Oura-Sagarimatsu Biographies


Matthew Catlin Adams came to Nagasaki on March 27, 1862 and became a general 
storekeeper and contractor. One of his major responsibilities was to serve as contractor to 
the British navy. In May 1873, Adams received word that his wife, Mary Louisa (33), had 
died on board a British steamer in the Red Sea on the passage home to Britain. Six months 
later, he married a woman named Mary Lee in Nagasaki.  

M.C. Adams, who had been a fixture in the Nagasaki foreign community for almost thirty 
years died suddenly on December 12, 1881 aboard the S.S. Waverly while on the way from 
Vladivostok to Hakodate at the age of fifty-five. He was survived by his wife and two 
children, Matthew, Jr. and Kate, who lived at the family residence at No. 31 Minamiyamate.

Matthew, Jr. was born in Nagasaki on November 2, 1874. After his father's death, he helped 
with the family business before joining the China and Japan Trading Co. around 1897. Kate, 
born in Nagasaki on November 19, 1877, married David Bisset of Vancouver in December 
1902, and the couple and Kate's mother moved to Vancouver soon thereafter. On May 19, 
1904, Matthew, Jr. married Gerda Pedersen of Nagasaki. They had two daughters - Mary, 
born on October 1, 1905 and Alice, born on August 15, 1912 - and a son, Matthew Adams 
III, who was born on April 27, 1915, but seems not to have survived infancy. In 1917, 
Matthew, Jr. left Nagasaki for Kobe and in the following year he joined J.P. Carr in forming 
Carr, Adams & Co., a trading firm and lumber business in Karatsu. Matthew died in Otaru, 
Hokkaido on November 5, 1937 at the age of sixty-three, and his body was returned to 
Nagasaki for burial. Matthew Adams, both father and son, share a single tombstone within 
Oura International Cemetery.


Julius Adrian was a German national under Dutch protection who established the trading 
firm of Adrian & Co. at No. 13 Dejima by at least June 1861. Employees included his 
brother Theodore Adrian and Heinrich Schiff. Adrian & Co. also rented property at Nos. 10, 
2, 24 and 26 Dejima. By the beginning of 1867, the company also had offices at No. 3 
Umegasaki. At one time or another, Adrian & Co. controlled vacant properties at No. 46 
Oura, No. 4 Higashiyamate, and Nos. 4, 9 and 25 Minamiyamate. By 1867, Julius Adrian's 
private residence was located at No. 7 Higashiyamate. In May of that year, he moved next 
door to No. 6 Higashiyamate. Since Julius Adrian served as Belgian Consul, the Belgian flag 
flew over his house. Adrian & Co. ceased doing business as of January 1, 1871, but Julius 
Adrian remained in town until the end of 1872. Twice, in 1861 and 1862, he served as U. S. 
Vice-Consul during the absence of Consul Wille P. Mangum. In December 1872, Adrian's 
furniture at No. 6 Higashiyamate was sold at auction and he left Nagasaki.


The United States Army operated a depot in Nagasaki from 1899 to 1917. Preparation for 
the establishment of a U.S. Army Depot in Nagasaki began on December 5, 1899 with the 
arrival of Maj. John M. Hyde and Lt. Ellwood G. Babbit aboard a U.S. transport from Manila.  
The purpose of the depot was to provide food, clothing and equipment to American soldiers 
in the region. It also furnished coal for American transport ships carrying troops and 
supplies between the United States and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.  
Hyde as Quartermaster and Babbit as Clerk ran the depot out of the Nagasaki Hotel 
overlooking the harbor.  

Babbit (28), a Boston native, married Annie Walker (24), the daughter of a local British sea 
captain, Robert N. Walker, on September 17, 1900. The Babbits had an infant son, Edward, 
who died on June 9, 1902 and was buried in Sakamoto International Cemetery. Ellwood 
Babbit, who left Nagasaki in 1904, went on to become U.S. Consul to Yokohama and United 
States Trade Commissioner. 


Martin S. Beel was born in Temescal, CA. He was a resident of San Francisco when he 
joined the U.S. Volunteers in the Philippines as a private. After finishing his tour of duty, 
Beel became a bartender in Manila. He came to Nagasaki from Hong Kong aboard the S.S. 
America Maru. Beel worked as a bartender in the foreign bar district along Sagarimatsu 
Creek [Oura River]. On July 22, 1902, Martin Beel died from an abscess of the liver at St. 
Bernard Hospital at the age of forty-one. He was survived by a wife and children in San 
Francisco. Beel was buried in the Jewish section of Sakamoto International Cemetery, but, 
as he died practically destitute, there is no tombstone to mark his burial.


The British tavern proprietor Thomas Bezer was in Nagasaki by early 1865. For years, he 
operated the London Tavern along Sagarimatsu Creek. In May 1877, Bezer received a 
heavy fine for his second offense of keeping a house of prostitution at his bar. In 1883, he 
sold the London Tavern but soon thereafter opened another tavern called the Snug Inn.  
Thomas Bezer died on December 28, 1890 at the age of fifty-one and was buried in 
Sakamoto International Cemetery.


F.R. Borioni, a native of Italy, was in East Asia by the early 1880s. He went from Shanghai 
to Korea on June 12,1883 aboard the steamship Pechili. He remained in Korea for some 
time and even owned land at Chemulpo. He is said to have been the first to introduce the 
bicycle into Korea. Borioni worked as the Chief Examiner at Chemulpo from 1886 until 1890 
and then left Korea in 1903. He later became the Chief Examiner of the Chinese Maritime 
Customs Office at Ningbo. While visiting Nagasaki for health reasons, he passed away at the 
Nagasaki Hotel on July 11, 1920 at the age of fifty-seven. Borioni was buried in Sakamoto 
International Cemetery. His daughter Maria died only four months later and was buried 
next to her father. Borioni's wife was a Japanese woman named Chiyo who went by the 
name of Margarita. She died November 15, 1949 and was buried next to her husband and 
daughter at Sakamoto.


Gabriel Bourhis was a young sailor on the French gunboat Vipere. On October 18, 1888, 
Bourhis and several companions went ashore and ended up in a small Japanese bar at 
Naminohira. After imbibing a considerable amount of liquor, one of Bourhis' shipmates got 
into a fight with a Japanese laborer, reportedly over the affections of one of the barmaids.  
The fight quickly spilled out into the street and escalated into a wild brawl. Two Japanese 
policemen rushed to the scene, but were unable to stop the fighting. After several minutes 
and serious injuries on both sides, the sailors beat a retreat to the waterfront, leaving 
Bourhis unconscious and bleeding on the street outside the bar. He soon died from the 
effects of a blow to the head with a bottle. The matter was reported to police 
headquarters and to the ship's captain, and the following day an investigation began. After 
about a month of hearings, a Japanese carpenter named Morikami Toyomatsu was found 
guilty of the crime and sentenced to six years hard labor. The twenty-three year-old 
Bourhis was laid to rest at Sakamoto International Cemetery, gaining the dubious honor of 
being the first person buried in the new cemetery. With the establishment of the French 
Military Section in 1900, the gravestone was moved there.


George W. Bozier, a native of Britain, came to Nagasaki in 1868 at the age of eighteen. He 
worked first at the London Tavern and then in 1872 became the proprietor of the Ocean 
Tavern at No. 35 and 35A Oura. He later was employed by Holme, Ringer & Co., Jardine, 
Matheson & Co., the Belle Vue Hotel, Hunt & Co., the Nagasaki Roller Mills Co., and finally 
Wright & Co. Bozier died of liver disease due to alcoholism at his residence at 
Minamiyamate on February 18, 1898 at the age of forty-eight. He was buried in Sakamoto 
International Cemetery. Bozier left behind two Eurasian children for whom the other foreign 
residents raised money to support. Two other children had died earlier - a daughter Amy 
on July 21, 1881 (buried in Oura International Cemetery) and an adopted daughter 
Nagamoto Katta (Ninnie), on November 9, 1887.


John Breen was a native of Ireland (born c. 1830) and a naturalized citizen of the U.S. who 
came to Nagasaki from San Francisco in the mid-1860s. From 1866, he was a partner with 
John U. Smith in the firm Smith and Breen at No. 38 Oura. Although the business was 
advertised as "Ship's Compradores, Butchers, etc.," both Breen and Smith spent years in 
Nagasaki as harbor pilots. Their job was to go out to sea to meet large incoming ships and 
guide them to safety into Nagasaki Harbor - a job made even more dangerous for Breen by 
the fact that he never learned to swim!

Breen lived in a large house at No. 24 Minamiyamate with his Japanese wife, Miyahara Yoka, 
and their three children: Henry, Catherine and Margaret (Mary). He continued to work as a 
harbor pilot even after having amassed enough money to support his family comfortably.  

His luck finally ran out March 26, 1886. He and his crew of six Japanese had gone out 
about thirteen miles outside the harbor to wait for the expected arrival of a ship from 
Shanghai. The winds picked up, however, and capsized Breen's small boat. Even though the 
ship was righted, it drifted until sundown, at which time Breen died of exposure. His body 
was lashed to the side of the boat, before eventually got adrift. Only one of his crew 
survived the ordeal, and Breen's body was never recovered. A tombstone was erected for 
him Oura International Cemetery, although it was later transferred to Sakamoto 
International Cemetery.

Breen's wife successfully petitioned the U.S. consulate for the right to claim his estate for 
her and the children. Although many Western men lived with Japanese women by whom 
they fathered children during their long stays in Nagasaki, Breen's wife was one of the few 
to have achieved the legal status of wife. When Mrs. Breen died on October 26, 1913, she 
was buried in her husband's grave, and her name (albeit her Christian name "Elisabeth," not 
her Japanese name) was added to the tombstone. 

Margaret Breen married William Ehrhardt at Oura Catholic Church in 1904, and though she 
left Nagasaki, she continued to reside in the country. Henry Breen later worked in Kobe.  
He died in 1929 at the age of fifty-eight and is buried in the foreign cemetery there. 

In 1920, the house at No. 24 Minamiyamate was sold by Henry Breen's instruction at 
auction to Araki Kuraju. The house still stands today, although half of it has been 
renovated to accommodate modern Japanese living conditions.


John F. Calder was born in Midlothian, Scotland. He arrived in Nagasaki in 1867 as an 
engineer aboard the S.S. Coquette. Once in Nagasaki, he joined C. Cherry & Co., Boiler 
Makers & Blacksmiths, and soon thereafter the engineering firm of Boyd & Co. In 1876 
Calder went to Yokohama to establish a branch of Boyd & Co. He remained with the 
company even after it was purchased by Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Co. in 1879. From 1881 
to 1884, he served as manager of the Osaka Iron Works, before returning to Nagasaki as 
manager of the Mitsubishi Dockyard and Engine Works. Calder remained in this position until 
his death from cancer on May 23, 1892 at the age of forty-five. While in Nagasaki, Calder 
helped found the Masonic Lodge and served as its first Master. The Lodge held a special 
service in his honor prior to his burial at Sakamoto International Cemetery.


Martin Carl Carlsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 15, 1844. He later 
became a naturalized American citizen and was a seaman on the U.S.S. Baltimore until his 
discharge in July 1895 because of heart disease. While his ship was in port at Nagasaki in 
January 1888, he married a twenty-three year old Japanese woman named Uesugi Somo.  
(The American ceremony took place in September 1888). Uesugi later left him. Carlsen 
died of consumption in Nagasaki on October 14, 1895 at the age of fifty-one. He was 
initially buried at Sakamoto International Cemetery, but his body was later disinterred and 
returned to the United States. The marker above his former gravesite reads U.S.A. 120.


James C. Cavanaugh was a native of Ireland who took U.S. citizenship and came to Japan 
as young merchant-adventurer. He registered at the American consulate in Nagasaki on 
September 13, 1860. Cavanaugh worked as a pilot for Stevenson & Co. and rented lot No. 
38 Oura. In March 1861, he was arrested for assault. In November of the following year, he 
again showed up in court over a dispute with the American merchant George Lake.  
Cavanaugh was finally deported after a September 1863 manslaughter conviction for killing 
a British clerk named William Philips at Cavanaugh's home. He was jailed in San Francisco 
for a short time, but returned to Nagasaki in 1865 seeking his property. James Cavanaugh 
was arrested a final time in January 1866 and his lot was forfeited in March of the same 


The Austrian (under British protection) Johan Crevich [also called John Anderson in his 
early years in Nagasaki] arrived in Nagasaki on August 14, 1859. Later, he operated the St. 
Petersburg Hotel (then the Universal Saloon) at No. 42 Oura. John had a daughter Ursula, 
who was born in Nagasaki in 1867. Arriving at the end of the second decade of the foreign 
settlement was Mary Finance, a native of Alsace-Lorraine who in 1879 married Johan 
Crevich. Mary and Johan ran the Universal Saloon until December 1886 when they sold the 
establishment. Earlier in the year, Ursula had passed away at the age of eighteen and was 
buried in Oura International Cemetery. Mary died of cancer in February 1894 at the age of 
forty-nine and Johan followed four years later at the age of seventy-one. Both were laid 
to rest at Sakamoto International Cemetery.


James Markham DOW was born on March 23, 1869, in Shanghai, China, and died on October 
4, 1910 in Bournemouth, England (while nominally working in St. Petersburg, Russia). He was 
the son of James DOW (1827-1875) and Marianne Letitia GOODWIN Dow (1844-1915).

In the 1894 edition of The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, 
Straits etc., he is shown as a clerk working for the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank in Penang. He 
later works for Ginsburg & Co., variously in Nagasaki, Shanghai, and St. Petersburg. He was 
quite certainly working in Nagasaki between 1898 and 1901.

While working in Nagasaki, on June 22, 1898, James married Isabel Marion ANTHONY (1872-
1955), who he had met in Penang. They had two daughters: Marion Frances DOW (1903-
1981), who was born in Shanghai, and Catherine Isabel ("Kitty") DOW (1909-??), who was 
born in St. Petersburg. 

We know he was still in Nagasaki in 1901 because that is where his wife's sister had her first 
child, and she and her husband are believed to have been staying with the Dow family in 
Nagasaki at the time.

(Information courtesy of E. Michael D. Scott)


It was a fairly common occurrence for Western sailors to get into arguments with Japanese 
jinrikisha drivers and sampan boatmen over prices while trying to return to their ships in 
rather inebriated states. On one such occasion, a young American sailor lost his life. On 
December 12, 1897, Frank Epps, a nineteen-year old apprentice on the U.S. flagship 
Olympia, was murdered by two Japanese sampan operators. The following month, the two 
men were found guilty of involuntary homicide and fined a total of 150 yen. The U.S. Navy 
launched an investigation into the matter, but little else could be done. Frank Epps was laid 
to rest in Sakamoto International Cemetery.


The deaths of Robert Foad and John Hutchings (both 23) of the British ship Icarus on the 
night of August 5, 1867, had a tremendous impact on the politics of the day. Like most 
foreign seamen on shore leave in the early years of the foreign settlement - before the 
cluster of foreign bars opened along Sagarimatsu Creek (Oura River) - Foad and Hutchings 
found their way to the traditional Japanese entertainment district, where they enjoyed 
drinking with their shipmates. After enjoying themselves a little too much, the two were left 
by their friends to sleep it off on the street in front of a "tea house." This turned out not 
to be a prudent decision, as a passing samurai hacked the two sleeping men to death with 
his sword.

The subsequent investigation into the deaths was based mostly on circumstantial evidence, 
but the British Consul in Nagasaki, Marcus Flowers, was convinced that the murders had 
been perpetrated by Tosa samurai belonging to the "Kaientai" headed by Sakamoto 
Ryoma. Britain felt that the Japanese government was dragging its feet on the matter, and 
relations between the two countries soured.

The case dragged on for a year, until a surprising development occurred. Tosa officials, who 
had denied involvement from the beginning, discovered that the murders had been 
committed by a Chikuzen samurai. Apparently, Chikuzen students had been drinking at a 
nearby a "tea house," and discovered the drunken seamen asleep on the street. The 
senior member of the party drew his sword and "amused himself by coolly slashing the 
unfortunate men to pieces." The matter was reported to Chikuzen officials and the culprit 
arrested. The offender was ordered to commit harakiri, but the crime and the subsequent 
punishment were kept secret. When Tosa officials learned of the events a year later, the 
others in the party were also apprehended, and in early 1869, they were imprisoned. In 
addition, the lord of Chikuzen was sentenced to seclusion and ordered to pay an indemnity 
to the families of the murdered seamen. 

 Coming as it did, on the heels of the murder of the American sailor George Bunker by a 
Japanese samurai in Nagasaki in June 1867, the Icarus incident did much to convince 
British officials that the incumbent Japanese government was incapable of protecting the 
foreign settlements from the wandering samurai who frequented the port towns. By the 
time the case was finally resolved, the old Japanese government had fallen and the new 
Meiji leaders were in power.


Richard A. Ford was an African American from the West Indies who held British citizenship.  
He came to Nagasaki around 1870 and founded a stevedore and compradore business at 
No. 42B Oura under the title of R.A. Ford & Co. He later married a Japanese woman 
named Sawa Chiwa. In 1879 they had a daughter named Christina. Ford built a Western-
style house at No. 22 Minamiyamate as the family residence. Later business activities took 
him for long stretches to Kobe and Vladivostok. He died in Nagasaki on April 16, 1903 at 
the age of seventy-five and was buried in Sakamoto International Cemetery. Chiwa lived in 
the house until her death on March 11, 1935 at the age of ninety-one. She was buried next 
to her husband at Sakamoto.

As a teenager, Christina Ford was sent to school in Vladivostok. She remained there after 
graduation and later married a Russian ship captain named Scherbinin. The couple had two 
children. The family lived in Vladivostok for years before returning to Nagasaki. Captain 
Scherbinin sailed ships in a regular service between the two East Asian ports. After the 
death of both her husband and her mother, Christina continued to live at the 
Minamiyamate family residence until her death on September 23, 1966 at the age of eighty-

Christina Scherbinina was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Nagasaki and her 
house became a meeting place for Russian residents in the area. When she passed away in 
1966, a large number of Russian and Japanese people gathered for the funeral and followed 
the procession to Sakamoto International Cemetery, where she was laid to rest next to her 


Owen Gannon, a twenty-eight year-old native of Philadelphia, and probable ex-sailor, drifted 
into Nagasaki after taking leave of his ship at an East Asian port. On the evening of May 
15, 1898, he and three companions entered one of the foreign bars along the Oura River.  
Around eight o'clock, a policeman on duty nearby heard a shot and ran to the bar, where he 
found Gannon lying on the floor. The barkeeper, another American named John Kelly, was 
arrested and jailed. He was later accused of first-degree murder and underwent a trial at 
the American Consulate.  

U.S. Consul Charles Harris served as judge and found Kelly guilty of the crime. Kelly was 
sentenced to death, but Harris and others signed a petition asking for the sentence to be 
commuted to life imprisonment. Later, a retrial was ordered, and Kelly's sentence was 
reduced to seven years for manslaughter. He ultimately served only one year in jail, as he 
was released in July 1899 in the midst of confusion over the abolition of extraterritoriality in 

Gannon was originally buried in a grave with no tombstone, but years later the American 
Association erected a stone marker over the site that read simply AU.S.A. 308" (308 being 
the number of his cemetery lot). Gannon's body was probably later disinterred and carried 
back to the United States.


M.A. Ginsburg was a Russian Jew from Odessa who changed his name from Mess and fled 
the country to avoid arrest for military desertion. By the 1870s, he had made his way to 
Yokohama (he is listed as working for Lane, Crawford & Co. in 1876 and E.C. Kirby & Co. in 
1878), where he later (1879) founded his own provisions company. Ginsburg made frequent 
business trips between Yokohama and Nagasaki in the early-to-mid 1880s, before 
establishing his headquarters in Nagasaki at No. 50 Oura. He was later joined in Nagasaki by 
his brothers, Nathan and Marcus Mess. Nathan probably joined his brother in Yokohama in 
the mid-1870s and opened a curio shop in Nagasaki in 1887. Marcus began as an employee 
of the firm M. Ginsburg in 1883, and ten years later became a partner in the firm. 

By the late 1880s, M.A. Ginsburg found himself in the position of being able to aid the 
Russian government in acquiring coal for its Far Eastern Squadron after it had run short 
due to an argument over supply with the Japanese government. In the aftermath of this 
good deed, he confessed his identity and petitioned Alexander III for a pardon. According to 
a local Nagasaki newspaper, "Ginsburg not only received the Imperial pardon, but the thanks 
of the Czar, a monetary reward, a decoration, and the right of trading in Russia." In 1896, 
while visiting Russia, Ginsburg was decorated by the Russian government with the Third 
Class Order of Stanislav for important services rendered to the Russian naval squadron. 

M.A. Ginsburg's wife is first listed as living in Nagasaki in 1891, according to the Nagasaki 
Directory. In July 1892, Ginsburg purchased lots twelve to twenty-six and his brother 
Nathan bought lots twenty-seven to thirty just within the front gate at Sakamoto 
International Cemetery to be used as a Jewish cemetery. By December of this year, the 
Ginsburgs had moved into the residence formerly occupied by Robert Walker at No. 31 
Minamiyamate overlooking the harbor. By 1900, M. Ginsburg & Co. had branch offices in 
Singapore, Port Arthur, Chemulpo and Yokohama. By 1902, it had opened a branch in 
Colombo as well. In December of that year, Ginsburg took over the Agency of the Russian 
Volunteer Fleet, which made him provisioner for practically all Russian shipping in East Asia.
The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 marked the beginning of the end of the Jewish 
community in Nagasaki. Most of the Jewish merchants in town were Russian, and even 
those who were not depended in large part on servicing the Russian community in town and 
Russian shipping in East Asia.

The hardest hit was the firm of Ginsburg & Co. M.A. Ginsburg and his two brothers left 
Nagasaki in September 1903 for St. Petersburg. Ginsburg & Co. closed its office in Nagasaki 
on February 29, 1904. It remained closed during the duration of the Russo-Japanese War, 
but was back in operation by 1906. M.A. Ginsburg and Marcus Mess may have come back 
to Nagasaki in 1906 to reopen the firm, but if they did, they were back in St. Petersburg by 
the following year. Ginsburg & Co. maintained an office in Nagasaki until March 1909, when 
the departure of J.M. Hornstein signified the official closing of the firm's local agency.


A prominent figure in the early Jewish community in Nagasaki was Samuel Goldman, who 
arrived at the foreign settlement in the mid-1870s and worked as a tavern proprietor and 
shopkeeper. By August 1877, he was established at the rear of No. 17 Oura. At one time 
or another, he also rented property at No. 35 Minamiyamate (residence), No. 9 Umegasaki 
and No. 40 Oura.

Goldman was married to Sarah Devora Spunt, a native of Bardicheff. They had at least 
three sons, one of whom, Ramsay, died when he was only a year old in December 1886 and 
was buried in Oura International Cemetery. Another son, Meier, married Clara Haikoff at 
the Japan Hotel in September 1903.

In 1886, the elderly Goldman (who according to accounts of the day was about sixty years 
old, asthmatic and blind in one eye) was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a man half 
his age. In early 1888, Goldman left Nagasaki due to serious health problems and traveled 
to Alexandria, Egypt where he passed away a year later. According to a Nagasaki 
newspaper account, "at the time of his departure [Goldman] was in a very critical state, 
and was not expected to recover." 

Sarah Spunt remained in Nagasaki and ran the family store with her sons. In 1892, she ran 
a newspaper advertisement announcing a name change: "The business hitherto carried on...
in the name of M. Goldman, will be conducted in the future with the same proprietorship and 
management in the name of S. Spunt." It was signed by S. Spunt (lately known as M. 

Clara Spunt, who was probably Sarah's sister, died in Nagasaki on August 3, 1902 at the age 
of fifty-five (in the midst of a cholera outbreak) and was buried in the Jewish section of 
Sakamoto International Cemetery. Two years later, Sarah Spunt (who was still known 
commonly around town as Mrs. Goldman) died at her residence at No. 10 Umegasaki and 
was buried next to her sister - thus ending the nearly three-decade presence of the 
Goldman/Spunt family in Nagasaki.


Peter B. Hawkins was a native of Ireland who took U.S. citizenship and came to Japan as 
young merchant-adventurer. He registered at the American consulate in Nagasaki on 
September 13, 1860. Hawkins, who initially worked for R. Arnold & Co., was involved in two 
court cases in August 1860 - one of which was over nonpayment to a carpenter who laid 
down bowling alleys for him. January 1861 saw assault charges brought against Hawkins and 
he was deported. He did, however, later return to Nagasaki, where he worked for Lake & 
Co. before leaving permanently for New York.


Yves M. Huon, a native of France, came to Nagasaki around 1885 and ran a series of 
taverns and inns at No. 40 Oura - including the London Hotel, the Army and Navy Inn, and 
the Tivoli Hotel. On May 28, 1891, he married a Japanese woman named Hirayu Ichi (27) of 
Juzenji-machi. Huon died on November 28, 1906 at the age of sixty-three and was buried 
in Sakamoto International Cemetery.


One of the most enduring foreign firms in Nagasaki was that of Lake & Co., which operated 
from 1860 to 1921. Its founder was George W. Lake, who was one of the most notorious 
Westerners ever to set foot in Nagasaki. Lake registered at the U.S. Consulate in Nagasaki 
on September 12, 1860, and established Lake & Co. at Nos. 40A and 41 Oura. The 
company was initially a butcher, compradore and general trading business. In September 
1862, Lake was joined by his seventeen-year old brother Edward of Toppsville, 

George Lake served as Marshall to the U.S. Consulate from 1860 to 1864, but this did not 
prevent him from getting into legal problems with Japanese and American authorities almost 
from the beginning. In 1862, he was arrested for assaulting a fellow American. Three years 
later, he was found guilty of assault and resisting arrest for pulling a revolver on a Japanese 
policeman who had tried to take a servant from his house. It was his second conviction, 
and Japanese authorities had every right to deport him, but chose not to do so. Instead, he 
received only a $200 fine from John Walsh the U.S. Consul. In 1867, he was once again 
found guilty of unlawfully detaining a wounding a Japanese Customs official. This time, he 
was fined $25 and sentenced to ten days confinement at a room in the U.S. Consulate.  
Lake managed to escape confinement, however, and apparently fled to Yokohama. He 
clearly returned at some point, because he was once again in trouble with authorities by 
1870. Adrian & Co. filed a complaint against him in the summer of that year with the U.S. 

 The situation finally came to a head in 1871, when a paternity suit was brought against 
George Lake by a Japanese woman. The woman claimed that she had been Lake's mistress 
and that he had fathered her child. Lake admitted that had obtained the woman from a 
house of prostitution, and that she had lived with him from early 1861 to 1869, but he 
denied being the child's father. A jury of four Americans declared the child to be pure 
Japanese and thus found Lake not guilty of the charges. They still said he would be 
deported, and that he had only until October 7 to get out of the country. This thus ended 
Lake's tumultuous eleven-year stay in the city.

When George was deported in 1871, Edward stayed on to conduct business under a power 
of attorney. His primary business was supplying ships with provisions and equipment.  
During his years in Nagasaki, Edward Lake fought a series of boundary disputes with his 
Japanese neighbors, as evident by the number of times his name appears in Japanese legal 
records of the day. Officially, he seems not to have married, but it is quite possible that he 
lived with a Japanese woman, since there is a tombstone in one of Nagasaki's international 
cemeteries that bears the name Lily Ito Lake (aged nine months) who died in 1889.

Edward's brother George returned to Nagasaki in January 1893 in an effort to regain 
control of the family business. The U.S. Consul William Abercrombie was far from pleased to 
see him, because not only was the deportation order still in effect, but Abercrombie 
reported that Lake's criminal record had grown even longer after he left Japan. George 
Lake's sudden appearance in Nagasaki not only disturbed Japanese and American officials, 
but Edward Lake as well, who soon thereafter was charged with assault by George.
Through legal maneuvers and stubbornness, George Lake managed to remain in Nagasaki 
the entire year of 1893. Finally, when he was still in Nagasaki on January 1, 1894, he was 
arrested, his business closed, and his property taken over by the U.S. Consulate. A comedy 
of affairs then commenced, in which Lake was deported on three separate occasions to 
Shanghai; he returned to Nagasaki each and every time. When he showed up in Nagasaki 
again on July 13, he was deported again - this time to Pusan. On this occasion, the 
deportation held, as Lake decided to pursue business opportunities in Korea.

Edward, after a time, had the business and property returned to him, although he faced a 
lengthy legal battle with the Japanese government over the company's Rice Mill at Kozone-
machi. Initially, Japanese officials confiscated the property, but in January 1895, the U.S. 
Minister in Japan voided the action. Edward Lake eventually auctioned the mill off in June 
of the same year.

On August 30, 1898, George Lake's life ended violently in Chemulpo, Korea. An employee, 
John Flanagan, was eventually convicted of Lake's murder. The initial account by a Korean 
newspaper was very matter-of-fact: "Mr. Lake, an American citizen keeping a general store 
here in the Chinese settlement, was this morning found dead with a large hole in his head."  
Apparently, the murder weapon was a large Chinese weight. From all accounts, Lake was 
quite frail and in poor health prior to the attack. In the true spirit of George Lake, 
Flanagan, his convicted murderer, escaped prison in Korea the following year, but was 
recaptured within twenty-four hours. Flanagan was transferred to San Quentin 
Penitentiary in California in mid-1901 and later found innocent of all charges and released.

Back in Nagasaki, Edward Lake, with the help of his nephew, Frederick B. Lake, who came to 
join him in 1899, was able to maintain the family business until his death on November 16, 
1918 at the age of seventy-three. Edward Lake died at his home at No. 40 Oura after an 
extended battle with cancer, and was buried in Sakamoto International Cemetery. 

Edward Lake spent fifty-six years in Nagasaki, including all but the first three of the foreign 
settlement period. He weathered numerous economic, political and social changes to remain 
longer than any other American. While hundreds of Western merchants tried and failed to 
make a living in Nagasaki, Edward Lake survived over five decades and was able to pass the 
family business on to his nephew before his death. Frederick Lake kept Lake & Co. running 
until 1921, but then returned home to the United States.


Jose Loureiro was in Nagasaki by the autumn of 1858, leaving the city for Shanghai on 3 
November of that year. On 12 June of the following year, he sailed from Shanghai to 
London. By at least 22 June 1861, Loureiro was back in Nagasaki, where he served as 
Portuguese Consul. Until late 1862, he also handled consular affairs for the French in the 
city. He also seems to have had close contacts with British government officials in 
Nagasaki, since he rented the lots that eventually housed the British consulate. In addition 
to his consular duties, Loureiro also had business interests centered on the tea trade.  

Loureiro's consular duties were conducted at his home at Nos. 8 and 10 Higashiyamate, 
while the tea trade took place at Nos. 17, 29, 33 and 45 Oura. Loureiro remained in 
Nagasaki until 1870. In July that year, his house and furniture were sold at auction, and on 
1 October, he and his family left Nagasaki. He later became Portuguese Ambassador to 
Japan and resided in Tokyo in that capacity in June 1888. After the Portuguese Embassy 
closed in 1892, Loureiro passed through Nagasaki on his way back to Hong Kong. He died of 
pneumonia in Hong Kong in August 1893 at the age of fifty-eight.


Marcus Mess, the younger brother of Morris and Nathan Mess, was born in Odessa in 1862.  
He came to Japan to work for his brother Morris in 1883. Marcus was in Nagasaki by at 
least May 1885.

Marcus married an Austrian woman named Regina, who between 1893 and 1903 gave birth 
to five children in Nagasaki. Of the children, a son was born on October 10, 1896, a daughter 
in 1898, and another daughter on January 18, 1903.  

On April 13, 1893, Marcus became a partner with Morris Ginsburg. On June 3, 1896, the 
establishment M. Ginsburg became M. Ginsburg & Co. In 1900, Marcus Mess briefly left 
Nagasaki to become the manager of M. Ginsburg & Co. at Singapore. He was back in 
Nagasaki the following year, but then spent 1902 managing the firm's office in Colombo.  
Marcus Mess left Nagasaki for Russia in September 1903 with his wife and five children. He 
died in St. Petersburg on January 19, 1909 at the age of forty-six.  

Regina and her children then fled to France to escape the unsettled conditions in Russia. In 
France she married a frigate captain named Louis Audemard, whom she had met in 
Nagasaki around the turn of the century. Regina and Marcus's daughter Esther (born 
Nagasaki 1898) married a British man named Francis Henry Blakeway and they lived on the 
Isle of Jersey in the British Channel until WWII when they fled to Britain to avoid German 
capture of the island. Their son Martin Blakeway now lives in California. 


The British couple Henry and Elizabeth Mills came to Nagasaki around 1878 and Henry took 
over the Falcon Hotel [more of a rooming house/tavern than a hotel] at No. 31B Oura. The 
hotel was destroyed by fire in 1890, but soon rebuilt. While in Nagasaki, the Mills's adopted 
a Japanese girl and named her Georgina. In October 1884, Georgina married George 
Mansbridge, an employee of Mitsubishi in town. In June 1893, Henry Mills died after a long 
illness at the age of forty-nine. Soon afterward, Elizabeth opened the Sherman House and 
Bowling Saloon at No. 42B Oura on the south side of the Oura River, where she too had to 
cope with a tavern fire in January 1894. She also ran the Seamen's Home during its first 
two years of operation from 1896 to 1898. Elizabeth Mills died in 1907 at the age of sixty-
six and was buried next to her husband in Sakamoto International Cemetery. Georgina died 
in October 1935 at the age of seventy-two and was buried in the Addition to Sakamoto 
International Cemetery ? next to her husband and across the street from her adopted 


James F. Mitchell was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on May 25, 1829. He arrived in Nagasaki 
on January 23, 1861 and established a shipyard called "Aberdeen Yard" on the coast at 
Naminohira. His first creation there was the Phantom-a fifty-seven-foot, thirty-eight ton 
yacht built for William Alt in 1861. The vessel was the first European ship built in Japan.  
Mitchell also cooperated with fellow Aberdeen native Thomas Glover in the construction of 
the Kosuge Ship Repair Dock near the entrance to Nagasaki harbor.  

Mitchell had three brothers, William, George and Andrew, who were ship captions, and all 
died during a six-year period from 1868 to 1874. William died in Ethiopia on June 26, 1868 
at the age of fifty-four. George died in Nagasaki on June 21, 1871 at the age of forty-five.  
Andrew was captain of the British schooner City of Niagara, which went down in a fierce 
storm off of the Goto Islands on March 19, 1874. His body was never found. Following 
Andrew's death off the Goto Islands in 1874, James Mitchell had a monument erected in 
Nagasaki's Oura International Cemetery in their honor. Atop the monument stands a life-
size stone statue carved in the likeness of Andrew Mitchell. It had been Andrew who had 
probably been the first of the Mitchell brothers to go to East Asia, having established a 
shipwright and boat building operation in Shanghai by at least October 1856.

Until his departure from Nagasaki in 1880, James Mitchell, his wife and children lived on the 
hill overlooking his shipyard. At that time, he moved to Shanghai and opened the "Pootung 
Building Yard." In 1885, he entered into an agreement with the Korean government to cut 
timber for the Shanghai market on an uninhabited island northeast of Pusan. In 1890, 
however, the island was raided by Japanese and he was forced to give up his rights.  
Mitchell later moved to Kobe where he established himself as a housebuilder in the foreign 
settlement. He died there on June 11, 1903 at the age of seventy-eight, leaving behind a 
wife and four sons. One of his sons, Capt. William Leslie Mitchell, had proceeded his father in 
death by only three months. Another son, John Benjamin Mitchell, died in Kobe on 
September 11, 1913 at the age of forty-three. John, who had been born in Nagasaki, was 
survived by a wife and brother in Kobe and a son in Melbourne.


John Franklin Nevills was born October 22, 1849 in Sedgwick, Maine and last resided in 
Salem, Massachusetts before coming to Japan. He arrived in Nagasaki on September 25, 
1883 and worked as a merchant ship chandler for Powers & Co. until 1895. During the last 
six years at Powers & Co., Nevills also served as Deputy Marshall at the U.S. Consulate. In 
April 1895, he was officially appointed Marshall at the Consulate, a salaried office which 
allowed him to quit his job at Powers & Co. Nevills held this position until July 1898, when 
he was replaced by a foreign service official of the U.S. government. He then worked briefly 
at the Nagasaki Hotel. For the last twenty-five years of his life, Nevills operated his own 
business as a compradore, first at No. 43 Oura and then at No. 16 Kozone-machi. He 
resided at No. 23 Minamiyamate for years and then at No. 18 Kozone-machi.
In 1893, Nevills was brought to trial on charges that he was smuggling Japanese women out 
of the country for the purpose of prostitution. The case caused much commotion among 
the local Japanese press, but in May, Nevills was found innocent of all charges. This was 
during his time as Deputy U.S. Marshall, but before becoming Marshall.

Nevills died February 17, 1925 at No. 112 Junin-machi and his body was cremated for burial 
at lot No.128 in Azatanoura Cemetery at Juzenji-machi. The lot belonged to Honda Shige, 
who was his housekeeper. Upon his death, she received all of Nevills' possessions.  
According to records kept by Kosaiji Temple, which supervises the cemetery, lot No.128 no 
longer exists.


Michael Ross was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on December 27, 1862. Ross, a 
Sagarimatsu innkeeper, was acquitted of shooting a British seaman by reason of self-
defense in February 1906. Three months later he married a Japanese woman named 
Matsumoto Mutsu. On July 26 of the same year, Ross died of tuberculosis at the age of 
forty-three. He was buried at Sakamoto International Cemetery.


Albert Russell was born in Plymouth, England on December 10, 1869. He came to Nagasai in 
1900 and from August 1902 he served as the manager of the Nagasaki branch of J. 
Curnow & Co., provisioners and naval contractors at No. 42A Oura. On November 8th of 
that year, he married Elizabeth Swatton Mansbridge, the eldest daughter of George and 
Georgina Mansbridge of Nagasaki. Albert and Elizabeth had two sons (Henry, born 
November 1902, and Alfred, born February 1904) and a daughter (Katie). After a long 
illness and with his wife and mother-in-law at his side, Albert Russell passed away at the 
family home at No. 42A Oura on July 6, 1934 at the age of sixty-four. At the time of his 
death, he was the last foreigner operating a foodstuffs store in Nagasaki.


Marie Amedee Salmon arrived in Nagasaki on September 20, 1868 as a missionary with the 
Societe des Mission-Etrangeres de Paris. Born in Bozancais, France on November 11, 1845, 
Salmon was just twenty-two years old when he reached Japan. He spent only a year in 
Nagasaki, before being transferred to first Yokohama and then Kobe. In January 1872, 
Salmon returned to Nagasaki, where he spent the remainder of his life, except for a trip to 
France in 1874 and a seven-year tour of duty at Shittsu (Nagasaki Prefecture).  

From January 1887 until his death in 1919, Salmon was Vicar-General and Treasurer of the 
Nagasaki Catholic Diocese. He resided more than a half-century in Japan, forty years of 
which he spent in Nagasaki. Salmon had been ill for a few months, when he passed away on 
March 31, 1919 at the age of seventy-three. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery at 


The primary dentist for the foreign residents in turn-of-the-century Nagasaki was Dr. 
Harold Slade, who had a dental practice in Kobe and would usually travel down to Nagasaki 
twice a year. Ads in the April 3, 1895 edition of the Rising Sun and Nagasaki Express and 
the October 1, 1904 edition of the Nagasaki Press announced two such visits. On both 
occasions, he had competition. An ad from the same 1895 newspaper announced the visit 
of the American dentist John Rabe of San Francisco, who was scheduled to be in town for 
three to four weeks. Rabe worked out of the second floor office of R.H. Powers & Co., while 
Slade conducted business out of the Belle Vue Hotel. When Slade visited Nagasaki again in 
1905, a certain Dr. Preston, another American dentist, had already been working out of the 
Nagasaki Hotel for ten days. For most of the year, foreign residents suffered their 
toothaches in silence, but when Dr. Slade came to town, his presence often seemed to bring 
competitors out of the woodwork.

Harold Slade, a native of the United States, was born in 1860. In late October 1908, he 
traveled from his home in Kobe to have an operation at St. Luke's Hospital in Tokyo. While 
the procedure initially seemed to be a success, complications set in and Dr. Slade died of 
heart failure on November 2 at the age of forty-eight. He left behind a wife and six children.


It was common for brawls to break out between Western sailors of different nationalities 
who happened to be on shore leave at the same time in Nagasaki. One such example 
involved Henry Snell and Leander Brooks, who were seamen on the H.M.S. Bonfleur, which 
visited Nagasaki in April 1901. Also in port at the time were French naval vessels. Sailors 
of the two nations soon found themselves frequenting the same row of foreign bars along 
Sagarimatsu Creek. A number of fights had already broken out between the two groups 
when on April 10 Snell ran into some French sailors while leaving a bar. One of the 
Frenchman drew a cane sword and, without provocation, plunged it into Snell's body just 
above the abdomen. The assassin then threw the weapon into the creek and escaped in 
the ensuing confusion. Snell was taken to the American hospital, but later died of his 
injuries. He was buried the following day with full military honors at Sakamoto International 
Cemetery, and a contingent from the French war vessels also took part in the funeral 


William Thomas was born in England and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was in 
Nagasaki by at least 1877 when he was a proprietor at No. 31B Oura of the Falcon Hotel, 
which, in spite of its name, was more a boarding house and tavern than a hotel. Thomas 
died at a hot springs in Shimabara of liver and kidney problems on August 27, 1887 at the 
age of forty-two. He was survived by a Japanese housekeeper who lived with him but was 
not legally his wife. Thomas is buried in Sakamoto International Cemetery.


Johannes Umland and Heinrich Schonnecke were German nationals who came to Nagasaki 
around 1866. Like other Germans in the British and American-dominated foreign 
settlement, they took Anglican-sounding names to facilitate their business operations.  
Johannes was better known as "John William" Umland and Heinrich went by the name "
Henry Shanegan." Together they operated the Prussian Eagle Hotel at No. 41A Oura.  
Later, they changed the name to the Germania Hotel, and at the time of their deaths in 
1881, it was called the Imperial Hotel. 

Schonnecke suffered from ill health for a long time, and his death due to pulmonary disease 
on August 5, 1881 at the ages of forty-six was not unexpected. The death the following 
day, however, of the seemingly healthy Umland at the age of forty-three came as a great 
shock to everyone. The loss of his long-time friend and partner must have been too much 
for Umland to bear, and although the circumstances of his death are unclear, it is probably 
more than a coincidence that his end came so quickly upon the heels of Umland's demise.  
The two were buried next to one another in Oura International Cemetery.


The Italian merchant with the longest residence and greatest impact on Nagasaki was the 
ship-chandler and compradore Carlo F. Urso. Urso, who was born in Italy in 1849, probably 
came to Nagasaki in the mid-to-late 1880s, although he did not open his own business until 
1895. From this time until his death in 1918, he presented himself as "Compradore for the 
Italian, Spanish and Austrian Navies." Originally operating out of No. 36 Sagarimatsu, Urso 
& Co. moved to No. 37 Sagarimatsu in 1907. The Urso family residence was situated at No. 
26 Sagarimatsu. 

C.F. Urso married a Japanese woman (Take) about half his age in the late 1880s. In the two 
decades between 1889 and 1909, Take gave birth to sixteen children. Eight died in infancy 
and were buried in Sakamoto International Cemetery. Of the surviving eight, a daughter, 
Caterina, married a Japanese man named Nakahara and died at the age of forty-two in 
1950. Four others (Angela, Eugenio, Maria and Camillo) lived into their seventies and were 
buried in the addition to the Sakamoto Cemetery between 1976 and 1980. There, they 
were laid to rest next to Carlo, who died at the family residence in 1918, and Take, who 
passed away in 1939. Today, several Urso family descendants continue to live in Japan.


Jules J. Vachier was a French merchant who came to Nagasaki in 1907. He operated his 
own company and also served as agent for L'Air Liquide. In November 1920, he was 
appointed French Consular Agent for Nagasaki. At times, he also served as acting consul 
for Belgium and Brazil. The French Consulate was located at No. 42C Sagarimatsu. Vachier 
served as Consular Agent for the French Government until his death from chronic uremia 
on July 1, 1939 at the age of seventy-four. He was buried in Sakamoto International 
Cemetery. Vachier's wife, Kura, died on March 5, 1927 at the age of fifty-seven and was 
buried at Myogyoji Temple.


William Henry D.D. Wentworth was born in London on November 13, 1847. He came to 
Nagasaki around 1900 to work for R.N. Walker & Co. By May 1901 he had established his 
own business, W.D. Wentworth, Landing and Shipping Agent and Customs Broker, at No. 20 
Oura. In February 1903 he moved his firm to No. 12 Oura. Two years later, he moved to 
No. 42 Oura (next to the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank). Later, he changed the name of his 
business to Kyushu Stevedorage Co.  

On June 28, 1913, Wentworth's Japanese wife Miki passed away at he age of fifty-five. She 
was buried in the addition to Sakamoto International Cemetery. W.D. Wentworth lived on to 
the age of eighty-three. After his death on August 12, 1931 at the family home at No. 21 
Minamiyamate, he was buried next to his wife at Sakamoto.