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RELATIONS WITH PORTUGAL.
Trade in Mediterranean, exposed to Barbary cruisers, first led to diplomatic intercourse-Humphreys sent to Lisbon in '91-Freire to this country-Legation suspended in 1801-Smith in '97-Portugal, small possessions in Europe-Brazil, an empire—In time of Pombal, court had design of going there-Portuguese, maritime people-Court prepared to leave Europe in 1802-Finally sailed in 1807, for Rio, just as French were entering Lisbon-Coronation of Don Pedro in Brazil—The first in the New World—Relations with Portugal-Sumpter and Graham ministers-Privateers-Correa de Serra-Dearborn appointed to Lisbon-Commercial treaty-Attempts a negotiation-Treaty with England and state of kingdom delay it-Ultra royal revolution in Portugal-England and Holy Alliance antagonists-Dearborn's account of Don Miguel's revolt and submission—Singular transaction—Obtains permission to return to United States-Offer of box with brilliants-Brent, Chargé-Constancio and Pereira Portuguese Chargés.
THE state of our commerce in the Mediterranean, first led to a diplomatic intercourse with Portugal. The circumstances of alliances, boundaries and original claims have conferred a peculiar character and uncommon importance upon all the relations, both of the confederation and the present government, with France, Spain and England. And though Portugal fell within the limits of the European trade, allowed by the mother country, we are not aware that the commerce of that nation, or its situation, or any other consideration, presented motives to a correspondence, which were not common to nearly all the European states. But the war, in which Portugal was engaged with Algiers in the early part of President Washington's administration, suggested the expediency of sending a minister to that court.
It is proper to state, that some negotiation took place with Portugal soon after the general peace of 1783, not, however, invited by this country, and, as it was never brought to a conclusion, the discussions were probably undertaken by that government for the purpose of ascertaining, whether any commercial advantages or markets could be obtained. December 1783, Dr. Franklin wrote to Congress, "that the conclusion of the Portuguese treaty waits only for the commission and instructions of Congress." In the spring of 1786, Messrs. Adams and Jefferson completed with the Portuguese minister, the Chevalier de Pinto, a negotiation as far as the powers of that gentleman would permit him to go.
David Humphreys, of Connecticut, was, in February '91, appointed minister resident, and soon after, this diplomatic courtesy was returned, on the part of Portugal, by the appointment of the Chevalier Freire* to the United States. In '96, President Washington appointed John Quincy Adams, then minister resident at the Hague, minister plenipotentiary to Lisbon. Before leaving the Hague, however, he was transferred to Berlin. William Lawton Smith, of South Carolina, was in the next year appointed with the same rank to Lisbon; the legation was discontinued in June 1801.
In another part of this work, we have already had occasion to mention the extraordinary results, as it respects one portion of South America, that attended the invasion of Spain in 1807 by Napoleon Bonaparte. A circumstance, perhaps, as remarkable, certainly more unexpected, in consequence of the same event, unfolded itself in regard to the Portuguese possessions on that continent ;-a humble colony being suddenly elevated to the rank of a kingdom, and one of its principal cities transformed into a royal residence, the capital of a sovereign state. This is contrary to the course of things in modern times. Colonies have become independ ent, and, in some degree, the competitors of states, from which they sprung; but, with a disposition, certainly filial,
* The chevalier (Cyprien-Bibeiro) Freire was transferred from this country to Madrid, and on the 29th of September 1801, signed the celebrated treaty of Badajoz between France and Portugal.
to offer an asylum and protection to the parent government, a refuge from its own altars, is a new part for them to perform.
Portugal is distinguished rather by discoveries, remote possessions and commercial adventures, at one period of its annals, than by extent or population of territory in Europe. It is, moreover, the only modern nation, that possesses the classic advantage of having had its early voyages, along the coast of Africa, and maritime enterprises beyond the cape of Good Hope, recorded by the sweet muse of a native epicpoet.
Since the middle of the last century, the best portion of the Portuguese dominions has been situated in America. Brazil was equal to the widest empire, but in Europe the narrow border Portugal occupied along the western coast of the Spanish peninsula, hardly exceeded in size one of the little dukedoms, or principalities, with which Germany is studded. The Portuguese government do not appear to have been insensible to this circumstance, or to the advantages of a removal of the seat of the kingdom. At least, Brazil has always been regarded as a spot, to which a safe and honourable retreat could be made, when their independence and sovereignty should be menaced in the old world. There appears now to be little doubt, that a plan of this sort. was arranged during the administration of the Marquess of Pombal, when Portugal was so exceedingly pressed by Spain.
During the few years immediately preceding the invasion of Spain in 1807, the situation of the Portuguese had been altogether unsatisfactory and insecure ;-never on good terms with their powerful neighbour, then the devoted ally of the Emperor Napoleon, they suffered all the disadvantages, proceeding from a supposed partiality for England, without being able, at all, to profit of the protection of that nation. The treaty of Badahoz of 1802, excited the liveliest and best grounded apprehensions, and in that year, the principal minister of the Prince Regent, M. de Aranjo, proposed, that the seat of government should be transferred to the Ultra Mar. Measures were secretly taken for the embarkation of
the royal family and the crown jewels and treasure, while the French minister and agents at Lisbon were deceived by professions of confidence and attachment. England, it has been said, gave all the aid in her power to this project, and encouraged Portugal in the undertaking, suggesting, that she could easily obtain remuneration for the loss of her narrow dominions in Europe by the conquest of the Spanish colonies in South America. This enterprize, however, was not executed till 1807, just at the moment that a French army, under the command of Junot, was passing the frontiers of Portugal, and after a decree had appeared in the Moniteur at Paris, giving notice in a laconic style (only relieved from an air, supremely ridiculous, by the extremely formidable force employed for its execution) of the approaching fall of the ancient house of Braganza. Having made arrangements for the formation of a Regency, the Prince Regent, himself, embarked on the 27th November with the different members of the royal family, the principal functionaries, and a most numerous suite of attendants, together with a vast treasure, said to have amounted to 100,000,000 dollars. He left the Tagus on the 6th December, when the advanced guard of the French army was actually only five miles from his capital, and, accompanied by several English line of battle ships, steered his course for Rio Janerio, where he arrived after a pleasant passage on the 18th of the following January. Before he left Europe he addressed a proclamation to his subjects in Brazil, a feeble production, and without other title to applause than its brevity. This removal has been, also, marked by another circumstance, at least, of some novelty;the coronation, in February 1818, of the Emperor Don Pedro, the first event of the kind, that has taken place in the new world.
The mind is, perhaps, little affected by the translation of the Portuguese Court, though, in itself, a peculiar and uncommon proceeding. But when it took place, little was thought of driving a king from his throne, or from one hemisphere to another. The attention of the world being directed solely to the two great master hands, that played
the game, transactions of the gravest kind were only important, as they affected, or belonged to the scope and action of the general movement. Besides, maritime enterprizes are appropriate to the Portuguese character and condition. Those circumstances, that have made them most known, are founded in bold and judicious expeditions upon the ocean and to remote and unknown regions, and when the true association, belonging to a maritime character, is deeply impressed on the mind, we view with little emotion great changes, as well in the habits as in the position of such people. It is also true, that according to that rule of symmetry and proportion, founded in reasons of defence or utility, which has constituted rivers, seas and mountains the legitimate, or natural boundaries of states and kingdoms, Portugal is, certainly, indebted to any other consideration, than its own strength, for having so long held a feeble, constrained outpost between Spain and the Atlantic.
In the spring of 1822, Henry Dearborn, of Massachusetts, was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Court of Lisbon. His private instructions, a portion of which are extracted, give an account of the intercourse between the two countries from the time of the transfer to Brazil.
"Independently of the changes in the diplomatic relations of the two countries, which have resulted from the removal of the king from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon, other accidental circumstances have concurred to cause some irregularity and disorder in them. In the spring of the year 1819, Mr. John Graham was appointed minister plenipotentiary of the United States to the Court of Brazil to succeed Mr. Thomas Sumpter, junior, who had resided there in that capacity, almost from the time of the transfer of the Portuguese government thither. Mr. Graham, within little more than a year from the time of his departure on that mission from the United States, was compelled to return home, and barely lived to reach this country.
"About the same time the Chevalier Correa de Serra, who had for several years resided as the minister plenipotentiary of Portugal in this country, was recalled and left the United States. A resolu