No. 55.
Mr. Partridge to Mr. Fish.

No. 164.]

Sir: Notwithstanding the hope and belief here that the unsatisfactory relations with the Argentine Republic may not finally end in a war, the Brazilian fleet in the Plate has been re-enforced, now numbering ten vessels, under one of their chief naval commanders; recruiting is incessant, and it is evident from the other preparations that this government is desirous of being able at once to strike an effective blow, or a rapid series of them, in case the necessity should overtake them.

There is still no Argentine legation here, and it is thought by many who know the temper and disposition of Mr. Magalhaes, Baron Araguaya, that those qualities in the Brazilian minister there would not lean to concession.

To the complaints made by each of the parties against the other, arising out of the Brazilo-Paraguayan treaties, the continued occupation of Villa Occidental, and the armed occupation by the Argentines of the island of Martin Garcia, (in alleged violation of the guaranteed neutrality of the Plate, mentioned in Mr. Shannon’s No. 147,) are to be added, on the part of a large party in Buenos Ayres, the disappointment at the non-election of General Mitre to the Presidency, the success in the election there (though disputed) of Alsina, and the hopes of all the disappointed candidates and their friends that a declaration of war might bring about a revolution in the Argentine Republic, and so aid the chances of some one of those chiefs.

It is clear to any one who knows the want of resources on both sides to carry on a war, that that fact alone ought to be sufficient to prevent it; but every such person also knows that such a condition of affairs is very far from being a reason here) in fact, it often is a reason to them for proceeding.

These threatenings of war have been very much believed in by the ministers of England and France, and there is reason to suppose that in consequence of their representations to their governments, they have been instructed to offer their mediation in case war should come.

One would suppose, however, from the former experience of the Anglo-French mediation in affairs of the River Plate Republic, (1838–1850,) that they, or at least England, would hesitate before getting again into such a business.

Since there is no United States minister there at present, I will endeavor to keep you informed of events there, as well as here, which bear upon this matter.

It has been said here by a person high placed in the government, that in case Brazil should find war inevitable, they would be in favor of the questions being referred for decision to the President of the United States.

I am, &c.,