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tion of the senate of the United States in March 1821, recommended to the President the appointment of a minister to the Court of Brazil, but the return of the king of Portugal to Europe, very shortly afterwards, rendered a compliance with this resolution unavailing.
"The departure of that prince from Rio de Janeiro had been preceded by various movements of a revolutionary character, as well there, as in Portugal. He had, immediately before embarking, appointed, as his minister to the United States, the person, who since his arrival in Europe, has acted as his secretary of state for foreign affairs. And it appears that since the revolution there, which has invested the Cortes with a principal portion of the sovereign authority, the policy of maintaining ministers of the plenipotentiary rank from that country has been suspended. A chargé d'affaires 'has been appointed to repair to Washington, but has not yet arrived. In the mean time, that office has been discharged by the Chevalier Amado Grehon, who had been secretary of legation to Mr. Correa, and recently a Mr. Decosta has been here, and announced himself, as attached to the legation, and to exercise the powers of consul general.
"The usual diplomatic intercourse between the United States and Portugal has thus been, for the last three years, in a great measure, suspended: nor is it probable, that the mission of the United States, now instituted, will be of long duration. There are objects, political and commercial, which require its most serious attention, and which, it is hoped, may be adjusted satisfactorily to both countries by your intervention.
"After the invasion by the Brazilian Portuguese government of Montevideo and the eastern shore of the river La Plata, a revolutionary government under the name of the Oriental Republic of La Plata, and subject to the authority of a military chief, named Artigas, for several years maintained a defensive war, at once, against them and against the rival revolutionary republic, styled the United Provinces of La Plata. The latter, the seat of government of which was at Buenos Ayres, never came to a state of declared war with Portugal, but the Republic of Artigas did, and that commander issued commissions for privateers and letters of marque against the Portuguese, under which the commerce of that nation was, for three or four years, much annoyed. Of the cap
tures made by these privateers, several were brought into the ports of the United States, and frequent complaints were received from Mr. Correa, that some of the privateers were fitted out within the United States, and partly manned by their citizens. To this complaint every attention, compatible with the rights of the citizens of the United States and with the laws of nations, was paid by this government. The laws, for securing the faithful performance of the duties of neutrality, were revived and enforced. Decrees of restitution were pronounced by the judicial tribunals in all cases of Portuguese, captured vessels, brought within the jurisdiction of the United States. And all the measures, within the competency of the Executive, were taken by that department of the government for repressing the fitting out of privateers from our ports and the enlisting of our citizens in them.
"These measures, however, do not appear to have been altogether satisfactory to the Portuguese government, doubtless, because they were not sufficiently understood by them. Shortly before the Chevalier Correa de Serra left the United States, he addressed to this department several notes, containing lists of Portuguese vessels captured by privateers, alleged to have been fitted out in the United States, or partly officered and manned by citizens of this country. To these lists were added claims of indemnity, to a large amount, upon the United States for the value of these vessels and cargoes, and with them was connected a demand for the appointment of a joint commission, to be appointed by the two governments, to determine and assess the amount of damages to be paid by the United States for these captures. As there was no , precedent for the appointment of such a commission under such circumstances, and as not a single case of capture had been alleged, for which the United States were justly responsible, this proposal was, of course, denied, and nothing further was heard upon the subject, until the 1st of April last, when a note was received from the present charge d'affaires of Portugal, leading to a correspondence, copies of which are now furnished you."- "With regard to the proposal, contained in the letter from Mr. Almado of the 1st of April, of a treaty of commerce, in which special advantages shall be granted to the United States, even if it were offered by itself and separately from the inadmissible condition, connected with it, we should not consider it as desirable, or compatible with
the true policy of either nation. We have never sought exclusive advantages in our treaties with any foreign nation. The policy of the United States, on the contrary, has invariably been to form its commercial institutions and engagements on the broadest and most liberal principles of reciprocity. We are neither solicitous nor unwilling to treat with Portugal upon subjects of commerce; but, if we do treat, it must be upon those principles and in conformity with them. The convention of 3d July 1815 with Great Britain, so far as it goes, exhibits the system, upon which we are desirous of settling our commercial arrangements with other nations, and the only one upon which we should be inclined to treat with Portugal."
Mr. Dearborn arrived in the Tagus in August of the same year, and on the 17th of the month was presented to the king, who returned a friendly answer to his protestation of the desire, entertained by the United States, of cherishing and cultivating an amicable and harmonious intercourse. The principal object of this mission was to endeavour to conclude with Portugal a convention, regulating the commerce be- tween the two countries. But the minister arrived at the commencement of those political movements, produced by the establishment of what was termed the constitutional government in Spain, and which ended in a second invasion by France under the auspices of the Holy Alliance. This agitation and excitement of public sentiment, speedily reaching Portugal, that country became, for two years, not only the scene of the active, persevering operations of England against the Holy Alliance, but the government, itself, encountered several violent shocks and alarming vicissitudes. Since the Methuen treaty, Portugal has been little less than a province of Great Britain, occupying in the south of Europe, much the same situation, that Hanover has done in the north. But after the return of the king from Rio Janeiro, and during the successful progress of the violent measures, adopted by the Holy Alliance to reform the political institutions of Spain, the ancient ascendency of England at Lisbon appeared tottering and evidently on the decline.
There is no spot, where Great Britain has been forced
into so close and angry contact with the confederacy of sovereigns as the peninsula. But though the parties have had the appearance of contending for very different principles and systems of government, yet, after all, we fear, that few of the advantages of the victory will fall to the share of the unhappy people, whose countries have been selected for the ring.
Separate from the difficulties in Europe, Portugal had to contend with the revolutionary spirit of Brazil, already showing symptoms of independence, a circumstance that, also, delayed the negotiations of the United States.
"LISBON, December 13, 1822.
"On the evening of the 11th inst. the King asked me, how our negotiation went on, and, when I informed him, that it had been at a stand for some time, he observed, that Mr. Correa had been appointed some time ago to negotiate with me; I replied, that being a member of the Cortes, he had declined accepting the appointment, and I had been expecting that some other person would have been appointed. He then said, that one must be appointed soon; from which I conclude that his Majesty does not take a very active part in the transactions of this government, as he did not appear to know that Mr. Correa had declined the appointment, or that any delay had occurred in the negotiations. In addition to all the other circumstances, which I have mentioned, as excuses on the part of this government for procrastination, that, which I consider the most important, is the fear of offending Great Britain, especially since receiving the assurance, that that government would guaranty the integrity of Portugal. This government, knowing that no commercial convention will be agreed to on the part of the United States, but such as will place our merchants on an equal footing with those of the most favoured nation; and Great Britain being not only the most favoured, but the most peculiarly favoured nation, by the treaty of 1810, which will so far expire in July 1825, as will allow Portugal to make such alterations, as circumstances may require, or as she may deem expedient, and as any treaty or convention, that would be acceptable to the United States, must place us on the same footing with Great Britain, it is very obvious, that this government must, under existing circum
stances, feel embarrassed and, of course, be disposed to procrastinate the negotiation, which had commenced, informally, with a fair prospect of success."
"The King has frequently mentioned to me the disproportion of the trade of the United States with Lisbon, and that with Rio Janeiro, and has lately asked me, if I had heard of his son's applying to the United States for a number of small frigates, and, also, whether I had received any information from home of the declaration of independence by the people of Brazil; all which enquiries are made with an appearance of anxiety, combined with apparent fears and suspicions, that the United States are encouraging his son and the people of Brazil in their project of throwing off their dependence on the mother country. I have replied, that the inhabitants of the United States will pursue commerce, wherever it could be done lawfully and with profit, and that, until some new regulations were made, they could have no encouragement for sending their ships to Lisbon; that I had no information respecting his son's applying for the purchase of ships in the United States, or of a declaration of independence by the people of Brazil. His Majesty always converses with me freely, and (except his son and Brazil are the topics) very pleasantly and with great frankness."
In January 1823, the Count da Lapa, many years minister at St. Petersburg, was intrusted with the negotiation on the part of Portugal. Some forms of conventions were exchanged, but no solid progress appears to have been made.
"I have not heard from the Count da Lapa since the 10th ultimo, when he agreed to make out the form of the first head of the treaty, and call on me within the course of that week, but, subsequently to our last meeting, a report was made to the Cortes on the subject of the present existing treaty with England, particularly in relation to the article, which stipulates, that certain English manufactures should be admitted into Portugal on paying a duty of fifteen per cent. on their cost. The report concluded by saying, that under existing circumstances, the Portuguese government have the right to suspend the operation of the article alluded to,