Mr. Gresham to Mr. Moonlight.

No. 12.


Washington, June 4, 1894. SIR: I have received your No. 8, of the 5th ultimo, inclosing a copy of your note to the Bolivian minister of foreign affairs recommending the promotion of Maj. Romulo Fortún, of the Bolivian army, in recognition of courtesies and kindnesses received from him during your reception. You state that you were assured that this was expected, and according to custom.

However usual such a proceeding may be in Bolivia, it is so entirely contrary to section 1751 of the Revised Statutes that the Department can not approve your note, and you should make a proper explanation to the minister of foreign affairs. I am, etc.,


Mr. Moonlight to Mr. Gresham.

No 36.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, La Paz, Boliria, July 19, 1894. (Received August 24.) SIR: Replying to No. 12, of June 4, received yesterday, disapproving of my action in asking the Bolivian Government for the promotion of Maj. Romulo Fortún, of the army, for courtesies and kindnesses received during my reception, and requesting that proper explanation be made to the minister of foreign affairs, I have the honor to transmit herewith my No.13 to the minister of foreign relations, making the proper explanation, which I trust will receive the approval of the Department. I acknowledge frankly that it was with great reluctance note 6 of April 25 was written, and was careful to say “if consistent with the views of the Government and custom in like cases;” but had overlooked that it was in violation of section 1751 of the Revised Statutes, and which I very much regret. I bave, etc.,


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La Paz, Bolivia, July 19, 1894. SIR: Referring to my note 6, of April 25, I find that it was in violation of the Revised Statutes of the United States to ask for the promotion of Maj. Romulo Fortún, of the Bolivian army; but was led to believe that it was customary to make such request, and, in fact, expected of the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary for courtesies and kindnesses received from the officer designated to escort bim from the Bolivian port of entry to La Paz and render him assistance during the ceremony of reception. With this explanation, I sincerely trust your excellency will deem it proper to consider No. 6 as a nullity. I avail, etc.,


Mr. Gresham to Mr. Moonlight.

No. 26.)


Washington, August 27, 1894. SIR: I have received your No. 36, of the 19th ultimo, concerning the case of Romulo Fortún, of the Bolivian army, and desire to approve your explanatory note to the minister of foreign affairs touching the same. I am, etc.,






Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.



Rio de Janeiro, April 5, 1894. Mr. Thompson reports that the Brazilian fleet will be sent to Paranagua, in the State of Paraná, with a view to preventing rebels from embarking there, and that the Government will recall its minister to Portugal, whose proposal it declines to accept.

Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.


Rio de Janeiro, April 12, 1894. Mr. Thompson reports that the governor of Rio Grande do Sul has telegraphed to the Brazilian foreign office the news of a serious defeat and great loss sustained at Port Alegre by the rebels, who took to their Vessels and, being advised of the approach of the squadron sent by the Brazilian Government, fled in baste.

Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.


Petropolis, April 18, 1894. Mr. Thompson telegraphs that according to intelligence received from the south the revolutionary cause has been abandoned by Admiral Mello, who has gone with 1,200 men and 4 vessels of the revolting squadron to the Argentine Republic, which gives them protection. The sinking of the Aquidaban and the complete overthrow of the revolutionary movement are announced.

See Foreign Relations 1893, pp. 45–148.

Senhor Mendonça to Mr. Gresham.


Washington, April 19, 1894. SIR: I have the honor to communicate to your excellency the following cablegram just received from my Government:

Aquidaban was sunk in the port of Santa Catharina by torpedo boat of the fleet of the Brazilian Government. Mello went to Buenos Ayres with the cruiser Republica and four other vessels; asked for and obtained asylum, declaring to abandon the contention, for lack of resources. Delivered vessels to Argentine Government. Rebellion ended. Accept, etc.


Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.

No. 220.]


Petropolis, April 19, 1894. (Received May 14, 1894.) SIR: Since the surrender and escape of Saldanha da Gama, in military operations the utmost quiet has prevailed at Rio de Janeiro, and business has resumed its usual channels. The Portuguese war vessels, Mindello and Albuquerque, with da Gama and other refugees on board, went from here to Montevideo and from there to Buenos Ayres, where a number of the refugees landed from the ships, it is stated, without the consent of the commander. A demand for them is reported to have been formally made afterwards by the representative of Portugal, and the Argentine Governinent refused to give them up. This, it was believed, would make an issue between the governments of Portugal and Argentina similar to the question of asylum pending between Portugal and Brazil; but later advices indicate that the entire number of refugees taken on board the Portuguese vessels will be transported to Portugal, and thus the issue may be avoided.

Authentic information has been received confirming the reported successes of the Government forces at Rio Grande do Sul, wired you on the 12th instant. The rebels were driven from the shore back to their ships, with heavy losses, and left the port before the Government fleet arrived.

Confirming my cipher telegram of yesterday, authentic information has been received from Buenos Ayres and Montevideo announcing au engagement at Desterro on the 16th, between the Government squad. ron and the Aquidaban, which resulted in the sinking of the Aquidaban near the shore by torpedo boats, under the command of Admiral Gonçalves of the Brazilian navy, whose flagship is the Nictheroy. Also, the arrival of Mello with five ships, the Republica, Esperança, Iris, Meteoro, Uranus, and 1,200 men, who asked and were granted an asylum by the Government of Argentina. The ships were taken possession of by the Argentine Government, and, it is stated, will be turned over to Marechal Peixoto when called 'for. The Government having now gained complete control of the three southern States lately in rebellion, viz, Paraná, Santa Catharina, and Rio Grande do Sul, and driven the revolters from the territory of Brazil, the revolution seems to be practically at an end. Gumacindo, having fled to the mountains of Uruguay, may continue his raids upon the people of Rio Grande do Sul for a

time. It is stated that 4,000 rebels have taken refuge in Argentina and Uruguay. President Peixoto has been gloriously triumphant in all his undertakings against the insurgents, though the odds at times seemed to be largely against his success. His splendid executive ability and dauntless courage have won the victory. The permanency of Brazil as an American Republic is now assured. I have, etc.,


Mr. Gresham to Mr. Thompson.

No. 125.)


Washington, April 25, 1894. SIR: I have received your No. 189, of the 4th ultimo, in regard to certain items printed in the newspapers of this country in Decemberand January last, which reflected upon your supposed conduct and views touching the Mello-Gama revolt.

The Department is at a loss to account for these disparaging reports. Its instructions to you by cable and mail faithfully represent its views as to your course, and an examination of them does not suggest any criticism based on your supposed partiality for the insurgent cause. So far as your attendance at your post is concerned the published statements had some apparent foundation, but your response to the Department's telegram of inquiry dispelled the apprehension that the public interests might suffer by reason of your continued residence at Petropolis.

The request cabled to you on the 30th of January for fuller reports in regard to the situation at Rio had its rise in the necessity of having more precise information concerning the progress of the events on laud and the applications for belligerent recognition addressed to you by the revolted admirals. Captain Picking's reports dealt mainly with the military aspects of the situation and the measures proposed for the protection of ligitimate commerce in the waters of Rio. The Department necessarily had to look to its legation for current advices as to the political and diplomatic phases of the problem.

I am pleased to believe that the reliance placed from the outset upon your discretion in dealing with the complex and embarrassing issues presented in the protracted course of the revolt was amply justified by the event.

On the whole, I can only suppose that the press items, which have naturally disquieted you, may have been due to the Department's proper reticence in respect to your political reports as contrasted with the equally proper publicity given to the intelligence received from the naval commander as regards the military happenings at Rio. The propriety of conceding belligerent rights to the insurgents was obviously more appropriate for consideration in the executive councils of this Government than for discussion in the papers, especially in view of the supposed attitude of European powers. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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