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As copies of Raguet's increasingly acrimonious notes to the court at Rio de Janeiro came to the Department of State at Washington, and long before the exploding point was reached, Clay and Adams concluded that it was necessary to restrain him. On January 20, 1827, Clay wrote him that the perusal of parts of his dispatches had “occasioned the President the most lively regret." While the commerce of the United States had undoubtedly been subjected to serious annoyances by the Brazilian blockade, redress ought to be sought, he said, in "language firm and decisive, but at the same time temperate and respectful. No cause is ever benefited by the manifestation of passion, or by the use of harsh and uncourteous language." The case of the Ruth, one of the vessels against the Brazilian treatment of which Raguet had remonstrated vigorously, was, Clay continued, deserving of his zeal; but the President believed it would have been better “to have abstained from the use of some of the language which you employed. . . . No nation claiming to be civilized and Christian can patiently hear itself threatened to be characterized as an uncivilized people.” The President made great allowances, “but he would have been better satisfied if you had never allowed yourself to employ, in your intercourse and correspondence with the Brazilian Government, provoking or irritating expressions.” Concerning Raguet's expressed belief that the court at Rio de Janeiro might decline further communication with him because of his language, Clay said: “The President hopes that such will not be the termination of your mission; and he desires that you should, in future, whilst you assert with dignity, decision, and promptitude, all our rights, carefully avoid any just dissatisfaction in the particular which it has been my painful duty to call to your attention.” Concerning Raguet's request, previously mentioned, for instructions to demand the release of vessels under a threat of severing diplomatic relations, Clay told him:
With respect to the nature of instructions which may be sent to you, and of orders to the commanders of our public vessels, that must rest with the President, where the Constitution has placed it. If those instructions or orders do not correspond in all respects with your wishes or expectations, you must recollect that he is enabled, at this distance, to take a calmer view of things than you are; that we have relations with other nations besides those which exist with the Brazils; and that, even if we had not, war or threats of war ought not to be employed as instruments of redress until after the failure of every peaceful experiment.30
This reproof reached Raguet too late to prevent the rupture. When, in May, news reached Washington of his demanding and obtaining his passports, President Adams entered in his private diary: “He appears to have been too hasty in his proceedings, and has made us much trouble, from which we can derive neither credit nor profit.” After he and Clay had gone over the correspondence he declared: “We concurred in the opinion that Raguet could not be sustained.” 31 Rebello, the Brazilian chargé at Washington, hastened to say that he hoped the United States Government would disapprove the conduct of Raguet and that a new representative might be appointed soon to adjust the pending disputes. Clay's reply did not express disapproval, but said that Raguet's act was personal and that relations at Washington had not been interrupted by it. He said the President regretted that reparation had not been made for Brazil's frequent illegal interference with the commerce of the United States, and would have been pleased to receive from Rebello a proposal for a settlement. A new representative to Rio de Janeiro would be appointed provided Rebello would give assurance that he would receive the consideration due to his official character and that a prompt and satisfactory arrangement would be made concerning the pending disputes. In his reply of the next day Rebello said he felt himself authorized to say that indemnity would be promptly afforded for injuries contrary to public law. William Tudor was appointed, went to Rio de Janeiro, and, Adams says later, “negotiated an excellent treaty of commerce with Brazil, and obtained indemnity for numerous injuries committed by Brazilian officers during their war with Buenos Aires, which had been much aggravated by the rashness and intemperance of Condy Raguet, ... [who had] brought this country and Brazil to the very verge
30 Clay to Raguet, January 20, 1827, ibid., 108, or American State Papers, Foreign Relations, VI, 1066.
31 Adams, C. F., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, VII, 270, 272.
of war.”32 Until the end of the war in 1828 the causes of complaint continued to accumulate, however. 83
There were causes of complaint and also intemperate language coming from the other side, too. Many vessels fitted out in the United States, manned and commanded by citizens of the United States, had obtained from the Government at Buenos Aires commissions as cruisers, and preyed on Brazilian commerce. Some of their prizes were brought into United States ports for adjudication and awarded to the captors. Rebello protested against what he thought was partiality shown to the Government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, because, he supposed, it was republican in form while his own was monarchical. His denunciations grew too vigorous to suit the diplomatic tastes of Clay and Adams. Perhaps they grasped at an opportunity to charge him with being undiplomatic as a sort of counter-irritant to the charges of his government against Raguet. In his entry for November 15, 1827, Adams says that Clay had left with him a letter from Rebello which “is in language highly offensive, complaining of the partiality of the people of the United States against the Emperor of Brazil in his war with Buenos Aires, and of republican intolerance.” On the next day he says he and Clay were agreed that the offensive note ought not to be received. The latter was to suggest changes to Rebello and permit him to make them and present it again. If the suggested changes should be refused, the note would be sent back to him and a demand be made for his recall. A few days later Adams remarks that, after conversation with Clay, Rebello had taken back his offensive note 34
Shortly after Raguet reached the United States he called, in company with Clay, on President Adams, who says of the interview: “I
32 Adams, C. F., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, VII, 276, VIII, 224; Rebello to Clay, May 30 and June 1, 1827; Clay to Rebello, May 31 and June 2, 1827; American State Papers, Foreign Relations, VI, 823-825, or House Ex. Doc. No. 281, 20th Cong., 1st sess., 6-8.
33 See numerous documents which passed between the United States naval commanders and the Brazilian admiral, and between the United States consul at Rio de Janeiro and the ministers, in American State Papers, Foreign Relations, VI, 1071-1121, or House Ex. Doc. No. 281, 20th Cong., 1st sess., 118–232.
34 Adams, C. F., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, VII, 354-357.
Or House nisters, in and between the United
told him that my opinion of his integrity, patriotism, and zeal was unimpaired; that I was convinced of the purity of his motives to the step he had taken; but that I had thought it would have been better if he had, before taking that step, consulted his government.” 35 In his annual message of December, 1827, after telling of the disturbed relations with Brazil due to events growing out of the inadmissible practices of the Brazilian commanders in enforcing the blockade, Adams said the chargé had left in protest because his representations in behalf of United States citizens had been disregarded, and concluded his comment on the episode: “This movement, dictated by an honest zeal for the honor and interests of his country — motives which operated exclusively on the mind of the officer who resorted to it — has not been disapproved by me." 36 To a senator from Pennsylvania who in January, 1828, went to Adams to solicit another appointment for Raguet, Adams declared that because he thought Raguet was sincere and his motives were good, no public censure had been passed either in the message to Congress or in the communications with Brazil. “But to replace in diplomatic service abroad a man of such a temper and want of judgment, who took blustering for bravery and insolence for energy, was too dangerous.” 37
WILLIAM R. MANNING.
35 Adams, C. F., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, VII, 288, 289. Raguet to Clay, May 31, 1827, American State Papers, Foreign Relations, VI, 1068, or House Ex. Doc. No. 281, 20th Cong., 1st sess., 112.
36 Adams's annual message, December 4, 1827, American State Papers, Foreign Relations, VI, 627.
37 Adams, C. F., Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, VII, 401.
After Raguet's departure from Brazil, a statement was published in a paper of Rio de Janeiro charging that he had been bribed by agents of Buenos Aires to break off the relations between the United States and Brazil. In a communication to the House of Representatives of February 15, 1828, Raguet declared this to be an unfounded libel, and asked for an investigation. On March 25 the Committee on Foreign Affairs reported that, while they sympathized with Mr. Raguet's feeling of indignation, they thought an unavowed newspaper attack on a foreign agent not sufficient ground for the House to take action. They considered the statement of the President to Congress at the opening of the session sufficient vindication. American State Papers. Foreign Relations, VI, 864, 865.
THE HELLENIC CRISIS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
PART III The third part of the essay on the Hellenic Crisis, which has happily received a satisfactory solution, will deal with the incidents which are connected with the law of nations and inquire as to how far the European belligerents in their dealings with Greece, and the Greek Government in its relations with them, adhered to the tenets and usages of international law.
The points to be here discussed are of a manifold character.
First, it will be examined whether the serious charge made by the Entente Powers against Constantine, the ex-King of the Hellenes,» that he violated the obligations arising out of the Treaty of Alliance between Greece and Serbia, by which the two states bound themselves to assist each other for the defense of their respective territories in case of attack by a third Power, and particularly by Bulgaria, is well founded according to the letter and spirit of the instrument of alliance.
Secondly, whether the military occupation of portions of the territory of the Hellenic Kingdom by both sets of belligerents, the seizure of its war material and other public property, and particularly the coercive measures employed by the Entente Powers against the Government and people of Greece and their forcible intervention in the internal affairs of that country, can be justified either by reason of treaty stipulations or on account of the unneutral conduct of the then King and his government towards the Entente Allies. The first point to be examined is the obligation arising out of the treaty of alliance between Greece and Serbia.
See Parts I and II in this JOURNAL for January and April, 1917.
* The word “King” embodied, then, the government, because the two words during the short reign of that potentate — with the exception of the interval of the Venizelos Cabinet — were synonymous. See ibid., Parts I and II.