Various Newspaper Articles
AN AMERICAN COLONY IN BRAZIL
What Newspaper published this? When? Was the Brazilian Reflector and English Language paper in Rio or somewhere in the U.S?
Letter from the Southerner to the Brazilian Paper - Personally Interesting to the Home Friends of the Colonials.
The following letter we take from the Brazilian Reflector, a journal published at Rio Janeiro in the interests of the Confederate Colonists. It could be found exceedingly interesting.
SANTAREM, ON THE AMAZON, August, 1868
To the Editor of the Brazilian Reflector:
Dear Sir – I take the liberty of writing to you, on the ground that your paper is benevolently inclined, and I believed it to be an act of charity to help us poor Southerners in giving publications to our appeals to brother exiles. I supposed, too, that you would like yourself to know something of us, so far away on the banks of Amazon, outside, almost of the pale of civilization, buried in the deep recesses of the Amazonian wilds. Our means of communication with Rio de Janeiro, and other parts of Brazil south of Rio are so devious and uncertain that we seldom endeavor to give our scattered countrymen in the south any news of ourselves.
Reports, too, from your part of Brazil to ours are so very unfavorable; that we fear almost, that you would consider us as exulting and triumphant should we inform you of our success. True, this success has not been very great, still, to most of us, it must been sufficient, and we are satisfied. We had succeeded in an humble way, and have barely supported ourselves as yet we have not had time to do more. We have all done the work ourselves - none of us had the money to hire workmen.
As the matter of course, men who were never accustomed to hard bodily labor could not be expected to open large plantations in a new months, but as much as could have been rationally expected as been done. Some are now being as well as they lived in the United States before the War. Dr. Pitts, a Tennessean, for example, leaps a first-rate table, and buys nothing but carne secca.
Only last Sunday I visited him. I found him well, and in high spirits, but his wife was not perfectly satisfied. She told me, what I think explains her slight dissatisfaction, that it had been seven weeks since she had seen an American lady’s face. The doctor had planted sweet potatoes, several varieties of beans, and peas, pumpkins, green corn, cucumber, (illegible), and a kind of squash that was very delicious.
He had also plenty of tomatoes and water melons.
The doctor’s garden is not an exception; others have better. Mr. Rhome, at the place called “Taperinha,” can add to the doctor’s behalf far by giving real hot “syrup de batons” just taken from the kettle, and good battered (illegible – probably chicken), butter and milk, and all the different ripened fruits for dessert.
Messrs. Vaughn, [original spelling] Riker, and Weatherly are doing well, have good crops growing, and are very hopeful. Mr. Vaughn has a great deal of tobacco growing, and is very busy just now in putting it up in salable shape.
Notwithstanding the stampede made by the large portion of Major Hasting’s colonies, we are welcoming, by almost every steamer, every new addition to our colony. But a shot had been, the Rev. R. T Hennington and family, Mr. B. Spurlock and family, Dr. S. F. Stroope and family arrived here, accompanied by Messrs. P. Norman and John P. Massey.
Mr. Hennington is from Mississippi; Mr. Spurlock is lately from Texas, Dr. Stroope of Arkansas, and the two young men from Mississippi.
Mr. Hennington has bought out Mr. xxxx, (ILLEGIBLE) an old settler, and is now living at his place. Dr. Stroope, too, has already settled within the colonial limits.
Judge J. B. Mendenhall from Alabama, with his family, are close neighbors to Mr. Hennington [original spelling] and are well satisfied. The Judge has great faith in his tobacco crop, and I think has reason for it. His little son George brought a cartload of vegetables to town some how days ago and sold them to the steamers.
Mr. E. S. Wallace came to town last Saturday with a large canoe load of corn for all, and made arrangements for selling some 2000 hands of corn he had still remaining from his first crop. He sold it, I believe, for one Real, or sixteen cents a hand of fifty ears. And American cotton grows well here, but none of us have the means to operate extensively in that article. If some capitalist were to come here he could make money raising cotton. Tobacco paid luxuriantly, and large proceeds will be realized from it even in this year.
General Dobbins, Col. Menefee, Dr. Jones and family, Dr. Carter and family, and Col. Charles M. Broome, are all settled up on the Tapajos, two or three days trip from Santarem. Dr. Carter told me he had a stock of American cotton with 250 bolls on it. Cotton (American) does not grow here any taller than in the States, but grows much more luxuriantly. They are comfortable settled and, I believe, determined to stay. Mr. P. O. Chaffier has, they say, 16,000 tobacco plants, which he himself tends, and which bid fair to yield him good returns.
My father, Captain S. L. McGee, bought an Eugenio de assucar (sugar mill) near the city of Para. I visited him but shortly since and found him busy in distilling cachaca. My mother and sister were well satisfied and no course lecturing can induce them to return to their “Vaterland”.
There are some Americans living in town. Rev. Mr. Harvey has a school here and is teaching English. He has thirty or forty scholars, and I believe, is an flourishing circumstances.
We are expecting a good many persons from the States here, Captain Mathews from Mobile is daily expected and many others. Our colony (and we wish to be distinctly understood), is not “played out”. On the contrary, it faded, but to bloom again with more enticing fairness. So we think.
We are here and not in deplorable circumstances, and we will be glad to welcome here any brother in misfortune who may see fit to visit our shores.
And allow me, until another occasion to bid you “au revoir”.
Jos. L. McGee