AN HOUR WITH THE JAPANESE.—Through the politeness of C. C. P. Parker,
Esq., custom-house inspector, we had an opportunity, yesterday afternoon,
to visit the barque Auckland, on board of which vessel are seventeen natives
of Japan, picked up by the Auckland nearly five hundred miles from their
native land. They are a fine looking set of people, the oldest seventy
years old. The information we gathered from Capt. W. F. Jennings, and Mr.
H. S. Salters, the mate of the Auckland, was that on the 22d February,
in latitude 31 54 N., and 105 14 E., they discovered a dismastled junk,
which they endeavored to board. Those on board the junk took to their boat,
and were received on board the Auckland. They had been blown off-shore
in a gale of wind, had been dismasted, and their vessel thrown upon her
beam-ends. She was about 600 tons burthen, and was filled with a valuable
cargo. By signs, we gathered that when they were picked up, they had been
at sea nearly fifty days, and were in great distress. Among the articles
which were saved from the wreck, were a sheet containing official documents,
medicines, etc., a chart of the coast of Japan, and a compass, and also
a quantity of coin, gold, silver and copper. They have been treated with
the utmost kindness by Capt. Jennings and the officers and crew of the
Auckland. We are told that they rise at daylight every morning and bathe
in cold water. They worship the sun, moon and wind, and prey [sic] to the
sun regularly each day. One of the men made a drawing of the junk, representing
her under full sail.
We understand that they will be placed on board the revenue cutter Polk
to-morrow or next day, where they will remain until orders with reference
to them are received from Washington. Mr. King, the Collector, has represented
the facts to the President, and it is supposed that an armed vessel will
be despatched to convey these people to their homes. The steam frigate,
Savannah, it is said, is now on the passage from New York to San Francisco,
from which latter port she will proceed to Japan. The effect of the taking
of these people to their homes cannot be predicted with any certainty.
It may be the means of opening a communication with that country. They
came on shore yesterday, for the first time, and appeared to be highly
delighted with all they saw. We believe these men are the first Japanese
who have ever set foot on the American continent. We hope the Government
will provide for their conveyance to Japan as speedily as possible, and
that Mr. King will see that all things necessary are provided them.
The consequences of a communication with Japan may form the subject
of future articles.
Source: Daily Alta California, 17 March 1851, page 2.
The Japanese at the Ball.—The Japanese who arrived here in the
barque Auckland, attended the California Exchange, last evening, in full
native costume. They appeared to be very much pleased with the music and
dancing of the "outside barbarians," and remained till a very late hour,
being feasted and talked to by almost everybody.
Source: Daily Alta California, 20 March 1851, page 2.
San Francisco Genealogy
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