Friday, March 6, 2015

Durham White Stevens

New York Times 1904年10月22日のスティーブンスが天皇から叙勲されたことに関する記事
2008.02.14 Thursday 韓国併合 01:28 comments(0) trackbacks(0) - by sswesker

Decorates American with Grand Cross of the Sacred Treasure.

TOKIO, Oct. 21. - Durham White Stevens, counselor of the Japanese Legation at Washington, who will be diplomatic adviser to the Korean Government, has been decorated by the Emperor of Japan with the Grand Cross of the Sacred Treasure.
Mr. stevens was appointed diplomatic adviser to the Government of Korea under a clause of the agreement signed at Seoul on Aug. 22 between the representatives of Japan and Korea.
This is the fourth times that Mr. Stevens has been decorated by the Emperor of Japan.



東京、10月21日。 ワシントンの日本公使館顧問であるドーハム・ホワイト・スティーブンス(韓国政府の外交顧問となる予定)は、日本の皇帝から瑞宝大綬章を叙勲された。

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History is replete with instances of men who unselfishly have
labored in behalf of the general welfare and peace of two nations,
and, more particularly, of their native land and of a race which
has come under its control. To few men, however, have been
entrusted the stupendous work of serving three peoples at the
same time: of patriotically advancing the interests of his own
country, of aiding in the fashioning of the destinies of another
and of assisting in the regeneration of a third. Durham White
Stevens was one of these towering figures, and in his life the
world has an example of high patriotism, of unusual service
and loyalty and of broad humanitarianism, which is worthy of
universal commendation and better still of future emulation.

I am able to write of Mr. Stevens in two characters — that of
an official of my government and that of his friend. In both
capacities, putting aside the natural feeling of grief and indig-
nation which his assassination inspired, I am struck by the sheer
wantonness of the crime. It had no justification from any act
of his life. He never knowingly did any one an injury; on the
other hand, it was his nature unselfishly to serve others. It
was absolutely useless; for, in the scheme of life, one instrument,
however imperfect, replaces another. It was without conse-
quences or the possibility of them. Japan has set her hand to
the plough in establishing stable conditions in Korea and cannot
relinquish it until the work is finished. It was perpetrated by
an obscure and insignificant Korean criminal, thus carrying out
that inexplicable and to me mysterious Will which puts the life
of the highest in the hands of the most lowly. Admitting that
the crime was inspired by a perverted patriotism, it aroused the


keenest regret among the enlightened of the assassin's country-
men, for they felt the blot which thereby had been placed upon
them, and realized how great was the horror caused the American
nation at having its soil reddened with the blood of one of its
blameless citizens. And, beyond this, they recognized that in
the death of this man Korea had lost one of its truest and wisest

It is hardly necessary for me to recite the facts connected with
the murder of Mr. Stevens; but I think it important to remind
the American people that assassination is the traditional practice
of the Koreans, and they would continue to observe it if per-
mitted to remain in the backward state in which they live.
Their history is dotted with these black crimes. They are in
that unfortunate condition of medisevalism, similar to that in
other undeveloped lands, wherein the knife and poison and the
modern bullet are directed, not merely against the agents of the
government which is endeavoring to provide them with peace
and order and to lead them to modern civilization, but against
themselves. During the spring of 1907, four attempts were made
to assassinate members of the Korean Ministry. Two of the Min-
istry now in power — the Prime Minister and the Minister of
Agriculture — are marked for death. "We must do our best,"
states a high-sounding manifesto of the leader of the so-called
General Korean Eighteous Army, "to kill all Japanese, their
spies, allies and barbarous soldiers." The purpose thus pro-
claimed cannot possibly deter Japan from continuing what is her
manifest duty, not only to herself, but to the Koreans and the
world at large. It arouses, in thinking minds, not so much
condemnation as pity for the ignorance it displays. For such
crimes as it contemplates, especially when committed upon men
of the high type Mr. Stevens represented, can only react upon
those responsible for them and the cause, however purposeless,
they advocate.

It is not my intention in this article to dwell upon the unwise
and improvident policy of the Eulers of Korea, which produced
internal conditions unsatisfactory and even intolerable for its
own people, and out of which loomed the menace of danger to
the peace of the Far East. This feature of the matter can be
perhaps best disposed of by merely stating that, in some respects,
Korea occupies the same relation to Japan that Cuba does to the


United States. The American people felt that they could not
have a condition of disorder at their door, and went to war to
stop it. They liberated Cuba, but were compelled by events to
re-enter upon its government. Japan's course with respect to
Korea is almost parallel. We went to war to maintain Korean
independence and were obliged to fight another war, partly be-
cause of Korea. And now, in order to abate a nuisance that
could only be fruitful of further strife, we are seeking to provide
the people of that country with a stable government, under
which they may enjoy tranquillity and the prosperity which fol-
lows in its train.

This policy has dominated everything Japan has done. It
was the policy Mr. Stevens pursued during the time he served as
Adviser to the Emperor of Korea. When he first arrived at
Seoul and assumed his delicate duty, Mr. Stevens found himself
an object of suspicion and every step he advised subjected to the
most jealous scrutiny. Here his tact and judgment were shown
and re-enforced by his honesty, and it was not long before he
enjoyed the complete confidence and trust of the Emperor and
his supporters, and he worked hand in hand with them to put
into effect the reforms which the interests of the people abso-
lutely required. Those in Seoul who know of his work applaud
it, and this includes not merely Japanese but foreigners and
Koreans; and some day, I predict, the Korean people, as a unit,
will glorify him for it.

But his work in Korea, after all, was merely one feature of
Mr. Stevens's career. Its beginning is graven upon American
history. After his graduation from Oberlin College and from
the Columbian Law School, in Washington, he was appointed
Secretary of the American Legation in. Tokyo. His appointment
resulted from his contact with American public men in the course
of his work as a journalist which he performed while studying
law. In this profession Mr. Stevens displayed high ability, and
he was known throughout the Capital as an energetic, accurate
reporter, reliable and dependable. Unquestionably the work
quickened his native judgment of men and events, and gave him
that clearness of vision and style which is found in all the diplo-
matic notes he prepared. He came to Japan at the period of
our transition; and, sympathizing with us in our effort to adopt
modern methods of government and civilization, became the


trusted friend of our statesmen of that time. He studied the
Japanese language and soon acquired it. He possessed a capa-
cious mind, and he stored it with our customs and traditions,
our literature and our history. So great was the impression he
made upon the officials of my Government that in 1883, after a
service of ten years in the American Legation, Mr. Stevens was
induced to enter the employ of the Japanese Government.

I first met Mr. Stevens in Tokyo in 1877, but it was not until
1883 that I enjoyed those intimate relations with him which true
friendship insures. Mr. Stevens's first assignment was to Wash-
ington. He came in the suite of the new Japanese Minister,
Count Terashima, who had been Minister of Foreign Affairs. At
that time Japan was preparing to establish a parliamentary sys-
tem of government. Desiring to keep the authorities and his
friends advised in regard to the methods obtaining in foreign
lands, Count Terashima made a close study of the Government
of England. He turned his notes over to Mr. Stevens, who used
them as the basis of one of the most forceful essays I have ever
read. I served as charge d'affaires in Washington at that time,
and the pleasantest memories I have relate to my association
with Mr. Stevens.

It is unfortunate that I cannot describe in detail the remark-
able services Mr. Stevens rendered, not only to my country, but
to America and the whole world. I cannot do so for two reasons :
first, because etiquette forbids diplomatic revelations; and, sec-
ond, because I well know that Mr. Stevens, as modest a man as
ever lived, would not wish it. In an address which the late
lamented John Hay made upon " American Diplomacy," he in-
cluded the following observation:

" There are two important lines of human endeavor in which men
are forbidden ever to allude to their success — affairs of the heart and
diplomatic affairs. In doing so, one not only commits a vulgarity which
transcends all question of taste, but makes all future success impossible.
For this reason, the diplomatic representatives of the Government must
frequently suffer in silence the most outrageous imputations upon their
patriotism, their intelligence and their common honesty. To justify
themselves before the public, they would sometimes have to place in
jeopardy the interests of the nation. They must constantly adopt for
themselves the motto of the French Revolutionist, ' Let my name wither,
rather than my country be injured.' "

So all I can do is to give the bare outlines of Mr. Stevens's


career in the service of Japan. His first assignment, as I have
said, brought him to Washington, where he acted as counsellor of
the Legation. He remained in the American Capital but a
short time, being recalled to Tokyo to perform special work in
connection with the revision of treaties between Japan and for-
eign Powers. Having accomplished this duty, with credit to
himself and to the interest of all the nations participating in
the negotiations, Mr. Stevens was appointed member of a mission
under instructions to adjust certain difficulties that had arisen in
the relations of China, Korea and Japan. He returned to Wash-
ington in 1887 and remained there until 1893, when he was
again recalled to Tokyo in connection with the question of the
treaty revision. He was ordered back to Washington, where he
resumed his duties as counsellor, but paid official visits to Japan
in 1900 and 1901. He participated largely in the revision of
treaties between the United States and Japan, and aided in the
establishment of official relations between Japan and Mexico.
He was the Japanese agent in Hawaii in 1900-1901, in connec-
tion with questions which had arisen in those islands. During
the first three years of my service here as Minister, Mr. Stevens,
as counsellor, rendered invaluable service; and, working together,
our friendship throve. His appointment in Korea, soon after
the war was begun, was in accordance with a protocol concluded
by the Japanese and Korean Governments.

These are but the skeleton facts of a Giant's career, but those
who have a knowledge of the events which have unrolled them-
selves in the Pacific and the Par East, indeed in the whole
world, during the last quarter of a century, can obtain an idea of
the mind which dealt in masterly fashion with them. What I love
to think of, in connection with Mr. Stevens, however, is the in-
tense desire he had that the relations of his own country and of the
country he served should be so close, so firm, that nothing could
ever arise to shake them. I do not reveal any diplomatic secret
when I say that during the many years Mr. Stevens was associ-
ated with the Legation in Washington — and here I speak author-
itatively, for I was in charge for a part of the time I refer to —
he acted not merely as the counsellor of the Minister, but as an
American, and he sought the solution of all questions which
was in the interest of both countries. He realized that an advan-
tage by one country over the other was merely a temporary gain,


and that it was certain to be followed by vexations discussion in
the future which might have untoward consequences. Therefore
what he sought always was an arrangement mutually satisfactory
to all concerned ; and he sought it without thought of its effect
upon his personal fortunes, for he worked always behind the

Perhaps the best evidence of Mr. Stevens's loyalty to America
and Japan is furnished by a letter he wrote while in Tokyo to
a distinguished officer of the American Navy just before he
started on his ill-fated trip to Washington. A copy of the letter
has been handed to me, and I have been authorized to use it.
It is as follows:

"Tokio, December 24, 1907.

"My dear :

" Your letter of November 19th, addressed to me at Seoul, followed
me to Tokio, whither I have come on my way home. I shall probably
leave some time before the middle of January, and therefore, if all
goes well, it will not be long after the arrival of this letter before
I shall have the pleasure of meeting you personally.

" You have already noticed, of course, that the departure of the
fleet from Hampton Roads has been made the occasion of comment
by a number of prominent officials and journalists in Japan. These
expressions of opinion were elicited in response to requests from the
United States, and are a true reflex of the views one hears expressed
on all sides in this country.

" Apropos of Japanese opinion on this subject, you say that you
observe that the Japanese press has been very quiet of late, and that
you hope that the press of the United States will assume the same
attitude, as only harm can be done by careless newspaper comments.
A truer word was never spoken. But, in the interest of historical
accuracy, it should be remembered that most of the silly talk which at
first befogged this perfectly proper and natural development of Ameri-
can naval policy did not come from Japanese sources. The disquieting
rumors which flew ahout in such abundance when the proposed move-
ment of the fleet was first mooted were under American and European
date-lines. They were repeated naturally in the Japanese press, as were
also the indiscreet remarks of certain perfervid American patriots, and
this resulted in something like the retort discourteous on the part of
one or two sensational newspapers in Japan. The Japanese press as a
whole, however, — the press which really represents intelligent public
opinion, — was never anything else but quiet. I am inclined to emphasize
this point somewhat, because, although it may seem now to possess
only reminiscent interest, the impression seems to remain, and apparent-
ly you share it, that the announcement of the transfer of the fleet to
the Pacific was greeted by a jingoistic outburst in Japan. Nothing

vol. OLXxxvm. — no. 632. 2


could be more diametrically opposed to the facts. The surmises con-
cerning hostile designs possibly implied by this action on the part of
the American Government, as I have said before, came from other
sources. They were repeated in Japan, but with incredulity and amaze-
ment. There was no reason why it should have been otherwise. The
friendship of Japan for America, — and by this I mean the friendship
of the great mass of the people, — is a traditional feeling, having its
origin in the unique circumstances which first brought the two coun-
tries into contact with each other, and strengthened to an unusual de-
gree by the unvaryingly considerate, and sometimes even altruistically
friendly, attitude of the United States. It is a deeper and a more
genuine feeling than that customarily expressed in the honeyed phrases
of diplomatic intercourse. I do not think that this is thoroughly com-
prehended in America, even in circles usually well informed regarding
our foreign relations. And I am quite certain that many of the rest
of our countrymen, especially some of those in the Philippines, would
be the better for an elementary course in Oriental history. There would
then, perhaps, be less of a tendency on their part to ' imagine strange

" The thing most to be apprehended is that, largely through this
ignorance, we may sacrifice one of the most valuable assets which we
possess in the East, the genuinely cordial friendship of Japan. Wholly
unfounded apprehensions regarding her political aspirations may uncon-
sciously, but none the less surely, lead us into an attitude which cannot
fail to retard the development of the great interests we possess in the
Orient, interests which need never clash with hers, and which will gain
much by the continuance of the intimate relations at present subsisting
between the two countries. This is especially true of possible action
with reference to immigration. You say there can be no war unless
possibly it come from irritation on the part of the Japanese regarding
restriction of immigration, which some people seem to demand. You
may rest assured that there will be no war on that account. But,
supposing that the desire and the purpose of the persons to whom
you allude is carried into effect without regard to the feelings or the
wishes of Japan, it would be self-deception to expect that the Japanese
people will continue to entertain for us the same cordial friendship
and belief in our good-will which at present exist. War, as the Presi-
dent has well said, is unthinkable and would be a crime. There is no
arri$re-pens4e on the part of Japan, as seems to be thought in some
circles which should be better informed, that would ever make it
possible under any circumstances save of aggression or attack, which
are also unthinkable. There would be no open breach of friendly re-
lations even, but American influence in Japan would lessen to the
disappearing-point; and, while beyond doubt the outward amenities of
international intercourse would still be scrupulously observed, we would
cease to enjoy the advantages which our unique connection with the
affairs of Japan has hitherto given us. And it goe3 without saying
that some of our dear European friends would like nothing better than


secretly to do what they could to increase this misunderstanding. It
seems to me that the events of the past few months have clearly shown
a desire on the part of some of them to embroil the two countries.

" I have been speaking, of course, of the probable results of the passage
of an exclusion bill by Congress. The immigration question, as any one
at all familiar with the subject knows, presents a difficult problem. But
a solution honorable to both parties can be found; and, as there is no
good reason why both of them should not deal with the matter in a
spirit of mutual accommodation and good-will, I am confident that
such a solution will be reached. But, should Congress take the bit
between its teeth and pass an exclusion bill, there is no amount of
sugar which can sweeten that pill to the Japanese palate. There will,
as before said, be no war, and the Philippines and Hawaiian Islands will
be as safe from attack then as they have always been; but the warm
regard for America which has hitherto been one of the salient features of
Japan's international relations will be transformed into a wall of chilly
reserve which, I fear, will last for many years to come.

" Pardon me, my dear , if I appear to be playing the part of a male

Cassandra; but, believe me, it is not without good reason. I date
back, you know, to the days of Bingham, and those were not so very far
removed from the days of Perry and Townsend Harris; and I have
seen the ties which these great men created strengthened by repeated
proofs of unselfish friendship by the United States for this the most
progressive and receptive among the nations of the East. Coincident
with that I have witnessed the growth of the firm belief on the part
of the people of Japan that the American Government and people are
more than friends in the hackneyed and formal sense of diplomatic usage,
but sincere friends upon whose fraternal sympathy and regard they could
always rely in the settlement of the perplexing problems created by their
natural and legitimate national aspirations. It seems to me, therefore,
especially regrettable that the warmth of this feeling, so useful to us
in the fulfilment of our own reasonable ambitions in the Orient — even
if we regard it from a wholly selfish standpoint — should be cooled by
action on our part. Above all does this seem a pity when such action
is the result of apprehension of dangers largely illusory, but which,
even at the worst, can be avoided by the exercise of forbearance and
practical good sense.

" Knowing how deeply interested you are in these matters, I have not
hesitated to speak without reserve: and at the same time have no ob-
jection to your making whatever use of this letter you may think worth

" With best wishes, and in the hope of seeing you soon,

" Yours faithfully,

" D. W. Stevens."

Mr. Stevens was not the bloodless type of diplomat which
the world knows in fiction. He was a warm-hearted, generous
gentleman, who believed in mutual trustfulness, mutual help-


fulness and unswerving honesty. When he was confronted by
the Korean who had shot him, he forgave him, because of the
ignorance which had inspired the act, thus observing the illus-
trious example of that One who gave Christianity to the world.
"You poor, ignorant man! I do not blame you for shooting
me," he told the man, " because you do not understand/' Noth-
ing could have been more sublime, but it was in keeping with
his entire life. There are few who know that he was the main-
stay of his sisters; for his devotion to them was not a thing to
be hawked about for the public to admire, but a natural duty
which deep affection made light.

The Emperor of Japan honored Mr. Stevens in life by con-
ferring upon him numerous high decorations, and in death with
the Kising Sun of the first class, the highest honor a Japanese
Government servant can expect from his Sovereign as a reward
for any lengthy services, and a gift of $100,000, including a
sum from the Korean Emperor, to his heirs. These rewards
were the mere expression of the affection and gratitude of His
Majesty and of the entire Japanese people for the magnificent
work which Mr. Stevens performed in their interest. As a son
of Japan it is a pleasure to me, as he cannot be recalled, to add
my wreath of thankfulness to those which have been placed upon
his tomb, and here to give testimony to what he accomplished
for humanity.

K. Takahiea.

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