Diplomatic Relations between the United States and Brazil

By Lawrence F. Hill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
CONFEDERATE EXILES TO BRAZIL

THE THREE or four years following the dose of the Civil War in the United States witnessed an exodus of some eight or ten thousand people from the Southern states to the various countries of Latin America. Between three and four thousand of these emigrés established homes in the Brazilian empire.1

Southern interest in Brazil dates back to the antebellum days when Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury, perhaps the most ardent advocate of expansion into the tropics, was using his powerful influence to direct attention to the marvellous possibilities of the Amazon valley.2 But this early interest had become dormant and eventually might have become extinct except for the new source of stimulation furnished by the conflict over slavery. The disappointments resulting from the outcome of the struggle and the dastardly crimes connected with Reconstruction brought the Southern people to a state of desperation. A government under the control of Brownlows, carpet-baggers, scalawags, and "niggers" offered no protection to "life, liberty, and property"; certainly it would do nothing to "conserve honor, chivalry, and purity," that inestimable trinity without which life was not worth living and without which no community could be termed Christian. Moreover, such crimes as those which

____________________
1
These figures have been arrived at after a long and careful study of the whole question of expatriation following the Civil War. See an article by the writer entitled "Confederate Exiles to Brazil," in The Hispanic American Historical Review, May, 1927. But at the time this article was written the writer's investigations were in their preliminary stages.
2
Consult the preceding chapter.

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