Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham .

No. 316.]

Sir: On the 15th instant the corner stone of the pedestal of a monument proposed to be erected to the memory of Monroe was laid in the city of Rio, in the Largo (square) da Lapa, in the presence of a number of military and civil officers of the Government and a large concourse of civilians.

The ceremonies were conducted by a committee of citizens known as the Monroe Monument Committee, and their aim is to erect a monument in honor of the great American statesman and the doctrine that bears his name. It is also their desire to bring about the solidarity of the American Republics, carrying them from without European influence or interference.

The pavilion in which the ceremonies were conducted was erected in the center of the square, polygonal in form, each side bearing at the arch the name of one of the American republics, and pillars extending its entire height were handsomely decorated with flags and bright-colored cloths. The general effect was very beautiful.

I inclose clippings, with translations from local papers, which I understand give a fair account of the proceedings, and are in the main correct.

I could not attend the ceremonies, having previously accepted an invitation from the President of the Senate to be present at the inaugural.

I have, etc.,

Thos. L. Thompson
[Page 49]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 316.—Translation.—From the Paiz, November 15, 1894.]

the monroe statue.

The American Solidarity Monument Committee has sent the following invitation to the ministers of American nations, which it causes to be published for fear that on account of the festivities it may not be received in time by the persons to whom it is addressed and whose presence it earnestly solicits:


“In commemoration of the attitude assumed by the Government of the United States of North America during the deplorable insurrection of September 6, the undersigned committee purposes erecting with popular aid a monument to American solidarity, chiefly represented by Monroe.

“The ceremony of laying the corner stone will take place on the 15th instant at 11 o’clock a.m. on Largo da Lapa.

“You are invited, Citizen Minister, to attend the ceremony, and we hope that as the representative of one of the links of the great chain of American Republics you will give us the moral support of your illustrious presence.

“The concurrence of your country in our enterprising undertaking will be an incentive to our efforts and a source of gratitude to Brazilian republicans.

“Health and fraternity.

The Committee.

“P. S.—The committee begs that you will do it the favor of bringing a small memento of your country to be inclosed in the corner stone”

The American Solidarity Monument Committee invites all Brazilian republicans, republican clubs, patriotic battalions, and American colonies to be represented at the ceremony of laying the corner stone. Not having had time to send invitations to all associations, the committee begs to be excused for the omission, which, in view of the greatness of the cause, it hopes will be overlooked.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 316.—Translation.—From the Jornal do Commercio, November 16, 1894.]

american unity.

At an elegant pavilion on Largo da Lapa there took place yesterday the ceremony of laying the corner stone of the Monroe statue.

This ceremony was attended by senators, deputies, the Uruguayan and Brazilian commissions, the municipal council the prefect of the Federal district, deputations from the military and polytechnic schools and from the fire corps, the acting chief of police, generals and other officers of different grades in the army and navy, and representatives of all social classes.

Marshal Floriano was represented by Captain Siqueira.

Gen. J. W. Avery was also present, accompanied by Dr. R. Cleary, deputy consul-general of the United States.

After an important address from Dr. Trajano de Medeiros, General Avery, in response thereto, made in English the following speech, which we translate:

* * * * * * *

This speech was heartily cheered.

Mr. Joao Clapp then read the official record of the ceremony, which was signed by the committee and other persons present.

Dr. Prudente de Moraes, who passed through Largo da Lapa on his way to the senate, alighted from his carriage and attached his signature to the record in the midst of loud cheers.

The Thirty-eighth Battalion of Infantry was on duty as a guard of honor at the ceremony.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 316.]

speech of general avery.

Fellow-Americans of the Grand Republic of the United States of Brazil: I esteem it a high honor and great privilege as an humble citizen of the United States of North America to have the opportunity of saying a few words to the people of this Republic.

The citizens of my country feel a profound interest in the welfare and perpetuity of the South American Republics, and desire to establish the most cordial commercial and social relations with them.

[Page 50]

It is a large compliment for the Republic of Brazil to erect a monument to a distinguished President and citizen of my country that every patriotic citizen will be proud to know, and it will strengthen the already close bond of fraternity between our two great nations.

I have come to you representing an important international exposition of the United States, whose main object is to enlarge the commercial relations and establish warmer social and personal bonds between our countries. We remember your magnificent building and comprehensive display of your affluant resources and products at our Columbian World’s Fair, in Chicago, and we hope that you will take the same part and make an even larger exhibit at this important business exposition.

I have brought the enterprise before your Government and invite your cooperation in this vast movement for our common good, and desire to say that we feel an especial sentiment for Brazil, to whose Government I have first come.

It has been the policy of the United States of North America from the very beginning of its existence to pursue an unchangeable neutrality to all foreign countries, seeking the friendship of all and incurring the hostility of none, and its ambition is to always act as an arbiter of peace and harmony between those that may differ.

I thank you for your attention and invoke the blessing of Almighty God upon your noble Republic and upon the new administration that has come into its control.

Three enthusiastic cheers were given for the United States of North America, a ringing cheer for Grover Cleveland, and a cheer for General Avery.

[Inclosure 4 in No. 316.—Translation.—From the Paiz of November 17, 1894.]

the monroe monument.

We publish to-day the official address read by Dr. Trajano de Medeiros at the laying of the corner stone of the monument to be raised on Largo da Lapa, and a copy of the official record, documents which for want of space we were unable to publish yesterday.

The address is as follows:

“The corner stone of the monument to American solidarity, which is now to be laid, is a tribute of friendship and gratitude of Brazilian republicans to the great country of Jefferson and Monroe and the solemn affirmation of our intelligent adoption of the principles proclaimed to the world in the memorable message of this illustrious statesman.

“We are not governed at this moment by any narrow feeling of Americanism; on the contrary, it is because we are intensely interested in the spread of universal fraternity that we are now led to proclaim the necessity of nonintervention of Europe in the peculiar affairs of American Republics.

“Yes, gentlemen, occidental anarchy is vast and profound; originating in the absence of any general doctrine, freely accepted in conformity with the teaching of Auguste Comte, it threatens to hurl the world into chaos, bursting all the bonds of human fraternity.

“Europe, the cradle of our civilization, whence has come the dawn of our redemption, is, nevertheless, writhing in a terrible struggle with this horrible hydra.

“The blindness of the people and the still blinder empiricism of governments who fail to discover the luminous path that leads to universal peace cause them to endeavor to ward off internal dangers by means of the exodus of population in conjunction with external predomination.

“Hence the thousands of questions to which these nations in consequence of their strength are constantly giving rise in the world—on this subject let Asia, Africa, Oceanica, and even America speak.

“The colonial policy of Europe, it must be said, is the most shameful feature of the present century.

“If the vigorous generation of 1789 could rise at this moment from the bosom of the earth, it would cover its face in sorrow and shame at the sight of so degrading a spectacle and would loudly exclaim: Renegade sons, you have belied your traditions!

“It is necessary to have faith, it is necessary to believe in the supremacy of the grand phalanx of the dead over the living in order to trust that from the midst of the present struggle, from the midst of these nations that drift without a compass on the vast sea of disorder, may emerge that future era of human felicity so brilliantly sketched by Condorcet.

“While awaiting its advent, it behooves us Americans to unite politically to save the continent of Columbus from the widespread devastations of the foreign policy of Europe.

“It was the noble attitude of Monroe, advised by Jefferson, and the resolute manner [Page 51] in which his doctrine has been interpreted that have created for America an almost privileged position among the other parts of the earth in relation to the degrading intervention of European nations.

“Casting a retrospective glance at the political life of the present century, we see that the remarkable theory has been confirmed by the lessons of history.

“To us South Americans, to us Brazilians, who have just passed through a dolorous crisis in our history, belongs especially the duty of proclaiming this fact by erecting the monument which materially represents it.

“Seeking political union as the best safeguard for our autonomy and independence, we Americans also labor for a reign of peace, renouncing war as a means of solving international problems.

“Thus obtaining a comparative degree of harmony and order, we shall be able to meditate on social problems and follow the road to human felicity.

“To complete, Messrs. Ministers and Gentlemen, the picture of our motives and aspirations, we will explain to you our conception of the proposed monument. Around the principal figure, which personifies our views, will be grouped the great national liberators of America—Washington, Jefferson, Juarez, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Bolivar, Jose Bonifacio, and Benjamin Constant.

“The construction of the monument will be contracted by means of public tenders received in the United States of North America, where the statue will be made, its pedestal to be constructed in Brazil.

“In this manner the two great countries will be united in the work of glorifying the idea that now brings us together; North American art will aid us Brazilians in perpetuating in bronze and granite the resolute soaring of the aspirations for concord and fraternity among the nations of the continent of Columbus.

“As to you, illustrious representatives of American Republics, may your presence on this occasion and the mementoes which you deposit in the cavity in this stone at the base of the monument be the pledge of your cooperation in this work, so that your aspirations, when war shall have been extinguished in the midst of our mother countries, will converge toward rendering not merely a hope but a reality, in the life of the Republics of the new continent, the motto of order and progress.

“Fellow-citizens, the step which we are about to take is decisive. In your name we assume a solemn obligation. You must aid us in every way, so that on this spot may be raised, in conformity with the noble aspirations of Brazilian hearts, the first monument to the brotherhood of nations.

“If you accomplish this, you will have given the best proof of your republicanism, confirming once more the maxim of Vauvenargues that Great thoughts come from the heart.’

“In this belief, Mr. Minister of the United States, convey to your countrymen the protestations of the friendship of the Brazilians and our gratitude for the decisive interpretation of their policy, together with our cordial wishes for human peace and concord.

“All hail the continent of Columbus!

“All hail the Republic of the United States of North America!

“All hail the American Republics!

“All hail the Republic of Brazil!”

The copy of the official record is as follows:

Official record of the laying of the corner stone of the monument to American solidarity, represented by the eminent James Monroe.

At 11 o’clock a.m., on the 15th day of November, 1894, fifth year of the foundation of the Republic of Brazil, one hundred and nineteenth year of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of North America and one hundred and sixth year of the French revolution, last day of the administration of Marshal Floriano Peixoto and first day of that of citizen Dr. Prudente Jose de Moraes e Barros, in the presence of the representative of the said marshal, Dr. Prudente Jose de Moraes e Barros, minister and consul of the United States of North America, diplomatic and consular representatives of the various American Republics, whose signatures are hereunto attached, the Positivist Apostolate in Brazil, deputations from the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, representatives of the Federal district, various republican clubs, representatives of all social classes, and the committee for promoting the erection of the monument, was laid, on Largo da Lapa, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, this corner stone of the monument to American solidarity.

The monument which will be erected on the spot in which this stone is laid, and which will symbolize the political union of the different nations of the continent of Columbus, will be surmounted by the figure of James Monroe, author of the celebrated doctrine known by his name, which teaches that the nations of the new continent should unite for the purpose of preventing any undue interference of the nations of Europe in the internal affairs of America. Around the principal figure will be grouped the [Page 52] great national liberators of America—Washington, Jefferson. Juarez, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Bolivar, Jose Bonifacio, and Benjamin Constant. In remembrance of this auspicious day, we inclose within this stone the original of this official record, the commemorative medals of this ceremony, the commemorative medal of the inauguration of the second President of the Brazilian Republic, the coins of the period, the journals of the day, and the mementoes contributed by the various representatives of the American Republics here present.