A Brief History of the
Confederate Colonies of Brazil
The Confederados
    At the end of the Civil War in the 1860's, a migration of Confederates to Brazil began,   with the total number of immigrants estimated in the thousands.  They settled primarily in the southern Atlantic coastal region of the country, in Americana, Campinnas, Sao Paulo, Juquia, New Texas,  Xiririca, Rio de Janeiro, and Rio Doce.  One colony settled in Santarem, in  the north on the Amazon River.

    The cost of passage was $20-$30, and the voyage took several weeks.  Each family was encouraged to bring a tent, light weight furniture, farming supplies and seeds, and provisions to last six months.  Land was offered at 22 cents an acre, with four years credit, and  rich farmland was promised.

   After landing on the coast, travel by land and river was difficult.  Women who had never cooked a meal or washed a garment were cooking and washing over an open campfire.  Malaria was prevalent, and a drought ruined most of the first crops in the colony of Rio Doce.

    Although many Confederates ultimately returned to their homes in the  United States, many more settled permanently in Brazil and their descendants are living in Brazil...many still celebrating their Southern American heritage as well as their Brazilian culture. Read more about the Brazilian descendants of  the Confederados at the The Sons of Confederate Veteran's web page for the "Os Confederados"

    There are records that show Charles Gavin traveling between Rio Doce and Rio de Janeiro as early as 1867, but we do not know in which settlement he lived or when and with whom he arrived in Brazil.   It seems probable that he lived in Rio Doce and traveled to Rio de Janeiro to conduct business.  South Carolinian Charles G. Gunter formed his colony on Lake Juparana at the mouth of the  Rio Doce River at Linharis, the town from which Charles Gavin wrote the letter in 1884 to his daughter, Annie.

    Charles Gavin's nephew, John L. Gavin, arrived in Rio de Janeiro from New York on June 19, 1868 aboard the South America, and traveled to Rio Doce on July 30, 1868.  There is no record of the date of his return to the United States.  This information was supplied to Arnold and Joan Gavin by Betty Antunes de Oliveira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
 

Other Confederate Colonists of Brazil on the Web
Edwin S. James' Papers regarding colonies in Brazil
at the University of South Carolina
James McFadden Gaston Papers
at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Oliver A. Thomas Biography from the
Handbook of Texas at Univ. of Texas
George S. Barnsley
If you know of other links to information on the Confederados, please let me know!



Flags from Civil War Clipart


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Old Postcards From Brazil
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