Mr. Adams to Mr. Blaine.
Rio de Janeiro, November 19, 1889. (Received December 16.)
Sir: I have the honor to report on the revolution which has just taken place in this country, the most remarkable ever reported in history. Entirely unexpected by the Government or people, the overthrow of the empire has been accomplished without bloodshed, without riotous proceedings, or interruption to the usual avocations of life.
I will endeavor to give a succinct account of the events which led to this result.
In my No. 9, of September 9, I intimated to the Department that the republicans had not accepted the result of the elections of August 31, although the liberal candidates were elected almost universally. With the liberal ministry so strongly intrenched, the Emperor began to take measures to secure the succession to the Princess Isabel, as his health is much impaired. Being distrustful of the army, a national guard was formed, and the regular troops were being gradually transferred to the interior. The idea was to rely on the national guard to maintain order in Rio and protect the succession against any opposition from the people. On Friday, November 15, another battalion was ordered from Rio, but on that morning all the garrison marched to the great square called “Campo da Acclamaçao,” joined also by the officers and sailors of the navy, the city police, and firemen, all of whom are armed, where they declared for a republic, arrested and deposed the ministry. Baron Ladario, minister of marine, resisted arrest, drew a pistol on the officers, which missed fire, when he was immediately shot down, wounded in four places. He served in the United States Navy during the rebellion, and was the only one in the city who made any resistance.
I am happy to state he will probably recover. Marechal Deodoro formed a provisional government, which issued a proclamation, a copy of which is inclosed.[Page 61]
The Emperor was summoned from Petropolis, and naturally could hardly realize the situation. The ministry having resigned, at midnight he attempted to form a new one, whereupon he was made a prisoner in the palace, all communication denied, and the Imperial family ordered to leave Brazil in twenty-four hours.
The steam-ship Alagôas was placed at their service, with the iron frigate Riachuelo to escort them. At this stage I telegraphed the Department, simply stating existing facts for its information and asking instructions.
As a censorship has been placed over the telegraphic office I send open cables. From midnight Saturday till midday on Sunday all communication by cable was prohibited. On Sunday a constitution was promulgated and a complete ministry formed.
The Imperial family sailed at 3 o’clock that afternoon, at which time I telegraphed the Department of that fact, also of the existence of a de facto government, and urged the recognition of the “United States of Brazil.”
In my opinion the republican form of Government is securely established, even though the present ministry should fall. Our constitution and flag have been copied, and, looking to future relations, I desire our country to be first to acknowledge the Republic.
I mail copies of “Diario Official” of November 16, 17, and 18, containing all official decrees, etc., of provisional government. Decree No. 2 confers a settlement in money on the late Emperor, his acceptance of which is considered an abdication.
I am, etc.,