No. 51.
Mr. Hilliard to Mr. Evarts.

No. 5.]

Sir: Upon my arrival here, I felt it to be my duty to inform myself in regard to the state of what may be called “American” interests in this country. My attention was attracted to the remarkable fact that while the United States take so large a proportion of the coffee of Brazil, the great bulk of the trade of this country is controlled by England. We furnish the money which the people of this country use in purchasing their supplies from other countries, and much the larger proportion is imported from England. I shall at some time state the figures which represent this state of trade. Some of our products are actually sent from the United States to England, sold there, and then reshipped to the ports of Brazil in the steamships of Great Britain, where they are sold in the market at a great advance upon the original prices. The want of the facilities for rapid transit between the principal ports of the United States and those of Brazil must, of course, subject us to great disadvantage in our commercial intercourse with this country.

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I found upon coming here a representative of John Roach, of New York, who had been for several months striving to obtain from the Government of Brazil some encouragement for opening a line of steamships between New York and this city, but he encountered obstacles at every step. The English influence was very hostile to his plan, and it has so far obstructed the enterprise pressed upon this government with so much energy and intelligence by Mr. W. P. Tisdel, who represents Mr. Roach here. Of course I could not aid him officially, but I have contributed what I could properly to influence the government to entertain with favor the proposal submitted to it by our enterprising countrymen. I hope to be able at an early day to inform you of the success of a plan so important to the interests of the United States.

It is a remarkable fact that while there is not a single line of direct communication by steamship between the ports of the United States and those of Brazil, other countries have established lines which are in full and, I believe, successful operation. The Liverpool and Pacific Mail Steamship Company sends two steamers per month. The Royal Mail Line sends steamships which sail from Southampton twice a month. There are three lines of steamships from France, (from Havre, Bordeaux, and Marseilles,) sailing each semi-monthly. There is a line from Hamburg, and another from Bremen. There is also a line from Genoa.

It is impossible to overlook the importance of a line of steamships between the ports of the United States, for example New York, New Orleans, and this port, touching at other ports of Brazil.

I learn that the Emperor is very friendly to the establishment of such a line.

So far as the effect of the duties imposed by this government on imports from the United States may be considered, I shall make some suggestions hereafter which I hope will be worthy of your consideration, and which may, perhaps, be properly submitted to Congress.

I have, &c.,