Return to Alabama – Dissatisfied Emigrants to Brazil
August 10, 1867
There arrived at the Central Hotel last night a party of ladies and gentlemen who left Brazil last month, thoroughly, totally, heartily disgusted with their new homes among the hybrid masses in the overrated, well-flattered country of Brazil. The party is composed entirely of Alabamians, among whom are MESSRS. JOHN M. HARRIS, W. J. DeBERRY, G. E. JONES, THOMAS McCANTS, T. A. McELROY, JOHN STANFIELD, D. W. BRAZIELL, and eighteen other gentlemen and their wives and children. They give affecting and pitiful accounts of the sufferings of many hundreds of deluded Southerners who were lured away from their friends by the tempting offers of the Brazilian Government, and the tales of wild and impulsive American adventurers.
They represent that there is no regularly organized Government in Brazil–there is no society–but little cultivation among the inhabitants–no laudable ambition–no ways of making money–the people scarcely know the meaning of the word “kindness”– the American citizens live about in huts, uncared for–there is general dissatisfaction among the emigrants, and the whole Brazil representation is a humbug and a farce. The American Consul is in receipt of numerous and constant applications from helpless American citizens to assist them in getting back to their true, rightful country. CAPT. JACK PHELAN, who is so well known and admired in Montgomery, has, we learn, left with a large number of other young men, to make California their home. The advice of the gentlemen with whom we conversed is to dissipate the idea that Alabama is not still a great country – to cause dreaming over the unhappy past–say nothing that will assist to keep up political troubles, stay at home, but work, work, work, and Alabama will yet be, what she ought to be, and can be, a great and glorious country.
The long-deferred abolition of slavery in Brazil is to be hastened. A recent law releases all slaves after two years, and they are to receive wages during this period. Brazil is the last country laying claim to civilization that still maintains slavery. It is not sixty years since slavery was abolished in the British colonies, and less than half that time since this country rid itself of the evil.
New York Times, Aug. 15, 1867
Reprinted in the The South Alabamian, Jackson, Alabama, October 1, 1887