Item #301620 Signature clipped from a document [with] an engraving of Biddle. James Biddle.


Signature clipped from a document [with] an engraving of Biddle.

np: nd.

Price: $750.00

About the item

Engraving measuring approx 8-1/2 x 5 in. RARE SIGNATURE OF PERRY'S PRECURSOR. Signature mounted onto cream card.

Item #301620

Commodore James Biddle (1783-1848) made the first attempt to establish formal relations between the United States and Japan in 1846. Biddle, a distinguished naval officer from Philadelphia, and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, set out from New York with two warships, the U.S.S. Columbus and Vincennes, in June 1845. Having concluded the first treaty between the US and China in early 1846 (establishing an American legation in Canton) they proceeded north along the Chinese coast towards Japan. They arrived in Yedo Bay on July 21, where the warships were stopped by numerous small vessels carrying armed soldiers. Since Biddle was under orders to avoid any moves that might excite hostilities on the part of the Japanese, his ships remained at anchor fifteen miles south of Tokyo. The Japanese supplied provisions as well as gifts, however, Biddle was not allowed to go ashore. After prolonged negotiations he was invited aboard a Japanese vessel to present a letter to a high Japanese official but since they were adamant in their refusal to allow him to land, Biddle felt that he had done all he could and on the 29th of July accepted the Japanese offer of being towed out to sea. Biddle only returned to Philadelphia in 1848 where he died on 1st of October. While this mission under the command of was ultimately unsuccessful, it should be regarded as a necessary precursor to Perry's breakthrough of 1854.