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United States Department of State / The executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the fiftieth Congress. 1887-'88

Brazil,   pp. 47-68 PDF (9.2 MB)

Page 47

                              .No. 47.
                      Mir. Trail to Mr. Bayard.,
No. 68.]
                       LEGATION OF TILE UNITED STATES,
    Rio de Janeiro, December 29, 1886. (Received February 5,1887,)
  SIR: Herewith I send you a report upon the "Boundary question be.
tween Brazil and the Argentine Republic." recently prepared by me. A
copy of the treaty -of September 28, 1885, is also inclosed.  m
        have, etc.                           CHARLES B. TRAIL.
                           [Iuclosure in No. 6M.j
  For several years past the most important question this Empire has
had to deal with in her foreign relations has been, and still is, that of
the boundary line which separates a certain part of her domain from
the Argentine Republic. The controversy dates back to 1750, when the
crowns of Spain and Portugal held possession of this entire continent,
and although effort after effort has been made to settle the dispute, the
exact position of the dividing line is as uncertain to-day as it was a
hundred years ago. The territory in question is part of the" 1Misiones,"
interesting as the scene of the early works of the Jesuits, and as the
home of the Guarances, that tribe of Indians whose determined and
prolonged resistance to the invaders of their soil in colonial times
gained for them universal respect and sympathy.
  In superficies the territory is about the size of the State of Maryland.
  As you are well aware, there exists a feeling of rivalry between the
one Empire and the great Republic of South America, and the progress
of either is watched by her neighbor with', anything but a friendly in-
terest. To this feeling is due in large part the autonomy of the Ori-
ental Republic, neither of the two great powers being willing to see
Uruguay become a province of the other. Now., this boundary ques-
tion has not helped to better the reciprocal bad feeling, and out of it,
somewhat over a year ago, grew rumors of war. The Argentines had
been quietly moving in and taking possession of the "territorio el liti-
gio," and Brazil concentrates the flower of her army in the adjacent
provinces. For a time there was serious apprehension of a collision be-
tween the forces of the two countries. This was in May-September,
1885. Since then there has been a mutual understanding, and the mat-
ter is being discussed according to agreements set forth further on.

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