Rio De Janeiro, October 22d.
The two volumes of your poems, which I received from you last summer, I had the pleasure of putting into the hands of the Emperor of Brazil this morning. Your name and some of your works were already familiar to him, and for a long time he has had your likeness, and for some ten years the picture of your residence. He desires me to thank you for those volumes, and wishes you to know that he is ready to do all that is in his power for the advancement of human rights. He desires to see the day when Brazil (whose laws in regard to human rights, so far as the black man is concerned, have always been far in advance of yours) shall not have a single slave. He takes a deep interest in our struggle, and believes that the whole sentiment of Brazil, of planters as well as non-slaveholders, is against an institution which Portuguese cruelty and short-sightedness left as a heritage to Brazil, and which institution will perish in the mild process of law in a very few years, and, if the North is successful, in a much shorter period.
SOURCE: Parke Godwin, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 199