No. 485.

Mr. Lewis to Mr. Bayard.

No. 16.]

Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 4, of May 29, I have the honor to report that on the 24th of June I addressed a note to his excellency Senhor du Bocage, minister of foreign affairs, copy of which I inclose.

On the 8th instant I received a reply, dated July 30, thereto, as well as to a note from my predecessor, of date February 16 last, on the same subject. It will be seen by a reference to a copy of Senhor du Bocage’s note and to the translation thereof, both inclosed, that His Majesty’s Government, by implication at least, does not consider as necessary that any special permission should be issued to enable the missionaries recently established at Mozambique to extend their civilizing teachings wherever they may conduce to progress and civilization.

His excellency observes that there are no laws existing which forbid foreign missionaries in Mozambique giving instruction of a humanizing character to the natives of that province.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 16.]

Mr. Lewis to Mr. du Bocage.

Your Excellency: The American Board of Missions has three missionaries stationed on Inhambane Bay on the east coast of Africa. These gentlemen are American citizens, and are within the limits of Portuguese jurisdiction. They have received permission from the authorities at Mozambique to take up 2,500 acres of land where-ever they may choose to locate, but are not allowed to engage in religious teaching or preaching beyond the limits of the above concession.

The attention of His Majesty’s Government was invited to this matter by my predecessor in his note addressed to your excellency dated February 16 last, and I am [Page 647] instructed by the State Department to inquire of your excellency what action His Majesty’s Government has taken thereon. The work of these gentlemen is wholly religious and educational, and they are expressly forbidden to take any part in politics or trade.

Knowing the liberality of His Majesty’s Government, and the assistance always given to worthy objects, the Government of the United States trusts that such concessions will be granted the American Board of Missions by the Portuguese Government that can be consistently asked for, and that civilization will be benefited thereby.

I avail, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 16.—Translation.]

Mr. du Bocage to Mr. Lewis.

In answer to the notes which your excellency was plesased to address me on February 16 and June 24 ultimo, I have the honor to say that no laws exist in the province of Mozambique forbidding foreign missionaries giving the indigenous population the instruction they need, and developing among them love for work and virtue, thus leading them on the road of progress and civilization.

I avail, &c.,