William Speiden

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  • Born: 1835
  • Died: 1920

William Speiden served as clerk to US Navy Purser (i.e. financial officer) J.C. Eldridge aboard the USS Mississippi on Commodore Matthew Perry's trips to Japan in the 1850s.

On 1854/5/20, Eldridge and Speiden completed negotiations with Tokugawa shogunate officials regarding currency exchange rates and coal prices to be relevant following the opening of the ports of Hakodate and Shimoda.[1]

A lengthy set of journals produced by Speiden documenting his experience of this journey to Japan, and including numerous illustrations, is today held by the Library of Congress.


  1. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 604.