Frank McMullan's Brazilian colony
William Clark Griggs, B.B.A.
A Thesis in History
Submitted to the graduate faculty of Texas Tech University in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for degree of Master of Arts
Preface Page i.
The demanding work of compiling the history of Frank McMullen's Brazilian colony has been a labor of love. It has also been a time-consuming task which has been born with patients, wife, Joan, and my children, John and Nancy. This preface would not be complete without the recognition of the many times they had relived with me all of the facets of this narrative, wondering around small towns, sear-ching dusty records, and conducting the many interviews that were necessary to gain the innumerable small bits of information that, together, make up the story.
Also, my appreciation goes to Dr. Ernest Wallace for many hours spent reading and rereading the manuscript, and for the innumerable suggestions which inevitably lead to better readability, style, and un-derstanding. Thanks, too, go to Dr. Seymour Connor of Texas Tech University, who first encourage me to pursue what seemed to be a hopeless research project; and to Dr. Robert a Hayes, whose help in Brazilian history and Portuguese grammar was a real value.
Finally, thanks must go to “Mama” Clark, who first aroused my interest in Frank McMullen and who gave me the beginning keys that unlocked a story almost lost.
Forward Page ii.
The reaction many Southerners to defeat by United States forces in the Civil War was one of stunned disbelief. Some found it hard to face the future under the rule of the government and a people that they had learned, right or wrong, to hate. Many envision mass executions and jail sentences for all who had served the Confederacy. Others be-lieved the rumors that their land would be divided among their former slaves. One South Carolinian was so distressed, that after wrapping himself in the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy, he ended his life with a bullet.
Other Southerners make plans to leave the country, believing that a life abroad, free of Yankee domination, was preferable to remaining in the South during reconstruction. Both individually and with col-onies, they left for Canada, Mexico, England, France, and even Egypt, but far off Brazil was the most alluring spot. There, the defeated rebel could see a possibility of reclaiming the wealth, graces, and indepen-dence from labor that had been enjoyed by some before the war.
Frank McMullen, of Hill County, Texas, led the only organized colony to leave Texas after the Civil War. An adventurer, McMullan served with William Walker in Nicaragua and had lived in Mexico before going to Brazil with his partner William Bowen in 1866 to search for lands to which he could leave his followers.
The story of McMullen's colony has been all but lost in the one-hundred years since most of his family returned to Texas. No memoirs by Frank McMullan have been found. Even family recollection has faded until third and fourth generations, in many cases, have never heard of McMullan or his Brazilian colony. For this reason, apparently, the McMullan colony, which was one of the most important to leave the United States after the Civil War, is rarely mentioned in narratives concerning American immigration. There has been no previous scholarly study of the subject.
The discovery of the papers of one of the colonists, George Scarborough Barnsley, at the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was a major key for unlocking the McMullan story. These manuscripts, combined with hundreds of small bits of information gleaned from news-papers, journals, letters, interviews, and other sources, have enabled the reconstruction of this unusual addition to the history of Texas.
List of illustrations III.
I. Design and Destiny 1.
II. The Quest for Eden 14.
I I I. Opposition and Delay 23.
IV. Disaster and Recovery 29
V. A Retreat From Paradise 40
A. Partial roster of the McMullen colony
B. Some of her attempts at colonization
List of Illustrations Page iii.
1. Judge James H Dyer Page 3.
2. A Part of Hillsboro, Texas, About 1853 Page 6.
3. Nicaragua in 1856 Page 10.
4. Southeast Brazil Page 21.
5. Cuba in 1867 Page 34.
6. Nancy McMullan Page 49.
7. Edwin Ney McMullan
8. Brazil, Showing the Sites of Some US Colonies
Chapter 1 Page 1.
Design and Destiny
The great adventure was over. Nancy McMullan stepped from the grassy bank of the deep, clear River into the little rowboat that would take her and her son to the steamer anchored a few yards offshore. On board, it is likely that she stood for a moment looking for the last time at the beautiful Brazilian jungle that she had tried to call home. Behind, in a "modest tomb" in the orchard of a German Protestant, she left her oldest son, Frank. Accompanying her was her brother, James H. Dyer, who was leaving his wife in a grave which he would never again see. As he stepped onto the deck beside his sister, it is probable that Judge Dyer cast a last look at the sawmill on the edge of the river that under his ownership had once been a beehive of activity. Although it had been five years since the last shot to the fired and Civil War in the United States, only now, for the McMullan's and Dyers, did the bloody conflict come to a close. They were returning to Texas. They were going home.
If, on that April day of 1872, Nancy McMullan had allowed herself to reminisce, she might have remembered when Texas was an exciting new frontier. As early as 1847, Nancy’s two brothers, James H. Dyer and Simpson C. Dyer had left Walker County Georgia, with an ox train of pioneers in route to the Lone Star State.
The McMullan's, Nancy and her husband, Hugh, decided to move to Texas in 1863. They fully realized that the trip would be a job of great magnitude. Transporting the children alone would be a chore. Frank, the oldest boy, was 18 years old and already exhibiting the qualities of leadership for which he would someday be praised. Milton was 13 years old, Eugene was 10, Victoria was eight, Virginia was six, and little Lou was only four. In addition to the family, the caravan inclu-ded the slaves, the household goods, and nearly one hundred head of cattle. The McMullen's oldest daughter, Martha Ann, had married John B. Williams, and it was decided that they, too, would go to Texas. Together, the two families must have made quite a procession.
When James H. and Simpson Dyer arrived in Texas, they went first to Henderson County. Lured by the prospects of better land, James Dyer and his family soon moved again, this time to the Mercer colony, where land was free, the sole rich, and the climate “….as mild as far famed Italy.” He located on the bank of the Brazos River at the site of an old Indian village in Navarro County. Here he planned to farm and to “….build friends between the Indians and the whites.” Simpson Dyer and his family followed in 1851, and soon the two families rank-ed among the areas most important citizens. James Dyer later moved to Mountain. Springs, a community by the “mountain” on the water-shed between the Brazos and Trinity Rivers northeast of present Hillsboro. Here the Dyers filed on land under the terms of the Mercer Colony contract.
The Hugh McMullans arrived in Navarro County early in 1853. Soon after their arrival, they purchased Martha Wyman's land about one mile south of old Brandon on Pecan Creek. In their new home, but McMullan's farmed, raised cattle, and, to supplement their income, Hugh began a practice of law. The McMullen's were suc-cessful from the start; they found the climate mild and the black land on which they settled immensely fertile. Navarro County fulfilled their expectations in nearly every respect.
Markets for crops and beef, however, were not satisfactory. More populated areas to the east and south provided only a limited and poorly accessible outlet for some foodstuffs, and the faraway ports of Galveston and Powderhorn (Indianola) were almost too distant for some crops, such as cotton. For cattle, the solution was even more difficult. Although these could be sold in San Antonio, Powderhorn, and Galveston, as well as in several small packing plants within the state, the prices were only a fraction as high in Texas as in many large Eastern cities. Cattle was sometimes shipped to New Orleans or to St. Louis, usually by Morgan Steamers, but the high shipping costs often negated the higher prices received. Consequently, by the early 1850s, the overland cattle drive was becoming an increasingly popular way of getting cattle to market. In 1853, drives to Missouri and beyond were no longer novel. During this period, James H. Dyer drove the first herd of cattle from Texas to Chicago. Since this was before the days of packing houses there, he butchered the cattle and sold them to the public. There were eighteen hundred head, and the job took a year and a half.
Obviously, Texas cattlemen, likewise were anxious for a closer market. Consequently, a new cattle trail to New Orleans was pioneered. Hugh McMullan was one of those who helped to establish this new trade route. In 1855, two years after his arrival in Texas, the size of his herd had grown to the point that he needed a large market. Although South Texas cattle had trailed to Louisiana since the days of the Republic, McMullan was among the first in the north-central Texas to make the attempt successfully.
Fig. 1. -- Judge James H. Dyer
On his early drives to New Orleans, McMullan's chief drover with Jasper "Jap" McMullan, a highly respected and trusted young slave who had come to Texas with the family. In 1855 "Jap" owned his own cattle and brand. He trailed his cattle to market with those of his master and was in full charge of the herd..
During the 1850s, settlers in increasing numbers came to the fertile black soil area near the "Cross Timbers" in the western part of the Navarro County. The new County which had seemed to be ".... a broad expanse, almost the wilderness, with only an occasional hut near some stream inhabited by rugged pioneers," was soon trans-formed into a relatively well populated and civilized community. Yet because of the fifty mile trip to Corsicana, the seat of government, people experienced considerable inconvenience in conducting their official business, particularly judicial matters. Consequently, as soon as the population seemed adequate, a petition was circulated calling for the creation of Hill County from the western part of Navarro County. It was then submitted to the legislature of Texas during a special session that convened on January 10, 1853. That bill, introduced on January 14, 1853, passed both houses without controversy. It was signed by the governor on February 7, 1853.
Subsequently, James H. Dyer announced his candidacy for the office of Chief Justice of the new County. He was opposed by Thomas Bell, Sr., but was elected on may 14, 1853. On the eve of the election a supporter of Dyer named John McCoy and Bell's brother-in-law, John Beaty, became involved in a fight. A Mr. Romaines, in sympathy with Beaty, struck at McCoy with a butcher knife, but the blow was def-lected by an onlooker. Judge Dyer, enraged by aassault, ran up with a bull dog pistol and shot Romaines across the stomach. It was thought that Romaines was mortally wounded and a runner was sent to Fort Graham for Dr. J. M. Steiner, the post surgeon. Friends of Bell and the wounded man "would have killed" Judge Dyer had he not escaped on a friend's black horse with about eight men in hot pursuit. Luckily, Romaines's wound was only superficial. The new judge, although unharmed, missed the. first session of the new court and did not pre-side into a special session on June 3.
On August 25, a special session of the Commissioner's Court met to determine what site to submit to the voters for approval as the new county seat. Several men, hoping for the windfall profits which ordinarily accrued in such cases, offered tracks of land. G. B. Fancher and H. P. Ford offered 185 acres, and Samuel Morrison offered to give a sufficient, although unspecified amount. Thomas Steiner, a member of the Commissioner's Court, offered a large tract, and Hugh McMullan offered to donate seventeen acres to square the Steiner donation should it be selected. The court decreed that all three offerings should be submitted to a vote. In the election of August 26, the land belong-ing to Steiner and McMullan was chosen.
Some sources erroneously claimed that the McMullan land was given to the County by Judge Carothers, the original grantee. This error obviously was made because the deed from Carothers to Mc-Mullan was not signed until December 8, 1855. However, not until the next day, December 9, did the District Court, presided over by Judge Henry C. Jewett, issue Mercer colony certification number 41 giving John A. Carothers title to the land. In essence, Carothers did not have sufficient title to the land until this date and could not deed it to Mc-Mullan. No existing evidence has been found that reveals the exact date that McMullan bought property, but obviously a trust transaction had been completed prior to August 25. Furthermore, George L. Clark, later said that Hugh McMullan, his father-in-law, ".... owned half the land on which the town is located, and donated half the land on which the courthouse now stands. (He and his brother-in-law, Judge Dyer, owned all the land on which the new town now stands)."
On September 23, 1853, the court ordered Arvin Wright, assisted by Hugh McMullan and Haywood Weatherby, to survey the new town site. By January 23, 1854, the measurement was finished, and a cer-tificate certifying its completion was given to the County. On the same day, the court ordered that Hugh McMullan be paid $45 for "....building of a house for a clerk's office and a courthouse." The building was soon completed. Thus, Hugh McMullan constructed the first house in the city of Hillsboro.
Fig. 2. -- A Part of Hillsboro, Texas, About 1853
Far removed, events were beginning to occur that would ultimately affect the lives of the inhabitants of Hillsboro. On October 15, 1853, William Walker, a member of the bar of in New Orleans and formally the editor of the New Orleans Crescent, sailed from California on a filibustering expedition to take over Sonora and Lower California from the Republic of Mexico. The idea of "Manifest Destiny," coupled with his profound belief that the citizens of those northwest Mexican territories would welcome another government, inspired Walker's actions.
This idea of a takeover of neighboring nations was not unique in the United States in the 1850s. A twentiethth century scholar of the period said that the North American people
..... Possessed superabundant energy. They had conquered a continent, and they sighed for other lands to conquer. The splendid isolation in which they had been reared had failed to produce that sense of international obligations which undoubtedly would have developed as they had been near neighbors of other strong peoples and for half a century they had been taking the lands next to theirs in whatever way seemed most convenient. Louisiana they bought. West Florida and Texas they got mainly by filibustering in California they got by con-quest. The moral distinction between public and private pillage of the territory of a weaker nation was vaguely drawn. All that was required of the filibuster was success. If he; succeeded, he was a hero and a patriot if he failed, he was a reprobate.
For several reasons, particularly the lack of supplies, Walker was unable to accomplish his coup in Mexico. After having gone so far as to declare himself to be the President of Sonora on January 16, Wal-ker and his men voluntarily surrendered to United States authorities at the post of San Diego on May 8, 1854
One year later, on May 4, 1855, Walker was on his way to another foreign nation. In Nicaragua, one faction seeking control of govern-ment invited Walker to come to it's aid. Seizing the opportunity, Wal-ker sailed for Nicaragua was fifty-eight men. His plans, however, were not to aid the natives but to take over the country for the benefit of the Anglo-Americans. Among those who were with Walker in this ill-fated adventure were two men from Hill County, Texas -- Frank McMullan and Thomas Steiner.
Records do not reveal why Frank McMullan and Thomas Steiner decided to cast their lot with Walker's filibusters;. Perhaps the lust for adventure and a hope for wealth were two of the lures; it is possible, too, that the two shared the ideas of a group of Southerners who view-ed the ultimate takeover of Mexico, Central America, and Cuba as the necessary expedient for keeping the balance of power between the South and the North.
Propaganda by other would-be filibusters from Texas could have been at least partially responsible for McMullan said Steiner's dec-isions to cast their lots with Walker. Henry Lawrence Kinney, of Corpus Christi, Texas, received a grant of land in Nicaragua which he hoped to use as a base for his overthrow the government. Writing in the Brownsville (Texas) Flag, Kinney said that it would require "....but a few hundred Americans, particularly if Texans, to take control of the country. I have grants of land, and enough to make a start upon safely and legally. I intend to make a suitable government, and the rest will follow."
Fierce fighting swept the little Central American nation during the last half of 1855 the first half of 1856, and by May, one year after his landing, Walker was elected as President of Nicaragua and hailed in many quarters as a hero. The "Grey-Eyed Man of Destiny" had accom-plished almost complete victory. President Franklin Pierce accorded recognition in the name of the United States. But the American adven-turer made a fatal mistake. He failed to get the support of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the wealthy magnet of United States shipping who has interest in Nicaragua. Walker had received much-needed aid from Vanderbilt's rivals, and, at their request, seized property belonging to the Commodore in Nicaragua. The angry Vanderbilt thereupon aided and abetted a coalition of Central American nations, led by Costar Rica, which attacked Walker's army on several fronts. Beseiged on all sides, the American surrendered to Commander Charles Henry Davis of the United States Navy, whose ships were anchored in Nicaraguan waters, and were transported back to United States.
In November, 1857, Frank McMullan was again with Walker in another attempt to take over Nicaragua. When approaching the little spit of Punta Arenas in the harbor of San Juan del Norte, his ship, the Fashion, sailed past the Saratoga, a United States ships sent there to prevent Walker from landing. On board the Fashion were one hun-dred and fifty men and a large cargo of war material. One report said that "the officers and most of the men were old veterans of Nicaragua, including the tired soldiers, Hornsby, Von Natzmer, Swingle, Tucker, Henry, Hoof, Fayssoux, Cook, McMullan (Frank McMullan), Haskins, Buttrick and others.
After a series of petty annoyances by Captain Frederick K. Chetard of the Saratoga, the Flag Officer of the Home Squadron of United States Navy, Commodore Hiram Paulding, demanded Walker's sur-render. Pauling landed a force of "three hundred and fifty men in howitzer barges" and "formed soon in order of battle." Walker rel-uctantly surrendered to the superior force. Included among the list of prisoners was one Lt.. McMullan.
At this time, Frank McMullan must have fitted well into the filibusters. Only twenty-two years old, he was six feet, one inch in height and a man of powerful physique who became the champion wrestler of Walker's Army. It was not long before he attracted the attention of Walker himself who made him an officer in the elite corps.. By the time of his capture by Paulding, McMullan was an experienced fighting man, having participated in several pitched battles with some of the best professional soldiers of the time. Charles Frederick Henningsen, who had fought in wars in Spain, Russia, and Hungary before joining Walker, had particular praise for the troops who fought in Nicaragua. Such men, said Henningsen.
.... Do not turn up in everyday life. I was on the Confederate side in many of the bloodiest battles of late (Civil) war, but I aver that if at the end of that war I had been allowed to pick 5,000 of the great-st Confederate or Federal soldiers I ever saw, and could resurrect and pit them against 1000 of such men as life beneath the orange trees of Nicaragua, I feel certain that the thousand would have scattered and utterly routed the 5000 within an hour.
Fig. 3. -- Nicaragua in 1856
But for Frank McMullan, as for most of the tired soldiers the se-cond expedition to Nicaragua was enough. He decided to return to Texas and complete his college education.
Early in 1858, Frank McMullen rejoined his family at the house on Pecan Creek. He met a new brother, Charlie, who had been born in 1856 while he was in Nicaragua. He was acquainted with the little Ney, who was now four years old. It is likely that he marveled at how much his other brothers and sisters had grown in the three years that he had been gone. But the joys of reunions were saddened by the fact that Hugh McMullan was no longer there. On December 27, 1855, while on a trip to Austin to look after some of his landed interests, he died after eating a frozen turnip. Nancy McMullen soon sold the pro-perty on Pecan Creek and moved to the area of Greenswade's Mill on the Brazos River south of Towash, perhaps to be nearer her brothers.
Before 1860, Frank McMullan was able to resume his plans to return to school. He chose the largest college in Texas, Mackenzie college in Clarksville, a Methodist school operated by John Witherspoon Pettigrew Mackenzie that offered both a B. A. And a M.. A.. Degree. What a change it must've been for the former filibuster! In this institution, Chapel at 4 AM was compulsory for every student. The school "....afforded varied social contacts and stimulation from the personality of Mackenzie, and students were said to return home reluctantly at the end of the 10 months session."
During his first year of Mackenzie College Frank McMullan dev-eloped respiratory problems that were to plague him for the re-maining years of his life. The bacilli of tuberculosis, probably picked up in the damp jungles of Nicaragua, struck him savagely while he was suffering from a stubborn cold. Realizing that he was in serious condition, McMullan left school and headed for the high, dry climate of Mexico where he hoped to gain some relief. While there, he was treated by a celebrated American physician named Dr. Knapp.
Back in the United States, forces were at work which were severely disrupting the nation. The issues over rights of states versus the union, over slavery in the territories, and even the existence of slavery
itself, were tearing the nation apart. These irreconcilable problems surfaced in 1860, and when an Ordinance of Secession was presented to the voters of Texas on February 23, 1861, it was adopted by the overwhelming vote of 41,129 to 14,697. In Hill County, the tally was proportionate, with 376 voting for and 63 voting against secession. Only in a few counties on the western and northern borders did the ordinance fail to pass. On March 2, 1861, twenty-five years to the day since she had first become a republic, Texas left the union. On March 4, the secession convention, which had earlier set the statewide election, reconvened in Austin and united Texas with the newly established Confederate States of America. Governor. Sam Houston declared that in enacting the measure the Convention had exceeded its authority and refuse to take the oath to the new government; but his opposition was to no avail, as Texas was irretrievably committed to a "lost cause."
Texas was quick to rally to the Confederate banner, and Hill County was no exception. Judge James H. Dyer, John T. Eubank, and Jackson Puckett petitioned Governor. Houston on December 8, 1860, to call the legislature into session "....for the purpose of taking into.... deliberate consideration the best mode of action for the safety of our property, lives and honor." Although they received no direct reply, the legislature was set to convene on January 21, 1861. After Texas left the union, Joseph Wier, the editor of the Hillsboro Express, in July, 1861 melted down his type for bullets and organized what became company A, Twelfth Texas Cavalry. John B. Williams, Frank McMullen's brother-in-law and early merchant in Hillsboro, organized Company D, Nineteenth Texas Cavalry. Jackson Puckett and J. R. Goodwin organize units composed partially of Hill County men. All of these commands served with distinction during the Civil War.
After five years of devastating war Hill County veterans returned home to cope with the political situation that was distasteful and revolutionary. Radical Republicans were supported by Federal troops. Many prominent men and former officers of the Confederacy feared that they might be tried for so-called war crimes and treason. Charles William Ramsdell described the situation in this way:
Meanwhile conditions in the state grew worse. Wild rumors were afloat of dire punishment to be inflicted on prominent rebels by the victorious Yankees. Trials for treason before military commissions and wholesale confiscation of property were fully expected and a sort of panic seized upon many of those who had held office under the Confederacy. Some declared that they would not live under the odious rule of their enemies and prepared to immigrate.
For many former Confederates, President Andrew Jackson's am-nesty proclamation of May 29, 1865, was a major blow. The decree, among other things, provided that "All persons who have voluntarily participated in said rebellion and the estimated value of whose taxable properties over $20,000.... are exempted from the benefits of this proclamation." But, anyone who fell within this category would make special application to the President for amnesty.;. Also included in the excepted classes were "pretended civil or diplomatic officers.... of the pretended Confederate government," which could be interpreted to include state and local offices. Judge James H. Dyer had served as County Judge under the Confederate government, and Frank McMullan's estate was probably worth more than $20,000.
Frank McMullan and Judge Dyer were among those who found the new situation intolerable and began to make plans for immigration. Many ex-Confederates were making plans to go to Mexico, but McMullan, who had lived there was aware of its instability, thought that some other place might be more rewarding. But where else might the prospective immigrants go that would offer stability, potential wealth, freedom from Yankee interference, and the opportunity to maintain at least some of the graces of antebellum life?
Brazil seemed to be the answer. Already promoting colonization from the United States, Brazil offered the Texans ingredients they sought. Good land was available on long terms at low prices, and, for those who were interested, slavery was still legal. Brazil, McMullan concluded, could be a haven free from the problems they faced in Texas." Defunct Rab," in the following verses, expressed rather well, no doubt, the feelings of McMullan and his compatriots:
O, give me a ship with 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,
With monkeys aplenty, and Portuguese girls!
O, give me a ship with sail and with wheel,
And let me be off to happy Brazil!
I long to rest 'neath the broad spreading palm,
To gaze at her rivers so delicious and sweet,
And try a taste of her guanaco meat!
O, 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 Don Pedro, her king,
Kneel at his feet -- call him, "My Royal Boss"!
And receive in return, "Welcome old Hoss"
As published in the New Orleans Daily Picayune - March 18, 1866
Chapter I I Page 14.
The Quest For Eden
After the Civil War, the government of Dom Pedro II, the Emperor of Brazil, actively sought American colonists. Although the search was not confined to the southern states of North America where potential immigrants included men and women of education, this area was a prime target. As a result of the conflict, hundreds of engineers, doc-tors, dentists, farmers, and teachers, as well as scores of other trade and professional men, were looking for new homes. Many were anxious, for various reasons, to immigrate to other countries. By 1865, notices telling of Brazilian immigration terms began to appear in many newspapers within the United States. An advertisement in the New Orleans Daily Picayune proclaimed that "the Imperial Government looks with sympathy and interest on American immigration to Brazil and his resolve to give the most favorable welcome". Within a year, Brazil had opened immigration offices in New York, Richmond, Savannah, Mobile, and New Orleans. To attract the highest quality immigrants, Brazil offered very liberal terms to colonizers who might bring in large quantities of settlers to establish new com-unities and open new areas of the country. Land was offered for under twenty-two cents per acre, including the cost of the surveys,, and no limit was set on the amount that any immigrant could buy. The promoter of the colony was held responsible for payments of each individual purchaser. The government promised clear title as soon as payment had been made in full. No import duties were to be imposed on equipment or machinery brought in by the colonists for his own use. Temporary housing was to be provided for land grants upon their arrival.
Brazil also made arrangements to help with the cost of the passage. If the promoter of the colony was able to recruit as many as twenty ship loads of immigrants, Brazil agreed to pay the entire expense of one of the ships. For individual immigrants, it agreed to advance the cost of commercial ship passage, the amount to be repaid over a period of four years. As an added inducements, American colonists were to be allowed to go directly to the site where they plan to settle without going through customs at Rio de Janeiro.
The terms offered by the Brazilian government appealed to Frank McMullan. Although his health had improved, McMullan believed, according to a later account by his brother, Ney, that by returning to the tropics he might be completely cured. Too, he had yearned, since his days with Walker in Nicaragua, to return to Latin America. His Southern sympathies and dislike for reconstruction were, of course, added incentives. Furthermore, McMullan was a businessman. The possibility of being able to make a large amount of money by buying good land at a low price appealed to him.
Another Texan who was interested in colonization to Brazil was William Bowen of Milam County. Finding their plans to be similar, McMullan and Bowen joined forces. Both recognized that they first needed to go to Brazil to inspect the country and to determine firsthand the feasibility of settling a colony there. Too, provisional title to lands would have to be assured before the two men spent the large amounts of money that would be necessary for such a venture. They journeyed from Texas to New York where direct steamer connections could be made to Rio de Janeiro and there on October 21, 1865, boarded the North America. On December 9, 1865 they were in Brazil. Upon notifying the authorities of their arrival, they were "honored as guests of the Imperial government, and given free transportation over all public thoroughfares." They also were given letters of introduction to the heads of all the municipal governments through which they might pass, with instructions to the Brazilians to furnish information and facilitate their movement as much as possible.
After one month's stay in Rio de Janeiro, McMullan and Bowen boarded a packet steamer, the Dom Alfonzo, for a trip of four hund-red miles down the coast. After what another passenger described as "a most un-poetical voyage in a slow, and comfortless steamer," they reached their first destination, the little town of Cananeia. Here, McMullan and Bowen met Maj. Ernesto D.. Street, the Inspector General of public lands for the province of São Paulo. Major Street promptly made plans for taking a trip into the interior. At the suggestion of a man described by McMullan as "our friend, Captain (Alfonzo) Buhlaw," Street appointed Louis Donker Van der Hoff to accompany the Americans in their explorations. Buhlaw, an ex-Confederate already living in Brazil, had persuaded the Emperor to commission him to supervise the surveying and mapping of public lands in São Paulo province.
After several days in Cananeia, McMullan, Bowen, and Van Der Hoff secured horses and set out for the interior. Four miles from the city they reached the Itapetininga River, “where the whole facing character of the country are changed to a rich mulatto, sticky soil, and a fine, thrifty growth of timber.” Crossing the Itapetininga, a “beautiful, clear, bold running creek,” the party went about two and one half miles up the valley to the home of their host, Van Der Hoff, who put them up for the night.”Mr. Van der Hoff,” said McMullan, “is a Dutchman, and lives in the good old ‘milk and butter style,’ his being the only place in Brazil where we found those excellent (not to say luxurious) articles of food, notwithstanding the peculiar adaptation of the country for them in plenty and to spare in all seasons.” McMullan and Brown spent the following day looking at Van Der Hoof’s crops of coffee trees, pineapples, and potatoes.
On the morning of January 20, the three men reached the colony of Cananeia, an English settlement about twelve miles from the port which was established in the late 1850s on the headwaters of the Itapetininga and Pandavina rivers. The hospitable director, a Mr. Smith, traveled with the Americans for the next few days. At the colony of Cananeia, McMullan and Bowen first became acquainted with Captains A. M. Hanson and Major S. E. Totten, both former Confederates who are later involved with Alfonzo Buhlaw in various enterprises. Both Hansen and Totten accompanied McMullan and Bowen beyond the colony of Canaeia. The following morning the party crossed the dividing ridge between the two small rivers into the Pandavina Valley and followed the narrow, little used trail to the home of the next settler, Señor Francisco Xavier, where they received a kind reception and the “civilities of his house.” The Pandavina, which flowed past Xavier’s house, emptied into a larger River named the Garahu. It was toward this latter waterway that the little expedition headed the following morning. After traveling about four miles, the men arrived at the falls of the Garahu. Major Totten, seeing the possibility of the falls for waterpower, immediately took steps to buy the adjoining land and made plans with Captain Hansen to build a sawmill.
On January 22, the travelers set forth to do further exploration. They descended the Garahu to a tributary named the Jacupiranga. Going up this branch, they soon reached a newly built village called Botujuru, which McMullan predicted would be the head of steamboat navigation. They were then about twelve miles from Senior Xavier's home and about six miles from the mouth of the Garahu. From this point, they ascended the Jacuparinga by canoe, reaching the falls two days later. Here, once again, Frank McMullan noted the possibilities of harnessing the power of the fast-moving waters. Although the Jacuparinga offered many desirable features, McMullan and Bowen decided that it was unsuitable because of the height of the hills and the limited size of the valleys.
Deciding to return to Botujuru, the Americans, led by Van der Hoff, retraced their steps down the Jacupiranga. After a short and fruitless search up a tributary called the Bananal, they arrived four or five days later, at Botujuru. Describing the countryside in the vicinity, McMullan said that it was of “excellent quality resembling somewhat to Red River lands of Texas and Louisiana of the United States, and well situated up to the falls; but the margins of the rivers are all private property.
Before leaving the area of Botujuru, the explorers decided to make one more trip, a “short run up the Canho, a large creek which empties into the Jacupiranga a few hundred yards below the village.” Finding this country unusable for colonization because of his rugged terrain, the searchers then shifted their quest to the Ribeira de Iguape River in the vicinity of the town of Xiririca. To get to Xiririca, McMullan and Bowen had to descend the Jacupiranga about seven miles to the Valley of the Turvo, another small, swift running creek which wound through a “rich and beautiful valley of a quarter of a mile in width, and bounded by ranges of hills often Logan undulating.” They would have settled for the Turvo Valley, but found that it was already oc-cupied.
The final leg of the trip to Xiririca was sixtenn miles and over some of the most rugged country they had traversed. The route followed a dim trailway, often barely perceivable for the first right miles. The group of six men (including, “cameradas” to carry baggage) had only two horses, and these, said McMullan, “without bridal or saddle --our blankets answering for the latter, while thongs of bark, tied to the under jaw of the animals, made substitutes for the former.” One and a half days after leaving Botujuru, the party reached the lovely and inviting village of Xiririca. Here, they were met by Senior Fernando Jose Cabral, who, in the same gracious manner that seems to be com-mon to all Brazilians, offered the hospitalities of his house. The others whom they met in the town were equally friendly and expressed a desire that the prospective colonists would find a municipio in their area. To ensure future hospitality for the travelers, the delgado and subdelgado of Xiririca gave letters of recommendation to McMullan and Bowen that they might show to others as they proceeded up the Ribeira.
One of those to whom they carried letters of introduction was a man named Senior Franco who lived at the falls of the Batatal, a tributary of the Ribeira.. To get there, the group found it necessary to ascend the Ribeira about twenty miles, then go up the Batatal about another twelve. Going by canoe, the men soon arrived at Franco's house where they received the usual courteous reception. Senior Franco made the necessary arrangements for the McMullan party to continue into the interior. After a short distance up the Batatal, the good horse trail followed by the party left the river and led the trav-elers up the slope of a large mountain and into a valley, “surrounded on all sides by steep mountains from 1,500 to 2,000 feet high,” that was the home of Senior Franco’s son.
Beyond these mountains lay another tributary of the Batatal, the Ariado, that McMullan and Bowen wanted to see. To get there, it was necessary to climb a precipice that towered two-thousand feet over the valley floor. With the younger Senior Franco as a guide, the Am-ericans found it necessary to cut thick underbrush along their way up the forty-five degree slope. On reaching the summit, they were amazed at what they saw. The top was flat, much like the maces of western Texas, and was covered with tall, matted cane similar to that in the bayous of Louisiana. Here, too. Was the beginning of a tri-butary of the Ariado which wound into the valley beyond.
After descending the flat-top mountain, McMullan and his surveyors soon arrived at the main Ariado. Going downstream about two miles, they reached the home of Senior Antonio the Prado, who, with his brother, was the most remote settler in this direction. Detailing their search to him, McMullan and Bowen were told that less than three miles distance there was “a magnificent valley” which must contain twenty-five thousand acres of excellent level land, through the midst of which flow many small streams.
McMullan and Bowen elected not to look at this valley, giving as reasons that they were “a little unwell,” there being no road, and desirous of finding a place a little nearer navigation.” They then returned to the home of the elder Senior Franco on the Batatal, and then down the river to its junction with the Ribaira where they stopped at the farm of a Senior Guimaraes. Guimaraes, a model of kindness and hospitality, accompanied the group up the Tarquari, another tributary of the Ribeira, for about twenty miles to its falls. Senior Guimaraes told McMullan that beyond the falls the valley spread out and that there were thousands of acres of good farmland which would be suitable for colonization. But, once again, McMullan decided that it would be unwise to continue farther. The men turned back to Xiririca where they arrived on March 9, 1866.
During their second stay in Xiriricaa, McMullan and Bowen had their first taste of family life in Brazil. They visited with Senior Guerra, his wife, and two daughters in the parlor of the home. Questions about life in the United States were numerous, as this was the first opportunity that the Brazilians had had to talk to North Americans. Before the evening ended, the Guerras expressed the desire to have American neighbors. McMullan said that they had a “pleasant evening, and had it not been for the difference in language, might easily have imagined ourselves in an American family.” This was the only time on their trip that McMullan and Bowen talked socially with any of the ladies of Brazil.
After spending some time in Xiririca, the Texans followed the Ribeira downstream about ten miles to the fedenza (plantation) of Senior Miguel Antonio Jorge, the largest planter on the Ribeira. Jorge owned ” large quantities of slaves, and probably several hundred thousand acres of land. He had a spacious dwelling, and iron sugar mill, a saw-mill, grist-mill, distillery, etc. and is quite fixed after the Brazilian style.” McMullan noted that Jorge exported rice and Aguardiente, a native liquor made from cane.
Armed with a letter of introduction to Senior Manuel Alves, the ex-ploring party continue to his home at the junction of the Ribeira and the Juquia. Not finding Senior Alves at home, McMullan and Bowen, undecided were next to go, followed River to the little town of Iguape. It was here that they met the Reverend Ballard S. Dunn, formerly a rector of St. Phillips Church of New Orleans and a chaplain in the Confederate Army. Dunn was to promoter of a colony from the United States, called Lizzieland after one of Dunn’s daughters, soon to be located on Juquia, a branch of the Ribeira that McMullan and Bowen had passed during the previous day. Since Dunn was highly pleased with the land he had selected, McMullan and Bowen, determined to see it as soon as possible, made arrangements to meet the American colonizer on the Ponta Grossa, another tributary of the Ribeira, in about four days.
During the interim, the party except for Major Totten who here left for Cananeiaa, went to Botujuru to take care of some business matters. Upon their arrival at Botujuru, Van der Hoff, the guide and host, received notice from the government that he was to withdraw from the McMullan-Bowen group.
Upon the conclusion of their business in Botujuru, the small party returned down stream to the Ribeira and thence to the Ponta Grossa, where they had agreed to meet Ballard S. Dunn. Dunn accompanied McMullan and Bowen up the Rivera to the Juquia, the future site of his Lizzieland. The country was the most impressive they had seen. At the mouth of the Juquia, McMullan noted that the river was 150 yards wide and deep enough for large steamers. On the upper reaches of the river, McMullan Bowen found largest tributary of the Juquia, the Sao Lourenco. Here the search ended.” On the upper Juquia and Sao Lourenco,” wrote McMullan “we found a country that did our hearts good, and made us feel that we had at long last found the place we had been looking for for so long. There, in this delightful region, we determined to locate.”
Since the lands available for colonization were not directly on the river, McMullan and Bowen immediately began talks with the government representatives for access river fronts. After receiving a verbal assurance, they set out for Rio de Janeiro to ask the Emperor to appoint a competent person to make the grants in writing. “We were not suspicious,” said McMullan, “of any intentional fraud on the part of the people, but were only desirous of seeing our way clear, and guarding against future contingencies.” McMullan worried that his caution would be misinterpreted by his “Brazilian friends,” but the request was granted.
After receiving provisional title from the Inspector General, Mc-Mullan and Bowen returned to the Juquia-Sao Lourenco area to “make a more thorough examination of the government Lands included in the survey which we had selected.” The men went up the Sao Lourenco “a half a day's run” to the home of Senior Joachim Padroso, where there were invited to spend the night. With Padroso as guide, they took canoes and went about eight more miles where they left the water and proceeded on foot. On arrival, they found the site of the future :colony to be of very superior quality, well situated, and above all overflow. The land they felt could easily support twenty families, and, just as important, they could unhesitatingly recom-mend it to their friends. The Biqua, “ a beautiful creek” that ran through the lands, flowed over “a bed of clean, white sand, with a delightful valley spreading out on each side a distance of from three hundred yards to more than a mile, and this skirted by high hills covered with fine, large timber.” Returning to their canoe after a tiring and strenuous walk, McMullan and Bowen stopped for the night. The next morning by 10 A.M. they were descending the river and within a short and uneventful time were back in the home of Señor Pedrosoa.
After refreshments and rest, the Texans, that same morning, again headed their canoes up the Sao Lourenco to look at the remainder of their lands. Throughout the day, they passed farm's and coffee fadenzas on the river's edge and marveled at the beauty of the area. By early evening they were "snugly resting under the friendly roof of Señor Captain. Luis Leite. This gentleman, being well acquainted with the country above, volunteered to accompany us," said McMullan, "and on the morning of the 30th of April we were off up the river again."
Within two hours after leaving Leite's home they found themselves at the head of the steamboat navigation on the Sao Lourenco and at the mouth of the tributary called the Itare. After a stop for the night they proceeded up the smaller stream where they saw several falls and passed the mouth of the Peixe (Fish) River. By noon they were at the mouth of the Rio de Azeite (River of oil), "decidedly the clearest, most transparent, and purest water we have ever seen in any country. As small a thing as a pin is as clearly perceivable at a depth of ten feet and though it were on the surface."
Going up the Azeite one and a half miles, the prospective colonizers found an extensive level plain of from four to ten miles wide and twelve to fifteen in length, "covered with large straight timber, and a hundred rivulets dancing over their beds of yellow gold- like sand. The Land," said McMullan, "will be easier to clearer than any others we had seen in the country, being of a loose, yellow loam, and with plenty of sand to make them pleasant to cultivat.". It was also noted that the lands at this point were dry and always above the river during overflow. This day, May 1, 1866, was:
...... The happiest day we had spent in the Empire, we felt that our hopes were realized, that the great giver of all good had blessed our honest endeavors to find and secure homes for a brave but unfor-unate people. Here the homeless may find a home, and the outcast a "resting place, with none to molest or make them afraid." Here are lands equal to any in the world and within three or four day's run from the great Capital of the nation, a climate unsurpassed, neither hot nor cold, and where frost is never known, water as cold as the mountain spring, and as equally distributed as to allow almost every man to run his plantation machinery from it. Here almost everything grows, and grows well, too, that is calculated to minister to the health and comfort, not to say luxury, of man.
Fig. 4. -- Southern Beazil
After spending several days in what they both considered to be their new home, Frank McMullan and William Bowen descended the river to the town of Iguape. Here, they said good-bye. Bowen was to stay in Brazil to make any final arrangements with the government, as well as to begin the preparation for the arrival of the colonists from Texas on their new land. McMullan boarded a packet steamer bound for Rio de Janeiro, where he made his final report to the Minister of Agriculture. Near the end of this document, McMullan expresses faith in the Brazilian government and expressed hope for the future.
.... We have the best system of government known to man while it combines all the elements of strength requisite to ensure its stability against every emergency, it guarantees PRACTICAL EQUALITY to ALL its citizens, and administers justice with the firm and a willing hand. We have a monarchy (Thank God!) in name, and a TRUE Republican in practice and under the wise admin-istration of our good Emperor, our destiny must be onward and upward to a degree of prosperity unknown to other countries.
Thus the stage was set. The site for the colony had been found and tentative title had been obtained. Frank McMullan could now return to Texas for this colonists.
Chapter I I I Page 23.
Opposition and Delay
When he returned to Texas, Frank McMullan found a changed mood among many who, six months before, were anxious to emigrate to a foreign land. The president's reconstruction plan no longer seemed unduly harsh. Furthermore, the idea of Southerners leaving the United States to live in another country was opposed by many, both in the North and in the South. A letter to Matthew Fon-taine Maury, famous in connection with colonization to Mexico, Robert E Lee expressed his op-position:
.... I considered that the South required the presence of her sons more than at any former part of her history to sustain and restore here; that so many might find comfortable homes in a foreign land, what would become of the Southern States, and the citizens who abided in them.
Thomas K. Beecher. the famous nineteenth-century minister, wrote letters to several newspapers in which he spoke against immigration. A letter quoted in the Galveston Daily News of March 16, 1867, urged mechanics and tradesmen to refrain from going to Brazil. Many other newspapers including the New York Times, the New York Herald, and the New Orleans Crescent, seemed eager to report any bad news pertaining to colonization abroad.
In Texas, the Galveston Daily News and its satellite, the Galveston Tri-weekly News, strongly op-posed immigration to Brazil. The editor of the News never lost an opportunity to speak out. He gave a four-column spread on page one to a letter from John Cardwell of Brazoria who described his disil-lusionment with Brazil. Cardinal gave several reasons for his dislike for South America. Foremost was that Texas would be subservient to an inferior Africanized race, and at the same time become their pliant tools. He pointed to the "alarming decrease" in the number of slaves in the country (Brazil) and predicted that the trend with lead to the "utter annihilation of the institution in very few years." "In Brazil," he said, "there is no other prospect left but that of a thoroughly Africanized government." Physical conditions, too, were described as being undesirable. There were thousands of poisonous insects, said Cardwell, as well as unendurable heat and excessive rainfall. The diseases of leprosy and elephantitus, he inferred, which surely infect any North American who dare to venture near the country.
Furthermore, Caldwell had a very low opinion of the Brazilians. They were, he claimed, already a mixed race before leaving the old world, and they were:
.... The most inferior of the Latin races, and during the long occupation of the Iberian. Peninsula by the Mohammedans their blood was deeply tinged with that of the Moor; this compound settled Brazil, and as neither its moral or intellectual standing was good, so soon as to African came in contact with it, an affinity was created, which has resulted in a thorough amalgamation.
Cardwell then warned Southerners to beware of colonization agents. "Southern men," said Cardwell, "for the sake of gold, will advise you to sell out your all here, and pursue your way seven thousand miles to live in misery, and to entail upon your children a life of shame".
Frank McMullan, in New Orleans making arrangements for a ship, read Cardwell's letter and, understandably, was upset. He wrote a reply to the Tri-weekly News, parts of which were published on Nov-ember 14, 1866. The editor claimed that some portions of McMullan's reply were "not quite just to our correspondent, as we think; but in justice to the writer we will state the points of interest to the public." McMullan answered that Cardwell wrote "like one who had never traveled through the country, and was too much affected by the change of homes to give his new location and impartial judgment. McMullan maintained that the Brazilian government "never offered a penny to an agent of immigration," and that "agents had never advised anyone to go to Brazil. He knew of no anti-slavery agitation in Brazil and foresaw no problem concerning the Negro. He said that some of those South-erners who were already in Brazil, including Colonel William Bowen, "an old soldier ....(who) helped (Texas) in her first struggles.... and P. B. Hockaday, formerly a partner of the great Henry Clay," were both happy. Further, said McMullan, if Cardwell would "come to Galveston about the 10th or 15th of next month, he will see about twenty and thirty families who believe as I do."
One month later, on December 16, 1866, the Tri-Weekly News published, in full, Cardwell's refutation of McMullan's statements. After repeating many of his prior arguments, Cardwell charged that McMullan and Bowen were "in a co-partnership in a scheme of some kind." Cardwell then returned to his argument concerning the race situation in Brazil and predicted that eventually, the whites would have little or no control over government or their own affairs. Em-migrants would not escape from what they were fleeing, for soon the Negro would be the social and political equal, if not superior, in Brazil.
.... I think it proper that people should be permitted to know that those very things which they would flee from here as a possible evil of the future will be found there fully developed, both politically and socially; that the black, whom some admit will one day see are equally here, will already be found there occupying the foremost and most honorable walks of society; that although he white fears he will some day cast his ballot in the same box with him here, he will find him not only voting there, but making laws --laws to govern whites who go there; that he will have to shut his doors against all social intercourse, or admit the Negro to his bed and board.
P. B. Hockaday, Caldwell wrote, was imbecile, "at one time a smart man, who was wandering about in an unsettled condition." Cardwell then predicted that of the twenty or thirty families he (McMullan) speaks of, fifteen or twenty, and probably all, will return, if able, in less than two years."
No other letters from Cardwell appear in the press, and in the New Orleans Times of January 24, 1867, Frank McMullan had the last word. McMullan's letter addressed "To my friends in Texas, and to all good Southerners who think of going to Brazil," began by cautioning his readers "against paying any attention to the combined opposition of the press, South as well as North, to immigration to Brazil," and then struck back at Cardwell.
Some editors (he wrote) are like the politicians of the day, public parasites, who feed upon the vital energies of the honest laboring classes, and whose business it is to stir up strife and oppose every enterprise which does not advance their private interests. There is another sort of opposition -- that which comes from designing men, such as John Cardwell (sic) of Brazoria, of this state, who has written much against Brazil, and who during the two months he remained out of the country,( at Rio) was never out of sight of salt water but once, and then only about eight hours, when he rode out on a railroad and back the same day. If others do not wish to go, we say let them stay, and joy be with them. We persuade no one to go. been known, his communication will have no effect on sensible man. Now, I ask, if it is our desire to go to Brazil, what business is it? Why the opposition? Would it not be more honorable to bid fact of us go in God's name, and wish us well in the end?
Not everyone in Texas heated John Cardwell's advice. The news of Major McMullan's prospecting trip had traveled over much of Texas, and on his return to the States he was overwhelmed with in-quiries about Brazil. His passenger list grew daily, and with the publication of the McMullan - Bowen report of the Minister of Agriculture in Ballard Dun's book, the quota soon filled. Many of Mcmillan's relatives and close friends decided to go with him, including his mother, his sisters, Lou and Victoria, and their families, and several members of the John B. Williams family. Judge James H. Dyer, his wife, Amanda, and their three children had already moved to Louisiana to make some preliminary preparation.
For immigrants outside of his and Colonel Bowen's personal families, Frank McMullan set precise qualifications. "Persons going on these vessels will be required," said McMullan, "to "give satisfactory assurances that they are southern in feeling, pro-slavery in sentiment and that they had maintained the reputation of honorable men."
Everyone must come prepared to establish this evidence, before you can gain admittance to the lands which have been set apart to us and our friends, by the Brazilian government, we had the exclusive right to say who shall settle on them. Honest Southerners will appreciate these sentiments; and all person bringing this required evidence, we most cordially invite to settle with us, where they will receive a hearty welcome from friends of their "own sort," and a Christian prayer for their future welfare.
The Brazilian government must have insisted on only high-quality colonists. To reassure it, McMullan wrote a letter to the Brazilian Legation on October 18, 1866, in which he vouched that the people coming him were first-class citizens, most of the whom had possessed fortunes before the war. Although many of the emigres did not comply with this description, some did. Perhaps the best-known of this group was George Scarborough Barnsley. Barnsley, a native of Georgia, had come to Texas after the Civil War in search of a place to begin anew. Before his education at Oglethorpe University had been interrupted by the conflict, Barnsley had been a medical student. During the war, he rose from the rank of private of Company A, Rome Light Guard, Eighth Georgia Regiment, to the position of assistant surgeon. Barnsley, having incurred a number of debts, was looking for a way to recoup the fortune which his family had possessed before the war. His father, Gottfried Barnsley, was an English citizen whose sentiments during the conflict were with the South. He was a cotton merchant with offices in both Georgia and New Orleans. Woodlands, Barnsley plantation located in Cass County, Georgia, only a few miles from the old home of both the McMullan and Dyer families, was the re-maining tangible evidence of the pre-war status of the family.
George Barnsley had another reason for wishing to “hit it rich” in Texas. He hoped to marry Miss Ginny Norton of Norfolk, Virginia, and felt that it was necessary to have some measure of affluence be-fore asking for her hand. In Texas, however, Barnsley failed to find the financial possibilities he sought. Then, he met Frank McMullan and learned the details of his colonization plans. This, he decided, was the solution to his problems. Joined by his brother, Lucian, George Barnsley became the official “Doctor” of McMullan's colony. In addition to free passage and board, Barnsley contracted with McMullan for $2.50 per day for his services. During a visit with Godfrey Barnsley in New Orleans, McMullan stated that the Barnsley sons, with industry and economy, would do well in Brazil.
In New Orleans, Frank McMullan and a delegation of colonists contacted J. M. Oriel, the agent for the "Brazilian line of packets," Oriel owned the Derby, a sturdy oak-ribbed brigantine of English construction and registry and 213 tons burden. The ship was large enough to accommodate one hundred and fifty persons and, in addition, large amounts of equipment, machinery, and luggage. In November 1866, McMullen chartered the Derby for a total of $7,500 in United States currency. Of this amount, $6,000 was to be paid before the ship sailed and the balance after its arrival in Brazil. Additionally, Oriol was to convert the Derby into a passenger ship by building the necessary bunks and have it ready to sail by December 5, 1866. His preparation seemingly complete, Frank McMullan left New Orleans for Texas to make final arrangements with prospective colonists.
After making the necessary arrangements with those who signed to go with him to Brazil, McMullan returned to New Orleans on December 6, expecting to find the Derby ready for sea. Instead, he found it almost exactly as it had been a month before. None of the conversion work had been done, and even worse, the New Orleans sheriff had attached the ship for an alleged debt of $1,257.23 against Oriol. Oriol had lied when he stated that there were no outstanding debts against the Derby. Furious, Mc-Mullan proposed to move the brig to a berth where he could contract the necessary carpenter work. But the first he had to post bond in the amount of the indebtedness. After making the necessary bond, McMullan moved the ship and contracted with John Robinson, a ship's carpenter, to complete its overhaul. By mid-December, the Derby was ready to sail to Galveston where it would take on board the colonists.
But McMullan had not counted on the machinations of the Sheriff, Oriole, and Captain Kass, the master of the Derby. The three had conspired to swindle McMullan by means of illegal fines. Before the ship crossed the bar at New Orleans on December 26, 1866, it had been seized four more times for debts. Each time, McMullan Judge Dyer, rather than allow further delay, pooled their resources to pay the amounts demanded.
On January 15, after Frank McMullen's arrival in Galveston, he wrote a letter to the New Orleans Times in which he warned others who were considering chartering a ship to avoid Oriol. “Besides being irresponsible, insolvent, and entirely devoid of principle, he is incapable of fulfilling his con-tracts.” He then recommended Le Baron, Drury, and Son, a firm he had investigated and found reliable. Any group desiring to go to Brazil he continued, should have a perfect understanding with its contractor, as it is “absolutely necessary in a matter of this kind.” In the same letter, McMullan ex-plained to his friends that the delay and inconveniences were “….not attributable to any fault or neglect of mine; for charter party will show that I neglected nothing -- that the difficulties arose from dealing with an irresponsible party. I am willing to submit to these little inconveniences looking forward to the great good. I have no fears for the future. I know the country I am going to.”
Daily, more colonists arrived in Galveston from all over central and eastern Texas, as well as Loui-siana, carrying those possessions which they fought most valuable. Expectantly, from their makeshift camp on the bleak, sandy beach, they watched the harbor for the arrival of the Derby. On January 8, the watch was over McMullan and the Derby had arrived. The Galveston Daily News carried this news on page three:
"Brig Derby"….This vessel, which has been anxiously looked for by the Brazilian immigrants, many of them now in the city, has at last arrived, and is now anchored in the stream.
Among those waiting for the brig's arrival was McMullan’s family, who had traveled en masse from Hill County.
Dr. William T. Moore, McMullen’s brother-in-law and a dentist from Hill County, arrived with a serious wound in his leg caused, before he left Hillsboro, by an accidental discharge of his pistol. Moore wanted to go to Brazil, but the wound grew worse daily, and it soon seemed likely that he would be left behind. Realizing the situation, Moore ordered the leg removed. He then improved rapidly, and with the help of Victoria McMullan Moore, his wife, he’vowed to continue with the colony. To make him as comfortable as possible, a special berth was prepared for him on board ship.
Noticing the growing contingent of colonists in the streets of Galveston, the anti-emigration News commented on their rural appearance and expressed the fear that the emigrants did not realize the trials and hardships that they would suffer.
We noticed a number of persons on the street yesterday destined for Brazil. The party consisted of women and children, convoyed by several men with guns on their shoulders. All were evidently from the country, and as we gazed upon them, could not help experiencing a feeling of sadness, partly from thinking of the causes that induced them to leave the land of their nativity, and partly because they were about entering upon his life new to them; and we fear, little think of the danger, trials, and hardships incident to being a stranger in a strange land.
But if any of the colonists had misgivings, the heavy investment, already spent, made it too late to turn back. In order to make the Derby ready to sail, $15,000 had been spent on renovations. Count-ing the advance payment to Oriol and the payment of fraudulent "debts," against the ship, leasing had cost over $7,000, and another $23,000 have been spent for machinery, agricultural implements, seeds, and other supplies. The entire amount was raised by the colonists, the greater portion of Mc-Mullan and Dyer. Some colonists, who had no money to invest, whet along as "helps," agreeing either to pay or to work out their share of the cost.
The Derby’s trouble had not ended. A "General" Kent, the collector of the Port of Galveston, in collusion with the captain's steward, put the ship under detention soon after it docked. Kent claimed that the vessel was unseaworthy and that it was to low on fresh water and rations to sail. Taking note of the Derby’s difficulties and the problem of the colonists, the Galveston Daily News continued its dreary prophecies of calamity.
The bark Derby, charter to carry immigrants to Brazil, was found, on her arrival to report, to be the key in unseaworthy condition. Whilst vessel is undergoing repairs, the unfortunate adventurers and their families are camped on the beach and parent goals shore without farm or any other concerts to be found in any permanent home. When will this Brazilian folly cease?
The Derby was released from detention before January 26, presumably after a considerable amount of money had changed hands. Regardless of what the new said about the readiness of their ship, the colonists considered it to be seaworthy were the and a "strong staunch vessel." In January, 1967, all equipment and baggage was in the hold and the passengers were on board. The Derby was ready to sail.
Chapter IV Page 29.
Disaster and Recovery
On the morning of January 26, 1867, after weeks of frustrating delays and disappointments, the sails of the Brigantine Derby were unfurled and its anchor raised. The little ship finally commenced its voyage to Brazil. As it passed through the narrow isthmus between Point Bolivar and Fort Point in Galveston Bay, there were a few on board "whose heart did not grow sad as the land faded in the dim dis-tance as the sun's last rays glitter(ed) on the sandy beach and lingered on the far off Prairies." Although the colonists had known for months that they would be leaving, the reality of expatriation was as chilling as the icy hour of death. Still, when the land faded from sight, there were few who did not soon recover from their feelings of sadness and looked toward the future with optimism.
During the evening of the first day, a story was revealed which was to change profoundly the atmos-phere aboard the ship. The delay of the Derby in New Orleans had not been because of the debts of Mr. Oriol; it had been caused by collusion between Oriol, the Sheriff of New Orleans, and Captain Kass, the master of the Derby! The fines, the bonds, the detentions -- all had been illegal, and the three had shared in its profits! Frank McMullan, Judge Dyer, and the "Charter Party", understandably angry on learning of the fraud, called a meeting of everyone aboard, except for the crew, to meet in the Derby’s saloon.
(E. N. McMullan, "Texans Established Colony." McMullan's spelling of the Captain's name is used here. Barnsley spelled it as Causse, Causer, and Cross in different parts of his papers. Neither writer even mentioned his first name)
(The "Charter Party," selected by the emigrants in October of 1866 for the purpose of helping McMullan and Dyer with travel arrangements, became, once they were on board ship, the governing body of the emigrants.)
The colonists gathered in the large room; some stood, others sat on trunks which had been placed around the large table. The room soon filled to overflowing and except for meagre ventilation, which was arranged by a draught between the fore and main hatches, the closeness of the room would have become, unbearable. In this torpid atmosphere, the story of the treachery of Captain Kass was un-folded. A loud outburst of indignation followed, including several "angry and violent speeches." Called before the group, Kass at first denied his guilt, but, as more and more evidence was revealed, he final-ly confessed and made a little speech in which he bowed to the inevitable and promised to plumb the straight and narrow path for the balance of the trip.
The promise of the confessed swindler was not enough. Many of the travelers suggested that Kass be thrown overboard, or shot, or hung. Kass tearfully asked his accuses to ponder the fate of the ship if he were executed, for no one else aboard, he said, had the ability to navigate. The angry members of the charter party, thinking that surely there must be a seaman aboard with the necessary qualifi-cations, asked George Barnsley, the only migrant aboard who had ever studied navigation, to question the crew. After interrogating the first and second mates and the cook, Barnsley returned to the saloon with the information that there was no other qualified to navigate the Derby. Reluctantly, Kass was allowed under a watchful guard, to reassume command of the ship.
But like a pesky fire, trouble extinguished in one place soon ignited in another. A day after the saloon meeting, it was discovered that those who had been responsible for food and supply of water has done an inadequate job. Only two casks water were aboard, and the food consisted of "old fat bacon, flour, and little hard tack, corn meal, a few beans, very little vinegar, and to barrels of "Kraut." The bacon, described as the "toughest stuff worthy of patent by the New York Gutta Persha Company, " soon produced diarrhea and "other ills" among the passengers. To replenish the water supply, the charter party directed Captain Kass to take the Derby to the mouth of the Mississippi River. But, when the ship reached the "yellow waters of the Delta," where the" low familiar marshes could be disting-uished," the leaders had second thoughts. Here, near New Orleans, Kass might again prove unfaithful. Consequently, the Captain was ordered to change the Derby’s course; no chances would be taken. Somehow, the ship would go to Havana before taking on water. Under no circumstances would Kass be allowed to stop at any port within the limits of the United States. The penalty for any such attempt would be death.
(Frank McMullan must share some of the guilt, even though he was never accused of failing to do his job. As leader of the Colony, he should have checked the work done by the Charter Party, even though he had delegated the jobs to them.)
It was calculated that there was still enough water aboard, with careful use, to last five days. With the brisk breeze then blowing, the leaders for the ship could reach Cuba before any suffering occur-red. But the wind did not cooperate. Two days out of New Orleans, the sails flopped lazily against the mast, and the ominous cry for water arose on all sides. The ship was becalmed and rations of drinking water became scarcer and scarcer, and the grumbling became louder and louder. Before the supply became exhausted, however, the problem was relieved by gentle tropical rains.
(Barnsley, "Attempt at Colonization," There is a discrepancy as to the amount of water that was board. Barnsley, in "Letter to New York Times, " states that there was sufficient water for fourteen days. The five-day figure is probably correct; otherwise, there would have been little concern.)
The emigrants occupied the time of aboard ship in several ways. Some lounged about the deck, spending their time in idle talk and quarrels. Some took advantage of the long hours by taking in-struction in Portuguese from Frank McMullan; others spent their leisure moments listening to songs by the women and children, reminiscent of earlier time and better days. Most of the older passengers looked forward to their arrival in a land "yet uncursed by misrule."
On March 8, the Derby glided with the current past the dreary Tortugas, and the delicious langour of the tropics was felt by all aboard. The following morning dawned especially beautiful, but shortly after noon anxious eyes began to watch the gathering clouds in the northern sky. The breeze soon quickened and as the little ship spread more sail and sped along towards the southeast, worries soon vanished. By morning, thought the travelers, they would be in Havana.
But the "norther" could not be outrun. By three o’clock in the afternoon a squall line had passed the ship, and by four another line of ominous clouds had rolled in. On the bridge, navigational calcul-ations were quickly made on the basis of sightings made two hours previously. It was determined that the Derby was fourteen miles from the coast of Cuba. Captain Kass seemed much distressed and warn-ed some of the passengers that they would "be in heaven or hell within twenty four hours." Towards evening, the fury of the storm increased; the waves grew in size and in intensity, and by dark they were "mountains high."
At this time, Captain Kass "became animated" and barked orders to the crew. All sails were set "that the brig could bear-- for what pur-pose it did not then appear, because other vessels in the offing had all sails except one or two furled and appeared to be trying to get away from some point to which… The Derby was headed." By nine o’clock, the yard-arms "were touching the water," and it became neces-sary to take down sail to keep the ship from capsizing. Throughout the long night the Derby was under double-reefed and flying jib." The rudder was cast over, as it no longer served any useful purpose. The helm was tied down, and, seemingly oblivious to the danger, Captain Kass laid down and went to sleep.
(When a sail area is reefed, it is rolled up or folded to reduce size. A flying jib is a sail attached to the mainmast and the jib is a sail attached to the mainmast and the jib boom -- the long extension on the bow of a sailing ship)
(George Barnsley suggested that Captain Kass had decided, at the time of his "trial," that he would wreck the ship if the opportunity presented itself. See E. N. McMullan, "Texans Established Colony," for another account of the storm.)
An hour or two after midnight, Lucian Barnsley pounded on the window of his brother's stateroom, exclaiming that the Derby had sprung a serious leak. George Barnsley quickly crawled through the window onto the deck, then, with his brother, went between decks urging the other passengers to render aid. Not realizing the seriousness of the situation, few of the drowsy immigrants would help. The Barnsley brother’s effort was a "waste of time and curses." Rushing to the hold, the Barnsleys with the help of those who did volunteer, manned the Derby's pumps, keeping their footing on the rocking ship only by "clinging to ropes."
(The staterooms did not really deserve their name. Barnsley said that they were nothing but "shelves for human bundles.")
At three-thirty in the morning the storm was even more violent. Captain Kass awakened, and, on seeing land, ordered the sales furled once again. He was obviously trying to wreck the ship! Suddenly, a tremendous wave struck the little brigantine on its starboard side. Already tossing on water like a small cork, the Derby was covered by a deluge of water which "rushed over deck and down into the hold, carrying several of the…(the men). About deck in a most unceremonious manner." One man was washed overboard, but miraculously re-deposited on deck by another wave. George Barnsley would have been swept from the ship had he not become entangled in a mass of ropes. The Derby. " however much she groaned for such rough trea-tment, rose from the valley of waters and death, shaking the spray away as if all this was a matter of amusement." Then, suddenly, a nerve shattering crash occurred. The ship had plunged from the summit of the perpendicular breakers and crashed into a jagged rock on the bottom. Raised by another wave, the ship was then thrown farther towards the Cuban shore. Still bout three miles from land, the Derby was taking on water both from a large gash in her bottom and from the large waves that swept over her side and into her hold. She was sinking fast. The "flood of water was so overwhelming and the shock so terrific that many… Believed that the ship had gone to pieces and (that they)… were adrift among its timbers."
At this critical moment, the immigrants gathered in the saloon. Many women clung to their hus-bands, fearing that at any moment the ship would seek. Near panic was averted by the soothing voice of Judge Dyer, who told them that is they were to be saved, "it must come through the efforts of the men… Who must be free to use both body and mind to the best advantage possible.". Dyer’s talk had the desired effect. After he had finished, there was no longer "a wild hurry or reckless selfishness; in this great hour of trial the bickerings were forgotten and the voice of command all obeyed."
Some members of the crew attempted to escape on one of the two lifeboats. When the boat was halfway down to the surging waters, the deserted crewmen were discovered by Frank McMullan, Judge Dyer, and several others. McMullan ordered the men to raise the lifeboat back onto the deck. When the would-be deserters refused, McMullan and Dyer drew pistols and "stood guard until the half- lowered boat was battered to splinters by the waves."
The other crewmen and the passengers remained quiet. Some pray-ed, asking the "Work of Waves and Creation to take them to… his care." Others, veterans of the Civil War, "were amused, accustomed as they had been to the dangers and deaths of a hundred battles." But none has long to ponder his fake, for another gigantic wave carried the Derby pell-mell toward the rocky shore. Dropping it as if it were a toy, the waves left the ship almost on the beach, solidly wedged between rocks. Despite repea-ted onslaughts by the sea, the ship held together, although its timbers groaned under the pressure of the waves. It’s rigging crashed against the mast, and the cargo, loose from its moorings, thudded against the shattered hull.
George Barnsley, the ship’s "doctor," hurried to check on the condition of his most serious patient, Dr. William T. More, the dentist. Rushing below, he found Moore, "calm as can be, sitting down with his wife and child on the mattress." Because of the violence of the wreck, items from the pantry, in-cluding macaroni, flour (and) molasses were mingled with the contents of Barnsley’s medicine chest, which included chloride of lime and oil. The Moore family was partially covered with this mess.
As the dawn of a new day appeared in the eastern horizon, the castaways "saw, to… Their astonish-ment, dry land under the bowsprit." Efforts were begun at once to evacuate the women and children. Several of the men, including Captain Kass and the second mate, a Mr. Ables, "went over the side of the ship and were carried by carried by the surf towards the rocky shore." Then, the women and children were lowered by ropes, and carried to shore by the men on the crest of the waves. Both Kass and Ables were especially courageous, bearing children by holding onto their clothing with their teeth. Several passengers were injured, many by contact with the invisible sharp rocks within the water, but only one man, who suffered a broken collarbone, seriously.
(Interestingly, Barnsley stated that "Only one of the 150 souls on board showed the spirit of a co-ward and that one was the first to reach shore and fled.")
Although Kass had added sail during the worst part of the storm and had obviously steered the Derby toward the rocks, no one cared to enforce the vowed death penalty for any misbehavior on his part. Undoubtedly, his heroic efforts to get passengers to shore changed the attitudes of those who, otherwise, would have demanded his punishment. Kass remained with the colonists a few days and then took passage on a ship to the United States. He had no desire to go to Brazil.
As soon as possible, efforts were made to retrieve the baggage, machinery, and other equipment and supplies that remained aboard. Trip after trip was made by the unfortunate emigrants to bring ashore their water soaked belongings. After about one-half to two-thirds of the cargo had been re-deemed, further efforts proved useless. The supplies were scattered all over the beach by the owners who sorted through them for their respective property.
("Wrecked Emigrants." The Times reported that "about one-half of the baggage was lost, and the re-mainder was so saturated with salt water as to be almost valueless. Of the (other) cargo but one grist mill was saved.")
Fig. 5 -- Cuba in 1867
Naturally, the colonists were grieved over the loss of their few valued possessions. Nancy McMullan was particularly disturbed. She had been entrusted with the care of a small buckskin bag that con-tained several thousand dollars worth of gold belonged to a "Colonel" McMahon. When she failed to produce the gold, McMahon accused her of stealing it during the confusion. Nancy denied the charge, swearing before God that she had placed the bag in the bottom of a trunk of clothes which had been stored in the hold of the ship. The truck was found, it’s lock unfastened, but the precious gold was mis-sing. Accusations continued and feelings remained tense until McMahon himself found the sack while walking among rocks on the shore. Thereafter, the bitterness engendered by the false accusation was often apparent.
(E. N. McMullan, "Texans Established Colony," McMahon was probably A. G. McMahon, who witnessed Dr. William T. Moore's will in Hill County in 1905. Clarence E. Moore - W. T. Moore's nephew- Fort Worth, to William C. Griggs, December 20, 1973.)
The valuables scattered along the beach were too tempting for two Cubans. During the first night, the looters began appropriating goods, but, unfortunately for them, colonist Jesse Wright, who was still awake, saw them engaging in their nefarious business enterprise. Wright yelled at the thieves, who ran with their plunder. Thereupon, Wright pulled his colt revolver and shot, mortally wounding one of the Cubans. Seeing his partner fall, the other felon and dropped his loot and escaped. Only the intervention of Frank McMullan and George Barnsley saved Wright from serious trouble with the Cuban authorities.
In response to his inquiries, Major McMullan was told that the wreck had occurred on the north coast of Cuba near Bahia Honda, about thirty miles west of Havana. With this information, McMullan sent one of his men to Havana for help. Assistance came quickly; Dom Felipe Goicuria, the Charge d'affaires of the Brazilian Consulate, undertook the job of collecting contributions from the citizens of Havana. Soon food, clothing, bedding, and other necessities began arriving at the encampment on the beach.
When Señor Don Jian Vermay, a plantation owner who lived at the town of Guanajay, heard of the plight of the emigrants, he sent his wagons to transport the colonists to his home. For several days Vermay fed the entire party, distributed daily rations of beef, rice, potatoes, and other items, rather certain that he would receive no payment in return. The women and children moved into his saloon, sleeping apartments, and other rooms, and men moved into the out-buildings. On February 15, George Barnsley headed a letter to the editor of the New Orleans Times, "Camp near Guanahay (Guanajay) Cuba; Signor (Senor) Vermay's Brick Kiln." Vermay's wife, a "gentle lady," diligently endeavored to comfort the women in the group.
(Barnsley's "Attempts at Colonization." Although Barnsley obviously had no love for most of the emi-grants aboard ship, he always spoke highly of Frank McMullan. Information has not yet to be found as to McMullan's date of departure for New York. Neither has evidence been found that he returned to Cuba, but presumably he did because no quarters were ready for the colonists upon their arrival in New York.)
Assured that his colonists would receive good care, Frank McMullan, "with that noble dedication which always characterized him to the wants of the people who sailed with him," left for Havana to make arrangements for another ship on which to continue the journey. There, he found no ships of sufficient size for lease and was told that he should go to New York to arrange for transportation. Boarding the first vessel to depart for New York City, he soon obtained passage for his entire group on the regular line of packets from that city (New York) to Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile, the colonists moved to Havana to be ready to board a ship at the first opportunity. Through the courtesy of Señor Don Juan A. Colomie, the owner of the city (horse) railroad, they were transported to Havana and provided shelter in the depot. En route, the colonists were guest at a public dinner at the small town of Guanaharhai.
Many of the Cubans gave help unselfishly to the stranded North Americans. Wishing to express appreciation, some of the colonists asked George Barnsley to compose a letter to the Havana news-papers. In addition to Don Juan Vermay, Dom Felipe Goicuria, and Don Juan A. Colomie, thanks were sent to her Excellency, Countess O’Reilly, Through the Lady President of the Ladies Benevolent So-ciety… To Señor Don (Dom) Fernandez de Gavare Toscar, Consul in Portugal… Barnsley ended his letter thus:
Exiles from our native shores; refugees from political oppression, emigrants to an untried land, Cubans, our souls are too full of gratitude for worthy expression, yet at the foot stool of our common God we will never cease to beg that you be always the recipients of his blessing and providence.
(George Scarborough Barnsley, "A letter (undated) published in the Havana papers, about the time we left the city for New York, to re-sume the voyage to Brazil -- at request by Dr. Barnsley -- written in peril -- found among scraps," in "Notebook" -- hereafter cited as Barnsley, "Letter in Havana Papers")
In accordance with the contract made by McMullan with the New York Mail Steamship Line, the steamship, Mariposa, commanded by Captain Quick, stopped in Havana on March 13 on its return trip from New Orleans to New York to pick up the stranded colonists. The emigrants, "men, women and children were huddled into a little room, with as little regard to comfort as if they… Have been so many from Africa." Conditions aboard ship were terrible. Cleanliness was almost nonexistent, and the food, though good enough, "was served brut-ally." Two days some Havana, a storm was encoun-tered. Waves rose far above the decks of the Mariposa, and "volumes of water" went into the ship’s hold, with the consequence that the emigrants went with wet feet for almost the entire duration of the voyage. The Mariposa reached Norfolk, and Fortress Monroe (Virginia) on the 19th, running into port in the midst of a heavy northeast gale. Conditions suggested that the Southerners were to be delayed once again by the weather.
("Wrecked Emigrants." During the Civil War both the Derby and the Mariposa were converted blockade runners. Records of their service are found in United States, War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies --130 Vols.: Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Series I, Vol. 26, Page 1, p.344 and Series I, Vol. 47, Part 1, p. 330.)
Two days later, on March 21, although the storm has not abated, the Mariposa made an unsuc-cessful attempt to the leave port. The editor of the Galveston Daily News, and his report of the incident, suggested that the emigrants should regard their continuous misfortune is a bad omen and returned to Texas:
Texas Brazilians.-- A Fortress Monroe dispatch says the steamship Mariposa, from New Orleans to New York, which had put in there, sailed thence on the 21st, but was forced to return on account of the heavy northeast gale prevailing outside. The Mariposa had on board one hundred and fifty Texian emigrants for Brazil, who had been wrecked on the coast of Cuba, and had embarked again at Havana. These are the same who left here, sometimes sense, on the brig Derby, under Charge of Mr. Frank McMullen (McMullan). We guess that they will soon begin to imagine that providence object’s to their leaving Texas for Brazil. They had better come back to first principles, before something happens.
Three days later, on March 24, during a dense fog, the Mariposa left for New York. Sailing without lights at top speed, " the steamship escaped by almost a miracle being struck amid ships by another larger vessel." On March 26, the Mariposa arrived in New York. The New York Times announced its arrival in its "Marine intelligence" column of March 27.
Steamship Mariposa, Quick, New Orleans March 9, Havana 13, Norfolk and Fortress Monroe 24th, with mdse. and passengers to see C. K. Garrison. Experienced heavy weather the entire passage; was detained five ds. at Fortress Monroe by N.E, Gales and thick weather. The Mariposa has onboard on hundred 150 Brazilian immigrants, wrecked on the brig Derby, off Cuba.
("Marine Intelligence," The New York Times, March 27, 1867, p. 5 Itis interesting that C. K. Garrison was obviously the one who had originally chartered the Mariposa. Garrison could have known McMullan in Nicaragua as he joined Walker as an opponent of Vanderbilt's shipping interests there.)
The unfortunate colonists were again disappointed. They had missed by four days the ship on which they were to sell to Brazil, and it would be necessary for them to wait a month before they could resume their journey. Not only did they begrudge the lost time, but the unexpected expenses was draining every vestige of their capital. Finances became desperate; Frank McMullan again found it necessary to find food and lodging for his charges.
Soon after landing in New York, McMullan returned to the Brazilian Emigration Agency for assis-tance. The manager was a General Goicuria, the brother of John Felippe Goicuria who had been a gen-erous benefactor in Cuba. Goicuria underwrote the rental of the old Collins Hotel, a large building at the foot of Canal Street, and made arrangements for food for the unfortunate colonists. An appeal for help, voiced in the New York Times, reported that the women and children are suffering for the com-forts, if not the necessities, of life, and the charitably disposed will find a field for the exercise of their philanthropy. Contributions were to be addressed to Mr. Frank Mc-Mullen (McMullan), Collins Hotel, Canal Street, or to the Brazilian Emigration Agency, Number 26 1/2 Broadway. Even though had been only a short time since the end of the war, New Yorkers showered their unfortunate former enemy with " many attentions."
A reporter for the New York Times who visited the stranded emigrants at their makeshift home in the Collins Hotel described rather graphically the appearance of the Texans. The women and children, said the writer, would evoke pity on the part of anyone who saw them. The men, however, looked rather well, and some were donned in Confederate uniforms.
In one room was six women, some of them of lady like appearance and manners, and eight or ten young children. Several of the women were dressed in clothes of fine texture, but now badly worn and frayed-- relics of more prosperous times. The men were, with a few exceptions, hale and hearty look-ing, and comfortably, but coarsely clad. The majority of them had donned the Confederate gray, though a few appeared in good suits of broadcloth. Two or three of the men were sick with fever, and one tall youth-- an unmistakable southerner-- appeared to be dying of consumption. As a general thing, however, they looked remarkably well in health for people who had undergone the perils and hardships of ship-wreck and protracted and stormy voyage.
Soon after they settled in the Collins Hotel, near tragedy struck again with several of the emigrants took smallpox. McMullan moved fast. He ordered the infected persons removed to a local hospital and the "re-vaccination of the entire party." This fast action probably saved the emigrants from calamity.
On April 22, the steamer North America, Capt. L. F. Timmerman commanding, was in New York Harbor ready to sail for Rio de Janeiro. McMullan’s colonists boarded the ship "with much glee" after agreeing to repay the cost of their passage to the Brazilian government over a period of four years. In contrast to the Mariposa, the North America had ample room. Shipboard conditions, however, were deplorable; filth was everywhere and the food was almost uneatable. The ship's purser spent his time in private flirtations, and most of the ship’s anti-Confederate officers, at almost every opportunity, insulted the Southerners. The officer's constant bickering made shipboard life unpleasant for the emigrants. The only friendly officer was the Chief Engineer, who did all within his power to alleviate the conditions of the sick. Without a physician, however, little could be done, and before the North America reached Rio de Janeiro the McMullan colony suffered its first casualties. The young child of Dentist and Mrs. William T. Moore was buried at sea.
(Although George Barnsley was aboard ship, he was not a medical doctor. He had attended medical school and had served as an assis-tant surgeon in the Confederate Army.)
(Effie Smith Arnold --granddaughter of William T, Moore and Vir-ginia McMullan Moore -- to Wil-liam C. Griggs, interview, March 28, 1973 --tape recording in files of William C. Griggs --.Also, see Barnsley does not give the name of the child, he stated that the cause of death was "hydrocephalus," which is a condition characterized by an excessive amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranial cavity.)
(Also boarding the North America were one hundred colonists for Brazil led by James McFadden Gaston.)
(A Mr. O'Reilly, a young Irishman .whose first name has not been found in any accounts of the colony, joined the McMullan party in New York City. He was looking for adventure, and, after arrival in Rio de Janeiro, he and another young man named Dillard joined the Brazilian Army to fight against Paraguay in order to collect the bonus offered by the government. At the front, however, both men deserted and joined the Paraguayans to collect another bonus. They were later captured by the Brazilians, court-martialed and shot. Mr. Dillard, first name also unknown, was part of the original McMullan group and had sailed on the Derby, meeting up with Mr. O'Reilly in New York.)
Chapter V Page 40.
A Retreat From Paradise
Frank McMullan and his colonists experienced a feeling of immense relief as the steamer North America arrived, on may 25, 1867, in Rio de Janeiro. Five months, almost to the day, had passed since the had sailed from Galveston. Not only were they close to their new home, but they were also free of the deplorable conditions they had endured on the ships. Carrying their few remaining possessions, they eagerly walked down the gang plank to shore.
The new arrivals were met by North Americans already in Rio de Janeiro who escorted them to the accommodations provided by the government of Don Pedro II. Managed by Charles M. Broome, and one-legged Confederate veteran from Fairfield district, South Carolina, the "Emigrant Hotel," a reminder of a plantation mansion in the ante-bellum south, was an "elegant old residence, surroun-ded by formal gardens," that had been converted for the use of the emi-grants. McMullan’s Texans were shown to their rooms by Broome, who did his best to make his guests feel "at home." For the first time since they left the United States, they relaxed with a feeling of com-plete security.
Within days, the McMullan colonists received word that they were to be visited by Emperor Dom Pedro II. On the appointed day, the ruler, with his entourage of lesser officials, was met by McMullan and Charles Broome. Pedro was described by one colonists as a splendid looking man, dressed at the time in a "plain looking suit of black cloth, with nothing to designate his rank except a star on his left breast, thereby showing his appreciation for…(their) poverty-stricken condition." The Emperor, in company with McMullan, "called on every family, and was profuse in his many expressions of good-will and solicitations for our future happiness in his domain." Don Pedro then visited the "dining and storerooms, kitchen, etc. To see that the new Brazilians were comfortable.
Regardless of their comfort, none of the colonists wished to linger at the Emigrant Hotel. Within days, preparations were complete for departure on the final two-hundred miles to Iguape, São Paulo Province, at the mouth of the Ribeira River, where their sea voyage would terminate. Once again on Rios docks, the North Americans boarded the Marion, a government owned packet steamer.
In Iguape, the Brazilian government was not as lavish with its preparations as it had been in Rio de Janeiro. No hotel had been provided, and most colonists had to camp in the streets. A few families managed to find unoccupied houses; some others, including the J. F. Smith family, attracted the atten-tion of Brazilians who invited them to share their homes. The remainder of the colonists, however, did the only thing that they could-- they proceeded to cook, eat, and sleep in the humid open air of Iguape.
William and Victoria Moore, who were among those fortunate enough to find a house, asked George Barnsley to stay with them. Both Moore and Barnsley were penniless, and Barnsley was down-cast. Moore encouraged Barnsley to" hold up a while" and, after a breakfast of bananas and water, left without telling anyone his destination. Returning home late that night, he brought candles, bread, and a hat full of ”denups” (copper coins). The money, said Moore, had been won "gambling with a party Brazilians at the club." This turn of luck, said Barnsley, "started our wheels to grinding."
Frank McMullan, meanwhile, went up river to see if William Bolin, with government help, had made preparations for housing at the grant. Upon his return, McMullan reported that a temporary "government colony house" had been constructed for the emigrants. Anxious to get to the lands for which they had long-awaited, the Tex-ans quickly prepared to go up-river. They loaded their belon-gings into a government-sponsored, "makeshift" steamboat and began a shuttle. Repeatedly, the little boat carried passengers and their baggage for 50 miles up the river to the fall line( the junction of the Ribeira and Juquia rivers) where it’s cargo was "unceremoniously dumped."
When the last shuttle arrived, the colonists boarded sixty-foot long canoes for the trip to the plan-tation of a wealthy rice planter where they were to spend the night. The men boarded one canoe and the women another, and native boat-owners polled them up the river. Before reaching their destin-ation, the sun sank below the horizon; soon darkness, except for rays of moonlight that filtered through the trees, shrouded the travelers.
Soon, even the moonlight faded. Clouds moved in and rain began to fall. A light shower turned into a torrent, and the emigrants and their valuables were drenched. After arrival at the plantation, the Texans groped in the darkness for their soaked belongings and made their way to the house. Again, accommodations were insufficient, but the women and children were allowed to sleep on a huge pile of rice in the "main hall."
The next morning the steady downpour continued. Nonetheless, the colonists got into the canoes for the final leg of the river trip. Fin-ally, in a driving rain, the colonists arrived at the large, primitive building constructed for their use. The natives pulled the boat’s onto the ”capin” grass on the river’s edge, and the new arrivals made their way to the house, "if such could be called a house"-- covered with palm leaves, with walls of palm slats set up picket fashion, three inches apart, no windows, no inside divisions, only a door at each end. Furthermore, it was much too small. Those who had tents, pit-ched them in the nearby open square cut in the dense forest.
Realizing that the meager food supplies near the campsite would last only a few days, Bowen had made arrangements for government assistance. Every Saturday, the colonists were allowed to draw from a government commissary "like soldiers in a camp."
Eventually, after a few days, the rain ceased and the sun came through the clouds-- for the emig-rants a symbolic sign. McMullan and Bowen began the difficult task of allotting the plats of land. With the help of Brazilian neighbors, the new inhabitants started building homes, using local materials such as were used in the government colony house. Almost all agreed that McMullan and Bowen had not been excessive in their lavish praise of the lands. Fields were cleared and crops of rice, corn, and sugarcane were planted. Hopefully, a bumper crop was anticipated.
With worries about transportation of crops to market looming in the future, McMullan and Bowen must have made repeated inquiries to the government about the fulfillment of its promise to construct a road to the coast. Finally, a contract was awarded and construction began. But difficulties soon arose; the task was greater than the con-tractor had anticipated. Removal of trees, construction of grades, and employment of qualified personnel presented insurmountable problems. Construction finally halted. According to George Barnsley, the result was scarcely lucrative to the contractor, much less to the emigrants.
The brief period of optimism was over. In addition to the problems of the road, Frank McMullan was seriously ill. The exposure during the five-month trip from Texas to Brazil was too great for his constitution, already weak from the ravages of tuberculosis. In his efforts to make McMullan more comfortable, William Bowen constructed for him a rude shelter. Two months later, McMullan was moved to Iguape. Here, too late, he received some medical treatment. On November 23, 1867, the Anglo-Brazilian Times editorially reported his death;” We regret to hear that Major Frank McMullen (McMullan’s death. He and Colonel Bowen were the founders of the San Lourenco (Sao Lourenco)) settlement in the Ribeira de Iguape district, and he had, after struggling with ship wreck and disaster, just succeeded in bringing the first installment of settlers to their new Brazilian homes.
Because he was not a Roman Catholic, Frank McMullan could not be buried in an established cemetery. Hearing of the predicament, a German immigrant who lived in a Iguapea offered the use of a corner of his orchard. Since no Protestant minister was available, George Barnsley read an Episco-pal service over his grave. We all felt," said Barnsley in his later writings, "that for us, eternity had come. Over his tomb II read the service of the Episcopal Church, and as I said "Dust to dust", we heaped the fresh earth over him. The light of a noble soul faded into night." There, said Barnsley, the rank grass would rise "as if any hurry to hide his grades from the on hallowed eyes of a nation’s fanaticism…."
In a flowery but sincere eulogy written about 1915, George Barnsley praised McMullan as being "gifted by talents of no inferior order, of a warm and generous nature, enthusiastic as a poet, and as usual in such character (,) a shadow of melancholy pervades his whole life. In-capable of swerving from the path of honor and rectitude, he knew no guile and was as far removed from….all that came with him to this country as is selfishness is from virtue and grandeur of the soul. He deceived no one but himself; he worked with unceasing energy for the benefit of those who surrounded him."
During McMullen’s illness and following his death, conditions on the Juquia worsened. Neither Bowen nor Judge Dyer provided the leadership or exerted the influence that was needed. Before the first crop was harvested, the government stopped its commissary opera-tion, and food supplies became critical. A delegation of colonists went to Iguape for help. There, they implored George Barnsley, who had stayed on the coast in an effort to start a medical practice, to aid them. Barnsley described the following events in this way:
The only recourse was to ask the Camara (city board) to help, which this did to some extent. I was asked to help; as was making scarcely enough to feed myself, I was audacious enough to ask the citizens of Iguape to contribute. We filled up two or three canoes. I made out this list so that the food should be equally divided, and got the men of the colony to see to it. This remission seemed to quiet the people up the country for a time. There were some of the colonists who had money. Their food stuff was given to the needy. Gradually day after day men dropped down the river to Iguape seeking a new outlet. My house became a sort of ranch and it was all I could do to keep going, as I never refused to help.
Barnsley, erroneously, thought that all of the McMullan colonists moved away within months. Those of the McMullen (McMullan) staid (sic) some months, but as they could not dispose of their crops, they gave away, bargained, and sold to the Brazilians for almost nothing what they had and all moved away.
Some, nevertheless, did not abandon the McMullan colony. Since farming, because of a lack of a road to market, was impractical, Judge Dyer and his new son-in-law, Columbus Wasson, went into the lum-ber business. A good market existed in Rio de Janeiro for fine furn-iture woods, and an abund-ance of excellent timber was available. Dyer and Wasson ordered the equipment necessary for a sawmill, and signed a $60,000 contract with a Rio de Janeiro company. As soon as the machinery arrived, they began operation. The major problem developed, however, that threatened the business. They were unable to procure boats to transport the lumber to Rio. Because of the sand-bars, many owners refused, regardless of prices offered, to take the risk.
(Richardson, Adventuring With a Purpose, p. 5, Columbus Wasson was one of the original McMullan colonists. He had gone to school with Frank McMullan at McKenzie College at Clarksville, Texas. It was during this time that he probably first was acquainted with Harriett Ann Dyer, Judge Dyer's daughter, who became his wife.)
Dyer and Wasson were faced with a crisis. They had to find another way to get the lumber to market or default on their agreement. They chose the first option. Using their contract for lumber as collat-eral, they purchased a steamboat from an English company for $60,000, with final payment to be made when all of the wood was delivered. After the arrival of the new boat, lumber was again shipped on schedule.
Just as it appeared that all was going well, bad luck cast another shadow on their lives. The mort-gaged steamboat hit a bar, capsized, and sank. Regardless of the entreaties, no boat owners could be induced to haul their lumber. Unable to meet their indebtedness, Dyer and Wasson turned their timberland over to the English company.
Concluding that without timber the sawmill was of no further use, Dyer gave it to ”Steve," a former slave who had insisted on accompanying his ex-master to Brazil. George Barnsley later said that Steve worked his mill, made money enough to live on, had as many wives-….As a tolerable well-off Turkish Pasha, and died highly respected. If he had been educated, he might have turned out a Barao (Baron ) of Brazil." Obviously, Steve was willing to devote two qualities to the business that Dyer and Watson were not -- time and patience. Lumber was available from other sources at low prices. Dyer and Wasson, with typical North American impatience, wanted to get rich quick.
Several other colonists also remained on the McMullan grant. Alfred F. Smith, a professor of music and an old friend of Frank McMullan in Texas, traveled, with his family, to the colonies edge. The Smiths lived like true pioneers, eking out a living by growing “rice, corn, sugar cane, bananas, and manioca.” Remarkably successful, they built a sugar press from logs, a rice mill, and tobacco press. They even built an "American-style house" hewing all of the lumber by hand.
Other families who settled near the Smiths included the B. F. Tarver with six members, the William Bowen with seven, and the C.. F. Quillen was eight members. Parson Quillen held occasional reli-gious services which acted as a centripetal force which period-ically drew the American families together. But, by 1870, Smith and Quillen were the only families that remained in the settlement, and they, too, felt the need to move to a more civilized area. In 1871, George Barnsley reported to the New Orleans Times that the Ribeira "had been deserted by the last of the American immigrants."
The failure of the McMullen colony was not unique. Nearly all of the colonies accounted problems of one kind or another. Lizzieland, Ballard Dunn's colony downriver from McMullan’s, suffered a similar fate, but for different reasons. On January 30, 1867, four days after the sailing of the Derby, the ad-vance party of Dunn's colony left on the Talisman, and ten weeks later, the Marmion had sailed with a second group of nearly three hundred immigrants. Once in Brazil, however, many of Dunn's recruits, instead of going to Lizzieland, went instead to William Grandioson Gunter’s colony on the Rio Doce or elsewhere in the Empire. Those loyal to the New Orleans parson went first to Iguape, then up the river by steamer and canoe to their new homes. Unlike McMullan’s colonists, Dunn's settlers were not gen-erally happy with their new surroundings. Dunn had not chosen in his lands wisely. George Barnsley describe the colony site as "extremely picturesque, but with the slight defect of being without good lands and in the rainy season half underwater." Realizing his mistake, Dunn mortgaged his own property for $4,000 and returned to the United States. He was never seen again in Brazil. Soon after Dunn's departure, Lizzieland was inundated by flood waters that wiped out virtually every permanent improvement, as well as the first year’s crops. The colonists thereupon scattered in every direction, some going up river to McMullan’s colony.
(Dunn's next project was a war against Mormonism in the Utah Territory. He wrote a book entitled The Twin Monsters; and How National Legislation May Help To Solve the Mormon Problem -- New York: American News Company, 1877.)
James McFadden Gaston’s colonists, who had arrived with Mc-Mullan’s Texans on the North America, and continued to the site selected for them near Xiriricaa, in São Paulo Province. This colony seemed to have all the ingredients necessary for success; Gaston was financially solvent, and he pro-vided good, honest leadership. The lands were lush, with fertile loamy soil. Nevertheless, the colony did not succeed. In this case, once again, the cause was a failure of the Imperial government to meet its obligations. Land titles were not clear; Brazilian nationals claimed the property, perhaps rightfully, and regarded the North Americans as trespassers. Abandoned by the government and unwilling to fight the Brazilians in court, Gaston and his followers scattered. Gaston first moved to the town of Apiehy, where he developed a lucrative medical practice, and later to Santa Barbara, a relatively suc-cessful settlement begun in 1865 by William H. Norris and his son.
Some disenchanted colonists, regardless of the area in which they originally settled, gravitated to the larger cities of Brazil, looking for ways to support themselves and their families. They often took any jobs available. A writer for the New York Times claimed to have been accosted by a miserable, ragged, and squalid looking object, who implored him, "for God’s sake, give me only a vinte (less than a quarter of a cent), to get something to eat." The beggar was supposedly a graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Another former Confederate, "the remains of a man who was once the mayor of one of the principal cities of the United States, was running an establishment called the 'Dixie Free and Easy Saloon' in Rio de Janeiro. There, said the New York Times, the former mayor was surrounded by "lewd women and dispensing the commonest native liquors to as vile a set of scoun-drels as ever cut a throat." " No doubt." said the Times, "there are thousands who would gladly return home, had they the means to do so."
The official attitude of the United States government towards dis-affected Southerners was neg-ative. No help was offered are given to those who want to return to their old homes. Apparently a sizable number, unhappy and often desperate, asked United States consulates for aid and passage on ships. Finally, in 1869, "the minister at Rio was informed that the Secretary. of the Navy had instruc-ted the commander of the South Atlantic squadron to order his returning vessels to stop at Brazilian ports when possible and take in United States emigrants who at that time found themselves in dist-ress. Over the next few years, many unfortunate Southerners found passage home on the Guerriere, the Kansas, the Portsmouth, the Quinnebaug, and other…. vessels.
Evidently, however, women and children without men with them were not allowed on the men-of-war, for in January, 1872, James R. Partridge, the chief the United States legation in Brazil, wrote to Secretary of State Hamilton Fish that he would like to help "those (women and children ) who came from those Southern States to Brazil, after 1865, and still remain chiefly in the province of São Paulo, simply because they have lost everything and are without employment or the means of returning….I am aware," continued Partridge, "that this is asking the government to relieve persons, or rather their widows and children, from the consequence of their deliberate folly and leaving the country in the vain hope of finding a better one; and if the men alone were concerned, I would be silent." To this admonition, Fish replied, on March 22, 1872, that "there is no appropriation from which to defray the passage of these persons to the United States…."
The Dyers and the Wasons were not in dire financial straits even though the sawmill enterprise had not been successful. Judge Dyer continued to receive a small income from property in Hill County, Texas. Columbus Wasson found a job, teaching English, that provided well for himself,. Harriett Ann, and the two children. Judge Dyer’s wife, Amanda, died on July 4, 1869, and the Judge was no longer inte-rested in building the home that two had planned. His sons, Wiley S. and James E. Dyer, although enjoying the wild life roaming the jungles, yearned for their old friends in Texas.
Nancy McMullen also owned property in Texas and was far from being destitute. After Frank’s death, however, she no longer had any desire to remain in Brazil. Then, when her daughter, Lou, died of typhus, Nancy became very anxious to return to Texas. John O’Dell, her son-in-law (Lou’s husband), also desired to see Hill County again. William and Victoria Moore, like other members of the family, were not happy. The loss of a child on board ship had saddened their initial efforts in Brazil, and their struggles for progress and position had been lackluster. Perhaps only Ney McMullan, now eighteen years old, had any qualms about abandoning a project in which was invested the dreams and most of the finances of the family.
(Nancy McMullan still owned much of the 640 acres in downtown Hillsboro that had been purchased by her husband.)
Nevertheless, by April, 1872, the decision had been made. The McMullan’s, the Dyers, the Moores, the Watsons, and John O’Dell were returning to Texas. Columbus Wasson would remain only long enough to complete a teaching contract. Soon, the families were say-ing goodbyes to their friends who remained behind. They took a small packet steamer from Iguape to Rio de Janeiro, a distance of our hun-dred miles, and there a larger ship for the United States.
From the time they sailed until they arrived in Hill County, Texas, no information regarding the returnees has been found. The name of the ship on which they sailed, the date of departure from Brazil and arrival in the United States, the port of entry, and how and when they reached Hill County all remain an unsolved mystery. When next heard of, the Dyers and Wasson’s were located in Hill County, and Nancy and, Ney were in Attala County, Mississippi, at the home of Virginia George Clark, Nancy’s daughter and son-in-law.
In 1870, Georgia Barnsley was still in Brazil. Although he wanted to return to his native Georgia, he could not accumulate enough money to pay passage for himself and his family. "God only knows," he wrote his sister, Julia, "how I could hug those old oaks at the front gates…, And shake the hands of such as one left (at home)." Later that year, Barnsley painted a dreary picture of the family situation in Brazil. "Lucien", he said went to Rio…(and) he waited there until he and his family almost starved… His wife is sick. Murray (one of Barnsley’s nephews who married Barnsley’s wife’s sister), I suppose, is still drinking whiskey in Rio. Times are getting harder and harder."
(In 1869, Barnsley had married Mary Laniera Emerson, the daughter of the Reverend William Emer-son. See Barnsley "Information about Emigrants.")
By 1879, Barnsley, still regretting his mov to Brazil, seemingly had resigned himself to his fate. He continually moved around the country, going from the cities and towns in southern Brazil to Rio de Janeiro and into the interior. His failure to make money in medicine led him to try mining, to tend a drugstore, and even to promote a transcontinental railroad. None of his enterprises was successful. Feeling that he would never be able to return to Georgia, he wrote, concerning Woodlands and his father’s grave, "as long as you keep the old gentleman’s grave clean it is a matter of no great impor-tance to me wherever I am here or there -- if I ever return home drive a stick down close to the old gentleman’s dust and write on it -- G.S.B. Co. A, 8th Ga ….C.S.A." recalling his instability and failure to stay with one profession until it paid off, Barnsley lamented, " it was the greatest mistake of my life, except that of coming to Brazil… Oh Julia, what a sad mistake Lucien and I made by coming to this country and worse by continuing. I frankly say that after so many years of residence in Brazil and intimate contact with them I am at part less a Brazilian today than I was a year after my arrival."
Even more financial setbacks caused Barnsley to renew his desire to return to United States. He wrote letter after letter to his sister and his brother-in-law in Georgia, asking them to send money, even if it meant the mortgage of Woodlands. In February 1883, Barnsley sent this appeal:
Disastrous affairs have reduced to me and also Lucien into utter poverty; we have no means to return to Wood-lands at present. If you can’t find any way to send out $2-$5000 to aid us to return it would be well to do so at once. If so much money cannot be raised, make some sort of contract with any of the sailing or steam vessels from New Orleans to Rio for our passage.
It is not known why passage money was not sent to the Barnsley brothers. Perhaps it could not be raised. It is possible, too, that the family in Georgia did not feel that they would ever be repaid, in light of the lack of financial acumen shown by either George or Lucien. Be that as it may, in 1887, George Barnsley, in a vehement letter to his sister, revealed that with or without her help he was determined to return to the United States.
It is impossible that you should have hesitated on raising the money for my expenses. I am here in an interior town and everything amiss for you did not reply. Get back, you better believe I will… I will at least prove that I am not lost on the des-erts of Egypt. I am here in Pirrasunga (Pirassununga)..
This letter, written from an interior town in São Paulo Province, may have had some effect, for in the following year, George Barnsley fin-ally returned to Woodlands. Ironically, he was disappointed with the changes that had occurred, and before many months had passed, he and his family were back in Brazil.
After her return from Brazil to Texas, Nancy McMullen lived for several years in Fowler with her son, Ney. When Ney's marriage was imminent, she decided to return to Towash, her old home, where she lived until about 1885. That year, she moved to Claiborne, Texas, where she could still be close to medical care and yet be near (to) her two surviving children. Ney continued to live in Hill and Bosque Counties, living alternately at Fowler, Whitney, and Iredell, and Martha Ann, her daughter, lived in Towash. Judge Dyer, her brother, made his home in nearby Morgan Community in Bosque County. The other member of her "family," Jasper McMullen, the former slave, visited her in her home in Claiborne in 1886 a few months before her death at the age of 71.
By 1895, Ney McMullAn, always an incurable romantic, yearned to see, once again, the lands that his brother had tried to colonize. They went to Brazil that year and "spent eight months traveling over the country, returning to Texas the latter part of October." Two years later, in 1897, Ney, his wife, Maggie, and their children Dana, Lauren, and Caskey left, Texas, for Brazil. They took all of their possessions with them, intending to make Brazil their permanent home. On their arrival, they went directly to Santa Barbara, where Wiley Dyer Mc-Mullan, the fourth son, was born a few days later.
(Wiley Dyer McMullan, E. N. McMullan's son, Sao Paulo, Brazil to William C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas, June 27, 1973, Wiley Dyer McMullan is a dentist in Sao Paulo.)
Probably influenced by Ney's glowing reports of Brazil, Ilieta Wil-liams Hudgeitz, John B. And Martha Ann William's daughter, and her husband, Swan Hudgeitzs, sailed for South America with their chil-dren Lucia, Rie, and Coon C., In 1897. Another child, Swan, Jr., was born soon after their arrival. Accompanying the Hudgeitz family was Eugene "Monk" Williams, Ilieta's brother. All settled in São Paulo.
Only two members of the Williams family remained in Texas. Coon Williams, a son of John B. and Martha Ann Williams, lived in Claiborne, Texas, where he was agent for Northern Breweries, and Walter Pierce (Waters- Pierce) Oil Company. After his mother’s death in 1894, Coon was the sole support of his pretty young sister, Nannieta. With the rest of the family in Brazil, Coon decided that he and Nan-nieta also should go there. Just when preparations had been com-pleted, Coon unexpectedly died of a heart attack. The family, not wan-ting Nannieta to travel alone, sailed to the states to be with her.
(Patsy Miles to Thelma Griggs, March 8, 1973. In all likelihood, the Hudgeitz family used Coon's death as an excuse to leave, otherwise, they would have made arrangements for someone to accompany Nan-nieta o Brazil.)
Ney McMullan, who after the death of his mother in 1896 and his sister, Martha Ann, in 1894, was the last of the McMullens, remained in Brazil. To him and his family, the land south of the equator was home. Only rarely did Ney return to Texas. He always felt that his brother's claim on the Juquia could be reestablished, and about 1918 he wrote a letter to members of the family in Texas, asking each branch for $200 that he might "do something about our land." With the money, said Ney, he could "make millionaires out of all of us." As they had never been successful financially, no one sent the money. Today, all of Ney McMullen’s sons are living in Brazil. Dana, Lauren, and Caskey live in the city of Rio Verde, Goias, Wiley Dyer McMullen and the youngest, Frank McMullan, live in São Paulo.
(Perhaps if they had known that the Bowen family had sold their land on the Juquia for a large amount, they would have been more receptive to Ney's suggestion. Barnsley, "Information About Em-igrants.")
For a time, the descendants of the original McMullan colonists made an effort to find mates of like race and heritage to retain their national identity. But with passage of time, they are marrying native Brazilians and becoming integrated into Brazilian life. The English language is seldom spoken. Wiley Dyer McMullen, Frank McMullan’s nephew, recently wrote that he lost contact with English-speaking peoples about fifty years ago.
Nevertheless, the colonists from the former Confederate states of America made an impact on Brazilian life and institutions, particularly in the areas of education and religion. Largely because of the educational methods they introduce, Brazil today has a better school system, particularly on the college and university level. In religion, they were responsible for any major changes. When the emi-grants arrived in 1867, there were no Protestant churches nor Protestant cemeteries. From the small embryo provided by the North American emigrants, Protestantism has grown into a sizable sect.
(No hint has been found as to what church Frank McMullan belonged. However, Judge Dyer, accor-ding to George Barnsley, "was a religious man, a Baptist, whether of the genus Hardshell or not, I "disremember", as the Judge would say, "Information about Emigrants." Ney McMullan, according to some accounts, was an atheist.)
Santa Barbara, where William R. Norris and his son located the colony in 1865, is the only survi-ving settlement of North Americans in Brazil. A gathering place for displaced emigrants all over the country whose colonies, by 1872, had failed, Santa Barbara, at one time, had over five hundred former Confederates as its citizens. They lived very much as they once had, except for widespread use of slav-ery, in their native land. The name was changed, after the turn-of-the-century, to Villa Americana in recognition of the large numbers of Americans who once lived there. Today, few descendants of the North American emigrants remain in the town, but many who have left desire to be buried in the Americana’s small cemetery, the first for Protestants in Brazil.
(Although some Southerners owned slave in Brazil, the practice was uncommon. To some, it was rem-iniscent of an old way of life that they wanted to forget; to others, the expense was too great.)
A unique organization, the Fraternity of Descendants of Americans, oversees the cemetery, a cha-pel, and a small museum. Judith Mc-Knight Jones, a direct descendant of Calvin McKnight of Texas, a McMullan colonists, is the Fraternity’s historian. Every three months, the thirty local members and their families come to meetings in Villa Americana where they reminisce and eat southern fried chic-ken and watermelon. Remarkably noticeable on voices with accents very similar in sound to those spoken by the older rural natives in Alabama, Mississippi, or Texas.
The fourth of July is still a very special occasion to Villa Americana for the Americans. On that day, descendants of the Confederate colonists return to the little town to "renew memories of America’s South and allegiance to the Confederate flag. Upon entering the little chapel, the visitor will see, care-fully draped over the pulpit, the red, white, and blue "Stars and Bars' of the Confederate States of America, a ceremonious homage to a way of life their ancestors and refused to forgo and they hold in honored memory.
Most of the McMullan colonists soon realized that the elusive Eden they sought was no longer att-ainable, and that, despite the political and social revolution that had prompted them to emigrate, making a new life in the communities they had abandoned was preferable to starting anew in a strange land. Those who stayed in Brazil found the answer to their lost dreams but eventually adapting to and making the best of the new frontier, somewhat like their ancestors who with high hopes had left an old way of life in Europe to make a new and better life in America.
“PARTIAL ROSTER OF THE MCMULLAN COLONY"
Barnsley, George Scarborough. George Barnsley, a native of Georgia who studied some medicine at Oglethorpe University, soon after the Civil War moved to Texas to recoup the family fortune, but once there he joined the McMullan Colony as its official "doctor." Hoping to obtain a permit to practice medicine, he left the colony on his arrival in Brazil. During the next two decades, he ran the gamut of occupations in an effort to make a fortune, including doctor, miner, railroad promoter, and druggist. In 1888, he returned to the United States, but preferring Brazil, he went back to Sao Paulo where he lived until his death
Barnsley, Lucian» Lucian Barnsley sailed with his older brother, George Barnsley, to Brazil. Lucian followed more trades than his brother, but the most important were the operation of a rice mill in Iguape which he bought on credit, his practice as a druggist, and his practice of medicine. There is no evidence that he ever left Brazil.
Beasley, . None of the sources ever mention Beasley's first name, but George Barnsley lists him as a widower with two children, a boy and a girl."
Bowen, Adam Berry. Adam Berry Bowen was sixteen or seventeen years old when he sailed on the Derby. Nothing is known of his activities after his arrival in Brazil. In 1916, Edwin Ney McMullan said that Adam was living in Babylonia, Comarca de Soa Dom de Prata, Minas Geras, Brazil.
Bowen, Elizabeth. Probably named for her mother (whose name was Elizabeth), Elizabeth Bowen married a son of Alfred F. Smith while both were living on the frontier of Brazil on McMullan Colony lands. Edwin Ney McMullan listed her address in 1916 as Reboucas, E. de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Bowen, Leonidas Sanders. The son of William Bowen, Leonidas Sanders Bowen was named after Colonel Leonidas Sanders, William Bowen's commander during the Mexican War. According to George Barnsley, Leonidas Bowen "did remarkably well as a farmer, and was highly esteemed by all." He was twenty-three years old and unmarried at the time of the sailing of the Derby in 1867."
Bowen, Susan. Susan Bowen moved to the perimeter of the colony with her father, William Bowen, and the other members of her family after the failure of the Juquia colony. Afterwards, she married one of the sons of Alfred F. Smith, 12 another of the McMullan colonists. In 1916, she was 13 living in Ventania, east of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Bowen, William. William Bowen, the partner of Frank McMullan in the Brazilian colony, was a veteran of the Texas War for Independence, the Mexican War, and the Civil War. He accompanied Frank McMullan in the quest for lands in Brazil in 1866, and remained there while McMullan returned to Texas for the colonists. Bowen's four children were under the supervision of Nancy McMullan during the voyage to Brazil. Bowen, with government help, built a large community house for the colonists before they arrived. When Frank McMullan died in late 1867, Bowen should have taken over the leadership of the colony, but failed to do so. Instead, he moved to the edge of the grant. In later years, Bowen was said to have cut a trail from the interior to the seashore. William Bowen's heirs perhaps were the only, or among the few, families who realized anything from the lands on the Juquia. George Barnsley said that the "heirs of Col. Bowen sold their land on the Juquea [Juquia] to Government or to the Brazilian Railroad 18 for 100 centos or more—say 50 thousand dollars."
Boyd, . Boyd, whose first name has not been found, was married and had one child, a girl."'
Braxter, . Braxter, whose first name does not appear on any lists, was married and had one child, a girl.
Brooks, . Brooks, whose first name has not been found, went to Santos after the breakup of the McMullan Colony.
Cobb, F. F. Cobb was a married man with two children, both girls.
Cook, J. T. According to Douglas Grier, J. T. Cook, his wife, and seven children sailed with McMullan on the Derby. George Barnsley said that he thought "that he moved up to Santa Barbara, and remained there." Frank Goldman stated that according to his information. Cook went to Santos, Brazil.
Crawley, . Crawley, whose first name is not given, was listed, without further information, by Frank Goldman as one of the colonists.
Demaret, Martin Felix. Although Martin Felix Demaret was not one of McMullan's colonists, his family sailed to Brazil on the Derby. Demaret had gone to Brazil, presumably on his own, in 1866 to look for land on which to settle. George Barnsley described Demaret as "a fine gentleman, of the old courteous, gallant, type, and his family, well educated and. thoroughly refined in manners, which latter merits were very much at discount among most of our American emigrants of that epoch." Before the war, Demaret had lived in Louisiana and operated a cotton plantation in Texas. Although he lost most of his fortune, he managed to save some money and purchased land near Santa Barbara. After Demaret's death, the family scattered, some going to Sao Paulo.
Dillard, . Dillard, whose first name is not mentioned in any of the extant records, sailed on the Derby to Rio de Janeiro. With another young Irish boy named O'Reilly who joined the McMullan party in New York City in search of adventure, Dillard enlisted in the Brazilian army during the war with Paraguay. Both Dillard and O'Reilly collected the large bonuses offered to enlistees, but once on the front lines, they deserted and joined the Paraguayans to collect another bounty. Afterwards, they were captured by the Brazilians, tried by court-martial, and shot.
Domm, Frank. Domm, Frank. A native of Germany, Frank Domm, with his brother, John, had immigrated to Texas where he sailed with Frank McMullen to Brazil. Domm, John. John Domm accompanied his brother, Frank, to Brazil, After the breakup of the McMullan Colony, he went to Santa Barbara where he worked as a blacksmith. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, whose nativity is unknown, and a daughter.
Dyer, Amanda Webb. Born on November 1, 1822, Amanda Webb married James Harrison Dyer in Georgia on April 29, 1845, and came to Texas with him in 1847. With her husband, she went with the McMullan Colony to Brazil, where she died on July 4, 35 1869. Her burial place is not known.
Dyer, Harriet Ann. Harriet Ann was the only daughter of James H. and Amanda Dyer. At age twenty-one, she married Columbus Wasson in Rio de Janeiro. While in Brazil, she gave birth to two children, both boys. Harriet returned to Texas with her father and brothers in 1872, leaving behind her husband to finish a term of school he was teaching. Eventually, Harriet was the mother of six children. She died in Texas in 1917.
Dyer, James Edwin. James Edwin Dyer, the younger brother of Wylie S. Dyer, and the son of Judge James H. Dyer and Amanda Webb Dyer, returned to Texas with his father in 1872. He married Delia Thompson after his return to Texas but had no children.
Dyer, James Harrison. James Harrison Dyer, who moved from Georgia to Texas in 1847, became the first judge of Hill County, Texas. He and his brother, Simpson Cash Dyer, built the first dam and mill ever constructed on the Brazos River. Dyer, with his wife, Amanda, and three children, went with his nephew, Frank McMullan, to Brazil. There he, with his son-m-law, Columbus Wasson, operated a sawmill. After his business failure, caused by a loss of a steamboat. Dyer returned to Texas. After returning to Hill County in 1872, Dyer became noted for his activities as a lawman and as a breeder of fine, registered cattle. He died in September, 1901, at age seventy-nine years.
Dyer, Wiley Simpson. Wiley Simpson Dyer was reputedly the first white child born in Hill County, Texas. He sailed for Brazil in 1867 with his father and mother, James H. and Amanda Dyer. In 1869, after his mother's death, Wiley was placed in a Catholic school. Having been reared a Baptist, young Dyer did not agree with some of the doctrinal teachings. For refusing to bow before statues of saints in the church, because he believed the practice to be idol worship, he was expelled. Wiley Simpson Dyer returned to Hill County with his father, brother, and sister in 1872. Afterwards, he married two times, first to Nancy Hill, and second to a Mrs. Swilling, a widow. He died in Hill County in 1921.
Fielder, C. C. Fielder was married, but no information about his family has been found. When the McMullan Colony failed, he went to Santa Barbara, but later returned to the United States
Fielder, L. A single man, L. Fielder, whose relationship to C. Fielder is not mentioned anywhere, likewise went to Santa Barbara after the failure of the McMullan Colony and afterwards returned to the United States.
Gill, William. "Billy" Gill, who was married and had one child, a girl, apparently moved to Santa Barbara when the colony failed.
Green, A. J. A. J. Green, a widower with five children, three girls and two boys, "went to Santa Barbara and then to other places" after the failure of the McMullan Colony. Afterwards, the family scattered to unknown places through out Brazil.
Hanny, . This man's first name has not been found, but Frank Goldman, a Brazilian historian, infers that he was a member of the colony and states that he finally settled in Santos, Brazil.
Hargrove, J. D. J. D. Hargrove was a single man who went with the emigrants to the Juquia, but no other information has been located.
Haynes, L. F. L. F. Haynes, with his wife and six children, four boys and two girls, settled on the Juquia.
Hickman, __. Hickman, whose first name is not recorded, was a single man at the time of emigration.
Johnson, . Johnson, whose first name is not recorded, was listed by Barnsley as a single man, but at a later date his son tried unsuccessfully to reestablish his father's claim to land on the Juquia.
Keith, J. M. J. M. Keith, a member of the McMullan Colony, spent his life in Brazil as a prospector, wandering around the interior and staking claims to all kinds of mines. He eventually received title to a large amount of land. In Texas, Keith had been a Texas Ranger. During the Civil War, according to Barnsley, he had been in the Confederacy's Trans-Mississippi Department.
McAlpine, . McAlpine, also spelled McAlpin, whose first name is not given, was listed by Barnsley as a single man.
McKnabb, _. Barnsley said that McKnabb, whose first name was not given, "was aboard with his wife and an exceedingly beautiful girl child. He was accompanied by a Mexican, who had a good deal of gold on his own, which it was reported to us aft in the steamer that this mostly passed into McNabb's pockets." Barnsley said that McKnabb was a gambler, and that he left the other colonists in Rio de Janeiro, "got rid" of the Mexican, and established a bar, where he did well.
McKnight, Calvin. Calvin McKnight, after reaching Brazil, learned to make pinga, a sort of brandy, distilled the stuff, and taught the other colonists how to make it. He settled in Santa Barbara where he made a "good living." He was married, but whether before or after he arrived in Brazil is not known. The McKnight families [Calvin and his brother, Thomas], "made a good appearance in Brazilian life, having among their sons and grandchildren. Civil Engineers, Dentists graduated, etc."
McKnight, Thomas. Thomas McKnight, who migrated with his brother, Calvin, also lived in Santa Barbara and made a good living. Descendants of the McKnights still live in Santa Barbara (Vila Americana).
A. G. McMahon,on boarding the Derby, gave a buckskin bag full of gold to Nancy McMullan to keep during the trip to Brazil. When the ship was wrecked on the coast of Cuba, McMahon accused Nancy of stealing it. McMahon later found the bag among rocks along the shore. He died in Texas many years later at the home of Wiley Simpson Dyer, the oldest son of Judge James H. Dyer.
McMullan, Nancy. Nancy McMullan, Frank McMullan's mother, came to Texas from Mississippi in 1853 with her husband, Hugh, and settled in Hill County. There, she and her family accumulated a considerable amount of land and were considered to be relatively wealthy. When Frank McMullan escorted a colony to Brazil, she also went, taking along her thirteen year-old son, Edwin Ney McMullan. After five years in Brazil, Nancy returned to Hill and Johnson counties, Texas. She died in Cleburne, Texas, in 1886.
McMullan, Edwin Ney. Edwin Ney McMullan, the son of Hugh and Nancy McMullan and one of the few chroniclers of the McMullan expedition, wrote a long article that was published in the Semi-Weekly Farm News (Dallas, Texas), on January 25, 1916. After returning to Texas with his mother in 1872, Ney went to live with his sister and brother-in-law, Virginia and George L. Clark, in Attala County, Mississippi He persuaded the Clarks to return to Texas in October,6 1873. Ney married a girl named "Meg," or "Maggie" (Margaret?) whose last name has not been determined. He and his family lived, at different times, in Fowler and Whitney, Texas. In 1895, Ney McMullan returned to Brazil and "spent eight months traveling over the country, returning the latter part of October." In 1897, he returned once again to Brazil, this time taking his family with him. Ney McMullan had five sons, all of whom are still living in Brazil.
Moore, Ora Montague. Ora "Montie" Moore was probably born after her mother and father. Dr. and Mrs. William T. Moore, went to Brazil. Family tradition says that her name, in Portuguese, meant "golden butter." She was always called "Montie," and her most intimate associates did not know her real name. "Montie" married Sep Smith, the son of Gip Smith of Smith Bend, Bosque County, Texas. Afterwards, she and her husband moved to Crosbyton, Texas, where they became well67 known and highly respected.
Moore, Victoria McMullan. Victoria McMullan married Dr. William T. Moore, a Hill County dentist, in 1865. The two went to Brazil with her brother, Frank McMullan. In 1872, she and her husband returned to Texas. The Moores had one surviving daughter, Ora Montague Moore. Victoria died on Hill County, Texas, in 1874.
Moore, William Turner. William Turner Moore, a veteran of the Fifteenth Texas Infantry in the Civil War and afterwards a dentist in Hill County, Texas, married Victoria McMullan, Frank McMullan's sister. Both decided to go to Brazil with Frank McMullan but before leaving for Galveston to board the Derby, he accidentally shot himself in the leg while cleaning a pistol. Nevertheless, he went to Galveston. When his leg showed no improvement, he ordered it amputated, and then continued to South America. Returning to Texas in 1872, he became a lawyer in Waco. He died July 18, 1905, and was buried in Hill County, near Whitney.
Odell, John. Little is known of John Odell, other than that he married Lou McMullan, Frank McMullan's sister. Both Odell and his wife went to Brazil with the McMullan Colony. John returned alone in 1872 to Hill County after Lou died of typhus. He died in Hill County.
Odell, Lou McMullan. Lou McMullan Odell was about eighteen years old when she and her husband, John Odell, left for Brazil with Frank McMullan's colony. She died of typhus and was buried somewhere in Brazil. She had no children.
O'Reilly, . O'Reilly, a young Irishman whose first name has not been found in any accounts of the colony, joined the McMullan party in New York City. He was looking for adventure, and, after arrival in Rio de Janeiro, he and another young man named Dillard joined the Brazilian army to fight against Paraguay in order to collect the bonus offered by the government. At the front, however, both men deserted and joined the Paraguayans to collect another bonus. They were later captured by the Brazilians, court martialed, and shot.
Quillen, O. H. O. H. Quillen, his wife, and five children, went to Brazil'with McMullan. After the breakup of the colony, the Quillens apparently settled in the western part of the grant along the Piexe and Guanihara rivers. There "Parson" Quillen, educated as a school-teacher, conducted religious services which "acted as a centripetel force which periodically drew the American colonists together." The Quillens remained on the frontier until the 1870's. After the departure of their only remaining neighbors, the Alfred Smiths, they moved to Santa Barbara. One of Quillen's sons became a dentist; another, according to Barnsley, "is in the Sertao [the inland part of the country] , the less said the better."
Ratcliff, . After the death of Frank McMullan, Ratcliff, whose first name has not been located, and his wife, accompanied by J. Weingarten (another McMullan colonist) and his daughter, went to Santa Barbara where a daughter was born to the couple.
Russell, Russell, whose name does not appear in any records found to date, was listed by George Barnsley as a single man
Smith, Alfred I. Alfred I. Smith, reputed to be one of Frank McMullan's oldest friends and a professor of music, was persuaded by McMullan to emigrate "first to Texas and then to Brazil." Smith had a wife, six daughters, and one son. After the failure of the McMullan Colony, the Smiths went up the river in a dugout canoe to the limits of the McMullan grant, where they bought out a squatter's right claim and began farming. Far from civilization, the Smith family had to be exceptionally resourceful. They built, hewing all lumber by hand, an American-style home, a crude sugar mill, a tobacco press, and a rice mill. In 1870, the family returned to civilization, walking over the mountains to Santos, a Brazilian seacoast town.
Smith, Eugene. Eugene Smith, mentioned by Goldman in "Aspectos das Migrago'es," was probably the same Smith that Barnsley listed, without a first name, as a single man living on the Juquia.
Smith, W. T. Barnsley listed W. T. Smith as a single man who, he thought, "went to Santa Barbara" and lived with "Doce" Smith and his family, who in turn had moved from Gunter's colony on the Rio Doce.
Steve. Steve, who apparently had no other name, was a former slave of Judge James H. Dyer. Steve insisted on going to Brazil with the Dyer family. After the DyerWasson sawmill operation failed. Judge Dyer gave him the mill. With hard work and persistence, Steve made the mill a paying operation. He had "as many wives as a tolerably well off Turkish Pasha, and died highly respected. If he had been educated, he might have turned out a Baraio (Baron) of Brazil. At any rate he ruled all that section and had a good time. He always held out that he was a true American. I never heard Steve swear."
Tarver, B. F. B. F. Tarver was accompanied to Brazil by his wife and four children. Like the Alfred F. Smith and the Bowen families, the Tarver family went to the western part of the McMullan claim where it lived until 1869 before returning to a more civilized area.
Weaver, W. O. W. 0. Weaver was a widower who was accompanied to 84 Brazil by two women and three children, all girls. The relationship of the women to Weaver is not revealed in extant records.
Wasson, Columbus. Columbus Wasson probably first met Frank McMullan at McKenzie College at Clarksville, Texas, after Frank's return from Nicaragua. Evidently, Wasson, from time to time, visited Hill County. There, he apparently first met Harriet Ann Dyer, his future wife and the daughter of Judge James H. Dyer. He went with the colonists to Brazil, possibly for the same reason as the others but more likely to be with Harriet. The two were married in Rio de Janeiro 86 on April 30, 1868. When the Dyers and McMullans sailed for home in 1872, Wasson remained in Brazil to complete a term of school that he was teaching to raise money for the voyage. After his return, he taught school in Hill County, Texas.
Weingarten, J. With his wife and daughter, J. Weingarten, whose name also appears as Weingarter, sailed for Brazil with the McMullan colonists. His wife died while they were living on the Juquia. After the breakup of the colony, Weingarten and his daughter went to Santa Barbara where, after an unsuccessful attempt at farming, he became a missionary and eventually a colporteur (a hawker of religious books and tracts). After the death of his first wife, he married a Brazilian lady from Minas Geraes Province and "had children a la galore." He bought a farm and "used it as a base from which to travel while selling bibles and testaments."
Wright Jesse. Jesse Wright, a grandnephew of Nancy McMullan, shot and killed a looter after the wreck of the Derbv on the coast of Cuba, but was saved from prosecution by the intervention of Frank McMullan and George Barnsley. After the death of Frank McMullan, Wright moved to Santa Barbara where he did well. "He was a good man in a general way," said Barnsley, "but very passionate. After some years of success he had a quarrel with a Mr. Hall, his neighbor, on something about land, and shot and killed his fellow countryman. He escaped to Rio Grande do Sul, about a thousand miles to the south of here [Sao Paulo] . I never have heard of him since, but if I remember right, some one gave me 89 the impression that he went back to the U.S." Another account says that Jesse "remained . . . [in Brazil] for several years before coming back to Texas with his son Ambrose "
Wright, Thomas. Thomas Wright, Jesse Wright's uncle and husband of Nancy McMullan's niece, quit the McMullan party after the wreck of the Derby on the Cuban coast and returned .
SOME OTHER ATTEMPTS AT COLONIZATION
Dunn, Ballard S. On January 30, 1867, the advance party of a group of colonists headed for Ballard S. Dunn's Lizzieland left New Orleans on board the Talisman. Ten weeks later, the Marmion sailed with a second group of nearly three hundred emigrants for Dunn's colony, most of whom were inspired by Dunn's book, Brazil, The Home for Southerners. Once in Brazil, however, many of Dunn's recruits, instead of going to Lizzieland, went instead to Gunter's colony on the Rio Doce or elsewhere. Those loyal to the New Orleans parson went first to Iguape, then up the river by steamer and canoe to their new homes. There, the colonists were disappointed and unhappy in their new surroundings. Dunn had not chosen the lands wisely. George Barnsley described the colony site as being "extremely picturesque, but with the slight defect of being without good lands and in the rainy 2 season half under water." Idealizing his mistake, Dunn mortgaged his own property for $4,000, returned to the United States, and was never seen again in Brazil."^ Soon after Dunn's departure, Lizzieland was inundated by flood waters that wiped out all of the crops and virtually every permanent improvement. The colonists thereupon scattered to various places in Brazil, with many finally returning to the United States.
Gaston, James McFadden. James McFadden Gaston, a Southerner from an old, aristocratic family in South Carolina, sailed for Brazil on the Wavelet to look for lands. Like his predecessors, he received an enthusiastic reception from the Brazilian authorities. On the recommendation of Ernest Buhlaw, another Southerner already in Brazil, Gaston looked for a settlement in Sao Paulo Province; even-tually he decided on a site near the town of Xiririca. On his return to the United States, Gaston wrote a book, entitled Hunting a Home in Brazil, in which he recorded his observations and 5 detailed his search for lands.
Gathering a group, of one hundred emigrants, Gaston made plans to go to Brazil. For some unrecorded reason, the group went to New York City, where it sailed aboard the North America with Frank McMullan's colonists. After arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Gaston and his Southerners proceeded to the chosen lands near Xiririca. The colony seemed to have all of the ingredients necessary for success: Gaston was financially solvent, and he provided good, honest leadership; the lands were lush, with fertile, loamy soil. Nevertheless, like most of the others, it failed. Again, the cause was the refusal of the Imperial Government to meet its obligations. Gaston's land titles were not clear; Brazilian nationals claimed the property, perhaps rightfully, and regarded the North Americans as trespassers. Abandoned by the government and unwilling to fight the Brazilians in court, Gaston and his followers scattered. Gaston first moved to the town of Apiehy, where he developed a lucrative practice of medicine, and later to Santa Barbara, another American colony that developed northwest of Sao Paulo.
Gunter, Charles Grandioson In Alabama, Colonel Charles G. Gunter made plans X to take a group of settlers to Brazil's Doce River near 7 the beautiful Lake Juparanao. Gunter, described as a "tremendously large man, with a voice like the rumblings of a distant thunder," predicted that fifty Southern families from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia would go with him to the tropics.^ Gunter was so vehemently anti-United States that, after his arrival in Brazil, he instructed his son in Alabama to "settle my affairs as if I were dead in the United States. I shall never go there again, unless I go on business for 9 this government."
After extensive negotiations with the Brazilian government, Gunter purchased five million acres of land which he planned to develop into twenty settlements. Gunter never organized a colony, as originally planned, but, instead, he tried to attract Americans who were "adrift" in the capital of Brazil. He offered his land at the bargain price of only twenty-two cents per acre.
As a result of these land prices, plus the beauty of the land, many of the colonists who were headed for settlement on the Ribeira, particularly those of Ballard Dunn, changed their minds and went to the Rio Doce. The colony appeared destined for tremendous success. Again, factors beyond the control of the colonists worked to the contrary. In January, 1868, the worst drought in thirty years "killed the garden vegetables and blighted the field crops." Soon a siege of chills and fever, probably malaria, swept through the settlement. Of the fifty families who originally came to live on the Rio Doce, nearly all were gone at the end of six months. By 1869, only Colonel Gunter remained; and here he lived the rest of his days, 12 a relatively successful planter.
Hastings, Lansford Warren. One of the most colorful of the colonizers was Lansford Warren Hastings, a prospective Brazilian from north of the Mason-Dixon line. Born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Hastings joined an emigrant train headed for Oregon in the 1840's. In 1844, he was in California, where he made plans to bring in settlers from the United States, declare the area an independent country, and make himself its president. Although the project never matured, Hastings gained fleeting fame in the American West for the "Hastings Cut-off," a direct route that he pioneered in 1846 from Utah to California. Later, he was involved in another colonizing attempt in California and a filibustering expedition in Mexico. Following the defeat of Sibley's Brigade in New Mexico in 1872, Hastings was unsuccessful, because of lack of financing, in promoting an expedition to capture New Mexico and Arizona and secure a port on the Pacific."'"^ After the Civil War, he was among the first to promote Brazil as a home for Southerners. During a prospecting trip, he chose a site, far from McMullan, on the Amazon River and then returned to the United States to recruit colonists.
Early in 1867, Hastings and a group of forty-five 16 Southerners sailed for Brazil aboard the Neptune. Problems began soon; near Cuba the ship struck a reef and sank Many of the unfortunate passengers eventually made their way to Brazil; but others, disenchanted, returned to the United States. In July, 1867, Hastings again sailed, this time with 109 persons aboard the Red Gauntlet, a steam-powered side-wheeler. At St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, the ship was detained by United States authorities, and those who wished to continue were forced to take passage to Brazil on the regular lines.
The site Hastings had selected was on the Tapejos River near the town of Santarem in the Amazon basin. It was nearly seven hundred miles from Para, the nearest port, and almost two thousand miles from the McMullan Colony.''"^ Despite the enormous distance, most of Hasting's colonists reached their destination. Terribly disappointed with the "promised land," many of the Americans, who expected to find a fairyland, soon left to search for the elusive Eden in other parts of Brazil.
Norris, William H. William H. Norris, of Alabama, with his son, Robert C. Norris, sailed for Brazil in December of 1865. Not finding either Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo to their liking, the two "loaded their few chattels into an oxcart and walked eighty miles to the northwest where they purchased lands 19 for a settlement." They then sent for their wives and children, as well as other Southerners who desired to. emigrate. The Norris family sailed from New Orleans in a small ship, the Talisman, accompanied by twenty-six other X Alabama families. The men and women were quartered in separate compartments, and for comfort, the women exchanged their hoop skirts for more desirable attire. The hoops were stored in a forward compartment, just under the ship's wheel. After several weeks at sea, the Captain discovered that the ship was far off course; it was approaching the Cape Verde Islands, near the coast of Africa! The metal in the hoops had caused a major variation in the ship's compass. After eighty-nine days at sea, the Talisman finally docked at Rio de Janeiro. The colonists then made their way to the lands selected by William H. and 20 Robert Norris. Here, at the town that came to be known as Santa Barbara, the most enduring of the Southern colonies took root.
Southern Emigration Society. One of the most ambitious plans to plant a colony in South America was by the Southern Emigration Society. This organization, which was based in Edgefield, South 21 Carolina, had as its president a man named Joseph Abney. The Society sent two men. Major Robert Meriwether and Dr. D. A. Shaw, to Brazil with directions to explore the entire southern part of the country for a suitable location. After their survey, Meriwether and Shaw decided on the area' around Botucatu, in Sao Paulo Province. Their report. like that of Frank McMullan, was published in Ballard S. Dunn's book, Brazil, The Home for Southerners.^^ But the Society never sent a colony, though their report generated considerable interest. At the time of his death in 1870, Joseph Abney was still the head of the procrastinating organization. Meriwether returned to Santa Barbara, however, and developed the first crop of "upland" 23 cotton ever grown in Brazil.
Wood, William Wallace. William Wallace Wood was one of the first Southerners to promote a colony to Brazil after the Civil War. On his arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Wood was met by a blaring brass band playing the familiar strains of "Dixie." Wood and his associates were treated to parades, balls, and parties for days as the Brazilians did their best to make 24 a favorable impression. With an osten-tatious display of pomp and presumed importance. Wood toured the country until he found a suitable site northwest of Sao Paulo. He returned to the United States in January of 1866, assumed the title of "Commissioner of American Emigration to Brazil," then disappeared from the limelight, probably returning to his home in Adams County, Mississippi. His failure to establish a colony after his grand-iloquent tour left a bad impression on Brazilian authorities which other 26 colonists were never able to erase.
Barnsley Family Papers, 1828-1908. 850 items. Manuscript Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.
f 1838-1916. 315 items. Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Clark, George Lafayette. "G. L. Clark's Ancestors." Unpublished typescript, April 13, 1913. In possession of Thelma C . Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
Eubank, John T., James H. Dyer, and Jackson Puckett to Governor Sam Houston. Fort Graham, December 8, 1860. MS, Governor's letters (Houston), July December, 1860. Archives of the State of Texas, Austin, Texas.
Ferguson, Sarah Belona Smith. "The American Colonies Emigrating to Brazil." Manuscript in possession of Charles Wilson Matthews, Petropolis, Brazil.
Hill, Beatrice. Miscellaneous collection of untitled papers. Whitney, Texas. . "Towash before 1860." Unpublished typescript in possession of Louise Allison, Lubbock, Texas. Untitled, unpublished MS in possession of Thelma Sherrod, Tahoka, Texas.
Hill County, Records. Archives, General Land Office, Austin, Texas. v
Kirkpatrick, A. Y. Affidavit, Deed Records. Hillsboro, Texas. February, 1910. Vol. 121, p. 159.
McMullan, Jasper. Affidavit, Deed Records. Hillsboro, Texas. February, 1910. Vol. 121, p. 155. 154 155
United States. State Department. Consular Despatches. Para, Brazil. United States National Archives. Washington, D. C. _. Census of 1850. Manuscript Population Schedules, Navarro County, Texas. Microfilm Publication, National Archives. Copy in the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. Census of 1860. Manuscript Population Schedules, Hill County, Texas. Microfilm Publication, National Archives. Copy in the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. Census of 1850. Manuscript Population Schedules, Milam County, Texas. Microfilm Publication, National Archives. Copy in the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Commager, Henry Steele, ed. Documents of American History 8th ed. 2 vols. New York: Appleton-CenturyCrofts, 1968.
"Correspondencia Diplomatica." Revista de Imigragao e Coloniscagao, Vol. IV, pp. 297-315.
Davey, Edna R. , and Beatrice Hill. The Gathering of the Clans. n.p., n.p., 1957.
Dunn, Ballard S. Brazil, The Home for Southerners: Or, a. Practical Account of What the Author, and Others, Who Visited That Country, For the Same Objects, Saw and Did While in That Empire. New Orleans: Bloomfield & Steel, 1866.
Foster, Josephine. "Letter to the Editor." New Orleans Times, April 26, 1868.
Gaston, James McFadden. Hunting a Home in Brazil. Philadelphia: n.p., 1867.
Hastings, Lansford Warren. The Emigrants Guide to Brazil. New Orleans: n.p., 1867. 156
Kirkpatrick, A. Y. Th£ Early Settlers Life in Texas and th£ Organization of_ Hill County. Reprint. Waco: Texian Press, 1966.
"Marine Intelligence." The New York Times, March 27, 1867.
McMullan, E. N. "Texans Established Colony in Brazil Just After Civil War; A Brief History of the McMullan Colony, Which Sailed from Galveston the Latter Part of 1866 for Brazil, South America." Semi-Weekly Farm News (Dallas, Texas), January 25, 1916.
McMullan, Frank. "To my friends in Texas, and to all good Southerners who think of going to Brazil." New Orleans Times, January 24, 1867.
Peeler, James Anderson, and Thomas Sheldon Maxey. History and Statement of Mercer Colony Case (Preston vs. Walsh) in U.S. Circuit Court at Austin, Texas. Austin: State Printing Office, D. & D. Institution, 1882.
Rankin, Melinda. Texas in 1860. Reprint. Waco: Texian Press, 1966.
"Terrible Sufferings of the Planters V'/ho Went to Brazil." The New York Times, May 21, 1871.
Texas. Legislature, House. Journals of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas. 4th Leg. Special Sess. Austin: J. W. Hampton, 1853.
United States. Congress. House. "Nicaragua—Seizure of General Walker." 35th Cong., 1st Sess. House Exec. Doc. 24. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1858. "Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States." 42nd Cong., 3rd Sess. House Exec. Doc. 1. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1873. "A Report on the Commercial Relations of the United States with Foreign Nations for the year Ending September 30, 18 70." 41st Cong., 3rd Sess. House Exec. Doc. 93. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871. __. War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 130 vols. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901. 157
Winkler, Ernest William, ed. Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861. Austin: Texas Library and Historical Commission, 1912.
"Wrecked Emigrants." The New York Times, March 28, 1867.
Correspondence and Interviews
Arnold, Effie Smith, San Antonio, Texas, to William C. Griggs, interview, March 28, 19 73. Tape recording in possession of William C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
Clark, Mary Pearl, Burleson, Texas, to William C. Griggs, interview, June 15, 1965. Notes in possession of William C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
Jones, Judith McKnight, Americana, Brazil, to William C. Griggs, letter. May 10, 19 73. In possession of William C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
McMullan, Wiley Dyer, Sao Paulo, Brazil, to William C. Griggs, letter, June 27, 1973. In possession of William C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
Miles, Patsy, Van, Texas, to Thelma C. Griggs, letter, March 8, 1973. In possession of VUlliam C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
Miles, Patsy, Van, Texas, to William C. Griggs, letter, April 4, 1973. In possession of William C. Griggs, Lubbock, Texas.
Moore, Clarence E., Fort Worth, Texas, to William C. Griggs, letter, December 20, 1973. In possession of William C. Griggs.
Anglo-Brazilian Times, November 23, 1867.
Flake's Daily Galveston Bulletin, February 23, 1867.
GalVesron Daily News, January 8, 1867, to April 1, 1867.
Galveston Tri-Weekly News, October 19, 1866, to December 16, 1866.
New Orleans Daily Picayune, March 18, 1866. 158
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Davis, William O. "Confederate Emigrants." American History Illustrated, Vol. V (June, 1970) , pp. 31-437
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Eagleton, Nancy Ethie. "The Mercer Colony in Texas, 1844- 1883." Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXXIX (October, 1935), pp. 275-291:
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Hill, Lawrence F. "The Confederate Exodus to South America." Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXXIX (October, 1935, January, 1936, and April, 1936), pp. 100-134, 161-197, and 309-326. . "Confederate Exiles to Brazil." Hispanic American Historical Review (May, 1927), pp. 192-210.
Knapp, Frank A., Jr. "A New Source on the Confederate Exodus to Mexico: The Two Republics." Journal of Southern History, Vol. XIX (February, 195 3), pp. 364-373.
Masters, B. E. "McKenzie College." Walter Prescott Webb, ed. The Handbook of Texas. 2 vols'. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1952.
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Nash, Roy. The Conquest of Brazil. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1926.
A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1892.
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Unpublished Theses and Dissertations
Grier, Douglas Audenreid. "Confederate Emigration to Brazil." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Michigan, 19 68. Microfilm copy. University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan
Reese, James Verdo. "A History of Hill County to 1873." Unpublished Masters Thesis, The University of Texas, 1962. Microfilm Copy, The Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
For the Complete Thesis including Footnotes, see: