No. 55.
Mr. Hilliard to Mr. Evarts.

No. 18.]

Sir: I have within the present week made several visits in an informal way, calling upon some members of the ministry, who are regarded as very influential in the present government.

I saw at his house Marquis do Hevral, so well known as General Ozorio, minister of war, and had an interesting conversation with him. He welcomed me warmly, and seemed to receive my visit with great satisfaction. He is a great soldier and enjoys immense popularity in the empire. His manners are warm and frank, and he conversed with freedom. He seems to feel a sincere interest in our country, and admires our institutions. He brings great strength to the ministry, and must exert a powerful influence upon the affairs of the empire.

I afterward called at the residence of Councilor de Sinimbu, chief of the ministry, and had a most satisfactory interview with him. He received me, as heretofore, with expressions of warm regard. This remarkable man is distinguished both for high moral qualities and for his attainments; he is a statesman worthy of respect in every way, and he enjoys the confidence of the country. He is sincerely friendly to our country, and exhibits the greatest interest in its affairs. At our late interview he inquired as to the state of political affairs with us, and upon my replying that the country enjoyed the tranquillity which had resulted from the accession of the present administration to power, he expressed himself highly gratified. He expressed his sympathy with the course which had been pursued in regard to the whole country, embracing the Southern States, and said that it seemed to him to be eminently just. He said that the United States and Brazil were really one country, meaning, of course, that occupying the American continent, their relations must be intimate, and their interests the same. I expressed myself pleased with his statesmanlike views, and reminded him that I had uttered similar sentiments upon the occasion of my presentation to the Emperor. He assented, and was good enough to assure me of the regard which the Emperor and Empress both entertained for me. He repeated what he had said to me on a previous occasion, that the Emperor had, since his return from his late visit, expressed his strong approval of what he had seen in his travels in the United States. He then spoke of the interest with which he had read an account of the launch of the City of Para, at Chester, upon which occasion the President and cabinet were present, and of the splendid celebration of the event. He thought that the increased facilities for rapid transit, afforded by the new line of steamships, would greatly encourage the commerce between the two countries, and said that our country would now be brought very near. I replied in the same spirit, and said that the first of the new steamships, the City of Rio de Janeiro, was to reach this port on the 25th instant, when I should go on board to welcome our friends. He replied, “Yes; and the Emperor wishes to go on board too.”

I was much gratified at this, for it satisfied me that the present ministry would exert its influence to give success to the bill in the chambers for the payment of the subsidy to the line of steamships which Mr. Boach has with so much enterprise decided to establish between the [Page 67] United States and Brazil. I hope that our government will be equally liberal.

It is very important that we should acquire the control of the commerce of Brazil. English capital is largely invested here; it is a rich field with a great future, and we ought to be willing to spend money to open it to the people of the United States. Even if the immediate results should not be satisfactory in a pecuniary sense, we should persevere and make the country from which we receive such large importations the market for the products of the labor and skill of our people.

Since my interview with Councilor de Sinimbu, I have learned from the agent of the line here that the first installment of the sum to be paid to Mr. Roach is already provided. I am informed, too, that twenty-six thousand sacks of coffee have been secured for shipment in the new steamship, and that the amount will reach thirty thousand before the day of her sailing.

I passed last evening with a gentleman who represents the Pacific Steamship Company, of Liverpool, who gave me these facts, and who is the agent here for the new line from New York, and learned some important points in regard to its relations to the business of this port. He has ample means and lives with great elegance. His influence is fully exerted to give success to Mr. John Roach’s enterprise.

I have, &c.,