Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Order Concerning the Steamer Funayma Solace [1]

Executive Mansion,
Washington, 3d December, 1864.

A war steamer called the 'Funayma Solace,' having been built in this country for the Japanese government and at the instancePage  132 of that government, it is deemed to comport with the public interest, in view of the unsettled condition of the relations of the United States with that Empire, that the steamer should not be allowed to proceed to Japan. If, however, the Secretary of the Navy should ascertain that the steamer is adapted to our service, he is authorized to purchase her, but the purchase money will be held in trust towards satisfying any valid claims which may be presented by the Japanese on account of the construction of the steamer and the failure to deliver the same as above set forth.



[1]   DS, DNA FS RG 59, General Records of the Department of State, Notes from the Japanese Legation, Volume I. See Lincoln's similar order of October 12, 1864. Gideon Welles' Diary under dates November 30 and December 3, 1864, gives an account of the conferences leading up to Lincoln's issuance of this order of December 3. Under date of December 5 Welles wrote: ``Mr. Seward sent for my perusal a draught of an executive order forbidding the Japanese vessel from leaving, and authorizing the Navy Department to purchase. I dislike this thing in every aspect. . . . Some weeks since application was made for a survey and appraisal of this vessel. This was ordered . . . and without any connection with the government or the Japanese. The Board valued her at $392,000, and at this price we, under direction of the President at the solicitation of Seward, agreed to take her. These late government movements make it embarrassing. I declined to give any opinion or make any suggestion in regard to the executive order, but said orally to the clerk that our offer was still considered as good. . . . Two hundred thousand dollars in gold would purchase this vessel. It is easy to perceive that Mr. [Thurlow] Weed and Mr. [Robert H.] Pruyn will realize a clever sum for their labors. They have had for one or two years the use of $800,000 in gold. This vessel has not cost them over $200,000 in gold. The government takes it at $392,000 and must pay that sum in gold to Japan. Who pockets the $192,000? It cannot be otherwise than that this subject will be inquired into. It ought to be.''