Mr. Hilliard to Mr. Evarts.
Rio de Janeiro , November 4, 1878. (Received November 29.)
Sir: I inclose a translation of a leader which appeared recently in the columns of O Cruzeiro, a paper published in this city, and understood to express the sentiments of the Liberal ministry now in power.
I have found, in my intercourse with the leading statesmen of the Liberal party, a strong desire to cultivate intimate relations with our country. They wish to deliver Brazil from the influence of European ideas, and to encourage in the people the growth of a vigorous sense of independence. Some of these leaders are extreme in their opinions) others are more moderate. But they all desire progress.
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They regard the institutions of the United States as a splendid illustration of the principles of free government. They express their admiration of a people who not only asserted their independence and threw off their colonial bondage, but who at the same time constructed a great free government in defiance of the traditions of the monarchies of Europe. You will observe this tone in the article which I inclose to you. The wisest men of the Liberal party do not desire at this time to effect any change in the form of their government, but they do earnestly desire to free themselves from the dominion of European ideas. They wish to direct the attention of the men now growing up to the civilization of the United States, as far more vigorous and wholesome than that which prevails in Europe. They favor what I name an American policy.
From the day of my arrival here I have endeavored to stimulate the sentiment. In my address to the Emperor I expressed my sentiments in strong language, and I have steadily pressed these views upon the public men of the empire from time to time.
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Without entering into the conflict of parties, I have at all times encouraged the growth of American sentiments.
The present minister of finance some time since, in a great speech in the Brazilian Parliament, eulogized the institutions of the United States in such strong terms that a Conservative member replied to him and said, “that one who entertained such sentiments ought to make his home in the United States.”
The gentleman made a grand reply, and said that it was perfectly consistent with loyalty to the Imperial Government of Brazil to direct the aspirations of his countrymen to the institutions of the greatest free government on the globe. He now has charge of one of the most important departments of the government.
In my judgment the progress of free principles in Brazil is quite as rapid as the best friends of the country could desire.
The imperial government is thoroughly constituted. The Emperor is an enlightened ruler; his personal qualities are of the first order; he fully comprehends the civilization of the present period; and he appreciates in the highest degree the institutions of the United States.
I am intimately acquainted with the leading statesmen of the empire, and I do not desire a more rapid advancement than I observe at this time.[Page 131]
In the article from O Cruzeiro, which I forward, you will observe that reference is made to the convention recently concluded with Brazil for the protection of trade-marks of commerce and manufacture.
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I have, &c.,