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did much of the carrying trade, and no account of their tonnage was taken by my predecessor. Hence more tonnage appears in 1861 by 5,2551 tons, but the largest imports in 1862 by $60,767 23, while the exports of 1861 exceeded 1862 by only $3,283 37.
CIUDAD BOLIVAR.-JOHN WULFF, Acting Consul.
DECEMBER 31, 1861.
The following statement shows the number, aggregate tonnage, and value of outward cargoes of American vessels arrived at the port of Ciudad Bolivar for the year ended December 31, 1861:
Number of vessels, 6; tonnage, 1,575; value of outward cargoes, $253,823 41. Value, United States currency, at 74.42 per $1, $188,895 38.
Statement showing the number, nationality, and value of outward cargoes of foreign vessels arrived at and departed from Ciudad Bolivar for the year ended December 31, 1861.
Hides, our only staple, pay an export duty of 75 cents each. Our
exports of dry inoca hides are as follows:
An impression has prevailed that the cereals composed the most important item of Chilian production and export. It is not so. The metals (particularly copper) are first in importance; grain and flour second.
Our country has but little idea of the immense amount of wealth, silently
but constantly, flowing up this coast upon English "Pacific Steam Navigation Company's" coasters, and across Panama into British coffers.
Hitherto British influence has been all powerful in Chili. They have from twelve to fifteen millions of capital in mines and steam coasting, and they stand commercially at this, the principal port, as first; France second; and we third. The commerce of our people into this interesting, wealthy, and exceedingly well governed republic is well worthy of all encouragement. The world does not know it, but such is the fact, that immense beds of excellent coal lie exposed to the surface in Patagonia; and I know what I say when I now predict that another great attraction of attention to heavy surface deposits of gold will take place near the Straits of Magellan, a part of the great east and west auriferous range running through New Zealand. Before four years elapse there will be a rush in that direction to new mines and settlements within Chilian jurisdiction. I hope to see the commercial power and influence to be derived from the above facts enure to the benefit of our country
RIO DE JANEIro.-Richard C. Parsons, Consul.
JULY 1, 1862.
Having entered upon the discharge of my duties at this consulate as late as July 15, 1861, it was of course impossible for me to make any intelligent "annual report" by the September following, except as could be gathered from the statistics already in the hands of the department. From a careful examination of the reports formerly made from this and its sister consulates in Brazil, I am confident but little if any valuable information can be added in regard to the commerce, agriculture, geography, or mining interests of Brazil, that is not already well known to the department.
At the end of each and every quarter of the past year we have forwarded to the department complete accounts of the arrivals and departures of American vessels at this port, with statement of cargoes. We have also forwarded tables showing all the exports of coffee from Rio de Janeiro during the years 1859, 1860, and 1861, inclusive, with its destination. Also exports of coffee, rosewood, horns, hides, brandy, sugar, rice, tobacco, tapioca, and leather, from the year 1855 to 1861, inclusive. And herewith you will find tables of statistics of miscellaneous character that I have deemed of value for the use of the department. These tables have been prepared, under my directions, by Mr. F. M. Cordeiro, now and for many years a most useful and valuable assistant at this consulate. The direct trade between Brazil and the United States during the last year has been seriously injured, and for the last few months almost wholly destroyed in consequence of the disastrous war in which the United States has been engaged. It has been with the utmost difficulty that freights could be obtained at any price for American bottoms, the action of English underwriters having effectually prevented the insurance of their cargoes. Unfortunately, in too many cases, some of the finest vessels in our merchant service have been compelled to leave here in ballast, while the most common class of foreign vessels have been eagerly chartered at high and profitable rates for their owners.
The bulk of coffee sent to the United States is paid for by drafts on Spanish bankers, and the proceeds of the coffee, when sold, is remitted from America to London in return. This enables the English banker and insurance agent to prohibit to a great extent, if they see fit, the carrying of coffee in American bottoms, and this they would naturally do if happily American vessels, in times of peace at home, were not able to carry freight with greater speed than those of any other nation. So long as there is no direct steam communication between
Brazil and the United States, just so long will our nation occupy its present humiliating position in regard to the control of its commerce; and just so long will our country be drained of its gold to enable it to buy the productions of Brazil, instead of making this empire, as it ought always to be, the debtor nation. It is idle to enlarge upon the imperious necessity of steam communication between these two countries if we desire to retain anything in the way of trade, except the poor privilege of paying gold for all the articles we desire to buy. A glance at the tables forwarded, as well as those already on record, will show conclusively how largely the balance of trade has already been against us. The trade with England and France has grown enormously, and almost beyond belief, since the governments of these countries established regular monthly steam communications with Brazil. And those nations now control and monopolize every profitable branch of her trade, while we are nearer this country, and have the ability to supply Brazil with nearly all the necessaries she wishes to buy, we are, through the superior legislation and enterprise of England and France, completely thrown aside in the competition for Brazilian custom. This subject has been so often brought to the notice of the department and of Congress that it would be presumptuous in me to urge any special attention to the subject. I may, however, say that the importance of trade with this country has never been properly realized by our people at large, and for the want of proper enterprise, assisted by government aid, its trade has been directed out of its natural channel; and, at present, instead of being to us a source of national profit, it makes us poorer every year, and drains us of many millions of gold, instead of supplying us with a market for the purchase of our agricultural products and manufactures. The attention of the department has heretofore been called to the want of a proper commercial treaty between the United States and Brazil, and I again respectfully call your attention to this subject. The tables herewith submitted will show the enlargement of trade between this country, and England and France, since the latter established their steam lines of communication.
But little can be said of interest relative to the agriculture and mining interests of Brazil. The country developes slowly, and improvements or innovations upon old established customs are regarded with jealous eyes. Though the slave trade has in good faith been abolished, still free labor does not find its way here, and the result is, that labor commands enormous prices, and becomes more and more difficult to obtain. The great problem to be solved by the statesmen of Brazil is, how to procure free labor to develop the resources of this great empire. At this time, with boundless wealth, only waiting development at the hands of free labor, with a climate fitted to raise coffee, cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar, and other equally as valuable agricultural products, and to fill the markets of the world with her merchandise for the want of labor, and that labor rightly directed, she is poor, dependant, and shows only a feeble and languid existence among the family of nations.
During the past year the yellow fever has not visited this city, and the province has enjoyed unusual health. The fever and cholera have prevailed fiercely in some of the northerly provinces, but happily now is abating.
The first "national exhibition" of the products of Brazil took place at this city a few months ago. It was opened by the Emperor, in person, and the display of articles shown proved highly creditable to Brazil. The exhibition demonstrated conclusively the capacity of the country to produce wealth, both vegetable and mineral. Over four hundred different kinds of wood from the provinces of the Amazon were there found, some of them the most valuable and beautiful in the world. The visitor also found fine varieties of coal, stone, mineral ores, gold, gold dust, diamonds, &c. The display of machinery and manufactured articles, though, of course, crude and imperfect, gave promise of future enterprise and improvement.
The government has just completed a large and unusually fine dry-dock at this port, and has another in process of making. The first is cut entirely from the solid rock, and is designed solely for government vessels. The second will be used exclusively for ships of foreign nations, and, when completed, it will be found of great value and convenience for our merchant vessels, and will result in a large saving of expense to such of them as are compelled to enter this port in distress, and need extensive repairs to enable them to put to sea with safety.
Since writing the above an accident has happened to the docks already completed, the water having forced in the caisson and destroying or seriously injuring a war frigate belonging to the government, at the time undergoing repairs. This unforeseen and unfortunate accident is to be seriously regretted, as it will take, many months and a large amount of money to restore the work.
Under a law of the empire, passed two years ago, the banks in Brazil are directed to commence redeeming their notes in gold from and after to-day. Whether the banks will be able to comply with the law it is impossible for me to say. Heretofore the banks have redeemed their issues in the government notes, but the bulk of these having been retired and paid, there is no alternative except to redeem their bills in specie. This, in my judgment, they cannot continue to do for a long time. Brazil is largely the debtor nation to foreign countries, and as she has comparatively but little gold it will take but few steamers departing semi-monthly, and but little time therefore, to drain the country entirely of its precious metals. The paper issue of the banks has been very great, and the result has been shown in the advanced prices of all property. Gold at all times during the past year has commanded a premium of five per cent., and but a trifling amount has at any time been in circulation.
It has been claimed heretofore by the Brazilian government, and to a great extent credited by the United States and Great Britain, that the valley of the Amazon was comparatively unproductive, and never but little, if any, good would flow from the opening of the Amazon river to the trade of all nations. Herewith I forward to the department a pamphlet written by Doctor Taraus Bastos, a member of the chamber of deputies, the object of which is to prove that the valley of the Amazon is exceedingly fertile and fruitful, and capable of being one of the richest spots upon the habitable globe. The river, you are aware, being navigable for 3,000 miles, the people of Brazil or other nations, in the event of its free navigation, would be able to trade directly with the people of the Pacific coast, viz: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, &c., and the result would be a vast increase of wealth and the development of the resources of this and those countries. Dr. Bastos has filled his little book with valuable statistics, and given a complete digest of the history of trade between Brazil and the United States, England, and France, its growth and present condition. He has also demonstrated the necessity of steam communication between this country and our own. It is quite certain that a large population settled in the valley of the Amazon, of a race fitted to endure a climate of perpetual summer, with a soil rich and generous, and capable of yielding, with labor rightly directed, the most costly agricultural products in boundless profusion, would in a few years, under the fostering care of the government, and direct intercourse with the people and commerce of all nations, produce one of the most magnificent and wealthy provinces in the world.
Great fear has been expressed that the coffee crop of the last year would prove comparatively a failure, and in consequence coffee has been held here at unusually high prices, notwithstanding the decrease in its consumption in the United States. The crop undoubtedly will prove to be smaller than usual, but by no means a failure, and in my judgment the price of this so much coveted and needed article will ere long become greatly reduced. This result is greatly to be desired, and cannot fail to be reached if the speculators are unable to keep the control of the market. *
Table showing the value of foreign imports in Brazil from 1850-'51 to 1859-'60.
$23,670, 170 00 $28, 340, 962 50 $24,058, 437 00 $23,517,095 00 $23,715,528 00 $25,079, 374 00 $33,961,412 50 $34,769,873 00 $34, 270, 162 50 $30,114,706 00 14,789,139 00 18, 0x9,098 00 19,607,641 00 19,402,281 00 18,869,601 00 21,314,097 00 27,966, 566 00 39, 412,413 00 29,320,434 00 26,196,686 00 38,459,309 00 46, 430,060 50 43,666,078 00 42,919,376 00 42,585, 129 00 46,393,471 00
61,927,978 50 74, 182, 286 00 63,590,596 00 56,311, 392 00
Table showing the value of Brazilian exports to foreign countries from 1850-'51 to 1859-'60.
$22, 155, 920 00 $19, 360, 170 00 $20, 180, 112 00819,855,715 00 825,585,670 00 $24,588, 243 00 827,560,837 00 $22, 210, 804 50 825, 987,329 00 $28,796, 319 00 11,738, 165 00 13,959, 982 00 16,642,250 00 18,815,895 00 19,769,637 00 22,627,996 00 29,712,653 0 25,889,063 00 27,403,782 00 27,653,736 00 33,894,085 00 33, 320, 152 00 36,822,362 00 38,671,610 00 45, 355, 307 00 47,216,239 00 57,273,490 00 48,099, 867 00 53,391,111 00 56,450,055 00