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FLEET FACTS



THE GREAT WHITE FLEET
 




Reference books
on the
Great White Fleet



"Other nations may do what you have done, but they'll have to follow you."
Teddy Roosevelt
February 22, 1909



 What did Military History Magazine have to say?
 



The largest and
most diverse
collection of GWF items ever found!
Take a look.


 



 

Want to know  more about this site?


Do you have a question or comment, maybe something you would just like to share, drop me an email here.



FLEET FACTS



THE GREAT WHITE FLEET
 




Reference books
on the
Great White Fleet



"Other nations may do what you have done, but they'll have to follow you."
Teddy Roosevelt
February 22, 1909



 What did Military History Magazine have to say?
 



The largest and
most diverse
collection of GWF items ever found!
Take a look.


 

 


Yokohama, Japan                           October 18th - 25th, 1908


IN MEMORY OF OUR FAMOUS CRUISE AROUND THE WORLD

Long sought-after and treasured by sailors from around the world are the silk embroidery tapestries made by the artists of Japan.  The grandest souvenir that any sailor could have brought home is the commemorative silk specially designed for the 1908 cruise around the world.



The silk depicts President Roosevelt in the center with Admirals Sperry and Evans below.  The painting is completed within the gold embroidered frame showing the sixteen battleships coming into Tokyo Bay with Mount Fuji in the Background.  In the life preserver below is a space for the sailor who selected the silk.  In the tapestry at right, this one belonged to Otto Sinclair, a musician onboard the USS Virginia.

in each port sailors new where to spend their money.  In Japan, the opportunity to by items made of silk, including banners, murals, cloths, and pillows, was very popular.  Yokohama had many shops that sailors could visit and select items specially made with the ship's photo, their photo, President Roosevelt, and Admiral Sperry.  At left a cabinet card made showing one of the silk banners.  At right: Otto Sinclair's tapestry just out of the box after being stored for 100 years without being seen by light.

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At left is a postcard that was handed to sailors on the street or pier when the landed.  At right are two pages from the George Washington Company of Yokohama, a booklet saved by Wilbur Main, USS Virginia and available to view
at
this link.

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The journey from Manila was marred by one of the worst typhoons in 40 years.  Seas as high as 60 feet battered the fleet until in was forced to slow to 6 knots and ride out the storm.  Battling the storm four sailors went overboard, one was left un-recovered, Gunners mate William Fuller on the USS Rhode Island was swept overboard from the foredeck.  Captain Murdock determined the seas to rough to launch a lifeboat stating "I would rather lose one man than six or eight."  It was not clear what Fuller's last words were as he was nearest the ships, some thought they heard him holler "So long, Fellas."

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Photographs depicting the fleet in heavy seas transiting from the Philippines to Japan.  These cards are part of a set of cards photographed by Brown & Schaffer, musicians onboard the USS Georgia.


As the fleet entered the mouth of Tokyo Bay they were greeted by six steamships crowded with the Japanese people waving Japanese and American flags and cheering wildly.  On the side of each vessel painted in black, in letter as big as a house were the words "WELCOME."  From the first moment the fleet met the Japanese people to the time of departure, it was clear that Japan desired to show the American Fleet genuine friendships.  By the end of the visit no one believed they had received anything but the most sincere welcome from the Japanese people.



American Minister

Admiral Sperry

Captain Sharp


One of three specially erected landings for use of the U.S. Fleet during the visit to Yokohama.

The above postcard shows Admiral Sperry at the fleet landing with ships in the background and his steam launch tied up for his use.  The card was carefully labeled for the identity of each official.  This is one of the only cards of the Great White Fleet showing a Black American in naval uniform.


A GUIDE TO THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS OF JAPAN
This guide was created for the visit of the American Fleet and contains, not only a map of Tokyo, but a guide to major attractions in and around Tokyo and Yokohama.  Just what a sailor needed!  To view the booklet as a "Flash" page turn or to see the map enlarged, just select.


Both  understood the political importance of the visit and how it would be perceived by other nations of the world.  With this, a celebration of the "friendship based on trade" established by Commodore Perry was celebrated by both.  By defining the relationship in this manner, Japan was able to acknowledge the industrial growth their country had experienced since the 1852 visit and described their future plans for China as a similar relationship.

 

Railway ticket for American Sailors (select to see inside)

They could be China's "America", opening their doors to the world of trade. Japan preparations for the American Fleet's visit included the official welcome at Kurahama at the site of Commodore Perry's Monument.    

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Commodore Perry Monument - Kurihama
At left is a group of people posing in front of the Commodore Perry Monument in Kurihama.  This is a real photo postcard with the unique comemorative cancel for the fleet visit at the Kurihama Station, a rare cancel.



Souvenir of my Cruise Visit to Japan

SOUVENIR OF MY CRUISE VISIT TO JAPAN ON THE FAMOUS "BATTLE SHIP FLEET" OCTOBER 1908

At left is a silk "pillow square" celebrating the fleet's visit in a comparison of Commodore Perry's famous squadron visit to the Bay of Yedo on the 8th of July 1953.

USS Mississippi
USS Susquehanna
USS Powhatan
USS Macedonian
USS Plymouth
USS Saratoga
USS Vandalia
USS Supply
USS South Hampton
USS Lexington 


Commodore Perry's Banquet Dinner

This postcard was reproduced from an original sketch titled "Treaty House", in Yedo Bay by Hayashi Dalgakuno-Kami, a 3 foot by 1-3/4 foot panel that was part of "Commodore Perry's Voyage to the East" by S. Nicolson of the U.S. Navy.  Prepared by Yenjo & Co. Tokyo, Japan.



USS Connecticut - FS
    H.I.J.M.S. Mikasa
U.S.S. Kansas                H.I.J.M.S. Fuji
U.S.S. Minnesota            H.I.J.M.S. Asahi
U.S.S. Vermont               H.I.J.M.S. Sagami
U.S.S. Georgia                H.I.J.M.S. Azuma
U.S.S. Nebraska             H.I.J.M.S. Yakumo
U.S.S. New Jersey         H.I.J.M.S. Nisshin
U.S.S. Rhode Island       H.I.J.M.S. Kasuga
U.S.S. Louisiana             H.I.J.M.S. Katori
U.S.S. Virginia               H.I.J.M.S. Kashima
U.S.S. Missouri               H.I.J.M.S. Tsukuba
U.S.S. Ohio                    H.I.J.M.S. Ikoma
U.S.S. Wisconsin           H.I.J.M.S. Soya
U.S.S. Illinois                 H.I.J.M.S. Otowa
U.S.S. Kearsarge           H.I.J.M.S. Nitaka
U.S.S. Kentucky             H.I.J.M.S. Tsushima
 

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 The above card shows the fleet anchorage in Yokohama.  The card is in Japanese showing the units of the American Fleet and the battleships of the Japanese names that anchored across from them.

The Fleet was met south of the entry to Yokohama by three Japanese Cruisers.  As they approached the entrance three more vessels painted black with white letters announcing “Welcome” jointed the precession into port.  Through the fog the fleet slowly experienced the planned reception of the Japanese government.  They arrived at the pre-planned anchorages opposite 16 ships of the Imperial Fleet.  Each ship cheering as their American counterpart passed.  The American ships in white the Japanese ships in warship gray.


THE HISTORY OF HIJMS SOYA
 The protected cruiser Soya lined-up opposite the USS Wisconsin in Tokyo Bay with a gallant history.  She had been aquired as a prize of war during the Russo-Japanese War (previously the Varyag) in the opening Battle of Chemulpo Bay.  She had originally been built by William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia and by August 1909 returned to Los Angeles during a cadet cruise with the comemorative cancel at left.


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Japanese Series - Officers and Ships
This series of cards were produced on a thin stock paper for the Japanese market of people that had come to see the American Fleet.  These six cards display Sperry, Schroeder, Wainwright and Emory with the ship classes of the fleet.  The last card the USS Yankton.




The American Fleet on Course to Japan

Other items were not as well known.  America agreed to send the entire fleet to Japan while sending only half the fleet to visit China.  Japan had insisted on the whole fleet or none at all, and felt sending the whole fleet to China would signal she was of equal importance.  The U.S. Government agreed and planned their visits accordingly.  Finally, the Japanese viewed the Cruiser Fleet at Samoa, while the Battleship Fleet was in Yokohama a gesture of hostility. 

Roosevelt ordered the cruisers home before the fleet arrived in Yokohama, aware that he maybe outnumbered and potentially out classed by the Japanese Navy and chose to make concessions verses create conflict.

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These two photographs where taken while the fleet was at anchor in the harbor  by Karl Lewis of Yokohama, at left the Wisconsin, at right the Ohio.

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Much had been resolved the past six months between the two nations.  In February a “gentlemen’s agreement” had been made limiting the amount of emigration to American which the Japanese were complying.  In March work was begun on the Root-Takahiri Treaty to respect each other’s territorial rights, allowing Japan to move into Manchuria and America to control the Philippines without interference. 


The arrival of the American Fleet in Japan was the pinnacle of the World Cruise.  It was observed worldwide for the outcome.  Would America go to war with Japan, develop an alliance, or find peace through mutual agreement.

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These two cards show Admiral Sperry and Admiral Goro Ijuin .  Admiral Ijuin, of the Japanese Navy, is famous for his leadership during the Russo-Japanese War.

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BATTLESHIP MIKASA, FLAGSHIP

The HIM Mikasa served the Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Yellow Sea, August 1904, and the Battle of Tsushima, May 25, 1905, as the flagship for Admiral Togo.  Thanks to the design it was able to withstand many direct hits, twenty during the Battle of the Yellow Sea and thrifty during the Battle Of Tsushima with only limited. damage.  She led the Japanese fleet in one of the most decisive battles in naval history, annihilating the Russian fleet.


Postcard of the Mikasa with commemorative cancel from fleet's visit



"For the Honor of Japan"
Henry Reuterdahl

TOGO HEIHACHIRO, FLEET ADMIRAL
Admiral Togo was one of Japan's greatest naval heroes for his defeat of the Russian Navy during the Russo-Japanese War.  In 1908 when the fleet visited he was a national hero of the highest order.

The illustrations at right and left are from "Japan Her Strength and her Beauty" published by P. F. Collier & Son, New York, 1904.


Vice-Admiral Togo

He was appointed by Navy Minister Yamamoto because, "Togo is a man of good fortune," and proved this thought to be true by his engagements of the Russian navy at Port Arthur, the Yellow Sea, and finally at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 where two-thirds of the Russian fleet was destroyed.  After the war, in 1906, Togo was made a Member of the British Order of Merit by King Edward VII.  Later he was promoted to Chief of the Naval General Staff and given the title of Count.  He served on the Supreme War Council and in 1913 promoted to Fleet Admiral.  From 1914 to 1924 Togo was put in charge of the education of Crown Prince Hirohito, the future Showa Emperor, the Emperor of Japan during World War II.




This Japanese Pin with Flags for Welcome of the Great White Fleet, belonged to 1st Lt William Hopkins. The pin is 1 1/8" x 1",
the box is 4" x 3".
 

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The Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) hero Admiral Heihachiro Togo, held a garden party on the afternoon of Oct 21st  at 3 p.m. in the Shinjuki Imperial Gardens. This event was the highlight of social events of the cruise.

This rare Japanese Pin with Flags was given to his honored guests from the battleships of the Great White Fleet.  This pin was given to 1st Lt William Hopkins.
  Hopkins had taken part in the relief of Peking during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, fighting alongside Japanese Marines in that action, as part of the 1st Batt, 1st Rgt, Co H, one of 18 officers and 300 enlisted men who were victorious that day.  

It is in the original camphorwood box with makers mark and inscription on back in pencil 'Admiral Togo's Reception'.
   The smaller ribbon pins alongside were for a women if accompanying the men, one is a combination of the British and American flags (British Officers were present).


PARTY AT THE IMPERIAL GARDENS
Attending the Imperial Garden Party was a select guest list but still included hundreds of Americans and Japanese dignataries.  The event was so large it required that specific instructions and directions be provided for personnel arriving by carriage!  The documents above, with the original envelope addressed to Midshipman Loftquist, is in almost mint condition as the day it was printed showing one of the careful details the Japanese had gone to in preparing for the American Fleet arrival.


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At Left: The aquarium in Tokyo where fleet sailors were welcomed.  The card includes the commemorative cancel in a box provide in the lower left of the card.

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Geisha girls dressed in
American & Japanese
flagged fabric kimono.

At right:  Combining the traditions of the Japanese kimono and the Geisha girl, this postcard provides a complete synthesis of the welcome the Japanese people provided to the American Fleet.  The kimonos are made from a Japanese-American fabric with each woman holding a flag.

At right:  A Japanese card issued showing the USS Connecticut and canceled at the Tokio station.


AMERICAN BATTLESHIPS

These two cards represent the Japanese series postcards issued showing the American Battleship Fleet, bot the American and Japanese titles.  At left, the USS "Minesota," and at right, the USS Wisconsin of the American Pacific Squadron.

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This card showing the American flag while the Minnesota card showing crossed American and Japanese flags.


Souvenir of U.S. Fleet Visit to Yokohama, 1908
This 4-inch wide pot-metal candy dish depicts two Geisha Girls in American & Japanese kimonos under glass.


There was no shortage of official luncheons and dinners to attend for officers of the fleet.  Each day they made their way around Tokyo for formal events in gardens and homes.  At Left: An invitation from Prince Tashige for lunch on the 22nd.  At right: An invitation to dinner from the President of the America's Friends Association from Viscount Kaneko on October 23rd at the Maple Club.


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This series of cards was issued for the fleet's visit to Japan.  The cards picture each ship and a photo in the upper right corner of the Captain, Squadron or Division Commander, or Admiral Sperry the Fleet Commander for the Flagship Connecticut.  From left to right:  Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio Kentucky, Connecticut, Kansas, Vermont, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Georgia.  At left is the Louisiana with the reverse showing the commemorative cancel of the card used by a Japanese citizen.

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At right, the YMCA flyer that provided information to sailors for their liberty while in Japan.  "The Seaman's Friends Society welcomes the American Fleet"  

82 French Hatobu Street, near the fleet landing.  Rev. W. T. Austen, Chaplain.

"Good Meals at lowest prices - sleeping accommodations for fifty men - current periodicals and newspapers." 


"Remember when you visit temples that they are sacred to many Japanese worshippers."

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For every Japanese flag put out there was an American flag. Every lantern was made especially and every one had the two flags crossed.  Hundreds of thousands of American flags were made for this visit.  It was improper to display the Rising Sun without the Stars and Stripes.  When silk was used in the Japanese flag the American flag was of silk.  When bunting was used both flags were of that material.

At left:  Program of Entertainment at the Kabuki-Za on Thursday, October 22nd, 1908. Performers shown dress in American Flags.


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Sailor of the fleet received pins and medals from various sources.  The one at left, from the Japanese Navy and the one at right, a friendship pin, from Onishi Kinrydo, Manufacturer and Dealer of watches, jewels, and works of precious metals.

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The Japanese published many cards showing the Fleet Admirals and Captains, as well as, President Roosevelt, Emperor Mikasa. They also honored their Admirals including Admiral Togo Admiral Idichi, and Admiral Ijuin.


At left is a photo engraved postcard issued during the fleet's visit showing Admiral Sperry in his coach with the entrance to the Imperial Palace in the background.

At right are two more cards that were printed with the same background but photos of the Stages and the Pagota in the park of Tokyo.


At left is the Head building of the Tokyo Arsenal.  The card received a unique cancel for the fleet's visit "Korakuyen, Tokyo" October 21, 1908, Memorial of Reception of the American Fleet.

At right the Welcome arch at Shimbashi.  Both sides showing the Tokio cancel.  Welcome your Armada! Sent from the Department of Communications.


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1. Postcard of Tokyo issued by the naval Department w/cancel; 2. Battleship at anchor in Yokohama, w/cancel, 3. decorative card with Connecticut w/cancel, 4. Admiral Sperry at Garden Party w/cancel, 5. Illinois and Kentucky on floral card.


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The Events at the Japan Tea Hall
This is the original invitation to the Japan Tea Hall given to
Midshipmen Lofquist, USS Connecticut.  The Tea Hall was located on the grounds fronting the Yokohama Railway Depot arranged for the American Fleet providing a place to stop and relax with a cup of tea when then get ashore.  No doubt many sailors
waited here for the train.

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This card extended an invitation from the Chairman of the Japan Central Tea Traders Association for sailors to visit the Tea Hall at any time during their visit for Japanese team free of charge.  "We have the honor of being your obedient servants."


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At Left:  Program of the Garden Party by the City of Tokyo City to welcome the Atlantic Fleet on Thursday, 22nd of October, 1908.

At Right:  Saki cup that depicts the Japanese and American Flag with the note, "Welcome - Kabrito Beer".

Both of these items are part of the Frank Lesher Collection

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Tokyo Welcome Arch

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Fire Brigade March

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These four cards were from photographs during the fleet's visit and issued the same or next day as postcards.  1. Admiral Sperry in porty passing welcome arch. 2. Tokyo Welcome Arch. 3. Fire Brigade marching in park while sailor look on.  4. Admiral Sperry passing welcome arch in porty.  Admiral Sperry and his senior officers were provided four carriages from the Imperial household for their use.  Photos showing Admiral Sperry near the Imperial Palace in a Porty are associated with his Lunch with the Emperor and Empress on October 20th.


THE WELCOME SOCIETY

Tokyo Chamber of Commerce
This brochure provided a wealth of information for the sailor visiting Tokyo.  It included a map of Tokyo, we key points of interest including Parks, Sights, Hotels, Theatres and Churches.  It also included times from the Shimbashi Station to various locations, and the fares.  Advertising within the guide includes the famous Mikmoto Pearls located in the Ginza.


Dinner Minister of the Navy

Baron Makoto Saito
Suikosha (Navy Club)
This was one of the big dinner events of the visit with everyone in attendance.  At left the dinner menu, at right the seating chart which measures 20" x 30" to show all of the people who were in attendance October 20th, Tuesday, at the Navy Club in Tokyo.

THE TOKYO KISEN KAISHA

But, before attending the evening event on with the Minister of the Navy, a luncheon from 3 to 5:30 with Mr. S. Asano, President of the Tokyo Kisen Kaisha at his home in Shiba-ku, Tokyo.  At this point the carriages loaned to senior officers were probably quite welcome for getting around the city.



Yokohama Merchant & Bankers Arch


POSTCARD CRAZE
When sailors got to Japan they found that postcards to celebrate their visit were highly available.  This grouping are real photo postcards taken during their visit and available the next day.
 


Yokohama decorated street

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From the moment they arrived the Americans questioned the sincerity of the Japanese welcome.

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At left the American welcome arch shown with Admiral Sperry's parade carriage passing through.

Americans had come to believe the Japanese to be “sneaky” and “crafty” capable of creating an illusion of good relations to gain American trust. 

Commemorative cancel used by a Japanese citizen.

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At left a photograph of sailors on the street in Tokyo.  These images were taken on one day and available the next day to members of the fleet and the community.  Most had both English and Japanese titles.


Two of the many invitations received by officers of the fleet included a luncheon with the Baron Mitsui on the 21st, and a dinner at the residence of the Governor of Kanagawa on the 18th at their residence.


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All of this did nothing to convince the members of the Fleet of the sincerity of Japan in its desire to be to secure good ties with the United States.  It took the thousands upon thousands of flag waving Japanese children to complete this task. 

Their jubilant enthusiasm for the American arrival was unexpected and beyond imagination for something that could have been orchestrated by the government.  How any government could have managed to direct every

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child, on every street, to greet the Americans with cheers of Banzai with a Japanese flag in one hand and an American Flag in the other?  One correspondent put it aptly, “An Emperor’s prescript might put cheers in the throat and lies on the lips of his people in a despotic government, but, by cracky, no Emperor’s prescript can put a smile on the face of every child and toddler in his empire when there is hate in his people’s heart; an Emperor’s prescript cannot make innocence the agent of deception.  Oriental subtlety cannot go that far.”

 

 


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A commemorative cancel was created for the fleet's visit.  Many of the cards mailed home show common scenes of Japanese life with an accompanying commemorative cancel on the reverse.


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No detail or politeness was left to chance with the arrangement made for the American Fleet visit.  Flags for the celebration of the fleet visit were carefully fashioned with the correct 46 stars while the American consulate and battleships still flew flags of 45 stars!   

At right, sailors take a rickshaw ride in Yokohama Park. This card is part of the Brown & Schaffer series of photographs.

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Crew members were provided with postcards that were pre-stamped and free railroad passes, lunch tickets, and entertainment of every sort.  Guides were available everywhere, and when they attended functions they found free food and beer.  The Japanese had prepared a wide selection of souvenir postcards that depicted the ships, the captains and Admiral Sperry, along with the various sites of the cities with English captions.  It was hard for a sailor to find somewhere on their visit where they were not met with the coordinated national effort to make them feel welcome.


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1. Diabutsu Kamikura w/cancel, 2. Original Photo of Sailors at Hibiya Park during fleet visit, w/cancel,  3. Yokohama scene of decoration for fleet welcome, 4. Temple Kameido Tenjin Tokyo, sent by Jerry Nash, USS Louisiana to Seattle with Exposition cancel, 5. Special welcome from Matsu-Ishi-Ya Fine Porcelain in Yokohama.


These are two advertising cards issued for the fleet's visit.  At left, the Miyako Hotel in Kyoto, and at right, the fine porcelain store Matsu-Ishi-Ya in Yokohama.


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Daily 3000 sailors were granted liberty.  Sperry was careful and only allowed crew members with a good record ashore.  They were particularly watchful of sailors who had previous incidents involving alcohol while ashore.  In this instance they wanted to ensure that the reputation of the American sailor was maintained without incident.
 

At Left: A souvenir pin commemorating the occasion of the fleet visit were given to sailors at various events.

At Right:  The Official Program for the Fleet's Visit

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On Thursday October 22nd the Mayor of Tokyo entertained the fleet in Hibiya Park with a large garden party.  The event was planned for the officers and men to be above to walk around and enjoy entertainment and eat from buffets that were set up at locations within the park.

Above: An original invitation from the Mayor of Tokyo to the Garden Party at 1 pm, October 22rd, 1908

 In the main area of the park, striped tents were set up that had different demonstrations of the art and culture of Japan.  Sailors were treated to 25 platforms that provided entertainment of every sort.  Sword dances, martial arts, jugglery, clowns, athletic feats, and dancing by the geisha girls.  And sailors got all the food and drink he could hold under the large tent.  The map above to the left proves the plan of the park for the afternoon events.  It is clear from the organization of "Commissioned" and Non-Commissioned" serving lines, the organization for the event had attended to many of the small details.  At left is the program for the event, Performances begin at 1:00 pm!

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This group of cards is from the Hibyia Park event planned for the Fleet.  In Tokyo, the event was planned for 2500 American sailors and their Japanese counterpart to see performances of Japanese culture,       Here they found an opportunity to meet the Japanese sailors and share an afternoon. The set of cards above come from the M. R. Battey collection.

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Speech by Baron Shibusawa

The "Address of Welcome" shown at left was given to Admiral Sperry and his officers at the Tokyo Bankers' Association, Tokyo Bankers' Club, and the Tokyo Clearing House.  The speech is another example of a comparison made to the economic expansion of the United States into Japan through Commodore Perry and the Japanese incursions into China.  "Five and fifty years have passed since Commodore Perry came with four war-ships and knocked at our doors.  At that time our country had long cut herself off from foreign intercourse and was almost in a state of isolation . .  ."  This speech was given possibly in the afternoon, or later in the evening at the Kabuki Theatre which was sponsored be the Tokyo Bankers Association.


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Geisha girl postcards were very popular for sailors to send to friends and girlfriends at home.  Each of these cards display the commemorative cancel of the fleets visit.


Envelope and Cards received by each
Sailor of the Fleet

On the final evening sailors were treated to a show in the harbor unlike any they had seen.  Starting at sunset a snake of almost 400 sampans rigged with swaying lanterns wound in and out of the fleet at anchor.  Viewers remember the outline of the ships could not be seen, the entire effect was that of an illuminated sea serpent, miles long, twisting and turning among the ships.  Many though it was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen on the water.

(select to see)

An Unusual Card from the USS Maine

The card to the left was mailed from Alfred Naselitz, USS Maine on December 12, 1908 with a rare, early "USS Maine" cancel.  The Maine steamed with the GWF from Hampton Roads to San Francisco with the fleet and then, on May 18th departed with USS Alabama to complete a more direct circumnavigation of the globe visiting Manila, Singapore, Colombo, through the Suez, stopping in Naples, Gibraltar and arriving in Portsmouth on October 19th, 1908.  She did not visit Japan!

"Dear Sister, Do you think that we will ever have trouble with this flag?  We are going to leave NY Sunday and go down south (Cuba).  I got a letter from Mr. Walhilt the other day.  Do you know my address, USS Maine c/o postmaster, New York.  This will be my address new as long as I am in the Navy.  Yours Truly, Alfred"


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Postcards to Mr. Charles Fitch, Paterson, New Jersey
These six cards were all from in and around Yokohama canceled with the commemorative cancel from the fleets visit.

IN HONOUR OF THE AMERICAN FLEET

The Mayor of Yokohama has the honour to request the company at a Garden Party in the Yokohama Public Gardens, on Sunday, the 18th October 1908, at 2 o-clock.


THE ARRIVAL OF ADMIRAL SPERRY AT YOKOHAMA OCTOBER 18TH 1908
This hand-tinted photograph shows Admiral Sperry at the Fleet Pier getting in his carriage.  He was possibly on his way to the afternoon garden party planned that day by the Mayor of Yokohama.  In the background can be seen cargo ships sitting at piers across the harbor.


The next day the fleet set sail.  It is difficult to imagine, but many of the sailors of the fleet never had a chance to go ashore.  Policy regarding the behavior of sailors was very strict in Japan, and many were considered too risky to allow liberty.  One of those sailors was Milton Willard who had 'broke liberty' in Australia and had to say aboard the USS Georgia while in Yokohama.  To read his account, select this link.  

The fleet departed having seen the might of the Japanese Navy and experienced the friendship of the Japanese people. 

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Within three weeks the Emperor held the “greatest pageant in naval history” with a parade of 123 ships in a review line for over 20 miles.  The two cards above were issued showing the Japanese fleet, at right, the card includes a commemorative cancel from the Fleet's visit.  It was clear that the Japanese had also achieved an important milestone with the successful visit of the American Fleet.



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Bill@GreatWhiteFleet.info