Thursday, June 17, 2010

U.S.N. United, One Last Time

This is a picture of a delegation of Japanese government officials and their U.S. Naval escorts at the Washington Navy Yard, 1860. A few years after Commodore Mathew Perry opened Japan to American trade, the two nations signed a formal treaty and exchanged diplomatic credentials for the first time in 1860. The U.S. Navy escorted the Japanese delegation from Japan to San Fransisco on Kanrin Maru with the steamer USS Powhatan and to Washington, D.C. via Panama and Cuba. You can read more about the 150th anniversary of this historic event at the Consulate-General of Japan in New York's website.

To naval historians of the American Civil War, the picture shows just how gut wrenching the war would become as brother officers would have to fight against each other. Half of the officers in this picture would "Go South" less than a year later. Notable officers in this picture are David Dixon Porter (fourth from the left, wearing the straw hat), Samuel DuPont (center, wearing the top hat), and Franklin Buchanan (center, next to DuPont).  A complete listing of the officers can be found at the NHHC's website.

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