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


Although these memoirs relate to personal services in Brazil, it is nevertheless essential, in order to their comprehension, briefly to recapitulate a few events which more immediately led to my connection with the cause of independence in that country.

The expulsion of the Portuguese Royal Family from Lisbon, in consequence of the occupation of Portugal by the armies of the French Republic, was followed by the accession of Don John VI. to the throne of Portugal whilst resident in Rio de Janeiro.

Twelve months previous to my arrival in Brazil, His Majesty returned to Portugal, leaving his son and heir-apparent, Don Pedro, regent of the Portuguese possessions in South America, which had been for some time in a state of disaffection, arising from a growing desire throughout the various provinces for a distinct nationality. Hence two opposing interests had arisen,--a Brazilian party, which had for its object national independence; and a Portuguese party, whose aim was to prevent separation from the mother country--or, if this could not be accomplished, so to paralyse the efforts of the Brazilians, that in case of revolt it might not be difficult for Portugal to keep in subjection, at least the Northern portion of her South American Colonies. It will be necessary, in the course of the narrative, to bear these party distinctions clearly in mind.

As the Regent, Don Pedro, was supposed to evince a leaning to the Brazilian party, he gave proportionate offence to the Portuguese faction, which--though inferior in number, was, from its wealth and position, superior in influence; hence the Regent found himself involved in disputes with the latter, which in June 1821 compelled him to submit to some humiliations.

Shortly previous to this, the Cortes at Lisbon--aware of what was going on in Brazil, and disregarding the temperate views of the King--issued a declaration inviting the Brazilian municipalities to repudiate the Regent's authority at Rio de Janeiro, and to adhere to the immediate administration of the Cortes alone--thus indicating a course to be pursued by the Portuguese faction in Brazil. The result was--as had been anticipated--disunion amongst the people, consequent on the formation of petty provincial governments; each refusing to pay revenue to the central Government at Rio de Janeiro, for the alleged reason that the Regent was only waiting an opportunity to invest himself with absolute power. This opinion was eagerly adopted by the commercial class--consisting almost exclusively of native Portuguese--in the hope that the Cortes would reinvest them with their ancient trade privileges and monopolies, to the exclusion of foreigners, whom they considered as interlopers--the English especially, who, protected by a treaty of commerce, were fast undermining the former monopolists. Amidst these difficulties Don Pedro, though nominally Regent of Brazil, found himself, in reality, little more than Governor of Rio de Janeiro.

In July 1821, the Lisbon Cortes passed a decree, that thenceforth the Brazilian and Portuguese armies should form one body; the object being to ship the Brazilian troops to Portugal, and to send Portuguese troops to Brazil, thereby ensuring its subjection. The Regent was, moreover, ordered to return to Portugal.

These rash steps greatly irritated the native Brazilians, who saw in them a subversion of all their hopes of nationality. With scarcely less rashness, they issued proclamations declaring Brazil independent, with Don Pedro as Emperor; but he repudiated the act, and prepared to quit Brazil in obedience to orders.

The approaching departure of the Regent caused a general ferment, when a popular leader arose in the person of Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, vice-president of the provisional Junta at San Paulo. Summoning his colleagues at midnight, they signed an address to the Regent--to the effect that his departure would be the signal for a declaration of independence--daring the Cortes at Lisbon to promulgate laws for the dismemberment of Brazil into insignificant provinces, possessing no common centre of union; above all, daring them to dispossess Don Pedro of the authority of Regent conferred by his august father. This address was conveyed to the Prince by Bonifacio himself, and was shortly afterwards followed by others of a similar nature from the Southern provinces, and from the municipality of Rio de Janeiro--all begging him to remain and avert the consequences of the late decrees of the Cortes. On more deliberate reflection Don Pedro consented, and was shortly afterwards invested with the title of "Perpetual Protector and Defender of Brazil."

Meanwhile the Cortes, confident in their own power, were enforcing their obnoxious decrees by the despatch of ships of war and troops to the Northern provinces. As the intention of this step was unmistakeable, His Royal Highness the Protector promptly issued a manifesto, declaring the wish of Brazil to maintain an amicable union with Portugal, but at the same time calling on the Brazilians to secure their independence by force, if necessary. In furtherance of this determination, an attack was made by the Brazilian troops upon General Madeira, the Portuguese commandant at Bahia, but from want of proper military organization, it proved unsuccessful.

Despatches now arrived from Portugal, which cut off every hope of reconciliation, and on the 12th of October, Don Pedro was induced to accept the title of "Constitutional Emperor of Brazil," with Bonifacio de Andrada as his Minister of the Interior, of Justice, and of Foreign Affairs.

The Southern provinces gave in their adhesion to the Emperor, but all the Northern provinces--including Bahia, Maranham, and Para--were still held by Portuguese troops; a numerous and well appointed squadron commanding the seaboard, and effectually preventing the despatch of Brazilian forces to those localities by water; whilst by land there were neither roads, nor other facilities of communication with the Northern patriots, who were thus isolated from effectual aid, could such have been rendered from Rio de Janeiro.

His Imperial Majesty saw that, without a fleet, the dismemberment of the Empire--as regarded the Northern provinces--was inevitable; and the energy of his minister Bonifacio in preparing a squadron, was as praiseworthy as had been the Emperor's sagacity in determining upon its creation. A voluntary subscription was enthusiastically entered into; artisans flocked into the dockyard; the only ship of the line in the harbour required to be nearly rebuilt; but to man that and other available vessels with native seamen was impossible--the policy of the mother country having been to carry on even the coasting trade exclusively by Portuguese, who could not now be relied on by Brazil, in the approaching contest with their own countrymen.

Orders were consequently sent to the Brazilian charge d'affaires in London, to engage officers and seamen there; and to stimulate these, a decree was, on the 11th of December, 1822, issued by His Imperial Majesty, to sequestrate Portuguese property throughout the Empire, and also another, that all prizes taken in the war should become the property of the captors, which decrees must be borne in mind.

His Imperial Majesty, having ascertained that the War of Independence in the Pacific had been brought to a successful conclusion by the squadron under my command, ordered his minister, Bonifacio, to communicate with me, through the Brazilian Consul at Buenos Ayres; judging that, from the termination of hostilities in the Pacific, I might be at liberty to organize a naval force in Brazil, which--if properly conducted--might successfully cope with the Portuguese fleet protecting the Northern harbours of the Empire.

Accordingly, whilst residing on my estate at Quintera, in Chili, I received from Antonio Manuel Correa, the Brazilian Consul at Buenos Ayres, a letter on the part of His Imperial Majesty, inviting me to accept service under the Brazilian flag, guaranteeing moreover rank and position in no way inferior to that which I then held under the Republic of Chili; the Consul exhorting me, in addition, "to throw myself upon the munificence of the Emperor, and the undoubted probity of His Majesty's Government, which would do me justice." The following is one of the letters of invitation:--

Le Conseiller Agent du Bresil, pres le Gouvernement de Buenos Ayres a l'Amiral Lord Cochrane, Commandant-en-Chef les forces navales de la Republique du Chili.


Le Bresil, puissance du premier ordre devint un nouvel empire, une nation independente sous le legitime heritier de la monarchie, Pierre le Grand, son auguste defenseur.

C'est par son ordre--c'est de sa part, et en vertu des depeches ministeriales, que je viens de recevoir de Monseigneur Joseph Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, Ministre de l'Interieur et des Relations Exterieures du Bresil, en date du 13 Septembre dernier--que j'ai l'honneur de vous adresser cette note; en laquelle votre Grace est invitee, pour--et de part le Gouvernement du Bresil--a accepter le service de la nation Bresilienne; chez qui je suis dument autorise a vous assurer le rang et le grade nullement inferieur a celui que vous tenez de la Republique.

Abandonnez vous, Milord, a la reconnaisance Bresilienne; a la munificence du Prince; a la probite sans tache de l'actuel Gouvernement; on vous fera justice; on ne rabaissera d'un seul point la haute consideration--Rang--grade--caractere--et avantages qui vous sont dus.

Consul de l'Empire du
Bresil, a Buenos Ayres,
4 Novembre, 1822.

Annoyed by the ingratitude with which my services were requited in Chili, and disliking the inaction consequent on the capture of Valdivia, followed by the annihilation of the Spanish naval force at Callao, and elsewhere in the Pacific--whereby internal peace had been obtained for Chili, and independence for Peru--I felt gratified by the further terms of invitation, contained in a second letter--"Venez, milord, l'honneur vous invite--la gloire vous appelle. Venez--donner a nos armes navales cet ordre merveilleux et discipline incomparable de puissante Albion" --and on mature consideration returned the following reply:--

Valparaiso, Nov. 29, 1832.


The war in the Pacific having been happily terminated by the total destruction of the Spanish naval force, I am, of course, free for the crusade of liberty in any other quarter of the globe.

I confess, however, that I had not hitherto directed my attention to the Brazils; considering that the struggle for the liberties of Greece--the most oppressed of modern states--afforded the fairest opportunity for enterprise and exertion.

I have to-day tendered my ultimate resignation to the Government of Chili, and am not at this moment aware that any material delay will be necessary, previous to my setting off, by way of Cape Horn, for Rio de Janeiro, calling at Buenos Ayres, where I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you, and where we may talk further on this subject; it being, in the meantime, understood that I hold myself free to decline--as well as entitled to accept--the offer which has, through you, been made to me by His Imperial Majesty. I only mention this from a desire to preserve a consistence of character, should the Government (which I by no means anticipate) differ so widely in its nature from those which I have been in the habit of supporting, as to render the proposed situation repugnant to my principles--and so justly expose me to suspicion, and render me unworthy the confidence of His Majesty and the nation.

(Signed) COCHRANE.

His Brazilian Majesty's
Consul at Buenos Ayres.

Having obtained the unqualified consent of the Chilian Government--there being now no enemy in the Pacific--- I chartered a vessel for my own conveyance, and that of several valuable officers and seamen who, preferring to serve under my command, desired to accompany me. Knowing that the Portuguese were making great efforts to re-establish their authority in Brazil, no time was lost in quitting Chili.

We reached Rio de Janeiro on the 13th of March, 1822, barely six months after the declaration of Independence. Despatching a letter to the Prime Minister Bonifacio de Andrada--reporting my arrival in conformity with the invitation which His Imperial Majesty had caused to be transmitted to me through his Consul-General at Buenos Ayres--I was honoured by the Imperial command to attend His Majesty at the house of his Minister, where a complimentary reception awaited me. The Emperor assured me that, so far as the ships themselves were concerned, the squadron was nearly ready for sea; but that good officers and seamen were wanting; adding, that, if I thought proper to take the command, he would give the requisite directions to his Minister of Marine.

On the following day, the Prime Minister--after a profusion of compliments on my professional reputation, and an entire concurrence with the invitation forwarded to me by the Consul at Buenos Ayres--which invitation he stated to have arisen from his own influence with the Emperor--desired me to communicate personally with him, upon all matters of importance, the Minister of Marine being merely appointed to transact subordinate business. As nothing more positive was said in relation to my appointment, it struck me that this also might be included amongst the subordinate duties of the Minister of Marine, to whose house I repaired; but he could say nothing on the subject, as nothing specific had been laid before him. Being desirous to come to a proper understanding, I wrote to the Prime Minister, that the officers who had accompanied me from Chili would expect the same rank, pay, and emoluments as they had there enjoyed; that, as regarded myself, I was prepared to accept the terms offered by His Imperial Majesty, through the Consul at Buenos Ayres, viz. the same position, pay, and emoluments as had been accorded to me by the Chilian Government; and that although I felt myself entitled to the customary remuneration in all well-regulated states for extraordinary, as well as ordinary, services, yet I was more anxious to learn the footing on which the naval service was to be put, than the nature of any stipulations regarding myself.

On the following day His Imperial Majesty invited me at an early hour to the palace, in order to accompany him on a visit to the ships of war, with some of which I was much pleased, as demonstrative of the exertions which must have been made within a short time to get them into such creditable condition. Great care had evidently been bestowed upon the Pedro Primiero, rated as a 74--though in the English service she would have been termed a 64. She was evidently a good sailer, and was ready for sea, with four months provisions on board, which scarcely half filled her hold, such was her capacity for stowage; I had therefore reason to be satisfied with my intended flagship.

Another showy vessel was the Maria da Gloria--a North American clipper; a class of vessels in those days little calculated to do substantial service, being built of unseasoned wood, and badly fastened. Though mounting 32 guns, she was a ship of little force, having only 24-pounder carronades, mixed with short 18-pounder guns. As a redeeming feature, she was commanded by a Frenchman, Captain Beaurepaire, who had contrived to rally round him some of his own countrymen, mingled with native Brazilians--in which he displayed considerable tact to free himself from the unpromising groups elsewhere to be selected from.

The history of this vessel was not a little curious: she had been built in North America at the expense of the Chilian Government, and sent to Buenos Ayres, where an additional 40,000 dollars was demanded by her owners. Payment of this was demurred to, when, without the slightest consideration for the expense incurred by Chili in her building and equipment, her captain suddenly got under weigh, and proceeding to Rio de Janeiro, sold her to the Brazilian Government.

I was further much pleased with the Piranga, a noble frigate mounting long 24-pounders on the main deck. Not to enter into any further details, with regard to the ships, a brief notice must be taken of the men, who, with the exception of the crew of the Maria da Gloria, were of a very questionable description,--consisting of the worst class of Portuguese, with whom the Brazilian portion of the men had an evident disinclination to mingle. On inquiry, I ascertained that their pay was only eight milreas per month, whereas in the merchant service, eighteen milreas was the current rate for good seamen,--whence it naturally followed that the wooden walls of Brazil were to be manned with the refuse of the merchant service. The worst kind of saving--false economy--had evidently established itself in the Brazilian Naval Administration.

The captains complained of the difficulties they had to contend with as regarded the crews, particularly that the marines were so much gentlemen that they considered themselves degraded by cleaning their own berths, and had demanded and obtained attendants to wait on them! whilst they could only be punished for offences by their own officers! or, to use the words of one of the captains, "They were very much their own masters, and seemed inclined to be his!" It was, indeed, evident to me that neither seamen nor marines were in any state of discipline.

Not having as yet had experience of political party in the Empire, it struck me as an anomaly that Portuguese should be employed in such numbers to fight their own countrymen, though I afterwards became but too well acquainted with the cause of a proceeding at the time beyond my comprehension. In the course of our visit of inspection, the phrase "attacking the Portuguese parliamentary force," was frequently used by the Emperor, and was no less singular, as implying that the Brazilian Government did not make war against the King or country of Portugal, but merely against the Cortes; the distinction, as regarded the conduct of hostilities, being without a difference.

A curious circumstance occurred after this visit of inspection. On landing--hundreds of people of all ages and colours, crowded round to kiss His Majesty's hands--paternally extended on both sides to rows of devoted subjects, who, under no other circumstances, could have come in such familiar contact with royalty. To this ceremony the Emperor submitted with the greatest possible good humour and affability, his equanimity not even being ruined by familiarities such as I had never before seen taken with King or Emperor.

On the 17th, a visit was paid to me by the Minister of Marine, Luiz da Cunha Moreira, relative to the terms of my appointment, he being evidently desirous that my services should be obtained at as cheap a rate as possible, notwithstanding the concurrence of the Prime Minister with the offers which had been made through the Consul-General at Buenos Ayres. The pay now offered was that of an admiral in the Portuguese service,--notoriously the worst paid in the world. On enquiring what this might be, I found it less than half what I had received in Chill! My pay there being 8000 dollars per annum, with permission from the Supreme Director to appropriate another 4000 from the Government moiety of captures made.

By way of reply, I produced a letter from the Chilian Minister of Marine, counter-signed by the Supreme Director, acknowledging the receipt of an offer subsequently made to the Chilian Government voluntarily to give up to public exigencies a portion of my pay greater than the amount now tendered--at the same time telling the Minister, that by accepting such an arrangement I should lose more annually by entering the Brazilian service than the whole sum offered to me. Without condescending to chaffer on such a subject, I added that His Imperial Majesty had invited me to Brazil on specific promises, which, if my services were required, must be strictly fulfilled; if not, it would be candid in him to say so, as it was not the amount of pay for which I contended; but the reflection, that if the first stipulations of the Brazilian Government were violated, no future confidence could be placed in its good faith. If the State were poor, I had no objection, conditionally, to surrender an equal or even a greater proportion of pay than I had tendered to the Chilian Government; but that it was no part of my intention to be placed on the footing of a Portuguese admiral, especially after the terms, which, without application on my part, had been voluntarily offered to induce me to accept service in Brazil.

The Minister of Marine seemed hurt at this, and said the State was not poor, and that the terms originally offered should be complied with, by granting me the amount I had enjoyed in Chili; a decision the more speedily arrived at, from an intimation on my part, of referring to the Prime Minister, as requested in cases of difficulty. This the Minister of Marine begged me not to do, saying that there was no occasion for it.

He next proposed that, as my Brazilian pay was to be equivalent to that which I received in Chili, it should he numerically estimated in Spanish dollars, at the rate of 800 reis per dollar--though the Brazilian mint was then actually restamping those very dollars at the rate of 960 reis! thus, by a manoeuvre, which reflected little credit on a Minister, lessening the pay agreed on by one-fifth. To this proposition I replied that there was no objection, provided my services were also revalued--as he seemed disposed to revalue his dollar; so that, setting aside the offers which had induced me to leave Chili, I would make a new offer, which should not only compensate for the difference in dispute, but leave a considerable surplus on my side into the bargain. Alarmed at the sarcasm, and perhaps judging from my manner, that I cared little for a service in which such petty expedients formed an important element, he at once gave up the false value which he had attached to the dollar, and agreed to estimate it at 960 reis--a microscopic saving, truly!

As such a mode of proceeding had been adopted towards me, it became necessary on my part to look well after the interests of the officers who had accompanied me under the assurance that their position in Brazil should be at least equal to that which they had held on the other side of the continent. This was not more a duty than a necessity, for I saw that, unless supported by officers upon whose talent and courage reliance could be placed, it would be out of my power individually to accomplish any enterprise satisfactory to myself or beneficial to Brazil. I therefore required and obtained the same stipulations with regard to their respective rank and pay as had, in my own case, been insisted on. Of these, Admiral Grenfell is the only survivor.

On the 19th, a writing on a common sheet of letter paper was forwarded to me by the Minister of Marine, purporting to be a commission, with the rank of admiral; stating, however, inaccurately the amount of pay and table money agreed upon, by transposing the one for the other,--so that the table money was figured as pay, and the pay as table money; the effect being, that when on shore, my pay would have amounted to exactly one half of the sum stipulated! This proceeding could not be tolerated, so on the following morning I returned the commission to the Minister of Marine, who hastened to assure me that it was a mistake, which should be rectified.

This pretended commission was accompanied by the following order to take command of the squadron:--

His Imperial Majesty--through the secretary for naval affairs--commands that the Admiral of the Imperial and National Marine--Lord Cochrane--shall take command of the squadron at anchor in this port, consisting of the ship Pedro Primiero; the frigates Unao, Nitherohy, and Carolina; the corvettes Maria de Gloria and Liberal; the brig Guarani, and the schooners Real and Leopoldina; hoisting his flag aboard the line-of-battle ship: the said Admiral having, at his choice, the whole--or any of the said vessels, for the purpose of the expedition about to sail.

Palace of Rio de Janeiro, March 19, 1823.


There was, however, another point still less satisfactory. The commission conferred upon me the rank of Admiral, but of what grade was not specified. On pressing the Minister of Marine, he admitted that it was only intended to give me the rank of Junior Admiral,--there being already two Admirals in the service, whose functions would not, however, interfere with me, as their duties were confined to the ordinary administration of a Board of Admiralty. I at once told him that for me to serve under such naval administrators was out of the question. As the Minister of Marine professed want of sufficient power to warrant him in altering the commission, I announced my intention of taking it to the Prime Minister, and respectfully restoring it into his hands. The Minister of Marine again begged me not to do so, as an alteration might be made, if I would consent to go at once on board the Pedro Primiero--on board which ship my flag had been directed to be hoisted at mid-day! This, it is needless to add, was declined, not only by myself, but by the officers who had accompanied me from Chili.

The Minister of Marine affected to be surprised at my want of confidence in the Government, but I explained that this was not the case. "It was quite possible that a Congress might at any time be convened which would be less liberally inclined than the present ministry, and that acceptance of an appointment so loosely made might afford the admirals placed over me, not only a control over my movements, but an easy and convenient mode of getting rid of me after I had done their work; and this without any imputation of injustice on their proceedings. The fact, indeed, of a Cortes being about to assemble, and the possibility of their interfering with me, was sufficient to fix my determination to have nothing to do with the command, under any circumstances, save those set forth in the tender made to me by command of His Majesty."

To this the Minister replied, that, "if I could be thus dismissed, the Government must likewise fall--because to suppose that a popular assembly could dictate to His Majesty in such a case was to suppose the Government no longer in existence."

I then frankly told the Minister, that "my experience as a naval officer--founded upon many years' practical observation, had taught me that, in engagements of this nature, it was necessary to be clear and explicit in every arrangement. I did not mean to insinuate anything disrespectful to the ministers of His Brazilian Majesty, but knowing that a Senate was about to assemble, and having reason to believe that a majority of the members might differ from the ministerial views, and might--when the work was done--take a fancy to see the squadron commanded by one of their own countrymen--a step which would leave me no alternative but to quit the service--it was much better for all parties to put our mutual engagements on a firm basis."

The Minister continued to argue the point, but finding argument of no avail in altering my determination, he insinuated--though not stating as much in positive terms--that he had no prospect of any arrangement being effected regarding my rank other than that which had been tendered.

Determined to be no longer trifled with--on the following morning I waited on the Prime Minister, Bonifacio de Andrada, whom I found in high dudgeon at what he termed the unreasonableness of my demands; stating, moreover, that the Consul at Buenos Ayres had exceeded his authority by writing me a bombastic letter, though but a few days before, Andrada not only expressed his entire concurrence in its contents, but stated that the letter had been written through his influence with the Emperor!

To this I replied that, "be that as it might, it was absurd to suppose that I should have given up my position in Chili for anything less in Brazil, and that all that had been offered by the Consul, or desired by me, was simply an equivalent to my Chilian command, with adequate reimbursement of any losses I might sustain by quitting Chili so abruptly, before the settlement of my affairs with that country. This offer had been made on behalf of His Imperial Majesty, under the express authority of the Prime Minister himself, as set forth in the Consul's letters, and for this I held the Government responsible. But, at the same time, I informed the Prime Minister that if he were disinclined to fulfil his own voluntary obligations, I would at once free him from them by declining the proffered command, and therefore begged of him to take back his commission, about which I would hold no further parley."

This step was evidently unexpected, for, lowering his tone, Bonifacio assured me that "good faith was the peculiar characteristic of the Brazilian Administration;" and to prove this, he had to announce to me that a Cabinet Council had that morning been held, at which it was resolved that the newly created honour of "First Admiral of Brazil" should be conferred upon me, with the pay and emoluments of Chili, as stipulated through the Consul at Buenos Ayres. He then asked me if I was content, to which I replied in the affirmative; pointing out, however, how much better it would have been to have taken this course at first, than to have caused such contention about a matter altogether insignificant, as compared with the work in hand. He replied that, as everything had been conceded, it was not worth while to reopen the question; but to this view I demurred, telling him that nothing whatever had been conceded, the Government having only fulfilled its own stipulations, which were insignificant in comparison with obtaining the services of an officer whom it believed competent to carry out alone, what otherwise would entail great expense on the State. I further assured him that it would afford me much satisfaction to prove to him of how little importance was all that which had been the subject of dispute, and that His Imperial Majesty's Government might rest assured that my utmost exertions would be used to bring the naval war to a speedy termination.

He then requested me to hoist my flag forthwith, as the Government was very anxious on this point. Accordingly, at four o'clock in the afternoon of the 21st of March, 1823, I went on board the Pedro Primiero, and hoisted my flag, which was saluted with twenty-one guns from each ship of war, the salute being acknowledged from the flagship with an equal number.

Shortly afterwards, a portaria, dated on the same day, was sent to me, explanatory of the commission which had given rise to so much trouble, and detailing my future pay as agreed upon. By the same document I was ordered to take command of the squadron, and an intimation was given that a formal commission as "First Admiral" would forthwith be made out.

It was further acknowledged that, by accepting the Brazilian command, I had risked an admitted reward for services rendered to Chili and Peru, to the extent of more than sixty thousand dollars--and it was agreed that this amount should be repaid to me in the event of those countries not fulfilling their obligations--provided equivalent services were rendered to Brazil. For more than thirty years Chili has withheld that amount, but the Brazilian Government has never fulfilled this portion of its engagements.

Notwithstanding the praiseworthy exertions of the administration to place their navy in a creditable position as regarded the ships, the want of seamen was severely felt, and little had been done beyond shipping a number of Portuguese sailors, whose fidelity to the Imperial cause was doubtful.

In the hope of getting a more reliable class of men for the flagship, I authorised Captain Crosbie to offer from my own purse, eight dollars per man, in addition to the bounty given by the Government, and by this means procured some English and North American seamen, who, together with the men who accompanied me from Chili, sufficed to form a tolerable nucleus for a future crew; as to the rest--though far short of the ship's complement--it had never before fallen to my lot to command a crew so inefficient.

On the 26th of March, the following commission from His Imperial Majesty was presented to me:--


The valour, intelligence, activity, and other qualities of Lord Cochrane as an admiral, being well-known by the performance of various services in which he has been engaged, and seeing how advantageous it would be for the Empire to avail itself of the known qualities of an Officer so gifted, I deem it proper to confer on him a patent as "First Admiral of the National and Imperial Navy," with an annual salary of eleven contos and five hundred and twenty milreis, whether at sea or on shore; and further in table money, when embarked, five contos, seven hundred and twenty milreis, which is the same pay and table money as he received in Chili. To which favour, no admiral of the Imperial Navy shall claim succession, neither to the post of "First Admiral," which I have thought fit to create solely for this occasion, from the motives aforesaid, and from particular consideration of the merits of the said Lord Cochrane. The supreme Military Council will so understand, and shall execute the necessary despatches.

Given at the Palace of Rio de Janeiro, March 21st, 1823.

Second year of the Independence of the Empire.


Secretary of State,

March 26th, 1823.


Thus was a right understanding established, my only object during the undignified contentions which had arisen, being--relinquishment of the proffered command, in order to carry out my long-entertained intention of visiting Greece, then engaged in a struggle for independence--or to obtain a definite arrangement with the Brazilian Government, which should recognise the circumstances under which I had been induced to quit Chili--confer upon me permanent rank--give me the equivalent promised with regard to pay--and be binding on both parties.

On the 29th of March, a proclamation was issued by the Imperial Government declaring Bahia in a state of blockade, the Portuguese having there assembled a combined naval and military force superior to that of Brazil, and, under ordinary circumstances, fully competent to maintain itself; as well as to put down, or at least paralyse, any movement in favour of independence.

The following orders were then communicated to me, and were of the usual kind, viz. "to capture or destroy all enemy's ships and property, whereever found:"--

His Imperial Majesty, through the Secretary of State for the Marine, commands that the First Admiral, Lord Cochrane, Commander-in-Chief of the Squadron, shall, to-morrow morning, proceed from this port with such vessels as he shall judge proper to the port of Bahia, to institute a rigorous blockade, destroying or capturing whatever Portuguese force he may fall in with--doing all possible damage to the enemies of this Empire, it being left to the discretion of the said Admiral to act as he shall deem advantageous, in order to save that city from the thraldom to which it is reduced by the enemies of the cause of Brazil; for this purpose consulting with Gen. Labatu, commanding the Army, in order to the general good of the service, and glory of the national and Imperial arms.

Palace of Rio Janeiro, March 30, 1823.


To the Brazilian party and the mass of the people generally, the approaching departure of the squadron was a matter for congratulation, but to the Portuguese faction it presented a cause for fear, as tending to destroy their hopes of re-establishing the authority of the mother country. Their influence, as has before been said, was as great, if not greater, than that of the patriots, and being more systematic, it had been effectually employed to increase the disaffection which existed in the Northern provinces to the--as yet--but partially established authority of his Imperial Majesty.

It is not my intention for a moment to impute malicious motives to the Portuguese faction in Brazil. The King of Portugal, Don John VI. had, within twelve months, quitted their shores to resume the throne of his ancestors, so that they had a right to the praise of loyalty, and the more so, as at that time few calculated on separation from the mother country. The Empire itself was not six months old, and therefore they were not to be blamed for doubting its stability. The Cortes at Lisbon had sent a large force for the protection of the more remote provinces, and in an attack upon these at Bahia, the Brazilian troops had been unsuccessful, so that no great confidence was to be reposed on any future military efforts to eject the Portuguese troops.

Where the Portuguese party was really to blame, consisted in this,--that seeing disorder everywhere more or less prevalent, they strained every nerve to increase it, hoping thereby to paralyse further attempts at independence, by exposing whole provinces to the evils of anarchy and confusion. Their loyalty also partook more of self-interest than of attachment to the supremacy of Portugal, for the commercial classes, which formed the real strength of the Portuguese faction, hoped, by preserving the authority of the mother country in her distant provinces, thereby to obtain as their reward the revival of old trade monopolies, which twelve years before had been thrown open, enabling the English traders--whom they cordially hated--to supersede them in their own markets. Being a citizen of the rival nation, their aversion to me personally was undisguised; the more so perhaps, that they believed me capable of achieving at Bahia--whither the squadron was destined--that irreparable injury to their own cause, which the Imperial troops had been unable to effect. Had I, at the time, been aware of the influence and latent power of the Portuguese party in the empire, not all the so-called concessions made by De Andrada would have induced me to accept the command of the Brazilian navy; for to contend with faction is more dangerous than to engage an enemy, and a contest of intrigue was alike foreign to my nature and inclination.

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