Vila Americana, Brazil
A discussion in class today talked about Lincoln's offer to colonize a portion of Central America with freed slaves. I thought I had read about such a colony, but I was mistaken. What I was thinking of was Vila Americana, Brazil. Read on...
Another place that many Southerners left for after the close of the war was Brazil. Some 20,000 Southerners packed all of their belongings and boarded ships with names like "Talisman," "Vixen," "Red Gauntlet" and "Mariposa" at the ports of New Orleans, New York City, Mobile and Galveston.
The Brazilian government was very sentimental to the Confederate cause. When Southerners disembarked in the town of Santos there was a band there to greet them, playing "Dixie." Sometimes the leader of the band was Emperor Dom Pedro. The Emperor's government had arranged for inexpensive transportation to Brazil for the Southern emigrants. He offered them land at 22 cents per acre. Settlements were begun in the states of Espiritu Santa, Para, Parana, Minas Gerias, Pernambuco, Bahia and Sao Paulo. Only the colonies in Sao Paulo state - in Vila Americana and in the surrounding villages of Campinas, Bom Retiro and Santa Barbara d'Oeste - have survived.
These emigrants came to be known locally as "Confederados." There was one short-lived settlement along the Amazon River at Santarem. Even today, certain Amazon tribes decorate their pottery with the design of Confederate flags, the result of having encountered the colonists who chose to settle in the vast jungle. Two Confederate Generals, A.T. Hawthorne and W.W. Wood, emigrated to Brazil. Also, Ben and Dalton Yancey, sons of the Alabama secessionist Senator William Lowndes Yancey, joined the colonists in Sao Paulo state. A Texan, Fran McMulland and 152 other colonists also emigrated to Iguape (Sao Paulo state).
In the town of Vila Americana there exists a Protestant Chapel that descendants of Confederate colonists attend services in on each Sunday. Upon the altar are draped the banners of Brazil, the United States and the Confederate States of America. "Dixie" is played at the services where sermons are preached in Portuguese and in English. A Confederate monument exists there also. In the same village Confederate veteran Napoleon Bonaparte McAlpin is buried. Upon his tombstone is inscribed "Soldado descansa! Tua luta acabou..." "Soldier rest! Thy warfare o'er..."Here's
a link on the Masonic origins of Americana.
from the Washington Post.
History of the Confederados
.SCV Camp #1653
, Americana, Brazil