Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.
Petropolis, July 12, 1894. (Received August 14, 1894.)
Sir: On the Fourth of July a general demonstration of friendliness and good will to our Government was made by the people of Rio de Janeiro. In honor of the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence all public departments were closed, flags displayed, and some buildings very beautifully decorated. The vessels of the national squadron were also decorated, and the fortresses in the harbor at 6 a.m., 12 m., and 6 p.m. fired a national salute. Many private business houses were closed, and the day was generally observed as a holiday.[Page 86]
I received on the 2d instant notice from a committee of citizens that they desired to address me on the 4th, and requested that I name an hour and place convenient. I replied that I would be pleased to meet them at the consulate at 1 o’clock. At the hour appointed the committee arrived, and Dr. Ennes de Souza read an address, of which I inclose a copy and translation, together with my reply, which immediately followed.1 The greetings were very cordial, characterized by expressions of admiration and the warmest friendship for the President, Government, and people of the United States.
During the afternoon special aids from the Vice-President, minister for foreign affairs, war, navy, and other public departments called to offer the congratulations of their chiefs, as well as a great many private citizens.
Bands of music from the war, navy, and police departments were sent to serenade, and during the afternoon played ours as well as their own national airs.
At the legation the representatives of other foreign powers called.
I inclose all correspondence had upon the subject, with extracts from the local papers.
As the demonstration was impromptu and in no way official, a note to the minister for foreign affairs thanking the Government for the friendly interest shown by the people I considered unnecessary, if not out of place, preferring to call upon the heads of the departments and thank them personally for their kindness.
I have, etc.,
- Inclosures not printed.↩