top of page


Maj. Alexander

John "Dad" McMains, a Scotsman who had lived and worked in the California gold fields in 1849, also elected to leave the McMullen group at Rio de Janeiro. Always a loner, McMains wasted neither words nor money. On board ship from New York, George Barnsley, Major Alexander Braxton, and others often solicited McMains' advise, which he usually gave in terse, yet genial phrases. McMains and Braxton went to the Rio Docey, where they formed a partnership for the purpose of exporting fine furniture woods to Rio. The venture proved successful but ended when Braxton failed to return from a trip to the capital where he had sold a quantity of hardwood for a sum of 10 contos. Braxton had boarded a coastal steamer to return to the Rio Doce, but he never arrived. Most people assume that he was robbed and murdered. Later McMains traveled alone to Buenos Aires, Argentina, then Paraguay, before trekking across the wilds of Matto Groso province to Rio de Janeiro. The trip through the wilderness with no roads took six months. Disappointed at not finding a bonanza mining claim, McMains eventually returned to Texas.

SOURCE:  The Elusive Eden  Page 88

bottom of page