No. 19.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Partridge.

No. 154.]

Sir: I inclose, herewith, a copy of a communication of the 12th instant, from the Secretary of the Navy, relative to the humane and courteous conduct of Baron Ivanheimer, of the Brazilian navy, in tendering to Capt. F. A. Roe, commanding the United States ship “Lancaster,” the services of the surgeons of his flag-ship, the surgeon of the “Lancaster” having died at sea, and one of the assistant surgeons at Bahia, from yellow fever, and requesting that appropriate acknowledgments may be made to Baron Ivanheimer and to Dr. E. A. F. da Rocha, through this Department.

I will consequently thank you to communicate to the minister for foreign affairs the facts mentioned in the inclosed letter of the Secretary of the Navy, and at the same time to request that the thanks of this Government may be conveyed to Baron Ivanheimer for his humane and generous offer to Captain Roe on the occasion referred to, and to Dr. da Rocha, who accompanied the “Lancaster” to this country, for his self-sacrificing spirit in undertaking a service which promised to be attended with anxiety, severe professional duty, and with great personal danger.

I am, &c.,


Mr. Robeson to Mr. Fish.

Sir: I have the honor to bring to your notice, in order that appropriate acknowledgments may be made to whom they are due, the humane and courteous conduct of Baron Ivanheimer and Dr. Euclides Alves Ferriera da Rocha, of the Brazilian navy.

The facts are as follows: The U. S. ship Lancaster, Capt. F. A. Roe, commanding, having completed several years’ service on the coast of Brazil as flag-ship of our squadron in those waters, sailed from Rio de Janeiro April 22 for the United States with every prospect of a pleasant and happy voyage. When a few days out yellow fever appeared on board, and in rapid succession four of her officers were taken down, among them the chief medical officer of the ship and one of the assistant surgeons, the former of whom died at sea and the latter after reaching Bahia. But one other medical officer remained for duty, and Captain Roe deemed it prudent, in view of the long distance to his port of destination and the probability of the disease spreading, to shape his course for Bahia, some four hundred miles to the westward.

The Lancaster reached Bahia May 9, where the assistant surgeon was transferred to the hospital and died, as above stated, two days afterwards.

With upwards of four hundred souls on board, a long distance from home, the equatorial regions to pass through, and a prospect of the re-appearance of fever, the Lancaster was in an unfortunate condition, having but one medical officer on board for duty.

As soon as Baron Ivanheimer, commanding the Brazilian squadron, then at Bahia, learned of the serious loss sustained by the Lancaster, he generously tendered to Captain Roe the services of one of his surgeons of the flag-ship, Dr. da Rocha, to accompany the Lancaster home. Captain Roe was more than glad to accept the kind offer of the baron, and to be thus assured of valuable professional services should the fever re-appear, a contingency most likely to occur.

Happily the disease had disappeared with its last victim, and the Lancaster reached Hampton Roads June 26 with all well on board.

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Dr. da Rocha, exercising his own pleasure, his services being no longer required, left the ship at that point, and the Department is most happy in providing for his comfort and enjoyment while he is in this country, and will provide for his passage back to his station in the mail-steamer of the 23d instant from New York, the first opportunity for returning to his post, and which he proposes to avail himself of.

The kindness and thoughtfulness of Baron Ivanheimer and the self-sacrificing spirit of Dr. da Rocha, in undertaking a service which promised to be attended with anxiety, severe professional duty, and great danger, meet with the Department’s warmest appreciation and admiration, and I will be much gratified if you will make known to the government of Brazil, and through it to Baron Ivanheimer and Dr. da Rocha, the deep sense thus entertained of the aid extended to one of our ships of war, its officers and crew, in so trying an emergency.

Very respectfully, &c.,

Secretary of the Navy.