Mr. Gresham to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, February 6, 1894.
British ambassador informed me yesterday that it had been reported insurgents were in possession of part of the country in the south of Brazil, and he was directed by Lord Rosebery to ascertain the disposition of this Government as to the propriety of recognizing the Brazilian insurgents as belligerents. I informed him that this Government had twice declined to recognize the belligerent status of the [Page 276] insurgents, and our minister to Brazil would to-day again be instructed to inform the insurgents the United States did not feel authorized under existing conditions to recognize them as belligerents. The ambassador thought the action of our Government important. In reply to a question the ambassador said he had no information that the insurgents were maintaining a de facto government in Brazil with any kind of civil administration there. He called my attention to the note to section 23 of Dana’s Wheaton and agreed with me that it laid down correct principles by which neutrals should be governed in according belligerent rights. He said the situation, so far as his knowledge went, did not entitle the insurgents to recognition, and if recognized they would likely blockade Rio to the injury of neutral commerce and the embarrassment of neutral powers.