No. 66.
Mr. Osborn to Mr. Evarts.

No. 12.]

Sir: On the 1st instant occurred one of the most interesting events which it has been my pleasure to witness in Chili. It was the occasion of the formal presentation to the persons entitled thereto, of the awards made at the exhibition at Philadelphia to exhibitors from this country. The ceremony took place in the “Quinta Normal de Agricultura,” or agricultural grounds, situated in the suburbs of Santiago, and was witnessed by many thousands of people. In fact it seemed that the population had turned out en masse in honor of the event. It was in this [Page 81] “Quinta” that the great Exhibition of Chili, of 1875, took place, since which it has been fostered by the government, and it is now a beautiful park.

The ceremony was under the direction of the national authorities, and I could not but feel gratified at the marked deference which was paid, at every convenient opportunity, to the Government which I have the honor to represent. On the platform of the main hall where the ceremony occurred, were the President of the Republic and his Cabinet Ministers, the Diplomatic Corps, and many distinguished citizens. The great hall was decorated throughout with flags of the United States and of Chili, in their order alternating; and the music of numerous bands and the singing of hymns by a thousand voices contributed to the festivities.

The presentation of the awards was made by the President in person, and as each successful competitor presented himself he was greeted with rounds of applause from the thousands there congregated.

Prior to the formal presentation of the awards a short address was made by Hon. Edward Séve, commissioner of Chili to the Philadelphia exposition. His remarks were well received by all. They were characterized by their expressions of regard and friendship for the United States, and their complimentary mention of the management of our Exposition. He had no word of complaint to utter, but on the contrary spoke of our Government and our people, and especially of those having in charge the direction of the Exposition, in the highest and most flattering terms.

In addition to this the Government had selected for the delivery of addresses two of her most eloquent citizens, Señor Amanátequi, Minister of Justice and of Public Instruction, and Señor Abelardo Nunez, a citizen and lawyer, distinguished for his culture and his powers of oratory. I cannot but regard the selection of these gentlemen for the performance of the duties assigned them, as a compliment to my country. Señor Amanatequi, the Minister of Justice, is one of the first men in Chili today. A man of culture, and of advanced ideas, he is, too, a man of great courage. Under his management the public schools have been fostered, and the cause of education is being rapidly advanced. Popular education is his hobby, if you please, and to this cause his entire energies seem to be directed. It is not long since it was generally regarded as the reverse of reputable, to permit children to attend the public schools here; but it is quite different now. In fact the public schools in Chili are fast approaching that standard of perfection which they have acquired in our own country. To this cause more than to any other, in my judgment, is to be attributed the conceded superiority of Chili among the nations of South America. To accomplish this work in this country, where the priesthood has been so powerful, has required no little labor and a vast deal of courage.

I speak thus at length of these distinguished gentlemen to make more clear to you the remark made above, to the effect that I look upon their selection for this duty as a compliment paid to my country.

In view of the prominence given to the occasion by the government here, as well as of the character of the gentlemen referred to, I have concluded to accompany this dispatch with a printed copy, in Spanish, of the addresses delivered, together with a translation of the same in the English language. They will be found with the inclosures.

The great Centennial Exposition of 1876 had a peculiar interest for all true Americans. In it was centered the grand idea of self-government, upon which our nation is founded; and it is but natural that we [Page 82] should contemplate with pride a scene in a foreign land, in which, in commemorating our country’s anniversary, such marked prominence has been given to that idea.

I have, &c.,