to Mr. Bayard
Rio de Janeiro , January 19, 1887. (Received February 23.)
Sir: I was yesterday informed by Consul-General Armstrong of an alleged attack upon our consulate at Santos. The only facts in my possession are those set forth in Vice-Consul Broad’s communication to the consul-general. A copy of the said communication accompanied the latter’s note to me, and is herewith inclosed.
From the vice-consul’s statement it appears that when he called the attention of the chief of police to the outrage, that official explained—so I infer from Mr. Broad’s note—that, owing to the enactment of a local law regulating the closing of shops on Sundays, some persons felt aggrieved, and proceeded to express their indignation by stoning various shops in different parts of the city; that among the shops so stoned was one just under the consulate, and that the missiles that struck and [Page 54] damaged the consulate were intended for the shop. The chief of police, continuing, expressed his sorrow for the occurrence, and assured the vice-consul that the act of the mob was in no way intended as an insult to the United States.
The reply in writing of the chief of police to Mr. Broad’s demand for an explanation will be transmitted you as soon as received by me, together with any other facts bearing on the subject that I can obtain.
The chief’s verbal explanation, remaining uncontradicted, is presumably correct, and, in my judgment, an apology from the municipal authorities for the outrage committed unintentionally by a part of their citizens, and an indemnity for the damage done the consulate, coupled with a promise to punish the offenders, ought to suffice to be satisfactory.
As the case does not appear to be one that would be seriously damaged by a delay of a month or two, I do not feel called upon to take immediate action, but will await such instructions as you may be pleased to send me.
I have, etc.,