Lithographed plate by Sarony & Co after a drawing by James Queen of three of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's (1794-1858) ships anchored off Cape Town, South Africa, en route to Japan. The small boat in the foreground is flying the US flag. Perry led a US government expedition designed to open up trade with Japan, which had been in self-imposed isolation for almost 200 years. The notes and journals kept by Perry and his officers were compiled by Francis L Hawkes and published as 'Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China Seas and Japan : performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854 …', (Washington, 1856).
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