With Commodore Perry to Japan

The Journal of William Speiden, Jr., 1852-1855

Softcover $43.95
Member Price $35.16 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


With Commodore Perry to Japan offers a personal account of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry’s expedition to Japan through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old purser’s clerk of the USS Mississippi. The documentary edition, endorsed by the National Historic Publications & Records Commission, provides excellent coverage of both the political mission of the Perry expedition, the opening of relations with Japan, and of the social history of a naval warship as well. Also included are fifty-five illustrations ranging from hand drawn, pen-and-ink scenes of everyday life sketched by Speiden and other members of the crew to exquisitely detailed pith paintings by Chinese artists.

Editorial Reviews

"The editors have done a commendable job of restoring Speiden's journal in a handsome format. They have reprinted a number of illustrations from that source, including several from Speiden's own hand. The editing has preserved the essence of the original writing, while removing some of the grammatical and stylistic infelicities. The notes are impressively-researched, and frequently quite helpful, especially in identifying personnel mentioned by Speiden." — International Journal of Naval History
"As with most primary sources, the journal of William Speiden is full of unanswered questions, partial observations and tantalizing hints of larger issues. But readers, whether those interested the maritime world of the mid-nineteenth century or in the history of US—Japanese diplomatic history, will find many nuggets in the work. — International Journal of Maritime History
"Those interested in the pre-Civil War Navy or American diplomatic relations with other countries should read this book." — The Journal of America's Military Past