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Letter written to Randal Callander Esquire, H B M Consul Rio Grande do Sul, by Thomas Benbow Phillips at Rio Grande, dated 20 May 1875

Thomas Benbow Phillips had read the copy of the Presidential Dispatch, dated Porto Alegro, 22 January 1875, sent to the British Vice Consul there, and referring to the attempt made to murder him by Wenceslau Mantins da Silva in 1864. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the events that had occurred at that time and the inability of the Police Authorities of Pelotas to bring the criminal to justice. Since the Provincial Government would not provide compensation, Thomas Benbow Phillips was begging Randal Callender to take his case to the Imperial Government, and proceeded to give him a report of what happened.

In 1862, Thomas Benbow Phillips had a flourishing business near Pelotas, and he kept his horse in an adjoining a field which was well fenced with a double ditch. One night, Wenceslau Mantins da Silva had cut through the hedge, levelled a part of the ditch, and stolen the horse. The horse was recovered in 17 days. Apparently Wenceslau had threatened he would “cut him (Thomas Benbow Phillips) up like a pumpkin”, and he attacked him with a long facās which was hidden under his poncho. There were eight witnesses to the attack, but no action was taken against him, and Thomas Benbow Phillips was told that he would have to prosecute at his own expense, which would cost around five hundred milreis, and even then, a jury might absolve Wenceslau. However, no trial took place, he was not punished for attacking Thomas Benbow Phillips with a knife and pistol, and because he was a deserter, he was sent back to his regiment. On 19 October, 1864, whilst Thomas Benbow Phillips was bolting the door to his shop he was stabbed right through his body by Wenceslau, who had returned to attack him a second time. Thomas Benbow Phillips was attended by Dr Barcellos, who reported the incident to the Police Authorities. The Delegado of Police had given Wenceslau a pass three days previously to cross the frontier to the Banda Oriental. He did apparently come from a family of notorious thieves and assasins, and even though he had tried to murder Ivaquim Neves, a respectable citizen of Pelotas, he was tried and aquited. Thomas Benbow Phillips called Wenceslau a “priviledged assasin” and suggested that the Authorities in Pelotas were negligent in their duty. He wished to make a claim for compensation due to the fact he was severely incapacitated for a long time after the second attack. Thomas Benbow Phillips demanded that the Consul of Her Britannic Majesty should demand compensation for him to the value of one hundred and twenty-nine contos, nine hundred and sixty-three mil, ond hundred and fifty-one reis,

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