FIRST KNOWLEDGE OF AMERICA. 3 possible to elicit from him his reasons for leaving Japan, and beyond the statement of Captain Taylor, a very reticent man, nothing could be learned of his aims or desires. The experience of the Mission Board in aiding foreigners under similar circumstances had not been encouraging. Neesima was therefore sent to the Sailor's Home, and requested to put in writing the reasons which led him to flee his native country. On October 11th Mr. Hardy received the following statement : -" I was born in a house of a prince [Itakura] in Yedo. My father [Neesima Tamiharu] was writing­master of the prince's house and his writer, and my grandfather was an officer of whole,1 the prince's ser­vant. I began to learn Japan, and China too, from six years age, but at eleven years age my mind had changed quite to learn sword-exercise and riding horse. At sixteen years age my desire was deepened to learn China and cast away sword-exercise and other things. But my prince picked me up to write his daily book, although it would not have been my desire. I was obhged to go up his office one another day, and I must teach small boys and girls too, instead my father at home. Therefore I could not get in China school to learn China, but I read every night at home. A day my comrade lent me an atlas of United States of North America, which was written with China letter by some American minister.2 I read it many times, 1 That is, a steward, in charge of the private servants and attend­ants of the prince,-pages, ca1Tiers, cooks, kago bearers, etc.,-aBo office of considerable dignity and responsibility. 2 What is here called an "atlas" was a History of the United StatBS written by Dr. Bridgman, of Shanghai, in China. After Dr. Bridg­man's death, his widow visited Dr. Brown, in Yokohama, and left with him a few copies of her husband's history, which were distributed by