(BRAZIL.) Daunt, Richard Gumbleton. Letter describing Irish immigration to Brazil. Autograph Letter Signed to cousin Achilles Thomas Daunt of Kilcaskan Castle, Ireland. 4 pages, 10 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, on one folding sheet, with address panel on final page featuring several inked Brazilian and Irish postmarks; small seal tear and stain, minor wear and soiling, postage stamps apparently removed. With complete transcript. Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil, 10 May 1868
In 1867, Brazil was still a slave-holding nation, but British suppression of the Atlantic slave trade had caused a labor shortage. This led to a British effort to colonize inland portions of Brazil's Santa Catarina state with Irish settlers. They were joined by some dissatisfied Irish-American immigrants. In this letter, Irish immigrant Richard Daunt writes "The Irish colony in the province of Sta. Catharina found its origin in Irish brought from New York where they were starving. These cheap lands which the government of Brazil furnishes . . . are situated in districts remote from the markets, without roads. The Americans . . . have preferred buying lands from individuals. . . . Until the coffee yields, the farmer earns enough for ordinary expenses by growing maize, cotton, tobacco, in the same ground, and by breeding pigs. . . . Medical men do well here. I am the only one who has been unsuccessful in gaining money. . . . There is a man who was a slave when I came to Campinas, who is now owning one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. These English gentlemen I just spoke of are living in a good house which they rent from a man who was a slave in 1849. . . . When my own stock of anything falls short as sometimes unfortunately happens, I buy of any slave who has it to sell."
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