Mr. Adams to Mr. Blaine.

No. 20.]

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.

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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.,

Robert Adams, Jr.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 20.—Translation.]


Fellow-Citizens: The people, the army, and the navy, in perfect harmony of sentiment with our fellow-citizens resident in the provinces, have just decreed the dethronement of the Imperial dynasty, and consequently the extinction of the representative monarchical system of government.

As an immediate result of this national revolution, of a character wholly patriotic, a provisional government has just been instituted, whose principal mission is to guaranty by public order the liberty and the rights of citizens.

To compose this Government until the sovereign nation by means of competent organs shall proceed to the choice of a definitive Government, the undersigned citizens have been chosen by the chief of the executive power.

Fellow-citizens: The provisional government, simply a temporary agent of the national sovereignty, is the government of peace, of liberty, of fraternity, and of order.

In the use of the extraordinary attributions and faculties with which it is invested for the defense of the integrity of the nation and for the security of public order, the provisional government, by all the means in their reach, promise and guaranty to all the inhabitants of Brazil, native or foreign, security of life and property, respect for all rights, individual and political, except as to the latter the limitations required by the safety of the country and defense of the Government proclaimed by the people, by the army, and by the navy.

Fellow-citizens: The functions of ordinary justice, as well as of civil and military administration, will continue to be exercised by the officials hitherto employed in relation to all acts, in the fullness of their effects; in relation to persons, the advantages and rights acquired by each functionary will be respected; but the life-term of the senate is hereby abolished, and also the council of state. The chamber of deputies is dissolved.

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Fellow-citizens: The provisional government recognizes and will respect all national obligations contracted during the previous regimen, treaties subsisting with foreign powers, the public debt, external and internal, existing contracts, and further obligations legally contracted.

  • Marshal Manoel Deodoro da Fonseca,
    Chief of the Provisional Government.
  • Aristides da Silveira Lobo, Minister of the Interior.
  • Ruy Barbosa, Minister of Finance and pro tern. of Justice.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Constant, Botelho Magathoes, Minister of War.
  • Edward Wandenkolk, Chief of Squadron, Minister of Marine.
  • Quintino Bocayuva,
    Minister of Foreign Affairs and pro tem, of Agriculture, Commerce, and Public Works.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 20.—Translation.]

Decree No. 1—Dated November 15, 1889.

The provisional government of the United States of Brazil decree:

  • Art. 1. The form of government of the Brazilian nation proclaimed and decreed is a federative republic.
  • Art. 2. The provinces of Brazil, joined together in the bonds of federation, constistute the United States of Brazil.
  • Art. 3. Each one of these States, in the exercise of its legitimate sovereignty, will decree in due time its definitive constitution, electing legislative assemblies and local governments.
  • Art. 4. Until elections are held in a regular way for members to constitute a constitutional congress, and for legislative assemblies in each of the States, the Brazilian, nation will be governed by the provisional government of the Republic; and the new States by the governors that may be proclaimed, or in default of these, by governors delegated by the provisional government.
  • Art. 5. The respective governments of the federated States will adopt with urgency all necessary providences in order that order be maintained and public security preserved, and that the rights and liberty of citizens, whether Brazilians or foreigners, be guarantied.
  • Art. 6. Wherever public order may be disturbed, in any of the States, and wherever the local government shall not possess the means of repressing disorders and securing peace and tranquillity, the provisional government will enforce, by means of the public force, the free exercise of the rights of citizens and the unconstrained action of the constituted authorities.
  • Art. 7. The federative Brazilian Republic being the form of government proclaimed, the provisional government does not recognize, nor will it recognize, any local government contrary to a republican form, awaiting, as in duty bound, the final sentence of popular suffrage, as expressed by the free vote of the nation.
  • Art. 8. The regular army and navy, and public forces of the three arms of which there are garrisons or detachments in the different provinces, will continue subordinated to and exclusively dependent on the provisional government of the Republic, the local government being, however, empowered to decree the organization of a civil guard for the policing of the territory contained in their respective States.
  • Art. 9. All civil and military departments hitherto subject to the control of the central government of the Brazilian nation will remain under the direct control of the provisional government of the Republic.
  • Art. 10. The territory embraced within the municipality neuter will remain for the time being under the immediate jurisdiction and control of the provisional government of the Republic, and the city of Rio de Janiero will continue to be the seat of the federal power.
  • Art. 11. The secretaries of state in the different departments or bureaus of the actual provisional government will be encharged with the execution of this decree in the part relative to each.

  • Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca,
    Chief of the Provisional Government.
  • S. Lobo.
  • Ruy Barbosa.
  • Q. Bocayuva.
  • Benjamin Constant,
  • Wandenkolk.