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and whose paternal solicitude it has constantly occupied since the year 1814.
DECREE RELATIVE TO TOBACCO.
The Madrid Gazette of July the 3d, contains a long decree respecting the culture of tobacco at the Havannah. This article has been long subject to a monopoly exercised in the name of the government; which at length proceeded to such a degree of abuse, that the whole manufacture of tobacco in the island of Cuba, noted for producing it in the greatest abundance, and of the best quality, was likely to become a mere object for home consumption. The king, at the instance of M. Garay, minister of finance, has given almost full liberty to every branch of agriculture and industry connected with this product; and the exportation of the tobacco of the Havannah to all foreign countries will be permitted, provided it be in Spanish vessels.
ABOLITION OF SLAVE TRADE.
The king of Spain has at length published an edict for the abolition of the slave trade throughout his dominions, to commence north of the line immediately, and south of the line on the 30th of May, 1820. After an exculpatory report respecting all previous traffic of this kind, which is said to have increased prodigiously the number of indigenous as well as of free negroes, his Majesty proceeds to say, that "Having collected all these copious materials, and having ex. amined the proposition which the proper supreme tribunal laid before me in its deliberation of the 15th of February, 1816, answering to the confidence which I re
pose in it, and coinciding with its opinion respecting the abolition of the traffic in slaves, and co-operating with the King of Great Britain by a solemn treaty, embracing all the points of reciprocal interest involved in this important transaction, and determining that the time for the abolition was arrived, the interests of my American States being duly reconciled with the sentiments of my royal mind, and the wishes of all the Sovereigns, my friends and allies, I have decreed as follows:
Art. 1.-From this day forward I prohibit all my subjects, both in the Peninsula and in America, from going to buy negroes on the coasts of Africa, north of the line. The negroes who may be bought on the said coasts shall be declared free in the first port of my dominions, at which the ship in which they are transported shall arrive. The ship itself, together with the remainder of its cargo, shall be confiscated to the Royal Treasury, and the purchaser, the captain, the master, and pilot shall be irrevocably condemned to 10 years' transportation to the Philippines.
Art. 2.-The above punishment does not attach to the trader, the captain, the master, and pilot of the vessels, which may sail from any port of my dominions, for the coasts of Africa, north of the line, before the 22d of November of the present year; to which I grant, besides, an extension of six months, counting from the above date, to complete their expedition.
Article 3.-From the 30th of May, 1820, I equally prohibit all my subjects, as well in the Peninsula as in America, from going to purchase negroes along those parts of the coast of Africa which are to
the south of the line, under the same penalties imposed in the first article of this decree: allowing likewise the space of five months from the above date to complete the voyages that may be undertaken before the above-mentioned 30th of May, in which the traffic in slaves shall cease in all my dominions, as well in Spain as in America.
Art. 4.-Those who, using the permission which I grant till the 30th of May, 1820, to purchase slaves, on that part of the coast of Africa which lies south of the Line, shall not be allowed to carry more slaves than five to two tons of the tonnage of their vessel: and any persons contravening this enactment shall be subjected to the penalty of losing all the slaves on board, who shall be declared free at the first port of my dominions in which the ship arrives.
Art. 5.-This computation is made without a reference to those who may be born during the voyage, or to those who may be serving on board as sailors or servants. Art. 6.-Foreign vessels which may import negroes into any port of my dominions shall be subjected to the regulations prescribed in this decree; and in case of contravening them, shall be subjected to the penalties contained in it.
And my royal pleasure being, that the above decree should circulate in my dominions of America and Asia, for its punctual observance I communicated it to my supreme council of the Indies, signed with my own hand, under date of the 22d of September last past; I therefore command all my viceroys, presidents, audiences, com. mandants, general governors, and
intendants of the Indies, the adjacent islands, the Philippines, that they keep, fulfil, execute, and cause to be kept, fulfilled, &c. this my decree," &c. Madrid, Dec. 1817.
The union, during the last year, of the kingdoms of Portugal and Brazil, with the decided preference shown by the sovereign of the two countries to his transatlantic possessions, has conferred upon the latter at least an equal title to dominion; for which reason we shall henceforth consider them as indivisibly united under a single crown.
The irruption of a Portuguese army from Brazil, into Montevideo, was mentioned among the events of the concluding month of the last year. In January two proclamations were issued to the Spanish inhabitants; one of them by Carlos Frederico Le Cor, lieutenant-general of the army of his most Faithful Majesty, addressing the people of Montevideo, and promising to them the guarantee of their property, and a free trade with all nations, in the name of the king of Portugal; another from Sebastian Pintos de Aranjo Correa, governor of Montevideo, and superintendant of the provinces on the east side of the river Plate, decreeing severe punishment against all who shall insult another for his former political opinions, and assuring every individual, whatever public office he may have held under the different governments, of perfect security under the protection of the Portuguese army.
The conduct of the Brazilian government did not fail, however,
of drawing the attention of the great powers of Europe, who thought themselves bound to interpose in favour of Spain, who was little able to protect itself from hostile aggression. Accordingly, the several courts of Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, presented a note to the Marquis d'Aguiar, secretary of state to his most Faithful Majesty, to the following effect.
Paris, March 16.
The occupation of a part of the Spanish possessions on the river Plate by the Portuguese troops of Brazil was no sooner known in Europe, than it was the object of official and simultaneous steps taken by the cabinet of Madrid, with the courts of Vienna, Paris, London, Berlin, and St. Petersburgh, in order to protest solemnly against this occupation, and to claim their support against such an aggression.
Perhaps the Court of Madrid might have thought herself entitled to recur at once to the means of defence which Providence has placed in her hands, and to repel force by force: but, guided by a spirit of wisdom and moderation, she was desirous first of employing the means of negotiation and persuasion, and she preferred, notwithstanding the disadvantage that might result to her possessions beyond sea, addressing herself to the five undermentioned powers, in order to an amicable adjustment of her differences with the court of Brazil, and to avoid a rupture, the consequences of which might be equally disastrous to the two countries, and might disturb the repose of both hemispheres.
So noble a resolution could not
but meet with the entire approba tion of the cabinets to which the court of Spain has addressed herself and animated with the desire of preventing the fatal consequen ces that might result from the present state of affairs, the courts of Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, equally the friends of Portugal and Spain, after having taken into considera. tion the just claims of the latter power, have charged the undersigned to make known to the cabinet of his most faithful Majesty
That they have accepted the mediation demanded of them by Spain.
That they have seen with real pain, and not without surprise, that at the very moment when a double marriage seemed to bind more closely the family ties already existing between the houses of Braganza and Bourbon, and when such an alliance was to render the relations between the two countries more intimate and more friendly, Portugal has invaded the Spanish possessions on the river Plate, and invaded them without any explanation whatever, and without any previous declaration.
That the principles of equity and justice which direct the councils of the five courts, and the firm resolution they have adopted to preserve; as much as is in their power, the peace of the world, purchased by such great sacrifices, have determined them to take cognizance and part in this affair in the intention of terminating it in the most equitable manner, and most conformable to their desire of maintaining the general tranquillity.
That the said courts do not dissemble
semble that a difference between Portugal and Spain might disturb that peace, and occasion a war in Europe, which might be not only disastrous to the two countries, but incompatible with the interests and the tranquillity of other powers. That in consequence they have resolved to make known to the government of his Most Faithful Majesty their sentiments on this subject, to invite him to furnish sufficient explanations upon his views, to take the most prompt and proper measures to dissipate the just alarms which his invasion of the American possessions of Spain has already caused in Europe, and to satisfy the rights claimed by the latter power, as well as those principles of justice and impartiality which guide the mediators. A refusal to yield to such just demands would leave no doubt with respect to the real intentions of the cabinet of Rio Janeiro. The disastrous effects that might result to the two hemispheres would be imputed entirely to Portugal; and Spain, after having seen all Europe applaud her wise and moderate conduct, would find in the justice of her cause, and in the support of her allies, sufficient means of redressing her complaints.
The undersigned, in acquitting themselves of the orders of their courts, have the honour to offer to his Excellency the Marquis d'Aguiar the assurance of their high consideration. (Signed) VINCENT,
Pozzo Di BORGÃO. The manner in which the court
of Madrid received this intelligence may be conjectured from the following announcement in the Gazette of Madrid, on the date of May 13.
Letters from Gibraltar announce that the Portuguese army of Rio Janeiro has possessed itself of the fortress of Monte Video, which has for a long time groaned under the tyrannical yoke of the insurgents. Whatever truth there may be in this intelligence, the federative system, whose object it is to secure the peace of Europe, the intimate union of the king our master with all the other sovereigns, the wisdom of the measures taken by his majesty to support the honour of his throne and the inviolability of his states, the noble sentiments of the king of Portugal, and the new ties that have more intimately connected together the two august housesall these considerations taken together, excite a hope that the public, in learning this intelligence, instead of feeling any disquietude, will wait with entire confidence the issue of an event which has become the object of paternal solicitude to a Prince who equally loves all his subjects
Before this period, however, an event took place on the Brazilian territories which proved that the signal of revolt had extended to a portion of that country.
In the government of Pernambuco, the governor, on the 5th of March, after having expressed much affection to the people of the place, privately drew up a list of persons proscribed in his secret cabinet, which included the most spirited youths of the country, as well as some of the bravest officers of the army.
army. On the following day this order was to be put in execution; and the prisons were thrown open for the reception of the most determined leaders of the intended conspiracy. Of these, the Brazilian officers of the regiments of Olinda and Recife were the most distinguished. Several of these were apprehended; but a colonel, going first to the barracks for the purpose of executing the order, was killed by one of his own captains. An aide-de-camp of the governor met with the same fate; and the whole of the regiments sided with their officers. The governor with his personal staff and a few other officers quitted the town, and retired to Fort Bran, at a short distance. On the following day the fort was delivered up without resistance, and the governor with his officers were made prisoners, and shipped for Rio Janeiro.
This insurrection was limited to the district of Pernambuco; and its triumph only lasted till a body of troops could be drawn together capable of resisting it. On May 12th, intelligence reached Serinhaem that the insurgents intended to attack the advanced guard of the royal army, posted near the works of Civiro Cavalcante. The army in consequence marched, and took up its positions in the works of Pendoba Grande and Peguena. On the 15th Major Salvador marched with a force destined to occupy the Pojuca, which he accomplished, but was exposed to all the fire of the enemy. At half past five in the afternoon the main body of the army arrived, and came to action in a place called Guerra. The firing
began with the artillery, and th action lasted till night, in the course of which the insurgents dispersed, and were pursued by several royal detachments. In the morning were found on the field of battle five pieces of cannon, a carronade, quantities of ammunition and provision, and the military chest with nearly a million of reis. Many prisoners were taken, and great numbers were killed and wounded, of whom a considerable part were officers.
After this action, intelligence having been received that the insurgent Martins was advancing at the head of a column on Serinhaem, a body of troops under the command of a captain of militia was sent against him, which completely routed his force, taking many prisoners, among whom was Martins himself, the celebrated leader of the revolution.
Not long after the intelligence had been received of the entire defeat of the insurrection in Brazil, a plot was discovered for effecting a revolution in Portugal, the purpose of which was to make an entire change in the government. On the first of June, Lisbon was made acquainted with the nature and extent of this conspiracy, which we shall communicate in the words of the public paper in which it appeared.
"The governor of Portugal having been informed that there existed a conspiracy in the country, whose object was to overthrow the government, and to substitute for it a revolutionary government; and that, in order to attain their object, the conspirators employed such means as they thought most calculated to mislead the