Delivery of the President's Letter

Click the picture for image
of complete lithograph

After much negotiating, July 14, 1853 was established as the date that Commodore Perry would deliver the letter from President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan. The letter was received by Toda Izu no kami, Toda, Prince of Izu, and Ido Iwami no kami, Ido, Prince of Iwami who where actually representatives of Shogun Tokugawa Iesada, the de facto ruler of Japan and not Emperor Komei, the de jure ruler of Japan. The letter from President Fillmore requested protection for shipwrecked American seamen, the right to buy coal, and the opening of one or more ports to trade. The ceremony must have been quite an event. Over 500 US Sailors and Marines were on hand as well as over 5,000 well-armed Japanese soldiers. Click here to read Commodore Perry's account of the events.

This lithograph shows the reception hall and the dignitaries from both sides gathered for the occasion. The letter was received and then Commodore Perry was tersely informed "As this is not a place wherein to negotiate with foreigners, so neither can conferences no entertainment be held. Therefore, as the letter has been received you can depart." After a long silence Commander Perry stated he was leaving but would return the next Spring, perhaps in April or May. When asked if he would return with the four vessels, Perry responded "All of them ... and probably more."

The titles/lettering read:

  • W. Heine (Type I, Missing on Type IA)
  • T. Sinclair's Lith Phila

Very clean lithograph. Left edge brown.

Landscape Format

Page Size (cm): 28.7x22.3cm

Image Size (cm): Width-23.5, Height-15.9, Diagonal-28.4


Attribution: This lithograph has been positively confirmed to be from the Beverley Tucker, Senate Printing (1856), of the Narrative.

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Perry Expedition to Japan Books & Lithographs