CONFEDERATE EXILES TO BRAZIL
B.A. Montana State College, 1958
Presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
Master of Arts
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION ....................................................................1.
II. PREPARATIONS FOR A CHANGE.................................... 11
III. LIFE IN THE COLONIES.................................................... 54
Primary Sources.................................................................... 92
Secondary Sources............................................................... 92
0, give me a ship wlth sail and with -wheel,
And let me be off to happy Brazil !
Home of the sunbeam--great kingdom of heat,
With -woods evergreen and snakes forty feet !
Land of the diamond-bright nation of pearls !
Wlth monkeys a-plenty, and Portuguese girls !
0, give me a ship -with sail and with -wheel,
And let me be off to happy Brazil !
I yearn to feel her "Perpetual spring,"
And shake by the hand Dom Pedro, her king.
Kneel at his feet—call him, "My Royal Boss!!"
And receive in return, "Welcome, Old Hoss !"
*Basso, Hamilton, A Quota of Sea-weed, (Garden
City, Doubleday), p. 120,
The Confederate States of America were ^ union of enthusiastic supporters of a way of life, held together by the strong fibre of morale and conviction to ideals. Only when the most adamant exponents of the Confederate Utopia became disillusioned with their ideal or the hopes of ever acquiring it, did the South really begin to lose the Civil War. When these tenuous qualities began to wane, the cause of this struggling new country (or unruly section of an older state) suffered the inevitable fate of self-destruction. Military defeats, and the cynical attitude of Southerners who had never been convinced that g^cession was the answer to sectional quarrels, played important parts in the disintegration of the Confederacy.
Seeds of inner-conflict were sewn very early in the Civil Ware Many Confederate citizens felt that the war was the only way to secure the ideal of "life and civilization as people knew it; it was fundamental with them; it was what made slaveholders and non-slaveholders stand together; it caused soldiers to fight with bravery and devotion which became so much a part of their very souls as
to make this ideal more dear to them than life itself. . . .From the ranks of both the easily disillusioned and the Idealists emerged the conviction that, with the failure of their hopes, emigration was a most promising move for the future.
As the realization of military defeat came to President Jefferson Davis, he was quoted by his wife as saying, "it may be that. ... I can force my way across the Mississippi and if nothing can be done there which it will be proper to do, then I can go to Mexico and have the world from which to choose a location,"2 Davis had been attempting a negotiated peace by legal means. But the Confederate Constitution did not provide for its own dissolution; and President Lincoln early refused to deal with Davis as a head of state. Davis was set adrift from his role as a leader and as such epitomized the sentiment of non-belonging and general disorder of the citizenry of the Southern states. The Southern people were confused and disturbed, as well as humiliated by the measures enacted upon them by renewed federal control. One Virginia woman wrote that she felt that she had "no country, no government, no
future. Economically, socially and politically, the South was no longer the entity that its people had striven so hard to retain. Although the original intent of the Reconstruction policy was not malicious, the results were variously expressed as a "blackout of honest government" and a "breach of faith.Conditions in the South were unbearable for a great portion of the population. "There was desire to get out from under a government controlled by Brownlows, niggers and Yankees," and strong feeling that "such government could not protect life, liberty and property, much less conserve honor, chivalry and purity; that inestimable trinity without which life is not worth living and without which no community can be termed Christian.
Throughout the South, groups of people and individuals investigated the possibilities of flight from the horrors of confiscated property, mass destruction, military Reconstruction, and "a labor system deranged and insecure. Agents were sent to Venezuela, Honduras,
and Mexico as well as to Brazil. These agents operated individually in some cases; in others, they traveled in groups. Sometimes they acted as representatives of societies in the South, organized for the purpose of emigration; other times they -were entrepreneurs acting in their own behalf. Eventually, Mexico and Honduras provided homes for a small number of South-erners, but Brazil offered the most enticing possibilities for relocation.
Brazil was a large, but sparsely populated country with a climate in some regions similar to that of the South. Dom Pedro II, Brazil's progressive emperor, was anxious to exploit the vast potential of his land by attracting mass immigration. Since early in the l850's, liberal elements in that country had encouraged the establishment of a stronger representative government, the opening of the Amazon to trade and commerce, the gradual emancipation of slaves and a reconstruction of the labor system on a sound national basis, as stimuli for immigration. In 1853, slave trade had been abolished in Brazil, but the institution was still very much a part of the Brazilian economy in l865. An immigration law of September, i860, expressed the government's approval of the establishment of free colonies which could rule them-selves. Settlers from the South, with their genteel background and experience with an agricultural slave economy,
were particularly attractive to the Brazilians. Later, in the mid=l860's, the International Society of Immigration was organized in Rio de Janeiro to stimulate public sentiment and government action to aid the foreigners.7 The society also proposed to protect immigrants from fraud to insure their rights and privileges and in addition, to provide a hotel where weary travelers could rest before moving on to new homes in the colonies.
Dom Pedro sent agents to the South to promote emigration. They reminded the timid that Brazil's constitution was modeled after the Common Law of England and they made promises of vast amounts of aid to any group willing to work in the establishment of colonies. Agents who traveled in Brazil returned to the South confirming the stories of productive lands and of governmental encouragement. Further proof of Brazil's friendly attitude toward the South and its citizens had been the granting of a belligerent status to the Confederacy during the ware Dom Pedro had also extended privileges to Confederate cruisers in Brazilian ports, which aided the Southern naval efforts in raiding United States vessels in
the South Atlantic. Diplomatic protests from Washington officials had not altered Brazilian policy. The United States then had taken positive action by sending a warship to a port in the state of Maranha. and forcibly removed a Confederate cruiser. Brazil had demanded apologies and reparation but neither were fully granted. Considerable animosity existed between the two nations for some time, and contributed to Brazilian sympathy for the Southern cause.
To many in the South Brazil appeared to be the answer to their hopes and dreams. Reverend Ballard S, Dunn^ an agent and later the founder of a colony near Itapemerim, in Para, wrote of the attractions of such a new home; "Here we could relate the story of our disaster to our children and teach them that a government to be just and equitable, must be permanent and stable; and not the creature of caprice, to be changed by every popular gust of passion."
The prospects for emigration were not all favorable. There were the problems of cultural differences, religion controlled by the state, dissimilar heritages, the language barriero Despite the encouragement of colonies which were to be self-governed, the settler would be forced to
have commercial contact with the populace of Brazil and eventually and inevitably there would be the question of Brazilian citizenship. In addition, communications in Brazil were of the most rudimentary sort and it would take time to make any new community accessible. Persons who were not morally and politically compatible with Southern views were not welcome in most emigrant groups. By thus limiting themselves, these people (most of whom had never been subjected to physical work or hardship) created a labor shortage for their settlements. The decision to leave cherished homes to begin new lives in Brazil was based on Idealistic conclusions; the problem of providing an adequate labor supply was not realistically con-sidered.
Much of the news media devoted a good deal of space to pointing out the disadvantages of a move to Brazil. Some newspapers refused altogether to run advertisements for the agents who were trying to attract additional emigrants; others omitted mention of the prospect of an exodus, Robert E. Lee and other leaders in the South regarded the emigres as deserters. They felt that the South needed faithful citizens during the trying period of Reconstruction^ that their devotion to country was needed more than it had been during the war. They could not discover a "single advantage possessed by these countries, which we of the South have not in a greater degree." Expatriation,
they exclaimed, could provide "no royal road to competence and ease, for the poverty that cannot dig."!'^ General Lee expressed this feeling succinctly; "The thought of abandoning the country, and all that must be lost in it, is abhorrent to my feelings, and I prefer to struggle for its restoration, and share its fate, rather than to give up all as lost."H John H. Reagan said it would take "time and patience and wisdom and justice" to build a new South and all the people were needed for the task.^^ Some farm leaders saw no advantage in moving to "Brazil and other outlandish and half-civilized regions."13 Even the Brazilian Minister in New York warned his government of problems involved in the emigration plans. He felt that the political situation in the United States was not severe enough to warrant mass movement, thus he thought interest in the project would soon decline. He was also worried about the caliber of Southerners who contemplated leaving their homeland,
Estimates as to the actual number of Southern citizens -who emigrated to Brazil vary considerably. Brazilian newspapers announced that 100,000 families were planning to move to Brazil. Apparently their Information was acquired from those agents whom the empire had sent to North America, On September 3? 1865? five months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the New York Herald reported more than fifty thousand persons were preparing for the trip to Brazil. Twentieth century historians find it difficult to approximate the number of immigrants with any precision. Hamilton Basso guessed that "all told no more than five thousand men, women and children from the Southern states found their way to Brazil.''^^ Vera Kelsey's estimate was three thousand. E. Merton Coulter suggested that between eight and ten thousand persons expatriated themselves and emigrated to Brazil. The most conclusive statement was made by Lawrence Hlll.
Although all available figures on the number of Southerners who left the United States to establish homes in Brazil during the four or five years subsequent to the close of the war represent hardly more than wild guesses, it
is certain that the exodus never attained proportions fixed in the imagination of many people.
PREPARATIONS FOR A CHANGE
Those Southerners who found the post-'war atmosphere of their homes disappointing, sought a release from their anxieties in a variety of ways. There were those (no doubt they represented the majority) who felt their place -was in the midst of their miseries, doing their utmost to rectify conditions. Yet, there were others who were unable to face the trials of rebuilding by some new architectural design, who thought that the rebuilding which would take place could only tear away the life and customs which had been so dear. They regarded themselves as unchangeable portions of an irreparable past. It was among the latter, more reluctant citizens of the southern United States, that pleas of immigrant-hungry countries of Central and South America were heard, and to whom the books of travelers, adventurers and naturalists, such as the Reverend James C. Fletcher and Daniel Parrish Kidder and Matthew F. Maury, appealed.
Maury, a Virginian and past officer of the United States Navy, was a renowned oceanographer. His descriptions of his various adventures and studies encouraged and
enthralled his readers. After the Civil War his travels took him to Mexico and to Brazil, He wrote detailed informational accounts concerning the area near the Amazon River. He contended that with sufficient preparation and knowledge, this area could be inhabited very profitably by agricultural people. Maury's work was not intended to promulgate a mass migration from his native land. However, his writings were widely read in the South and referred to as a guide for potential emigrants,1 Kidder and Fletcher, in 1866, revised and re-edited a book, Brazil and the Brazilians, which they had written in the l850'S. This book along with another of Kidder's, Sketches of Residence and Travels in Brazil, was specifically aimed at the men and women who wished to make new homes in Brazil. Kidder and Fletcher were Influential Southerners whose words were read with trust and admiration.
More than the mere reading and learning of new lands was needed before actual colonization could be undertaken. Groups of interested individuals pooled their resources (meager though they were, in most cases) to form societies for the promotion of colonization. The most famous
of these societies assumed the cumbersome name, the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield Courthouse, South Carolina. Meeting first on August 21, l865. the group resolved to send two or more agents to explore the southern and western areas of the United States and "especially the great Empire of Brazil," to ascertain what inducements might be offered to the emigrant peoples of Edgefield Courthouse. If the prospecting agents should return with favorable reports from Brazil, they planned to delegate to them the responsibility of making arrangements for the procurement of lands and the establishment of settlements. The society postponed the election of officers and the selection of a formal title for their organization to the second meeting in lieu of selecting the men who were to act as agents. Dr. Hugh A. Shaw, a physician, and Major Robert Meriwether, were chosen for the mission; Dr. Shaw, B. C, Bryan, William M. Williams, Major Issac Boles and T. B. Reese were appointed a committee to procure funds to aid the agents in their travels and to equip society subscribers who might eventually follow, on a more permanent basis. At the September meeting of the society, officers were finally chosen. Major Joseph Abney was elected president, and Colonel D. L. Shaw became the vice president, with Colonel A. P. Butler as secretary, Major John E. Bacon, corresponding secretary, and Thomas B. Reese,
treasurer. If any of the officers or committeemen ever made the journey to Brazil, no record can be found of their trip. However, at the time of the organization of the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield Courthouse, they felt strongly the need to depart from the hardships of the post-war South. This feeling is illustrated by a letter written by Major Abney to relatives in Kentucky and later published in the Edgefield Advertiser of October 11, I865.
One cannot close his eyes upon passing events and, situated as we are, entirely ignore the lessons of experience and the solemn admonitions of history. The future is enveloped in clouds and darkness, and we are less than men if we make no efforts for the preservation of our families and to avert the manifold dangers that lie in our way. .....Our substance has already been consumed by the war, our people overwhelmed with debt and sorrow, and disappointment,, ... A deeper degree of destitution and want is inevitable as the negro will not work and must eat, hunger and starvation and madness and crime will run riot through our borders and there is no earthly power than can interpose to save us and our children from the last extremities to which man can be reduced. We are even now, prostrate, strangled, submerged in
"A gulf profound as the Serbonlan bog Betwixt Damiata and Mt, Cassius old; Where armies whole, have sunk,
I utter these sentiments with pain and sorrow, for I have long ceased to be angry and there is no service I would withhold from my government, that might contribute to redeem and save our people. Laboring
under these sound convictions and being assured that vast numbers of our friends who are destitute of good farming lands, and now also destitute of labor, and yet are embarrassed with debt, must be brought to beggery, unless they exchange their accustomed habitations for a more genial clime and more fruitful soil, it is our purpose to form a Southern Colonization Society.
The agents, Major Meriwether and Dr. Shaw, left Augusta, Georgia on October l8, l865, and proceeded to New York City. From there they sailed on the thirtieth of the same month. On the twenty-sixth of November they reached Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, There they met Dr. James McF. Gaston, a former surgeon of the Confederate Army and a fellow South Carolinian, who was also interested in the possibilities of establishing a colony in Brazil. The three men were introduced to Paulo Susa, the Minister of Agriculture for Brazil, who helped to arrange an itinerary for a tour throughout the portions of the country which the Emperor, Dom Pedro II, wished to be settled.
In their reports, the agents stated that their first stops were in Pernambuco Province, where cotton grew well cut the climate was not suitable, and in Bahia Province, where sugar, tobacco, and fruits as well as cotton were raised, but the climate was still too hot. Real exploration for a possible colony site began in the province of
Sao Paulo,: to the south of Rio de Janeiro, Although the Meriwether-Shai^j report mentioned the visits to Permanbuco and Bahia after the meeting with Gaston, it is possible that these areas were actually visited on the original trip from New York City to Rio de Janeiro,, To have traveled from Rio back to the first two provinces would have necessitated a lengthy trip north and east, probably by boat, back-tracking over a thousand miles along that portion of the South American coast which extends toward Afrlca.
Since the climate of Sao Paulo seemed adequate, they chose the city of Santos as a starting pointo Accompanied by lesser governmental officials and Susa, the agents embarked on the Sao Paulo and Santos Railroad for the Interior. They reported that the port of Santos had a good harbor but the railroads were incomplete, being only 80 to 90 miles long. At Sao Paulo, capital city of the province, the group was provided with pack-mules and "primitive cartsc" On December I8, they left for Itapetaningna, intending to use a pass over the mountains. Their vehicular accommodations being inadequate for such a task, it was decided that Dr. Gaston would go over the mountain on foot while the remainder of the party explored other areas. Heading toward Bolucstu and Lencoes, some 150 miles from Sao Paulo, they crossed the campo and there saw much cotton on privately owned lands» On the campo was a volcanic
mountain range and the men decided that this yas the richest land they had yet seen. Very little of this area had been surveyed, however. Besides cotton, they found corn in abundance and some timber. Meriwether and Shaw remarked that cultivation amounted to little, "With a stick sharpened at the end, sometimes with a hoe, a hole is made in the ground, the seed (from 5 to 6 grains) put into the hole and covered with the foot, and this is all the cultivation the crops receive."
The party was impressed by the sight of peaches and grapes and frost free land. The people appeared to be healthy and the land was endowed with pure water, water which might prove amenable to power usage. The stock, both hogs and cattle, was superior. And the loam depth was from thirteen to twenty inches. The purchase price of partially improved land varied from one to two dollars an acre. Yet the land suffered the major disadvantage of poor communi-cations. It was 125 miles to the nearest railroad, then another 80 to 100 miles to Santos. Across the mountains, it was 80 to 100 miles to steam navigation. The agents were informed that good roads would be opened by the government, immediately, should families choose to settle in this area,, Excellent land and crop potential extended 100 miles down into the valley of the Tiete River,
which ran parallel to the Big Sierra Mountains, according to reports given to the party. However, much of this land was in private hands. The price, when land was available, was fifty to seventy-five cents an acre. The loam depth there was from eight inches to five feet. Indians lived forty-five miles down the valley and this area was "liable to chills which turn malignant," but the soil was of first quality, terra roccha, and the woods of bamboo were abundant It was this section which was recommended to the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield Courthouse for settlement.
The agents saw other fine lands, some of which cost from twenty-five to one hundred dollars per acre. One fazienda, owned by a Dr. Gavias, where the party of agents was very well treated, extended over the campos into timberland and contained cattle as well as productive crops. The holdings were perhaps as large as 200,000 acres. A map of Dr. Gavias® lands was made available for those Southerners who might be interested in the possibilities of settling adjacent areas. Other very favorable farms were viewed in the District of Campens, but the inspectors felt this region was too low for coffee, a crop which prospective settlers from the Society hoped to raise for profit.
In Campens, they found two settlers from North America, one from Alabama and one from Louisiana, already cultivating their lands.
Dr. Gaston, after crossing the mountains, moved toward Iquape and Cannanea and there saw large sections of land producing coffee, sugar cane, rice, and tobaccoo There he found several families from Texas and Alabama who had recently journeyed to Brazil. Dr. Gaston noted that the Iquape River was navigable for steamboats as far as Xirerica (about 100 miles from the area which the main party of agents chose as a settlement site), being uninterrupted by falls or dangerous rapids,
In the final report directed to the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield Courthouse, Meriwether and Shaw included some general information which would be of importance to all who might move to Brazil. They stated that the law required that the purchaser of land pay six percent of the total cost as a tax to the government» But this was the only tax that a farmer ever need pay on the land. There was some possibility that this obligation might be removed for immigrants. It was noted that the majority of the Brazilians appeared to be in good health, although some instances of goiter and leprosy were seen. Temperatures on the table lands ranged from 56° to 86° in the summer and from 4O° to 45° in the winter, with an occasional frost. Included in a list of prices were such
things as the cost of domestic horses (|20 to $^0), unbroken horses (|15 to $30), pack mules ($25 to $30), corn per bushel (.50 to .75)» side of leather ($3 to $5)? sugar per pound (,06 to .80), rum per gallon (.26 to .30), and fruits (bananas, oranges, limes, lemons and pineapples at 1/2 to 2 cents each). In the large towns, prices were slightly higher.
If a large group of families were to decide to come to Brazil, the report advised them to stock provisions. For Smaller groups, the Brazilians seemed very willing to share what they had. Tools, wagons, furniture and machinery would be admitted to the country duty free. And, as such items were unavailable in the interior, it was suggested that each party include these things among its possessions before leaving the United States.
Readers of the report were informed that the seasons occurred in Brazil just opposite to those in North America, that Sao Paulo possessed no ravenous beasts, that the insects were not too destructive, and that Brazil was not plagued by rust, much frost, earthquakes or erupting volcanoes. The soil, climate, ores, sports, power, rivers and water were all found to be very satisfactory.
The inspectors noted that the constitution of Brazil was modeled after the Common Law of Great Britain but that no primogeniture or hereditary nobility existed
Brazil was gifted with a wise Emperor who held "no prejudices." An able society for the promotion of emigration from other lands existed, with the objects of care and aid to foreigners, protection from fraud and want, vindication of rights and privileges, A hotel for newcomers was operated at government expense and surveying was being planned throughout the unsettled areas of the country„ A state church existed and only the Roman Catholic Church was permitted to exhibit an exterior cross or steeple^ However, all other religious groups were allowed to hold services.
The cost of transportation was listed as two hundred dollars (or one hundred dollars, second class) from New York to Rio de Janiero, children from age twelve to fourteen traveled at half price, those under twelve at one third and the breast-fed received free passage.
The objections which agents Meriwether and Shaw saw in settlement included the strangeness of the common language of Brazil, the mixture of classes, the want of educational and transportation facilities, and the scarcity of labor.
We deem it our duty to state that the price of negroes has decreased one-half during our stay in the empire» It is said that the outside sentiment is the cause. At any rate all classes agree that the day is not distant when emancipation must come. We have heard of some gangs of negroes, including men, women and children, being offered by the year
for fifty dollars each though the usual price is from sixty to a hundred and twenty. For plantation hands, the hirer pays all expenses.
Despite the degree of organization and enthusiasm, the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield Courthouse failed to establish a settlement in Brazil, Certain members of the society, however, later immigrated to the Empire, either with other groups or independently. In 18685 Major Abney was still arguing in defense of emigration, from his home in North America, contending that Southerners were forced to endure "unless they flee it, such abuses of that power as inevitably results from the vice and stupidity of the negro, directed by the most malignant enemies that ever tyrannized over any people,"
Another agent, who became widely known in the South, was W. W. W, Wood. In June of 1865? Wood became the agent and inspector of emigration for four Mississippi counties, although he was a resident of New Orleans, where he had practiced law, been an editor and a fluent public speaker. By the time Wood sailed on the Montana, in August, he no longer represented only the six hundred despondent planters who had started him on his southern tour, but had been
entrusted with the business of nineteen other agents, who represented a total of eleven thousand families„ Wood was accompanied by Dr. James H. Warner and Dr. J. P. Wesson of Tennessee, Robert L.. Brown, an Alabama planter, and W., C. Kernan of Florida. This party arrived at Rio de Janeiro in October and was accorded a gala reception. Traveling without passports, the gentlemen proceeded to Santos by government steamer, journeyed on to Sao Paulo by rail, and into the northwest by horse and mule. After several days, a section near the Tiete, lying on both sides of the Jahu River, attracted the attention of Mr. Wood. The area embraced nearly eight million acres, with abundant building timber, healthful climate, soil adapted to cotton growing and a good site for a town. This chosen place was not distant from Araquara, a partially developed town of the interior. A site for settlement having been chosen. Wood boarded the steamship South America which carried him north, reaching New York City on January 25, 1866. While in Brazil, Wood had also seen Dr. Gaston. Upon returning to the United States, Wood assumed the role and title of "Commissioner of American Emigration to Brazil." He wrote a pamphlet entitled. Ho I For Brazil, which was widely read. Then, perhaps because of his age (over sixty), he settled in Adams County, Mississippi, never to lead colonists to their El Dorado or publicize the subject again.
Dr., Gaston, upon his return to the United States, attempted to convince as many Southerners as he could that emigration was an answer to their problems„ He also wrote a book so that (In his own words) It might "enable those concerned to determine upon the propriety of transferring their residence to that favored land," Brazil. In describing conditions and possibilities in Brazil, he noted that young men might do well to choose brides before leaving their homes, as he had not been impressed by the pulchritude of the local Brazilian ladies.
The most famous of all the agents or promoters was a preacher and ex-Confederate Army officer. The Reverend Ballard S. Dunn. Shortly after Appomattox, the former pastor of St. Phillips Church in New Orleans, boarded the schooner Valiant and sailed for Rio de Janeiro. Dunn, popularly known as the "Fighting Parson," secured an audience with Emperor Dom Pedro II shortly after his arrival in the Brazilian capital. He assured the ruler that by offering sufficient land grants and other inducements, up to 500,000 "superior" people could be secured for immigration. The pastor convinced the emperor that agents such as himself, Merriwether, Shaw, Gaston and others could make such a dream become a reality.
After four months of searching in the interior, Dunn chose a section of land for his settlement. He called the site "Lizzieland," after a favorite daughter. Having chosen the tract he returned to Rio de Janeiro in order to perfect his title and complete other arrangements. Dunn then returned to the United States and began a campaign to attract settlers for "Lizzieland." The possessor of a magnetic personality and a convincing writing ability, Dunn began his promotion by writing a small book which he called Brazil, The Home for Southerners. In it he assured his readers that in Brazil they would find a home "where war worn soldier, the bereaved parent, the oppressed patriot, the homeless and despoiled, can find a refuge from the trials which beset them and a home not haunted by the eternal remembrance of harrowing scenes of sorrow and death. Included in the work was the description of Dunn's "Lizzieland" which extended 40 miles by 20 miles, 6l4,000 acres, and was located one hundred miles south of the city of Sao Paulo. Lying on the Juqula River, a tributary of the Ribeira River, for 20 miles on one shore and 4 miles on the other, the tract possessed enough buildings to act as base for 200 people while other buildings were being erected. The river was navigable for steamboats with
a four foot draught.
Dunn emphasized the fact that through the constitutional monarchy, the right of private property had been strongly upheld, and that foreigners had the right to buy and own any property. The parson also stated, no doubt with the idea of pleasing his readers, that the Brazilians despised "that treacherous race," the Spaniards, and he upheld the Portuguese and their fine literature. The most informative and least elaborate section of Dunn's little volume was the literal translation of the terms of his land grant:
Rio de Janeiro, June 30, I866
Directory of Public Lands By order of His Excellency, the Minister of Agriculture, I have to declare to Reverand Ballard S. Dunn, the following;
l. The price of the land selected, is one real per square brace, (footing up forty-one and three-quarter cents per acre,) inclusive of the expenses of measuring and marking.
2. The quantity of land that each emigrant can take, will be regulated by him, and the said Rev-erand Ballard S, Dunn, who will be held responsible for the respective payments to the government,
3 The lands being selected, the said Reverand Ballard S. Dunn will receive a provisional title, clearly Indicating the respective limits; this title will be exchanged for another definite one of property,
so soon as the value of the lands occupied is paid into the treasury.
4. All Implements of agriculture, manufactures, machines, and utensils which the emigrants bring with them for their own use, will be exempt from Import duties.
5. The government will immediately make provisional housing, for the reception of the emigrants,
6. As to transport, the government will pay the freightage of one vessel, for every two vessels freighted by Reverand allard S. Dunn, and bringing emigrants; or will advance the cost of the passage of such emi-grants, after their arrival in Brazil, the said gentleman (Dunn) becoming responsible for the reim-bursement of the money within the term of three to four years. This responsibility will be made effective by mortgage of the lands that he may purchase in the Empire.
7. The emigrants will be able to disembark at Iquape, without passing through Rio de Janeiro, if the government receives a communication, through the intermediary of the Brazilian consul, or vice consul of their coming, in a mode to afford time to transmit for that purpose, seeing that said port has no customs house.
God have you in care
(Signed) Bernardo Augusto
Reverend Ballard S. Dunn
The Reverend Dunn made it clear that those who were fleeing taxes or dodging the draft were not welcome in "Lizzieland." He had ordered sections of 640 acres surveyed
but stated that more could be purchased by Individuals, providing that speculation was not the motive. At the time of writing, a road was being constructed which extended twelve miles into the interior; and there were hopes a boat might be constructed by the government by the time the first settlers arrived^ Writing the book in October of I866, Dunn asked that all interested parties write him before March 15? 1867. He warned prospective settlers to hold their tempers and be patient with the working of the Brazilian people. He advised them that passports, costing three dollars, were necessary, and that upon leaving the United States citizens must publicly advertise their travel plans three days in advance, or leave some person responsible for their debts. In reference to the Brazilian state, Dunn explained that the emperor was wise, respected and well educated; and that he was readily accessible to all. Although the religion of the state was Roman Catholic, Dunn noted that the government paid Protestant clergymen for the benefit of German colonists. Brazil welcomed all immigrants and naturalization could be completed after a two-year residence period, naturalized citizens being accorded all rights except those of holding the positions of Deputies or Ministers of State. Residents of Brazil enjoyed rights of Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, freedom of association
and petition and equality before the law. The various classes exchanged pleasantries with one another.
Dunn also included in his book the reports of Robert Meriwether and Dr. Shaw, Dr„ Gaston and another team of inspectors, William Bowen and Frank McMullen, as well as several letters from United States citizens happily making their homes in the Empire. Dunn directed his book to Southerners who believed in, "that law of honor, and Christian rectitude, which obviates the necessity for enforcing any other law."
At about the time of the Dunn and Merlwether-Shaw expeditions, the team of agents, William Bowen and Colonel Frank McMullen, set forth to acquire land for a settlement. Both men were Texas plantation owners who professed a desire to alleviate the distress of their friends and families by removing them from the foul conditions of Reconstruction, to seek happiness for their loved onescl^ A fear of labor shortage and the knowledge that Brazil still supported a slave economy, if only to a limited extent, were more likely motives. Early in I866, having been accorded the same privileges given the other
agents, Bowen and McMullen secured the title to a site adjacent to Dunn's "Lizzieland" on the upper Juqula and its main tributary, the Sao Lourenco River. The settlement location was considerably smaller than the neighboring one, but it was intended for only relatives and close friends» However, when the inspectors returned to their Texas homes, they solicited colonists. In their report and in their advertisements for colonists, the team made it clear that only those persons who could qualify morally and politically, i.e. Southerners holding pro-slavery sentiments, would be considered. In advocating emigration, Bowen and McMullen proclaimed of their home-to-be in Brazil, "We have a monarchy (Thank God !) in name, and a TRUE republic in practice.
Frank McMullen, on January 15, 186?, wrote what he called a "circular" addressed "To my friends in Texas, and to all good Southerners who think of going to Brazil." It was published in several Southern newspapers and, no doubt, guided many in their preparation for departure. McMullen declared that the purpose of his tiny brochure was to serve prospective emigrants to Brazil, by bringing them into contact with parties who could make the necessary transportation arrangements and to warn such persons against a J. M. Oriol, of New Orleans, an outfitter a A quotation
from Colonel McMullen Illustrates some rather violent feelings about Mr. Orlol. "Besides being irresponsible, insolvent, and entirely devoid of principle (Oriol) is Incapable of fulfilling his contract." McMullen explained that he had contacted LeBaron, Drury and Son of Galveston, who agreed to fit all vessels at any time, alleviating any need to use the services of Oriol. Having expnrienced considerable delay in getting under way for the new colony, as a result of Orlol's negligence, McMullen also was forced to pay much more than expected for his vessel. He had purchased a brig, the Derby, in November of 1866, from J. M. Oriole Agreeing to pay seventy-five hundred dollars in United States currency, he was assured that there were no claims against the ship. However when McMullen reached New Orleans on the sixth of December at which time the Derby was to be ready to sail, she was not only unprepared for the journey, but in the hands of the sheriff. In all, Colonel McMullen was forced to recover the boat four times from legal claimants. In spite of his discouraging experiences, the Texan was not heavy-hearted. He felt sure that his followers would not find their delay to be attributable to his negligence, and he was willing to "submit to these little inconveniences, looking forward to the great good."
McMullen suffered the disappolntment of boarding a
yet unsatisfactory vessel, for the Derby never reached Brazil. MoMullen did take pains to warn future travelers of such dangers. From Montgomery, Alabama, a prominent citizen and ex-warrior, Colonel Charles Grandison Gunter, journeyed to Brazil, He had been an organizer of the Montgomery True Blues of the Confederate Army and was known as the securer of rights of property to married women in their own names in Alabama. In early I866, he was granted a site for a colony along the Rio Doce River The tract embraced some eighty square miles and included the fresh water body, Lake Juparanao. Located about three hundred miles north of Rio de Janeiro, in Espirito Santos province, the region was noted for its beauty. Gunter's grant extended eastward from the lake for several miles on level land, and westward small arms of the lake reached toward a low range of mountains. The view of distant towering peaks complemented the scene. The Brazilian government agreed to survey the entire area for twenty-two cents an acre.
The most spectacular and notorious of the independent agents was Major Lunsford Warren Hastings variously described as a "renegade Ohio Yankee who had joined the Confederate Army" and a filibusterer and gentleman of fortune, His experience was wide, including service as an official in an emigrant train to Oregon in 1842, membership in the California Constitutional Convention in 1849, and dabbllngs in filibustering schemes in Mexico in the 1850"s. After the Civil War his interests turned to colonization in Brazil, On March 26, I865 Hastings and a party of thirty-five emigrants set out from Mobile on the steamship Margaret, This group included Tennessee and Alabama planters who were "disgusted with free niggers, the U. S. Government, the defeat and everything connected with the country. Smallpox appeared on board the Margaret just a few days out of port and forced a return to Mobile. Quarantine and eleven deaths ended this venture, A short time later, Hastings and a Montgomery engineer named Simpson embarked once again. They arrived in Para on May 16, I866, and traveled west to Manaos, capital city of Amazonas province. Hastings chose a site at the mouth of the Tapajos River, where it joins the Amazon,
five hundred miles from Para. By May 29, he was back in Para, where, in his absence, an emigrant aid association had been formed by some of the leading Brazilian citizens for the purpose of aiding Hastings and any others who might choose this area for settlement. This group provided Hastings -with twenty-two letters of introduction with which he left Para on June 280 When he reached Rio de Janeiro. Hastings was received and treated royally by the immigration agents and the Minister of Agriculture, After forty days, papers were prepared allowing him to return to Para and negotiate with the president of the province for sixty leagues of land in any location Hastings cared to select. In September, he was ready, along with four other North Americans, to return to the already chosen slte. The tract embraced over 600,000 acres and was just two degrees south of the equator» Hastings had received the special patronage of the emperor and in return was obligated to bring at least one hundred immigrants a He assumed the responsibility for payments on the basis of one-half real per square braca, or twenty-two cents per acre, payments to be made in three annual installments beginning three years after establishment of a colony. Hastings planned that one section would be allocated to each family and three hundred and twenty acres to each single man. Leaving his traveling companions to begin work in the colony (hopefully
with the aid of neighboring Indians)^ the Major departed for the United States. Sailing on the Guiding Star, he reached Mobile on December 15, l866. having traveled over nineteen thousand miles.c After this sojourn in South America, Hastings wrote the inevitable book. He called it Emigrants Guide To Brazil. It outdid all others in awe-inspiring descriptions.
Who can picture, who can paint nature as here exhibited? V/ith wonder, admiration and reverential awe, one may contemplate the vastness with which he finds himself here surrounded, the profusion of nature's bounties, and sublimity of scenery, to describe them as they are, is beyond the scope of human capacity. Here we behold the great Amazon o o o animal and vegetable life; a world of eternal verdure and perennial spring, of whose grandeur and splendor it is Impossible to speak in fitting terms„ Nature, who ever pours her bounties forth with a full and unwithholding hand, seems to have chosen this majestic solitude for display of all that her lavish powers could do, to dignify and adorn her relgn.
In the summer of 1856, one Colonel M. S. Swain of Louisiana, (acting as an agent for no one) selected some land on the Assunguy River, an estuary flowing into the Paranagua Bayo With Colonel Swain were Horace Lane, also from Louisiana, Dr. John Ho Blue, Judge John Guillet and his brothers, all from Missourl. Although this party was totally independent, letters which Dr. Blue wrote to
friends in the United States influenced several others to settle on the Assunguy.
Confederate citizens interested in finding homes outside the United States were encouraged by actions from Brazil. As Dom Pedro II, his cabinet and most of the citizenry of Brazil were anxious to put the underdeveloped portions of their country into production, and it appeared that the United States was in the embarrassing position of providing some satisfaction for their desires, it was advisable to add a little impetus to the movement. Until permanent agents could be placed in strategic United States cities, temporary procedures were put to use. As early as August of 1865. notices appeared in newspapers in New York and in New Orleans stating, "The Imperial Government looks with sympathy and interest on American Emigration to Brazil and is resolved to give the most favorable welcome." Planning "state colonies," which would be managed by a representative of the Empire, the government listed some conditions of settlement and announced the opening of an office in New York under the direction of Quintine de Souza Bocoyuvao Until his arrival in 1866, the Brazilian legation in New York agreed to answer all questions and make any necessary arrangements for
emigration. The Brazilian Minister in the United States v;as not enthused over the prospect of such encouragement to emigrants. He warned his home government that many problems were involved in such a project„ He felt that the political situation in the United States did not warrant mass movement and thought that interest in emigration would soon die. Also, he was convinced that Southerners who would consider leaving their homeland were not of a caliber to prosper in Brazil. He did, however, urge sympathetic reception of all who should choose to move to Brazil The minister sought the assistance of vice consuls in the Southern states in checking on the reliability of any agents who might appear, and in the distribution of information. Daily, he reported requests for information from all areas and advised the Brazilian government to facilitate the trip only for those who were able to pay their own way. However, when Bocayuva arrived in the autumn, he announced a generous offer of passage and land to the first one thousand persons who presented themselves as emigrant possibilities, providing they reported within one week., Four hundred of those who presented themselves before Bocayuva were German or Irish immigrants, who had very recently arrived in the United States. The rush of prospective immigrants caused the fee for registration to insure sailing to be increased from five to fifty dollars.
Those individuals who left for Brazil under Bocayuva's plan proved to be poor investments. It was estimated that the Brazilian government spent seventy thousand dollars on this venture only to be troubled by many unfortunate situations after the arrival of the immigrants in the South American land„ When the New York Herald alleged that the Brazilian government was not fulfilling agreements to the emigrants, agent Bocayuva made a considerable fuss and drew attention to his dealings. Bad publicity resulted, which Bocayuva tried to offset by writing to Dr., Gaston, who was in South Carolina preparing to return to Brazil, Dr„ Gaston was assured that any further boatloads of emigrants sponsored by the Brazilian government would include only Southern people of similar backgrounds. At that time, the New York office authorized the firm of Elliott and McKenner to act as agents for the Empire in New Orleans. The Brazilian government then sent General de Gorcouris to New Orleans to act as a special agent. Under Gorcouris' instruction the steamship Marmion was chartered in 1867, on which passage was provided for sixty-two dollars (ten dollars of which was paid in greenbacks) Non-contracting passengers were taken for one hundred and forty dollars in gold, first class, and seventy-five dollars, second class.
The reality of a possible large migration was not readily apparent to the majority of the citizens of the United States or Brazil until at least l866. Suddenly a great deal of publicity, both favorable and derogatory, was presented before these peoples,. The books which were written by agents such as the Reverend Ballard S. Dunn, Dr. Go McF. Gaston, and Major Hastings, were read in all parts of the United States and, to some degree, in Brazil. Most of these books were recognizably similar. They explained the social and political background of Brazil, described the land in flowery terms, listed opportunities and inducements with enthusiasm, and usually included the details of a particular chosen area. Newspapers printed advertisements concerning the advantages of creating new homes in Brazil, and then editorialized on the proposed migration. Understandably, the larger percentage of United States newspaper editors opposed emigration and some went so far as to refuse the advertisements.
Brazilian journals hopefully predicted that one hundred thousand North American families would seek homes in Brazil.
Some United States writers rationalized the motivations of those who wished to leave the South, saying that a natural link had always existed between the Confederacy and Brazil through mutual coffee and slave trades, or that those who considered migration were sincerely convinced that anarchy was the inevitable result of Reconstruction. John Codman felt that Americans would contribute to Brazil, "this slowest of countries," and it was alleged that Brazilians encouraged emigration from the United States because of personal aversions to work In Brazil, nonetheless, some reluctance was displayed by persons who, though they hoped to gain as a result of American enterprise and energy, were fearful of unpleasant results,
In Rio de Janeiro the International Society of Immigration was organized in I866. This group was particularly interested in attracting Southerners with backgrounds of wealth, "culture," and a slave economy^ The government, as a result of the arguments of this organization^ allocated five hundred contos annually for the support of immigration. Two naturalized citizens of Brazil (of North American birth) were sent to New York as agents, at the expense of the Brazilian government. With inroads having been made (promises of aid from the
government, acquisition of land tracts and dissemination of propaganda) the next task was to populate settlements, to actually transplant numbers of North American citizens to the Empire of Brazil.
The Reverend Ballard S.. Dunn and the vanguard of the colonists for his "Lizzieland" left New Orleans aboard the Talisman of the Dom Pedro II Line, on January 30, l867. On the seventeenth of April of the same year, the Marmion, also chartered by the Reverend Dunn under the direction of a Brazilian representative, sailed from New Orleans carrying approximately four hundred emigrants. Most of the Marmion passengers were of formerly wealthy families„ They were charged an average of two hundred and sixteen dollars per person, were obliged to furnish their own heat and food and in the case of the steerage occupants, sleeping and sanitary conditions were very poor. After the voyages, which were of nearly a month's duration, the immigrants lodged at the government's expense in the Emigrant's Hotel in Rio de Janeiro,. This establishment was managed by Colonel Broome, a fellow Southerner, and the travelers were well received and cared for. In many cases, Dom Pedro II, the emperor, visited the hotel and helped to satisfy the needs and desires of the newcomers^ After a period of rest, the guests left the hotel for their final destinations. Only one hundred and fifty persons from the
Marmlon traveled on to "Llzzleland," the others choosing to follow other leaders to their tracts or to settle in the cities^ where professional people were readily acceptable Those who proceeded to Dunn's settlement took a ship to Iguape, then moved up the Ribeira to the Juquia by fishbasket (a specially treated fibre conveyance), and finally traveled up the Juquia in thirty foot canoes.
The progress in "Lizzieland" was very slow and in the summer of 1867 Reverend Dunn felt obliged to go to the United States to encourage more families to come to Brazil. During his absence of three months^ Illness struck his settlement, famine presented., itself as a likely prospect and unrest reached a peak. Most of the settlers left "Lizzleland" and found homes in Rio de Janeiro, Santa Barbara, Sao Paulo and other places, Dunn was accused of being a swindler and of deserting his people in time of need, but it was his contention that all of his actions were for the good of the "Lizzleland" settlers, to whom he had hoped to offer a haven of refuge.
Major Lunsford W.o Hastings clung to the idea that his settlement would be one for the pure of heart and
conviction, that the settlers who accompanied him to Santarem would be a "picked two hundred.o" However, when Hastings returned to the United States to a group of anxiously waiting Southerners, a turn of events ensued which was reminiscent of his earlier misfortunes with the steamship Margaret, His clients had accumulated a six months supply of implements and provisions at Montgomery, Alabama, preparatory to Hastings' return. But before the group could complete final arrangements several months passed, during which their supplies gradually dwindled. By the time the trip from Alabama at last commenced, many of the ship's passengers were other than desirable persons. "There was a rabble of lazy vagabonds, off-scourings of the army and vagrants of the Mobile water front, who looked upon the affair as a grand adventure," Even this unlikely group had troubles to endure„ The vessel upon which the journey was begun at Mobile developed trouble and the party returned to Port. On the second start, the repaired vessel only reached St. Thomas and Hastings' party was forced to plead for passage on a regular steamer. In September of 1867, this first expedition, under the guidance of Major Hastings and his new
bride reached the free land of Serra Duratlnga near the port of Santarem. These people made the last leg of their long and arduous journey on an old side-wheeler, which had been used as a blockade runner during the war between the states, and later made its way to South America. The Major died on St. Thomas of yellow fever, while taking a second load of emigrants toward Brazil, Someone had packed cotton into the engine of the ship he had chartered forcing a delay in the Pensacola Navy Yard for repairs, after which the American Consul at St. Thomas seized the vessel and ordered it sold to pay the crew. This was evidently too much for the old military man, and he succumbed to the disease.
Despite the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield Courthouse and its ambitious plans and worthy agents, no colony was founded by the group. It was, rather. Dr., G. McF. Gaston, not Major Merriether or Dr. Shaw, who led an expedition of about one hundred South Carolinians to a colony in Brazil. Gaston and his small party left Savannah, Georgia, for Brazil in April of 1867, establishing themselves near Santos in Sao Paulo, probably on the site chosen by the agents of the Society. The duration of this colony was probably short, the members finding it
expedient either to return to the United States, or more likely, to assimilate in the larger cities and towns of Brazil.
Colonel Frank McMullen who so assiduously warned other agents and emigrants against dealing with outfitters of doubtful reputation, also suffered misfortune with the establishment of the colony which he planned. After he finally gained legal custody of the ship, the Derby, in New Orleans, McMullen sailed the vessel to Galveston, Texas, arriving there in January, I867 (two months after the date agreed upon in the original charter). The ship left for South America on the twenty-fourth of January, after public health officials tried to prevent departure because the Derby was too crowded with baggage, and the provisions were not suitable. One of the one hundred and fifty persons aboard soon discovered that the water casks had not been filled and, in addition, on the third day out of port the party was put on short rations. The Captain, a man named Cross, was blamed for the inefficiencies, but was allowed to keep his commands The final chapter in the story of the Derby was her wreckage on the coast of Cuba. The vessel was totally destroyed and the passengers and their luggage were strewn all over the beaches where they were molested by thieves. The desperate group trudged overland to Havana where they stayed
and rested for several weeks„ The Portuguese consul In Havana provided aid for the needy and eventually the party sailed for New York where they were sheltered in a large building at the foot of Canal street. The next tragedy was the outbreak of smallpox, vaccination against which was afforded for the uninfected through the generosity of certain residents of the city. On April 22, I867, a cured and cheered party embarked from New York on the steamer North American under the command of a Captain Tinklepaugh, their passage paid by the Brazilian government on a four year loano Colonel McMullen, who was tubercular, remained faithful to his colonists until they reached their destination^ but was dead before December of the same year, and his colony soon disintegrated in the face of illness and discouragement.
Another short-lived colony was that established by Colonel Charles Grandison Gunter of Alabama on the Doce River..o Only Gunter and his son, of the number settling there, remained in Brazil for the remainder of their lives.
The Norris family of Alabama created the core of a settlement of some permanence on land near Santa Barbara
and Campinas in Sao Paulo, When late in 1865, Colonel William Hutchinson Norris and his son, Robert Cicero Norris, read of possible opportunities for settlement in Brazil (probably from the works of Wallace W. W. Wood, who had visited the area to which they directed themselves), they departed the lands and influence of the despised Yankees, who had held them for some time in Delaware Bay, as prisIoners of war. The father and son sailed from New Orleans aboard the Talisman for Rio de Janeiro, from which they took a train to Santos. They moved on to Sao Paulo, south of which they visited "Llzzieland." The colony "didn't look good to them, ..., .being some of the worst country in that part of Brazil. In the vicinity of the growing city of Sao Paulo, land was available at a cost of a dollar an acre, but the pair chose to walk into the interior for nearly seventy miles, an oxcart carrying their few possessions. With the small amount of money which they possessed, all of it in gold, they were able to buy some farmland which they chose because they "liked that red color of the soil. After the jungle had been cleared
enough to build a house and start a few crops, the Norrises sent for their famllies. A small vessel carrying the Norris family left New Orleans late in the spring of 1866, but precautions and preparations had not been adequate and the ship, wafted by strong winds, spent seventy-nine days lost on the Atlantic Ocean. After landing on Cape Verdes, to the surprise of the passengers and crew, the ship finally reached Rio de Janeiro and the Norrises trudged, uneventfully, to their new home. During the subsequent six to eight months, the Norrises were followed by fifty families, who settled nearby. These later arrivals came mostly from Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas. Within the course of a few years after the establishment of this settlement in Santa Barbara, approximately five hundred families moved into the community. This group of people became the founders of an Anglo-Saxon tradition which continued to exist in this area for several decades.
As both the Brazilian government and the government of the United States realized that a perceivable movement had begun, certain provisions for the welfare of all involved had to be perfected. The United States and Brazil Mail Steamship Company, which had been formed in October
of 1864 provided a means of transportation which could be scrutinized by both nations. The Brazilian government made a contract with the company to assist those desirous of emigrating, who were without means. Circulars of information were drawn up for the vice consuls to distribute. Consuls were to issue visas and certificates which entitled the holders to free passage when presented to the proper officials of the steamship company. The agent employed by the company was subject to government approval but was not responsible to any Brazilian official in the United States„ The steamship line agreed to transport Implements and baggage, and provide "Good and comfortable accommodations and victualing," for a cost supposedly thirty percent below regular fare. The company was to be paid by the government within three days of a ship's arrival in Rio de Janeiro. The emigrant was expected eventually to repay the government. The only point of debarkation under this system was New York City, although distributed brochures advertised rates from New Orleans and other Southern ports„ After the establishment of the service, ships left New York on the twenty-third of each
month, stopping at St. Thomas, Para, Pernambuuco, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro; and a return vessel sailed from Rio on the twenty-fifth of each month of thirty days and on the twenty-sixth of those months with thirty-one days. (In February, the sailing date was the twenty-fourth.) The first group of emigrants traveling under this plan arrived in Brazil in December of 1866, that group consisting of perhaps two hundred persons„ Several thousand followed by the same means in the next few years,
As noted earlier some general policies were set up by the Brazilian government to establish a satisfactory relationship with the new and future colonies„ Each colony was to be connected with existing facilities by railways and adequate wagon roads. Immigrants were to reach new homes with the financial aid of the government and their belongings were to be free from import duties. Twenty days free lodging at the Emigrant Hotel was provided for each newcomer. The colonies were to be permitted their own elected association officials, consisting of a director and seven other functionaries (including a doctor)5 who would manage local affairs such as the regulation of revenue, repair of public edifices, opening of roads, and the other official duties for which the community would be responsible. Citizenship was to be conferred by the mere taking of an oath and, only for the
asking, exemption from military duty could be procured. Agents were given provisional title to colony sites with the right to determine the purchasers of land within a tract. Each head of family was eligible to receive one square mile of land, and single persons were allowed one half of that amount. The price, as had been quoted to the many independent agents, was to be from twenty-two to forty-two cents per acre. Five years was the usual time limit for payment; the title to the land was to be given the owner when full payment was completed. Temporary shelter was provided by the government in some contracts. The government obligated itself not only to the immigrants from North America but to any industrious peoples who might be interested in inhabiting the land. And near the Villa Americana or Santa Barbara community were two similar colonies, one Nova Fribourg, a German community, and the other, Nova Helvetia, settled by Swiss citizens.
Another type of contract was negotiated by the Brazilian government with at least one person., Charles Nathan, an English merchant in Rio de Janeiro, who on
various occasions helped certain of the Immigrants in times of need or distress and as a result of his honesty and compassion was highly respected^ was awarded a contract by the Minister and Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works on July 23, 186?o The contract provided that he, Nathan, bring five thousand persons from Southern ports to Brazil in eighteen months„ Again, rates were to be less costly than by other lines. In April of 1868, the Tarter sailed under the Nathan contract with several hundred persons aboard, who had the choice as to the colony with which they would become affiliated. In July 1869, the May Queen, from New Orleans, arrived in Santos, carrying a number of Americans, under consignment by Mr. Nathan„ There were perhaps other ships, sponsored by this business man, which carried the remainder of the contracted five thousand, records for which may have been lost or destroyed.
The exodus of North American citizens to Brazil and other parts of Central and South America was not of gigantic proportions, perhaps no more than eight or ten thousand in all, but it was significant in indicating the inability of certain Southerners to cope with the complete change of
conditions which were created by the Civil War in the United States and its aftermath. There were those who saw emigration as the only hope for happiness as well as the opportunity to reconstruct a way of life to which they had been accustomed. Captain W, Prank Shipp, who settled in Villa Americana wrote to the Reverend Dunn, referring to the clergyman and others who had acted as agents: "We, the advance guard of the Legion of Confederates, believe that the children and children's children of those who join our standard will rise up to call you blessed,"53 Others, such as Andrew McCullom of Ellendale Plantation, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, and his brother John, visited Brazil in 1865, toured the country and finding nothing to compel them to stay, simply returned home to make the best of conditions there«^^ Some new settlers were pleased, some distressed, some almost coddled by the government, others actually forgotten by the government of Brazil which failed to fulfill many of the contract terms, Jacare Assu wrote from London in 1873, that the emigration from the United States was "abnormal and peculiar. It was one baker borrowing flour from another, the brewer selling malt, o . in this case the great civil war and the abolition of slavery were elements of Brazil's opportunity"
LIFE IN THE COLONIES
The major task before every agent was successful maintenance of his colony. With an abundance of enthusiasm the settlers peopled new homes which they hoped would lead to a Utopian life. Agents and settlers, cooperating teams, found their way to sparsely populated areas which, hopefully, were to become "the lands of plenty."
Certainly many of the migrants had experienced frustrating circumstances on their journeys to Brazil. They endured, among other physical hardships, ship wrecks and aimless wanderings on the sea. But very few were discouraged enough to return to the United States without making attempts to improve their lot. Some, in fact most, were to be disappointed. Others made an all new life, quite different from that which they had known in the South, and they did not always find this change unpleasant.
Most of the colonies shared the problem of remoteness. Roads and railroads seldom reached the sites settled by the North Americans. Navigable rivers were often treacherous and lacked the numerous water-front towns which typified the river banks of the homeland. Even the educated members of the new societies had little knowledge of
Portuguese the tongue of Brazil, and none knew the languages and dialects of Indians -whom they met as they traversed the country. Although most of the travelers had rested a few days at the Emigrant Hotel, they were physically exhausted and the conveyances used for the overland expeditions were not comfortable, adding to the wear and tear on nerves and bodies.
Because only a few of the agents had left associates at the colonial sites to begin the work of building new towns, most of the tired emigrants were obliged to begin clearing away trees, building homes and securing drinking water immediately upon their arrival. These were people who had very little experience with manual labor. Doctors, lawyers, planters, ministers, educators and gentlemen of leisure with a smattering of loiterers, vagabonds, and fortune hunters, comprised the ranks of enterprising souls who were to labor in a most demanding manner.For women whose needs had been satisfied by servants in the comparative luxury of homes in the South, windowless shacks with sod floors and open-air cook houses with roofs of leaves were now objects of idealistic beauty. So very much work was required that little time was left for correspondence with old friends left behind in the states.
Later, Because only a few of the agents had left associates at the colonial sites to begin the work of building new towns, most of the tired emigrants were obliged to begin clearing away trees, building homes and securing drinking water immediately upon their arrival. These were people who had very little experience with manual labor. Doctors, lawyers, planters, ministers, educators and gentlemen of leisure with a smattering of loiterers, vagabonds, and fortune hunters, comprised the ranks of enterprising souls who were to labor in a most demanding manner.For women whose needs had been satisfied by servants in the comparative luxury of homes in the South, windowless shacks with sod floors and open-air cook houses with roofs of leaves were now objects of idealistic beauty. So very much work was required that little time was left for correspondence with old friends left behind in the states.
Later,when the first labors waned, leaving a few spare moments, letters from Brazil reached the United States.
Josephine Foster, a resident of Colonel Charles Gunter's colony near Lake Juparana, directed her letter of December 11, 1867, to the editor of the New Orleans Times, to whom she con-veyed some feelings of nostalgia as well as pleasure.
Even in this far off heathen land-— so considered by ourselves, and many others before we came here—out hearts are gladdened by the familiar columns of your inestimable Times» I can assure you its advent is joyously welcomed as a household treasure. The idea has struck me that a letter from here would be acceptable, therefore, I write submitting my letter to your tender consideration. I will endeavor to give you a matter of fact letter, not allowing myself to become enthusiastic upon the subjects as too many are apt to do.
Miss Foster went on to explain that she had personally witnessed people who praised Brazil and the colony most highly, but then when they returned to Rio de Janeiro to meet their families and friends whom they had encouraged to sacrifice all to come to Brazil, would then board the next ship returning to the United States. She accused
these individuals of creating fantastic tales of horrors in Brazil to explain their reasons for relinquishing a short-lived residence in South America, She added: "The only thing we ask of such people is to come out like men of honor and veracity, and say, Brazil is a great and good country for those who have made up their minds to go to work in earnest.
Like many others fleeing the South, Miss Foster and her family sailed aboard the Marmion with intentions of joining Reverend Ballard Dunn's "Lizzieland," While still resting in the Emigrants Hotel after the journey, the shipwrecked companions of Major Frank McMullen joined the Marmion party. Miss Foster went to great length describing the virtuous character of the Majoro The sojourn in Rio de Janeiro was high-lighted also by a visit from Dom Pedro II, described in the letter as "noble and generous of heart." Many of the passengers of the Marmion had changed their minds about going on to "Lizzieland," (just why. Miss Foster failed to mention) but it was not until Colonel Gunter came to talk with Dr. J. W. Keyes and his family, inviting them to join his group on the lake near the Rio Doce river, that Miss Foster's family directed their attentions to this specific area.
On a small steamer, which visited the mouth of the
Rio Doce, on a monthly basis, Colonel Gunter took his settlers. Canoes were the only method of transportation from this point to the settlement, at the time of Miss Foster's letter„ She stated that this was viewed as a terrible inconvenience at first, but as it was the only mode of travel, the group soon became accustomed to it. The settlers had been assured that steam navigation would reach them in future months.
The North Americans created homes around Lake Juparana, a fresh water lake about twenty miles long and four miles wide. Miss Foster stated that within the five months previous to her writing, twenty families had reached the area. The land about the lake was surrounded by a series of rolling hills. On the eastern side, good land ran back several miles and on the western side several small lakes were nearby and a range of mountains was visible from the colonial settlements„ These mountains reminded Josephine Foster of mountains she and her family had seen in Mexico, where they had visited during the reign of Maximilian.
Miss Foster was proud of her neighbors, considering them "people of education, refinement and taste,," Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Virginia were represented. "We already begin to reap the reward of our undertakings, in being happy and contented. We did not hope to enjoy such uninterrupted peace and quiet as we are now experiencing--each and all seem to be perfectly satisfied,."
For those who considered moving to Brazil, Josephine Foster advised that they accept loans from the Brazilian government. There i^ere the expenses of accommodations, as well as canoes and supplies to be purchased before one could begin seeking a home. Later on implements and seed were needed (if they were not brought from the United States)o In short, the five year loan offered to emigrants was a very useful thing to have. For those emigrants who needed shelter until homes could be provided, Colonel Gunter was building a house to be used as a temporary residence.
Although the Brazilians were looked upon with favor by the North Americans at the Rio Doce settlement as perhaps the "most hospitable people in the world," they possessed a cultural characteristic which seemed alien to certain emigrants. "Colored equality" eventually convinced some of these to return to what Miss Foster called "Negro superiority."
Josephine's father, though fifty-seven years of age and unaccustomed to manual labor, in five months had cleared four acres of land, planted two of them with corn, beans^ sweet potatoes and mandloca. The Fosters had sixty four banana plants growing well, plus pineapples, grapes and ginger. Their house was constructed of weather boards
covered with palm; partitions were sheets or blankets; the floor was of sod, to the extreme delight of the little ones." Shelves and benches were made of poles tied together with sepoy, which was used in places where nails usually would be required. Sea chests served as tables and chairs. It had been reported that ferocious animals Inhabited the forests near Lake Juparanao, but the Foster family, who slept in a windowless and doorless abode, had seen none.
Miss Foster denied the objection to Brazil made by many Southerners that Catholicism was the state religion# She told of visiting one of the two Protestant churches In Rio de Janeiro, where she met seven ministers from throughout the Empire, Considerable religious freedom was allowed.
Closing her letter, Josephine Foster encouraged other Southerners to make the trip to Brazil, providing they were willing to work hard and long for final rewards.
A personal letter from P. Dansereau, living at Belle Vue in Espirito Santo, to his brother-in-law, George Lanaux of New Orleans, displayed the muted enthusiasm of a man undertaking a new venture.
This French family was very close-knit and it had been a major step to separate and begin a new life. Dansereau expressed his desire to have his wife's brother join him in Brazil, but also warned that his wishes might be too strongly expressed and that his urgings could lead to disaster. Then the letter included a more optimistic section.
I am still under the same impression that he who has capacities will find in the course of twelve to fifteen months a chance to work with success and advantage. But what everyone doesn't have, is the patience to await this chance; all those who come here make a few visits in the neighborhood of Rio, stay from one to three months, then go away satisfied that there's nothing to be done in Brazil, It's true for those people, who want to go American-style (ie„ in a hurry;) let them not come here; it's the biggest folly they could commit.
Dansereau believed that such individuals would fail in Brazil because they would never find what they sought, "the recovery of their fortune with all its gratifications Determination was the necessary attitude in order to succeed (and pecuniary assets were of considerable help).
A "sugar man" from New Orleans, unidentified by Mr. Dansereau, had constructed a refining factory using a "sulfuerls" process, about which he had consulted George Lanaux. Although the sugar manufactured was of fine quality, it did not appeal to the Brazilians. Despite this
temporary failure, the "sugar man" had purchased a fazienda on the Machahe River lA/here, at the time of Dansereau's letter, he was full of hope and "confident of success. His hopes encouraged Mr. Dansereau.
George Lanaux was assured that, should he decide to migrate to Brazil, his family would exert itself to insure his success. He was warned however, that with few exceptions the women (including his sister, Oneida Dansereau) were very difficult to satisfy and tended to nag their husbands.
The settler then explained that his harvest of sugar cane was fine and that his sugar factory was under construction. He thanked providence for having made him "sufficiently detest the Yankees to give him the courage to go away from them and to Brazil." Mr. Dansereau could see no hope for the United States. He felt there would always be taxes, which evidently bothered him greatly« He wrote:
I don't glimpse any happiness and tranquilities for the United States^ The good time is past. If the Democrat^ return to power, it will be desireable to take away the right of suffrage from the Negroes, then race war, there will be committed abominations that will further ruin the country, it will be only in ten and probably twenty years that one will arrive at an organization or system of work.
He predicted that such work as could be done at the end of a period of violence would be in the manner of the peasants of Europe working on tiny plots of sub-divided land.
A final work requested that Lanaux send his aging mother to Brazil to be with her daughter in the late months of her pregnancy and to provide the old woman the opportunity to live in a happy land where she might "show her prayers to the little blacks" and be mocked by the parrots.
During the same period, January I868, a letter was written to George Lanaux by his brother Adriano Adrian charged George with the responsibility of family monies and commended him on success in some unstated new business „ He said that he was unable to find workers to help with his harvest, but that he was planning to deal with a Mr. Emlle Fredinl, who would provide workers, presumably Italians. If he was unable to obtain these helpers^ Adrian was in fear that he would be forced into the embarrassing position of hiring Negroes. He had threshed several barrels of rice for which he had no market» He was worried about repaying a man who had loaned him money for provisions and arranged with his brother to send money
for sugar houses which he hoped to sell. Perhaps George had also helped to finance his brother's operations« From a postscript on the letter, information was revealed which indicated that George owned sections of land near his family and was in the market to sell them. A Mr,, Thompson and a Colonel Barrow were interested in buying half of some of his bottom land for growing rice.
From Valley Home near the Santarem, Dr. Walter Pitts, of Silver Springs, Tennessee, wrote to his old home in May of 18680. His letter was published in the Charleston Daily Courier of July 8, for the benefit of all those in the United States who might be interested in the welfare of those who lived far away, and those who might be interested in joining the immigrants. The father-in-law of Major Lunsford Hastings, Judge Mendenhall, was farming on a large scale in the area and doing very well, according to Dr. Pitts„ Mr. R. H. Riker, a comparative newcomer, was well fortified with funds and had plans to build a grist, saw and sugar mill on the Dear Mountain Creek. His half brother, Dr. Wetherley, a "scientist," was to join him soon., In a forecast for a happy future Dr.. Pitts wrote:
There are some gentlemen here from Mississippi, who will settle between Judge Mendenhall and myself; they bring with them considerable money. So you can see we are filling up, and I can safely say with good men.
Dr. Pitts planted Brazilian corn in January and did well with the crop„ At the time of his letter he had planted three times since the original crop, each harvest being a good one. He had sugar cane, cotton, pumpkins, squash, five kinds of sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cornfield peas, snap beans, butter-beans, okra, tomatoes and a "fine chance of tobacco." Also, he had a variety of fruit trees growing near his home. The government was working on a road which, Dr. Pitts felt confident, would connect the settlers in his area with a market for their products. He invited others from the South to join the Americans in Brazil, but warned them to buy their tickets to Para, if they planned to journey to Santarem, or they would be carried all the way to Rio de Janeiro.
Again in the summer of I869, Dansereau wrote his brother-in-law in New Orleans. The mood of the letter indicated a considerable change from that of the January 1868 epistle. During the
intervening months, the Dansereau family had lost their fifteen months old daughter, Marie, the victim of a brain Infectlon. Oneida Dansereau's health had failed, but another baby had been born on the seventeenth of July and her husband hoped that the new little girl would help to dispel Oneida's grief and ill health. Mr, Dansereau himself had suffered long spells of fever and exhaustion. A happy note was the mention of the marriage of Dansereau's eldest son, Cevy, to a Miss Boudreau. Another son, Henri, had plans to return to the United States and then to Canada, to bring his sister to Brazil. Mr. Dansereau thought that Henri would visit Louisiana and perhaps Adrian, who evidently had returned to the South, would join the party again, accompanying the children on their journey to Brazil.
Concerning this business, Mr„ Dansereau admitted that he had acquired a partner who was not dependable. Although Dansereau had many assets^ such as fine sugar cane and a large sugar house, he was unable to obtain credit because of the way the contract had been drawn by his Brazilian partner. He had found another man to take the place of his partner, but the partner refused to relinquish his position, thinking that Mr. Dansereau would be able to turn their association into a profitable venture. When creditors began to press, Mr. Dansereau was able to rid himself of "a man mean, miserly and ambitious
as are generally the people of his race. This move meant abandoning all of his fazlendas, at a great loss. Later, Dansereau bought three faziendas, each of which had a sugar house, plus l80 slaves, 190 draft-oxen and crops ready to harvest. A new partner was acquired for the enterprise, a man named J, B. Rodocanache, who had businesses in New York and New Orleans.
If less exuberant than in earlier months, Mr. Dansereau still had faith in his future. He did seem most discouraged concerning the character of the Brazilian businessmen; "I don't yet know one single Brazilian who had helped an emigrant from the South of the United States, although they admit that their methods are infinitely superior to those of the people of the country." Still, Dansereau found the country "beautiful and good„" And again he repeated that the man who expects to succeed must have determination.
He mentioned that a steamer, the Guerrlere, transported duped Americans back to the United States a few days previous to the writing of his letter. He said that he had seen so many people disappointed that he could no longer encourage anyone to move to Brazil, but for himself, he was satisfied. Dansereau felt that general conditions in Brazil were more favorable for his family than they would have been In Loulsiana.
A letter of September of I869, from Mrs. White was published in the Mobile Daily Register on February 21, I87O. She exclaimed about the beauty of the surroundings near her family's home in Brazil and explained her husband's business. The Whites had been living in Santarem for five years, where Mrs. White was engaged in a partnership, the major products of which were cocoa and sugar cane. The cane was not used to make sugar but for the manufacture of rum and molasses. There were 8,000 cocoa trees on their estate which made chocolate "more delicious than you can imagine., "Mr. White received half of all profits and everything had been furnished for him--horses, cattle and Negroes. The Whites were also developing a portion of land for themselves, independently owned. They planned to build a distillery^ with the help of a gentleman from Tennessee.
Mrs. White lamented the lack of "society," schools and churches. "I teach my children all I can. We have a Methodist minister but he is too far off to preach often. I look forward with a great deal of anxiety to the time when more families will come." She felt that Brazil
offered unlimited opportunities; all that was needed was an adequate supply of energetic men.
Mrs. White stated that she had learned to speak, read and write Portuguese and she was learning to pray in the language. She found Portuguese very beautiful, "much prettier and softer than English. The White children spoke the new language, but Mr. White and most of the other men in Santarem would not use it.
People in Brazil, according to Mrs„ White, were "most illiterate; now and then you find an educated man. They have schools but do not pay much attention to the education of their children. They are such a mixture that you cannot tell the white man from the Indians, and all on an equal footing."
When P, Dansereau again wrote his brother-in-law, it was in October 1869» George Lanaux was complimented on progressing nicely with his business dealings in New Orleans. Mr,, Dansereau now stated that, "New Orleans was a great center that would grow." He thanked God for his prudence in not insisting that Lanaux join the family in Brazil in his earlier letters. Dansereau"s partner, J. B. Rodocanache, had failed in business, and
as a result was going to be unable to provide the cash necessary to complete the purchases of faziendas. Of course, Mr. Dansereau was greatly worried over the state of his affairs. "It's terrible, my friend, to have seen twice fortune before me, and twice have seen it flee without there being a shadow of my fault. This considerably shakes my hopes," He then lashed out at the Brazilians,
These people are so petty, such confirmed rascals that they would not wish to give you a chance if it were not to return to their profit —•with Brazilians there is nothing to be done, and I may well give up the game and return to Louisiana which would humiliate me considerably.
Dansereau was a resourceful thinker,. He closed his letter imploring his brother-in-law to investigate the possibilities of manufacturing paper from sugar cane waste„ If a means could be devised, this was a business in which he was sure he could succeed in Brazil.
Elsewhere in the American colonies in Brazil, people arrived, started farms and businesses and met with a variety of circumstances. In Parangua, on the Assunguy River, where Dr. John Ha Blue and Colonel M. S. Swain had settled, the group of Americans increased. In 1866, they had been joined by Isaac No Young, his wife and parents,
three sons and a nephew, from Franklin County, Missouri. Young had 8,000 acres, 1500 of them under cultivation and 5,000 in timber. He had paid $5?600 for this land -which included some improvements., He used Negroes for labor and raised cane, corn, beans, potatoes and mandioca in addition to other small crops. His cane and mandioca mills and two distilleries were improvements included in the original purchase. James Miller, who was from Sto Louis, settled on the Assunguy and erected a saw mill for making barrels. His skill in mechanics aided him in making this a profitable business. The Parana Manufacturing Company was formed by Dr. M» S. fife, from Missouri, and W. P. Budd of Alton, Illinois. Later Isaac Young joined in this lucrative enterprise which made barrels for herva mateo Subsequently, Dr. Fife discovered a new mate drying process„ In 1868, Charles Nathan referred to the Paranagua settlement as the most successful of the American colonies. However, the following year the colony's major businessmen were gone« W. P. Budd died in Morreles and James Miller and Dr., Fife had returned to the United States "in the interest of business.
The Jo Ro Keyes family, mentioned by Josephine Foster, lived on the beautiful Lake Juparanao for a little
over a year, after spending a short time at Llnhares, thirty miles up the Rio Doce. D. T. Keyes traveled to Rid de Janeiro to Investigate the possibilities of opening a dental praetlce. The hardships In the colony made adjustment difficult for the family, but they hoped to remain although the doctor would spend some time In Rio de Janeiro. During the absence of the head of the household, fever and Illness and lack of food, In addition to foul weather, made conditions unbearable for the family. A diary kept by the Keyes' daughter, Kenny, related some of the events which highlighted the family saga in Brazil. Kenny noted the kindness of the other colonists during the periods of illness and hardship, dispelling some of their gloom. One member of the family was saved by a Dr. Johnson and Anna Miller. The shortage of food and quinine continued to distress the new residents of the colony. Kenny noticed that the families who were not afflicted by repeated illness were doing well. Colonel Gunter, for example, had a large fazienda and raised a great variety of crops. When Dr. Keyes returned from Rio de Janeiro, he removed his family and left his place in the charge of Spencer, their servant. On the trip south, the Keyes met a Dr. McDade, a former resident of Llnhares, who had moved on to Itapemerlm, where he enjoyed an extensive medical practice..o Kenny was Impressed
that other professional men had felt obliged to move to the cities in order to support their families.
In Rio de Janeiro the Keyes family lodged with a Mrs, Freligh, viho maintained a refuge for Southerners in her home. She had lived in various parts of Brazil, finally returning to Rio to make a living taking boarders. Finding Rio de Janeiro too unsanitary and too humid, the Keyes moved back into the hills behind the city. Their rented fazienda, "Dixieland Island," was six to eight miles from the city and was owned by a General Hawthorne, 'who had returned to the United States because of his wife's health. The grounds of "Dixieland Island" were extensive, many types of vegetables and fruits were grown there, and the home into which the Keyes moved was a luxurious one. When sale of the fazlenda to an English couple was completed, the Keyes were forced to vacate. Their next move was to "Pao Grande," a fazlenda owned by Captain James Johnson, near the city of Petropolis„ Captain Johnson and his children had moved into Petropolis after the death of Mrs, Johnson from a fever. In April of i869, the Keyes family moved once again, this time to the village San Domingos. With each move, Dr, Keyes used a great deal of effort to obtain rural property near his dental practice in Rio de Janeiro. In "Moro do Inga," their home in San Domlngos Kenny remarked that the family was very happy.
Dominick Cannon, a deaf-mute, became their gardener and family friend„ They had many visitors» The wedding of Anna Gunter and Captain Dozier of Florida took place in their homeo They also experienced the sadness of seeing many of their friends depart from Brazil and return to the United States, having suffered unpleasant circumstances.
In the spring of 1879 the Keyes family decided that they too viished to return to their old home in Alabama. For three months they stayed with friends, the Judkins, in their fazienda, "Bangu„" Then on June 10, l879, the entire family boarded the Wavelet and, in Kenny's words, they were soon "Out on an ocean all boundless, we ride, rocked by the waves of a rough, restless tide. We are homeward bound, homeward bound." On August 1, the Keyes arrived in New Jersey. They took a steamer to Savannah, boarded a train which took them to Columbus, where they stopped for a visit. Then a train took them to "Hillside," their home in Montgomery.
At the Santa Barbara colony^ where the Norris family settled, the colonists experienced varying degrees of success. Robert Norris, who had married Martha Steagall, of Gonzales, Texas, worked with his father cultivating beans, corn, cotton and sugar cane on the extensive plantations which they had laid out. As additional
residents arrived, extra hands and equipment lightened the tasks„ For instance, Ho F. Steagall, Martha's father, brought with him the first plow, sewing machine, supply of kerosense, United States stove, buckboards and cotton gins to reach the colony, However, it was not equipment which proved to be the most significant import to this region. Early in 1867, Joseph E. Whitaker, fondly called "Uncle Joe," left Georgia to find a home in Brazil, He later settled near the Norris family outside Santa Barbara and, as they did, he raised a number of crops. Cotton was the crop upon which the farmers in this area hoped to make their fortunes. In spite of ample harvests of cotton, transportation facilities were such that this endeavor proved to be a disappointments It was "Uncle Joe" Whitaker who came forth with an idea for a crop which might be profitable yet salable closer to the colony., He sent to Georgia for watermelon seeds, which when grown in Brazil were called "rattlesnakes." Whitaker's idea was very successful. By the early l890's, when the railroad reached the colony from Sao Paulo, fifty to one hundred carloads of watermelons were shipped to markets daily, from Santa Barbara.
The Robert Norrises, as did the other families at Santa Barbara, prospered and had many children. In I89O
Robert returned to Alabama, where he completed his medical education at Mobile Medical College, When he returned to Brazil, he continued to farm, began breeding cattle and also practiced medicine. He was also the organizer of a Masonic Lodge in Santa Barbara. Martha Steagall Norris, his wife, acted as much more than a housewife and mother. Through her efforts, the first Protestant church was erected in Santa Barbara. For three years Mrs. Norris worked to raise funds to build the church. She even received the support of many Catholic merchants, who contributed funds and reduced prices for building materials. The church was named "Memorial Chapel,"
Kennie Norris Adams Bletz, the youngest of the Robert Norris's ten children, told in later years a bit about her family and life in the colony. Her grandfather, William Norris, was considered the patriarch of the colony. He was "a cultured, austere gentleman who wore a Prince Albert and always carried a stick." Kennie's father, dressed in white linen, always wore a boutonneire and took flowers to his patients. Robert Norris was a farmer by vocation. He accepted no payment for his medical services. He became a Brazilian citizen and when he died, in 1913} he was Grand Master of the Brazilian Masonic Lodge. His slaves, Manuel and Olimpia, assumed the Norris name,
A humorous Incident occurred in Santa Barbara, during the prosperous watermelon growing years, which had the irony of a fable. At the time of the harvest a cholera epidemic broke out in Sao Paulo and the sale of melons was forbidden. The growers at Santa Barbara faced ruin. Knowing that Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, had been elected to the presidency, the American citizens of Santa Barbara felt assured that the newly appointed consul at Santos was also a good Democrat. Although these people had ceremoniously torn up the Constitution of the United States upon arrival in Brazil, they felt justified in seeking help from one of their former countrymen. In a letter of congratulations on the consul's arrival in Brazil, the colonists outlined their grievances with regard to the sale of watermelons. When the consul answered that he might best survey the situation by visiting the colony, word was sent back immediately that he was most welcome. The day the consul was to reach Santa Barbara the entire community gathered on the railroad station platform with an old Southern Colonel (perhaps, William Norris) at the head of the delegation. The train stopped, a compartment door slid open and out stepped a well dressed man with a suitcase, who walked up to the colonel with an outstretched hand. This was the consul, a Negro I A shocked group of Americans rose
to the occasion and treated the consul elegantly. After his departure, however, they vowed never to trust a Democratic administration again.
Santa Barbara's watermelon problem reached the diplomatic level before it was solved by an early end to the cholera epidemic. As late as 1896, two years after the incident, some water-melon growers who had suffered losses were attempting to prove that their inconvenience resulted from discriminatory treatment by Brazilian authorities. After an Investigation by the consul and the minister, the settlers were told that discrimination could not be proved and that their only recourse was the Brazilian courts. At that point the matter was dropped.
From most of the American colonies, the settlers drifted toward the large cities of Brazil or back to the United States after a few years of heart-breaking labor and loss. The village of Santa Barbara survived with the establishment of small industries and the encouragement of Brazilians. One champion of the Americans, a lawyer named Prudents Jose de Moraes Barros, was later the first popularly elected civilian president of Brazil. In 1878, Herbert Smith, a North American naturalist, visited Santa Barbara where he found only twelve to fifteen emigrant
families. Smith described them as "kindly, simple, eager to welcome a stranger, children mostly untaught, without complaint^" Smith's observations took place a number of years before watermelons became a lucrative crop. He, no doubt, reached the colony at its lowest ebb, for surely the population was much larger at a later date. At its peak, Santa Barbara numbered 500 families. Many of these people moved from other colonies or settlements to the Santarem area. In the late l860's most of those who had reached "Lizzieland" had given up the unsuitable area to move to Santa Barbara. From the Cananea colony the discouraged farmers fled to Rio de Janeiro or to Santa Barbara where they found a more temperate climate,73 Some of these owned slaves, most did not. Slaves purchased in Brazil usually deserted, and since cotton had proved unprofitable as a crop, they were seldom needed.
Many of the destitute decided that Brazil was not the haven which they had longed for and began to seek means of returning to the United States. These individuals and families flocked to the cities where they might find aid and the means of subsistence. From these locations they appealed for help to the charge d'affaires of the United States, There were allegations that the Brazilian
government had failed to carry out the terms of contracts made with agents and individuals. The charge d'affaires, and the various consuls, tried to assist when possible and encouraged the Brazilian government to hear complaints and to provide some money for those in des-perate need. The United States government was hesitant to deal with either the ex-patriots or with Brazil on the subject of these Southerners, considering Brazil's stand during the Civil War and its efforts to attract Southern settlers. In 1869, however, the United States government ordered that United States citizens might board naval vessels when they were in Brazilian ports, and if there was room aboard, they could travel to the United States. On June 22, i869, James Monroe, the charge d'affaires ad interim^ wrote to Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, saying that the U. S. S. Guerriere was then in the harbor at Rio de Janeiro and that he, Monroe, had informed Rear Admiral Davis that a number of the destitute American emigrants desired transportation to their old home. Davis said that he would receive fifty people. Monroe had a list of fifty-five persons, many of them children, which the Rear Admiral accepted and for whom he arranged accommodations. Monroe wrote,
I cannot help adding that, in my opinion this order of the government is a most beneficent one, and that our home-going vessels of war may, by their zealous cooperation in carrying
It out do a service to their destitute and home-sick countrymen, the value of which can scarcely be overestimated,
In a letter of July 6, 1869, Monroe stated that of a much larger total, only 1,232 North American emigrants remained in Brazil, most of them living in colonies. Private charity and the requested aid of American businessmen living in the cities had helped large numbers of these people to return to the United States. It was Monroe's contention that merchants had done their share for the benefit of the needy and they should not be asked for further assistance. Four hundred had made known the desire to leave Brazil, some complaining that the venture had been a disappointment through the fault of the Brazilian government. Others felt that decisions to leave the South made "in a moment of pique" had been unwise and chastised themselves for the moveo "Many sound reasons founded in diversity of language, climate, modes of labor, laws, customs and national character," said Monroe, "show that emigration from the U. S, to Brazil must always prove a failure." Expressing pleasure in President Ulysses S. Grant's order allowing the use of warships for transporting the destitute, Monroe added that it Was unfortunate that so few persons could be accommodated on each ship. He suggested that a ship fitted specifically for the conveyance of colonists would be
helpful. He even thought the use of the U.S.-Brazil Mall Steam Ship Company might be considered. Enclosed with a letter of Dispatch" vias a list of 192 persons living in Santa datharine Province who wished to return to the United States, but were without the funds to facilitate their own departure. Also included was a letter from James H. Hayes, an emigrant, and an article from the General Chronicle, a Rio de Janeiro newspaper. This article was dated June 28, 1869, and pointed to the tired and financially exhausted emigrants who were finally returning to the land from which they had come only a few years before. It described the locally encouraged emigration as the "science of reportation," and a sacrifice for the Public Treastiry. Mr. Hayes' letter, written to Mr. Monroe, sketched the story of emigration, disappointment, loss and anger. He had arrived in Brazil with capital amount to $3,000, all of which had been used to obtain provisions, and yet his family had come close to starving in the underdeveloped inland of Brazil. Because Mr. Hayes had been convinced of the glories of the country by a Brazilian agent, he felt he was due some indemnification.'
On August 6, 1869, the U. S. S. Kansas sailed for for the United States with eleven male "destitute American
emigrants" aboard. Subsequently, other American ships of many types carried such passengers as guests of the United States government.
In spite of the mounting hardships for American colonists and the stream of citizens returning to the United States, the editor of the English section of The Brazilian World submitted the thesis that increased migration from the United States to Brazil would be of mutual benefit for the two countries. On September k, 1869, the newspaper printed a chapter of the editor's work entitled "Brazil and the United States Should Be in Accord—Should Emulate and Strengthen Each Other." The bitterness of the people of the conquered confederacy was a sore which would not heal easily or rapidly, the editor wrote, and it would ease the pain to emigrate. Too, by becoming productive agriculturists, those emigrants would develop Brazil which could become an exporting nation, then a successful importing nation. Items imported might come from the United States, and exports could be sold to the United States. The emigrants would then feel a warmth for the old country, thereby helping to heal the wound of sadness and misunderstanding, and benefiting the two nations as well.
When Henry T. Blow replaced James Monroe as United States Minister to Brazil, he directed a number of dispatches to Secretary Fish, reminding him of Monroe's pleas in behalf of destitute Americans. Blow, too, solicited aid for these people and continued to investigate the possibility of unfulfilled promises from the Brazilian government. He wrote: "We think that although generally of an inferior class, these emigrants have not received proper treatment and that we may obtain additional relief for them from the government of the Empire, on this ground,
In November i869, Fish informed Blow that the Secretary of the Navy had been issued orders to comply with Blow's wishes, as much as possible, to aid Americans in South American ports. This order changed nothing in the procedures then taking place, but the order was officially given to the Navy at that time. In February 1870, Blow was told that the State Department had no authority to alter the order in any way, after Blow had advised the United States government, and specifically Secretary Fish, that the Brazilian government was assisting greatly in aiding emigrants and in some cases was providing jobs. The minister felt the United States should be partially, at least, Involved in these endeavors. He wrote, "'To err is human, to forgive, divine,' and I am sure that nothing
could possibly afford more gratification to the people of the United States than to contribute the mere pittance required to vouch our sympathy for our misguided brethren.
Mr, Blow arranged with Baron de Cotegipe, the Brazilian Foreign Minister, for the transportation to the United States, at Brazilian expense, of emigrants who had been induced to migrate by Brazilian agents. The first of those so accommodated left on the twenty-sixth of January, l870.
Henry Blow's sympathies for the unhappy American citizens greyi steadily, and yet he felt compelled to rationalize his emotions and actions in the face of little help coming from Washington.
The great distance and time which separates me from the Department of State compels me to take responsibilities and assure burdens that our interests may be properly guarded, and our people be relieved from suffering, but in doing this I will be most careful to conform to law, and will endeavor to be guided in every act by careful reflection and a sound judgment.
An agreement with the Emperor and Baron de Cotegipe was
procured by Blow, relieving the Brazilian government of responsibility for any real or imagined injustices to emigrants in return for paid passage to the United States.
In April of 1870, the American consul at Pernambuco, Samuel G. Moffett, wrote to Blow requesting aid for emigrants in that city. However, Blow was unable to render any services beyond the naval agreement to have ships in the area pick up those passengers for whom they had space. Blow spoke of plans for a trip to the cities in which the distressed Americans were living, and to the colonies where others seemed to be prospering.
The conditions remained unchanged and in March 1872, Secretary Fish advised the new Minister, James R. Partridge, that "There is no appropriation from which a sum to defray the passage of these persons to the United States can properly be drawn.
When war between Brazil and Paraguay threatened in the early l890's, the emigrants who had remained in Brazil were presented with still another problem: the draft. There was the question of the position of the male colonists
and their responsibilities to their adopted country. When acts legalizing the conscription of foreigners were passed in the l880's, all males had been allowed to sign petitions in protests Those who had protested were exempted permanently from military conscription. However, many who had not been of military age at the time of the petitions had reached that age in the 1890's and the prospect of finding themselves in the uniforms of Brazilian soldiers was not a happy one. Once again there was increased interest in returning to the United States and again there were pleas for help sent to the consuls and ministers who represented the United States government. A humorous point in the requests for passports which appeared at this time was that many of those making application listed their permanent homes as farms in the United States from which they had been absent twenty to thirty years, or had never seen. The United States Department of State had doubts about the condition of farms which had been neglected for such long periods and refused permission for the granting of passports. This action did not indicate, necessarily, that the United States would not intervene to settle military problems for its citizens, should such help be needed. The time came when such action was necessary.
As emigrants drifted to the cities, and some eventually boarded ships for the United States, the colonies gradually lost their identity. In the Santa Barbara settlement, where early colonists had attempted desperately to preserve a semblance of the way of life which they had known in the United States, the second generation married and moved away leaving the watermelon production to more efficient Italian colonists who had moved into the area. When the colony dispersed in about 1900, most of the children of the original settlers chose to remain in: Brazil in the large cities, where they became professional people; doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists and school teachers, the professions which most of their fathers had followed in the United States. In 191^? the American consul at Sao Paulo, Maddln Summers, was invited to address a July Fourth celebration at Villa Americana, Santa Barbara's name as given by the Italian residents. The consul accepted the invitations with enthusiasm, supposing that he would view transplanted Americans. However, only a very few Americans were to be found in the area when he arrived a The condition of the remaining descendants of emigrants deteriorated, the Institutions which they had founded rotted in disuse.
Visitors, in the homes of the American emigrants
who remained In Brazil and acquired a degree of success, were surprised to find houses built of -wood in the North American manner rather than stucco, the usual house building substance in the inland areas. Children usually spoke English as a first language, but were also fluent in Portuguese. Unfortunately, only those who could afford to send their children to the cities or back to the United States for schooling were able to provide adequate educations for the young people.^ sincere fondness for Brazil had been acquired by a great many. In one case a Texan, who had decided to return to the United States, left his Brazilian properties to be sold and sailed to ,the old home land. After only a few weeks, he found himself so homesick for his home in Brazil that he cabled his agent requesting that his propjrties be held. He immediately boarded a ship for Brazil.
Of the total number of emigrants in Brazil, perhaps one-third remained in that country for the rest of their lives.Their children, many of whom were educated in the United States, had a tendency to claim Brazil as their native land, although many retained North American customs,
Mrs. James R. Jones, a resident of a farm near Villa Americana, wrote in I96I, that she and her husband spoke English with a Portuguese accent and Portuguese with an English accent. On a visit to the United States, the Jones found many things to be very similar to the conditions in 0 their own home, although neither felt quite comfortable when the Negroes spoke English, Mrs. Jones related that the descendants of Americans who had settled in Santa Barbara, returned four times each year to Villa Americana for a basket social at the Campo Church, near the American graveyard. Mrs. Jones estimated that the descendants of the American area emigrants totaled two hundred, and that they -were scattered all over Brazil. They formed a society, Fraternidade Descendencia Americana, in honor of the efforts of their ancestors. She reported the existence of a museum in Villa Americana, with mementos of the Civil War and of Colonization.
The remainder of the emigrant groups, although they may cling to an ethnic heritage, are a part of the heterogeneous population of Brazil. Their ancestors set out on an adventure which was more idealistic than realistic and, as a project, it failed. Pioneers have withstood greater hardships in other areas, no doubt, but the people who comprised the ranks of the migration to Brazil were not
of the same fibre as hardy pioneers. They sought Utopia, not greater lands and acquisitions. The climate, the soil, the language, the customs, which they met in Brazil were unyielding. Thus, with an inability to become completely assimilated, it was inevitable that many of these people would leave Brazil and try again to find their happiness.
The experiences, for the most part, were sobering ones. The United States government was slow to come to the aid of citizens who had denounced their homeland, Brazil became a horror for many. If humiliation is a teacher, perhaps a lesson was learned. If not, immigration to Brazil was simply an unhappy phase in the lives of a few thousand American citizens.
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