Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed.
Glenora Single Malt Whisky

Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.
Scottish Review

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

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


IMPERIAL APPROVAL--CONTINUED ENMITY OF THE ADMINISTRATION--JUNTA REFUSES TO PAY THE SQUADRON'S CLAIM--I PERSEVERE IN THE DEMAND--JUNTA AGREES TO PAY THE AMOUNT IN BILLS--THIS REFUSED--ARRIVAL OF A NEW PRESIDENT--BUT WITHOUT AUTHORITY FOR THE ASSUMPTION--INTRIGUES TO ESTABLISH HIM IN OFFICE--I ORDER HIM TO QUIT THE PROVINCE--AND SEND HIM TO PARA--LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF CEARA--INTERNATIONAL ANIMOSITIES--THE SQUADRON LEFT TO PROVIDE FOR ITSELF--ABUSE OF AUTHORITY--EXPLANATIONS TO MINISTER OF MARINE--OF TRANSACTIONS AT MARANHAM--LETTER TO CARVALHO E MELLO--ANTICIPATING MINISTERIAL DISPLEASURE--THE JUNTA REIMBURSES PART OF ITS DEBT.

On the 16th of January I had at length the satisfaction to receive, through the Minister of Marine, the Emperor's approval of the course pursued in the pacification of the Northern provinces, and his confirmation of the changes that had been made in their administration. Still not a word of instruction was vouchsafed for my future guidance.

The subjoined is the letter conveying His Imperial Majesty's approval of my acts and judgment:--

   His Imperial Majesty commands the Secretary of State of the
   Marine to apprise the First Admiral, Commander-in-Chief of the
   naval forces of this Empire, that His Majesty received his despatches
   by the schooner _Maria de Gloria_, by which His Majesty was informed
   of his proceedings, and approves of his determination to proceed to
   the Northern provinces, where the fire of rebellion has been lighted,
   with a view to establish therein the order and obedience due to the
   said august sovereign, a duty which he has so wisely and judiciously
   undertaken, and in which course he must continue, notwithstanding
   the previous instructions sent to him, bearing date the 4th of October
   last, which instructions are hereby annulled until he shall attain
   the highly important objects proposed in the before-mentioned provinces,
   viz., till they submit themselves to the authorities lately
   appointed, and enjoy the benefits of the paternal Government of His
   Imperial Majesty.

   Palace of Rio Janeiro, Dec. 2, 1824.

   (Signed) FRANCISCA VILLELA BARBOSA.

To this letter--annulling my recall after the fall of Pernambuco--I returned the following reply:--

   No. 289.

   MOST EXCELLENT SIR,

   Since I had the honour of addressing your Excellency
   in my letter, No. 288, I have not had any further intelligence
   from Para; I therefore conclude that the officers and seamen whom
   I detached there, will be sufficient to aid the President in maintaining
   good order.

   Here, nothing particular has happened, beyond the collecting
   of a few runaway soldiers and vagabonds in the woods. A party
   detached in pursuit of them, dispersed them all, and brought in
   several prisoners yesterday.

   I have received your Excellency's communication by the schooner
   _Maria de Gloria_, and _feel highly gratified that His Imperial Majesty
   has been pleased to approve of the course which I have pursued for the
   termination of dissensions in the Northern provinces. Since the
   gracious communication of His Imperial Majesty, I feel less weight of
   responsibility in the course which circumstances have compelled me to
   follow, with a view to restore order in the province of Maranham._

   I hope soon to inform your Excellency that the task which His
   Imperial Majesty has been further pleased to confide to me, of
   causing the newly-appointed authorities to be acknowledged, is
   accomplished; but I beg respectfully again to add my opinion that
   these Northern provinces will not long continue in a state of
   tranquillity, unless the provincial forces are shifted to other
   quarters of the empire. In fact, if attention be not paid to this, I
   consider that these provinces will shortly be entirely lost, both to
   the empire of Brazil and to Portugal.

   (Signed) COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.
   Jan. 21, 1834.

The continued absence of even the slightest instructions for my guidance--coupled with the Imperial approval of all I had done upon my own responsibility, naturally implied that it was considered better to leave me entirely unfettered by orders, which, if given at all, must be issued in ignorance of the actual state of things which required renovation. In this light I should have regarded the omission to direct my conduct, but for the warnings privately received, to be careful what I was about, for that, despite any apparent public approval of my proceedings, my enemies in the administration were on the watch for some act which might be construed to my disadvantage, and thus become the pretext for blame which should outweigh the praise accorded. The opportunity I felt had already been afforded by the suspension of Bruce from the presidency, notwithstanding that this--as has been seen--was fully justified by circumstances, and was not resorted to without deliberate consideration, and the deepest conviction of its necessity. Still, any opposition to the suspension of Bruce could only be factious, for, on the 2nd of December, the Minister of Marine had in anticipation forwarded to me a list of new presidents and generals-at-arms, every person in authority throughout the whole extent of the Northern coast being changed--with the exception of the president of Para; so that there was every reason to anticipate that even the strong measures which I had been compelled to adopt with regard to Bruce would meet the views of His Imperial Majesty.

On the 31st of January, the interim President apprised me that the Junta refused to liquidate any part of the claim made in behalf of the squadron. Upon this refusal, I wrote to the Junta that, such being their decision, I would hold them personally responsible that no bills, debts, nor claims of any kind beyond the current expenses of government should be paid, till this prior claim--in honour and justice due to the officers and seamen, who had generously advanced their prize money to meet state exigencies--should be liquidated; adding, that the seamen _relied on me for justice_, and if my warning were not attended to, I should be compelled to take such steps as the necessity of upholding the interests of the crown and the efficiency of the naval service appeared to demand.

In taking this step, I frankly admit that it was the only way to obtain from the Government of Maranham even a compromise for the amount owing by the province to the captors. I had every confidence in His Imperial Majesty that as far as lay in his power justice would be done, as evinced by the acknowledgments given in his own handwriting in opposition to the measures of his ministers, on whom, or the prize tribunal, no reliance could be placed; the former having done all in their power to thwart my efforts in His Majesty's service, whilst the tribunal, acting by the sanction or in conformity to the known wishes of the ministry, had delayed adjudication, with the evident intention of evading it altogether, except in cases which gave a colour for condemning me in damages, in which respect--apparently their only object--they were prompt enough.

I therefore determined that as a specific portion of the prize property taken at Maranham in 1823, had, at its own request, been given up to the provisional Government, upon the express understanding of repayment --without which it could not have been thus surrendered--the Junta should be made to preserve their own good faith, as well as mine, to the squadron, which, relying on my promises, had been influenced temporarily to devote to the exigencies of the State that which by imperial decree, as well as according to the laws of all nations, was their undoubted right.

My orders to the Junta of Fazenda not to pay any claims--with the exception of the ordinary expenses of Government--till those of the squadron had been satisfied, were, however, almost superogatory; for, on a visit of inspection to the arsenal on the 2nd of February, it appeared that they had established a system of not paying any debts, even those incurred for the provisions of the squadron, the contract prices being set down at treble the market price! This overcharge was accounted for by the merchants on the ground of dilatory payments, which could only be obtained at all from the Junta by fees to those whose duty it was to pass the accounts! To counteract this, I requested the interim President to forbid any further purchases on the part of the provincial Government, as, in future, I would make them myself, and, what was more to the purpose, pay for them.

By limiting the demand of repayment to one-fourth only of the amount captured from the Portuguese Government, I was not pressing at all severely upon the resources of the province, which is one of the richest in Brazil; nor should I have put them to any inconvenience had I demanded repayment of the whole, _as I justly might have done_.

On the 8th of February, the Junta of Fazenda sent me a verbal communication to the effect that they would give the sum agreed upon in commutation of prize money due to the captors--in five bills, payable in five months. As I knew that, in case of my departure, these would not be worth the paper upon which they were written, I refused the offer, adding that, after the course pursued by the prize tribunal at Rio de Janeiro the seamen had no faith in promises.

Finding that the Junta shewed every disposition to evade the demand, I requested a personal interview with that body, intimating that I expected all the members to be present. At this interview, I told the Junta that all the documents necessary in support of the claim had been laid before them, these being too precise to admit of dispute--that they had no right in law, justice, or precedent, to withhold the portion of the prize property left at Maranham, by the request of the provisional government, no funds of their own being then available to meet the exigencies which had arisen--and therefore they were in honour bound to restore it.

I was induced to adopt this step, not only on account of the evasive conduct experienced at the hands of the administration at Rio de Janeiro, but because I knew that negotiations were actually pending for the restitution of all the Portuguese property captured, as a basis of the projected peace between Portugal and Brazil; in other words, that the squadron--whose exertions had added to the Empire a territory larger than the whole empire as it existed previous to the complete expulsion of the Portuguese--was to be altogether sacrificed to a settlement which its own termination of the war had brought about. So barefaced a proceeding towards those whose services had been engaged on the express stipulation of a right to all captures is, perhaps, unparalleled in the history of nations; and, as both officers and men looked to me for protection, I determined to persevere in demanding from the Government of Maranham--at least a compromise of the sums which the captors had, in 1823, lent to its pressing exigencies.

No small amount of obloquy has been attached to me with regard to this act of justice, the only one the squadron was ever likely to obtain; but the transaction involved my own good faith with both officers and men, who had lent the money solely on my assurance that the Government at Rio de Janeiro could not do otherwise than refund the amount--so important was it at the time, that the pressing difficulties of the province should be promptly met. A man must have a singularly constituted mind, who, in my position, would have acted otherwise. To this subject it will be necessary to recur.

On the 7th of February, I was surprised by an intimation from Pedro Jose da Costa Barros, of his intention to assume the presidency of Maranham, founding his pretensions upon a letter addressed to Bruce, whom I had suspended. At first--believing that he possessed the requisite authority--I invited him to take possession of the office, but finding that he had no patent to shew for the appointment, I considered it my duty to His Majesty not to admit such pretensions till their validity was established, and therefore told Barros that he must await the official communications from Rio de Janeiro, before I could acknowledge him as president--for that tranquillity being now restored, I would not have the minds of the people again unsettled on the mere presumption of his appointment.

In this arrangement Barros appeared to acquiesce, but being a well-known partisan of the Portuguese faction, he was soon surrounded by the adherents of that party in Maranham. On the 10th of March, a series of allegations was forwarded to me by the party of Barros against the interim President, but as they were of the most insignificant nature, and unsupported by proof, I refused to pay attention to them. They were shortly afterwards followed by a letter from Barros to the same purport, but without any specific accusation against Lobo, whom he nevertheless represented as about to fly from Maranham in order to evade the punishment due to his crimes! Upon this I addressed to him the following letter demanding specific charges against the interim President:--

    Maranham, 10th March, 1825.

    SIR,

    I have received your Excellency's letter, in which the interim
    President, Manuel Pellas da Silva Lobo, is charged with an intention
    of departing from Maranham in a sudden and clandestine manner, and
    in which your Excellency calls on me to adopt measures for the
    prevention of his flight. I must, however, represent to your
    Excellency that, since I have been in this province, so many reports
    have been made to me with the greatest confidence, impeaching the
    character and motives of individuals--all of which have proved
    unfounded--that I feel it impossible to act with any propriety on
    your Excellency's intimation--without being furnished with proof of
    the truth of the allegation.

    Your Excellency, I am persuaded, is too honourable to propagate so
    serious a charge without believing it to be well founded, and I
    cannot doubt that you will have the candour to admit that I am
    entitled to be made acquainted with the grounds on which your
    Excellency's belief rests, before proceeding to any measure of
    severity against the party accused.

    I have further to request that your Excellency will be pleased to
    say _for what crime, or crimes_, the President interino is supposed
    to be about to abandon--not only this province--but to flee from his
    native country?

    (Signed) COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

    To PEDRO JOSE DE COSTA BARROS.

The charges against Lobo, I well knew to have been fabricated for the purpose of getting me to place him in arrest, and instal Barros in the presidency. This plot failing, I learned, on the following day, that arrangements had been made for the forcible seizure of the interim President's person without any specific cause for dissatisfaction with his government, which was in all respects just and excellent. Finding the spirit of intrigue thus again manifested for the neutralisation of all my efforts to restore order and prosperity to the province--to the discomfiture of the intriguants--I again, on the 11th of March, declared martial law. Such was the terror inspired by this act in the minds of those who had fomented renewed disorder, that, anticipating summary retribution from me, they prepared for the flight of which they had accused an innocent man. On learning this, I despatched a vessel with a competent officer to cruise at the mouth of the port, under orders neither to let ships nor passengers leave without passports counter-signed by myself.

Having received a letter from Jose Feliz de Azevedo e Sa, the President of Ceara, warning me of the intentions of Barros, who had come from that province, I was confirmed in my determination that the good which had been effected at Maranham should not be neutralised by one who had no authority to shew for his interference. Accordingly, I wrote to Barros the following order to quit the province forthwith, until His Majesty's intentions with regard to him should be made known:--

   March 11th,1825.

   SIR,

   Your Excellency having acquainted me that the
   President interino intended to fly from justice, at the same time
   calling upon me to take precautionary measures to prevent his
   escape, without setting forth any crime of which he had been guilty;
   and further, with regard to my letter requesting that you would
   make known the nature of the delinquency which impelled the said
   President interino to fly from the province, you have not considered
   it necessary to give the slightest explanation.

   Now, as I have ample reason to believe the whole allegation to be
   a fabrication--as I know that your Excellency--instead of waiting,
   as is your duty, for communications from His Imperial Majesty
   --has, by your countenance, suffered to be stirred up a spirit of
   dissension and party, and as I understand the laws which I have been
   compelled to call into operation to prevent greater evils.

   I have to acquaint your Excellency that I have provided a convenient
   conveyance for your Excellency and suite, in order that you
   may reside in the neighbouring province of Para, until the arrival of
   orders from His Imperial Majesty; and that my barge will be at
   the service of your Excellency and suite at any hour to-morrow,
   between sunrise and sunset, in order to proceed to the anchorage of
   the _Pedro 1'ro_, where you will find the _Cacique_ ready for your
   reception.

   (Signed) COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

   To PEDRO JOSE DE COSTA BARROS.

Barros strongly remonstrated against this proceeding; but knowing that the machinations of his party had been the direct cause of renewed disorders, I resolved not to give way; telling him that he had only himself to blame, by not having abstained from meddling with public affairs till the arrival of competent authority from His Imperial Majesty. Accordingly, I insisted on his immediately embarking on board the Cacique, in charge of Captain Manson, for conveyance to Para, to the President of which province I addressed the following letter:--

   Maranham, 13th March,1825.

   MOST EXCELLENT SIR,

   Since I had the honour of writing to your
   Excellency, Pedro Jose de Costa Barros, who arrived from Ceara
   with the intention to take upon himself the office of President
   here--has unfortunately been the occasion of stirring up old
   animosities, which I had hoped experience might have taught him
   the advantage of leaving dormant. Had Barros been provided
   with proper authority under the sign manual of His Imperial
   Majesty, the difficulties that have occurred since his arrival might
   have been prevented; though I am extremely apprehensive that if
   ever he shall be invested with such authority, still greater evils will
   befal the province. The Portuguese party are in favour of Barros,
   and have expressed their sentiments unequivocally, and this your
   Excellency knows is sufficient to raise up the native Brazilians
   against him.

   The Portuguese and some others had combined to place Barros
   in the Presidency by force, which intention I happily frustrated by
   arriving in Maranham with a considerable reinforcement from the
   _Pedro Primiero_, at midnight--when the attempt was to have
   occurred. To put a stop to proceedings so injurious to the interests
   of His Imperial Majesty and the public, I have felt it necessary to
   remove Barros from Maranham until his commission shall arrive,
   or until His Majesty's pleasure respecting the appointment of
   Manoel Telles da Silva Lobo, shall be known. Barros therefore
   proceeds in the _Cacique_ (which is the bearer of this) to Para--where
   having no pretensions, he will have no partisans, and will be
   inoffensive.

   I have not time, nor would it be of any utility to occupy your
   Excellency with a minute detail of the affairs of this province,
   whilst your Excellency has so much to do in that under your
   immediate superintendence: I am convinced that in all I have
   done, I have acted in conformity with the true interests of His
   Majesty and his people, and am in no degree under any apprehension
   that the malevolent aspersions of self-interested or
   disappointed individuals will have the least influence on any candid
   mind, when a real statement of facts shall be laid before the
   public.

   I shall be gratified if your Excellency attains the satisfaction
   of preserving the province of Para free from those party dissensions,
   the danger and inconvenience of which are best known to those who
   are obliged to be on the watch to counteract them.

   (Signed) COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

To Jose Feliz de Azevedo e Sa, the President of Ceara, I addressed the subjoined letter of thanks for the warning he had given me respecting Barros:--

   Maranham, March 16th, 1825.

   MOST EXCELLENT SIR,

   I have to offer your Excellency many thanks for
   your kind letter, informing me, by anticipation, of the character of
   an individual whose principles and plans I was not long in discovering.
   Scarcely had he placed his foot on the soil of Maranham,
   when he was surrounded by all the Portuguese of the city, who
   expressed their joy at his arrival in no equivocal manner. To give
   you a history of his intrigues would require pages. Suffice it to say,
   that--after having attempted to thrust himself into the Government
   within forty-eight hours after his arrival,--without having any lawful
   commission from His Imperial Majesty--and being defeated in that
   object--he placed himself at the head of a faction, brought charges
   against the President interino, and on the night of the 10th formed
   a plan to seize his person! This, however, I defeated, and as his
   charges against Lobo were entirely false and malicious, I have sent
   him off to Para, there to await the determination of His Imperial
   Majesty.

   The intrigues here are so numerous, and there are so many
   interests to reconcile, that the harmony now restored will probably
   cease with the departure of the force under my command. But
   it is obvious that the squadron cannot remain here for ever to watch
   over private broils and feuds of so contemptible a nature. The only
   thing of which I am seriously afraid, is the influence and number of
   the Portuguese settled here, should they find a president desirous of
   promoting their views and supposed interests.

   (Signed) COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

There was great difficulty to act for the best in this matter: but whether Barros were appointed to the presidency or not, the course taken was the only one even temporarily to ensure public tranquillity. If appointed, it was evident, from his acts, that he had been selected by the administration to put in execution their anti-Brazilian projects; whilst the Portuguese party in Maranham unequivocally expressed their intention to revive the old animosities between themselves and the native Brazilians; thus causing a renewal of disorder which I was determined not to permit, in favour of one who had no patent to shew for his assumption of authority.

This monstrous state of affairs--fostered by the Imperial administration--was a natural consequence of their Portuguese predilections, and could not have existed, except from want of union amongst the Brazilians themselves, who, unskilled in political organization, were compelled to submit to a foreign faction, unable to carry out its own views, and only powerful in thwarting those of the patriots. Their policy was the more reprehensible, for even the government of the mother country conceded that Brazil was too extensive and powerful to be again reduced to a state of colonial dependence, and therefore confined its aims to the Northern provinces, the Portuguese party in the administration seconding the intentions of the parent state; both, however, shutting their eyes to the fact, that, if these were separated from Brazil, they would become disorganized in a vain attempt to imitate the constitution of the United States--by whose more enlightened citizens they were greatly influenced--and, as a consequence, would be lost both to the parent state and the Empire. As it was, all I had effected for their annexation and tranquillization was regarded with perfect hatred by the Portuguese residents in the provinces as well as by the administration, who did everything in their power to thwart my measures for the union and consolidation of the Empire.

During the whole of this period, I repeat that I had received no communication from Rio de Janeiro, with the exception of the letter before mentioned, with the rubrick of His Imperial Majesty, thanking me for the course I had pursued. Though no instructions were sent for my guidance, nor any fault found with my acts, yet, from private sources, I was advised that my success in restoring order to the Northern provinces had greatly embittered the administration against me, as having destroyed the hopes of Portugal--expressed through Palmella--of profiting by disorder. I was also left to provide for the pay and maintenance of the squadron, one vessel only with supplies having been forwarded since our departure from Rio de Janeiro, in the preceding August!

Notwithstanding this marked neglect, I took care to keep the administration well advised of all my proceedings, and the causes thereof, the following being extracts from my letters to the Minister of Marine, respecting the events just narrated:--

   No. 290.

   Maranham, March 16th, 1825.

   I beg to acquaint your Excellency, for the satisfaction of the
   Imperial government, that I have caused the provinces which required
   military assistance, to furnish pay and provisions for the ships
   immediately under my command; and further, that I have required the
   government of Maranham to pay, as a recompence to the officers and
   seamen, _one-fourth part_ of the amount of money and bills, and
   _one-fifth part_ of the value of the military stores surrendered by
   the Portuguese authorities on the 28th of July, 1823. Thus the
   Imperial government at Rio de Janeiro will be relieved from
   considerable disbursement, and the officers and
   seamen--notwithstanding the great additional trouble to which they
   have been put--will be satisfied, so far as regards their claim to
   the value of their captures in compensation for their services at
   Maranham.

   I cannot refrain from drawing the attention of the Imperial
   government to the abuses which exist in every department of the
   provincial government, where, notwithstanding the great revenue
   derived from various sources, the Junta of Fazenda possess so little
   credit, that their bills have actually been sold at 30 per cent.
   discount, and I am credibly informed that no money can, at any time,
   be received from the treasury without a heavy per centage being given
   to the inferior officers; but how such per centages are afterwards
   disposed of, is to me unknown.

   The price at which provisions were being purchased by the
   Intendente for the use of the squadron being exorbitant, I instituted
   a minute inquiry, the result of which was the discovery of
   a fraudulent system which I abolished by purchasing our own
   provisions. American salt beef, for which the Provincial Government
   charged 25 milreis the barrel, I have purchased for 12 milreis--pork
   charged 32 milreis, I buy for 15-1/2 milreis. Bread is charged
   10 milreis the quintal, whilst the English sloop-of-war _Jaseur_ is
   purchasing it at 5 milreis, for bills on England. Indeed, the abuses
   here of all kinds are too numerous to be detailed by letter, and to
   endeavour to put a stop to them, unless under the express authority
   and protection of the Imperial Government, would be a thankless
   task.

          *       *       *       *       *

   No. 291.

   Maranham, March 17th, 1825.

   The difficulties with which I have had to contend in this
   province have been greatly increased by the arrival of Pedro Jose
   de Costa Barros on the 5th of last month--when intrigue within
   intrigue was set on foot by different parties, and which--if Barros
   were placed in power--I clearly foresaw would end in anarchy and
   bloodshed--and probably in the destruction of all the Portuguese
   part of the community, whose unequivocal reception of a partisan
   President excited at once the jealousy and distrust of the
   Brazilians.

   Under these circumstances, I felt that the only course to be
   adopted, for the prevention of serious evils, was to defer the
   introduction of Barros into authority, and to leave Lobo as President
   interino, until further directions from the Imperial Government.
   This additional degree of responsibility I took upon myself with the
   less reluctance, as Barros had no other authority to assume the
   Government than a letter to Bruce, whom I had previously been
   compelled to suspend from office and send to Rio--to whom, therefore,
   such letter could not be delivered. Besides which, having
   appointed Lobo to be President interino, until His Majesty's
   pleasure should be known, I could not consistently consent to his
   removal from office until His Majesty was acquainted with his
   appointment, and had expressed his pleasure thereon.

          *       *       *       *       *

   No. 292.

   Maranham, March 18th, 1825.

   As I observe by the Lisbon newspapers that most of the vessels
   acquitted by the Court of Admiralty have arrived at Lisbon, I beg to
   call your Excellency's attention to the fact that I have received no
   reply to my letter addressed to your Excellency on the 1st of
   August last, requesting to know whether, in addition to the loss
   of the property, _which ought to have been condemned_, I was personally
   liable to the enormous costs and damages decreed against me by
   that tribunal.

          *       *       *       *       *

   No. 293.

   Maranham, March 18, 1825.

   In my letter, No. 291, I acquainted your Excellency
   of the course pursued with regard to Pedro Jose de Costa Barros,
   who, under the mistaken counsels of a faction here, would have
   again involved this province in scenes of bloodshed and confusion.
   It is neither my duty nor inclination to become a tool in the hands
   of any faction, whose views are contrary to the true interests of
   His Imperial Majesty, and, were they countenanced and protected,
   would infallibly involve all Brazil in civil war and anarchy.

   I contented myself, however, with continuing the usual precautions,
   which were sufficient to prevent disasters till His Majesty's
   pleasure, with regard to recent occurrences in this province, should
   become known, of which I have been in daily expectation for some
   time past; but Barros--after agreeing to await the expected
   instructions--considered that he had gained over a sufficient party
   to overthrow the government by violent means, and addressed to me
   the letter A, which was considered by him a sufficient pretext to
   warrant the imprisonment of the President interino, during my
   temporary absence on board the flagship, whence, it was supposed,
   I should not be able to arrive in time to prevent the execution of
   that violent measure; and I regret to add, that, in this plot--so
   prejudicial to His Majesty's interests, and so disgraceful to the
   parties concerned--persons whose duty it was to have at once combatted
   such unjustifiable proceedings took an underhand but active
   part. The letters of Barros, A and B, will sufficiently shew the
   violence of his prejudices, his credulity, and precipitancy in acting
   upon false information and reports, as well as his total ignorance of
   law and justice, in requiring the seizure of an individual without
   specifying either crime or accuser.

   I enclose to your Excellency all the correspondence which has
   taken place between Barros and myself, together with the proclamation
   which I felt it my duty to issue for the maintenance of order;
   for the legal department here now profess to consider that, although
   the constitution has been granted and accepted, they have no
   authority to put it in practice--hence, between the ancient and new
   laws, justice is at a stand.

   (Signed) COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

To these and all my previous communications no reply was returned either in the way of approval or otherwise. There was, however, one member of the administration, Luiz Jose Carvalho e Mello, who had ever been my friend, being himself a man of patriotic and enlightened views, but without the influence to counteract the designs of his Portuguese colleagues. As I knew from private sources, that this silence had its objects, I addressed to Carvalho e Mello the following letter:--

   Maranham, March 22nd, 1825.

   MOST EXCELLENT SIR,

   By the arrival of my despatches transmitted by the _George_ and other
   ships, your Excellency will have been successively informed of such
   public transactions and occurrences as seemed to me worthy of the
   attention of the Imperial Government. But notwithstanding that three
   months and upwards have now elapsed since the date of my first
   communications, I have the misfortune (for so I must call it) to be
   left without any precise or applicable instructions from Rio de
   Janeiro. The responsibility, therefore, rests entirely on my
   shoulders, and I feel this the more--being aware that not only shall
   I meet with no support from the majority of the Ministry itself--but
   that the most powerful faction in Rio de Janeiro will represent every
   thing I have done--or may do--in the blackest colours.

   I console myself, however, with the knowledge that I possess the
   means of exposing the falsehood of every allegation that can be
   brought against me. I have acted towards His Imperial Majesty
   and the Brazilian nation, in the same manner as I should have
   done for my native Sovereign and country; and I must say--that,
   had I freed the shores of England from a superior hostile force, and
   rescued half the country from the dominion of an enemy--the
   British Government would not have left me to seek the fruit of my
   labours, and those of the officers and seamen who served with me,
   in the manner in which I have been compelled to seek them in
   Brazil; and would never have subjected me to the necessity of
   having recourse to measures capable of being so perversely represented
   as to obscure for a time that credit to which I am entitled
   for the successful conduct of the naval war. I am, however,
   resolved never to be deterred, by fear of consequences, from using
   every endeavour within my power to obtain justice for all who have
   continued to perform their duty in the Imperial service. And
   I have the less hesitation in persevering in this resolution--because
   it cannot be denied that I have strictly limited the claims of the
   naval service to such rewards as would have been admitted to
   be due, under similar circumstances, in the navy of England.

   I have used the freedom to say thus much to your Excellency as
   my friend--because I am well aware that the old cry of the Portuguese
   faction in Rio will be set up against me the moment they
   hear that I have caused the Junta of Fazenda of this province to pay
   a part of the amount of the money and bills taken on the surrender
   of the Portuguese authorities at Maranham. This, of course, though
   only one-fourth of the amount due, _will be represented as an outrageous
   robbery_; but I again say, that it is not from the Portuguese
   faction at Rio, that I expect either credit or justice. Their object is
   sufficiently evident, namely--_the expulsion of every foreign officer
   from the service, by means of privation and insult, in order that they
   may fill the ships with their Portuguese countrymen and dependents_;
   a result which I should lament to witness, because fraught with mischief
   to His Imperial Majesty and Brazil.

   I feel myself much shaken in health by the great heat of the climate,
   and the anxiety occasioned by the peculiar circumstances in which I
   have been placed; all of which I might have saved myself under the
   plea of want of instructions, but for my desire to promote the real
   interests of His Imperial Majesty, by once more accomplishing that
   which His Majesty, in his instructions to me of the 31st of July
   last, was graciously pleased to describe as "_of no less importance
   than the integrity and independence of the Empire_."

   I am, with great respect,

   Your Excellency's devoted friend,

   and obedient servant,

   COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.

On the 16th of March, the Junta--finding that I would not listen to any farther evasion--paid 30 contos (L.6000) in bills, and 3 contos (L.600) in silver, as the first instalment of the 106,000 dollars (L.21,200) for which the restoration of 425,000 dollars (L.85,000) had been commuted. The disbursement of this sum amongst the officers and men entitled to it, is fully narrated in the concluding chapter, containing a full statement of the disbursement of this and other monies charged against me, which statement is accompanied by vouchers fortunately retained in my possession, these placing the proper disbursement of the money amongst its rightful owners beyond doubt or question.


Return to Book index Page

 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast