to Mr. Bayard.
Petropolis , May 14, 1888. (Received June 8.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 122, dated March 13, I have the honor to inform you that yesterday the general assembly of Brazil finally passed, and the Princess Imperial Regent approved, a law abolishing slavery in Brazil, and I herewith inclose a copy of the law, with a translation thereof.
While I expected the speedy enactment of such a law, I did not anticipate such unanimity in its passage. Every indication of public sentiment [Page 73] is in hearty accord with this action of the general assembly, and I may add that this sentiment has been well prepared for the changes to take place in the labor of the country, I therefore do not share in the fears expressed by some as to its immediate effect on the various industries.
The maturing coffee crop is exceptionally large, and some, either honestly or for purposes of speculation, have expressed the apprehension that the immediate effect of emancipation would be so to disorganize labor as to render it difficult, if not impossible, to save the crop. In my view, the country has been so well prepared for this action that its present effect will not be deleterious, and its future results will be most advantageous, as we all know it has proved in our own land, to the general prosperity of the country.
I have, etc.,