SANTA BARBARA d'OESTE, BRAZIL
Santa Bárbara d'Oeste is a municipality in the State of São Paulo in Brazil. It is part of the Me-tropolitan Region of Campinas. It lies about 138 kilometres (86 mi) northwest of the State capital. It occupies an area of 272.2 square kilometres (105.1 sq mi), of which 43.1 square kilometres (16.6 sq mi) is urban. In 2010, the population was estimated at 180,148 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, making it the 43rd most populous city in São Paulo and the sixth largest in the metropolitan region of Campinas.
Santa Bárbara d'Oeste has an annual average temperature of 22.2 °C (72.0 °F), and the original vegetation of the area predominates. The city has an urbanization rate of 98.73%. As of 2009, there were 44 medical institutions in the city, and its human development index (HDI) is rated as 0.819 in relation to the rest of the state.
Founded on 4 December 1818, when the Church was built, the city was named in honor of its patron saint, Santa Barbara, it was originally part of Piracicaba. It separated from Piracicaba in 1900. Since Margaret Grace Martins donated the land for the construction of the townsite, she is considered the founder, making the city the first and only Brazilian city founded by a woman. The city is also the birthplace of the automobile industry in Brazil, being where the first car was produced in Brazil. Today, Santa Bárbara d'Oeste is subdivided into slightly more than 130 districts.
Santa Bárbara d'Oeste has an important cultural tradition, ranging from craft and theater, to music and sports. American immigration has brought various influences on both cultural and tourist events and attractions, in-cluding the Party of Immigration, and the Fair of Nations. In the midst of the city is a cemetery, best known as the Graveyard of the Americans. It is administered by the Fraternity of American Descendants, who regularly hold meetings and events aimed at preserving the traditions and customs of American immigrants.
Until around 1810, the area where the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste now stands was virgin forest. That year, a road was constructed, linking the parish of Santo Antônio de Piracicaba to Villa de San Carlos de Campinas. With these improvements, the area turned into a good agricultural region due to its plentiful water sources, leading to the region being broken into allotments and put up for sale.
Margaret Grace Martins, widow of sergeant major Francisco de Paula Martins, bought one of those allotments, measuring two leagues square, whose boundaries were the Piracicaba river to the north and by Quilombo Creek to the northeast. On the site, she founded a sugar plantation, putting her son, Captain Manoel Francisco Grace Martins, in charge of administering the property. In 1818, she initiated the formation of a settlement and the construction of a chapel, dedicated to Saint Barbara. Martins donated the lands the city would develop on, making the town the first and only Brazilian city founded by a woman. The chapel was dedicated on 4 December 1818, now considered to be the date of the town's founding.
As the area was settled, other farmers settled in and around the city. On 16 April 1839, the municipality rose to the position of Capela Curada de Santa Bárbara of Toledos (the name "Toledos" was added in reference to the stream that crossed the city, named Ribeirao of Toledos), and became the Fourth District of Vila Nova da Con-stituição (now the city of Piracicaba).
Years later, the district of Santa Barbara was created by Provincial Law Number 9, on 18 February 1842, in addition, the chapel was elevated from a capela curada, an official title given by the Catholic Church, to a freguesia. It was then transferred on 23 January 1844, to become part of the municipality of Campinas, followed by a further transfer, by Provincial Law Number 12 on 2 March 1846, back to the Municipality of Piracicaba. Finally, by Provincial Law No. 2, on 15 June 1869 the municipality of Santa Barbara was officially created, parting from Piracicaba. The Municipality has always been made up of a single district. The town was officially renamed Santa Bárbara d'Oeste on 30 November 1944.
20th and 21st centuries
The sugar industry boomed in the late 19th century due to the increase in the demand for sugar. At the time, large sugar mills were constructed in the city, such as the Plant de Cillo Santa Bárbara (now disabled). In the 1920s several industries emerged, including textiles and agricultural implements. Over the years, other ind-ustries moved into the area. Eventually, on 5 September 1956, the first Brazilian car, the Romi-Isetta, was released.
During the 1960s and 1970s, with the rapid development of the nearby settlement of Americana, many people came looking for jobs and housing. Due to the close proximity of the two municipalities, the area between them was settled, creating a conurbation. Initially there was some confusion, since the boundaries of the two towns were not officially set. The problem was solved with the creation of the Avenida da Amizade, which cut through the region, fixing the boundary between the two towns. The population expansion not only brought development, but also problems to the region, since it drained public accounts. This precipitated years of economic stagnation.
Since the 2000s, due to both public and private investment, the city is reaching an economic and social balance, becoming increasingly competitive in the metropolitan region of Campinas. Legal incentives for businesses that invest in the city were created, and the expansion of the Rodovia dos Bandeirantes, whose route passes through the municipality, has brought new opportunities for development.
Today, Santa Bárbara is one of the major economic forces in the metropolitan region of Campinas, with a good quality of life. The city has a strong industrial character, and is home to companies such as Romi, Usina Furlan, Goodyear, Canatiba, Mazak, and Denso. The city boasts good leisure facilities such as the Tivoli, which opened in November 1998, and is one of the main shopping malls and meeting points in the city with almost 700,000 visitors every month. It serves the population of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, Americana, Nova Odessa, Sumaré and Hortolândia, as well as the regions of Piracicaba and Limeira.
After the end of the American Civil War, beginning in 1867, the region began to see immigration from the sou-thern United States, these immigrants were known as the Confederados. Along with their customs and cultures, the Americans brought new agricultural methods and techniques, contributing greatly to the advancement of agriculture in the region. The Americans also brought new religions into Brazil, and on 10 September 1871 the first Brazilian Baptist Church was established in Santa Bárbara.
The first Americans to arrive in the city were Colonel William Hutchinson Norris, a Civil War veteran and former Senator from the State of Alabama, and his son, who began to teach courses on cotton cultivation techniques to local farmers. Once they were established, they sent for the rest of their family, as well as other countrymen. American immigration was crucial to one of the main cultural events of the city: the annual meeting of the Fra-ternity of American Descendants. Many immigrants who came to Santa Bárbara d'Oeste achieved national prominence, such as Pérola Byington, a philanthropist and social activist born in the city.
Descendants of the immigrants
Santa Bárbara d'Oeste received an influx of immigrants from the Confederate States of America in the late 1860s (known as Confederados)
The first generation of Confederados remained an insular community, but by the third generation, most of the families had intermarried with native Brazilians or immigrants of other origins. As time went on, these des-cendants of the Confederados increasingly spoke the Portuguese language and identified themselves as Braz-ilians. As the area around Santa Bárbara d'Oeste and Americana turned increasingly to the production of sugar cane and the society became more mobile, the Confederados tended to migrate to cities. Today, only a few families still live on the original land owned by their ancestors. While the descendants of the original Confed-erados are scattered throughout Brazil, they maintain the headquarters of their descendant organization in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste.
Today's Confederados maintain affection for the Confederate flag even though they consider themselves com-pletely Brazilian. In Brazil, the Confederate flag does not have the historical association with slavery nor the corresponding stigma that exists in the United States. Many modern Confederados are of mixed-race and reflect the varied racial categories that make up Brazilian society in their physical appearance. Recently the Brazilian residents of Americana, now of primarily Italian descent, have removed the Confederate flag from the city's crest citing the fact that Confederados now make up only 10% of the city's population. In 1972, then Governor (and future President) Jimmy Carter of Georgia visited the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste and visited the grave of his wife Rosalyn's great-uncle, who was one of the original Confederados.
The center of Confederado culture is the Campo Cemetery, known as the Cemetery of the Americans, in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, where most of the original Confederados from the region were buried. Most of the Confed-erados were Protestant, and the only cemetery in town was the Catholic cemetery, where non-Catholics were forbidden to be buried. In 1867, with the death of Beatrice Oliver, wife of Colonel Oliver, he buried her (as he would later bury his daughters) on a plot of land on his property. He earmarked an acre of his land so that American families could bury their dead. This became the Cemetery of the Americans. Today about 500 people are buried in the cemetery.
The chapel of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste
The descendants still foster a connection with their history through the Fraternity of American Descendants, an organization dedicated to preserving the unique mixed culture. In April, the organization holds an annual fes-tival, called the Festa Confederada in order to fund the Campo Cemetery. The festival is based on the culture of the old American south of the antebellum period. During the event there are typical American foods such as chicken fingers, burgers and baked corn; bands play jazz, dixieland, and traditional American folk songs, Con-federate flags are everywhere. American folk dances, specifically square dances, are the highlight of the event. Women dress the part, much like the character Scarlett O'Hara in the film, Gone with the Wind, and men in Confederate uniforms, boots and hats.
The cemetery has a recreation area where the fraternity holds its quarterly meetings, as well the Festa Confed-erada. The festival receives visitors from various parts of Brazil and the world; in 2006 the party attracted 1500 people, and has received such distinguished visitors as President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn, as well as representatives of the Consulate and press agencies of the United States.
The Confederado community established a Museum of Immigration in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste preserving the history of Brazilian immigration and its benefits to the nation.
Americana (Portuguese pronunciation: [ameɾiˈkɐnɐ]) is a municipality (município) located in the Bra-zilian state of São Paulo. It is part of the Metropolitan Region of Campinas. The population is 229,322 (2015 est.) in an area of 133.91 km². The original settlement developed around the local railway station, founded in 1875, and the development of a cotton weaving factory in a nearby farm.
After 1866, several former Confederate citizens from the American Civil War settled in the region. Following the Civil War, slavery was abolished in the United States. In Brazil, however, slavery was still legal, making it a particularly attractive location to former Confederates, among whom was a former member of the Alabama State Senate, William Hutchinson Norris.
Around three hundred of the Confederados are members of the Fraternidade Descendência Americana (Fraternity of American Descendants). They meet quarterly at the Campo Cemetery. The city was known as Vila dos Americanos ("Village of the Americans") until 1904, when it belonged to the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste. It became a district in 1924 and a municipality in 1953.
Americana has several museums and tourist attractions, including the Pedagogic Historical Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum.
The first records on the occupation of the lands where Americana now stands date from the late 18th century, when Domingos da Costa Machado I acquired a crown property between the municipalities of Vila Nova da Constituição (now Piracicaba) and Vila de São Carlos (now Campinas). In that area several estates were created, including Salto Grande, Machadinho, and Palmeiras.
A part of the property, which included the Machadinho estate, was sold by Domingos da Costa Machado II to Antônio Bueno Rangel. After Rangel's death, the estate was divided between his sons José and Basílio Bueno Rangel. A part of the property was afterwards sold to the captain of the Brazilian National Guard, Ignácio Corrêa Pacheco, who is considered the founder of Americana.
In 1866, the region started to be effectively populated with North-American immigrants from the defunct Confederate States of America, who were fleeing the aftermath of the American Civil War. The first immigrant to arrive was the lawyer and ex-state senator from Alabama, colonel William Hutchinson Norris. Norris in- stalled himself in lands near the seat of the Machadinho estate and the Quilombo River.
In 1867 the rest of his family arrived in Brazil, accompanied by other families from the Confederate States. These families settled in the region, bringing agricultural innovations and a kind of watermelon known as "Georgia's rattlesnake".
In 1875, almost a decade after the arrival of the Confederate immigrants in the region, the São Paulo Railways Company completed the expansion of its main railway to the city of Rio Claro. A station was built within the lands of the Machadinho estate. Despite belonging to the municipality of Campinas, the station was made to serve the estates in the municipality of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, which was further away and had no station of its own.
The inauguration of the station counted the Emperor Dom Pedro II and Gaston, comte d'Eu among those who attended. The station was baptized "Santa Bárbara station". It is unknown exactly when the small village be-came the city of Americana, but it is known that this village was created by the time of the inauguration of the railway station, and that it was Ignácio Corrêa Pacheco who distributed the lands. Pacheco is thus considered the founder of the city. The municipal holiday of Americana is still August 27, the day when the railway
The small town formed around the station was named "Villa da Estação de Santa Bárbara" (Santa Bárbara Station Town). Its inhabitants consisted mainly of American families, and the town became thus popularly known as "Villa dos Americanos" (Town of the Americans).
The similarity between the official name of the town and the one of the neighboring municipality frequently caused serious communication problems, such as mail to Santa Bárbara Station often being shipped to the municipality of Santa Bárbara, ten kilometers away. In order to solve the problem, the railway company changed the name of the station in 1900 to "Estação de Villa Americana" (American Town Station). The name of the to in itself was then also officially changed to "Villa Americana" (American Town).
In the 1890s, the farm known as Fazenda Salto Grande was purchased by the American Clement Willmot. Willmot established the first industry in Americana under the name Clement H. Willmot & Cia. In 1889, the factory was renamed Fábrica de Tecidos Carioba (Carioba Textile Factory). The name "Carioba" derives from the Tupi words for “white cloth”.
The factory ran into financial trouble after the abolition of slavery in 1888, and was purchased by German im-migrants who were members of the Müller family. The town of Carioba sprang up around the factory. German immigrants brought European-style urbanization to Carioba which is reflected in the style of its manors, fac-tories, hotels, and schools. Asphalt of tar was then first imported from Europe into Americana and utilized in road paving. The factory became the basis for the present-day Parque Industrial de Americana (Industrial Park of Americana).
On October 8, 1887, Joaquim Boer led a large group of Italian immigrants to Brazil. At Americana these Italian immigrants built their first church in 1896, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, who eventually became the patron saint of the city. Born in Portugal, and called Saint Anthony of Lisbon there, the saint who is among the three June popular saints in the Catholic calendar (the others being Saints John the Baptist and Peter) is cel ebrated on June 13 with typical Junine countryside Brazilian food, prayers of the rosary, square dance, liquor, and bonfire.
Although immigrants got incentives to come to Brazil, especially after Emancipation when the government worried about seeing the country convert into a "black" nation, Italians who arrived before that didn't seem to have enjoyed special privileges. They often lived within the quarters designed for enslaved Africans who also suffered from lack of comfort and healthy conditions. Those immigrants worked as indentured servants, pay-ing off their debts to farmers who had paid for their tickets and were exploited, until the system was revamped and improved. Their descendants went on to become laborers, merchants, and other professionals.
In 1906, two years after the creation of the Distrito de Paz de Villa Americana, the municipality received a visit from Elihu Root, United States Secretary of State, who had been attending and presiding the Pan-American Conferenceheld in Rio de Janeiro. After the conference, Root visited other parts of Brazil (such as Araras), and was informed of the existence of Americana. Root expressed interest in visiting the town, and was received at Americana with great emotion and affection. Hundreds of the residents received Root at nighttime, and because there was no electricity residents carried torches. Root was touched by their reception.
At the time of the beginning of the Getúlio Vargas dictatorship in Brazil in 1930, Americana was undergoing a profound economic transformation due to the rise of the textile industry there (the city was known as the “Rayon Capital”).
In 1932, during the administration of Mayor Antonio Zanaga, the revolt known as the Constitutionalist Rev-olution erupted against Vargas' regime. Americana sent volunteers to this revolution, and three of them, Jorge Jones, Fernando de Camargo and Aristeu Valente (from Nova Odessa, then part of Americana), perished dur-ing the struggle. Their sacrifice is remembered in Americana to this day.
In 1938, Mayor Zanaga changed the name of the town from Villa Americana to Americana, and due to the eco-nomic transformation of the town, the Comarca of Americana was created on December 31, 1953 during the administration of Mayor Jorge Arbix. In 1959, during the administration of Mayor Abrahim Abraham, Nova Odessa was made autonomous as its own municipality.
Between 1960 and 1970, the rapid development of Americana caused many people to relocate to search for work. Because of its size, there was not enough room to accommodate the new residents and many lived on the border of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste and Americana, creating what is known today as "Zona Leste de Santa Bár-bara" (East Santa Barbara).
The same also occurred because the majority of the population were unaware of the location where one mu-nicipality ended and where another began. The confusion came about because municipial limits were not yet fully determined. The problem was solved with the creation of a major Avenue, today called Avenida da Am-izade (Friendship Avenue) which became the dividing line.
At the same time as these developments, some problems were also created. The sudden increase in population caused an unbalance in the public accounts of the municípality, which was not ready for such a great number of new residents.
With the change in status from village to district, Americana developed rapidly. Its first police force was cre-ated, a sub prefecture was established, and three street lights – lit by kerosene and brought from Germany – were introduced. A school was also established, with the sending of the educator Silvino José de Oliveira to represent Americana’s interests with the state government. All of these developments led the local inhabitants to clamor for the status of a city.
In 1922, Villa Americana was one of the most progressive districts in Campinas with a population of 4,500. In this year, the fight to change its status to city began, led by Antonio Lobo and others, such as Lieutenant Antas de Abreu, Cícero Jones and Hermann Müller himself. Their efforts finally bore fruit: on November 12, 1924, the Municipality of Villa Americana was created, comprising two districts: Villa Americana and Nova Od-essa, Nova Odesa later becoming its own municipality.
The Americans who arrived in interior Sao Paulo in the mid-160s established their farms in an area that had been explored by the Portuguese explorers as far back as the sixteenth century. During the early decades of the nineteenth century, the land had been settled by Europeans and cultivated by their African slaves. By 1865 , few Amerindians remained, much of the original forest had been cut, urban centers had been established, and the region was recovering from the collapse of an earlier sugarcane cycle.
Settlement of exiled confederates began when Col. William Norris purchased approximately four hundred acres of the Machadinho fazenda, a plantation carved out of the Costa Machado land grant. Whereas the colonization ventures in the Robeira de Iguape River area had involved special agreements granting to the colony leaders the exclusive rights to distribute land owned by the Brazilian govern-ment, property in the Santa Barbara area was acquired in a conventional manner. The parcels were privately purchased by the Americans from Brazilian or, sometimes, from other Americans. Conse-quently, the property holdings of the Americans were of different sizes and varying soil quality. The settlers purchased what was available at the time of their arrival in the area.
Most of the Americans arrived in groups during the 1866-70 period. The earliest families, such as those of William Norris and Hervey Hall, acquired choice plots, but later settlers were often forced to pay more for lesser quality. By the early 1870s the coastal colonies had collapsed, and the core of the American community had arrived in the interior of Sao Paulo.
The Anericans in the vicinity of Santa Barbara did not settle in a single area but were scattered across approximately four hundred square kilometers of what are presently the counties of Santa Barbara and Americana. A clustered residential pattern evolved because groups of people arrived at different times, and the property available to the newcomers was not usually contiguous with sites already settled by others. Individuals who arrived together or who were linked to family ties would often, but not always, settle in the vicinity of each other.
As shown above, the population clusters emerged: Estacao (station), Retiro (retreat), Campo, Funil (funnel), and Santa Barbara. Except for those residing in the village of Santa Barbara, most lived and worked on their own private farm holding, so the clusters featured a dispersal distribution of home sites. Some settlers, such as the Dumas family, whose home was midway between Santa Barbara and Estacao, were not located exactly within any of the clusters. Some of the immigrants, especially single men, moved from one site to another.
The area here defined as Estacao was the first to be settled. After completion of the railroad in 1875, Estacao (station) was the name used to refer to the area around the depot. Prviously the site had been called Fazenda do Machadinho or Bairro do Recanto, and later it was known as Estacao de Santa Bar-bara and Vilos dos Americanos. Today, it is simply Americana. Col. William Norris and his son Robert purchased land on the Machadinho fazenda in 1866, but the rest of the family did not reach the area until one year later. arriving with the Norris family in 1867 were the families of son Robert and sons-in-law Willie Daniel, Edward Townsend, and Joseph Whitaker. All located near William Norris's property.
By 1868 thecluster of Estacao had increased substantially. Among the new arrivals was Winston Broadnax, a dentist whose parents returned to the United States after two years in Brazil. Cristopher Ezelle, another dentist, and Alabamians William Presteridge and Benjamin Yancey also joined the cluster. Others who moved into the vicinity were the Moores, the Triggs, the Mills, the Scurlocks, the Coles, and the Carltons. Around 1870 the group had increased with the arrival of the Finleys from Florida , the Beasleys, and the Seawrights. Baptist ministers Ratcliff and Thomas were prominant members of the cluster, and another residnt, Michael C. Hawthorne, was an Irish national who had come with the group and was considered to be a part of the community.
William Pyles, son of the Reverend Samuel M. Pyles, lived just to the north of the main Estacao group, and his parents ventually moved with him. William's brothers, Ezequiel and Judson, later married into the McKnight family, and they settled at Retiro in the late 1870s. Also associated with Estacao were the Terrell family, who lived to the northeast at the old Salto Grande fazenda, and three bachelos named Anderson, Brownlow, and Provost. In 1876 the Demarets, who had originally gone from Louisiana to the Ribeira de Iguape area , also moved to Salto Grande.
Retiro was the second largestoncentration. Sometimes called Bom Retiro, this cluster was located approximately twenty-two kilometers from Estac nd twelve kilometers suthwest f Santa Barbara on the road to the city of Capivari Hervey Hall, who in 1866 puhased a rm already in operation, was the com-munity's first settler. The Halls ere soon joined by the Wessinger brothers, the Crisps, the Cullens, the Hoands, the Steagalls, and the Perkins. In 1868 several families arrived from the failed Ribeira de Iguape colonies. Among them was the family of jesse Wright, who would later kill Hervey Hall, and the Johnsons, the Crawleys, the McKnights, and Bony McAlpine Methodist minister Junius Newman, who had lived in Rio de Janeiro and later at the Saltinho community near the neighboring town of Limera, moved o Retiro after his second marriage in the 1870s.
The cluster known as Campo (Campo also refers to the chapel and cemetery compound built in the Campo area) included a group of families that purchased land in the open country south of Santa Bar-bara between Retiro and Estacao. Though characterized as pasture land and perhaps used for grazing animals, the cleared areas most likely were the result of earlier agricultural cycles.
Col. Andrew T. Oliver bought a piece of property taht was to become very significant to Americana because on it the focal Campo site would evolve. Others settled near Colonel Oliver. The James Miller family, referred to as the "sour" Millers to distinguish them from the Irving L. Millerswho came from Charles G. Gunter's colony on the Rio Doce (Doce means sweet in Portuguese), arrived in 1868. The McFaddens and the Fergusons appeared one year later. Other settlers who arrived in 1868 were the Orville Whitakers (different from the Joseph Whitakers at Estacao) from Louisiana and the Carr, who had also first gone to the Rio Doce. Alfred I. Smith and his family, including daughter Sarh Ballona, arrived in 1870 from their homestead at the McMullan colony on the Juquia in the Robeira de Iguape area. Baptist parson, Elijaah H. Quillin, also from the Juquia, moved in approximately three years later after spending some time at Estacao.
Another location that received residents from the failed coastal colonies was the cluster sometimes referred to as Funil. The name was applied to a stretch of the Piracicaba River, just to the north of Santa Barbara, where the stream narrows in the shape of a funnel. Major Robert Meriwether, famous for his pre-colonization exploration with Dr. Hugh a. Shaw, lived for a time at Funil before moving on to the city of Botucatu. In 1867 Henry Strong purchased the Barrocao fazenda a few kilometers to the south of the river. The Strongs had also been at the Rio Doce colony, and they were accompanied by son-in -law Warren Ellis and by Irving L. Miller and Frank Bankston. Others arriving in the area were William Brown, who loved but never married Sally Strong, Thomas L. Keese, who purchased the Jam-aica fazenda to the west of Barrocao, and Colonel Peter Hardeman, a relative of Jeese. Reerend Ballard S. Dunn, the author and orator who attracted many to his Lizzieland colony in the ribiera de Iguape region, also lived at Funil for a time before eventually returing to the United States.
A relatively small group settled in and around the town of Santa Barbara. Included among them was John Domm, a Dutchman who had moved to Texas and who was the metalworker who helped initiate the manufacture of steel plows in Brazil, and the Tarvers, the Tanners, the Capps, and the Kennerlys. The modest daub and wattle house of the Domm family was located near Santa Barbara, along the road to Estacao.
Finally , various sources mention individuals and families without a geographic reference. Among the names of people whose residential location is unknown are Beaseley, Britt, Ward, Cherrie, Currie< Harrison, Turner, White, Shipps, Pierce, Thorn, Gates, Freleigh, Mura, Blackburn, Bowen, Grady, Peacock, A.P. Smith and Barr.
Unfortunately, the residence of Presbyterian minister William C. Emerson is also not known. He was an eloquent speaker, an important member of the community, and one of the founders of the first official church among the Americans. He lived in the Santa Barbara area during the late 1860s and then moved to Tatui, where he died after a few years. For one year he served as editor of the Emigra-tion Reporter, a journal of events about the Americans in Brazil.
By 1870, therefore, the members of the American community near Santa Barbara had settled into the clustered pattern that was to persist for decades. Families usually occupied sites adjacent to other Americans within the same cluster, but they were separated from fellow expatriates in the other clus-ters by a substantial distance. furthermore, most of the people in the general region, especially in the town of Santa Barbara, were predominantly Brazilian, so the immigrants comprised a minority within the total population.
Over time, Americans would begin to integrate with the local community, which gave rise to some picturesque situations. One of them came from the watermelon seeds, known as the "Georgia rattle-snake," which they had brought in their luggage. By 1890, an outbreak of yellow fever coincided with one of the earliest fruit crops, and health authorities vetoed her sale because she thought it transmitted the disease. It was necessary that the scientist Oswaldo Cruz discovered the cause of the disease so that the watermelon trade, prohibited for more than a decade, was released.
In addition to cotton of a type superior to the one existing in the country, the Americans would introduce other novelties in Brazilian agriculture, such as the animal-drawn plow instead of the limited hoe, and a metal wheel trolley that supplanted the heavy ox carts . But it was in education that they made their greatest contribution, through missionary schools and their schoolmasters (teachers) and schoolmarms (teachers). From the methods used by the pastors who accompanied the immigrants from Santa Bárbara and Americana, a new model of education emerged, which was eventually absorbed by the Brazilian government - the so-called "decoreba" and the physical punishments, very common in the education of that period, were abolished. Presbyterian missionary Mary Chamberlain and her husband, Rev. George Chamberlain, founded the American School in São Paulo, which would give rise to the current Mack-enzie University. The creators of the Methodist University of Piracicaba (Unimep) also left the com-munity.
In terms of religion, the Americans would introduce Protestantism into Brazil. The first chapel of the country that served the three denominations - Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist - was erected in Campo Cemetery, spiritual center of the community in Santa Bárbara, dating from 1878. In the assis-tance area, the immigrants also made their contribution: Pérola Byington (1879-1963) founded the Pro-Childhood Crusade and the hospital that bears his name in São Paulo.
It could also be said that the confederates helped create Brazilian rock. Rita Lee Jones, co-founder of the Mutants, is the daughter of dentist Charles Jones, a descendant of Colonel Norris.
To this day, the descendants of these immigrants make a point of maintaining their traditions. On the property where the Campo Cemetery is located, on lands that belonged to Colonel Anthony Oliver, every second Sunday in April, the community, represented by the non-governmental organization Fraternidad Desendencia Americana, is amused by old songs and dances typical of the rebel south with the boys dressed in Confederate soldiers and the girls as clones of Scarlett O'Hara in And the Wind Took. At such times, the cars display the Confederate flag.
During the celebration, everyone savors typical dishes such as fried chicken, cornflakes, biscuits, ham, cakes, pies and refreshments. From time to time, they are visited by "cousins" from the southern states. In 1972, one of them, then Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, visited the Field Cemetery four years before becoming president of the United States. His wife, Rosalyn, has a great-uncle buried there. Curiously, the community was the subject of a study by Eugene C. Harter, a journalist and former US consul in São Paulo, who wrote the book The Lost Colony of the Confederation, which was very successful in his country.
Allison Jones, a public relations officer for the NGO representing the community, says she was discriminated against in New York because of her English accent, and was a victim of explicit racism on the part of New York blacks. In the south, when traveling in a bus with 40 passengers, all black, except him and the driver, the feeling was diverse. "Although Brazilian, I felt at home and I was treated well by all."
A student of Unimep's history and descendant of Richard (Dick) Crisp, an American who challenged the racism of his own community by marrying a black slave, Frederico Padovese participated five years ago in an experience that has relegated him to the past. Through a fraternity agreement with the Virginia-based Sons of Confederate Veterans (or SCV) NGO, he joined a Confederate battalion in the re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in July 1863. In the midst of cannons and weapons of the time, he slept in tents and ate the bland ranch.
The university says it is proud of its origin, but the feeling is not directed at the United States as a whole, but at the south of the country. "When I hear of US imperialism, I say that the Civil War was the first US imperialist onslaught, in the case against a part of its own people, who wanted the separation to disagree with the central government," he says. To this day, much of the descendants of immigrants refer to themselves as confederates and to the North Americans as Yankees, the same nickname given to the inhabitants of that nation by their opponents, among which are members of leftist currents and militants anti-globalization.
Healthy and active at age 88, Maria Weissinger of the Cross is one of the oldest descendants of Americans in Santa Barbara. His grandfather, John Wesley Weissinger, when he arrived in 1866, would win the nickname "John of Mato", because the Brazilians had difficulty speaking his name.
With a strong hickory accent, Dona Maria, as she is known, brings in the traces the mark of Anglo-Saxon origin. The main memories of his youth are the dances, practically frequented only by people of the community. "The parties were very fun, they were always held on the farm of someone from the colony. The girls did everything to go," she says.
On a visit to the city, Dona Maria, who was then living at the Palmeiras farm, met the Portuguese João da Cruz, who would become, against the will of the family, her husband. His father, Albert, wanted his children to marry within the community. At the time of the ceremony, the priest, who did not want to officiate because she was a Presbyterian, was surprised. "Shortly before, I had converted to Catholicism, and I showed him the document, which was disconcerted," he says. The father - who would still have to sour the fact that the three other children marry a Brazilian, a German and an Italian - appeared the next day and apologized.
The Brazilians said, according to her, that the chain of the city, inaugurated in 1896, would be used to arrest the Americans. Some of them, rich and famous as badgers, would enter the bars on horseback and ask for drips, which they drank without dismounting. Others, especially the Texans, would take to the streets and discharge their revolvers as if they were in the Old West. Today, the old building houses the Museum of Immigration.
Racism, although it manifested itself without the violence that characterized it in the post-war southern US, was another hallmark of the community. There are, however, few records of Americans who mistreated slaves. João do Mato had two, Manuel and Anastasia, with whom he had a good relationship. Edwin Britt even left his lands for a slave. Still, Dick Crisp, who had ten children with the slave Damiana, suffered discrimination on the part of his compatriots.
In an episode in 1873, however, portrayed in Judith Mac Knight Jones' book Soldier Rest !, three young men from the community - Napoleon Mc Alpine, Robert Mac Fadden and Dick Crisp - hanged a slave who had slain the Colonel Oliver, owner of the Campo Cemetery area. The farmer had caught him stealing potatoes, and with the same instrument he had dug, the man killed him.
In disgust, the young confederates, recalling similar crimes in their homeland, hanged the slave and left him hanging from a tree on Oliver's own farm. The three would then make a pact under which they would never denounce. It was only after everyone was dead that the names were revealed. The story recalls the haunting actions of the Ku Klux Klan in the postwar United States.
If, however, there is something that the descendants of the immigrants do not accept, it is the interpretation that their ancestors, when coming here, would somehow want to help perpetuate slavery in Brazil. "When the confederates arrived, slavery was already declining in the country and would be peacefully abolished in 1888," says Daniel Carr de Muzio, one of the most active members of the community.
Similar opinion has the distinguished descendant of a Confederate captain who settled in Rio Grande do Sul, Judge Ellen Gracie Northfleet, vice president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Hamlin Lassiter Norfleet's great-granddaughter. Based on the view of some contemporary historians, she considers that the Civil War was actually motivated much more by the clash between two economic ideas than by racial issues, which would be only part of the explanation for the origin of the conflict. "My great-grandfather never had any slaves or made any manifestation of a racist nature," he explains.
In more modern times, the year 1998 would have left the community a defeat, much less harsh, of course, than that of 1865. In that year, the cross of St. Andrew (in the form of an "x") was removed from the American coat of arms and replaced by that of the patron Saint Anthony. "The Italians asked for the exchange, because they thought the symbol was very noticeable for the Americans and there was not much left for them," explains Allison's wife, Eloisa Nascimbem Jones.
Although it has declared neutrality, Brazil has never managed to disguise its sympathy for the South of the USA. According to historian Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira, our US ambassador to the United States, Miguel Maria Lisboa, feared that the abolitionist movement in that country would spread and arrive here. The Foreign Minister, Magalhães Taques, acknowledged the state of belligerence, admitting the existence in that period of two nations in the current US. Because of the Brazilian position in the face of the war, the two countries have twice suspended their diplomatic relations.
The US ambassador to Brazil, General J. Watson Webb, accused the country of breaking neutrality in favor of the south, because southern ships found, unlike the Northerners, a welcome in Brazilian ports.
In October of 1864, a cruiser from the north of the United States captured a Confederate ship in Bahia. Brazil protested against the violation of its territorial waters, and US Secretary of State William H. Seward went so far as to say that if the country continued to protect southern ships, it would be preferable to declare war on it. Shortly thereafter, the Americans would apologize for the incident, and Brazil then came to recognize only the central US government.
The fears of our ambassador would be confirmed later. With the abolition of slavery in the United States, Brazil, which was the last country besides Cuba to maintain slaves, would begin to undergo great internal and external pressure to free them. A young Bahian law student, Castro Alves, would publish several poems in Republican newspapers demanding the end of slavery. In 1871, the emperor himself would approach for the first time the subject of the liberation of the slaves in the Speech of the Throne - a kind of accountability of the government to the Congress. Until, in 1888, his daughter, Princess Isabel, would sign the abolition of slavery. A bloody war