Bahia, its old name retained in a new place: the province
and the city; present condition and splendid prospect
of both.—Intra-mural peculiarities and Extra-mural
properties.—Prolific sugar produce.—Historic, artistic,
and archæological attractions of Bahia.—Souvenirs of the
Jesuits.—Relics of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis
Xavier.—A Bahian church built in Europe.—British Bahian
clergyman and local railways.—Health of the city.—A Brazilian
poet warbling native wood-notes very wild.—Necessity for
keeping a nautical eye in fine frenzy rolling towards the
Abrolhos.—Departure from Bahia.—Approach to the Brazilian
capital, and untoward preliminary to the Argentina’s
acquaintance therewith.—Stray notes on Bahia, containing
memoranda on Brazilian matters in general.

NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS.—Both the illustrations in this
chapter are copied from ‘Sketches in South America,’ by Sir W.
Gore Ouseley, who, in a letter-press ‘Key’ to his beautiful
portfolio of drawings, affords some interesting particulars,
of which the annexed is an abridgment:—The first remarkable
object in approaching the harbour of Bahia is the Fort of St.
Antonio, situated on the point of a rock, forming the extremity
of the Cape called after that saint. It is not large, but it is
a fair specimen of the numerous solidly-constructed stone forts
that have been scattered by the Portuguese (and Spaniards)
throughout their colonial possessions, wherever deemed
necessary for purposes of defence or aggression, and which bear
witness, in their well-built walls, and often handsome details,
to the ample means, military skill, and power, that backed the
zeal of the first settlers in South America, and founded the
Brazilian empire. Fort St. Antonio has on its highest part a
light-house, of great service to mariners in making the port
at night, as there are shoals off the point. Opposite to Cape
St. Antonio is a long low island, called Itaparicá, between
which and the port is the channel for large vessels. The
scenery near Bahia does not present the striking features that
distinguish Rio de Janeiro; it has neither the well-wooded
hills nor the lofty precipitous rocks that environ the capital
of Brazil. It is, however, very pretty, varied by small hills
and acclivities, and ornamented by the tall, graceful cocoa-nut
and the usual luxuriant vegetation of Brazil. The Cape, like
the coast generally of the province of Bahia, is surrounded
by coral rocks; and a reef of coral extends to a considerable
distance from and along the shore. The beach is sandy, with
large stones strewed on it by the action of the waves. After
passing the Cape and Fort St. Antonio, which are on the right
on entering the harbour of Bahia, the next prominent objects
are the church and villas on the high land, called Victoria,
overlooking the harbour. It is a favourite and picturesque
suburb of Bahia, and is the chosen site of several ‘chacras’
or quasi country residences. The elevation is sufficient to
avoid the extreme heat of the lower town and to get the benefit
of the sea-breeze. It is considered a healthy situation, and
a tolerable carriage-road leads to the English cemetery,
marked by a cross in the foreground, and to the point of St.
Antonio, as well as along the coast. On the beach are several
‘Armaçaos,’ or places where whale-boats are kept, and whales
cut up. They are provided with capstans and tackle, for hauling
up the carcase and blubber to be reduced to food by the poor,
the flesh looking like coarse beef. The whale on this coast
is pursued in large sailing-boats, and harpooned while the
boat is under sail. In the inner harbour are situated most
of the wharves, quays, and warehouses along the beach and
projecting into the water; and here numerous vessels lie in
perfect safety; the foreign men-of-war generally near a round
castellated tower or fort, not far from the entrance. Bahia is
divided into two towns, the upper and the lower, the former of
which being more modern, is built with greater regularity than
the latter; and contains many handsome buildings, including a
rich cathedral, the palaces of the archbishop and governor, a
court of appeal, theatre, hospitals, a library of from 60,000
to 70,000 volumes, and many other edifices, chiefly of an
ecclesiastical character. The lower town, San Salvador, or
Bahia, is dirty and badly laid out, but in it are to be found
the exchange, arsenal, and imperial dockyard. About three miles
north-east are yards for the construction of merchant shipping.
The houses are mostly of stone, and often lofty. The Dutch
have left traces of former possession in the brick paving of
some of the streets. At the foot of the steep height, covered
with foliage, and crowned by the ‘Paseo Publico,’ or public
promenade, is a small landing-place for boats, conveniently
situated for those who prefer a steep but clambering ascent
to the upper town, to being first taken round the point
into the interior basin and landed in the lower town, to be
thence carried up by negroes in a sort of palanquin. Those in
use here consist merely of a chair on a platform of boards,
suspended from the centre of an arched pole or beam, the
projecting swan-necked ends of which are born on the shoulders
of two men, who relieve themselves by the occasional use of
a stick as a lever applied under the pole as it rests under
the opposite shoulder. The motion is neither pleasant nor the
position seemingly secure. Yet not only ladies, but men, and
of no light calibre, invariably use them for transport to
the upper town and in visiting. The chairs are sheltered by
curtains from the sun, and the woodwork as well as curtains
are often gilt and showily and expensively ornamented. The
steepness of the streets prevents the use of wheel-carriages,
except in a few directions, and causes the substitution of
these palanquins. Bahia, founded in 1549 by Thomas de Souza,
first captain-general of Brazil, is one of the most important
commercial cities in America; and prior to the transfer of the
vice-royalty in 1763 to Rio, was the capital of Brazil. It
is defended by several forts, some of great strength. It was
stated some years ago to contain above 150,000 inhabitants,
among whom are many very wealthy proprietors and merchants.
This population is divided pretty equally into whites,
mulattoes, and blacks. A few miles from Bahia, on the Atlantic
coast near Rio Vermelho, is a small ruined chapel, dedicated to
St. Gonçalo, said to be the first building devoted to Christian
worship constructed in Brazil, or, as some say, in America.

Bahia, or San Salvador da Bahia, is commonly called by the former name,
which is only the abbreviation of the title given by the first settlers
to the bay, at the head whereof stands the capital, viz., ‘Bahia de todos
os Santos,’ or ‘All Saints’ Bay,’ as already stated; but some geographers
of the present day retain the old nomenclature; and in so recent
and authoritative a work as the eighth edition of the ‘Encyclopædia
Britannica,’ now in course of publication, the reader is referred, for
the province and city of Bahia, to the article San Salvador, which may
be expected to make its appearance somewhere towards the end of 1856,
by which time, it is to be hoped, the subject will have expanded to
dimensions corresponding with such procrastination in its treatment by
such means.


This province contains within itself the germs of enduring prosperity:
a splendid bay many miles in extent, where countless ships can ride
close to the shore, with lakes and rivers branching from it, form so
many natural harbours, docks, and canals; whilst it abounds with sugar
plantations, forests of timber fit for shipbuilding and other purposes,
precious stones, and many tropical productions, the latter of which can
be all procured in a degree only limited by the amount of labour and the
facility of bringing things down to the ports for shipment.

Everything at Bahia bespeaks the former head-quarter of an important
government. The removal of the latter to Rio was of course a great
disadvantage to this place, which has since had to work its way up
as a commercial entrepot, with frequent interruptions from political
disturbances, the last in 1837 amounting to a positive civil war, when a
most lawless band obtained possession of the city, which they held for
several months, and were only driven out, with much slaughter, after
having attempted to fire it, in which they partially succeeded. Since
that time things have been tolerably quiet, the discovery of large
deposits of diamonds in a district called the Chapada having given an
impetus to business, and taken away many restless spirits, there being
now a population of some 40,000, collected there in pursuit of gems
here found in considerable abundance—some of extraordinary value. It is
50 to 60 leagues distant from the town of Cachoeira at the head of a
river of that name, which is navigable for steam-boats and a source of
considerable traffic, there joining the Paraguassa, into which sundry
small tributaries, of more or less importance, flow.

The production of sugar, for the fine quality of which the province is
greatly celebrated, as also for that of its tobacco, so highly praised
in Portugal and Spain, has latterly revived, amounting for the crop just
finished, to 80,000 tons. As already observed in the case of Pernambuco,
this increase has not originated from any fiscal changes in England,
but simply from the cessation of civil discord, enabling the planters
to devote their entire energies to the culture of their estates. It is
true that large importations of slaves have aided this movement, and
that Bahia has been the great focus of this detestable traffic; but the
stimulus cannot be traced in any way to our treatment of the West India
Colonies, however disposed interested parties may be to ascribe it to
this circumstance. The Brazilians had begun to find out the advantages
attendant on peace and tranquillity, and that the greater the quantity of
produce they could export the larger would be the means at their disposal
for the purchase of the necessaries and luxuries of life, which they
now began to look upon as desirable to possess. Improved machinery for
the making of sugar was brought into operation, as well as additional
capital for the development of that product, and likewise of cotton; in
the export of which latter commodity Bahia now nearly equals Pernambuco,
exceeding that port and province, and all the rest of Brazil put
together, in the quantity of its sugar. The natural consequence of such
application of skill and means has been a largely extended production
from almost virgin soil.


Whilst the trade of Bahia has thus progressed, signs of local and
municipal improvement are also visible. Short as is the time since the
accomplished author of the note, page 123, wrote—viz., in 1845—the
streets have been generally repaired, and the roads leading to the upper
town put in an efficient state, so that carriages can now traverse
them safely; new quays, extending along the margin of the bay, are in
process of erection; also a new custom-house, together with many other
much-needed improvements, chiefly owing to the personal activity of
Sen. Gonsalvez Martins, formerly President of Bahia, and late Minister
of the Empire, who is a native of the place, to which he has shown
himself devotedly attached. Bahia possesses more attractions for the
mere traveller, in search of curiosities, than probably any town in
Brazil, or even in the whole of South America; formerly the capital
of the empire, as we have just said, and still next in extent and
importance to the metropolis, and as being also the chief seat of the
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, its religious structures are the most
numerous, imposing, and unique, of any in all Brazil. The cathedral of
San Salvador is a splendid monument of the architectural genius of the
Jesuits, and its interior corresponds in magnificence with its external
beauty, containing, among other remarkable mementos of those colonizers,
a portrait, said to be taken from life, of their famous founder, Ignatius
Loyola, and that of St. Francis Xavier. The ancient college of the order,
now a military hospital, is also very fine. There are probably not less
than 40 churches, one of them being situated in the principal street, the
Praya, called the Church of the Conception, chiefly composed of blocks of
marble which were forwarded from Europe already numbered, like the plates
of an iron house in these days, and on their arrival they had merely to
be put together, and the building was constructed at once, according to
the precise design of the architect at home. This is the more singular
as very excellent stone abounds on the spot, the theatre, for instance,
being erected on a rock, and numbers of houses are built therewith from
the same material, to the height of five stories, some having balconies
and blinds, instead of windows—a most desirable arrangement in such a
climate, and one which speaks much for the honesty of the lower classes
in a town of great trade like Bahia, the extent of whose business
may be surmised when it is stated that upwards of a million pounds’
sterling worth of English goods alone enter it annually. Mr. Borthwick,
the engineer, sent from London to determine on the accuracy of Messrs.
De Mornay’s survey of the Pernambuco railway, in his report, already
referred to in the preceding chapter, speaking of the rival claims of
Bahia to a railway of its own, and contrasting the condition of the
two extraordinary nourishing provinces, says:—‘In 1851 the imperial
revenue, from Bahia was 4,784,600 milreis, and from Pernambuco 4,639,427
milreis, irrespective of movements of funds, &c., which would reverse the
comparison in that way.’ I have not the returns for the last two years
before me, but believe that the general relative proposition is still
about the same.

Here I saw the first practical adoption of the Brazilian railway system,
in the working of a tram road, to level a large space of uneven ground
called the Campo, on the Victoria Hill, by which means a large amount of
work has been done in a very short time. For much of this the natives are
considerably indebted to the English clergyman who officiates as chaplain
to the British residents, and who, not satisfied with paving the road
to heaven leading to the path he points out, and building a handsome
new church in this locality, has been public-spirited enough to afford
material assistance in the construction of highways, building of bridges,
and other engineering works, thus clearly and beneficially proving his
aptitude for business of this kind.

Bahia has suffered severely from that dreadful scourge the yellow fever;
but we found it had in a great measure passed over; and it is to be
hoped that it will gradually die away, though it appears that the chief
medical men in the empire have decided that it will remain a permanent,
or at least intermittent, visitant, something probably like the cholera
amongst us, which has apparently become acclimated in England, continuing
a steady course of mortality, without those sudden inroads whose speedy
devastation so greatly shocked, because they so much surprised, us.

There is a romantic kind of history attached to the first settlement of
this province, embodied in an attempt to copy Camoens in his splendid
work, commemorative of the discovery of India by Vasco da Gama. (_Vide_
introductory chapter.) It is called ‘Caramaru,’ and was written by José
Basilio da Gama, a Brazilian, born in Minas Geres, about the year 1740,
and is descriptive of the adventures of a Portuguese sailor, who was
wrecked somewhere near Bahia, and rescued from the fate of his shipmates
(who were sacrificed by the cannibals, then in possession of the coast)
by an Indian princess, who became enamoured of and married him; he then
figured in the wars of the Indians, by whom he was looked upon as a kind
of demi-god, and afterwards made a trip to Europe with his wife. Some of
the scenes in this poem are well and graphically depicted, giving a good
insight into the state of the country at that period, and of the savage
life existing; but after reading Camoens, it sinks immeasurably into the
shade, and we have difficulty in believing it to be written in the same

Our stay at Bahia was limited to the day. We sailed again at night, and
were obliged to pass outside the Abrolhos, it being night when we came
up with them; otherwise there is a good channel for a steamer between
these rocks and the main land, and it is a great saving in distance.
The name of these crags is very appropriate (‘Open Your Eyes’) there
being much need of it, and no light-house to warn the mariner, should he
unfortunately be driven by the current or some other casualty near such
perils at night-time. Few accidents, however, happen, because a wide
berth is given to the Abrolhos. Off Cape Frio we were met by a stiff
south-wester, which came down upon us with a freshness and determination
worthy of St. George’s Channel; our little steamer went through it
manfully, only sending the spray over us. We did not descry the light
on Cape Frio owing to the mist and drizzling showers, but soon came up
with that on the Island of Raza, opposite to Rio Harbour, which is a
splendid light seen from a long distance, and it renders the entrance to
Rio comparatively easy. We steamed on, and passed the fort of Santa Cruz,
where vessels are hailed; but in running in to the anchorage ground
we unfortunately came in contact with a small vessel, placed in the
roads with chains and anchors to afford succour to vessels in distress,
odd enough called the ‘Succorro,’ or ‘Succour.’ She had neglected
the precaution of having a light up, so stringently enforced by the
regulations of the port; and we could not see her till close upon her,
doing some damage, but nothing very material, and came to anchor close to
her for the night.

The following interesting ‘scraps,’ touching manners, customs, and things
at Bahia, have been supplied by my valued relative, Mr. Wetherell, for
some time British Vice-Consul there, who employs much of his leisure
hours not merely in collecting information of this nature and placing it
on record, but also in other useful pursuits connected with botany and
natural history, of which he has sent home many interesting results.


One of the most singular appearances the upper city has to a
stranger is its apparent desertion. There were, until very
lately, only about a dozen wheeled vehicles in the place,
but the march of intellect has been here, and now there are
omnibuses plying to the Victoria. All burdens are carried on
the head, from an orange, a candle, or a bottle, to a barrel
of fish. The larger kinds, such as pipes of wine, are slung
between poles, whilst logs of wood are carried upon the
shoulders of twenty or thirty, looking, for all the world, like
an immense centipede. During the time of carrying a wild kind
of chorus is kept up; one man makes observations as he goes
along, and the rest come in with a chorus, which seldom varies,
however much the recitative solo part may. Although large
burdens are thus carried, one man will not take nearly so much
as a European, and would rather lose his chance of a journey
than carry more than he thinks proper.

The cupolas of the church towers are very frequently covered
with pieces of earthenware, assorted according to their colour,
and laid on stucco in patterns, which gives them a glistening
appearance, as if they were enamelled. It appears to withstand
the effects of time. Some of them are covered with Dutch tiles,
and others are formed of marble. Part of the front of the
Italian friars’ church, and the bell tower, are covered with
the above curious stucco, but a near approach destroys the

Little naked blacks are constantly seen in the street, with
no more clothing than a pair of bracelets or ear-rings, and
some are very fine-looking. Their appearance is not improved,
however, by the protuberance of the abdomen caused by eating
farinha, which swells extremely when any liquid is mixed with
it. The shape, nevertheless, is soon regained. One peculiarity
is the infrequency of a child crying: their food is simple,
so that they do not often suffer from indigestion, and they
are less encumbered with clothing than the higher classes,
although, in the country, none are very particular in that
respect. The manner in which the mother carries the child,
slung across the back with her shawl, binds its legs in a
curve, but they soon recover their straightness when able to
walk. When thus tied, the child presents the very picture of
resignation, its little head nodding about, when fast asleep,
or when awake crowing, or beating a tattoo on its mother’s
back, who frequently holds a conversation with it, its replies
being in the only universal language now in use.

The huts of the blacks are very curious; they are built of
stakes of bamboo &c., driven into the ground, and these
intertwined with others; the whole, being filled up with clay,
and thatched with palm-leaves. The interior presents the very
acmé of wretchedness on a rainy day, and but little better in
fine weather. All kinds of rubbish huddled together, a few
daubs of saints hung on the walls, a ricketty table with some
carved saint upon it, a coach dog, (a hideous animal, without
hair, having only a few bristles on the head, back, and tail,
and of a dull leaden colour,) or a long-legged scraggy cat, and
a few fowls, quite as great curiosities in their way, are the
usual characteristics of these primitive habitations.

The blacks of this place swim almost as if they were
amphibious. You see numbers of children constantly dabbling
at the water’s edge for hours together, and soon learning to
strike out boldly. One mode of swimming is very singular; one
arm is always out of the water, advanced in front, alternately
with the other, sweeping or drawing the water towards them, and
raising the body out of the water at each stroke. This method
is considerably quicker than the ordinary style of swimming,
but appears to be more difficult of attainment.

It is agreed by phrenologists that the head of the negro, above
all others, presents the greatest development of Music, and
certainly some of the blacks do play remarkably well. You hear
little boys in the street, whom you might fancy could scarcely
speak, whistle tunes with great correctness; and the negro
dances show how admirably the science of time is appreciated.

O surely melody from heaven was sent
To cheer the soul, when tired of human strife,
To soothe the wayward heart, by sorrow bent,
And soften down the rugged path of life.—KIRKE WHITE.

It is to European ears, however, that taught combination music
has the charm; the monotony of the negro chanting, and its
never-ending repetition, convey no idea of the ‘melody of sweet
sounds,’ and the dances that are exhibited to these tunes are
anything but edifying.

The manner of catching fish here is curious. At low water four
or five large canoes will start; two of them divide the net,
which is of great length, and has the lower edge loaded with
lead, and the upper lightened with cork. On arriving at a given
spot, they separate, and dropping the net with all speed, form
as wide a circle as possible, and thus enclose the fish in a
pen. The canoes are then ranged around the outside of the net,
at some distance from each other, and a hand-net, the length of
the canoe, is held by two blacks. This net is about six feet
in height, and supported by two poles. The other men then beat
the water and the sides of the canoes with paddles, making as
much noise as they can, which frightens the fish, which, trying
to escape, and finding themselves effectually prevented by the
net, leap out of the water, and are caught by the hand-net,
and fall into the boat. In a few minutes a large catch is
made, though numbers of course escape. It is a curious sight
to see them flying, as it were, in all directions, out of the

The roasted grains of milho (Indian corn) form a dish of which
the blacks, are very fond; it is called pipokas, and is thus
prepared:—an earthen pot is partly filled with white sand, and
placed over a small open stove until it becomes thoroughly
heated, when the grains of new milho are stripped off the
bunch, thrown in, and stirred amongst the sand with a long
stick. The grains soon swell, and burst the skin, and the corn
becomes white and light. These grains are eaten with pieces of
cocoa nut. ‘Vai plantas pipokas,’ (go plant roasted milho,) is
a phrase, rather more expressive than polite, used in bidding a
person go and mind his own business.

It is a curious circumstance that the minds of the blacks
should, for so many ages, have remained in a stationary
condition; and although political and local circumstances may
have greatly operated to retard their mental development,
yet it seems much more probable that this state of darkness
proceeds more from physical causes. Their stupidity, or rather
want of intellectuality, is a most unaccountable fact, and one
of those mysterious dispensations of Providence that man tries
in vain to unravel. Individual, but almost solitary, instances
occur of a contrary nature; and although cultivation of the
intellect may thus have developed the black’s faculties, it
only serves to show more clearly the wild and blank from which
he has been separated.

A very singular, in fact almost a barbaric, custom exists here
on gala days, such as the birth-day of the Emperor or Empress.
The President issues invitations to a ‘Cortejo’ at the Palace,
a large building in the upper town. The portion occupied by the
President is older than the rest, which is new, and contains
the Treasury, and other public offices. The attendance on one
of these gala days consists of all the authorities, and many
of the principal inhabitants of the city. The ceremony usually
commences with a ‘Te Deum’ in the cathedral. The foreign
consuls appear in their uniforms, a motley habited, but showy,
group: the officers of the army and navy, with the President,
all in full regimentals; the archbishop in his robes, and the
priests in the habits of their respective orders; the judges
in their robes of office, the corporation in their quaint
dresses, and a crowd of civilians, all habited in black, and
many of them decorated with ribbons and stars. The entry is
up a dilapidated stair-case, on the top landing of which a
military band is stationed playing national airs. Two large
and scantily furnished rooms are entered, and a short time is
spent in conversation, until the preparations for the Cortejo
are complete. Then the President’s aid-de-camp pushes aside
the heavy door curtain, and invites the company to enter. The
assemblage enters a long room, papered with green and gold, and
lighted by a line of windows overlooking the sea, curtained
with green and gold damask, looped with bullion. At the further
end of the room, under a velvet canopy, with a kind of dais
in front, are portraits of the Emperor and the Empress, which
constitute the sole furniture of the room. On one side of the
portraits stand the President and the Archbishop, and on the
other the General-at-arms, Commander of the National Guard, and
other principal authorities. The procession advances down the
centre of the room, in Indian file, the consuls going first,
and according to precedence; and when within a few yards of the
dais, each person makes a profound bow to the portraits, and
then to the authorities. Foreigners generally omit the first
obeisance, as being too _savage_, but those who come after most
ceremoniously perform the rite. After bowing, each person takes
his leave by passing out by a side door, and the Cortejo is
over. When all have bowed their way out, the President invites
the consuls he is friendly with to view the troops defile
before him, as he stands at one of the front windows of the
Palace. The military march past to martial music, and then we
take our leave.

Caugica is a species of food of a peculiarly national
character, and is made in various ways. One is simply taking
the skin off the Indian corn, and boiling it in milk or water;
this is eaten cold. Another method is to grind the corn, mix
the meal with sugar and spices, and boil it with milk, when it
makes a very agreeable food.

The butterflies of this country are most gorgeous; agile and
graceful, they flutter in the sunlight, their magnificent robes
glistening like scales of gold. These sylph-like inhabitants of
the air, issuing from the dark cradle in which they exist as
chrysalises, seem to rejoice in their new life, hovering from
flower to flower, sipping the choicest nectar, and revelling in
perpetual enjoyment, and the continued pursuit of novelty and

The Solidade Convent is the great _locale_ where they make
those beautiful feather flowers without dye, which are so much
esteemed in Europe. On my first visit to this place, all the
romance of nuns and nunneries was revived in my mind. The lady
abbess, or superior, or whatever else she may be, was a stately
woman: but the nun who acted as saleswoman was most beautiful—a
Carlo Dolci countenance, pale, but with glorious eyes; and far
more flowers were bought from her than would have been from
any other. Visitors are ushered into a small room, whither
the flowers are conveyed in large baskets through a double
grating, and the attendants of the different nuns are there to
look after their own. None of our party were very proficient
in Portuguese, and we had great fun in the purchases, though
we probably paid double what we ought to have done. On our
departure, the lovely nun came to the door, and as we passed
out, courteously bade us ‘adios,’ and requested us, if we came
again, to ask for Maria.

A beautiful species of duck is found at Maronia, to the north
of this place, of the manner of catching which a description
has been given me. The lakes which they frequent are very much
choked with vegetable matter, and near their haunts a large
gourd is floated, having two small holes bored through the
side. After a few days, when the ducks have become accustomed
to the presence of the gourd, a man wades into the water with
it on his head, and catching a duck by its legs, breaks its
neck, and fastens it to his girdle. In this manner, several are
quietly killed, and the fowler wades ashore with a well-filled

The Botocudo Indians make an incision in the under lip,
which becomes so distended that they insert in the orifice a
round piece of wood, as large as the top of a common-sized
tumbler-glass; the lobe of the ear is also perforated and
elongated, in order to receive a similar ornament. In height
they are about 5 feet 6 inches, and have quite an independent
bearing and _ar de franqueza_.

The Indians, like the Greeks of the Homeric age, deem it the
greatest of evils to be unburied, and therefore they delight in
making flutes and trumpets of their enemies’ bones. I have seen
some of these flutes of the present day: they contain about
four or five holes; and are sometimes ornamented with tufts of
red and yellow feathers attached to the bone by strings.

The market is a most curious place, and I am told by persons
who have travelled in Africa, that it has a thoroughly African
appearance. Amongst heaps of fruit, vegetables, &c., shaded by
mats, some of which are formed into huts, and others merely
propped up by sticks, are seated the black women, in dresses
of many diversified colours, but all of the same fashion.
Some with their infants slung across their backs, and tied
by the pano da Costa; others with heavy baskets of fruit or
vegetables on their head; little children, whose only articles
of clothing are bracelets, ear-rings, and bands of coral beads
round the body, squat on a wooden dish, like an Indian god,
or sprawl amidst fowls, ducks, &c. Here and there you see a
black girl in her holiday attire, her hands covered with rings,
and her neck adorned with chains of solid gold, which she is
constantly displaying by arranging her shawl. In this part of
the market the boxes of papadura, attended by the taberoá, in
his leather jacket and hat; the half-naked qaubadomes busy
with unloading and loading, and the different and absolutely
gorgeous colours of the fruit, vegetables, and dresses, form a
most brilliant picture. The constant chatter of talking, the
screaming of parrots, the laughter of the women, and sometimes
the serious talk, added to which the procession of the Espiritu
Santo, accompanied by its band of music, the ringing of the
church bells, and the constant firing of rockets, constitute a
perfect Babel of sounds. The dark shades are the dusky sons of
Ethiop themselves, the dirty buildings, and the still dirtier
streets; but a busier, gayer, or more amusing scene will seldom
be found.

This is the land of parasite plants; a thousand different kinds
of these vagaries of nature are here. Some, attached to the
branches of trees, derive sustenance therefrom and from the
air; others form a nucleus with their roots for dead leaves,
decayed wood, &c., and flourish; others, again, merely rest
upon the branches, and live on air alone. Every curiosity of
form is to be seen: some of the flowers like flies; others
of indescribable shapes; many with their flowers filled with
water, which thus becomes scented; a dozen different varieties
on one tree; some of most brilliant colours, others shades of
green alone; some long and pendant, one variety of which has
received the name of the ‘rat’s tail;’ some without leaves,
like nothing but a string, wave with every wind until they
reach the ground, where they become fixed and rooted.

The bread-fruit tree is very beautiful; but is not very common
in this place, its use being superseded by farinha. The leaves
are very large, of a bright green colour, and much indented
at the edges. The fruit is green, and the surface has the
appearance of network. There are two varieties: in one kind the
divisions of the fruit’s surface are raised pyramidally, in the
other they are smooth. The latter is the sort used for food,
it having no seeds. Roasted and eaten with butter and salt it
is palatable, but insipid; and here it is usually planted for
ornament, as it grows quickly, and makes a pleasing variety
among other trees. The coffee is another very beautiful plant;
when in blossom, the long, glossy, dark green leaves present a
pleasing contrast to the clusters of white flowers round the
stem, and it exhales a delicious fragrance. When the berries
arrive at maturity, they are of a dusky red colour; each
contains two grains of coffee, surrounded by a soft pulp, which
soon dries after being plucked, and is then removed. The labour
of picking is very slight, and children can with great ease be
thus employed. The cultivation of the coffee-plant is much more
attended to in this province than formerly, and is gradually
taking the place of sugar. Towards the south a good deal is
cultivated for exportation.

The mantis is a very curious insect, which Rondelet, the
naturalist, says is called indifferently devin and prega diou,
or preché dieu, in consequence of having their fore-feet
extended as if preaching or praying. The Latin name of mantis
signifies ‘diviner,’ and supposed to have been so designated
from the motion they make with their fore-feet; and it was
imagined that they could divine or indicate events. The
fore-feet are used by the insect to carry food to its mouth;
it is of a beautiful green colour. In one of the Idylls of
Theocritus the term mantis is used to designate a thin young
girl with slender and elongated arms.—See Griffith’s Edition of
‘Cuvier’s Animal Kingdom.’

The banana is a plant about twelve feet high, having a stem
similar to bulbous plants in general, and the leaves, many of
them two feet wide, and from twelve to fourteen feet long,
springing from the top. The new leaf rises from the centre,
and is rolled up straight; as it increases in length, it
gradually unfolds, and gives way for another. The fruit is
green, and grows round the stem in regular semi-circular
groups. The blossoms are protected by a thick fleshy leaf-like
covering, which rises to allow the sun to have its full
influence in maturing the fruit. When the blossoms drop off,
the half-circles remain, but it is seldom that more than six
or eight rows of bananas are produced, and each smaller than
the preceding. The juices of the plant gradually lose their
nutritious qualities, and there are numerous rows of abortive
flowers, which produce nothing; and the stem is terminated by
a mass of the fleshy leaves enclosing embryo bananas never to
be matured. The plant is generally cut down when the fruit has
attained its full size, to make it shoot for the next season,
and the fruit is hung up to ripen, which it soon does, when it
becomes of a fine yellow colour.

The sunsets here are sometimes very fine, and I have noticed
that when the twilight is hastening on, a brighter glow will
appear, with very vivid and distinct bands of blue and pink,
alternately shaded off into each other, and radiating from the
spot when the sun has gone down. The difference in the apparent
sunset is about half-an-hour between winter and summer. Bright
as the sky is by day, it is brighter far by night, when the
spangled heavens are spread out like a curtain. The air is
so pure that the stars seem to shine with an increasing
brightness. The Southern Cross is a beautiful object, and so
different are the heavens from the northern hemisphere, that
nothing seems to produce the effect of the long distance from
home so much as the difference of the starry constellations.
The Milky Way seems to have received fresh refulgence; and all
is magnificence.

The small black ants found in gardens, generally in great
numbers, are the most annoying of the species; their bite
produces a burning pain, which must be partly the effect
of poison, and continues for some time. The red ants very
soon strip the foliage off trees, which they are constantly
ascending and descending, one party empty, the other loaded; a
third party remains in the tree, cutting away whole leaves, so
that it is no unusual thing to be passing under a tree, and to
see the leaves falling as it were miraculously. A fourth party
is employed cutting them up into proper sizes for carrying
to their nests. Most of these ants, if squeezed between the
fingers, emit a strong smell of lemon. Rose-buds seem to be
their most favourite food, and gardens here suffer extremely
from their ravages.

Night upon the watery, and daybreak on the land.—Beauty
of the approaches.—Apprehended retrogression, but real
progression, in the City.—The stag mania in the tropics,
and some of its consequences.—Notes on carriages, operas,
snuff-taking, polking-washerwomen, blacks, whites, odds and
ends, and things in general, original and imported.—Social,
sanitary, and governmental matters of divers kinds.—Composition
of the Brazilian chambers, and business therein.—State
of parties.—Abolition of the Slave Trade.—Sittings of
the Senate.—No necessity for Mr. Brotherton in the
Brazils.—Character of the present Emperor.—Wreck of the
Pernambucano.—Heroism of a black sailor.—Rigorous regulations
of the Rio custom-house.—Suggestions for the extension of
Brazilian commerce, and the prevention of smuggling.—Revisal of
the Brazilian tariff.—Educational progress since 1808.—French
literature and fashion.—Provisions in the Rio market.—Monkeys
and lizards articles of food.—Oranges, bananas, chirimoyas,
and granadillas.—Difficulties of the Labour Question since
the suppression of the Slave Trade.—Character of the
Indians.—State of feeling as regards the coloured people.—Negro
emancipation ‘looming in the future.’—An experimental trip
on the Rio and Petropolis railway.—Facts and figures on the
commercial and monetary connexion between the Empire and
Great Britain.—Comparative humanity of the Brazilians and
Uruguayans.—The Slave Trade Question, and European intervention
in South American politics.—Prospective glance at the
advantages of steam communication between Brazil and the United
States.—Authorities of all kinds on these heads; also on the
territorial pretensions of Brazil, especially in reference to
the disputes in the River Plate.—Portrait and Memoir of Admiral

NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS.—As in the case of Bahia, the
illustrations in this chapter are from Sir W. Gore Ouseley’s
‘Sketches in South America,’ the original, however, containing
no less than thirteen beautiful views of Rio Janeiro and its
vicinity. In the ‘Key,’ accompanying the drawings, Sir William
has embodied, in a very graphic manner, the result of his
experiences in search of the picturesque in the neighbourhood
of the capital to which he was accredited for several years as
the representative of England. Describing some of the spots
he has so faithfully delineated by his pencil, he says:—The
Sugar-loaf Hills at the entrance of the magnificent harbour of
Rio de Janeiro, (or simply Rio), literally ‘January River,’ are
far off discernible, with the lofty Peak of the Corcovado, or
‘Hunchback,’ in the back-ground. On entering, the hill to the
left, called par excellence, the Sugar-loaf, is a prominent
object; then follows the wooded peninsular hill, on which is
the Fort St. Juan, united to the base of the Sugar-loaf by the
Isthmus of the Praya Vermelho, or ‘Red Beach;’ opposite this
hill lies Fort Santa Cruz, commanding the narrow entrance of
the harbour. Its formidable batteries of heavy guns are perhaps
nearer the level of the sea than necessary caution, inspired by
proximity of the vast Atlantic, would dictate. For, sometimes,
even placed as they are, twenty or thirty feet above the water,
the heavy gales from the south-west or south have caused the
sea to break over these batteries, with sufficient force to
dismount the cannon, as if they were reeds.

The harbour is among the finest in the world; no pilots
required by night or by day, entering or leaving; no dangers
not visible, or avoidable with prudence; of course a sailing
vessel, venturing in or out in very light winds, or if it falls
suddenly calm, may, by the enormous Atlantic swell, be cast on
the rocks, when little or no steerage way is imparted by the

More than one vessel has thus been lost, in the finest weather
in mid-day; but from attempting to pass the narrow entrance
of the harbour, without a steady breeze. Steam tugs would
obviate such danger, and sea and land breezes, excepting at
some seasons, afford a regular means of entrance or exit to
those who await their commencement. There are boats with cables
and anchors in readiness, sometimes inconveniently so, as the
Argentina experienced at Fort Santa Cruz and Fort St. Juan, on
the opposite shore, to be sent to vessels in danger. The bay is
17 miles in length, and 11 in extreme width, and contains many
small islands, the largest, Ilha do Gobernador, or ‘Governor’s
Island,’ six miles in length.

The city, whose original name was San Sebastian, now altogether
lost, was founded not long after the discovery of Brazil
by Cabral in the sixteenth century. It is of oblong shape,
situated on an elevated tongue of land, the most easterly
point of which is Punta do Calabouço, (‘Dungeon Point’), and
the most northerly, opposite to which is the little Ilha das
Cobras (‘Snake Island’), that of the Armazem do Sal (‘Salt
Store’). The more ancient north-east part is traversed by eight
straight, narrow, and parallel, streets, crossed by many others
at right angles. In these the houses are high, though not quite
so lofty as those in the metropolis of the mother country; but
in the new town, built for the most part since the arrival of
the royal family from Portugal in 1808, they are handsomer,
being generally of granite. The two towns are separated by the
Campo de Santa Anna, one of many large squares, agreeable to
the eye, in consequence of the somewhat fatiguing regularity
of the streets. Rio, the most important commercial city of
South America, is naturally, from its position, the great
mart of Brazil, and its advantages are such as to fit it for
concentrating the commerce of the globe; but, as we have said
above, comparatively little has been done to assist nature, so
far as regards the convenience of the considerable quantity of
shipping which frequents the port. Lighters are employed in
loading and discharging all vessels as they lie at anchor in
the harbour; but Government is now carrying out a plan, by an
English engineer, for a quay or wharf, to extend between the
Military and Naval Arsenals, at which sixteen vessels will be
enabled to unload at once, as well as lighters. This is a step
in the right direction, and, although even such accommodation
will not be sufficient to meet the future requirements of Rio,
there is no doubt that the enlightened spirit which at present
animates the Brazilian government and nation will induce them
to execute fresh improvements as their provincial resources


This is the second time I have entered Rio at night and missed the
proverbially fine view of the approaches to the bay.[41] Morning broke
amidst drizzling showers, everything looking very gloomy. We were visited
about breakfast time, and steamed to our regular anchorage, near the
island where our coal depôt is. I will not indulge in any lengthened
disquisition upon the merits of the city of Rio Janeiro, so often
described, but content myself with noticing the changes or improvements
that have taken place since I last visited the place four years back;
or, on the other hand, allude to what many consider as its want of
progress and the local difficulties which impede its onward march of
events. As the capital of so large and important an empire, Rio Janeiro
is certainly deserving of a closer analysis than has hitherto been
attempted in any public work with which I am acquainted.[42] The fatal
barrier to improvement, during the last few years, has been the yellow
fever, which has carried off large numbers of the population, especially
the industrial and foreign portion, on whom so much depended; whilst
during the same period the import of slaves from the coast of Africa has
been almost entirely suppressed. In this comparatively short space of
time the spirit of joint-stock enterprise has made considerable advance
here, resulting in the establishment of a bank, a railway over the flat
ground going to Petropolis (nearly completed); other extensive railways
and public roads to the interior, for which contracts are now about
being completed; a gas company, to light the city, very far advanced
towards actual completion, pipes being already laid, lamps erected to
about one-half of the city, and works building for making the gas, &c.;
a company to navigate the River Amazon, which has already commenced
operations with a liberal grant from the government; besides a number
of minor enterprises, all conducive to the comfort and well-being of
the country. The origin of this movement was no doubt owing to the
joint-stock mania prevailing at home, aided by a superabundance of
capital from cessation of the slave-trade; and the opportunity was
seized by some patriotic individuals to give a right direction to the
public mind in the undertakings adverted to. But, as might be expected,
things got a little wild; shares of every kind were driven up to a very
high premium, and a change has followed, detrimental, for the time being,
to practical advancement. Money, so very abundant last year at from 4 to
5 per cent., is now difficult to get at 8 or 10. Many people are locked
up in share transactions, which must take them some time to realize.
It has been, in fact, a repetition, on a comparatively small scale, of
those scenes of monetary derangement to which our own country is so often
subjected, and by the result of which the Brazilians have not taken
warning. No doubt the effect will soon pass over, there having been no
real abstraction of capital from the place.

The city of Rio Janeiro extends some three miles along the south-west
side of the bay, and being much intersected by hills, it is difficult
to get a good view of the whole range, unless from the top of one of
the mountains near the city, such as the celebrated ‘Corcovado,’ which
stands out like a pulpit on the plain below, and is some 2,500 feet
perpendicular. The view from this pulpit on a clear day is superb,
and I should say almost unequalled in the world: the city, with its
numerous divisions and suburbs below you—the bay, extending as far as
the eye can reach until lost in the plain below the Organ Mountain—the
sea, studded with numerous picturesque islands, with vessels looking
like white specks upon it, and seen to a great distance—all together
form a most enchanting picture, and amply repay the toil of an ascent.
The mountain is of granite rock, like all others in this country, but
thickly wooded almost to the summit, and you come out quite suddenly
on the bare point before alluded to, so much resembling a pulpit. In
consequence of the tortuous formation of the streets, constructed round
the base of the hills, it is difficult to get more than a bird’s-eye view
of the city, on ground made by encroachment on the sea; consequently,
the streets are low, without drainage, and in several of the back ones
the water collects and stagnates, to the great detriment of health and
comfort. Rio itself is a bad copy of Lisbon—streets at right angles, a
large square facing the sea, and the suburbs extending up the hills,
which everywhere meet your eye. In Lisbon the streets are tolerably
wide, but here they have built them so miserably narrow, that scarcely
even one carriage can pass through, much less pass each other; and it
is evident that such vehicles were never contemplated in the original
formation of these streets. The only way of getting over the difficulty
is for carriages coming into the city to take one line of streets, and
those leaving it another, which they do, excluding omnibuses altogether
from the principal thoroughfares. Improvements in this way were what
I found most backward; indeed there was a marked falling-off in such
respect since I was last here, and there seems a great want of municipal
government.[43] In many places the pavement is execrable, and generally
very bad, the difficulty having probably been increased by laying down
mains for water and gas, the latter now in process of execution, and also
to heavy rains having washed away many parts of the road, and otherwise
caused much damage. Once this troublesome job is got through, it is to
be hoped some effective measures will be taken to put the streets and
branch-roads in order; otherwise they will soon be rendered impassable.
Coach and coach spring making must be thriving trades here, especially
with the immense increase that has taken place in the number of carriages
and omnibuses; and it is really wonderful how they stand the continual
shocks they have to endure.[44] Government seems at last alive to the
absolute necessity of doing something to improve the sanitary condition
of the city, and also its internal organization, as they have lately
got out some good practical English engineers, who I have no doubt
will suggest an effective mode of dealing with present difficulties.
If they do not adopt decisive measures, the rate of mortality may be
expected to augment fearfully in a dense population of 300,000 to 400,000
inhabitants, huddled together in some 15,000 houses, surrounded by
impurities of every kind, not the least being the stagnant water in the
streets. No exact census has ever been taken of the population of Rio
Janeiro, which is generally believed to be between the two figures above
given. There is a migratory population, but the accumulation of humanity
of every race and colour, contained in some of the large dwelling-houses,
is something extraordinary. As before observed, nature has done much for
this country, and if the natural facilities of Rio Janeiro were properly
availed of, and local improvements carried out with energy and spirit, it
might be rendered one of the finest and most luxurious places within the
tropics.[45] The opportunity is now open to them; the government possess
ample means, and it is just a question whether measures of progress are
to be effectively achieved, or the city to be abandoned to its fate. The
great evil attending all improvement in Brazil is an undue appreciation
of native capability, and a disparagement or distrust of those whose
practical experience would enable them to grapple with the difficulties
that surround them—a kind of little jealousy and mistrust that prevents
their availing themselves of opportunities thrown in their way to carry
out undertakings necessary to the well-being of the country; nor can
they understand the principle on which such things are regulated in
England, still less the magnitude of operations carried on there and in
many other parts of Europe. Yet the time seems to be coming when these
principles will be better understood here, and when the application of
English capital towards the improvement of the country may be safely and
legitimately brought to bear.


The political and social position of this great empire, whose influence
and example are of such incalculable importance to the present, and
still more to the future, of the whole continent of South America, must
necessarily be a subject of anxiety to all who wish to see it prosper,
and who are at the same time practically acquainted with the difficulties
that have to be overcome in the maintenance of its present system of a
representative government. Without attempting anything in the shape of
a history of that government, or of the circumstances which led to its
formation and have ensured its consolidation, a few particulars may not
be unacceptable to such readers as have not had their attention directed
to the subject. After the expulsion of the Portuguese in 1822, Don Pedro
was declared Emperor, and, in 1824, the constitution, which is a very
close imitation of our own, was proclaimed. The government is confided
to ministers chosen by the Emperor; there is a chamber of deputies, 548
in number, elected by the towns and 18 provinces, and a senate or upper
chamber, consisting of 54 members, titled and untitled, the numbers in
both being limited, and titles are not hereditary. Hence, though there
are, we believe, upwards of 20 marquises, 7 counts, 29 viscounts, and 32
barons, the sons of these do not succeed to the titular distinction of
their fathers, notwithstanding the honours emanating from a crown that
is hereditary. The business of the country passes under the same sort of
discussion, and just with as much freedom of debate, but not more, than
with us; and according to the support given or withheld by the chambers
is the government strong or weak. The revenue of the empire is accounted
for, and finds its way into the national treasury at Rio de Janeiro;
and hence the difficulty encountered in dealing with its distribution,
as each representative of a province naturally wishes to favour his own
constituency, and is opposed to what he may think an undue proportion
of expenditure lavished, and of interest taken, in the province already
favoured with the establishment of the capital and the residence of the
court, and where the largest population centres. This is one of their
great legislative difficulties, which gives rise to long and violent
discussions. Another is the existence of two factions in the state, the
old Portuguese and the purely Brazilian party. Some years back the former
held the reins, and were the supposed abettors of the slave-trade; but
since 1848 the present ministry, mostly composed of pure Brazilians, have
retained office, and been enabled to carry out most stringent measures
for putting down that abominable traffic, which is for the present not
only suppressed, but its restoration is impossible,[46] owing, first,
to the complete revulsion that has taken place in public opinion, and,
secondly, to the new direction that has been given to the employment
of capital, as explained in our chapters on Pernambuco and Bahia. To
such lengths have an honest and energetic administration, supported by
a high-minded sovereign, jealous of the honour of his country, and,
above all, of its credit for integrity in adhering to its engagements,
been able to act upon this truly national sentiment, that many of the
influential Portuguese, known to be actively engaged in the traffic, and
some of whom had sunk vast sums in its prosecution, have been banished
the country. Five years is a long time for a ministry to retain office
in any country; for even in our own that period far exceeds the average
duration of a British cabinet, at least during the last three reigns;
consequently, the greater the wonder at the stability of one in a country
such as Brazil, and under many trying circumstances. Not the least
embarrassing of these was the perpetual interference of England to put
down the external symptoms of the slave-trade, though Brazilian ministers
were doing it in a manner so rapid and effectual as to constitute one of
the most startling and complete social revolutions ever recorded in the
history of any nation in the world as the work of half-a-dozen ages, much
less of half-a-dozen years.[47] This speaks well indeed for the personal
ability as well as for the representative system under which the existing
ministry govern, as without a decided majority in the chambers they could
not possibly endure a single session. Brazilian policy and Brazilian
views seem to be now much more firmly established in the legislature, and
the native party greatly preponderates. Still this clashing of interests
tends to impede the regular march of business, by giving rise to endless
personal discussion and personal invective. The chamber of deputies and
the senate are a long way apart from each other, which must occasion
inconvenience, and destroy that prompt action and unity of purpose so
necessary in a legislative assembly. The locality ought always to be the
same, with the monarch as the head, opening and closing the sessions
under the same building. Considering their late elevation to political
distinction, some of the deputies and senators of Brazil display no
small amount of oratorical, and, what is still more valuable, debating,
ability; whilst many of the former must make a great sacrifice of time
and personal convenience in spending so many months away from their
families and estates, which are difficult to be reached in a country
where the means of travelling are comparatively so primitive, and the
distance to be traversed generally very great. The hours of discussion
in the chambers are as much too brief as ours are too long, being only
from 11 a.m. to 2 or 2.30 p.m., during which one orator will often occupy
the time for speaking sake only, and the business of the day has to be
adjourned; whereas if ministers, with no Mr. Brotherton to be afraid
of, could keep them at it occasionally until midnight, or 2 or 3 in the
morning, it would tire out declaimers, who seek only to pander to the
appetite for fervid or piquant rhetorical popularity, and would insure
quicker despatch of the business in hand.


The present Emperor is in every respect admirably fitted for his high
station. Born in the country, without the advantage of a knowledge of
European life, and that finished tone of education it affords, but
possessed of natural endowments of an exalted order, and having turned
to the utmost advantage the opportunities of a studious and virtuous
youth, he carries with him the full national sympathies of the native
Brazilians, the respect of the old Portuguese party, and the esteem
of the whole foreign diplomatic body, to whom he dispenses the honours
and hospitality of a prudently managed court. As the sovereign of a
constitutional country, content to abide within the strict limits imposed
by his coronation oath, his reign has been prosperous and happy. In his
private capacity he is kind and attentive to all around him, as well as
a close observer of passing events. Possessed of a benevolent heart,
and actuated by a noble singleness of purpose, he knows how to direct
the reins of government, without undue interference or an injudicious
exercise of his prerogative. It has often been emphatically said that
the Emperor is not only the highest, but the best man in the country,
both from his public conduct and his private virtues. The value of such a
compliment is not enhanced, or probably we should say is not impaired, by
any universal laxity and corruption around him, as in the case of another
empire nearer home, wherein it is said that the principal personage is
not only the most honest, but the only honest, man in his own dominions.
Probity[48] and high-mindedness of every kind in public life are as
general in Brazil as in any part of Europe, England itself certainly not
excepted; consequently the standard the Emperor is measured by is one by
no means conventional or equivocal, but is such as any sovereign in the
western world might feel proud of having applied to himself. Certainly,
in the matter of truthfulness, the rarest of all monarchic virtues,
he has set an example to the royal brotherhood of kings that might be
followed with infinite profit to the reputation of the regal race, and
with corresponding advantage to their subjects in numerous instances. His
Brazilian Majesty is admirably supported by an excellent and high-minded
partner, who, like her husband, is beloved by all classes in the empire.
The imperial couple frequently attend public balls, and mix in social
parties with citizens and foreigners, taking also the warmest interest in
all local improvements, or measures calculated to benefit the country,
and to raise the character of their subjects. When the kind of life they
are compelled to lead is fairly considered, and the extent of court
intrigue necessarily prevailing where parties are so much divided and
respectively so potent, too much merit cannot be ascribed to the Emperor
and Empress for the manner in which they conduct themselves, and the
controlling influence they exercise over others. Every one who has been
in Rio well knows how exceedingly popular he is, and how strong is the
conviction that that popularity is most just and most deserved, though
he never goes out of his way to obtain it by any _ad captandum_ arts, or
any conduct whatever that is not the result of sound judgment guiding
an estimable nature. M. Reybaud, a Frenchman, in a biographical memoir,
which appeared also in English in one of our illustrated journals at the
close of the year before last, says:

‘But the great work of Don Pedro the 2nd, a work at once of
humanity and policy, and which will be his indelible title of
glory in the eyes of Europe, is, that of having openly attacked
the national prejudice of the necessity of black slaves, and
having overcome it. Thanks to him, thanks to his Ministers and
the Legislative Chambers of Rio, the traffic is henceforth
definitively suppressed in Brazil, for the people have
understood and accepted the Imperial policy, which has for its
motto, “No more traffic in slaves; European colonization.” Such
is at this moment the cry of all Brazil. The agriculturists
themselves, until lately insensible to the anathemas of
philanthropy, have opened their eyes, and joined the Government
and the Chambers in demanding the deliverance of the country
from the living leprosy of the slave traffic. It was imperative
that it should. It was indispensable that the country should
associate itself with the measures of the Government, for up
to this time the laws that were made were not carried out, and
the people who thought them prejudicial to their interests did
not scruple to infringe them. The policy of the Emperor and
the Brazilian Chambers was very simple and sensible. It was
not sufficient to decree the suppression of the traffic, but
it was necessary to open up to the agriculturists new ways and
means by which they should, within a longer or shorter delay,
dispense with black labourers. The Legislature, to provide
for this necessity, took proper means to attract European
colonization. Several attempts tried on this new basis have
been attended with the happiest results. Little colonies have
sprung up, especially in the south of the empire, and are in
a flourishing condition. The planters and landed proprietors
throughout the empire give a decided preference to free over
slave labour, as experience teaches them that it is infinitely
to their advantage.’

It is impossible too highly to eulogise the conduct of his Imperial
Majesty in reference to the slave trade; but as one evidence, which
may be useful by way of example in a certain portion of the world that
regards itself as far more advanced than Brazil, I transcribe the
following extract from a letter dated Rio, November 14th, 1853, and which
appeared in some of the English papers in January last:—

‘The “Pernambucana,” one of the vessels of the Brazilian Steam
Packet Company, was wrecked near St. Catherine’s, and upwards
of 40 passengers drowned. This disaster afforded an opportunity
for a display of heroism and bravery rarely equalled. A black
sailor, belonging to the vessel, succeeded with many others
in reaching the shore; numbers had perished in the attempt,
and but few of the passengers remained upon the wreck. All of
these, including a mother and six children, did Simon save. It
is pleasing to add that the Brazilians were by no means slow
in marking their appreciation of, and rewarding, this heroic
action. A subscription was opened in the Praça do Commercio,
and the amount subscribed in two days exceeded seven contos
of reis, or about £800. The Emperor and Empress, whose hands
are always open for the succour of the needy, or the reward
of the meritorious, contributed 900 milreis, and the total
amount already received approaches to £1,000. In addition to
this, a statue of the black is to be placed in the exchange. An
unfortunate circumstance, peculiarly annoying to our English
community in Rio, may be noticed in connection with this
affair. The promoters of the subscription, persons of great
influence and respectability, brought the black to the Praça
do Commercio, not merely to gratify the curiosity of those who
were anxious to see one become so celebrated, but to afford
any information which parties connected with the victims or
survivors might require. The director of the month, who was
unfortunately an Englishman, objected to the presence of a
black in the _sala_, and in spite of the remonstrances of all
present, insisted upon his immediate removal. This arbitrary
proceeding has called forth some severe articles in the public
papers, and it is provoking that one of us who pretend to
so much philanthropy for the race should have shown so much
prejudice against the colour. This heroic fellow, with whom the
Emperor of the Brazils expressed himself proud to shake hands,
was driven from the exchange because he was an African! And by
an Englishman!’

I cannot learn that this conduct has called for any reprobation in
England; that there have been any encomiums passed by our abolitionist
press or declaimers on the monarch of that country wherein partiality
for the slave trade was declared by the highest authority amongst us
to be ineradicable, except by violent measures on the part of England.
Nor, indeed, can I find that there has been the least desire to make the
_amende_ in any way to Brazil for all the calumnies so long heaped upon
her; for even that portion of the Slave Trade Treaties Report quoted,
which relates to Brazil (and which has been circulated throughout the
Brazilian press), has been passed over with indifference by our purists
and censors. Nay, more, within a very short period preceding the date
of these remarks, a tale of horrors was tricked out for the regalement
of our _gobemouche_ public in this country by a pair of travelling
philanthropic malevolents concerning a certain planter in Pernambuco
inviting his brother planters of the province to a grand spectacle of
boiling a slave alive; and the name of her Britannic Majesty’s consul
was actually adduced as that of a witness to the act. The absurdity was,
of course, scouted in Brazil as the conjuration of a diseased fancy; but
the journals here that gave currency to the figment have evinced small
alacrity in recording the contradiction elicited on the spot. So in the
case of the imperial conduct towards Simon. Had the President of the
United States acted as the Emperor did in this instance, or had a North
American Uncle Tom performed any portion of what the Brazilian black
achieved, dramas and novels by the score would have appeared, and, in
fact, we should never have heard the last of it.[49]

Though she has made wonderful strides in the right direction—advances
positively marvellous, considering the locality, and even as contrasted
with what would have been the case in England at this present day, had
a large section of otherwise enlightened men amongst us had had their
way—still, commercially speaking, Brazil has yet much to do in the shape
of reform. A great deal of the old leaven of Portuguese exclusiveness and
exaction remain to this day, although it is not carried to such an absurd
extent as at Lisbon, where is placed in the hands of every shipmaster
visiting the port a document,[50] which, considering that its provisions
are enforced by a civilised mercantile nation of Europe in the second
half of the nineteenth century, and in a great port whence once sailed
some of the mightiest maritime enterprises in history, deserves to be
regarded as a curiosity of commercial literature, and is preserved as
such in a note. No wonder the trade of Lisbon should dwindle down to
a mere cypher, and the finances of the country be in so deplorable a
state. Any nation issuing such a document as this places itself on a
par with, if not on a lower footing than, China or Japan. In Brazilian
ports you have the same ordeal of health visits, police, and custom-house
searchers, before you can even leave the ship; and if a vessel arrives
after dusk, no matter where from, coasting or otherwise, she must remain
till morning for the visit, after which she is a kind of custom-house
prey, watched and pounced upon in every possible manner, if all is not
found to be strictly in accordance with the long string of regulations,
numbered like a criminal code; and woe betide the unfortunate shipmaster
or merchant, importing goods, who innocently falls into the trap laid
for him. It is a case of heavy fines, damages, and often confiscation
of ship or property; although it can be clearly and satisfactorily
proved that no one is to blame in the matter, and that there has been
no fraudulent intention whatever. The stipulations of the custom-house
code are being continually infringed, and yet, like the laws of the Medes
and Persians, it altereth not! All this is very sad, and unworthy of a
country that looks to commerce for its intercourse with Europe, and as a
main source of revenue and social progress. The only excuse lies in the
force of habit, founded on inveterate prejudice, bequeathed by the old
superannuated mother country.[51]

It is true that our own fiscal system twenty years ago contained much of
the objectionable matter alluded to, although it was never distinguished
by those absurd forms and regulations that are not only a check to
personal liberty, but involve the loss of much valuable time. If some
public-spirited minister, who took a right and far-seeing view of the
true interests of Brazil, were to grapple fairly with this subject, and
had the moral courage to bring forward liberal measures, I firmly believe
that he would carry them. For instance, let him abolish the farce of
visiting vessels, both inwards and outwards, for sanitary or other state
purposes; and as regards customs’ revenue, once let the duties be reduced
to a scale that would render smuggling unprofitable, and there would be
no need of a commercial code or of fines and restrictions. All experience
proves that where duties have to be levied for the absolute necessities
of the state, the more moderate the scale the less chance there is for
smuggling, and the greater the increase and encouragement to consumption
of the articles imported, which can then be sold at cheaper rates. It is
notorious that for many years after the trade with Brazil was opened,
not half, probably not a quarter, of the duties entitled to be levied
found their way into the public treasury; and although a good deal of
this iniquity has been done away with by the firmness of a few public
servants,[52] yet the temptation remains, and some parties still profit
by illegal importation at the expense of legitimate traders. I repeat my
strong conviction that Brazil might derive a much larger revenue under
a moderate scale of duties, and she could then afford to wipe away all
the existing restrictions on commerce and shipping. It is true that she
has done something, both in reduction of her tariff as well as of her
anchorage dues, a step in the right direction, which, for her own sake,
it is devoutly to be hoped she will soon follow up vigorously.

As regards the social condition of the Brazilian empire, there is
doubtless still much room for improvement. Where is there not? But when
we recollect that until 1808 there was not a printing-press in the whole
country—and now behold no large town without its journal, generally very
admirably managed, and when we see educational establishments, many on a
very large and highly efficient scale, in nearly every province of the
empire—certainly we cannot say her progress has been slow. Previously to
that time the only instruction imparted was through the convents, and
consequently it was tinctured with all the old monastic and narrow-minded
leaven attached to those institutions, whose downfall in Spain and
Portugal was soon followed by similar measures in Brazil. Secular
education became extended; seminaries and schools were established,
both under the patronage of government and by private individuals;
newspapers increased, and are now multiplied to the number of upwards of
50, including scientific and literary; and the whole course of things
was changed; but without so far resulting in any general plan by which
instruction is communicated to the masses of the people. French being the
principal medium of intercommunication between the better classes and
all foreigners, and being very generally spoken, publications in that
language are necessarily most in request; and an assortment of French
reading of the latest Parisian stamp may be had in Rio equal to what is
procurable in any second-rate town in the country it comes from. It is
needless to say that French fashions, in other than strictly intellectual
items, prevail among all the educated classes in the Brazilian capital;
and by ministering to such tastes a large number of native French derive
considerable profit. In addition to the educational advantages already
enumerated, and the list might be greatly extended were we to include
the libraries, &c., some excellent institutions of a charitable nature
abound, as well as hospitals; the one last founded of this class at Rio
is on a most magnificent scale, in a small bay near the entrance of the
port, where an admirably executed marble statue of the Emperor has also
been most fittingly placed.[53] As it is under his auspices it has been
commenced, and by his munificence and example, and that of his estimable
consort, it has become one of the noblest edifices of the kind in
existence on either side of the Atlantic.

Another of the social evils of Brazil is the difficulty of obtaining a
labouring population, a necessity consequent on the importation of slaves
having ceased. It is one which, unless seriously and promptly dealt
with, must entail very momentous consequences: a continuous immigration
of free labourers appears to be the only solution of the question. But
whence are they to come in anything like the required numbers? It is
quite clear that European labourers cannot work with slaves, nor will
the hardy islanders of the Atlantic consent to do so; people, moreover,
are needed who can bear the climate, and will put up with hardships
which only those acclimated can be expected to endure—that is, the
climate of the more torrid parts of the Brazils; for there are vast
regions, larger than the whole United Kingdom, where out-door labour is
perfectly practicable to natives of Great Britain, and where some of such
natives have settled and prospered as agriculturists, as we shall have
occasion to refer to in speaking of the Banda Oriental, in respect to the
adjoining Brazilian province of Rio Grande do Sul. The only alternative
seems to be coolies from China; and with the present propensities of
that class, no doubt numbers would flock to Brazil, if the needful
encouragement and facilities were given. At all events the experiment
might easily be tried, and the sooner it is done the better.[54] Some
parties are sanguine enough to believe that the aborigines of the
country, the remnants of the Indian tribes, might be brought under
civilized rule, and instructed so as eventually to be rendered capable
of replacing slaves; but this plan seems very problematical, unless in
those districts where they have already been accustomed to mingle and
work with the other inhabitants, as in the northern provinces of Bahia
and Pernambuco. In the latter province especially, there is a very fine
race of men called Sertanejos, who make good labourers, and are very
useful in bringing produce to market by means of horses. The number of
men so employed may be imagined when, by the law of Pernambuco, one man
must accompany every horse; and in the busy season 2,000 horses have been
known to pass the toll-bar inwards, and the same number outwards, making
altogether 4,000, although the edict alluded to is not very strictly
enforced, the distance travelled by these horses being from 50 to 300
miles. It is literally impossible to form a proximate conjecture as to
the number of Indians in Brazil, the estimates of various authorities
ranging from one-fourth of a million to a million and a half, divided
into Indios, Mansos, and Tapirios; the former partially civilized and
speaking some Portuguese, the latter still savage. Nearly all the
tribes are of large stature; and though exceedingly low in the scale of
civilization, possess many of the virtues of the barbarian, especially
when uncontaminated by the vices of the white man, or proximity to him.
For the most part they are warlike, the climate by no means enervating
their bodies or subduing their spirit; and though in some respects
ferocious when excited, the practice of cannibalism towards prisoners
taken in battle is quite extinct, if indeed it ever really existed.
Some of the tribes exhibit an extraordinary antipathy to the negroes,
which is the more remarkable as the marriages of people of colour
with whites are very common, and degrees of black that would throw a
citizen of the United States into a fever of indignation are looked
upon with philosophic indifference, both by Brazilians and natives of
Portugal in Brazil. Probably this is one reason why slaves in Brazil
are treated with a kindness and humanity altogether unexampled in any
other part of the world, a fact upon which all authorities are agreed,
notwithstanding some shocking exceptions that were wont to be practised
towards newly-imported unfortunates from the coast of Africa, a custom
now fortunately at an end. No doubt a wise and conciliatory policy
exercised towards those Indian tribes who still occupy large districts of
Brazil would be attended with beneficial results; but this is a work of
time. What the country now wants is immediate labour, and for a supply
of this, emigration of some kind is the only available source. The towns
are already beginning to feel the effects of the diminution, and wages
have consequently risen considerably; whilst in the interior the value
of slaves has greatly increased, a preliminary perhaps to their future

Before quitting the subject of Rio improvements, I may note an
interesting excursion made over a short line of railway, and the first
ever attempted in this country, which is to connect the city with
Petropolis (the mountain and summer residence of the court and upper
classes), and which was recorded as below in the ‘Journal do Commercio’
of the 6th September, 1853, the day on which we left Rio for the River

Respecting the mercantile position of Brazil generally, I turned with
some considerable curiosity to the edition published in the course of
the present year, 1854, of ‘M’Culloch’s Commercial Dictionary,’ a work
of deserved authority and influence, as every business man is aware,
though, I regret to be obliged to add, the article on the country I
am now treating of does not sustain the character to which the volume
is in so many other respects entitled. I had expected, as the result
of recent events in Brazil, some marked modification in the writer’s
opinions as expressed under this head in former editions, but could find
none; and indeed the whole of his remarks, which I annex, would appear,
from internal evidence, to be as emphatic as in previous editions,
notwithstanding the date on his title-page, and his assertion in the
preface that the latest information had been brought to bear on every
point. He says:—

‘The imports into Brazil, which are chiefly from Great Britain,
consist principally of our cottons, woollens, linen, iron and
steel, hardware, butter, and other articles, amounting in all,
in ordinary years, to about £2,500,000. It is frequently,
no doubt, said that our exports to Brazil amount to double
that sum, or to more than £5,000,000. But there is no room
or ground for any such statement. The return is not derived
from Brazil, but from our own Custom-house; and there is no
reason why the merchants should undervalue the exports to
Brazil more than to any other country. The commercial policy of
Brazil has, on the whole, been characterised by considerable
liberality. The duties on imports and exports have been
mostly moderate, and have been imposed more for the sake of
revenue than of protection. In October, 1847, the legislature
of Brazil issued a decree, imposing 33⅓ per cent. higher
duties on the ships and produce of those nations which did
not admit the ships and produce of Brazil into their ports
on a fair footing of reciprocity. This decree was, in part,
provoked by our policy in regard to the slave trade, and was
in avowed retaliation of the high discriminating duties we
had imposed on Brazilian and other slave-grown sugar. But the
modified views of the Brazilian government in regard to the
slave-trade, and the admission of slave-grown sugars into our
markets under reasonable duties, which are to be equalised
with those on British colonial sugars in 1854, occasioned, in
1849, the revocation of the discriminating duties referred
to. A provincial duty of 15 per cent., imposed in some of
the provinces on hides and other articles, has also been
repealed. Great Britain enjoys the largest share of the trade
of Brazil; and that share will, it is probable, be a good deal
increased, when the duties on foreign and colonial sugars are
equalised in 1854. The abolition of the discriminating duty on
foreign coffee in the course of the year 1851 has occasioned
a considerable increase in the imports of Brazilian coffee.
The commerce of Brazil has sustained great injury from the
wretched state of the currency and of the finances; the value
of the former, which consists almost wholly of paper, being
excessively depreciated and liable to extreme fluctuations,
and the revenue being inadequate to meet the expenditure.
Latterly, however, vigorous efforts have been made to increase
the revenue; and it is hoped that, in the event of the finances
being placed on a better footing, measures may also be taken to
improve the currency.’

The concluding passage, as to the inadequacy of the income to the
expenditure, is altogether questionable; and the admission of such an
assertion into a work of the character just quoted from, betrays a
determination altogether inexplicable, for of course it is impossible
to put it down to the score of ignorance. The rapid and progressive
liquidation of the national debt, and the unfailing punctuality of the
dividends, added to the price Brazilian stocks command in the British
market, sufficiently bespeak the healthiness of Brazilian finance. I have
not been able to discover upon what data it is that Mr. M’Culloch fixes
the annual imports of British produce into Brazil at so low a figure as
he mentions in the foregoing extract, and which figure has appeared in
successive editions of his work for many years back. But it is quite
incorrect; and, at least, as much below the actual amount as the one
he condemns as too high. A witness before the committee on Slave Trade
Treaties last year, a gentleman officially connected with the Brazilian
embassy, and having the best means of knowing the accuracy of what he
said, declared the amount of trade during the year 1852 between Great
Britain and the Brazils to be about three millions and a half sterling
per annum of imports, entirely from England. Those imports[56] are sold
there on one year’s credit; so that every year there are £7,000,000 of
English goods in Brazil. There is always a deposit of British goods equal
to one year’s consumption, and one year’s consumption due. Besides that,
there is a national debt to England of £6,000,000 sterling; Brazil has to
pay interest for that. Then there is the internal debt, where £600,000 of
bonds belong to Englishmen; which makes a total of £13,600,000 of British
property engaged in Brazil.

Hence, then, the magnitude of the interests in this country as affected
by our relations with Brazil. Nor are the interests of humanity at large
on a less extensive scale. The witness last adverted to—and I can state
of my own knowledge that the authority he adduces is a most competent
one—an Englishman long resident in Brazil, in the public service of that
country, says:—

‘Allow me to cite from the writings of an Englishman who
appears to be very well acquainted with the affairs of the
Brazils: it is an article about a book published by Sir
Woodbine Parish, from the British Quarterly Review for
February, 1853. The book is about the River Plate, but there
are in the article of the Review two or three little passages
to which I will beg the attention of the Committee; beginning
about the attack of Caseros, where Rosas had been put down.
He says, “On this occasion, however, the Brazilian alliance
introduced a regular, well disciplined, and properly commanded
army into the contest, and in the hour of Buenos Ayrean defeat,
it was to its humanity, order, discipline, and obedience that
the troops of Rosas appealed; Surrender to the blue pants
(so the Brazilian infantry was termed), they do not kill!
was their cry.” This is to prove that Brazilians are not so
blackened in civilization as they generally think in Europe,
and not so inhuman; “and thus a body not exceeding 3,000 men
had upwards of 5,000 prisoners, not one of whom was injured; on
the contrary, a contingent of Rosas’ army refused to surrender
to the Oriental forces of Urquiza; but on the appearance of
a Brazilian officer (Captain Petra) at once laid down their
arms; nor was this example of humanity lost on the Argentines
themselves, in the subsequent occurrences at Buenos Ayres.”
I have read that to show that the Brazilian people are ill
judged of, and that they are more desirous to put an end to
slavery than they have had credit for, on account of the point
of civilization they have come to, and on account of the
circumstance of its being to their interest. The article of the
Review contains still the following observations: “Nor ought
the events we have narrated to be uninstructive to Europe; for
they teach the impolicy of England and France attempting to
precipitate, either by diplomatic or military agency, events in
distant countries, whose circumstances they are so imperfectly
acquainted with; and the shortsightedness of prohibiting the
intervention of a nation materially and geographically, as well
as politically, concerned. They teach us also the dignity and
office of the Empire of Brazil in the political system of the
world; and how much more that state may be made to contribute
its share to the great mass of human happiness, by promoting
its welfare, than, as has been done, by wounding its pride.”
Thus by promoting its welfare, and coming to an amicable
understanding with it, there would have been a much fairer
result, perhaps much quicker, than by wounding its pride, and
by much stronger measures.’


This is most just and true; and though the cause of irritation to Brazil,
indirectly glanced at in the concluding sentence, has happily passed
away, it is no less necessary to remember with what forbearance that
country endured the slights and indignities put upon her, and with what
magnanimity she forbore from soliciting the aid of a neighbouring nation
that might have required small inducement to vindicate the honour and
inviolability of the Brazilian flag; for there cannot be a question
that the government of Washington would very gladly avail itself of any
opportunity that might contribute to strengthen the connection between
the States and Brazil, though it is remarkable that some attempt of the
kind has not been made, in the mode of which the establishment of such a
steam company as the one I represent is an example.[57]



1839 and 1844.—Average annual value of imports and exports, 13 millions

1845 and 1849.—Average annual value was 16 millions sterling, or an
increase of 3 millions.

In this latter period the average yearly number of vessels employed was

10,694; tonnage, 1,937,944;
—— ———
of which 5,464 ” 953,654 inw.
5,230 ” 914,290 outw.
—— ———
vessels, 10,694 tons, 1,937,944
—— ———

showing an average increase over the former period of 1839 to 1844 of

vessels, 34 per cent.
tonnage, 42 ”

Of the above figures, the imports averaged

in value, 49 per cent,
exports, 51 ”


During the same period, the proportions of foreign and coasting trade

foreign imports and exports, 76 per cent.
coasting ” ” 24 ”


Of the aforesaid total imports and exports,

Great Britain figures for 36 per cent.
United States ” 16 ”
other parts of the world 58 ”


And in the total value of imports,

Great Britain figures for 50 per cent.
France ” 10 ”
United States ” 11 ”
other parts ” 29 ”


Ditto in exports:
Great Britain ” 24 ”
United States ” 23 ”
other parts ” 53 ”


The percentage of this commerce divided amongst the ports of Brazil, is
as follows:

Rio Janeiro, 53 per cent.
Bahia, 17 ”
Pernambuco, 13 ”
Other ports, 17 ”


The value of imports and exports bearing about a relative proportion to
these figures.

1850, 1851, 1852, 1853.

The total number of bags and barrels of coffee exported from Rio Janeiro
in 1847 was 1,650,300; in 1848, 1,706,544; in 1849, 1,451,715; in
1850, 1,392,361; in 1851, 1,993,255; in 1852, 1,899,861; and in 1853,
1,657,520. The total number of cases of sugar was, in 1847, 3,136; in
1848, 2,371; in 1849, 3,212; in 1850, 6,465; in 1851, 4,752; in 1852,
9,012; in 1853, 2,667. The total number of hides imported in 1847
amounted to 268,492; in 1848 to 348,947; in 1849 to 299,262; in 1850 to
195,706; in 1851 to 173,746; in 1852 to 210,223; and in 1853 to 75,852.
In 1853 were also exported 21,808 boxes and barrels of coffee; 17,556
bags of sugar; 5,049 half-tanned hides; 222,577 ox and cow-horns; 1,050
pipes of rum; 25,825 rolls of tobacco; 9,935 bags of rice; 32,610 planks
of jacaranda; 7,085 barrels of tapioca; and 71,680 lbs. of ipecacuanha.
The shipments of coffee to the United States in 1853 were 853,023 bags
against 960,850 in 1852, 996,552 in 1851, 638,801 in 1850, 634,565 in
1849, 806,907 in 1848, 729,742 in 1847, 727,263 in 1846, 551,276 in
1845, 534,689 in 1844, 543,239 in 1843, 357,278 in 1842, 427,096 in 1841,
296,705 in 1840, 344,833 in 1839, 265,656 in 1838, 127,032 in 1837,
313,934 in 1836, 264,721 in 1835, 171,737 in 1834, and 236,708 in 1833.
These statements are made up from the vessels’ manifests, excepting
coffee, which, from the beginning of 1834, is from the daily shipments
at the Consulado. The yearly exportation of coffee was, in 1820, 97,500
bags; in 1821, 105,386; in 1822, 152,048; in 1823, 185,000; in 1824,
224,000; in 1825, 183,136; in 1826, 260,000; in 1827, 350,900; in 1828,
369,117; in 1829, 375,107; in 1830, 391,785; in 1831, 448,249; in 1832,
478,950; in 1833, 561,692; in 1834, 560,759; in 1835, 647,438; in 1836,
715,893; in 1837, 657,005; in 1838, 765,696; in 1839, 889,324; in 1840,
1,068,418; in 1841, 1,028,368; in 1842, 1,174,659; in 1843, 1,183,646; in
1844, 1,269,381; in 1845, 1,187,591; and in 1846, 1,522,434 bags.

BRAZIL, IN THE YEARS 1849, 1850, 1851, AND 1852.

1849. 1850. 1851. 1852.
£ £ £ £
Alkali 8,369 10,591 13,213 11,752
Apothecary wares 6,994 8,858 7,272 10,667
Apparel and slops 21,189 28,475 45,891 49,290
Arms and ammunition 27,747 39,707 37,786 23,441
Bacon and hams 950 865 7,756 869
Beef and pork 402 70 353 12
Beer and ale 14,770 17,155 25,407 14,971
Blacking 1,889 1,510 1,532 966
Books 3,625 996 750 538
Brass and copper
manufactures 32,596 36,324 45,346 47,212
Butter 82,889 65,279 88,857 96,861
Cabinet and upholstery
wares 482 648 799 876
Carriages 821 386 300 388
Coals, cinders, and
culm 23,036 20,320 26,118 24,248
Cordage 3,972 1,294 1,428 424
Cotton manufactures 1,516,137 1,546,570 2,016,086 1,891,374
Cotton yarn 2,025 1,041 173 191
Earthenware 35,278 41,268 54,588 90,359
Glass 10,432 11,277 15,320 10,866
Hardware and cutlery 80,389 80,973 108,406 104,129
Hats 463 325 1,326 1,376
Iron and steel 94,792 78,105 84,488 109,876
Lead and shot 11,457 18,967 11,793 11,703
Leather 10,016 11,002 11,716 18,332
Linen manufactures 131,412 157,054 295,925 250,243
Machinery and
mill-work 14,817 29,001 23,715 18,816
Musical instruments 6,612 5,776 12,725 11,018
Oil, linseed,
rapeseed, and
hempseed 10,085 5,906 10,810 12,091
Painters’ colours 13,230 8,249 7,776 9,604
Plate, jewellery, and
watches 8,948 7,966 15,115 22,016
Saddlery and harness 2,566 3,133 4,188 7,333
Saltpetre 9,518 5,446 5,860 4,326
Silk manufactures 14,554 14,295 23,624 24,709
Soap and candles 3,429 5,648 2,404 3,115
Stationery 3,532 4,248 7,085 6,293
Tin and pewter 16,049 12,552 21,084 12,310
Umbrellas and parasols 8,507 7,754 5,290 8,184
Woollen manufactures 180,599 223,002 446,062 511,690
Miscellaneous 30,137 33,001 37,323 41,915
——— ——— ——— ———
Total 2,444,715 2,544,837 3,518,684 3,464,394



Shipping, 1852.—793 vessels 198,053 tons }
” 1853.—750 ” 186,984 ” } Conveying cargo.

Besides a large number of vessels calling in, &c.


Shipping, 1852.—1173 vessels 448,851 tons.
” 1853.—1004 ” 387,470 ”

Of which 560 vessels with produce, 68 with foreign merchandise, and
139 with their inward cargoes; 15 in ballast had foreign destinations,
15 with their inward cargoes, 2 in port laden with produce, and 205 in
ballast, proceeded to other parts of the empire.


Import (exclusive of 341 steamboats) 2094 vessels 207,872 tons
Export (exclusive of 330 ditto) 2036 ” 202,994 ”


The amount of paid-up capital is £2,300,000 sterling.


12,479,437 reis, or about a million and a half sterling. The revenue in
1852 exceeded that of 1853 by about £250,000, owing to discouragements
of trade by disputes amongst sellers and buyers; and the total revenue
of 1852 exceeded that of 1847 and 1848 about 50 per cent. The Consulado
revenue for 1853 was 2,208,059 reis, or about £250,000 sterling.


Number of
Ports. Vessels. Tonnage.
Pará 11 2,058
Maranham 17 5,260
Pernambuco 40 10,506
Bahia 32 10,320
Rio Janeiro 84 25,502
— ——
184 53,646


1849. 1850. 1851. 1852.
Annatto cwts. 462 648 596 1,188
Capivi ” 363 344 574 955
Cocoa lbs. 1,391,162 1,204,572 1,949,666 2,244,713
Coffee ” 6,376,651 1,779,799 7,888,638 3,053,202
Hides cwts. 207,199 157,003 150,585 94,733
Horns ” 8,288 5,247 6,843 2,856
India rubber ” 4,605 5,967 11,053 12,813
Isinglass ” 515 610 547 352
Ipecacuanha lbs. 5,126 1,638 13,554 14,703
Rum gallons 1,139 33,952 20,712 1
Sarsaparilla lbs. 6,220 12,247 17,810 16,517
Sugar cwts. 561,660 362,686 720,424 289,999
Tallow ” 23,925 4,559 5,246 ——
Tapioca ” 6,960 10,989 11,442 6,288
Wood, Brazil tons 329 12 57 135
—— Fustic ” 589 669 438 382
—— Rosewood ” 3,649 3,022 3,200 3,676
—— Zebra ” 85 60 89 187
Wool, cotton lbs. 30,738,133 30,299,982 19,339,104 26,506,144


New York 225,985
Boston 3,293
Philadelphia 123,007
Baltimore 199,314
New Orleans 311,350
Total 862,949

Each bag consists of 5 arrobas, or 160lbs. English weight each, the gross
value being upwards of £2,000,000.

Since the foregoing data were published, they have been summarised and
annotated by a very competent authority in London, and the results issued
for private circulation among Anglo Brazilians. The document so published
presents, in a very succinct and comprehensive form, the financial
status of the empire; and a further condensation of it, to suit these
pages, cannot but be acceptable to such readers as the previous _chevaux
de frize_ of figures may repel from the perusal of what is really most
interesting fiscal and instructive political facts.

The National Debt of Brazil dates from 1824, when the imperial government
contracted a loan of 1,000,000_l._, 5 per cents, at the price of 75, in
order to defray the expenses of the war of independence. In the following
year, the government contracted a second loan of 2,000,000_l._, also 5
per cents, at the price of 85, with the further advantage of a year’s
dividend, to provide for the expenses attendant on the suppression of the
revolt in the northern provinces; and in consideration of the recognition
of Brazilian independence by Portugal, they undertook the liability of
the loan of 1,500,000_l._ 5 per cents., which the mother country had
contracted at 87 in 1823. The expenditure was seriously increased by
the subsequent war with Buenos Ayres, and scarcely was this brought to
a conclusion when the government was led into fresh liabilities by the
assistance which Dom Pedro I. gave the constitutional party in Portugal,
on the usurpation of the crown of that country by his brother, Dom
Miguel. In 1829, two 5 per cent. loans, 392,584_l._, were contracted
at 54; and the Regency, ten years later, were compelled to contract
another 5 per cent. loan of 312,512_l._ at 78, in order to meet the
deficit in the revenue, which then embarrassed the government. During the
usurpations of Dom Miguel, the payment of the dividends on the Portuguese
loan of 1823 was suspended; but as soon as the authority of Donna Maria
was established, her government provided for the arrears, and in 1842 a
financial treaty was concluded between Brazil and Portugal, under which
the former delivered to the Portuguese agents stock to the amount of
732,600_l._, which at 85, the price at which it was issued, was equal to
622,702_l._, the sum agreed to be paid by Brazil, in liquidation of this
and all other claims.

The National Debt of Brazil, therefore, amounted in 1853 to
6,999,200_l._, the interest on which, throughout all the difficulties
and embarrassments of the government, has been punctually paid, though,
at times, the measures necessary to provide for its payment have been
severely felt by the people. The several loans specified were contracted
on the terms of a sinking fund, which were fully carried out until 1828,
when the increased expenditure compelled the government to put a period
to its operations. But as soon as the expiration of the commercial treaty
with England in 1844 allowed the government of Dom Pedro II. to revise
the tariff of customs duties, and by that means to obviate the pressure
of a deficiency in the revenue, the provisions of the sinking fund were
revived. The Portuguese loan was thus reduced to 954,250_l._, and in 1852
it was paid off by a new 4½ per cent. loan of that amount, contracted at
95. Reductions of the other loans have been effected in the same way,
and the foreign debt of Brazil now stands at only 5,900,000_l._ Further
reductions are being gradually effected, and if the provisions of the
Sinking Fund continue to be carried out, as doubtless they will be, the
time cannot be far distant when the foreign debt of the empire will be
entirely liquidated.

Between 1836 and 1840 the deficiency in the revenue increased from
476,825,000 reis to 3,639,608,000 reis, and in consequence of the
expenditure consequent on the rebellion in the province of Rio Grande
do Sul, this deficiency continued to increase until 1844, in which year
it amounted to 9,484,520,000. This deficit did not entirely disappear
during the next three or four years, but in 1849-50 there was a surplus
of 3,035,006,000 reis (341,438_l._), in 1850-1 of 3,552,404,000 reis
(399,645_l._), in 1851-2 of 4,010,220,000 reis (451,149_l._), in 1852-3
of 3,970,202,000 reis (446,647_l._), and in 1853-4 of 3,528,934,000 reis
(397,005_l._). Since 1836 the revenue has increased from 13,024,749,000
reis to 35,290,691,000 reis, at which sum it may reasonably be estimated
for some years. The expenditure has increased from 13,501,574,000 reis to
30,471,066,000, which increase has not only been at a slower rate than
that of the receipts, but exhibits a progression from a deficiency to a
surplus, and since 1844 it may be taken as representing an improvement
in the administration, the growth of an efficient steam navy, and those
numerous public works which have been referred to in preceding pages.
The surplus revenue of the last five years has been the natural result
of the fiscal reforms of 1844, which have extended commerce and promoted
internal prosperity, at the same time that their success has paved the
way for further and more extensive reforms in the same direction.

These accounts refer only to the imperial revenue, in addition to which
each of the twenty provinces into which the empire is divided has its
separate revenue, raised by its Provincial Assembly, and expended on
local objects, the aggregate amount of which is about one-third that of
the imperial revenue. This system causes the demands on the imperial
treasury to be much fewer than in countries where the administration
is centralised, and the entire expenditure is defrayed from the
general revenue. The entire debt of Brazil does not much exceed three
years’ revenue, and while the latter is yearly increasing, the former
exhibits an annual diminution. This proportion between income and
liabilities is such as few states can exhibit, and considering the almost
illimitable resources of the country, and the commercial prosperity
that is fast growing out of its adoption of a Free Trade policy, a debt
of 12,362,290_l._ cannot be deemed a serious or burdensome charge.
Indeed, when we look at the progress which has been made towards the
diminution of the debt, in years when the facilities of the government
for meeting its liabilities were much less than at present, there can be
no doubt that it will in the course of a few more years be extinguished
altogether, and thus enable the government to carry out farther
reductions, and promote many schemes of improvement.

In concluding this summary of the commercial and social status of Brazil,
I venture, before making any observations on the Plate, to solicit the
attention of the reader to some very admirable remarks which appeared in
an influential morning journal a few weeks ago, with the signature of
‘Braziliensis,’ explanatory of the precise relationship of the empire
to the Oriental del Uruguay and to the Argentine states generally. A
knowledge of this relationship is essential to an appreciation of what
is called, often erroneously, the ‘River Plate Question;’ and, with the
aid of the writer referred to, whose remarks I am about to epitomise,
and a few explanatory addenda incorporated with them, the matter may
be rendered transparent in a brief compass. First, as to the Uruguay,
touching which republic Brazil is assumed by ill-informed politicians
in England to have sinister designs. Now, Brazil, of all countries, has
most interest in the peace and progress of Uruguay as an independent
state. But it must not be overlooked that Brazil is a Platine state,
just as much as Uruguay, as the Argentine Confederation, as Bolivia, or
Paraguay. It is in Brazilian territories that the River Paraguay has its
main source, that the River Uruguay rises, that the Parana begins to
flow, and that these (with their tributaries) form the River Plate. All
three are navigable in Brazil; each forms the natural access to great and
rich provinces of that empire, which has, therefore, a deep interest in
the free navigation of the upper waters of the Plate; and that interest
is the key to her policy on the southern side of the empire. She has a
plethora of land. What she wants is an increase to her free population:
to European immigration all parties are directing earnest attention.
Civilians, not soldiers of fortune, govern Brazil. The Emperor is a
civilian; his ministers are civilians: there is nothing aggressive or
ambitious in Brazilian policy. Law, order, commerce, and peace—not the
sword—prevail. The army is small, not exceeding 65,000 men, of which
the regular troops number 22,540 officers and privates (including 3,127
cavalry, and 3,582 artillery); the remainder are militia, and the whole
are strictly obedient to the civil power. Like England, Brazil cultivates
a naval force, and that never sways the destinies of the state in any

To save itself from the unlicensed soldiery of the Spanish provinces—from
the savage Artigas—Monte Video sought and found admission into the
Brazilian empire, and became its Cis-Platine province. The jealousies of
the Spanish and Portuguese races (and Buenos Ayrean intrigues) produced
revolt, and led to war between Brazil and Buenos Ayres for possession
of the Banda. But this war was most unpopular in Brazil. Her native
population did not regard the territory as worth fighting for, and the
obstinacy of Dom Pedro I., in persevering against public opinion, was
one cause of his downfall. Hostilities terminated by the creation of the
independent Republic of Uruguay. But Lord Ponsonby’s treaty, by which
it was accomplished, was one of preliminaries only. So little, however,
did Brazil then care to intrigue in Uruguay, that, notwithstanding her
material interests suffered from the want of definite arrangements, she
was content, so long as Uruguay preserved the shadow of independence, to
go on with provisional relations only. But Rosas first attacked and then
subdued the independence of Uruguay; and then Uruguay became a source of
danger, for it adjoins Rio Grande do Sul, in which serious disturbances
had with difficulty been suppressed. These Rosas tried to revive. Its
boundaries, too, were unsettled; and Oribe carried his incursions into
Brazilian territories, levied enormous contributions on Brazilian
subjects, and carried off 800,000 head of cattle. Nor was this all: the
navigation of the Uruguay, Parana, and Paraguay was closed to Brazil, and
commerce down the Plate, Brazil was allowed to have none. Still, whilst
there was a chance that British and French intervention would remedy
this state of things, she waited patiently. When those powers not only
retired, but wholly failed, Rosas openly assumed the protectorate of
Uruguay, and required Brazil to submit to the depredations of Oribe, his
lieutenant. Brazil expelled the power of Rosas from Uruguay, then drove
him from Buenos Ayres, but at once withdrew within its own frontiers,
and, in the succeeding troubles, refused to interfere further than to
give good and the same advice to all. Brazil had then the opportunity
of annexing the Oriental State, and of again advancing her frontier to
the Plate. In fixing the boundary line she has gained no territory; her
pecuniary claims she has postponed until those of other countries are
discharged; she has insisted on the free navigation of the rivers, not
for herself only, but for all the countries they water; and when the
government of Monte Video was lately oppressed by poverty, she consented
to lend it 60,000 dols. a month, in order that it might preserve its
independence. Brazil was no party to the recent change of presidents at
Monte Video; and just as Brazil supported Giro himself when in power, as
the head of the government _de facto_, so, in the interests of peace and
independence, she now lends moral support to the present government.[58]
She takes no part against Urquiza; she is neither his partisan nor that
of Buenos Ayres in Argentine disputes; she has, indeed, tried to throw
oil on their troubled waters; but, as that was not to be done, like
England and France, Brazil now waits for their natural solution. She
is the only South American state with a stable government, with a large
and increasing commerce, with a growing surplus, with an augmenting
population. She has secured the esteem of England by at last abandoning
the slave trade, and she will not risk either her prosperity or her
reputation by ambitious designs on Uruguay. [See chapter on the River
Plate.] We have seen that she is most favourable to the free navigation
of those rivers on her southern and eastern frontier, whose opening has
so long been the desideratum of European and South American commerce;
and we shall see presently that she is most wisely and energetically
coöperating with an affluent company, composed of English, Brazilian, and
Portuguese capitalists, for bringing the blessings of steam to bear upon
the Amazon, the results of which proceeding it is entirely impossible to

Ten years ago the finances of Brazil were in very great embarrassment.
Under all circumstances of distress and difficulty, Brazil had, indeed,
paid, as she still continues regularly to pay, the interest on her debt,
thereby honourably distinguishing herself from other South American, and
not a few European states. But, at that time, her expenditure largely
exceeded her income. Gradually Brazil has reversed this state of things;
instead of a heavy deficit, she now has a steadily increasing surplus,
has been able to reduce the rate of interest on part of her foreign debt,
is slowly reducing its capital, and is in a position to compete in the
money market of London with the most favoured European governments. Ten
years ago Brazil was not a little embarrassed by the fiscal restrictions
she had imposed on herself by her commercial treaties with other
countries. Now she is free from all such embarrassments, has full powers
over her own trading and financial system, and has no treaties at all
with other states. Intermediately she raised for revenue purposes her
tariff of Custom duties; but now that she has a surplus to dispose of,
her Government is engaged in reducing those duties, to the enlargement,
of course, of her commerce. The total funded domestic debt of the empire
on the 31st of Dec. last amounted to 57,704,200,000 reis, and the funded
debt of the province of Rio Janeiro to 3,940,000,000 reis. The total
revenue for the present year, 1854, is estimated at about 32,353,000
milreis (£3,594,700), and the expenditure at about 29,633,706 milreis
(£3,292,630). The income is chiefly derived from the _ad valorem_ duty
charged on all articles imported into Brazil, amounting in 1851-2 to
£2,814,443; a low duty charged on the articles exported, amounting in the
same year to £503,070; and rents, royalties on mines, &c. The estimated
expenditure for 1853-4 is thus distributed: Ministry of the Interior,
£412,355; Justice, £250,020; Foreign Affairs, £60,000; Marine, £452,138;
War, £813,935; Finances, £1,304,162: total, £3,292,630.

Ten years ago the Brazilian navy was small: it is now rising into
importance; its courage and capacity were lately seen in the Plate; many
of its younger officers have been reared in the British service, and from
British yards it is yearly adding to its steam flotilla. It now consists
of 1 frigate of 50 guns, 5 corvettes, 5 brigs, and 9 schooners, carrying
together 188 guns; and 4 smaller vessels, carrying together 27 guns; 10
steamers, mounting 36 guns; with various unarmed ships and steamers,
and several others are building. The Brazilian army has established its
reputation at once for success, bravery, and humanity. Ten years ago
Brazil had little external influence; now Brazil is obviously at the head
of South American states, and has a distinct and separate part assigned
to her in the destinies of the human race. Then she had but slow and
dilatory intercourse with Europe; now she has two monthly steam services
from England—another is being established from Lisbon; and Rio Janeiro is
now only a month’s distance from London and Paris.

Whilst London, Liverpool, and Lisbon are thus sweeping its coasts with
steam, Manchester is lighting Brazilian cities with gas. Messrs. Peto
and Jackson, (the members for Norwich and Newcastle-under-Lyne,) whose
capital and connections are interlacing Canada and the British North
American provinces with a magnificent net-work of railways, are also with
other capitalists about to bring their vast resources and long practised
experience to bear in a like manner in several of the Brazilian
provinces, and doubtless with a like result within as brief a period as
the circumstances of the country and the obstacles to be overcome will
possibly permit. The Government is opening up new roads, clearing away
impediments in rivers, and is arranging the internal improvement of
the empire on a large and comprehensive system. A great and a happier
future is opening on Brazil—one calculated to advance and extend moral
improvement and political freedom, as well as to promote material comfort.

In thus recording the material prosperity and anticipating the
progressive greatness of this magnificent empire, it affords me
infinite gratification to be able to attribute to my distinguished
fellow-townsman, Admiral Grenfell, the Brazilian consul-general[59] for
England, a large and conspicuous share in consolidating the strength,
and enhancing the reputation of Brazil, as eminent among the nations
alike for the valour of its arms, the clemency of its counsels, and
the magnanimity it has evinced in eschewing territorial aggrandisement
which its bravery and sagacity might so readily have secured it. A more
befitting preliminary to the subsequent chapter on the Amazon there could
not be than a memoir of the gallant seaman to whose skill and bravery
the retention of the principal Amazonian province is due, and to whose
equally admirable conduct on a scarcely less trying occasion is also
due an acceleration of the settlement of the affairs of the Plate, to
a correct understanding of which, in their latter phases at least, a
perusal of the annexed biographical data, gleaned from the most reliable
sources, will greatly contribute.



The cataract shown in the foregoing page consists, says Sir W.
G. Ouseley, from whose portfolio it is copied, of a succession
of three waterfalls, subsiding into rapids, and then continuing
its course as a turbulent rocky brook, working its way among
the hills of the Serra de Estrella. The falls of Itamarity
are not near any high road, and have been seldom visited by
Europeans. It is not possible to obtain a general view of all
the falls. That in the Plate is taken from an insulated rock,
standing opposite the second fall. The first fall has worked a
basin in the rock, as in other similar sites, and, as usual,
it is asserted by the natives to be of vast or fathomless
depth. Below the isolated rock is a third fall of considerable
size; but the rich and thick vegetation prevents much of it
from being seen. On the morning that this sketch was taken,
when a party visited the Falls, some negroes were sent on
beforehand to cut away the underwood and parasites, and to fell
trees in order to _improviser_ a bridge for the nonce. The
ligatures used in fastening the trees, and the sort of parapet
railing, were made of the lianes or parasitical plants from
the surrounding trees. They hang from the highest branches
like ropes of various sizes, some little larger than whipcord,
others of the circumference of a large cable; indeed, they are
often thicker than a man’s body, and frequently form spiral and
intricate knots, like the writhings of gigantic serpents, à la
Laocoon. The profuse variety of growth and rapid vegetation in
this part of Brazil is scarcely credible to Europeans. A very
few weeks, or rather days, after this path had been opened,
and the bridge constructed to enable the party to visit these
Falls, strangers might have passed close to them, only made
aware of their proximity by the loud roar of the falling
waters, the hoarse sound of which, deadened and rendered
deceptive by the close growth of the forest, would be but an
indifferent guide, and hardly enable them to find any approach
by which to obtain a view of the Falls. The negroes and country
people have alarming stories or traditions respecting vast
crocodiles, differing from the common sort in their nature
and habits, and unlike the alligators of the rivers emptying
themselves directly into the bay of Rio de Janeiro, at the
foot of these mountains. They are said to be infinitely larger
and more voracious than their relations near the salt water.
These monsters, they affirm, inhabit the deep pools formed
occasionally in the course of the mountain rivers. Poisonous
snakes are asserted to be often found in these waters. The
present existence of these crocodiles seems very apocryphal;
nor are serpents so often met with, even by naturalists anxious
to enrich their collections, as is generally supposed. The
name of these Falls, ‘Itamariti,’ or ‘Itamarity,’ signifies in
the Indian language (probably that of the Guarani tribe) ‘the
shining stones,’ or ‘the rock that shines,’ doubtless so called
from the glittering appearance of the large mass of rock, the
face of which is worn smooth by the water. ‘Ita’ means stone or

The old road over the Serra de Estrella, constructed when
Brazil was a colony of Portugal, was, although much too steep
according to modern ideas of engineering, infinitely better
than the track dignified with the name of road, formerly
leading to the Serra dos Orgaos. Being paved, it was at least
safe and practicable. But the road recently opened to these
heights is on vastly improved principles, and on a scale
thought even unnecessarily large. The foundation and progress,
however, of the new city of Petropolis, situated at the height
of about 3,000 feet above the level of the sea, on this route,
has doubtless called for the construction of a road wider and
more convenient than those hitherto made in this part of the
country. The Emperor has built a summer residence here, near
the highest part of the road, and the court and many of the
wealthier citizens of Rio Janeiro have followed the example,
encouraged by his Imperial Majesty’s liberal allotment of land
for dwelling-houses, hotels, &c. The idea of founding this
mountain city as a retreat during the great heats originated
with the late Emperor, Don Pedro I., who made grants of land,
absolutely or conditionally, to different noblemen of his
Court. He was not enabled, however, to carry into effect either
his plan for a city, or the construction of a new road to and
through the mountains. To the reigning Emperor belongs the
credit of practically calling into existence this thriving and
healthy settlement, of which the success is now beyond a doubt.
Petropolis may now be regarded as like the Royal Sitios in
Spain,—Aranjuez, La Granja, &c., to which the Court regularly
removes at certain seasons. The temperature and climate are
delightful, and the annual removal to this and the other Serras
is sufficient to restore to health those who have suffered
from the enervating heats of the summer in the low lands
around the capital. European invalids especially derive great
benefit during convalescence from a few weeks’ stay in these
picturesque mountains. Many foreigners, particularly Germans,
have settled at or near this city. To the naturalist, and
more particularly to the entomologist and botanist, a sojourn
in these Serras affords endless interest and employment. A
railroad is now opened from Rio Janeiro to the foot of the
hills, which promises great advantages to the new settlement.



Vice-Admiral John Pascol Grenfell, of the Imperial Brazilian Navy, is
son of the late Mr. J. Granville Grenfell, of the city of London, and
was born at Battersea, in 1800. At eleven years of age, he embarked in
the maritime service of the Honourable East India Company, and made
several voyages to India in the capacity of midshipman and mate in the
Company’s ships. In the year 1819, he left the Company’s service, and
joined the naval service of the Republic of Chili, with the rank of
lieutenant, under the command of the present Admiral Earl of Dundonald,
then Lord Cochrane, Admiral of the Chilian Naval Forces, engaged in
the contest with Spain for the independence of the Spanish colonies on
the coast of the Pacific Ocean. On the night of the 5th of Nov., 1820,
Lieutenant Grenfell commanded one of the boats of the Chilian squadron,
which, under the personal direction of Lord Cochrane, boarded and cut
out from under the Castles of Callao de Lima, and from the midst of a
squadron of armed vessels and gunboats, the Spanish Admiral’s ship, the
Esmeralda, a frigate of 40 guns, fully manned, and perfectly prepared for
the attack. This gallant exploit was performed by 240 volunteers, chiefly
Englishmen, embarked in 14 boats, five of which were gigs. About 50 of
the assailants fell killed or wounded in the attack, amongst the latter
Lieutenant Grenfell; and 200 Spaniards, stretched on the decks of the
frigate next morning, showed how sharply the contest had been maintained.
The following order, issued by Lord Cochrane previous to the attack, will
be interesting to naval men:—

_On Board the Chilian States’ Ship O’Higgins, Nov. 1.,
1820.—First Division: O’Higgins—1st launch, 2nd launch, barge,
cutter, green gig, black gig, small gig. Second Division:
Lautaro and Independencia—1st launch, 2nd launch, barge,
cutter, cutter, gig, gig. The boats will proceed, towing the
launches in two lines, parallel to each other, which lines
are to be at the distance of three boats’ lengths asunder.
The first line will be under the charge of Capt. Crosbie, the
second under the charge of Capt. Guise; each boat will be under
the charge of a volunteer commissioned officer, so far as
circumstances will permit, and the whole under the command of
the Admiral. The officers and men are to be dressed in white
jackets, frocks or skirts, and are to be armed with pistols,
sabres, knives, tomahawks or pikes. Two boat-keepers are to be
appointed to each boat, who, on no pretence, shall quit their
respective boats, but are to remain therein, and take care that
the boats do not get adrift. Each boat is to be provided with
one or more axes, or sharp hatchets, which are to be kept slung
to the girdles of the boat keepers. The frigate Esmeralda being
the chief object of the expedition, the whole force is first to
attack that ship, which, when carried, is not to be cut adrift,
but is to remain in possession of the Patriot Seamen to ensure
the capture of the rest. On securing the frigate, the Chilian
seamen and marines are not to cheer, as if they were Chilians,
but in order to deceive the enemy, and give time for completing
the work, are to cheer, ‘Viva el Rey.’ The two brigs of war are
to be fired on by musketry from the Esmeralda, and are to be
taken possession of by Lieutenants Esmond and Morgell, in the
boats they command, which being done they are to cut adrift,
and run out into the offing as soon as possible. The boats of
the Independencia are to busy themselves in turning adrift all
the outward Spanish merchantmen; and the boats of the Lautaro,
under Lieutenants Bell and Roberton, are to set fire to one or
more of the headmost hulks; but these are not to be cut adrift,
so as to fall down on the rest. The watchword, (or parole
and countersign,) should the white dress not be sufficient
distinction in the dark, is, ‘Gloria,’ to be answered by
‘Victoria.’—Signed, COCHRANE._

NOTE.—After the first attempt on the night of the 4th of Nov., it was
found inconvenient to tow the launches; and, on the night of the 5th,
orders were given by the Admiral, on shoving-off from his flagship, for
the boats to pull in two lines, and for all officers to report themselves
to him on the quarter-deck of the enemy’s frigate.

Lieutenant Grenfell continued to serve with Lord Cochrane till, by the
surrender of the remainder of the Spanish naval forces, the war in the
Pacific was concluded; and in the beginning of 1823 he left Chili, and
accompanied Lord Cochrane to Brazil, whose newly emancipated government
solicited the aid of that distinguished nobleman to expel the Portuguese
forces from its territory and shores. This was effected by Lord Cochrane
at the head of the Brazilian squadron, by a series of able manœuvres on
the coast of Brazil, extending from Bahia to Pará, during the latter part
of 1823, when upwards of one hundred of the enemy’s vessels, and three
thousand troops, were sent prisoners into the Brazilian ports; and the
Portuguese squadron, of superior force to the Brazilian, was driven with
loss and in confusion across the Atlantic.

Lieutenant Grenfell, now promoted to the rank of commander, had the
good fortune of terminating the naval campaign, by effecting alone, in
a captured brig of war, manned from the flagship, the surrender of the
Portuguese force in the city of Pará, and the adhesion of that immense
and rich province to the cause of the empire, and rejoined his admiral
at Rio de Janeiro in 1824, in a new frigate of 50 guns, which he found
in the Port of Pará. In the execution of this service, while quelling
an insurrection of the newly subjugated Portuguese, Commander Grenfell
received a dangerous wound with a poignard in the back. For these
services, Commander Grenfell was subsequently made an officer of the
Order of the Southern Cross.

The acknowledgment of the independence of Brazil by Portugal the
following year terminated the services of Lord Cochrane, who retired to
England. At this period the aggressions of the Argentine Confederation on
the Southern frontier of Brazil called the naval forces of the empire to
the River Plate, where Captain Grenfell, now promoted to the post rank,
proceeded in command of a brig of 18 guns, under the Brazilian Admiral,
Baron do Rio da Prata.

The naval forces of Buenos Ayres, very inferior to those of Brazil, were
commanded by Admiral William Brown, an Irishman,—one of those singular
characters whose indomitable bravery, converting weakness into strength,
for a long time baffled all the efforts of the Brazilian Admiral. A
decisive action at last occurred off Buenos Ayres, in July 1826, in which
Admiral Brown’s ship, with two-thirds of her men killed and wounded, was
driven ashore a complete wreck, in front of that city. On this occasion
Captain Grenfell, whilst in close action with Admiral Brown, and
attacked by a fresh ship of the enemy, had his right arm shattered by a
grape-shot as he stood on the hammock-nettings of his brig, encouraging
his men to do their duty. Captain Grenfell’s wound was very severe,
requiring amputation of the right arm, at the shoulder-joint, which
was performed three weeks afterwards at Monte Video. On his partial
recovery, he came on leave to England, but returned to the River Plate
again in 1828, in command of a corvette, just in time to witness the
termination of the war. For his services therein, Captain Grenfell was
made a Dignitary of the Order of the Southern Cross, received a pension
for the loss of his arm, and other marks of friendship and consideration
from H.I.M. Don Pedro I. In 1829, Captain Grenfell married Donna Maria
Dolores, second daughter of the late Don Antonio Masini, of the city of
Monte Video, by whom he has had a family of six sons and four daughters.
In the same year, he was appointed one of the escort of H.I.M. the
Empress Amelia and H.M. the late Queen of Portugal, Donna Maria II., in
their voyage from Europe to Brazil; and afterwards, in the year 1830, he
conveyed the Duchess of Goyaz, a natural daughter of Don Pedro I., from
Brazil to Europe, in the Isabel, a frigate of 60 guns.

On the occasion of the Revolution of 1831, and the abdication of Don
Pedro I., Captain Grenfell was absent from Brazil, but was recalled
again to employment by the Regency in 1835. In 1835, he was sent to
the province of Rio Grande de Sul, in command of the naval force on
the lakes of that province, then in rebellion against the Imperial
Government. Success at first attended the Imperial arms; the rebels in
various encounters were driven from their positions on the lakes and
rivers; their flotilla captured, and their principal chiefs, with all
their artillery, a considerable force of infantry and cavalry, reduced
to surrender on the River Jacuhy, in a fruitless attempt to force its
passage. In all these operations, the naval force under Captain Grenfell
had a principal share, for which services, in 1833, he was promoted to
the rank of commodore. The scene, however, soon changed: the loyal forces
penetrating into the interior were, in 1837, completely routed by the
rebels at Rio Pardo, and Casapava, the president of the province, taken
prisoner, and the Imperial authority again restricted to the capital, the
port, and the lakes; and both the former were closely besieged, and in
great danger of falling into the hands of the rebels. At this critical
juncture, the Commodore, through his personal influence with the rebels,
originating simply from the humanity with which he had treated the
prisoners that on various occasions had fallen into his hands, effected
at great personal risk a suspension of arms with the rebel chiefs, with
reference to the Imperial Government at Rio de Janeiro, which gained
important time, checked the rebel career of success, and saved the
province to the empire.

The Imperial Government profited by the opportunity afforded for
remedying past errors: troops were poured into the province, a new army
was organized, the naval forces were augmented with several steamers,
and, at length, in 1842, under the able direction of General the Count
of Caxias, the army took the field, routed the rebels in various
engagements, and finally, in 1844, effected their complete submission to
the Imperial Government. In attention (as expressed in his commission)
to the distinguished services rendered with so much intelligence, zeal,
and activity in the Province of Rio Grande de San Pedro de Sul, towards
the pacification of the same province and integrity of the empire, the
Commodore was raised to the rank of Rear-Admiral, and made a Grand
Dignitary of the Imperial Order of the Rose; and shortly afterwards
received the permission of Her Britannic Majesty to hold his rank, and
continue in the service of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Brazil.

In the year 1844, Rear-Admiral Grenfell was appointed to command the
Imperial squadron in the River Plate, where the contest between Buenos
Ayres and Monte Video, affecting the commercial interests of neutral
states, called the naval forces of most of the maritime powers to the
spot, where he supported with firmness the rights of Brazilian subjects.
The following year the Rear Admiral received the most marked proof of
the estimation of the Imperial Government, in being appointed to command
the squadron that carried their Imperial Majesties to the southern
provinces of the empire, and hoisted his flag in the frigate Constitution
of 50 guns. With the Imperial squadron, were incorporated Her Britannic
Majesty’s ship Grecian, Her Most Faithful Majesty’s ship Don John, and
the United States’ ship Raritan. The Rear Admiral had the honour of
accompanying their Imperial Majesties during their tour, and in the
course thereof received many notable proofs of the estimation and regard
of the inhabitants of those provinces, who took this opportunity of
shewing their grateful sense of his conduct during the civil war. Shortly
after the return of the court to Rio Janeiro the Rear Admiral proceeded
in the Constitution to England, with his family, and resigning his naval
command at Plymouth, in Sept. 1846, assumed his civil appointment of
Consul General of Brazil, in the United Kingdom. In the spring following,
he was presented at St. James’s. During the years 1847-48, he built and
fitted out at Liverpool, for the Imperial Government, the steam frigate

In August, 1848, Rear Admiral Grenfell received the thanks of the town
of Liverpool, and the gold medal of the Liverpool Seamens Shipwreck
Society, for his exertions in saving the lives of the passengers and crew
of the emigrant ship Ocean Monarch,[60] burnt off that port, and which
was promptly succoured by the Alfonso under Captain Marques Lisboa, then
on her trial trip. The following letter from H.R. Highness the Prince de
Joinville, who was present, shews the sense H.R. Highness entertained of
the Rear-Admiral’s behaviour on that trying occasion.

_Claremont, 28 Aôut, 1848.—Monsieur,—J’ai reçu la lettre que
vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’écrire au sujet du sauvetage
des passagers de l’Ocean Monarch. Je ne mérite point les
éloges que vous voulez bien m’addresser. Passager seulement
abord de l’Alfonzo je n’ai été malheureusement que le témoin
impuissant de la plus douloureuse des catastrophes, mais j’ai
vu tenter les plus noble efforts d’arracher à une mort horrible
des femmes et des enfans. Qu’il me soit permis de signaler
à la reconnaissance publique les Officiers et l’equipage de
l’Alfonzo, le matelot Jerome, et surtout Monsieur l’Admiral
Grenfell, dont le noble devouement m’a pénétré d’admiration. Ma
femme me charge de vous exprimer toute sa reconnaissance pour
les sentimens que vous avez bien voulu lui exprimer. Recevez,
Monsieur, l’assurance de ma haute considération.—(Signé) F.
d’Orleans.—His Worship the Mayor of Liverpool._

The serious misunderstanding which occurred in 1850 between the
governments of Brazil and Buenos Ayres, on the subject of the occupation
of the territory of Monte Video by the latter power, induced the Imperial
Government to augment its forces by sea and by land; and Rear-Admiral
Grenfell was selected to command the squadron in the River Plate; and,
leaving England in the beginning of 1851, he hoisted his flag at Rio
Janeiro again on board the frigate Constitution, and proceeded with
several corvettes and steamers to his destination. The Buenos Ayrean
army, under General Oribe, was found cantonned round the city of Monte
Video: the Buenos Ayrean flotilla, under Commodore Coe, lay in the inner
roads of Buenos Ayres.

The Rear-Admiral, after concerting measures with the Governor of Entre
Rios, General Don Justo Urquiza and the Count of Caxias, who again
was at the head of the Brazilian army on the frontier of Monte Video,
proceeded to occupy the rivers Uruguay and Parana, so as to impede the
communication of General Oribe with Buenos Ayres. This measure entirely
disconcerted the plans of the Governor of Buenos Ayres, Don Juan Manuel
Rosas, who, not confiding in his own resources, counted on the assistance
of Great Britain and France. These powers, however, preserved their
neutrality, and in November the simultaneous advance of the forces of
Entre Rios and Brazil, together with the position maintained by the
Brazilian squadron, compelled General Oribe to surrender himself and his
army to terms dictated by General Urquiza. Monte Video, thus freed from
its enemies, the Argentine troops lost to General Rosas, and incorporated
with the allies, nothing remained but to cross the river, and march
on Buenos Ayres, where General Rosas was doing his utmost to levy and
organize a new army. The vanguard of this army, under General Mansilla,
occupied a position on the River Parana, at the Pass of Tonelero,
which was fortified and armed with 16 pieces of cannon, provided with
furnaces for hot shot. This passage was forced on the 17th Dec, by the
Rear-Admiral, at the head of a division of steamers and corvettes, with
trifling loss; and on the following days the allied army, 24,000 strong,
under General Urquiza, crossed the Parana, and marched on Buenos Ayres.
The battle of Monte Caseros, on the 3rd of February, 1852, the flight
of General Rosas, and the conclusion of a treaty between Brazil, Buenos
Ayres, Monte Video, and Paraguay, guaranteeing their respective rights,
and opening the navigation of the Rivers Parana, Uruguay, and Paraguay,
put an end to this short and glorious campaign. Rewards and promotion
were liberally bestowed by the Brazilian Government on the victors. The
Count of Caxias was made a Marquis; the Imperial Plenipotentiary Honorio
Carnero Leon was created Viscount Parana, and Rear-Admiral Grenfell was
made a Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Rose, and promoted to the
rank of Vice-Admiral. In August, 1852, he resigned his command of the
imperial squadron, and returned to his civil appointment in England.


Westward the course of empire takes its way,
The four first acts already past;
A fifth shall close the drama with the day:
Time’s noblest offspring is the last.

Each year we open upon new prospects in an increasing ratio, and among
those which now present themselves as calculated to develope fresh fields
for adventure and for an extension of traffic, are the navigation, just
consummated, of 1,200 miles of the River Murray, and the expedition that
is commencing to explore the Amazon.—_Times’ Commercial Retrospect of

Wide o’er his isles the branching Orinoque
Rolls a brown deluge; and the native drives
To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees;
At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms.
Swell’d by a thousand streams, impetuous hurl’d
From all the roaring Andes, huge descends
The mighty Orellana.—THOMSON.

Sources of the Marañon.—Rapids and cataracts.—Embouchures
of the Amazon.—Its volume, compared with the Ganges and
the Brahmapootra.—Its discovery by Pinzon.—Expedition of
Orellana.—Gold-seeking expedition of Pedro de Orsua.—Settlement
of Pará, and discovery of the Rio Negro.—The Missions of the
Jesuits, and their expulsion.—Discovery of the communication
between the Amazon and the Orinoco.—Revolution of 1835.—Pará:
its streets and public buildings.—Explorations of M. Castelnau
and Lieutenant Herndon.—Tributaries and settlements of the
Tocantins.—Lieutenant Gibbon’s exploration of the Madera.—His
interview with General Belzu.—What is wanted to turn the
stream of tropical South American commerce eastward.—Herndon’s
descent of the Huallaga.—Tarapoto, and its future
prospects.—Chasuta; its trade with Lima and Pará.—Yurimaguas,
and the Cachiyacu.—Steam-boat communication between Nauta
and Pará.—Progress of a piece of cotton from Liverpool to
Sarayacu.—Estimated cost and profit of steam vessels on the
Amazon.—Trade of Egas.—The new province of Amazonas.—Exports of
Barra.—The Rio Negro, and its tributaries.—Communication by the
Cassiquiari between the Amazon and the Orinoco.—Productions of
Amazonas.—Santarem.—The Tapajos, and its tributaries.—Rapids of
the Parú, and the Xingù.—Climate and products of Pará.—Benefits
to be expected from the opening of the Amazon and European

Though the Brazilian mission of the writer in connection with the
original object of this volume virtually terminates at the close of the
preceding chapter, his desire to communicate, however cursorily, an
adequate idea of the immensity of extent and natural resources of the
Brazilian empire would be altogether unfulfilled if some additional data
were not offered respecting the illimitable and inexhaustible region
of the Amazon. In conversing with enlightened inhabitants of Brazil,
natives of the capital or elsewhere, on the vastness and fertility of
their country, and on the magnificent destiny it is certain to attain,
they concur with you, as a matter of course, but conclude with an
intimation that you estimate but half of the reality, and a fourth of the
probability of what is in store; for you leave out of your calculation
the wondrous but almost unknown district of the Amazon. _There_,
indeed, they imply, are the germs of marvellous and unmatched natural
greatness to be sought; for, prodigal as nature has everywhere been to
the country in every possible respect, it is there that she has been
most profuse; and there are her bounties most accessible to man, if he
would only make the slightest exertion to secure them. These views are
entertained in a like degree by many of the most intelligent citizens of
the United States, the attention of which country is being drawn in an
increasingly marked degree to the commercial capabilities of the Amazon;
and the frequency of the publications respecting it, and the wide and
general circulation they obtain throughout the Union, attest the interest
wherewith North America regards the locale of what one of their writers
describes as the future inevitably greatest mercantile entrepot (Pará)
in the world. With what justice this anticipation is formed it is the
design of the annexed few pages to exhibit, consisting, as they do, in
a great degree, of a digest of the more influential of the publications
alluded to. Considering the magnitude of the existing relations between
England and Brazil, and how large a share Great Britain will derive from
the enterprises that are now being directed to the opening up of the
Amazon, it is conceived that a summary of the most recent circumstances
connected with the countries and peoples bordering on that mighty stream
will not fail to be acceptable, the more so as, with the exception of Mr.
Wallace’s volume already alluded to, and which is not a commercial, nor
yet geographical, nor descriptive work, there has been in this country no
recent publication of an analogous nature to those of the United States’
writers we shall presently enumerate.

The Amazon, the largest river in the world, traverses the tropical
regions of South America from west to east, discharging its immense
volume of water into the Atlantic, nearly under the equator. The
Tanguragua, or Upper Marañon, is regarded as its principal head-stream,
and rises in the Lake of Llanricocha, 14,000 feet above the level of the
sea, in the region of nearly perpetual snow. For about 120 miles from its
source it flows through a ravine, and is full of rapids and cataracts,
having a fall in that distance of more than 11,000 feet. Near Huary the
ravine opens into a wide valley, through which the river flows gently
for about 380 miles, and is navigable for canoes. Its course is then
interrupted by the rapids of the Pongo Rentema, and turns eastward, in
which direction it runs nearly 180 miles, leaving the mountain region by
the Pongo de Manseriche, a rapid seven miles long. In this part of its
course the current is so strong that it can be descended only by floats;
but from the rapids of Manseriche the river passes through an extensive
plain, its entire length exceeding 3,000 miles.

A great number of tributaries pour their waters into the Amazon in
the lower part of its course. On the north side the first from the
west, below the rapids of Manseriche, is the Morona, and then come in
succession the Pastaça, Tigre, Napo, Iça, Yapurà, Rio Negro, and Oximina.
From the south it receives, proceeding from west to east, the Huallaga,
Ucayali, Yavari, Jutai, Jurua, Teffé, Coavy, Purus, Madera, Tapajos,
Xingù, and Tocantins. Most of these affluents discharge their waters into
the Amazon by more than one mouth, which frequently are widely apart.
Thus the two most distant of the four mouths of the Yapurà are more than
200 miles asunder, and the outer embouchures of the Purus are about 100
miles from each other. In the upper portion of its course the Amazon
divides Equador from Peru, between which its width varies from half a
mile to a mile; beyond the limits of Equador it increases to two miles,
and below the Madera (its most considerable tributary, having a course
little less than 2,000 miles in length) it is nearly three miles. Between
Faro and Obydos, to which place the tide reaches, it decreases to less
than a mile; but below Obydos it widens again, and after the junction of
the Tapajos it is nearly seven miles across. The width of the channel
of Braganza do Norte, the northern mouth of this vast river, is 30
miles opposite the island Marajó, and 50 at its embouchure; that of the
Tangipurà channel is 18 miles at the junction of the Tocantins, and 30 at
its mouth. One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Amazon is
the immense volume of water which it discharges into the ocean, which is
ascribable to the forests which cover so large an extent of the immense
region which it flows through, and attract a much greater quantity of
rain than the scorched _Llanos_ of the Orinoco, and the treeless _pampas_
of the Rio Plata. While the principal branch of the Ganges discharges
80,000 cubic feet of water per second, and the Brahmapootra pours forth
176,188 cubic feet per second, the volume of water which flows through
the Narrow of Obydos per second is calculated at 550,000 cubic feet.

Next in importance to the Madera among the tributaries of the Amazon, is
the Rio Negro, which, after a course of 1400 miles, falls into the Father
of Waters twelve miles below the town of Barra, where it is a mile and
a half wide. The Xingù has a course of 1000 miles, the Tapajos and the
Yapurà each 900 miles, and the Napo and Iça each of 700.[61]

According to the best writers, the first expedition up the Amazon
occurred in 1500, when a Portuguese named Pinzon discovered the mouth
of the river, and took possession of its left bank. In 1540, Francisco
Orellana descended the Napo and the Amazon to its mouth, and finding
the native women in arms to oppose him, gave the name of Amazonia to
the country, and conferred his own upon the river, by which it is still
called by some geographers. In 1560, Pedro de Orsua, commissioned to
explore the country in search of gold, descended the Jutai and Jurua, but
was prevented by a mutiny from proceeding farther. In 1615 the governor
of Maranham, Alexandro de Moura, in order to establish the sovereignty
of Portugal, sent an expedition to the Amazon under Francisco Caldeira,
who sailed up the Tocantins, and formed a settlement where Pará now
stands. In 1648 a party of Portuguese discovered the Rio Negro, and
reached Quito overland, which was regarded as a remarkable feat. Shortly
afterwards, the Jesuits commenced their settlements on the banks of the
Marañon; and during the reign of Philip III., when Portugal was united
to Spain, it was seriously contemplated to make the Amazon the means of
transit for the treasures of Peru and Chili, by which the sea-voyage
would be much shortened, and the dangers from English and French cruisers
more than proportionately lessened.

The Jesuits warmly espoused the cause of the cruelly treated Indians,
but, unfortunately, their zeal outran their discretion, and, in 1604,
they were expelled. Several settlements were made about this time on the
Marañon and the Rio Negro, among others that of San José, now the town
of Barra; and in the expeditions which took place between 1726 and 1730,
the communication between the Rio Negro and the Orinoco was discovered.
During the next twenty or thirty years, colonization appears to have made
rapid strides, so much so that, in 1784, a commission was despatched
from Portugal to explore the country for botanical and other scientific
objects. Settlements continued to be formed, but no event worthy of
record occurred until the change of dynasty in 1823. Since then the only
occurrence of consequence has been the revolution of 1835, when the
president of the province was assassinated, the citizens of Pará fled,
and the whole of the province, with the exception of the town of Cametá,
on the Tocantins, fell under the power of the insurgents, who sacked the
towns, and carried off the slaves and the cattle. Quarrels between the
insurgent leaders increased the miseries of the country, and several
presidents succeeded each other. At length, (see memoir of Admiral
Grenfell), President Andrea arrived from Rio Janeiro with a sufficient
force, and succeeded in recovering possession of Pará. The inland places
gradually returned to their allegiance, and though the effects of these
disturbances are still felt in some districts, Pará has fully recovered
its former prosperity.

The province of Pará, though naturally the richest portion of the
immense empire of Brazil, of which it is the most northern part, is
little known, and at present of but little commercial importance.[62]
Pará, the capital, contains about 15,000 inhabitants, and has a pretty
appearance from the river. Most of the houses are white, which, against
the dark green of the forest that surrounds it on the land side, and with
the clear blue sky above, give it a pleasing aspect. The small islands
in the river are wooded to the water’s edge, and canoes are constantly
passing, paddled by negroes or Indians. The custom-house, formerly a
convent, is a large and handsome building, and there are several churches
that will bear comparison with those of Europe. The squares are more
like village greens, being covered with a rank growth of weeds, but
the graceful-looking palms which are planted in their midst impart a
picturesque appearance in the eyes of a stranger. The principal street
is the Rua dos Mercadores (street of merchants), which contains the only
good shops in the town, and this, or rather a part of it, is the only
portion that is paved. The other streets are very narrow, and some not
free from holes.

What most strikes the observer is the number and size of the public
buildings of Pará, which are far beyond the present wants of the place,
but form a good foundation for its future requirements as the great depôt
of the Amazon. The palace is large and massive, but has no pretensions
to architectural beauty. In its rear is the theatre, unfinished, and
overgrown with vines and climbing shrubs. Near these buildings is the
cathedral, the largest in Brazil, the bells of whose two steeples, with
those of the numerous churches, seem to be continually ringing. Near the
arsenal, and sufficiently removed from the city to be no nuisance to the
inhabitants, is the public slaughter-house, in the neighbourhood of which
many vultures are always to be seen.

Most of the towns and villages of the extensive country watered by the
Amazon, are situated on that river and its tributaries; and the rest is
an impenetrable forest, trodden only by the Indian and the jaguar. Very
little is known of the greater portion of the interior, but M. Castlenau,
who explored the valley of the Amazon in 1843, and Lieutenant Herndon,
of the United States Navy, who descended the ‘King of Rivers’ in 1852,
have supplied considerable information respecting the Tocantins, the
Madera, and Huallaga. The first-named flows through a fertile and healthy
country, and has many flourishing settlements on its banks. Among them
is Salinas, famous for its salt works, near which is the Lake of Pearls,
surrounded by beautiful scenery, and inhabited by numbers of aquatic
birds. The town of Goyaz, with a population of about 7,500, is situated
on the Vermelho, a branch of the Tocantins, and can be reached by vessels
from Pará. The voyage occupies five months, the up freight being about
20s., and the down one fourth, per 100 lbs. Large canoes are paddled up
the river as far as Porto Imperial, and take down hides, which at Goyaz
are worth fifty cents, and at Pará are sold for a dollar and a half. Pará
also trades with the inland town of Diamantino, by means of the Tapajos,
the voyage up and down occupying eight months. The foreign merchandise
that reaches Diamantino by this route is sold at an advance, on the
average, of 850 per cent. on its price at Pará, which is from 50 to 100
per cent. on New York prices. When steam-boats are introduced on these
waters trade will be largely increased, and prices reduced by competition
and the facility of transit, so that both producer and consumer will be
greatly benefitted.

It is a matter which gives a promising aspect to the question of future
commercial intercourse with the interior that the elements of a large
and profitable trade already exist in abundance. Cinchona to the value
of two millions of dollars is annually exported from the eastern slopes
of Bolivia, but, at present, for the want of steam-boats on the Amazon
and its tributaries, it is carried over the Andes on the backs of llamas
and mules to the ports of Peru. Large quantities of wool, clipped on
the banks of the Bolivian tributaries of the Amazon, instead of going
down the river to Pará, for shipment to England or the United States,
are carried over the Andes in the same manner, and have then to make the
voyage round Cape Horn.

The Madera runs through a beautiful valley, clothed with verdure, and
abounding in scenery the most striking and picturesque. It is among
the upper tributaries of this river that the traditions of the country
place the lost mines of Urucumaguam, the riches of which equalled those
of Potosi. When Lieutenant Gibbon, who was sent by the United States
government to explore the valley of the Madera, was at Cochabamba, the
attention of the Bolivian government was called to the establishment,
on the navigable waters of that river, of ports of entry to foreign
commerce, and of steam communication with the Amazon. Belzu, the
President of Bolivia, received him in the most gracious manner, and is
said to have promised to grant privileges to a company for that purpose,
if application were made to him in due form. The course of the Madera
is interrupted by cataracts and rapids, but the former only commence
450 miles from its mouth, and the latter may be passed by canoes. The
cataracts passed, the river is navigable into the heart of Bolivia by its
tributaries, the Beni and the Mamoré, and quite through the Brazilian
province of Matto Grosso by the Guaporé. Mr. Clay, the United States
chargé d’affaires at Lima, was told that a Brazilian war-schooner had
ascended the Madera above the rapids as far as Exaltacion, which is in
Bolivia, above the junction of the Beni.

About one-half of Bolivia, two-thirds of Peru, three-fourths of
Equador, and one-half of New Grenada are drained by the Amazon and its
tributaries. For the want of steam communication, the trade of all these
parts of those countries goes west over the Andes to Callao. There it is
shipped, and after doubling Cape Horn, and sailing eight or ten thousand
miles, it is then only off the mouth of the Amazon, on its way to Europe
or the United States; whereas, if the navigation of the Amazon were free,
and steam-vessels placed on its waters, the produce of the interior could
be landed at Pará for what it costs to convey it across the Andes to the
ports of the Pacific.

Lieutenant Herndon embarked on the Huallaga at Tinga-Maria, the head of
canoe navigation, and 335 miles from the city of Lima, and descended to
its junction with the Amazon, and thence to the mouth of the latter, a
distance of not less than 3,500 miles. The first place he came to was
Tarapoto, situated in a beautiful plain, watered by many rivulets, and
producing cotton, coffee, sugar, cocoa, and drugs in great abundance.
The district is very healthy, and free from annoying insects. Indigo
grows wild, and storax, cinnamon, and gums may be procured of the Indians
in any quantity, and at prices merely nominal. A great deal of good
cotton cloth is made here by the women, and exchanged at Egas for straw
hats and English prints brought from Pará. There is very little money
in circulation, cotton cloth, wax, and balls of sewing cotton being
used instead. English goods brought over the Andes sell in Tarapoto
for four times their value in Lima. All the land carriage is performed
by Indians, for want of roads: an Indian will carry 75 lbs. of goods
on his shoulders from Tarapoto to Juan Guerra, whence he paddles in a
canoe to Tinga-Maria, and there shoulders his burthen again, and carries
it to Huanaco, the distance of which town from Tarapoto is 390 miles.
The population of the place in 1848 was 3,500. Concerning its natural
advantages and future prospects, Lieutenant Herndon thus speaks:—

‘I spoke with an active and intelligent young Spanish trader,
named Morey, about the feasibility of a steamboat enterprise
upon these rivers, bringing American goods and taking
return-cargoes of coffee, tobacco, straw-hats, hammocks, and
sarsaparilla to the ports of Brazil on the river. He thought
that it could not fail to enrich any one who would attempt
it; but that the difficulty lay in the fact that my proposed
steamer would never get as far as this, for that my goods
would be bought up and paid for in return-cargoes long before
she reached Peru. He thought, too, that the Brazilians along
the river had money which they would be glad to exchange for
comforts and luxuries. Were I to engage in any scheme of
colonization for the purpose of evolving the resources of the
Valley of the Amazon, I think I should direct the attention
of settlers to this district of Tarapoto. It combines more
advantages than any other I know; it is healthy, fertile, and
free from the torment of musquitoes and sand-flies. Wheat may
be had from the high lands above it; cattle thrive well; and
its coffee, tobacco, sugar-cane, rice, and maize are of fine
quality. It is true that vessels cannot come up to Shapaja,
the port of the town of Tarapoto; but a good road may be made
from this town eighteen miles to Chasuta, to which vessels of
five feet draught may come at the lowest stage of the river,
and any draught at high water. Tarapoto is situated on an
elevated plain twenty miles in diameter; is seventy miles
from Moyobamba, the capital of the province, a city of seven
thousand inhabitants; and has close around it the villages of
Lamas, Tabalosas, Juan Guerra, and Shapaja. The Ucayali is
navigable higher up than this point, and the quality of cotton
and coffee seems better, within certain limits further from
the equator. But the settler at the head-waters of the Ucayali
has to place himself in a profound wilderness, with the forest
and the savage to subdue, and entirely dependent upon his own
resources. I think he would be better placed near where he can
get provisions and assistance whilst he is clearing the forest
and planting his fields. I am told that the governors of the
districts in all the province of Mainas have authority to give
titles to land to any one who desires to cultivate it.’

Six leagues below Tarapoto is Chasuta, with a population of 1,200. The
annual value of the trade between this place and the ports below is
1,500 dollars; but all articles which can be carried on the backs of
Indians or mules come from Lima. Implements of iron, copper kettles,
guns, earthenware, and glass, come from Pará, and obtain prices which
afford very large profits. Though the distance from this place to the
mouth of the Amazon is above 3,000 miles, a 74-gun ship would find water
enough, during the greater part of the year, to reach it from the sea.
The villages of Yurimaguas, Santa Cruz, and Chamizuras, respectively
24, 35, and 89 leagues below Chasuta, have each a population of about
320, and in the woods around the last, valuable resins and gums abound.
Half a mile below Yurimaguas is the mouth of the Cachiyacu, which is
navigable for large canoes, from January to June, as far as Balza Puerto,
a considerable village, five days’ journey from Moyobamba, between which
and the ports of the Amazon this river is the general route. It also
serves as a means of communication with the many villages which dot the
fine country between the Marañon and the Huallaga, so that Yurimaguas is
probably destined to become an important place in the future. Laguna, 44
leagues below Chasuta, and four above the mouth of the Huallaga, has a
population of 1,044. Urarinas, a village on the Amazon, five leagues from
the mouth of the Huallaga, contains only 80 inhabitants, but the immense
number in the vicinity of the trees which produce gum copal mark it as an
important place in the future. Nauta, on the right bank of the Amazon, 46
leagues below the junction of the Huallaga, has a population of 1,000.
It is to this place that Brazil, by treaty with Peru, has engaged to run
steamers, under the Brazilian flag, from Pará, the contractors to have
the monopoly of steam-boat navigation on the Amazon for thirty years,
with an annual bonus of 100,000 dollars for the first fifteen. The voyage
is to be performed by two steamers, one ascending the Amazon from Pará,
the other descending it from Nauta, and meeting the up boat at Barra.
Passing Omaguas, with its 240 inhabitants, Iquitos with its 227, and
Arau with its 80, the mouth of the Napo is reached; and thirteen leagues
lower down is Pebas, with a population of 387. This place is embosomed
in the immense forest, producing in abundance sarsaparilla, vanilla,
storax, copal, caoutchouc, and wax, which may be obtained from the
Indians in exchange for cotton goods, needles, beads, &c. Thirty-four
pounds of sarsaparilla may be bought for 24 yards of common cotton, and
other articles at a like proportionate price; but the great sarsaparilla
country is along the banks of the Ucayali and the Ahuaytia, where 100
lbs. of the drug, which are worth fully £5 at Pará, and twice as much in
Europe, may be bought for eight yards of cotton.

As an illustration of the circumambulatory manner in which the commerce
of this extensive region is carried on, let us trace the progress of the
cotton goods from the warehouse in Liverpool to the banks of the Ucayali.
The goods have to be carried round Cape Horn to Callao, where duty is
charged upon them, and whence it is conveyed to Lima, and across the
Andes, on the backs of mules. Freight, land carriage, and commission cost
more than the goods, and in about twelve months from the time of their
leaving Liverpool they reach the mouth of the Ucayali, whence they are
sent up by boat to Sarayacu, the centre of the sarsaparilla country, a
distance of 300 miles. It is now exchanged for 100 lbs. of sarsaparilla,
the value of which is 9 dollars at Nauta, 10½ at Tabatinga, 25 at Pará,
and from 40 to 60, according to the markets, in Liverpool. The voyage is
long, tedious, and circumgyratory, but the profits are enormous. Now,
if the navigation of the Amazon were free, and ports of entry, open to
all nations, were established at such places as Chasuta and Nauta, not
only would the trade be considerably increased, to the benefit of both
parties, but the people of Peru and Brazil instead of eight yards of
cotton for 100 lbs. of sarsaparilla, would get three or four hundred
yards. Such will soon be the case.

Concerning the cost and profit of steam vessels on the Amazon, and the
arrangements that would have to be made, Lieut. Herndon says:—

‘I have estimated the annual cost of running a small steamer
between Loreto, the frontier port of Peru and Chasuta,
a distance of eight hundred miles, entirely within the
Peruvian territory, at twenty thousand dollars, including the
establishment of blacksmiths’ and carpenters’ shops at Nauta
for her repairs. According to the estimate of Arebalo, (and
I judge that he is very nearly correct,) the value of the
imports and exports to and from Brazil is twenty thousand
dollars annually. I have no doubt that the appearance of a
steamer in these waters would at once double the value; for it
would, in the first place, convert the thousand men who are
now employed in the fetching and carrying of the articles of
trade into producers, and would give a great impulse to trade
by facilitating it. A loaded canoe takes eighty days to ascend
these eight hundred miles. A steamer will do it in twelve,
giving ample time to take in wood, to land and receive cargo at
the various villages on the river, and to lay by at night.’

Nearly midway between Loreto and Barra, and near the mouths of the
Jurua, the Yapurá, and the Teffé, is Egas, with a population of about
800, which is the most thriving place above Barra. It has eight or ten
commercial houses that carry on a brisk trade between Peru and Pará,
besides employing agents to ascend the neighbouring rivers, and collect
from the Indians the produce of the country. Schooners of between 30 and
40 tons average five months in the round trip between Egas and Pará, a
distance of 1250 miles, the expenses being 150 dollars, including wages
and rations of crew, and a tax of 13 per cent. Sarsaparilla and salt-fish
are the principal exports, which are sold at Pará for double what they
cost at Egas, to which the vessels return with cotton goods, earthenware,
and hardware, all of the commonest description, to be sold at an advance
of 20 per cent. on Pará prices. There are five vessels engaged in this
trade, making two trips a year, so that the annual value of the trade
between Egas and Pará may be estimated at 38,000 dollars. Between Egas
and Peru it is about 20,000 dollars. The vessels engaged in this trade
are not well adapted to it; they are too broad in the beam, and their
sails are two small, so that the voyage occupies a great deal more time
than it might be performed in by clipper-built and properly rigged

The Comarca of the Rio Negro, one of the territorial divisions of the
immense province of Pará, has, within the last year, been erected into
a province, with the title of Amazonas. A custom-house will probably
soon be established at Barra, at the mouth of the Rio Negro, for the
collection of the duties now paid at Pará, and there can be no doubt that
commercial enterprise will, in a few years, bring the manufactures of
Europe from Demerara by the Essequibo and the Rio Branco. The president
of the new province, Senhor Joâo B. de F. T. Aranha, is labouring for
the good of the district, and has had many conferences with the chiefs
of the Indian tribes with the view of inducing them to settle and engage
in systematic agricultural labour. Lieutenant Herndon was told that
Brazil would give titles to vacant lands to any foreigners who would
settle there, and the President expressed a wish that he would bring out
a thousand Americans to set an example of energy and industry to the
natives.[63] The value in dollars of the exports of the entire Comarca
in 1840 was as follows:—Sarsaparilla, 12,000; oil of turtle-eggs, 6,000;
salt fish, 4,250; coffee, 1,000; copaiba, 1,000; tobacco, 720; cocoa,
600; heavy boards, 600; hammocks, 500; Brazil nuts, 350; pitch, tow,
hides, tapioca, &c., 1,203; total, 28,323. That the trade is increasing
will be seen by the exports of the town of Barra alone for the year 1850,
the value of which in dollars was as follows: Salt-fish, 7,001; Brazil
nuts, 5,203; sarsaparilla, 3,144; oil of turtle-eggs, 1,818; piasaba,
1,802[64]; ropes, 896; cocoa, 631; hammocks, 785; coffee, 474; tobacco,
616; planks, 250; Brazilian nutmegs, 100[65]; copaiba, hides, tow, &c.,
304; total, 22,975. It will be seen that the exports of Barra alone in
1850 were not in value far below those of the whole province in 1840. It
is probable that the value of the imports is nearly double that of the
exports, so that the trade of Barra with Pará may fairly be estimated at
£15,000 per annum.

The population of Barra in 1848 was 3,848 persons; the marriages in the
year had been 115, the births 250, and the deaths 25. The number of
inhabited houses was 470, so that upon an average of five persons to each
family, there must be nearly two families to every house; but 234 of
the population were slaves, and probably the children exceed the adults
in a greater proportion than the usual ratio of three to two. The Rio
Negro, opposite the town, is a mile and a half wide, and very beautiful.
It is navigable for almost any draught as far as Rio Maraya, a distance
of about 400 miles; there the rapids commence, and the further ascent
must be made in canoes. A few miles above Barcellos is the mouth of the
river Quiuni, which is known to run nearly up to the Yapurá; and nearly
opposite to San Isabel, two days journey from Barcellos, is the mouth
of the Jurubashea, which also runs up to within a very short distance
of the same river. Between these rivers the country is very low, and is
often inundated; it is from this place that the Brazilian nutmegs are
brought. Just above San Isabel great quantities of Brazil nuts are grown,
and a little further up is the mouth of the Cababuri, where the finest
sarsaparilla is produced. Cocoa of very superior quality is produced in
abundance about San Carlos, at the mouth of the Cassiquiari, which is the
frontier port of Venezuela. Most of the vessels which ply both on the Rio
Negro and the Orinoco are built at this place, the Cassiquiari forming a
natural canal connecting those two rivers. Lieutenant Herndon calculates
that a flat-bottomed iron-steamer, constructed to pass the rapids, would
make seventy-five miles a day against the current on the Rio Negro, and
125 miles a day with the current on the Orinoco. The distance from Barra
to San Carlos is about 660 miles, from thence to the Orinoco 180 miles,
from the junction of the Cassiquiari and the Orinoco to Angostura 780
miles, and from Angostura to the mouth of the Orinoco 250 miles. The
voyage between Barra and the mouth of the last-named river might thus
be made by such a vessel in 19½ days, allowing time to take in wood and
receive and discharge cargo; and a canal cut through the isthmus of
Tuamini would shorten the voyage by five days.[66]

The Rio Branco, the principal tributary of the Negro, is navigable for
large craft for about 300 miles from its mouth, but from thence it is
interrupted by rapids, only passable by flat-bottomed boats. Its banks
are very thickly wooded below the rapids, but above them the country
is a wide plain, which affords pasturage to immense herds of cattle.
The downward passage from San Joachim, near the sources of the river,
to Barra, a distance of 500 miles, may be made in twelve days; but the
ascent is very tedious, owing to the rapids and the strong north-easterly

Scarcely any attempt at regular cultivation has yet been made in any
part of Amazonas; but the natural productions of its teeming soil are
numerous as they are varied and valuable. The forests contain many trees
which afford solid and durable timber, and others that furnish excellent
cabinet woods, among which may be mentioned the beautiful _muirapinima_,
or tortoise-shell wood. There are numerous plants, unknown in Europe,
famous for their medicinal uses; and others which produce valuable
resins and oils. Wild cotton, with a fine glossy fibre, like silk, grows
abundantly, and is used at Guayaquil to stuff mattresses. Some silk
manufacturers in France, to whom specimens of this cotton were sent by
Mr. Clay, the United States chargé d’affaires at Lima, thought that,
mixed with silk, a cheap and pretty fabric might be wove from it.

Santarem, a mile above the mouth of the Tapajos, which is there a mile
and a half wide, is the largest town in the province after Pará. In 1849
the population was 6,768, the number of marriages 32, of births 289, of
deaths 42; but in this return is included the inhabitants of a large
surrounding district. Lieut. Herndon estimated the population of the
town alone at about 2,000. There is a church, and two or three primary
schools. The situation is picturesque, and there are many agreeable rides
in the environs. It is a thriving town, as is shown by the increase
in the exports between 1843 and 1846. For three months of the former
year the quantity of cocoa exported was 12,808 arrobas, and in the same
period of 1846 it was 19,940 arrobas. Sarsaparilla increased from 665 to
4,836 arrobas, pitch from 64 to 933, tobacco from 499 to 3,352, cloves
from 226 to 998, cotton from 24 to 226, oil of copaiba from 427 pots to
3,056 pots, and oil of turtle-eggs from 420 to 1,628 pots. Hides and
piasaba rope appear in the list for the first time in 1846, the number
of the former exported being 664. The trade in farina had considerably
decreased, probably owing to the increased importation of flour from
the United States. The trade between Santarem and Pará is carried on in
schooners of about a hundred tons, of which there were five or six lying
off the town when Mr. Herndon was there. The average passage downward is
thirteen, and upward twenty-five days.

From Santarem to Itaituba, a distance of about 200 miles, the Tapajos
is navigable for large vessels, though the current is very strong; but
above the latter place the ascent can be made only by boats, as there are
fifteen or twenty rapids to pass, where the boats have to be unloaded,
and the cargoes carried round on the backs of the crew. At one or two of
the rapids the boat itself has to be hauled over the land. The voyage to
the head of navigation on the Rio Preto occupies about two months. From
this point the cargoes are carried on the backs of mules to Diamantino,
a distance of fifteen miles, and from thence to Cuiaba, the capital of
the rich province of Matto Grosso, a further distance of ninety miles.
In 1850 a nearer route was discovered, by ascending the Arinos, below
the mouth of the Preto, and employing oxen to drag the boat eighteen
miles to the river Cuiaba, which is navigable thence to the town of that
name; but, for some reason or other, the trade is still carried on by the
old route. Cuiaba receives from Santarem salt, iron, wines, arms, and
earthenware, which it pays for with diamonds, gold-dust, and hides. M.
Alphonse M. de Lincourt, who ascended the Tapajos a few years since, says
that the forests, which extend from its banks far away on both sides,
are inhabited by hostile Indians, who paint and tattoo themselves, and
wear caps of feathers, and collars and bracelets of beads, shells, and
jaguars’ teeth. The Mundrucus, the most warlike tribe of the Amazon,
number from fifteen to twenty thousand warriors, and are the terror of
all the other tribes.

Ninety miles below Santarem is the village of Prainha, situate on a green
eminence on the left bank of the Amazon, with a population of about 500.
Fifty-five miles below this place is the mouth of the little river Parú,
our only knowledge of which is derived from the Indians, who report that
the country through which it flows produces sarsaparilla and cloves, but
that its current is very strong, its course broken by rapids, and the
Indians who live on its banks are hostile. Seventy miles below the mouth
of the river, and on the right bank, is the village of Gurupá, with a
population of 300, and a small trade in caoutchouc. Near this place is
the mouth of the Xingù, of which very little is known; but the municipal
judge of Porto de Moz, near its mouth, who met Mr. Herndon at the house
of the military commandant of Gurupá, informed that gentleman that it was
obstructed by rapids within four days’ journey from its mouth, and that
boats could not ascend far up on account of the hostility of the Indian
tribes on its banks.

Thirty-five miles below Gurupá the Amazon spreads out to a width of
nearly 150 miles, but it is divided into numerous channels by a multitude
of islands, the principal of which is Marajó, which contains about
10,000 square miles, and occupies about the middle of the river. The
village of Breves, on this island, exports annually to Pará about 3,000
arrobas of caoutchouc: it has a church and several shops, and has a
thriving appearance. Three days’ sailing lower down is the mouth of
the Tocantins, which falls into the Bay of Limoeiro, a deep and wide
indentation of the right bank of the Amazon. The Tocantins, according
to M. Castelnau, who descended it in 1846, is an almost continuous
succession of cataracts and rapids; but by unloading the boats at three
places, and dragging them with ropes, it can be ascended as high as Porto
Imperial, the voyage to which place from Pará occupies from four to five
months, but, owing to the fall in the river, the downward voyage may be
performed in from twenty-five to thirty days.

The opening of new markets to commercial enterprise must always
tend to increase the prosperity of the countries concerned, and the
free navigation of the Amazon has become a question of the greatest
importance. According to General Villamil, the Secretary of State of
the republic of Equador, the Pastaça is navigable nearly up to Quito,
and nothing is wanting but the removal of the restrictions which have
unwisely been placed upon the navigation of the Amazon to enable the
merchants of Europe and the United States to send the manufactured
goods of their respective countries to the very foot of the Andes, and
take back in exchange the raw produce with which the Atlantic slopes of
those mountains so largely abound. But because the mouth of the river is
within Brazil, she once persisted in shutting out New Grenada, Equador,
Bolivia,[67] and Peru from the advantages which the Creator, in rolling
its broad stream through their fertile plains and teeming valleys,
intended they should enjoy. The reciprocal interests of all nations now
imperatively demand that the barrier which these restrictions present to
the progress of civilization in the interior of South America should be
removed. One of the first results of the opening up of the vast regions
watered by the Amazon and its tributaries to Anglo-Saxon enterprise would
be a large influx of immigrants, and this is precisely what is wanted
to develope the boundless natural resources of those countries.[68]
Brazil is alive to the necessity. Persons unacquainted with the country,
forming their opinion from other tropical regions, are apt to conclude
that the climate is unhealthy, but this is very far from being the case.
Similarity of latitude by no means produces similarity of climate; for
England and Labrador are under the same parallel, but how different the
climates of the two countries. The elevation of a country is a better
means of estimating its climate than its latitude, and the extent of wood
and water have also to be taken into account. The province of Caxamarca
which is watered by the Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon, is one of
the most healthy portions of the globe. Mr. Edwards, who, as already
observed, ascended the Amazon in 1846, and resided some time at Pará,

‘It seems singular that, directly under the equator, where,
through a clear atmosphere, the sun strikes vertically upon the
earth, the heat should be less oppressive than in the latitude
of New York; this is owing to several causes. The days are but
twelve hours long, and the earth does not become so intensely
heated as where they are sixteen. The vast surface of water
constantly cools the air by its evaporation, and removes the
irksome dryness that, in temperate regions, renders a less
degree of heat insupportable. And, finally, the constant winds
blowing from the sea refresh and invigorate the system.’

He adds that the temperature is so equable, that the climate is
peculiarly favourable to health, that no form of epidemic disease is
known, and that the average duration of life is probably as high as in
New York. The salubrity of the climate,[69] therefore, the fertility of
the soil, its mineral riches, and the number and length of its navigable
rivers, combine to render the region watered by the Amazon and its
tributaries a most eligible field for the emigrant.[70] All that the
country wants is increased facilities for commerce and for developing its
immense natural resources, and these would be given to it by the opening
of the Amazon and immigration.[71]




Climate of Brazil.—Its salubrity.—Proofs of, causes of,
objections to.—Northern, southern, and central provinces.
—Equability of temperature.—Heat.—Humidity.—Rain.—Winds.—
Electricity.—Hail.—Ice.—Tropical heat and light.—Influence on
Europeans.—In health and in disease.—Acclimatization.—Increase
of certain diseases.—Others modified.—Insanity.—Yellow
fever.—Its probable disappearance.—Ancient writers on
the epidemics of Brazil: Rocha Pita, Père Labat, Fereira
da Rosa.—Physical, social, and moral condition of the
Brazilians.—Habits and religion of the people.—Prophylactic

In a publication like the present, any elaborate disquisition on the
climate and people of Brazil would be obviously misplaced, at the same
time that a brief notice of these important subjects should not be
altogether omitted. The Brazilian empire placed chiefly in the southern
hemisphere, extending from 4° 20″ N. lat. to 33° 55″ S., is widely
intersected by lakes rivers and mountains, and bounded by the South
Atlantic, by the highest mountains, and by the two most magnificent
rivers in the world: it enjoys, beyond dispute, one of the finest
climates of the globe, and may be fairly designated as ‘the Italy’ of
the New World. The heat, intense at Pará on the equator, moderates as
we approach the central provinces of the empire, and becomes altogether
European on reaching the southern regions of Rio Grande and the Uruguay;
whilst the climate of the entire line of coast is tempered by a cool
and never-failing breeze. It should however be borne in mind that
climate cannot be justly measured by latitude, and that we must, in all
instances, take into consideration the position and the elevation of the
district, the nature and surface of the soil, and its consequent capacity
for the absorption and the radiation of heat. First, then, as regards
heat, which may be termed the distinctive element of the climate of

The mean heat of Brazil ranges from 88° to 81° F., according to the
different seasons of the year.

RIO GRANDE DO SUL.—The summer temperature is 87° to 88°; the winter, 40°
to 44°.

SAINT CATHERINE.—The summer heat never passes 90° in the sun; and
descends to 54° in winter—June and July.

SAINT PAUL.—Mean temperature, 72°.

MINAS GERAES.—Max., 84° summer; min., 54° winter.

RIO JANEIRO.—The mean temperature of 30 years was 73°: in December, the
max., 89½°; min., 70°; mean, 79°; in July (coldest month), max., 79°;
min., 66°; mean, 73½°.

BAHIA.—Summer: 74° morning; noon, 80°; evening, 75½°.

PERNAMBUCO.—Summer: Varies from 77° to 86°, with a slight decline in the
rainy season.

CEARA.—95° in the hottest months; 83° in the coldest.

MARANHAM.—St. Louis reaches 93°; and Pará, on the line, maintains about
the same temperature.

The hottest period of the day, on the sea coast, is about 11 a.m., when
the sea-breeze commonly sets in and moderates the temperature. The
thermometer ranges in the northern provinces on the coast, at midday, 75°
to 77° from March to September, and 77° to 85° from September to March;
whilst at forty to fifty miles inland a high range of temperature almost
invariably prevails. The barometrical variations are less extensive than
those of the thermometer; but the range of the hygrometer is considerable
in the southern provinces. The object, however, of the present work
prohibits our entering minutely on these questions, or on the geology
of Brazil; and we must therefore refer our readers to the scientific
labours of M.M. Eschwège, Sellow, Spix and Martius, and Saint Hilaire,
and especially to the valuable and more recent investigations of M.
Pissis, who has explored the country from 13° to 26° south latitude, and
40° to 52° west longitude, including in this vast polygon the provinces
of Minas Geraes, St. Paul, Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, and Bahia.[72]
The observations of Herschel, Humboldt and others, prove that both heat
and cold, up to 34th degree of latitude, are much more moderate in the
southern than in the northern hemisphere; in addition to which, Brazil,
covered by extensive forests and consequent moisture, the surface
clothed with perpetual verdure, from which the solar heat is but feebly
reflected, its skies ever bright and a never-failing breeze, constitute a
climate of unequalled mildness in any other region of the tropical world.

HUMIDITY: This grand and universal source of vegetable life in high
latitudes is infinitely more detrimental to man than even the highest
solar heat. Humidity, indeed, is the great modifier of all climates, and
constitutes the chief element of their insalubrity. The hygrometrical
variations of Brazil have been studied by numerous observers, amongst
whom the most accurate as well as the most recent is M. Pissis, and to
his conclusions we shall briefly allude, confining ourselves to the
climate of the capital, Rio de Janeiro, which, notwithstanding its clear
atmosphere, holds in solution just double the quantity of aqueous vapour
sustained by the sombre, foggy air of Paris! a fact explained however by
the high temperature of the one, as compared with the low temperature of
the other, the capacity of air for retaining moisture being in nearly
exact proportion to its temperature. M. Pissis arrives at the following

1. From May to October, when the air is serene, the quantity of vapour
varies little throughout the day. During the other months, the minimum
corresponds with sunrise, and attains its maximum about 4 p.m.; but the
variations are trifling.

2. That on rainy days the air is always near its point of saturation,
though the amount of vapour dissolved little exceeds that of the
preceding clear weather: this is due to the lower temperature of the
rainy days.

3. That humidity increases from the month of June to February, when
it attains its maximum, which is about double that of June; from this
maximum it declines until it reaches its former amount in June and July.

4. That the absorbing power of the air is lowest at sunrise, and attains
its maximum about 2 p.m., the hottest period of the day. In like manner
as regards the year, it augments in proportion as the sun advances to the
southern tropic, and attains its maximum in December and January, and
then declines until the cloudy months of June and July.

RAIN: The wet season sets in at different epochs along the coast of
Brazil, and is subject to great variation. At RIO the rains commonly
commence in March, and last till September; at ST. PAUL, in October
and November, and continue till April; whilst at ST. CATHERINE the
four seasons are, as in Europe, pretty distinctly defined—July and
the following three months wet, cloudy, and boisterous. These latter
provinces, placed just beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, enjoy the
advantages of a tropical climate without its inconveniences. RIO GRANDE
DO SUL is wet and stormy in the winter months, but otherwise healthy. In
the provinces north of RIO, including BAHIA and PERNAMBUCO, the rains
set in commonly about the end of March, and continue until August;
and as we follow the coast to the equator, including the provinces of
CEARA, MARANHAM, and PARÁ, storms are frequent, and the rains commence
in December or January; August, September, October, and November being
the dryest or summer months. The foregoing may be taken as the rule,
but the exceptions are numerous; and the winter of the coast does not
extend beyond 100 miles into the interior, which is watered, chiefly, by
frequent storms.

WINDS: The general winds of tropical regions are eastern; and in Brazil
the prevailing currents along the coast, from St. Catherine to Maranham,
are E.S.E., and S.S.E., during the southern, and E.N.E. and N.N.E.
during the northern monsoon; subject however to much irregularity. The
land breeze sets in from 9 to 11 p.m., and lasts till morning, increasing
in force and regularity as we approach the equator; and its strength is
generally in proportion to that of the sea breeze which precedes it. As
in other tropical countries, the sea breeze prevails more in the hot,
and the land breeze in the cold season of the year; they favour the
appearance of certain maladies and check others, and constitute, after
heat and moisture the chief element in the determination of disease—the
salubrity of any country depending more, perhaps, on its winds than on
its latitude.

ELECTRICITY: All tropical regions are distinguished by intensity of
electrical phenomena, and Brazil forms no exception to the law. Réaumur
maintains, and we believe justly, that a difference of 5° in the
thermometer decidedly affects the nervous system; and that all living
organisms are powerfully influenced by electrical changes no close
observer in equatorial regions can for an instant question. In Brazil,
the most intense variations are noticed about the change of the monsoons,
and the storms of lightning and thunder originating in the great chain of
the Organ Mountains, which burst over Rio, are grand and awful beyond
the possibility of description; whilst the profound influence of these
changes on individuals is strongly pourtrayed in the moral and physical
prostration of some, and the high nervous excitement of others. Saussure
has shown that an excess of watery saturation diminishes atmospheric
pressure; and the effect of certain conditions of the atmosphere on the
human economy in tropical climates cannot for a moment be denied: for
example, when the weather is wet and cloudy, the sun obscured, and the
air calm; all animal life languishes. The Brazilians distinguish this
state of atmosphere by a particular term, ‘mormaço,’ and during its
continuance, especially in summer, the mental and bodily powers of man
seem alike paralysed, and are only restored to activity when the rain has
descended and the breeze resumed its power over the close and stagnant
atmosphere. Here electricity plays an important part. In connection with
this subject, it is remarkable that Brazil should have hitherto escaped
those formidable earthquakes which have so often desolated the fairest
regions of South America. FOGS are rare in Brazil, and seen only in the
morning, on low and marshy grounds, and in the neighbourhood of rivers
and lakes. HAIL often falls in Minas, St. Paul, and the south, and even
occasionally at Rio. ICE is sometimes met with at Rio Grande in the
winter, and even on the Organ Mountains, close to Rio, but never snow.
WATERSPOUTS have been, at long intervals, observed on the coast and in
the interior; the last of any importance was observed at San Marcos in

Based on the foregoing and other data, we shall now submit certain
general conclusions on the climate of Brazil, and its influence on the
human constitution in health and disease; these conclusions must be taken
as more especially referring to the seaboard and the large cities on the
coast; and the reader should bear in mind that some allowance must also
be made for the difference in position and latitude of the northern,
the southern, and the central provinces. We would further premise, that
these observations are founded on our own personal experience of nearly a
quarter of a century, and prior to the advent of the yellow fever which,
for the last four or five years, has infested the maritime cities of the
empire, and on which we shall presently offer some remarks.

The great characteristic of Brazil, as compared with other countries,
is the general equability of its climate, and which constitutes, in
fact, the chief element of its salubrity. This unparalleled uniformity
of temperature must be chiefly ascribed to the absence of high and
mountainous regions, and of all arid and sandy deserts, aided by the
genial influence of refreshing showers at all seasons of the year; it
is further maintained by the perpetual verdure of the country, and
by a cool, powerful, and never-failing monsoon, laden with moisture,
and sweeping along the entire line of coast direct from the Southern
Atlantic. Thus, even in the height of summer, the diurnal heat is rarely
found oppressive to the European, and the nights are almost invariably
serene and beautiful, and unattended with much deposition of dew,
especially in the northern and central provinces; so that the delightful
coolness of tropical moonlight may be enjoyed undisturbed by those
visions of fever and malaria which float before the imagination in less
favoured lands. If precautions be observed to avoid exposure to direct
currents of air, the windows of the sleeping chamber may also be left
open with impunity at all seasons of the year; an advantage that can
scarcely be over estimated in high latitudes, as disposing to sound and
refreshing sleep; which, more perhaps than any other influence enables
the European constitution to resist the deleterious effects of climate,
just as a succession of hot and sleepless nights invariably predisposes
the human system to be impressed by every tropical malady.

In proof of the singular salubrity of Brazil, we need only state that,
until within the last four years, although its provinces have been at
intervals visited by revolutions, wars, and famine, the country has
hitherto escaped from all those epidemic and endemic scourges—_yellow
fever_, _cholera_, _influenza_, _typhus_, and _dysentery_—which have
so frequently desolated other, and the fairest regions of the globe.
In this favoured land the solar heat proves scarcely less influential
and salutary to animal than to vegetable life; and years of subsequent
exhaustion can never entirely efface from the recollection of the
European sojourner the buoyancy of spirit, unclouded mind, and exquisite
appreciation of mere animal existence which marked the first years of his
residence in Brazil. These vivid sensations may be in part determined by
the novelty and splendour of a New World, its brilliant skies, perpetual
verdure, and the variety, luxuriance, and beauty of its vegetable
life; but they are chiefly due to the direct influence of the heat and
light of a tropical sun, supplying a new and powerful stimulus to the
performance of all the functions of animal and organic life. The medal,
unfortunately, has its reverse: this favourable condition of the animal
economy proves, as in vegetable life under similar circumstances, but
of limited duration; and from five to seven years may be set down as
the average period at which a tropical residence begins to affect the
European constitution to such an extent as to influence longevity or
injure health; the precise epoch being determined by the constitution,
occupation, predisposition, and habits of the individual. It should be
here stated that the month of April is that best suited to the stranger’s
arrival in Brazil, as affording time for his gradual acclimatisation
to the summer heat of December, January, and February; though we may
observe, and the fact is singular, that the European suffers but little
inconvenience from the highest temperature during the first years of his
residence, just as the Brazilian seldom complains of the winter cold on
his first arrival in Europe. The chief objection to the climate is, in
addition to high temperature, its great humidity; shown in the rapid
decomposition of all organized, and certain inorganic matter, the quick
oxidation of metals, deliquescence of salts, destruction of wood, &c.
&c.; and after a certain interval, the depression of moral and physical
energy in man. The deleterious effects of this condition of atmosphere
on the animal economy is happily tempered, if not entirely corrected in
Brazil, by the general equability of its climate, and the influence of
a cool and _never-failing breeze_, so that a stagnant, or even calm,
state of the atmosphere is almost entirely unknown. Were this otherwise,
the chief cities of Brazil inundated by the most offensive animal and
vegetable exhalations,[73] and with an almost total neglect of those
policial and sanatory regulations so essential to the public health in
other countries, would, we are satisfied, prove no less fatal to man than
the charnel houses of Africa and the West Indies.

In estimating, however, the influence of climate on the public health,
the moral and physical condition of the people demands especial
consideration. The Brazilian is in general well-formed, compact, and
of healthy organization, but not of athletic frame. His intellectual
faculties are acute, though little developed by cultivation. Descended
from European ancestors, he has still a considerable admixture of
African, and some native American blood. He is indolent by nature, and
indisposed for active exertion or industry; but he is protected against
the evil influence of the former on his health by a simple and abstemious
diet, and the injurious consequences of the latter to his social position
are obviated by the fact that the four great wants of the humbler classes
in Europe press but lightly on the Brazilian. Fuel he scarcely requires,
clothing but little; his primitive habitation is simply constructed, and
one day’s labour will amply provide for the moderate demands of the whole
week. With passions naturally quick, he is nevertheless placable; his
disposition is kindly; the future rarely disturbs him with its doubts,
or the past with its regrets: the struggles and vicissitudes of European
life are unknown. The contentions of party, the yearnings of ambition,
the bitterness of fanaticism, never disturb his repose; and after
gliding down the stream of time, unscathed by the tumultuous passions
and harassing cares which so frequently embitter the existence and
undermine the constitution of man in other countries, he meets at length
the inevitable doom, if not with philosophy, at least with resignation,
satisfied of his claims to eternal felicity in the confident assurance of
an infallible church.

From the preceding account of Brazil and its inhabitants, we would be
led to conclude, _à priori_, that disease would there assume a mild and
tractable character; and this inference we find fully borne out, until
within the last twenty years, by the medical and general history of the
country. Within the last thirty years, however, vast changes—moral,
social, and political—have been developed in Brazil, and it interests
alike the philosopher and the physician to mark how profoundly these
changes have already impressed and modified the manners, habits, and
diseases—nay, even the physiognomy of its people. After a brief struggle,
the establishment of Brazil as an independent empire was effected
in 1823; and since that epoch the country and its population have
undergone a series of remarkable and comprehensive political and social
changes. From the strict and simple forms of despotic government they
have passed, at a bound, to one almost of license; including household
suffrage, popular legislative assemblies (imperial and provincial),
open courts of law, trial by jury, local justices, and a national guard
elected on popular principles. This sudden and premature concession of
political privileges to a people yet in the infancy of civilization has
been naturally attended by great and numerous evils, mingled, it must
be admitted, with many and great advantages. In the intoxication of a
new-born freedom, the empire has committed numerous excesses; province
has been arrayed against province, in a succession of intestine broils;
the laws have been inefficiently or corruptly administered; and a lax
morality has but too generally pervaded the whole community. On the other
hand, an extensive and well-organized system of national education has
been established throughout the empire; the slumbering intellectual
powers of the nation have been aroused; wealth and intelligence
developed; political and military ambition awakened; commercial
enterprise created; agriculture revived; and of all those mighty powers
which move and mould societies, the controlling influence of religion has
alone remained stationary. The priesthood, deprived of wealth, power, and
influence, has utterly-lost its _prestige_, unless, perhaps, with the
very lowest classes of the community—a question of curious speculation as
regards the cause, and of vast importance as regards its future results
on the character and institutions of the Brazilian people. In addition to
the foregoing rapid transition of society into new forms and combinations
of social existence, we find the face of the country changed by the
march of civilization and agricultural improvement,—woods cleared, roads
opened, internal and external navigation developed, population largely
increased, and the great maritime cities of the empire assuming an
importance second to none, and superior to most, of the cities of the new

Coeval with these great and rapidly advancing changes, we can already
discern some of those evils too commonly attendant on increased wealth,
luxury, and intelligence: anxieties, excesses, passions are largely
multiplied, and the medical observer cannot fail to distinguish, amongst
certain ranks of the hitherto contented and indolent Brazilians,
unequivocal traces of that premature ‘wear and tear,’ so strongly and
painfully characteristic of high civilization. It now only remains that
we should briefly notice the extent to which certain great classes of
disease have been influenced and modified by the preceding moral and
physical agencies. This is chiefly manifested in the increasing number
of cerebral and pulmonary maladies, and diseases of the heart and great
vessels. Insanity has also become much more frequent than formerly,
though still rare as compared with other nations; which, indeed, might
be inferred from the fact that the ‘Mad Doctor’ is a species of the
profession as yet unknown to Brazil. Suppurative inflammation of the
liver has increased, but of all the acute diseases, fevers have been the
most profoundly modified; they partake much more generally of the low,
or asthenic character, and assume the remittent and continued type, and
are greatly more fatal in their results than formerly. This naturally
brings us to the important question of the ‘yellow fever,’ which for the
last four or five years has ravaged the great maritime cities of the
empire. Its origin has given rise to the most conflicting views, amongst
the best observers;—for example, Dr. Pennell of Rio, and Dr. Paterson of
Bahia, both men of undoubted talent and great professional experience,
entertain precisely opposite opinions; the former contending for the
indigenous, the latter for the foreign origin of the disease; and both
offer cogent arguments and striking facts in support of these opposite
conclusions. The scope of this work does not admit of medical discussion,
yet as the facts observed by Dr. Pennell are highly important, and as
his conclusions entirely coincide with our own experience, we will
condense them here. Dr. Pennell states that for some years the fevers of
the country had been clearly changing their character, that the genuine
remittent had been little seen for three years; that it was replaced in
1847, ’48, and ’49, by a fever of its own class, popularly known as the
‘polka fever,’ but in reality a remittent; and that this fever was,
in its turn, superseded by the ‘yellow fever,’ a disease with similar
features: he adds the following words, ‘coincident with these and other
changes in the diseases of Brazil, the climate, in its broad features,
has altered strangely: thunder-storms, formerly of daily occurrence,
at a certain hour, during the summer, are now but seldom heard, &c.,’
and concludes, ‘that bilious remittent and yellow fever are essentially
the same disease,’—a proposition entirely in accordance with my own
experience in Brazil and other countries. The abettors of the foreign
origin of yellow fever insist that it was imported by a certain ship
from New Orleans into Bahia, and thence diffused throughout the empire;
whilst the facts adduced by Dr. Pennell go far to establish, as already
stated, its indigenous parentage. In support of this opinion we have the
strong additional fact that, for the last forty years, there has existed
uncontrolled by any efficient quarantine laws, an extensive intercourse
with the United States, Africa, and the West Indies, the very hot-beds of
yellow fever; and yet, up to 1849, Brazil remained perfectly healthy. Can
we then in reason believe, if the disease be deemed really importable,
that the maritime cities of Brazil could, under such circumstances, have
escaped infection for a period of forty years? It is moreover important
to know that several of the older writers, as Rocha Pita in 1666, Père
Labat in 1686, Fereira da Rosa in 1694, have recorded the appearance
of epidemics closely resembling the yellow fever, and which, after
persisting for some years and desolating several of the large cities
on the coast, finally passed away. Some seventy years ago, the capital
itself was visited by an epidemic fever no less fatal to the population
than that from which it now suffers.

From the above and other facts, we are firmly convinced that the yellow
fever which now afflicts Brazil is not an _imported_ disease, but owes
its origin to certain obscure atmospheric disturbances, embracing
variations of temperature, hygrometric influence, electrical tension,
atmospheric pressure, &c.; and judging from the previous history of
Brazil, we believe that these unfavourable conditions are but temporary
and will pass away, and that the country will again resume its former
character of unparalleled salubrity amongst the tropical regions of the

PROPHYLACTIC MEASURES.—A few words on the precautions to be adopted by
temporary as well as permanent residents in Brazil may perhaps prove
useful. In the first place, all the ordinary hygienic laws should be
attended to; the habitation selected should be in a dry locality,
on a moderate elevation, and well ventilated, but at the same time
protected against strong currents of wind; lengthened or direct exposure
to the sun’s rays should be avoided, and all sudden vicissitudes of
temperature guarded against. Loose waistcoats without sleeves, of fine
flannel, should be worn next the skin, during the day, but never slept
in; sleeping in the open air or unprotected, should be avoided. After
exposure to rain, the clothes should be immediately changed; after
exhaustion by exercise, or from any other cause, collapse or chill must
be carefully guarded against, by avoiding for a time exposure to the cool
breeze or by taking some slight stimulant, as coffee, wine, or a little
spirits. Spirits, otherwise, should be altogether avoided, and wine
resorted to only at dinner, in great moderation, and by those accustomed
to its use. Generally, animal food should be used only at dinner; no
supper; and no stimulating drinks, _however diluted_, should be taken
between meals. Ripe fruit may be used before breakfast, and after the
middle of the day, but never after the principal meal. Moderation IN
EVERY SENSE must be observed. When compelled to go out early in the
morning, the individual should take some support. In warm and swampy
districts, over fatigue, or prolonged exposure to the sun, cannot be too
carefully avoided, and the use of quinine, in moderate doses, should
never be neglected; the cold bath, or cold sponging, every morning on
getting out of bed, should be constantly resorted to. The sleeping
apartments should be cool and well ventilated, but not exposed to strong
currents of air.

Of all the above principles, refreshing sleep is the most efficient
preservative to the European constitution against the inroads of tropical
disease; but unless the above rules are pretty closely observed, sound
and refreshing sleep in equatorial latitudes is unattainable. The
_morale_ must never be lost sight of, and a calm and cheerful disposition
of mind should be especially encouraged. The above prophylactic measures
apply with equal or greater force to the European seaman on arrival
in Brazil. In addition, awnings by day and by night are absolutely
indispensable to health. Fatigue and dockyard duties, and watering
expeditions, should never be permitted during the mid-day heat, nor
should the seaman ever be permitted to sleep out of his vessel. The high
importance of this latter injunction will be obvious from the fact that a
difference of _fifty degrees_ will be found often to obtain between the
heat of a mid-day tropical sun and the air near the earth’s surface at
sun-rise. Surely, then, we need not evoke the phantom Malaria to account
for the sudden supervention of malignant or fatal disease in seamen, or
others, exposed during sleep to such great and sudden transitions of
temperature, especially when their animal and organic powers have been
depressed by previous exertion and profuse perspiration under a tropical
sun, aided, too often, by intemperance and other excesses.

Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus.

Finally, we are profoundly convinced, by long and large observation,
that if the foregoing principles are attended to, the most formidable
localities of southern climates may be encountered with impunity, and
especially as regards that dreaded, but visionary enemy, Malaria or marsh


The sea-like Plata, to whose dread expanse,
Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course,
Our floods are rills. With unabated force,
In silent dignity they sweep along;
And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds,
And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude!
Where the sun smiles and seasons teem in vain,
Unseen, and unenjoyed. Forsaking these,
O’er peopled plains they fair-diffusive flow;
And many a nation feed; and circle safe,
In their soft bosom, many a happy isle;
The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturbed
By Christian crimes and Europe’s cruel sons.
Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep,
Whose vanquished tide, recoiling from the shock,
Yields to this liquid weight of half the globe;
And Ocean trembles for his green domain.
But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth,
This gay profusion of luxurious bliss?
This pomp of Nature? what their balmy meads,
Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain,
By vagrant birds dispersed, and wafting winds?
What their unplanted fruits? What the cool draughts,
The ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health,
Their forests yield? Their toiling insects what?
Their silky pride, and vegetable robes?
Whate’er the humanizing Muses teach;
The god-like wisdom of the tempered breast;
Progressive truth; the patient force of thought;
Investigation calm, whose silent powers
Command the world; the LIGHT that leads to HEAVEN;
Kind equal rule; the government of laws,
And all-protecting Freedom, which alone
Sustains the name and dignity of Man;
These are not theirs.—THOMSON.


NOTE TO THE PORTRAIT.—The sketch in the preceding page is copied from
an early likeness, but can hardly be considered an accurate one now. In
a book of this nature, which owes much of whatever attractiveness it
may possess to his permission to avail of the pictorial and literary
memoranda of his prolonged sojourn in South America, and especially in
a chapter on the River Plate, in whose affairs he played so important a
part in the chief crisis of its history, full biographical details of Sir
W. Gore Ouseley’s career may reasonably be anticipated. For such purpose,
however, the writer has access only to the ordinary data to be found in
works of public reference; nor, if others of a private nature were open,
would it, perhaps, be in the best taste to insert them here, as they
would necessarily be supposed to be used with an unduly partial bias.
Without entering at length into details more fitted for a genealogical
work than for our pages, it will suffice to say that, previous to the
sixteenth century, the Ouseley family was allied to several of the most
ancient and honourable patrician names of this country, and thus their
ancestry can be traced to a remote period. The Irving family, into
which the late Sir W. Ouseley (father of Sir W. Gore Ouseley) married,
is allied to the Douglases, the Rollos, and many other noble Scotch
families. Referring to ‘Burke’s Baronetage,’ and ‘Landed Gentry,’ ‘Dod’s
Knightage’ for 1854, and other cognate authorities, we find that Sir W.
G. Ouseley is descended from an ancient Shropshire family who settled in
Northamptonshire in 1571, the then head of the family, Richard Ouseley
Ouseley, having received from Queen Elizabeth, under whom he was a judge,
a grant of the estate of Courteen Hall, in that county, with many of
the most eminent families in which the Ouseleys were connected, such
as the Actons of Alderham, as also the Barons Giffard of Brinsfield,
and Barons Lestrange of Blackmere.[76] Nicholas Ouseley, a relative of
Richard Ouseley Ouseley, was envoy to the courts of Spain and Portugal,
and some of his correspondence with Sir Francis Walsingham is preserved
among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum. John, son of Richard
Ouseley, was knighted by James I. in 1603, for his gallant conduct during
the war in Ireland with the turbulent Earl of Tyrone. The diplomatic
services of Sir John are mentioned in a subsequent note, and by Purchas
in his ‘Pilgrims.’ Sir Richard Ouseley, his son, held the commission of
major in the royalist army during the civil war between Charles I. and
the Parliament, and in consequence of debts incurred in support of the
royal cause he was obliged to sell Courteen Hall in 1650. The family then
settled in Ireland, where they held Ballinasloe Castle, and afterwards
Dunmore Castle, in the county of Galway, which latter remained in the
family until the death of Major Ralph Ouseley, grandfather of Sir William
Gore Ouseley. The major was a great antiquarian, and had a very fine
collection of Irish antiquities, MSS., &c. His eldest son, Sir William
Ouseley, served in the 8th Dragoons during the unfortunate campaign in
Holland, where the British forces were commanded by the Duke of York;
but after attaining the rank of major, he abandoned war for the more
congenial pursuit of literature, and became a member of most of the
learned and scientific societies of Europe. He published ‘Travels in
Persia,’ (to which country he accompanied his brother, Sir Gore Ouseley,
in 1810,) and many other works on Eastern antiquities and literature, in
which he has left a mine of Oriental and classical learning that will
always remain a monument of his great industry and talent. Sir G. Ouseley
was the first ambassador accredited from the court of St. James’s to that
of Persia, though Sir Harford Jones, Sir John Malcolm, and others, had
previously been sent by the East India Company to that country. He was
chairman of the Oriental Translation Society, to whose papers, and those
of the Asiatic Society, he was a contributor. Sir William, who married
the daughter of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Irving, (son of General Sir
Paulus E. Irving, governor-general of Canada,) left a numerous family,
the eldest of whom, Sir William Gore Ouseley, entered the diplomatic
service at a very early age. He was attached to the mission at Stockholm
in 1817, and in 1825 was appointed paid attaché at Washington. While in
that capital, he married the daughter of Mr. Van Ness, formerly governor
of the state of Vermont, and subsequently the United States envoy at
Madrid. He was next appointed acting secretary of legation at Brussels
during Sir R. Adair’s special embassy, and subsequently at Rio Janeiro,
at which court he represented our government for several years as chargé
d’affaires. In 1844 Sir William was named minister plenipotentiary at
Buenos Ayres, and in 1845 special minister to the states of La Plata.
In tardy acknowledgment of his important diplomatic services in South
America, he received the Order of the Bath in 1852. He is the author of
‘Remarks on the Slave Trade,’ ‘South American Sketches,’ and several
political pamphlets. We cannot forbear quoting a few lines from a
critique on his ‘Remarks on the Statistics and Political Institutions
of the United States,’ in the ‘Quarterly Review’ for December, 1832,
which, although opposed to the views taken in that periodical of the
United States and their institutions, had the fairness to say,—‘We have
no desire to be severely critical on the _coup d’essai_ of a young
author—one, we believe, of a family in which diplomatic ability may be
called an hereditary possession.’ Some facts in connection with Sir
William’s memorable mission to the River Plate will be found a few pages
further on, as also in the notice of Rosas, whose enmity our minister had
the honour of provoking in an eminent degree, by firmly protecting the
persons and interests of his countrymen, and acting up to the spirit of
his instructions. How deservedly he did so will be seen when we come to
speak of one, at least, of those transactions of which the guilt has been
incontestibly fixed upon the ex-Dictator within the last few months, but
for accusing him of which at the time, our unsuspecting innocents at home
deemed the British representative very culpable indeed, or, at least,
very troublesome. Doubtless, so he was, as compared with certain of his
predecessors and successors in the same post, who quietly winked at the
atrocities of the despot without appealing to England against their