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Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, from Spanish and Portuguese Domination
Vol 2, Chapter V


FIRST EFFORT 10 CURTAIL THE IMPERIAL POWER--PORTUGUESE INTRIGUE--DISMISSAL Of THE ANDRADAS--THE ASSEMBLY DISSOLVED BY FORCE--EXILE OF THE ANDRADAS--LETTER TO HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY--MY ADVICE PARTLY ADOPTED--AND CAUSES MINISTERIAL ENMITY TOWARDS ME--RATIFICATION Of MY PATENT--I DEMAND THE ADJUDICATION OF PRIZES--LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF MARINE--OFFER OF PERSONAL ADVANTAGE TO FOREIGN CLAIMS--SQUADRON REMAINED UNPAID--I AM APPOINTED A PRIVY COUNCILLOR--THE PRIZE VESSELS PLUNDERED--SHAMEFUL TREATMENT OF CAPTAIN GRENFELL--TROUBLES IN PERNAMBUCO--HOSTILITY OF THE PRIZE TRIBUNAL--CONDEMNS ME TO THE RESTITUTION OF PRIZES--FORBIDS MAKING ANY CAPTURES AT ALL.

Shortly before returning to Rio de Janeiro, a total change had taken place in the administration of which Jose Bonifacio de Andrada was the head. As that minister's views were patriotic, he was, in consequence, obnoxious to the Portuguese faction, which had made one or two unsuccessful efforts to supplant him, these only serving to confirm his power amongst the people, who justly appreciated his leadership in the cause of independence. Becoming, thus, more confident in his position, he was accused, whether rightly or wrongly, of intolerance towards persons who were plotting against him, though, even if the accusation were true, he was scarcely to blame for discountenancing those whose chief aim was to paralyse the independence they were unable to prevent.

On the proclamation of the Empire, two influential Portuguese, in the Assembly, endeavoured to impose a condition on the Emperor that, before ascending the throne, he should make oath to a constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly alone, thus reducing His Majesty to a cypher in the hands of the legislature. The proposition was plausible enough to those who were anticipating power, but it gave rise to such dissensions, that Bonifacio de Andrada and his brother sent in their resignations, which, under these difficult circumstances, were accepted by the Emperor.

A violent tumult amongst the people was the immediate consequence, and His Majesty was induced to recall the patriotic Andradas to the cabinet--they however, refusing to resume their functions, unless their Portuguese opponents were banished; to this the Emperor assented, and the Andradas returned to office amidst the plaudits of the populace, who drew the carriage of Jose de Andrada in triumph into the town.

As might have been expected, less tolerance was manifested by the triumphant ministers than before, this just but perhaps impolitic course being eagerly seized on by the Portuguese faction to excite the apprehension of the patriots, who were somewhat dissatisfied by the revival of what were considered feudal usages; above all, by the creation of an Imperial Guard of Honour, selected from the youth of the principal families, who were required to take an oath "of implicit obedience to His Majesty"--this act being especially represented by the adverse faction as evincing a tendency to absolutism.

On the 20th of June, 1823, a project of law had been laid before the Assembly, for the expulsion of all Portuguese deemed hostile to the cause of the empire. This measure might have originated with the Andradas, or not; it was certainly defended in the Assembly by Antonio Andrada. The Portuguese party, alarmed by the still impending danger, formed a coalition with the Brazilian party, to eject the Andradas from the ministry, and having, during a severe illness of the Emperor, gained the ascendancy, the now obnoxious ministers were dismissed; and--though the patriots had not calculated thereon--were succeeded by the leaders of the Portuguese faction itself, who, to the regret of all true Brazilians, effected an immediate change of policy in the Government.

The chief object of the new administration, appeared to be to limit the functions of the Emperor to an extent almost subversive of his authority; His Majesty, in the unsettled state of the empire, being comparatively powerless amidst the machinations with which he was surrounded.

No constitution had, as yet, been fixed upon--His Majesty resenting the former attempt to force upon him a constitution framed solely by the will of the Assembly, which was still seeking an opportunity to assert its supremacy. As the city and province abounded with influential Portuguese, desirous of overthrowing the new regime, and as many of these were in the Assembly, there was a total want of unity between the Emperor and his legislature, the administration leaning to the side of the latter.

About this time, the Marquis of Palmella had widely circulated a document, appealing to the loyalty of the Portuguese, and declaring the policy desired by the mother country; which policy was--to divide Brazil into a number of petty states, easy to be intimidated and controlled. As this scheme held out large promise of irresponsible power to influential persons in such anticipated states--it could scarcely fail to be agreeable to many expectants of office, whose interest it therefore was to prevent the consolidation of the empire, by promoting disunion. It was scarcely a secret that some in the administration were favourable to these views, though not openly professing them; so that the patriotic efforts of His Majesty were paralysed, and the administration, no less than the legislature, exhibited a policy seriously detrimental to the interests of the Empire.

Indeed, a powerful party in the legislative assembly openly called in question the Emperor's authority--even requiring His Majesty to divest himself of his crown in their presence. They deprived him of his council of state; denied him a voice in the enactment of laws, and the functions of administration; even objecting to His Majesty's exercise of the common prerogative of royalty to confer crown lands as territorial rewards for public services--the latter limitation of the royal prerogative being avowedly directed against the grant of an estate to myself, as spontaneously accorded by His Majesty, in gratitude for my recent services to the nation.

This was the state of affairs on my return to Rio de Janeiro, and as His Majesty did me the honour to consult with me in his difficulties, I unhesitatingly recommended him to support his dignity constitutionally--despite all attempts made for its limitation by the Portuguese faction; which--extraordinary as it may appear--was now said to be countenanced by the Andradas, who, though out of office, were still deputies to the assembly, and who--in consequence of their dismissal from power--were considered to be giving opposition to every measure calculated to promote unity between the Emperor and the legislature. The Brazilian patriots--and with good reason--were becoming alarmed, lest an attempt might yet be made to place Portugal and Brazil upon their former relative footing, and the Emperor, who was thoroughly Brazilian--from a conviction that Portuguese ascendancy could never be regained--was no less so.

Matters, at length, rose to such a pitch in the assembly, that the intentions of the factious majority became no longer doubtful, when His Majesty somewhat unceremoniously adopted the course pursued in England by Cromwell in a somewhat similar predicament, viz. to dissolve the assembly, and, should it prove refractory, to turn the members out by force. Cutting short all farther altercation with his legislature, the scene of the English protectorate was re-enacted in Brazil; the Emperor entering Rio de Janeiro at the head of a body of cavalry--surrounding the chamber with a military force--planting cannon before it--and ordering its instantaneous dissolution; the members--after in vain remonstrating against this proceeding--being compelled to retire.

The Andradas were soon afterwards arrested, and exiled--a proceeding impolitic and unjust to men who had laid the foundation of Brazilian independence, and who were no less distinguished by their honesty than their ability. By consenting to their exile, His Majesty lost three valuable servants, and at the same time placed himself in the hands of a faction which he never afterwards controlled, and which eventually forced him from his throne.

As the expulsion of the Assembly--whether justifiable or not, it is not my province to inquire--was decisive, it was obviously of the greatest importance to follow it up by some measure which should convince the public that so extreme a course was intended for their good. As yet no permanent constitution had been declared This, therefore, was clearly the moment for its proclamation, no less to satisfy the people--who were heart and soul with the Emperor--than to prevent retaliation by the faction which had been thus summarily dealt with.

Seeing that nothing was promptly acted upon in an emergency involving the stability of Government, I addressed to His Imperial Majesty the following letter:--

Rio de Janeiro, November 14, 1823.

SIRE,

My sense of the impropriety of intruding myself on the attention of your Imperial Majesty, on any subject unconnected with the official position with which your Majesty has been pleased to honour me, could only have been overcome by an irresistible desire, under existing circumstances, to contribute to the service of your Majesty and the Empire.

The conduct of the late legislative assembly, which sought to derogate from the dignity and prerogatives of Your Majesty--even presuming to require you to divest yourself of your crown in their presence--who deprived you of your Council of State--denied you a voice in the enactment of laws and the formation of the constitution, and who dared to object to your exercising the only remaining function of royalty--that of rewarding services, and conferring honours--could no longer be tolerated; and the justice and wisdom of Your Imperial Majesty in dissolving such an assembly will be duly appreciated by discerning men, and by those whose love of good order and their country supersedes their ambition or personal interests. There are, however, individuals who will wickedly take advantage of the late proceedings to kindle the flames of discord, and throw the empire into anarchy and confusion, unless timely prevented by the wisdom and energy of Your Imperial Majesty.

The declaration that you will give to your people a practical constitution, more free than even that which the late assembly professed an intention to establish, cannot--considering the spirit which now pervades South America--have the effect of averting impending evils, unless Your Imperial Majesty shall be pleased to dissipate all doubts by at once declaring--before news of the recent events can be dispersed throughout the provinces, and before the discontented members of the late congress can return to their constituents--what is the precise nature of that constitution which Your Imperial Majesty intends to bestow.

Permit me, then, humbly and respectfully to suggest to Your Imperial Majesty, as a means of tranquillising the public mind--of averting evils at home, and preventing injurious representations abroad--that, even before the sailing of the next packet for Europe, Your Majesty should specifically declare the nature of the government you are graciously pleased should be adopted. As no monarch is more happy, or more truly powerful than the limited monarch of England, surrounded by a free people, enriched by that industry which the security of property by means of just laws never fails to create--if Your Majesty were to decree that the English constitution, in its most perfect practical form (which, with slight alteration, and, chiefly in name, is also the constitution of the United States of North America), shall be the model for the Government of Brazil under Your Imperial Majesty, with power to the constituent assembly so to alter particular parts as local circumstances may render advisable--it would excite the sympathy of powerful states abroad, and the firm allegiance of the Brazilian people to Your Majesty's throne.

Were Your Majesty, by a few brief lines in the Gazette, to announce your intention so to do, and were you to banish all distrust from the public mind by removing from your person for a time, and finding employment on honourable missions abroad, for those Portuguese individuals of whom the Brazilians are jealous--the purity of Your Majesty's motives would be secured from the possibility of misrepresentation--the factions which disturb the country would be silenced or converted--and the feelings of the world, especially those of England and North America, would be interested in promoting the glory, happiness, and prosperity of Your Imperial Majesty.

These thoughts, hastily expressed, but most respectfully submitted to your gracious consideration will, I hope, be candidly appreciated by Your Imperial Majesty, proceeding, as they do, from the heart of

Your Majesty's most faithful and dutiful Servant,

COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

His Majesty saw good to adopt this advice in part, but in offering it--though instrumental in establishing the political liberties of Brazil--I had unconsciously placed myself in the position of a partisan against the powerful faction which influenced the administration, and through them every part of the empire. My unauthorised services after the pursuit of the Portuguese fleet and army--resulting in the annexation of the Northern provinces--had drawn upon me the resentment of those now in power whose ultimate intentions were thus defeated. That I--a foreigner, having nothing to do with national politics--should have counselled His Majesty to banish those who opposed him, was not to be borne, and the resentment caused by my recent services was increased to bitter enmity for meddling in affairs which it was considered did not concern me; though I could have had no other object than the good of the Empire by the establishment of a constitution which should give it stability in the estimation of European states.

The effect of this enmity towards me personally, was not long in manifesting itself, and fearing the extent to which this might be carried, I lost no time in demanding that the patent under which I had been invested with the grade of "First Admiral," should be formally engrossed and registered, according to the engagement of the late Prime Minister, previous to my departure for Bahia. On the 25th of November, this was accordingly done, and a commission conferring the same pay and emolument as before--without limitation as to time, received the sign manual--was counter-signed by the Ministers--sealed with the great seal--and registered in the archives of the empire; His Majesty further testifying his approbation of my conduct and services, by directing the transmission of the completed patent without payment of the usual fees.

The following are the stipulations of the commission so solemnly conferred--but afterwards shamefully violated without cause, as though fidelity to its engagements formed no part of national honour and good faith:--

I, Don Pedro, by the grace of God, and the unanimous voice of the people, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil, hereby make known to those who shall see this my charter patent, that the valour, intelligence, and activity united in Admiral Lord Cochrane, now Marquis of Maranhao, who has so distinguished himself in the different services with which he has been entrusted--giving proof of the greatest bravery and talent; and seeing how advantageous it would be for the interests of this empire to avail itself of the skill of so valuable an officer--consider it beneficial to confer upon him--as by this charter is confirmed--the patent of "First Admiral," with the annual pay of eleven contos five hundred and twenty milreas, as well ashore as afloat; and farther in table money, when embarked, five contos seven hundred and seventy milreas--which are the same emoluments as he received in Chili. No admiral in the service having any right to consider himself entitled to succeed to the post of First Admiral, which I create solely for this occasion for the motives expressed, and from the particular consideration merited by the said admiral.

The pay referred to shall be entered in the books to which it appertains, in order to the payments when due. In attestation of that which I have hereby commanded, I give this charter under the sign manual and sealed with the great seal of the Empire.

Given in the city of Rio de Janeiro on the 25th day of the month of November, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1823. Second of Independence and of this empire.

(Signed) IMPERADOR P.

Countersigned by all the Ministers.

From the difference of expression used in this commission, as compared with the temporary commission given previous to my departure for Bahia, it is clear that my late services were fully recognised; and from the fact that the new commission was conferred after the war was ended bythe annexation of Bahia, Maranham, Para, and all the intermediate provinces, it is equally clear that my rank and pay--as originally stipulated were conferred without limitation of time--a circumstance which will have to be borne to mind.

This being complied with, I requested an order for the speedy adjudication of the prize property surrendered at Maranham, the flagship's portion being Rs. 607.315 $000, or L.121,463 sterling, in addition to the captures made by the squadron generally--no less than one hundred and twenty enemy's ships, with Portuguese registers and crews, having been taken, the value, at a very moderate computation, amounting to upwards of 2,000,000 dollars. As officers and men were anxiously awaiting their prize money, it became my duty to the squadron to urge its stipulated distribution upon the consideration of the Government.

His Majesty directed this to be done, but the prize tribunal appointed--consisting of thirteen members, nine of whom were natives of Portugal--was directly interested in defeating the claims of the captors, being inimical to any confiscation of Portuguese vessels and property taken in the late campaign. Not venturing, as yet, openly to act in this spirit, they adopted the alternative of doing nothing towards adjudicating the prizes.

Finding this to be the case, and fearing that the Portuguese tendencies of the new administration might interfere with the repayment of the sums temporarily supplied to the Maranham Junta--I addressed the following letter to the new Minister of Marine, Francisco Villela Barbosa:--

(Secret.) Rio de Janeiro, November 18, 1823.

MOST EXCELLENT SIR,

In my letter, No. 38, I communicated to your predecessor my intention of aiding the Provisional Junta of Maranham, in the payment of the auxiliary troops of Ceara and Piahuy, who being in a naked and destitute condition had become clamorous for their arrears; and I now beg to state that in prosecution of such intention, I placed at the disposal of the Junta the monies taken in the Portuguese treasury, amounting in cash and good bills to Rs. 62,560 $243, together with outstanding debts amounting to Rs. 147,316 $656, and I have also left in their hands the balance which we found in the Portuguese custom-house, amounting to Rs. 54,167 $877. All these accounts I have the honour to convey to you for the information of the Imperial Government.

In addition to these large sums, I left at the disposal of the Junta much moveable property which belonged to Portuguese individuals in Europe, desiring the authorities to render an account of the same for the information of the Imperial Government.

Your Excellency will perceive that in leaving at Maranham these monies, and other property captured from the enemy, instead of bringing them to Rio for adjudication, we could be influenced by no other motive than zeal for the interests of His Imperial Majesty and the good of his people; as by so doing, we enabled the Provisional Government to meet the present exigencies of the moment, and to quiet the Ceara and Piahuy troops; whilst the revenue of the province thus remains clear and unanticipated-- being applicable to such purposes as His Imperial Majesty shall command. All which I trust His Imperial Majesty will take into his gracious consideration, and be pleased to award such compensation to the officers and seamen as he, in his princely justice, shall deem fit.

(Signed) COCHRANE.

For some days no notice was taken of this letter, but on the 24th I received a visit from the Minister of Marine, bringing what professed to be a verbal message from His Majesty, that he "would do every thing in his power for me personally." The way in which this intimation was conveyed led me to infer that these personal favours implied a sacrifice on my part of the rights of the squadron, by shutting my eyes to the restoration of the captured Portuguese ships and property to the friends and adherents of the ministry, for the purpose of conciliating the Portuguese party. Taking the message, however, literally--I told the Minister that His Majesty had "already conferred honours upon me quite equal to my merits--and that the greatest personal favour he could bestow, was, to urge on the speedy adjudication of the prizes, so that the officers and seamen might reap the reward decreed by the Emperor's own authority."

The policy of the Portuguese faction in power, was--now that the squadron had expelled the fleet and army of the mother country--to conciliate their countrymen who remained, and thus to create and maintain an influence which should reduce the Imperial authority to the smallest possible dimensions. The first object--if I could be brought to acquiesce--was to restore Portuguese property, captured by Imperial order, and now the right of the captors--my connivance being supposed to be procurable by offers of personal enrichment! I scarcely need say that the offer failed in its purpose.

As the squadron had received no pay during the performance of all its services, it became my duty to urge attention to the subject, and this was apparently complied with, the 27th of November being appointed for the payment of the men. On that day three months' pay only was offered to them, notwithstanding all they had achieved. This paltry pittance was refused.

About this time the extraordinary news was received, that great rejoicings and a general illumination had taken place in Lisbon in consequence of the destruction of the Brazilian squadron by the Portuguese fleet at Bahia! this version having, no doubt, been transmitted home subsequently to the affair of the 4th of May. Singularly enough, these ill-founded rejoicings were going on in Lisbon at the time the flagship was chasing the Portuguese fleet across the Equator! It is difficult to say how the Portuguese admiral contrived to reconcile this premature vaunt, and the unwelcome fact of his arrival in the Tagus, with the loss of half his troops and more than half his convoy.

On the 2nd of December despatches arrived from Captain Grenfell at Para, stating that he had possession of the new Portuguese frigate, which according to my directions, had been named the Imperatrice. He had also captured another vessel of war, and several merchantmen; thus fulfilling his difficult mission in a way which justified my confidence in his ability, and should have merited the warmest thanks from the government, instead of the treatment he subsequently experienced.

On the 19th of December, His Majesty appointed me a member of the Privy Council, the highest honour in his power to bestow. It was a singular circumstance that whilst His Imperial Majesty consulted me on matters of importance, and manifested his appreciation both of my opinions and services by the honours conferred--his anti-Brazilian ministers were practising every species of annoyance towards myself and the squadron--more especially in the matter of the prizes, the condemnation of which they obstinately opposed.

It would be wearisome to enter into details of the annoyance and injury now systematised by the Portuguese faction in the administration; nevertheless, in order to appreciate subsequent occurrences, it is necessary briefly to advert to these matters. The personal feeling against myself was easily accounted for from my adherence to the Emperor in opposition to interested councils, which imperilled the existence of the Empire. These councils His Majesty was unable to disregard or to counteract the injury inflicted on the officers and seamen, by the conduct of the Court of Admiralty towards the squadron; a policy persevered in with the object of annihilating the naval force, for no other reason than that its achievements had rendered itself obnoxious to the Portuguese faction--the leaders of which no doubt calculated, that if the officers and crews could be worried out of the service, the dismemberment of the Northern provinces might yet be effected by disunion.

On the 13th of December, I wrote to the Minister of Marine that, as the prize vessels were daily being plundered, an immediate investigation was necessary--they having, by order of the administration, been delivered over to the charge of the inspector of the arsenal, the naval officers in charge being withdrawn. One officer was put in prison for obeying my orders to remain on board his prize till I received an answer from the Minister of Marine. The ship he had in charge (the Pombinho) was immediately afterwards given up to a Portuguese claim ant, together with all its contents, promiscuously taken from the custom house at Maranham, none of which ever belonged to him.

A number of additional prizes had been sent in by Captain Taylor, of the Nitherohy, who had pursued the scattered ships of the enemy to the Tagus, and there burned four vessels under the guns of the line-of-battle ship Don John VI. For this he was sentenced by the prize council to six months imprisonment, and to forfeit double the amount of his prize money, on behalf of the owners of the property destroyed; it being thus decided by the quasi Portuguese prize tribunal that, to destroy enemy's property, in pursuance of His Majesty's orders, was a crime!

Captain Grenfell having arrived in the frigate Imperatrice--captured at Para--bringing with him some forty thousand dollars--the ransom for prizes there taken, as had been done at Maranham--the Imperatrice was boarded in his absence, and the money carried to the treasury, though by His Majesty guaranteed to the captors. Captain Grenfell was afterwards charged with acting in opposition to the Junta at Para, though only carrying out my instructions. Upon this charge he was tried and acquitted.

In consequence of these and other arbitrary acts, I represented to His Majesty the necessity of forming some definite maritime code, which should put an end to proceedings so arbitrary, and proposed the adoption of the naval laws of England as the most experienced and complete. His Majesty approving the suggestion, directed me to transmit a memorial on the subject to the Privy Council, which was accordingly done.

By this, and similar suggestions to His Majesty, with view to render the navy more efficient, I was widening the breach between myself and the Portuguese party in the administration, whose object it was to frustrate any attempt of the kind. It was not long before an overt blow was struck at my authority as Commander-in-Chief by the preparation of the Atalanta for sea without my intervention. Imagining that she might be on some secret service, I disregarded the circumstance, till, on the 27th of December, a notice appeared in the Gazette announcing her destination to be for the blockade of Monte Video, whilst I was mentioned in the Gazette, under the limited title of "Commander of the naval forces in the port of Rio de Janeiro." Thus, by a stroke of the Minister's pen, was I, despite the patents of His Imperial Majesty, reduced to the rank of Port Admiral.

Convinced that this had been done without the sanction or even knowledge of the Emperor, I protested against the despatch of the Atalanta, except through my orders, as well as against the limitation indicated by my new title--contrary to the agreement under which I entered the service, as twice confirmed by Imperial commissions--further informing the Minister of Marine that, although no one could be less ambitious of power than myself, I could not allow an agreement solemnly entered into to be thus violated.

The remonstrance as regarded the Atalanta was effectual, and she was not despatched; but--as regarded the limitation of my rank--no notice was taken.

Intelligence now arrived from Pernambuco that a strong party was there endeavouring to establish a Republic, and that preparatory steps were being taken to throw off allegiance to the Empire.

The expedition sent by the ministry to put down this rising at Pernambuco was a premeditated insult to me, as not having been at all consulted in the matter; and the reason why an inexperienced officer had been sent, doubtless was, that the ministry did not wish the insurrection to be put down. In this respect the expedition fulfilled the wishes of those who despatched it, by having failed. On its return I personally received His Majesty's orders that the Pedro Primiero, Piranga, Nitherohy, and Atalanta, should be immediately equipped for important service. It was easy thus to give orders to equip a squadron, but after the treatment received, not so easy to effect it. All the foreign seamen had abandoned the ships in disgust, and to have shipped Portuguese would have been worse than useless. I wrote to the Minister of Marine that the squadron could not be manned unless confidence was restored amongst the men, the shameful proceedings of the prize court having disinclined them to re-enter the service,--even if they did, I could not be responsible for order and discipline, or for the safety of the ships, unless some definite adjustment as to pay and prize money took place before putting to sea.

In the face of these remonstrances the prize tribunal adopted an openly hostile course, by altogether denying the right of the squadron to the prizes taken at Maranham, or the property there seized in the custom house, and shipped by me on board the Pombinho and another vessel. The Pombinho, as has been said, was declared an illegal prize, and given up to her Portuguese owner, together with all public property contained in her, though to this he had not the shadow of a claim, as the whole cargo belonged originally to others, and had been put on board this particular ship by my orders for transmission to Rio de Janeiro. Numbers of similar decisions were made, on the false plea that Maranham previously formed part of the Brazilian empire, and consequently that all the seizures effected were invalid!

I remonstrated that, on our arrival at Maranham, the city and province were, and ever had been, in possession of Portugal--that the Portuguese had by the ordinary capitulations of war delivered up both to an armed Brazilian force without question--and that, by a previous decree of the Emperor, no less than by the customary usages of war, all enemy's property fell to the captors. The prize court not only overruled the objection, but condemned me to make restitution of all sums received in ransom for property taken at Maranham. In one instance the tribunal declared me deserving of corporal punishment (pena corporal!) and would, had they dared, doubtless have enforced this, and the restitution to which I was condemned.

As the plunder of prize property was becoming notorious, the tribunal directed it to be unloaded, in order to prevent the cargoes from being damaged! but, on the execution of the order it was found that all the valuable portion had already disappeared! How, of course could not be ascertained; but no one doubted. The ships themselves were neglected till they became useless to the original owners, the Government, or the captors.

Thus, of this vast amount of property taken in the campaign, not a milrea was suffered to find its way into the pockets of the officers and men, and the squadron would have been wholly defrauded of its reward, had I not refused to give up to the prize tribunal the comparatively trifling sums received in redemption of the seizures at Maranham; these being retained on board the flagship in consequence of the unjustifiable course which the tribunal was pursuing. A plot was, however, formed to seize it by force, but this was met by such measures as were calculated to prevent a renewal of the attempt.

The prize tribunal being thus determined to deprive the squadron of the whole of its emoluments, proceeded to condemn the ships of war taken as being droits to the crown, without compensation of any kind, notwithstanding that the before-mentioned Imperial decree of the 11th of December, 1822, awarded all prizes wholly to the captors. The tribunal then issued a decree, that vessels taken within a certain distance from the shore--where alone a blockade could be effective--were not lawful seizures; the effect being that, as the squadron was about to blockade Pernambuco it could have no opportunity of falling in with enemy's vessels at sea, and therefore could not make captures at all! Thus enemy's ships would be permitted to carry on their revolutionary occupations unmolested; which was, no doubt, the intention of those who framed the resolution, as wishing to defeat the blockade for their own purposes.


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