Ambassador Griscom to the Secretary of State.
Petropolis, August 31, 1906.
Sir: I have the honor to give, for the records of the department, the following short account of Mr. Root’s stay in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo from July 27 to August 7, 1905.
The United States cruiser Charleston, with Mr. Root and his family on board, arrived at Rio de Janeiro at 7 o’clock on the morning of July 27. Mr. Root’s party consisted of Mrs. Root; his daughter, Miss Edith Root; his son, Mr. Edward Root; Mr. Doyle, his private secretary; and Lieutenant Palmer, his aid-de-camp. On entering the harbor the Charleston exchanged salutes with the fortress at Santa Cruz and anchored between the Argentine cruiser Buenos Aires and the German cruiser Bremen.
At 10 o’clock I went on board, accompanied by the staff of the embassy, and was shortly afterwards followed by his excellency Dr. Joaquim Nabuco, the Brazilian ambassador at Washington, and by the representatives of the ministry for foreign affairs, Mr. Gomes Ferreira, minister plenipotentiary, and Mr. Domicio da Gama, minister resident. Mr. Root also received on board a committee of Brazilian students, one of whose members welcomed him by a short speech in English. At 11 o’clock Mr. Root, accompanied by his family, his naval aid, by myself and Mrs. Griscom, and by Dr. Joaquim Nabuco, were rowed ashore in the old Portuguese galley Dom João VI, propelled by 64 oars. The picturesque galley was surrounded and followed ashore by many craft crowded with students and other enthusiastic spectators.
On landing Mr. Root was met and cordially welcomed by Baron Rio Branco, the Brazilian minister for foreign affairs, and by other distinguished representatives of the Government. After another short speech by one of the students and a reply by Mr. Root, the whole party entered carriages and proceeded on a long drive through the city to the house which had been placed at Mr. Root’s disposal during his stay in the city. This procession, which lasted for two hours, was received in all quarters with great cordiality and enthusiasm. On arrival at the Palace Abrantés, Mr. Root’s temporary home, the enthusiasm was so great that Mr. Root was obliged to make a short speech.[Page 125]
At 3 o’clock in the afternoon I accompanied Mr. Root on his formal visit to the President of the Republic. The conversation between the two was most cordial and lasted for over twenty minutes.
In the evening Mr. Root gave a dinner to the principal members of the Government and chief senators and deputies of both parties, and later in the evening attended a brilliant reception in his honor in the presidential palace.
On Saturday, July 28, Mr. Root held a reception in his house, to which were invited the highest society of Rio de Janeiro, the principal members of the Government, and the American colony. It was very gratifying to see the Brazilians of all shades of opinion fraternizing together to do honor to their distinguished guest.
In the evening a great banquet was held in Mr. Root’s honor by the minister for foreign affairs in the foreign office, to which, besides Mr. Root and the staff of this embassy, were invited the American delegates to the Pan-American Congress and the chief political leaders of the country.
On Sunday, July 29, Mr. Root and his party went up to Petropolis, where he was lodged in the presidential summer palace. In the evening he gave an informal dinner, at which I was present with the members of this embassy.
On Monday, July 30, an informal luncheon was given to Mr. Root in the summer home of the minister for foreign affairs, and in the evening I entertained the members of the diplomatic corps at a dinner in his honor, which was followed by a small reception.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 31, as the guest of the minister of finance, Mr. Root and his party went down to Rio de Janeiro and in a special steamer cruised about the bay. Tea was served on “Ilha Fiscal,” or government custom-house, an island lying in the bay not far from the city, after which he proceeded to the Palace Abrantés.
That evening a special meeting of the Pan-American Congress was held in Mr. Root’s honor, where he made a memorable speech, which has doubtless been reported to the department through other sources. Immediately after the session closed he reviewed a torchlight procèssion composed of thousands of students. The enthusiasm displayed that evening was extraordinary and as the Secretary and his family were driving home the students stopped his carriage and wished to unharness the horses and pull the carriage themselves, but after much persuasion they desisted.
On Wednesday, August 1, a military parade was held in his honor, in which 6,000 or 7,000 troops were reviewed by him. In the afternoon, as guest of the minister for public works, Mr. Root went up Corcovado, a celebrated mountain peak which towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro. In the evening a gala performance took place at the theater.
On Thursday, August 2, Mr. Root visited the federal legislative chambers. At the Senate he was seated at the right of the presiding officer, and one of its members, Senator Ruy Barbosa, addressed him in Portuguese, and Senator Alfred Ellis, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, addressed him in English. In the Chamber of Deputies he was welcomed by the speaker, Mr. Guimares, and by a brilliant young deputy named James Darcy, both of whom delivered eloquent addresses. Mr. Root made appropriate speeches at both houses, and was [Page 126]the recipient of most gratifying ovations. Later in the afternoon he attended the races, and in the evening was entertained at dinner by the President, and later went to a grand ball held in the ministry for foreign affairs.
On Friday, August 3, Mr. Eoot went over the celebrated Tijuca drive in an automobile, and at 2 o’clock in the afternoon paid a farewell call on the President, and shortly afterwards boarded the Charleston, where a reception to the leading government officials and Rio society was held. In the evening the Charleston sailed on her way to Santos with Mr. Root, his party, and myself on board.
On the morning of August 4 the Charleston arrived off Santos. The party then landed, and was received by the secretary of agriculture of the State of São Paulo. A special train was placed at Mr. Root’s disposal and conveyed him to the state capital. About 3 o’clock in the afternoon Mr. Root arrived in São Paulo, and was received with great enthusiasm. A palace was set apart for Mr. Root and his family, and during his stay in this city he received a most cordial welcome.
On the afternoon of the 4th a football game was held in his honor, and the next day, Sunday, August 5, he visited the coffee plantation of Saint Croix, a distance of about three hours by train from São Paulo. It may be of interest to note that one of the stations of that railroad has been named “Elihu Root.” Mr. Root returned to São Paulo late in the evening.
The following day, Monday, August 6, was spent visiting different sights of the city of São Paulo, and in the evening a dinner, followed by a brilliant reception, was given in his honor by the President, Dr. Jorge Tiberiçá.
On the morning of the 7th Mr. Root started on his return trip to Santos, accompanied by the ministers of agriculture and finance of the State of São Paulo, and several other distinguished Brazilians. On arrival at Santos Mr. Root went on board and took leave of all who had accompanied him. At 4.45 in the evening the Charleston left for Montevideo.
I am now collecting the several speeches made by Mr. Root during his stay in Brazil, and as soon as they are prepared I will transmit them to the department.
I have, etc.,