COCHRANE AND MARANHAO.
His Excellency Joao Severiano Maciel
Chief Minister of State, &c. &c.
One effect of the preceding letter was—that the Court of Admiralty requested my consent to give up certain prize property, the object being to construe my acquiescence as regarded a small portion—into a precedent for giving up the remainder. This was firmly refused on the ground of its being a fraud on the captors.
MINISTERIAL MALIGNITY TOWARDS ME—DANGERS IN PERNAMBUCO—PORTUGUESE THREATS—MY ADVICE THEREON—FAILURE IN MANNING THE SQUADRON—PLOT FORMED TO SEARCH THE FLAGSHIP—TIMELY WARNING THEREON—I DEMAND HIS MAJESTY’S INTERFERENCE—WHICH WAS PROMPTLY GRANTED—PROTEST AGAINST PRIZE DECISIONS—MY ADVICE SOUGHT AS REGARDED PERNAMBUCO—LETTER TO HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY—POINTING OUT THE ANNOYANCE PRACTISED—AND TENDERING MY RESIGNATION—THE EMPEROR’S INTERVENTION—HIS MINISTERS NEGLECT TO FULFIL HIS ENGAGEMENT—CONFIRMATION OF MY PREVIOUS PATENTS—BUT WITH AN UNJUSTIFIABLE RESERVATION—PRIZE MONEY DEVOTED TO ADVANCE OF WAGES—PROOFS THEREOF—BASELESS IMPUTATIONS ON ME—EXTRACTS FROM LOG—FURTHER DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZE MONEY.
Having failed in inducing the Administration to withdraw the portaria issued with a view to nullify the commissions conferred upon me by His Imperial Majesty,—I waited upon the Emperor to beg his interference in a matter no less derogatory to his authority, than unjust to myself. His Majesty regretted the circumstance, but having alluded to the difficulties in which he was placed with regard to the Administration, begged me to rely on him for justice, assuring me that he would take care that nothing was done which should practically alter my original compact.
His Majesty was exceedingly anxious that the expedition to Pernambuco should not be delayed, but I could only represent to him that nothing whatever had been done to satisfy the seamen, who, in consequence, would not re-enter—that several of the best officers were either in prison on frivolous accusations, or under arrest—that the necessary repairs to the ships were not completed—that no steps had been taken to provide for their equipment—and that, in fact, the greater was His Majesty’s anxiety to put down the revolution, the more obstructive were the obstacles interposed by the Ministry to the accomplishment of his wishes.
The Ministers now resorted to a clumsy system in order to lower me in popular estimation, by imposing, for my guidance in naval matters, stringent orders about trifles which were absurd or impracticable, non-observance of these being followed by printed reprimands such as were never before addressed to a Commander-in-Chief, whilst my refutations and remonstrances against such treatment were refused publication. This course was succeeded by another still more unworthy, the