of the Japan mission cannot be separated from the larger goals of the US in Asia and the world. It thus becomes necessary to reintegrate the events of the Japan expedition back into US foreign policy of the day and the narrative of US spatial order. Once we see Japan and the mission sent to open it not as an event in and of itself but as an integral piece to larger desires of Americans, then the world order that the US built over the course of its history become clear.
owing to their own history, Americans believed that all nations have the right
to self-determination and decide its own course. This led Americans to regard
Japan like the American Indians, as peoples living outside of the law of
nations and undeserving of civilized treatment. Under this logic, the US gave
itself the right to use military threats, or to use force in order to bring
Japan and the Japanese into the "natural" order of things.
Claude Phillips did a similar outline of holistic factors contributing to the origins of the mission in his 1956 article ''Some Forces Behind the Opening of Japan." Whereas Neumann focused on the ideological reasoning, Phillips took up the material forces, arguing that various commercial trends in contemporary America led to extensive Congressional debates on extending commercial relations with other countries. In the case of Japan, Congressmen and their constituents believed that Japan possessed a worthwhile market that could be a profitable outlet for American agriculture products. Phillips outlined the business interests pressing for government action since 1837, and the culmination of these demands bringing the issue to greater and greater prominence through continued lobby. Congressmen ultimately took up the call and voiced their own concern about opening the Japan market.
Although Japan never held the allure of the markets of China, the fact that Japan lay closed to the outside world led to a good deal of mystique and speculation about the riches of the island. Americans first explored Japanese waters in 1788 when whalers sailed the north Pacific. Within thirty years the fertile waters of the Pacific had produced five grounds for American fishing men, and in 1843 over one hundred whaling ships sought out the small circle between the fifty-first and fifty-sixth degrees of north latitude.154 In 1847, American whaling vessels in the Pacific exceeded six hundred, giving employment to over twenty thousand men. This far outweighed the number of merchant vessels calling on ports in the Pacific and East Indies, which amounted to only 181.155 In the summer of 1848 American whaler Captain Roys sailed north of Japan to fish and brought home tales of success, which inspired 154 whale ships the next year to sail forth and bring home 206,850 barrels of whale oil and 2,481,600 pounds of bone. In 1850, 144 American ships of larger stock brought home 243,680 barrels of whale oil and 3,654,000 pounds of bone. "In these two years," Navy Secretary William Graham remarked, "more American seamen were engaged in that small district of ocean than are employed in our whole navy at anyone time.',IS6 By the 1850s, estimated annual worth of whaling in the North Pacific waters was estimated at $7 million, employing some 18,000 men on 700 ships, outnwnbering the rest of the world's whaling fleets put together. Such a presence led to Hennan Melville's novel Moby Dick, in which he wrote of Japan: "If that double-bolted land, Japan, is ever to become hospitable, it is the whale-ship alone to whom the credit will be due; for already she is on the threshold.“157
Whalers had unsuccessfully attempted numerous times to obtain supplies from Japan, and shipwrecked sailors found themselves at the unwelcome mercy of Japanese captors, but none of these whaling expeditions attempted to trade directly with Japan. In 1791 the first American ship sailed into Japanese ports and requested permission to trade. On his way to China peddling furs from the Oregon territory, John Kendrich hoped to test the Japanese market. Refused entry and driven off he did not try again nor press the matter. Americans took part in the Dutch monopoly during the Napoleonic war, however. Due to the English prowess of the European continental commerce, the Dutch hired Americans as neutrals to carry trade in and out of Japan. When the wars ended in 1807, however, the Dutch took back the trade and cut out the Americans. Some three decades later the American traders Olyphant and Company based in Guangdong (Canton) sent their ship the Morrison to Japan to request trading privileges. As missionary Wells Williams, who sailed with the Morrison, wrote, "Free trade begets a free interchange of thought; with the goods, the civilization and Christianity of foreign nations will extend.,,158 Although the Morrison carried Japanese shipwrecked sailors to repatriate, the Japanese refused the ship entry and fired warning shots driving the American merchants away. 159
American reports in the first half of the nineteenth century exhibited wide speculation on the worth that prospective trade with Japan could bring. US Consular at Batavia Jolm Shellaber wrote in the 1830s of the benefits of opening trade with Japan, including an annual tonnage of 5,000 amounting to $300,000.160 Twenty years later the New Orleans Journal De Bow's Review reported the Japan market was worth $200 million annually-surprising growth considering the country was still closed to the world. 161 Other American press quoted the more realistic British United Service Magazine as saying that "What [Japan] trade would really be, it is impossible, a priori. To determine, because we neither know with certainty the population of the empire, nor the extent of its resources.“162
Following the opening of more ports of trade with China in 1844, a type of market fever gripped Americans. The Secretary of the Navy, John Kennedy, reported to the Senate in 1853 that US trade with China "must necessarily increase," and that the "same causes which produce this increase must augment our trade with the continent of Asia and the islands of the Pacific." Kennedy continued to say that, "These consequences are so apparent and inevitable that it is not deemed necessary to repeat what has been so often said in relation to the trade here referred to.“163 In addition to the China market, which would rescue the south from its cotton glut, the other markets of East Asia also held promising allure, and led to vast discursive speculation. Japan stood in prominent view of Americans in these debates. As Commodore Biddle wrote to Navy Secretary George Bancroft in 1846, "the supply of American cotton in Japan may, perhaps, become equal to the demand."I64 Com too was viewed as a commodity which the Japan market would consume.165 Congressman Pratt took the debate to the House floor pontificating on the Japanese population "exceeding fifty millions, (about thrice as numerous as the whole population of the United States)" and the great strength of Japanese industry "comparable with that of the Chinese." Although Pratt noted that foreign trade remained forbidden, he pointed out that "the internal commerce of Japan is very extensive," which, if the US could tap, would yield forth great wealth.166
Americans viewed the Japan market as a natural right to access. Ideologically, trade was not a choice but something open to and deserved by all, and which would serve the greater benefit of humanity. These views were prominently expressed for the American public in the spring and summer of 1852 by both the Whig and Democratic parties in extensive articles in their respective journals. The article "Japan," published in the Democratic Review of April 1852, opened with a long discursive on free commerce and the ills of a despotic system that kept its subjects trapped in tyranny and locked out from the wider world. Such a system, the editors continued while still employing an ambiguous and abstract tone lacking a subject, defies "a natural right which every being possesses...that of traffic with any other being who will trade with him." Should a legal bind governing the rules and stipulation of trade not yet exist between two countries then "all our citizens retain their natural right to trade with the citizens of such nation."
Indeed, "if no treaty exists, then my natural right claims full force." This means, by ideological definition of the understanding of the term, and inherit in being, that "every citizen of our country has a natural right to convey his goods to the ports of another country, and trade, if he can." However, for a state that closes itself off to the world and denies "the right" of trade and intercourse with others, "denies them every good which lies beyond their borders, and chains them to a routine of unnatural and soulless customs and traditions." The journal then directly referred to such a state as Japan by name, the article continued to provide for its readers a detailed description of a Japanese government enacting "a system of espionage, distrust, and hatred in society, sanguinary Draconism in law, and arbitrary distinctions in rank." This government kept its people in "a most unnatural and repugnant system of political and social coercion; that, naturally a trading nation, they are debarred from extended trade." For such reasons the Democratic Review argued, the opening of Japan ''is demanded by reason, civilization, progress, and religion." 167
Echoing similar sentiments, the American Whig Review published a similar article two months later with the title "Japan-the Expedition" arguing that the "Japanese can be brought into commercial and friendly relations with other nations." Like their partisan counterparts, the editors here decried the Japanese as "a rude, intractable nation; selfish, unsocial, and uninteresting." Important for the Whigs was the freedom of commerce and allowing enterprising American merchants to have free reign of the sea and to trade with whomever they may desire. To this end the Review quotes Secretary of State Daniel Webster's instructions for the opening of the country: "steps should be taken at once to enable our enterprising merchants to supply the last link in that great chain which unites all nations of the world.,,168 Although lacking the theoretical discursive of the Democratic Review, the American Whig Review article maintained a similar moralizing tone and proselytizing discourse about the natural rights of free trade and the demonism of the Japanese system of government.
Given their righteous understanding of this natural right, it followed for Americans that free trade begat liberalism and civilization.169 "It is the mission of commerce to civilize the world," said Senator Miller of New Jersey in 1852. "It is commerce, aided by steam, that is to carry those principles of liberty and enterprise which have given this country its prominence and its glory throughout the world to the other races and nations of mankind.“170 Should Japan open its harbors and cease its practice of ''unnatural seclusion", then, Americans of the day argued, all the evil practices and institutions that have oppressed the Japanese people, the "cruel feudal regulations oppressing the peasantry, degrading servitude fettering the nobles, utter contempt visited upon the merchants, arbitrary laws impeding agriculture, joined with a sanguinary code of laws, a vagabond priesthood, a corrupt police, and a thousand debasing superstitions," as expressed in the Democratic Reivew, all these uncivilized ways of a nation "out of the pale" would be transformed. 171
For Westerns of the day, such developments were certainly in the best interests of the world, and justified the use of force if necessary. In the words of Commodore James Glynn in early 1851, if ''They won't willingly comes to terms-make them; we could convert their selfish government into a liberal republic in a short time; such an unnatural system would at the present day fall to pieces upon the slightest concussion."172 Glynn drove this point home in a letter to the president later that year arguing that ''the progress of civilization demands" that Japan enter into relations with the US and the rest of the world, by force if necessary. 173 Or, as the New York Daily Times admonished in early 1852: "Japan has no right to bury her treasures behind her walls, and to imprison her people under the cover of loathing and ignorant superstition...it is the duty of those who know her, even better than she knows herself, to force upon her the dawning of a better day.“174
The spread of these "natural rights" and social and political values were integral to the US project. In view of itself as distinct from Britain, Europe and the rest of the old world, the US world order likewise needed to distinguish itself from that of monarchy, class, commercial regulation, political and social restriction, and most of all the colonial British empire. By propagating itself as the pinnacle of freedom and civilization the US could at once justify its maneuvers to secure markets under contest by force if necessary, and at the same time begin to build a world order based on open trade in lands that it held a superior geographical advantage, and not on subjugation, colonization and exclusion. A new spatial order began to form in the physical act of drawing geographical access based on new legal justifications, and it swirled like the eddies of the black ditch current in the South Japan seas around the China markets and access to those markets.
Yet the Japan market was not the only cause for active engagement with the closed state; in fact, the drive for the Japan market only occupied a peripheral concern in the lager strategic goals of the US for total access and control of the region. In consideration of Japan, the American agenda focused on building an institutional order that would at once secure all the markets of the Pacific and the trade ushering on that great ocean. It would do this through treaties and footholds and funnel trade through the US, and in doing this counter European influence and order. Fast, reliable transportation and communication was necessary. Poised on the Pacific Rim, Japan would complete what Daniel Webster, the Secretary of State in the early 1850s, called "the great chain of being." The US had consolidated the western American coast fulfilling the goal of obtaining the prime ports for access to the China market. With this complete, Americans continued the cause by building more invasive structures that would give them control of the region. The Democratic Review noted in 1852: "It is beginning to be pretty well understood that these coasts are a sort of key to Eastern Asia, and that a commanding influence established upon them by a civilized nation, will give it the sway of the Pacific, and of all benefits which may hereafter flow from a great maritime outlet of Asiatic trade."
But more than that, by opening Japan to American ships under their own terms, the US saw, as expressed in the Democratic Review "a new highway for all the most valuable exchanges of east and west." For the US, then, access to Japan meant putting American "mercantile power in the position of warders to the whole Asiatic continent.“175 This was not a partisan issue, but something that all Americans agreed on as their destiny as they built an empire. The American Whig Review echoed the view when it discussed "The establishment of a steam marine on the California coast, by which the celerity of our commerce with China will be vastly increased, and the influence of the United States extended over the entire East, is vividly suggested by this step towards opening an intercourse with that long-secluded and inhospitable nation of which we have been speaking [i.e. Japan]."Only then, the journal continued, "When this step of progress is consummated, the destiny of the Republic of the United States will but have commenced.“176
In pursuit of these goals, Japan and its geographical position beckoned. Americans saw the need to bring Japan into that "great chain of being" to solidify the emerging US spatial order. Standing at the edge of the Pacific, American ships encountered Japan first on their route to Asia. For Americans, therefore, a port of entry was needed in accessing Asia, as was a reliable supply station for ships coming and going. As Webster's instructions for the opening of Japan read: "The moment is near when the last link in the chain of oceanic steam navigation is to be formed. From China and the East Indies to Egypt, thence through the Mediterranean and Atlantic ocean to England, thence again to our happy shores, and other parts of this great continent; from our own ports to the southernmost part of the isthmus that connects the two western continents; and from its Pacific coast, north and southwards, as far as civilization has spread, the steamers of other nations and of our own carry intelligence, the wealth of the world, and thousands of ttavelers.“177
This opening paragraph in the brief two pages of instructions to the Commodore assigned to open Japan emphasize the US construction of a new spatial order in which Japan, positioned at the edge of an important market, serves as a key link. Although Americans recognized Japan as an important link, it was the introduction of steamship navigation that accelerated the necessity to incorporate this link into Webster's chain. American naval, merchant, but especially mail steamers from San Francisco to Shanghai needed a refueling station in Asia, and Japan was widely believed to be possessed of an abundance of suitable coal. As Webster wrote in the instructions for the Japan expedition: "The interests of commerce, and even those of humanity, demand, however, that we should make another appeal to the sovereign of that country, in asking him to sell to our steamers, not the manufacturers of his artisans, or the results of the toil of his husbandmen, but a gift of Providence, deposited, by the Creator of all things, in the depths of the Japanese islands for the benefit of the human family."178
When Americans went forth to do and Japan open its shores, they did so asking them not to buy American goods, or allow American merchants access to the Japan markets. Rather they went asking only to purchase coal to fuel their hegemonic desires. The rise of the technology of steam driven ships in the early to mid-nineteenth century was akin to the advances in astrological navigation in the fifteenth century. Where the use of chronometers and star maps allowed ships to sail with precise coordinates of longitude, steam allowed a system of regularity and speed in transportation and communication never seen before. Whereas merchants and mail ships once had to rely on weather patterns and fear storms, which could delay transportation by weeks and months, steam powered ships could arrive at their destination within a predictable number of days. Furthermore, the speed of steam could outpace sail by twice as much or more. As David B. Tyler, the historian of steam power, wrote in Steam Conquers the Atlantic, "Steam shrunk the ocean to an eighth of its size in the day of the sailing ship.. .commerce attained a degree of regularity and reliability that rivals transcontinental commerce.“179 More polemical, but ever as apt in catching the mood of the time, Commodore Perry wrote in 1838, "The destines of nations are henceforth to be in a great measure controlled by a power of which steam will be the great governing element.“180
Despite such proclaimed advantages, the US government was slow to accept the benefits of the steamship advancement. In the late 1830s the British and French governments had subsidized steamship ventures and were regularly commissioning steamship construction to carry mail and passengers. 181 The US, however, had not commissioned steam routes and did not support the construction of steam ships. Part of the reason was that Americans made sailing ships of superior quality and was thus reluctant to promote steam. Furthermore, the US had not yet begun to exploit its coal supply, providing an obstacle and a cost that a country like Britain did not face.182 This all added up to the problem of cost; ocean steamships were not profitable unless supported by government subsidy. American capitalist R.B. Forbes found this out firsthand when he built steamships in the mid-1840s to take advantage of the newly opened China ports. His first attempt led to a breakdown and had to rely on sail to return home. The second attempt in 1845 sailed to Bombay and then Hong Kong but was refused opium supplies for trade out of fear that the heat of the steamship would destroy the drug. He later chartered his ship to the US government for use in the Mexican War. 183
American entrepreneurs however had a close relationship with steam. In 1815 steam power for river transportation had begun to be realized, and within two years ten steamboats ran between New York City and Albany, and eight to nine between New York City and New Jersey. That year (1817) an American ship, the Savannah, was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. Making it from New York to London in twenty-nine days and eleven hours. Numerous times over the decades the US government attempted to build war steamers, authorizing construction in 1814, 1829, and 1839, but construction did not commence until 1842 due to lack of funds. 184
By this time the US had begun to notice the rest of the world had outpaced it in steam development. Engineering advances since the Savannah first crossed the Atlantic had halved the time it took to sail from New York to London in the late 1830‘s, making steam travel not only practical but a growing necessity. As President Tyler said in his 1844 annual address: "I cannot too strongly urge the policy of authorizing the establishment of a line of seam ships regularly to ply between this country and foreign ports, and upon our own waters.. . We cannot be blind to the fact, that other nations have already added large numbers of steam ships to their naval armaments, and that this new and powerful agent is destined to revolutionize the condition of the world. It becomes the United States, therefore, looking to their security, to adopt a similar policy.“185
On this initiative the Congress passed a bill in the last days of the Tyler presidency to subsidize steam lines. As the cost of building and maintaining steam still appeared too great for the infant government, and the technology still advancing, the US government opted for policy borrowed from Britain of subsidizing the building of steamships and the routes they would run to carry mail regularly. In the event of war the Navy would purchase the ships and outfit them for battle. The first step taken to achieve this end was the passage of a bill that authorized the postmaster general to contract the carrying of mail to private and foreign companies. Foremost, the mail could be carried by private companies running the steam lines, and in the event of war and the government possession and use of these ships the mail could be contracted out to foreign companies.
On October 4, 1844 the government opened bidding for four steam driven mail routes: transatlantic, Cuba, the Gulf of Mexico, and Panama with an extension to Oregon. 186 By the late 1840s the US had thus begun to build a network of steamers carrying communications around the Western hemisphere. Legislation in early 1847 approved a line from Panama to a port on the western coast of the US, establishing what the Chairman of the House Committee on Naval Affairs, T. Butler King, said afforded "frequent and regular means of intercourse with all places on the American shores of the Pacific.“187 These lines carried regular correspondence to and from ports, as well as encouraged the timely transportation of passengers.
With the establishment of regular steam lines the US spatial order of the earth took on a new dimension, shrinking both time and space. Americans were able to work with this new technology to methodologically extend their influence when possible and solidify it where needed. For the US at mid-century, this meant the establishment of a steamer line across the Pacific. The treaty with China in 1844 and the solidification of American territory on the Pacific coast led Americans to take the next step and carve out footholds in the Pacific and extenuate its control in that region. The recent developments, King said in a report in 1848, "have placed in our power, ultimately, to communicate with China almost as rapidly as we now do with Europe. To accomplish this, however, we must extend telegraphic wires across the continent, and establish a line of steamers from San Francisco or Monterey to Shanghai and Canton."188 This proposed line from China to the western US coast and across the American continent to connect to the steam lines crossing the Atlantic, would cut the time required for communications from Canton or Shanghai to less than half the time required by the overland route, from sixty days to twenty-seven days. Add on the sixteen days necessary for British steamers to sail from Calcutta to Canton, to make forty-three days from Calcutta to London, a few days less than the British line. "We, therefore, have it in our power, ultimately," King wrote, "to establish and control the most rapid means of communication with all India as well as China.“189 But why stop there? In a letter to Senator King, Navy Lieutenant Maury informed him of the ability to use such a line to convey communications "from China, through the United States, to the people of St. Petersburg and Moscow, and, perhaps, at no distant day, to Constantinople also, within 45 days."190
From an intelligence point of view this had its obvious strengths: the US would be able to control the flow of information and receive correspondence and intelligence before its European rivals. From a commercial point of view, this would allow American merchants to relay information and instructions back and forth at a faster rate than before as well as ahead of their competitors. As M.P. Maury, a navy lieutenant wrote to King in 1847, "In the progressive sprite of the age, time has become to be reckoned as money.“191
This point was emphasized by Senator Rusk in 1850 in a report to the Senate on the need to build steamships for the necessity of rapid travel which would beget the accumulation of wealth. ''Where ever facilities of rapid travel exist, trade will be found with its attendant wealth... the commercial history of England has shown that mail facilities have uniformly gone hand in hand with the extension of trade." 192 Before his peers in Congress King here emphasized this point of commercial advantage, which would "give the American merchants and manufacturers greatly the advantage of those of Europe, in the means of communicating with correspondents in China." He also continued to outline the possibility of passenger transport from China to New York and London, which could take place at the rate of twenty and thirty-two days respectively, "Bringing them to New York in less than one third, and to London in about one half the time now required to pass over the British, or overland route." So great where the prospects of this system of communication and transport that King prophesized that "in a few years, cause the balance of trade with all nations to turn in our favor, and make New York, what London now is, the great settling house of the world.“193
The strategic and commercial goals here articulated by the United States Congressman were embedded in the true desires of Americans and the US government as they sought to impose their order in the Pacific. The nuts and bolts of the new nomos being fonned were bound up in this steam line. As Glynn wrote to New York merchants Holland and Aspinwall, the steamship line across the Pacific is ''the most magnificent and perhaps profitable projects that has ever entered the mind of a practical man-that of diverting the commerce of half the human family from its foreign channels into the bosom of his own country. The steam line between Asia and America is by common consent considered the very foundation of this splendid structure.“194
This idea swirled in the mind of many Americans. The US stood poised to capture the riches of East Asia and the commerce of Europe as goods flowed across oceans and through the American continent. The transpacific steam line shuttling goods to and from the shores of America would allow the US to capture the commerce and trade of transport and finance, enriching its people and thus the country. Here indeed, as Francis L. Hawks wrote in the Narrative of the Expedition to the China Seas and Japan in 1856, "our continent must, in some degree at least, become a highway for the world.“195
In the Congress, King's oratory and report led to a series of joint resolutions in May 1848 by both Houses to establish lines to steam the Pacific from California to China, and California to Hawaii. Citing "extensive and rapidly increasing commerce" on the Pacific, the primary resolution noted the necessity to provide the means of frequent and timely communication with whaling vessels in Hawaii and the principal ports in China. The Congress thus directed the Secretary of the Navy to employ one war steamer to transport mail and passengers from a port in California to Hawaii and back once a month, and a line of three or four war steamers to proceed once a month from a port on the US west coast to Shanghai and then onto to Canton. 196 In a corollary resolution, the Congress authorized the Secretary of the Navy to establish coal depots to supply the said steamers. 197
As the matter of the establishment of a Pacific line was discussed, the issue of coal supply constantly haunted the debate. The US had not tapped its continental coal supplies, nor did it have immediate access to any in the Pacific. For King this did not provide an obstacle even if "the difficulties which may arise in the establishment of depots of coal cannot be foreseen." He proposed that the US tap China, Japan and Taiwan, which he believed would hold abundant coal supplies.198 Others, however, were less sanguine on the prospect of obtaining coal from China or Taiwan, neither of which were known to contain sources of adequate supplies. Due to the New York capitalist Aaron Palmer's research on Asian states not having relations with the US, Japan was widely believed to have an abundance of coal. The convenient necessity of Japanese coal was made all the more appealing because the southern part of Japan lay directly on the shortest line from San Francisco to Shanghai. Palmer was quick to point this out to the Secretary of State in a letter in September 1849, advising him to request permission from the government of Japan to establish coaling stations "at a port or ports in Japan proper."l99 Likewise, Naval Commander James Glynn, in a letter to the owners of the shipping company Howland and Aspinwall, who were, at the time, running the subsidized steam route from Panama to California, wrote „there are, too, I have no doubt, abundance of coals in Japan that could be delivered at a comparatively low cost, in consequence of the very low rate of wages in that country.“200 Having spent two years patrolling the Pacific and paying port call in Japan in order to argue for the release of shipwrecked American whalers, Glynn saw the desirability of Japan as a coaling station and refueling station for American ships sailing the Pacific. "No country in the world is more conveniently separated into sections by the sea," he wrote. Glynn knew the challenge of obtaining supplies and refuge from Japan. "The diplomatic influence of our government will be required to secure the privilege of establishing a depot as well as for the supply of the coal, as I have stated, and it is time that something had been done.“201
In the debate on the American spatial order and linking that spatial order through steam transportation and communication, Americans in the late 1840s and early 1850s came to see the importance of Japan. The country stood at the edge of the Pacific, projecting outwards across the ocean, and controlling maritime access to China's eastern seaboard. Japan would help link the US from its west coast to China and the markets of the Pacific. It was at this time that Americans came to see the importance of steam and the role that it could play in realizing the construction of their new order of the earth. A Pacific route from California to Shanghai and Hong Kong would give the US control of information and economically empower the US, helping solidify not only regional hegemony but global dominance of trade and information. Japan was key to this enterprise because of its position and its natural coal resources. By opening Japan on American terms and using the islands as a coaling station, the US could shore up its hold. Rivalry with Britain added a dimension of urgency to the debates in the US Americans saw themselves in a struggle for power of the earth with Britain. While Britain asserted itself where it so desired with force and pomp, Americans had not the ability to extend themselves and create a military presence in other parts of the world. The US thus attempted to build a system of spatial linkages within which it could maintain influence through a legal system of treaties, contracts and footholds, thereby denying other powers monopoly of markets, and constructing a world order that funneled all commerce and exchange through the space of the United States. East Asia stood as the proving grounds, through which markets and dominance would be won or lost. Here specifically the US kept a close watch on the ''blood-thirsty'' British whose "foreign policy has lost that purity which belongs to ours, and which seems inherent in its very nature; and they are uneasy at the contrast," as the American Whig Review wrote.202
Strategically the US felt threatened and confined by British strength; as if they had been caught napping while their rivals conquered the world and dissected it. Matthew Perry had traveled to England in 1838 in order to asses the extent of British steam development in their naval capacity. His letters back to the US relate the superior advancement by the British in this important regard.203 With more than a bit of alarm, over such developments Congressman King discussed the British naval threat in a comprehensive report to his House colleagues: "The amount of our tonnage on the Pacific and in the China trade is much larger than that of Great Britain, yet she maintains a strong military establishment at her newly acquired posts in China, and a naval force almost equal to our whole navy, and also a large squadron on the west coast of America, with mail steamers conveying passengers and intelligence in all directions, for the protection and encouragement of that commerce, while our government has not, until recently, taken the first step towards placing our merchants on a footing, in these respects, with their British competitors.“204
This statement could be said to sum up the entire debate on steamship navigation and American penetration in Asia. If the US did not act, then someone else would. Or more to the point, if the US failed to act, Britain's hold on its order would strengthen and the ability to secure American interests would come increasingly under threat from its rival. Here Americans found themselves in a double bind of anxiety and threat. As Senator Miller put it before his colleagues in 1852: "The English Government will have the control of the transportation of every letter, and every pound of specie, of passengers, and of most of the freights...then, indeed, we shall be subject to a complete monopoly.“205
Because Britain posed a very real threat to the US, Americans watched British naval capacity and steamship development closely and pushed to check aggressive moves. In a report to the Senate in September 1850, Senator Rusk laid out charts and tables of British steamer construction, and devoted nearly half of his report to intelligence of British ships and the system by which Britain facilitated the building of its ships. "We have beheld England increasing her steam-marine at an enormous expense," Rusk said, and then detailed the pending threat of Britain's steam ships to the US coast. "In carrying out this system, the steam-marine of England has been extended to a limit that startles belief, and suggests to every reflecting mind the propriety, on the part of other and rival nations, of taking steps to guard themselves from the attacks of so overwhelming a force, in the event of a collision with that great power."
Since 1847, Britain had stationed twenty steamers on the US coast, ''which could at a moment's warning have been employed in burning down our cities and ravaging the seacoast.“206 His colleague, Senator Miller, warned again of the British threat two years later, detailing the five routes of the British mail steamers, and emphasized twice in his speech that all sixty-three of these British steamers could be converted into war steamers and used for nefarious purposes. He echoed the sentiments of many of his Congressional colleagues, his merchant constituents, and the Navy when he said, "England is plowing the oceans from pole to pole with her mighty fleet of steamers, and sowing the seeds of a commerce and of trade from which she will hereafter reap a harvest such as no nation on this earth ever garnered before. That is her policy. It should be ours. It is our mission.“207
With such inspiration debates over steam competition with the British occupied the Congress in the early 1850s, as representatives constantly took up the issue of funding for a merchant marine. Rusk had made steam his issue and promoted its importance to no end. In a separate report to the Senate in order to gamer more funds for the construction of steamships Rusk outlined the historical necessity of steam: "In this way the commercial interests of the United States were, on the one hand, entirely at the mercy of British steamers which plied along our southern coast, entering our ports at leisure and thereby acquiring an intimate knowledge of the soundings and other peculiarities of our harbors-a knowledge which might prove infinitely injurious to us in the event of a war with Great Britain; and on the other, of a foreign line of ocean mail steamers, which, under the liberal patronage of the British government, monopolized the steam mail postage and freights between the two countries. Under such a state of things, it became necessary to choose whether American commerce should continue to be thus tributary to British maritime supremacy, or an American medium of communication should be established through the intervention of the Federal government, in the form of advances of pecuniary means in aid of individual enterprise."
Rusk continued in warning that it had become impossible for American merchants to compete against their British counterparts so aided by their government. Indeed, for Rusk, "American interests were becoming every day more and more tributary to British ascendancy on the ocean." Such a phenomena affected not only American merchants but was contextualized in the perspective of the entire nation and the order of the earth. Rusk again spelled out the alarm: "Great Britain was exerting herself, successfully, to make the United States, in common with the rest of the world, tributary to her maritime supremacy. She possessed the monopoly of steam connection between the United States and Europe, the West Indies and South America. There was not a letter sent by ocean steam conveyance, in these quarters, which did not pay its tribute to the British crown, and not a passenger nor parcel of merchandize transported, by the agency of steam, upon the ocean, which did not furnish profit to the British capitalist. Great Britain asserted her right to be the 'queen of the ocean,' and, as such, she levied her imports upon the industry and intelligence of all of the nations that frequented that highway of the world." This necessitated the full backing of an expanded steam marine by the US government: "The question is no longer whether certain individuals shall be saved from loss or enabled to make fortunes, but whether the American shall succumb to the British lines, and Great Britain be permitted to monopolize ocean mail steam transportation, not only between Europe and America, but, through the world.“208
In the context of this rivalry with Britain, the subsidization of mail steamers also met the contingency of warships in addition to establishing communication lines and probing regions in US spheres of interest Lacking the funds to build a steam navy the US would subsidize its building in the construction of dual-use steamers. As the Secretary of the Navy said in the late 1840s, "steamers shall be so constructed as to be easily convertible into war steamers," This meant that the Navy Department would "at all times exercise control over them, and shall at any time have the right to take them for the exclusive use and service of the United States.“209 In order to meet this requirement the steamers subsidized by the government on mail lines were to be built of larger capacity and with platforms to accommodate large guns. This would allow the US to maintain a check on "the temper of the times," according to Senator Rusk, which "requires that we shall keep pace with the rapid improvements of other nations, commercially and militarely.”210
In East Asia, the urgency was not diminished. The US feared British control of intelligence and commerce in the Pacific due to the strength of its navy and mail steamers. As Navy Secretary John Kennedy warned in 1853, "The numerous lines of English mail-steamers place in the hands of Great Britain almost an entire monopoly of the wealth of the East.,,211 All mail out of the Pacific ran through London, either by overland route through India, or by sea around the African cape. Such control enabled British merchants and officials to receive information before their American counterparts. Furthermore, the threat of severed communication lines due to hostilities between the powers constantly haunted the Americans. In addition to this, British coaling stations around the region overwhelmed the US. The English held what were seen to be the most important points in the East India and China seas: Hong Kong, Singapore and Borneo.
With these possessions Britain had "the power of shutting up at will, and controlling the enormous trade of those seas," according to Commodore Perry. From these bases Britain could patrol the seas and regulate or control what came in and out, set the terms of engagement, or even choose to colonize the region and refuse trade and commerce from any outside of the British mercantile system. Even as it stood, Britain controlled the major coal depots in Singapore and Hong Kong, and had set the terms of interaction with China, considered to be the largest untapped market on earth. Indeed, as Perry wrote in his Narrative: "When we look at the possessions in the east of our great maritime rival, England, and of the constant and rapid increase of their fortified ports, we should be admonished of the necessity of prompt measures on our part." Fortunately the Japanese and many other islands of the Pacific are still left untouched by that gigantic power, and as some of them lay in a route of a commerce which is destined to become of great importance to the United States, no time should be lost in adopting active measures to secure a sufficient number of ports of refuge. "Commercial settlements in the China and Pacific seas will be found to be vitally necessary to the continued success of our commerce in those regions."212
For Perry, as for his countrymen, steam navigation and the use of a steam merchant marine and navy in East Asia was vital for the expansion and protection of US interests. Such a system folded into the enactment of the new spatial order of the earth.
142 Cushing to Tyler, Dee 27,1842, Caleb Cushing Papers, box 35.
143 T. Butler King, Steam Communications with China, and the Sandwich Islands. House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 16.
144 Peny, Hawks, and Wallach, Narrative, v. 1, p. 75. S. Ex. Doc 34:33-2 p.5 (1852); S. Ex. Doc. 50:32-1 serial set 619, p. 32; See also, ''Our Foreign Policy," The Southern Literary Messenger, Ian 1850, v. 16, n. 1, p. 1.
145 See W. G. Beasley, Great Britain and the Opening of Japan, 1834-1858 (Sandgate, Kent: lapan Library, 1995), 87, Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia, 253, lohn H. Schroeder, Matthew Calbraith Perry : Antebellum Sailor and Diplomat, Library of Naval Biography (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2001), 165, Peter Booth Wiley and Ichiro Korogi, Yankees in the Land of the Gods : Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (New York: N.Y. Viking, 1990).
146 Perry, Hawks, and Wallach, Narrative, v. 1, p. 75. S. Ex. Doc 34:33-2 p.5 (1852); S. Ex. Doc. 50:32-1 serial set 619, p. 32; "Our Foreign Policy," The Southern Literary Messenger, Jan 1850, v. 16, n. 1, p. 1.
147 Wiley and Korogi, Yankees in the Land of the Gods, 79.
148 Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia, 251-253.
149 Ibid., 254.
150 Schroeder, Matthew Calbraith Perry, 165-167.
151 Daniel Webster, The Papers of Daniel Webster: Diplomatic Papers V. 2, ed. Kenneth Shewmaker (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1987),252.
152 Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia, 260. As might be expected from an analysis working off of such a premise, Dennett calls the late 1840s and the 1850s outside of the Perry mission the "Period of Confusion" because no single individual came forth with a single articulated policy stamping direction on the means of micro-interaction with East Asian states.
works appearing around the hundred-year anniversary of the Perry mission did
attempt to remove
agency from the individual and investigate the ideological background of the mission and the forces leading to its inception. William Neumann's 1954 article, "Religion Morality, and Freedom: The Ideological Background of the Perry Expedition," argued that Americans of the day linked commerce and civilization. Neumann thus put the mission to Japan in the light of Americans going forth to "liberate and educate the less fortunate peoples of the world" (p. 247). For Neumann, the Japan mission was as much about civilization as it was about trade, coal, and ports of refuge. Americans saw the isolated Japan existing in an unnatural state, refusing to bow to the divine laws of trade, commerce and interaction, and natural rights that ought to be guaranteed to all. The US, therefore, would free Japan and turn it into a liberal republic.
157 Herman Melville, Moby Dick (New York: Penguin Books, 2003), 119, 121.1
158 Wells Williams, "Narrative of the Morison." Chinese Repository VI (Sept-Dee) 1837).
159 See Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia, 246.
160 Ibid., 245.
161 Claude S. Phillips, "Some Forces Behind the Opening of Japan, " Contemporary Japan 24, no. 7-9 (1956): 434.
162 "Commercial Mission to Japan," Littell's Living Age, v. 25, April, May, June, 1850, p. 551.
163 Report of the Secretary of the Navy, S. Ex. Doc. 49:32-2, serial set 655, p. 2.
164 Biddle to Bancroft. July 31, 1846, Senate Executive Document 59:32-1, p. 65.
165 "Japan," Democratic Review, April 1852, p. 321.
166 House Document 138:28-2.
167 "Japan," Democratic Review, April 1852, p. 322-324, 328, 332.
168 "Japan-the Expedition," American Whig Review, June 1852, p. 515, 513, 514.
169 See also William Neuman, "Religion, Morality, and Freedom: The Ideological Background of the Perry Expedition," Pacific Historical Review 23 (1954).
170 Congressional Globe, 32-1, p. 1166.
171 "Japan," Democratic Review, April 1852, p. 332; "Japan-the Expedition," American Whig Review, June 1852, p. 512.
172 Glynn to Howland and Aspinwall, Feb. 24, 1851, S. Ex. Doc. 59:32-1, p. 62.
173 Glynn to Fillmore, June 10, 1851, S. Ex. Doc. 59:32-1, p. 74.
174 "An Expedition to Japan," New York Daily Times, Feb. 2, 1852, p. 2:1.
175 "Japan," Democratic Review. Apri11852, p. 331.
176 "Japan-the Expedition," American Whig Review. June 1852, p. 515.
177 Webster to Aulick, June 10, 1851, Senate Executive Document 59:32-1, p. 80; Webster, The Papers of Daniel Webster: Diplomatic Papers V. 2, 289-290.
179 David Budlong Tyler, Steam Conquers the Atlantic (New York. London: D. Appleton-Century, 1939), viii. ISO Quoted in Schroeder, Matthew Ca/braith Perry, 63.
181 Tyler, Steam Conquers the Atlantic, 100.
182 Ibid., 122.
183 Ibid., 134, 128.
184 Ibid, 11-16, 137.
186 Tyler, Steam Conquers the At/antic, 144.
187 T. Butler King, Steam Communications with China, and the Sandwich Islands House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 1.
188 Ibid., 10.
189 Ibid., 15.
190 Maury to King, Jan. 10,1847, House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 23.
191 Maury to King, Jan. 10, 1847, House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 24
192 S. Ex. Doc. 50:32-1, serial set 619, p. 17.
193 T. Butler King, Steam Communications with China, and the Sandwich Islands, House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 16.
194 Glynn to Howland and Aspinwall, Feb. 24,1851, S. Ex. Doc. 59:32-1, p. 62.
195 Perry, Hawks, and Wallach, Narrative, 75.
196 House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 17.
197 House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 18.
198 T. Butler King, Steam Communications with China. and the Sandwich Islands, House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 14.
199 Aaron Haight Palmer, Documents and Facts Rlustrating the Origin of the Mission to Japan, Authorized by Government of the United States, May 10th, 1851, and Which Finally Resulted in the Treaty Concluded by Commodore M. C. Perry. U.S. Navy, with the Japanese Commissioners at Kanagawa, Bay of Yedo, on the 31st March 1854 (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1973), 12.
200 Glynn to Howland and Aspinwall, Feb. 24, 1851, S. Ex. Doc. 59:32-1, p. 59.
201 Glynn to Howland and Aspinwall, Feb. 24, 1851, S. Ex. Doc. 59:32-1, p. 62.
202 "Japan-the Expedition," American Whig Review, June 1852, p. 513:1
203 Peny to [illegible], Jul 8, 1838, Perry Papers, correspondence, Library of Congress manuscript division.
204 T. Butler King, "Steam Communications with China. and the Sandwich Islands." May 4, 1848, House Report 596:30-1, serial set 526, p. 13.
205 Congressional Globe 32-1, Apri122, 1852, p. 1167.
206 S. Ex. Doc. 50:32-1, serial set 619, p. 17,20.
207 Congressional Globe 32-1, Apri122, 1852, p. 1166.
208 Senate Report 267:32-1, serial 631, p. 2,4,6-7.
209 S. Ex. Doc. 50:32-1, serial set 619, p. 55.
210 S. Ex. Doc. 50:32-1, serial set 619, p. 26.
211 Report of the Secretary of the Navy, Feb. 22, 1852, S. Ex. Doc. 49:32-2, serial set 655, p.2.
212 Perry, Hawks, and Wallach, Narrative, v. 2, p. 179.