Mr. Adams to Mr. Blaine .

No. 30.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose translation of the speech of the minister of agriculture, referred to in my No. 26.

On the 18th instant a mutiny occurred in the Second Artillery Regiment. At about 2 o’clock some fifty privates left their quarters carrying an imperial flag and attempted to seduce other regiments into a [Page 17] pronunciamento, but were repelled, driven back, and besieged in their quarters. They fortified themselves, and turned artillery against their pursuers. At midnight they surrendered. The Government announced this to be a drunken brawl of the privates, all the officers being absent at a reception on the Chilean man-of-war. This occurrence was at once followed by a decree (translation inclosed) banishing the late premier and other citizens, followed by another decree (translation inclosed) practically declaring martial law. On December 23 a decree was issued (copy inclosed) revoking the grant made to the late Emperor, at the time of his departure. His reconsideration of his acceptance of this grant made this action on the part of the Provisional Government necessary.

On December 23 a decree was issued for an election for a constituent assembly to meet at the capitol on November 15 following. This action, following the speech of Minister Rebeiro, was a surprise, and is supposed to have been hastened by popular sentiment and the facts that both Portugal and England refused to recognize the new republican flag for want of constitutional authority, the announcement in the corps legislative of France that the republic would be recognized when a constitution had been adopted by the people, and the instructions to this legation of a similar import, announced in the President’s message.

I have, etc.,

Robert Adams, Jr.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 30.—Translation.]

Speech of minister of agriculture.

This manifestation, which proves not only the actual aid of the public force, but also the moral assistance of the doctrine that prevails throughout the army and navy, produces in my mind the conviction that, as a member of the Government, I shall be able to coöperate in directing our country on the way towards the most complete liberty—religious liberty, liberty of teaching, liberty of manifesting thought, liberty of a responsible press—all this by means of the maintaining of perfect order by the public force. These conditions alone can be obtained through a strong and moralized government, one which, as remarked by one of the previous orators, looks for support to public opinion.

These conditions only will permit a dictatorial, not despotic, government, constantly fiscalized by public opinion, not only desiring, but even seeking, the manifestation of that opinion.

If at the present moment that opinion is in active operation, if it has every day occasion to pronounce itself in regard to the acts of the Government, it would seem there should be no great anxiety to consult the urns. Gentlemen, consider for a moment that the urns should decide against the Republic. And yet the Republic has been established.

One of the defects of the elective system is just this, that each citizen supposes that by carrying his vote to the urn he has given all due manifestation of his opinion, and that he should no longer take any share in fiscalizing the march of public affairs. * * * I should not have taken the position I assume as coworker in the Government if I were not sure that my country is now in special circumstances to be adapted to a special regimen, to be not the imitation of defects and errors found in other countries, but a kind of governmental model. * * * Very well, then, if we wish to constitute the Republic we must find support in a truly organic doctrine, to respect and consult the real conditions of existence and improvement of society according to the revelation of that philosophy to which the representatives of the army and navy alluded.

My place is to treat of religions liberty. And I shall not hesitate for one instant in demanding of the Government, as an immediate measure, the separation of the church from the state, because this opinion is universal throughout the nation, because this is already, we may say, the law of the land though it has not yet entered into our code, which is an artificial order. We must cause this anomaly to disappear, [Page 18] placing our written law in accord with the natural order of society. I shall always rejoice to see the priests of our faith employ all their activity in getting proselytes. If the Catholic faith have in our country sincere and devoted representatives, it is their duty to propagate their doctrine without the material aid of force, without the actual support of the state. * * * My motto in the administration may he expressed in two words: The strictest honesty, and the most complete publicity. * * *. The Republic is the rule of the public good; the public good is prepared by society itself, the principal part of which is formed by the enormous mass of laborers who produce the principal element of production for the formation of the public wealth. * * * It is the laboring class that shall receive special attention from the Government. * * *

[Inclosure 2 in No. 30.—Translation.]

Decree banishing certain citizens.

The Provisional Government considering that the maintaining of order and of peace in the Republic is the principal duty of the Government and constitutes a social interest superior to all conveniences, whether of a political order or personal; that by positive acts and public manifestations, inimical to the national character and detrimental to order established by the public opinion of the nation, certain persons have attempted to foment within Brazil and abroad the discredit of the mother country by means of agitation which might bring disturbance of the public peace by throwing the firebrand of civil war in the country; that, however disagreeable may be the necessity of having recourse to measures of rigor, from which result limitations to the principles of individual liberty, the superior interests of the nation can not be made subordinate to the individual interests of the enemies of the nation, it is hereby decreed:

  • Article I. The citizens Alfonso Celso de Assis Figueiredo, called Viscount de Ouro Preto, and Carlos Affonso de Assis Figueiredo are hereby banished from the national territory.
  • Article II. The citizen Gaspar da Silveira Martins is ordered to leave the national territory and take up his residence in one of the countries of Europe.

By the Provisional Government.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 30.—Translation.]

Decree ordering military trials.

Marechal Manoel Deodora da Fonseca, chief of the Provisional Government constituted by the army and navy in the name of the nation, considering:

That the entire nation, through all its organs of opinion expressed openly by all ranks and social classes, has adhered frankly to the Republic, the work of the revolution of November 15 last;

That this general incorporation of all opinions in adhering to the Republican form of government creates for the Provisional Government new duties, making it the depository of this situation and obliging it as such to defend it with the greatest energy against all attempts or threats until its final delivery intact into the keeping of the constituent assembly convoked for the adoption of the future constitution of the United States of Brazil;

That the meeting of the constituent assembly having been marked for the near future, nearly all the liberal reforms having been already decreed whose delay caused the revolution, and others being almost ready for promulgation, the Provisional Government has given every possible proof of fidelity to its promises made to the people of Brazil, who on their part do not cease from showing their unbounded confidence;

That, under such circumstances, the greatest of all the duties imposed on the Government is absolute firmness and the most inexorable severity in the measures necessary for the preservation of peace and in the maintaining of all interests founded on the security of propriety;

That, all possibilities of any restoration of the old order of things being eliminated, and there being no other alternative than the Republic or anarchy, any attempt against the security of the actual situation would be simply an act of disorder, destined to explore the fear of the people;

That, on the part of the Government, it would be stupid cowardice and treason to allow the good name of the Republic to be at the mercy of the ignoble sentiments of [Page 19] the dregs of society employed in spreading the seeds of discontent and corruption in the minds of Brazilian soldiers always generous, disinterested, disciplined, and liberal;

That the perversity of such proceedings has no parallel, but in the horror of incalculable misfortunes necessarily connected with the triumph of disorder, decrees:

  • Article I. All individuals who conspire against the Republic and its Government; those who counsel or promote, by words, writing or acts, civil revolt or military indiscipline; those that attempt bribery, or allurement of any kind of soldiers or officers from their superiors or from the republican form of Government; those that spread amongst the soldiers of the army and navy false and subversive notions tending to indispose them against the Republic; those who make soldiers drunk, in order to make them disobedient, shall be judged by a military commission, nominated by the minister of war, and shall be punished with the penalties of sedition.
  • Art. II. All provisions to the contrary are hereby revoked.

  • Marechal Manoel Deodora do Fonseca,
    Chief of the Provisional Government.
  • Benjamin Constant Botelho de Magelhaes.
  • M. Ferraz de Campos Salles.
  • Edward Wandenkolk.
  • Demetrio Nunes Ribeiro.
  • Ruy Barbosa.
  • Quintino Bocayura.
  • Aristides da Silveira Lobo.
[Inclosure 4 in No. 30.—Translation.]

Decree revoking the grant made to the Emperor.

Marechal Manoel Deodoro da Fonseca, chief of the Provisional Government, constituted by the army and navy in the name of the nation, considering that:

Whereas, D. Pedro de Alcantara, after accepting and thanking the Government for the settlement of 5,000 contos of reis for establishing his residence in Europe, at the time when he received the decree in reference to this subject from the hands of the general who presented it to him, has now changed his deliberation declaring that he refuses this liberal offer; and,

That, repelling this act of the republican Government, D. Pedro de Alcantara pretends at the same time to continue to receive the annual endowment to himself and to his family in virtue of the right which he presumes to subsist through force of law;

That this distinction involves evidently the denial of the legitimacy of the national movement and the idea of revendication absolutely incompatible with the national will, expressed throughout all the former provinces, now states, and with the interests of the Brazilian people now indissolubly bound to the stability of the republican regimen;

That the cessation of the right of the former imperial family to the civil list is the immediate consequence of the national revolution which deposed him abolishing monarchy;

That the procedure of the Provisional Government, maintaining, in spite of this, the advantages allowed to the fallen prince, was simply a measure of republican benevolence, intended to prove the peaceful and conciliatory desires of the new regimen, and at the same a retrospective homage to the dignity which the ex-Emperor had held as chief of the State;

That the attitude at present assumed by D. Pedro de Alcantara on this subject, presupposing the survival of rights extinguished by the revolution, contains the idea of crushing the Republic and otherwise encourages hopes that are not to be reconciled with a republican regimen;

That in consequence the reasons of state and of public order which bad inspired the Provisional Government, granting to D. Pedro de Alcantara the subsidy of 5,000 contos of reis and respecting temporarily his annual dotation;

It is hereby decreed:

  • Article I. D. Pedro de Alcantara and his family are banished from the territory of Brazil.
  • Art. II. The imperial family is not allowed to possess real estate in Brazil; they shall liquidate within two years all property of this kind held by them.
  • Art. III. Decree of 16th November, 1889, granting to D. Pedro de Alcantara 5,000,000$000 as subsidiary expenses for his settlement in Europe is revoked.
  • Art. IV. All endowments to D. Pedro de Alcantara and to his family are hereby considered as revoked from the 15th of November past.
  • Art. V. All provisions to the contrary are hereby revoked.

  • Manoel Deodoro da Fonseca.
  • Ruy Barbosa.
  • Quintino Bocayura.
  • Manoel Ferraz de Campos Salles.
  • Aristides da Silveira Lobo.
  • Demetrio Nunes Ribeiro.
  • Eduardo Wandenkolk.
  • Benjamin Constant Botelho Magelhaes.