Often the availability of new sources raises the need for reinvestigation of established historical events. This is true of the events that lead to the failure of the Far Eastern phase of railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman's proposed world-girdling transportation system, the most ambitious over-seas project ever envisioned by an American entrepreneur. In mid-October 1905, Harriman obtained tentative permission from the Japanese government for partial control of what he considered a vital link in the anticipated route—Japan's railroad in southern Manchuria. Two weeks later, to his bitter disappointment, the Tokyo authorities suspended the agreement, cancelling it in three months. Harriman's scheme in the Far East has been carefully studied by several writers, none of whom used the Japanese sources on the subject. To reinvestigate events in the light of these sources is logical; my attempt is to do so, and to suggest a possible reason for the failure of his plan in Japan that has not been considered in English-language literature.
Imamura, p. 66.
Komura, I, 407.
From Kaneko to Roosevelt, July 31, 1905, Roosevelt MSS, Library of Congress, cited in Dennett, p. 299.
Ibid., The Japanese took from their homeland to Manchuria 160 passenger cars, 220 locomotives, and 4,000 freight cars. “Lecture Materials: Japanese Materials for Book,” Kennan MSS, Library of Congress. With the rewidening of the railroad near completion, the South Manchurian Railway Company sent back to Japan 217 locomotives and 3,940 passenger and freight cars in May, 1908. Tsurumi, II, 788.
Vevier, pp. 18–21.
Japanese sources do not agree on the amount of capital offered by Harriman. He is alleged to have been willing to advance to Japan a sum of $100 million that would have converted all die narrow railroad tracks into standard gauge tracks. Inoue Kaoru kō denki hensan kai,
From Griscom to the Secretary of State, September 15, 1905, Roosevelt MSS, Library of Congress; The Japan Weekly Mail, September 16, 1905.
Kennan, II, 13.
“Manshū tetsudō churitsu mondai keika gaiyō. Fu: ‘;Harriman’; no sekai isshū kōtsūro keikaku gaiyō. Shina tetsudō mondai shiryō dai go” [”Summary of Progress in the Problem of Neutralizing the Manchurian Railways. Appendix: Summary of Harriman's Round-the-World Transportation Project. Materials on Chinese Railway Problems”], SP 49, p. 64, Archives in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo, Japan, 1868–1945 (Microfilmed for the Library of Congress, 1949–1951). Tsurumi, II, 755f
Inoue, V, 112. For the details of the memorandum, see Kennan, II, 13ff, or Vevier, pp. 23f.
Griscom, p. 262.
The New York Times, October 14, 1905, in a dispatch from Tokyo, records Harriman's departure date as October 13. According to Kennan, II, 15, Harriman departed from Yokohama on “Friday, October 12th.” The latter appears to be a misprint or error since October 12 was Thursday.
There are a number of biographies of Komura, none of which is very objective.
From Roosevelt to Kaneko, September 11, 18, 1905, Roosevelt MSS, Library of Congress.
For S. M. Roosevelt's biographical information, see
Nihon, p. 4.
Ibid., p. 5.
Komura, II, 154f
Ibid., II, 155, 161.
Ibid., 11, 161.
For details, see
Nihon, p. 6.
Kagawa, p. 90. My translation.
Kennan, II, 17f.
The statutes of the Chinese Eastern Railway stipulated in its first article: “Owners of shares of the company may be only Russian and Chinese subjects.”
Kennan, II, 19f.
Vevier, p. 24.
Tsurumi, II, 757f.
MacMurray, I, 555; Tsurumi, II, 774, 765ff.
Tsurumi, II, 728f., 775f.
Ibid., II, 776.
Adler, I, 240; see also Vevier, p. 28.
Tsurumi, II, 775f.
Kennan, II, 19f.
This statement was made by Nelson T. Johnson, an official of the Department of State in Papers Relating to Pacific and Far Eastern Affairs Prepared for the Use of the American Delegation to the Conference on the Limitation of Armament, Series D. no. 79, General no. 1, 1922, p. 139, in National Archives (Decimal File: 500A41a/119).
Komura, II, 211.
“Nichiro sensō go ni okeru kokusai kankei no dōin” [”Directions of International Relations in the Post-Russo-Japanese War Period.”], Nihon gaikōshi kenkyū [Studies in the Diplomatic History of Japan] (Fall, 1957), p. 171.
Several years later, speaking of the mob outbreak in Japan, Roosevelt wrote: “In both Russia and Japan I believe that the net result as regards myself was a feeling of … dislike of me, among the people at large. I had expected this; I regarded it as entirely natural; and I did not resent it in the least … in Japan, at least, I believe that die leading men sincerely felt that I had been their friend.”
Nihon, p. 3.
“I do not at this distance of time,” wrote Kaneko, “pretend to repeat exact words of conversation, which took place nearly twenty-eight years ago, but its substance made such an ineffaceable impression upon my mind as can never be forgotten as long as I live.” Ibid., p. 2. According to one American writer, the “detailed accuracy” of Kaneko's memory was “extraordinary.” Street, p. 214.
For a description of their friendship, see Street, Ch. 8.
Thanks are due to Mr. W. H. Bond, curator of MSS at the Houghton Library at Harvard, and Mr. James J. Heslin, Director of the New York Historical Society, for their generous efforts to locate possible S. M. Roosevelt papers. None were found.
The places where J. P. Morgan's financial papers are most likely to have been preserved are the Pierpont Morgan Library and Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. But neither possesses them. Correspondence from Mr. Herbert Cahoon, Chief of Reference Department, Morgan Library, December 3, 11, 1959, and from Mr. R. Gordon Wassen, Vice President, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, December 24, 1959. For the financial rivalry at the turn of the twentieth century, see