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Confederate Expatriates in Brazil

CONFEDERATE EXPATRIATES IN BRAZIL

CONFEDERATE EXPATRIATES IN BRAZIL. Perhaps half of the eight to ten thousand southerners who emigrated after the Civil War went to Brazil, whose Emperor Pedro II had issued a call for experienced farmers. They came from all over the South (a few came from the North as well) and represented all socioeconomic levels, but the largest groups were landowners from Alabama, Texas, and South Carolina. They put careful preparations into their journey, forming associations and sending ahead emissaries to select land for settlement. Many of them settled in the São Paulo state and founded the town of Americana a few kilometers from the town of Santa Bárbara. The climate and soil of this region was most like that of their native southern states, and the pecans and peaches they introduced thrived, as did the American varieties of corn and cotton they brought with them. Most of the expatriate farmers did not purchase slaves in Brazil, where slavery remained legal until 1888, because, except on plantations, slave labor was economically inefficient. Confederate families also settled in the states of Bahia, Espírito Santo, Pará, Rio de Janeiro, and Santa Catarina. Some, especially those in Americana, prospered, but most only got by. The Confederates suffered from tropical insects and diseases, a lack of capital, and homesickness for friends and relatives. Although a few new hundred remained, most returned to the United States after some years.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Holloway, Thomas H. Immigrants on the Land. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.

Lesser, Jeffrey. Welcoming the Undesirables. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Robert M.Levine

See alsoExpatriation .

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