18941124 See an image of this letter, https://doi.org/10.17613/vvjm-4p63



24th Nov. 1894


My dear Mother,

My excuse for not writing longer letters from Pernambuco you will perhaps not admit to be a very good one. It is that I have so many invitations for dinners, whist, music, dancing, & friendly visits that I am out every evening, while during the day business and business-writing keep me fairly well employed.

For the next mail I must get some Christmas letters written and I shall have to put on the break and remain indoors a little more. Last night I dined with the Williamses, who were at Dundee once upon a time.

On Tuesday there was a ball at the International Club, to which I had an invite. It was very gay. All the Pernambuco-English belles were there and I had several charming partners. But in this climate I don’t attempt to dance right through the programme and the extras – it is much too hot work and one becomes very limp quite early in the proceedings unless one carefully sandwiches intervals with hops.

On Thursday I dined again with Howard Tuckniss. His sister, Mrs Adamson, arrived from England by last steamer. She has a dear little four-year-old girl – a pretty child, very old-fashioned and out-spoken. I happened to go on board the steamer the day they arrived and as I was walking along the deck this little mite looked up and asked me “Are you Uncle Howard?”.

I have just been writing to wish the Pater many happy returns.[1] My letter ought to arrive within a day of the 7th.

Mr Leppin has been laid up for some days – inflamed mosquito bites on his feet. I took him round some papers to read, for which he was duly grateful.[2] He has instructions to go to Pará and does not like the prospect a bit.

Keiller was to have come back yesterday from Rio.[3] I suppose he has done so.

Floriano Vieira Peixoto, the second President of Brazil (1839-1895)
Floriano Vieira Peixoto, the second President of Brazil (b 1839, d 1895).

The old President has at last resigned the reins and the new one has come in, and the change has been effected quietly. Many people expected that Mr Floriano Peixoto, having bossed the show for so long, would decline to retire at the last moment.[4]

I must go to breakfast now, and then run into town. It is Sunday, but the mail does not wait. There is always general disgust among the young fellows when the mail comes up on Sunday, for most of the offices, even the English ones, open then.

So far I cannot complain of business here, though every one tells me things are very dull. It requires patience and imperturbability and if one has not lots of both one can do nothing at all out here.


Best love


  1. Julius Loewenthal Sr (b 7th December 1834). His 60th birthday.
  2. Mr Leppin. See Index to People.
  3. John Gibson Keiller. See Index to People.
  4. Floriano Vieira Peixoto (b 30th April 1839, d 29th July 1895) was the second president of Brazil. His government was marked by several revolutions. Ruling in an authoritarian fashion, Peixoto defeated a naval officers' rebellion against him in 1893–1894 and the Federalist Riograndense Revolution in the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. He is often referred to as "the Consolidator of the Republic" or "The Iron Marshal." He left the presidency on 15th November 1894. In spite of his unpopularity, he was responsible for the consolidation of the First Brazilian Republic. He was succeeded by Prudente José de Morais e Barros who was nominated by the Republican Federal Party, founded by Paulo Glicerio Francisco in 1893. He won the presidential election on 1st March 1894 and took office on 15th November that year, becoming the first president of Brazil to be elected by direct vote and the first civilian president of Brazil. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floriano_Peixoto and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prudente_de_Morais


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

John McCaldin Loewenthal: Letters Home from a Victorian Commercial Traveller, 1889 - 1895 Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Fink, Robert Boyd, Sarah Watkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book