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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO
From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 21, 1860.
THE JAPANESE IN WASHINGTON.
At last, the Japanese Embassy has been presented to the President. They were received, we are told, with great pomp-so great, indeed, that we fear their previous information and notions of our Republican simplicity will be sadly disturbed by what they see. A delicate courtesy has been evinced towards these people by the selection of rooms fitted up with every peculiarity calculated for their pleasure, amusement and comfort, and even a quiet nook provided where they can if they choose, erect a shrine for religious worship. These attentions from our Government will, in a measurer repay the Japanese for their reception of our Consul General in their own Empire, and can hardly fail to leave a favorable impression upon their minds. The visit must be productive of excellent results. Differing from them as we do in manners and habits they will very probably be surprised at some of our institutions. The record of the Embassy when they return will be like the dream of a Fairy land to the Japanese, and their eyes will certainly open when they hear of the many things at variance with their own preconceived notions of what is best for a people, but if they are the sagacious race that they have the credit of being, these sights and wonders will indoctrinate them with new ideas and elicit a profound respect for the advance of civilization and that progressive spirit which has hewn down forests to make pasture fields-has converted a wilderness into a sea of waving grain-cloven a pathway for the locomotive through mountain barriers-crowded our rivers and lakes with steamers-covered the land with a net work of telegraph wires, and filled machine shops in every section of the country with operatives.
The Presidential reception is over, and with it, we of St. Louis must reflect, that the development of a new trade with Japan will assist the early commencement of the great overland railroad to the Pacific. We can almost fancy, the truck loads of Japanese goods winding their way from railroad depot to river landing already, and a cherished dream of Asiatic wealth pouring through our city, realized. It is impossible to view the reception of this embassy with indifference, for the paving of commercial intercourse with a new country, populated by millions with a race far ahead of the Chinese in mental and physical culture, will hasten onward the glory of the United States, and advance the population of St. Louis in the central point through which all this immense trade some day must pass.
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