ALCOCK, Sir Rutherford. 20968



A lengthy Autograph Letter Signed ‘Rutherford Alcock’, to Francis Clare Ford, a diplomat, about what he and his wife Mary can expect if they are posted to Japan, the climate, the security, the household goods and furniture they need to take, the future of the Legation, etc. 7 pp. 7 x 4 inches, traces of former mounting, one clean tear, in good condition. 34 Sackville Street [London], 24 June 1865. Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809-97), diplomat in China and Japan, author of The Capital of the Tycoon [1863] and other works on Japan. In 1858 he was appointed the first consul-general in Japan. In 1865 Alcock left Japan on being appointed minister plenipotentiary at Peking. Sir Francis Clare Ford (1828-1899), the son of the writer Richard Ford. It appears the Fords were in fact posted to Washington in 1867-68. “It is a South Italian climate, & as lovely a country as any I know… There is I think every chance also of great improvement and increased security. Your Chief, Sir Harry Parkes, is a man of great verve and Eastern experience, & I think a very happy selection for the post…” As for selling furniture and household goods, “… you take all these things to a good market & if well selected they are sure to fetch their full value by auction at Yokohama. It is little more therefore than a good investment affords. If you go to Yeddo, the case would be different, for the disposal by sale there would neither be easy nor likely to be profitable. The Legation is not at Yeddo yet however. And what is in the future is always more or less uncertain.”