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Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century

Andre Joao Antonil

Publication Year: 2012

First published in 1711, Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century describes the four major economic activities of the Brazilian colony. Half the book is devoted to the sugar industry and the social world of those who grew the sugarcane. Other sections give a detailed view of the tobacco industry. Further, this work describes where and how gold was extracted, the new and old routes connecting Minas Gerais with the coast, and the rough-and-tumble world of the miners. Antonil concludes with discussion of the economic importance of cattle, and information on Brazilian exports and taxes. No other work provides this level of eyewitness detail.

Published by: Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-x

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pp. xi-xiv

There is no book that better captures the social and economic basis of Brazil in its early history than Cultura e Opulência do Brasil por suas drogas e minas, written by the Italian Jesuit Giovanni Antonio Andreoni (1649–1716) under the pseudonym André João Antonil. Andreoni had long experience in Brazil and held important administrative offices in the Jesuit order while he lived there, serving at different times as rector of the Jesuit College in Bahia and as provincial of the...

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pp. xv-xxii

In writing this work, Giovanni Antonio Andreoni decided not to use his real name, but rather signed the work “The Anonymous Tuscan,” and André João Antonil. Andreoni was an Italian Jesuit born in 1649. After studying law, he entered the Jesuit order in 1667. He left for Portugal and in 1681 set sail for Brazil in the company of one of colonial Brazil’s most famous Jesuits, Father António Vieira. Andreoni...

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Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century

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pp. 1-6

Brazil owes so much to the venerable Father Joseph de Anchieta,1 one of the first and most fervent missionaries of this Southern America. This country enthusiastically calls him its great apostle and new miracle worker. It is through the light of the Gospel that he communicated to so many thousands of Indians, through the innumerable miracles that he worked during his lifetime and which he continues...

The First Part

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pp. 9-14

Whoever first called the mills, wherein the sugar is made, engenhos made a true choice in the name.1 For anyone who sees and thinks about them with the reflection they merit must necessarily confess that they are some of the chief products and inventions of human ingenuity, which, being a small portion of the Divine, always shows itself admirable in its way of working...

Book One

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pp. 15-38

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Chapter I: The Resources a Royal Sugar Mill Owner Should Possess

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pp. 15-18

To be a sugar planter is a title to which many people aspire. It brings with it the service, the obedience, and the respect of many others. If he is, as he ought to be, a man of wealth and command, a sugar planter in Brazil can be esteemed proportionally to the titled nobility in the Kingdom of Portugal. There are some sugar mills in Bahia that yield the owner four thousand loaves of sugar, and others a...

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Chapter II: How the Sugar Planter Should Act in the Purchase, Upkeep, and Leasing of His Lands

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pp. 19-21

If the sugar planter does not know the qualities of different soils, he will buy saloens soil instead of massapé, and areiscas rather than salones.7 He should therefore avail himself of the advice of the most intelligent tenants and consider not only the cheapness of the price but likewise all the facilities that he needs to have a plantation with cane. These include pastures, water, allotments, and woods. If lacking...

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Chapter III: How the Planter Should Deal with Tenants and His Other Neighbors and They with Him

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pp. 22-24

Often, when rich and powerful men come to possess considerable wealth, it also brings feelings of contempt for more noble people. For this reason, God often deprives them of their wealth so that they should not avail themselves of it to increase their pride. Whoever comes to secure the title of planter is apt to try and treat all his subordinates as slaves. This is chiefly seen in some planters who have tenants...

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Chapter IV: How the Planter Should Behave in Choosing the Hands and Skilled Workers He Engages, Beginning with the Choice of Chaplain

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pp. 25-28

If there is one thing above all others in which the planter should show his capacity and wisdom, it is without doubt in the good choice of the hands and skilled workers whom he takes into his service for the smooth running of the plantation. Since choice is the daughter of prudence, he can rightly be condemned as unwise who chooses reprobates, or those unfitted for what they have to do. It is obvious that...

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Chapter V: The Head Overseer and the Subordinate Overseers Who Preside in the Milling, the Estate, and the Cane Fields; Their Duties and Salaries

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pp. 29-32

The overseers are the planter’s arms for the good administration of his estate and people. However, if each one wants to be boss, then that administration will become a monster, a true likeness of the dog Cerberus, whom the poets fabulously endowed with three heads. I do not say that authority should not be given to the overseers, but I do say that this authority must be well regulated and subordinate...

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Chapter VI: The Sugar Master, the Assistant Master or Banqueiro, and the Assistant Banqueiro

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pp. 33-35

He who makes the sugar is rightly termed the master; his work needs intelligence, application, and experience. Moreover, any kind of experience is not enough, but it must be local, so that he knows the place and the quality of the cane. He must know where it should be planted and milled, for the cane fields in some localities yield a very strong cane and in others a very weak one. The juice from the lowland ...

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Chapter VII: The Sugar Refiner

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pp. 36-60

It is the responsibility of the sugar refiner to inspect the clay brought to the drying table to be dried over the ash-pan and to see if it is of the right kind, as will be explained later. He must also keep an eye on the person kneading to ensure he is handling the clay21 in the right way, with the long stick and the mixing board. He must press the loaves into the molds and take them out. He must know when the...

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Chapter VIII: The Bookkeeper on the Plantation

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pp. 37-38

This chapter does not apply to the bookkeeper in the city. His responsibilities are limited to receiving the sugar already packed, sending it to the warehouse, selling it, or shipping it, according to the planter’s instructions. He has a double entry ledger. He keeps the accounts and acts as agent, accountant, attorney, and trustee for his patron. If he is hard worked he is paid a salary of forty or fifty milréis.

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Chapter IX: How the Planter Should Treat His Slaves

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pp. 39-44

The slaves are the hands and the feet of the planter, for without them it is impossible in Brazil to create, maintain, and develop a plantation, or to have a productive mill. Whether the slaves turn out to be good or bad for the work depends on how the planter treats them. For this reason it is necessary to buy some slaves each year and to spread them out in the sugar fields, the allotments, the saw mills, and...

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Chapter X: How the Planter Should Act in Directing His Family and Ordinary Household Expenses

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pp. 45-46

Since the structure of a plantation demands such vast expenses as we have explained above, it can easily be seen how much economy is necessary in managing the household. More good horses than are necessary, fancy musicians, trumpeters, instrumentalists, and pampered lackeys do not help to increase wealth but only to diminish it with debts and mortgages. Still less useful are continual amusements and...

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Chapter XI: How the Planter Should Receive Guests, Whether Religious or Laymen

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pp. 47-48

Hospitality is both an act of courtesy and a Christian duty, and it is much exercised and highly esteemed in Brazil. Since there are no inns outside the cities, all wayfarers must resort to the plantations, where they usually find free of charge what would cost money in other lands. This applies both to the numerous religious figures, who go about seeking alms, and to the missionaries who work...

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Chapter XII: How the Planter Should Deal with Merchants as Well as with His Agents in the Market Place; Some of the Ways of Buying and Selling Sugar, as Practiced in Brazil

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pp. 49-52

The credit of a planter depends on his reliability; that is to say, on the punctuality and loyalty with which he keeps his promises. Tenants should be able to depend upon this, as he decides the days they are to press their cane and receive their share of the sugar. This reliability extends to the employees in the payment of their salaries, those who supply the firewood for the ovens, timber for the mill...

Book Two

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pp. 53-77

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Chapter I: The Choice of Land on Which to Plant the Cane, and for Supplying Provisions Needed for the Mill

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pp. 53-54

Whether the lands are good or bad determines if a royal mill will yield a profit or a loss. Those lands which are called massapés — black, thick earth — are the best for planting cane. Next come the saloens: red earth capable of only a few years of cuttings, for it is soon exhausted. The areiscas, which are a mixture of sand and saloens, are useful for growing cassava and vegetables, but not for cane. I would...

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Chapter II: Planting and Weeding Canes, and the Different Kinds of Them

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pp. 55-57

When the best land has been chosen for the cane, it is cleared, burned, weeded, and cleared of anything in the way. It is then plowed in furrows, one and a half palmas5 deep and two broad, with a ridge between each furrow, so that the cane should not be smothered as it grows. In these furrows, either the cane is planted in shoots or the canes are planted in stocks measuring three or four palmas. If it is a small type of cane, then it is planted whole, one near...

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Chapter III: Enemies of the Cane in the Field

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pp. 58-59

Variations in the weather are the principal enemy of the cane, as is also the case with other fruits and crops of the earth. With much reason, God armed the elements against us in punishment for our sins. Perhaps it was so we would learn patience, or that we would remember that He is the author and the preserver of all things, and that we should have recourse to Him in such crises...

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Chapter IV: Cutting the Cane and Carrying It to the Mill

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pp. 60-62

When the mill Begins operation (which in the Recôncavo of Bahia usually is in August), this is also the time when the sickle should cut the ripe cane. The cane is best left before cutting for seventeen or eighteen months in the ground. After that, unless it is op-pressed by a great drought, it may be safely left in the same ground for another seven or eight months. As soon as it is finally ready, the order ...

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Chapter V: The Mill, the Building Housing It, and How Water Powers It

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pp. 63-69

Even though “mill” is the name given to the entire complex of buildings, with workshops for milling the cane, cooking, and refining the sugar, all in all, it is the same to say “mill house” as “building for milling cane,” which houses the ingeniously invented object. As we have now arrived at this structure with cane brought to the rollers, we will give some description of it and how the work there is conducted to...

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Chapter VI: How the Cane Is Milled and the Number of People Required to Mill It

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pp. 70-72

The cane is pressed by pushing stalks, free of leaves and mud (and if necessary, it can be washed) between two rollers where the turning of the rollers will crush it. The rollers move by the power of interlocking teeth. Once the cane has passed through the rollers, the stalks are then passed once again to extract as much liquid as possible from them. This liquid (the caldo) falls from the rollers to a wooden vat...

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Chapter VII: The Wood Used to Make the Rollers, and All Other Woodworking on the Plantation, Canoes and Boats, and What Is Normally Paid to Carpenters and Similar Workers

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pp. 73-75

Before turning from the mill to the furnaces and the cooking house, I think it necessary to discuss the timbers and wood that make up the mill and all the other woodworking on the plantation. In Brazil, it is possible to select the best types of wood, since there is no other place on Earth with an equally rich variety of select and strong wood. Only the best lei wood is used in the mill because experience has...

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Chapter VIII: Furnaces, Their Equipment, the Required Firewood, and the Ash Used for Leaching

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pp. 76-79

Next to the milling house, which is also called the building for the mill, is the building for the furnaces. These are actually consuming mouths that inhale wood from the countryside, black holes of perpetual fire and smoke giving lively images of the volcanoes of Mounts Vesuvius and Etna. One might almost say the furnace looks like Purgatory or Hell. Near the furnaces there are those condemned...

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Chapter IX: The Cauldrons and Copper Vessels, Their Organization, the Skilled Workers and Others Required, and the Tools They Use

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pp. 80-83

The third part of this building above the furnaces is the area for the copper vessels. Even though this structure is commonly called the House of the Cauldrons, there are not only the copper containers there. There are also large vessels such as the kettles, pots, and boiling pans. On royal mills, they have two production lines of these vessels in operation to handle the quantity of caldo coming from the...

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Chapter X: Cleaning and Purifying the Caldo from the Cane in the Cauldrons and the Filtering Kettle until It Reaches the Boiling Pans

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pp. 84-86

The juice from the sugarcane makes its way from the hoisting kettle in a stream into the furnace house. The first place it goes is to a cauldron, the meio cauldron. In it, the caldo begins to boil and throw off the impurities that come with it from the mill. The fire at this point is doing its work, and the caldo yields its first skimming, called cachaça.26 Because this is so full of little pieces, it goes away from...

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Chapter XI: How Melado Is Cooked and Whisked in the Boiling Pans

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pp. 87-88

Now that the caldo has been refined and filtered, it goes to the boiling pans to be cooked, helped by a greater fire and flame than that needed in the cauldrons. The bottoms of the boiling pans have a greater thickness to allow the additional activity required at this stage. If the melado boils to the point where it threatens to spill over, throw in some animal fat and it will subside and become quiet. This also might ...

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Chapter XII: The Three Temperings of Melado and Its Correct Distribution in the Molds

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pp. 89-92

Before the melado goes into the molds, while still in the whisking pan, it is necessary to adjust the cooking to the tempering demanded by the rule of good distribution. There are three, and each is different and each requires a different concoction. In the same way, by different means and with repeated reasons, we attempt to temper souls in the grip of any strong passion...

Book Three

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pp. 93-118

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Chapter I: Regarding the Molds for Sugar and Their Movement from the Cooling Shed to the Refinery

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pp. 93-94

The molds used for the sugar are vessels of clay fired in the furnace. They resemble bells and are three and a half palmas high and proportionally wide. They have a larger circumference at the mouth and smaller at the end, which has a hole in it to allow the cleansing and refining of the sugar. These molds were sold for four vinténs,1 except when they are in short supply. Not obtaining them in due time...

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Chapter II: Refining the Sugar in Its Molds

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pp. 95-96

The refinery is normally separated from the building housing the mill. The best of the many in the Recôncavo of Bahia without a doubt is on the Sergipe do Conde Mill. It is made with stone, lime, and timbers from the maçaranduba tree. This tidy scene is roofed with tile and measures some 446 palmas long and 86 wide. It is divided into three rows with platforms with twenty-six brick pillars in the middle...

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Chapter III: The People Required to Refine, Separate, Dry, and Crate the Sugar; the Tools Needed to Do This

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pp. 97-98

When there is no refiner (and it is always a good idea to have one), the sugar master is in charge of the refinery. He judges when the first and second applications of clay are needed on the molds. It depends on the condition of the sugar when more or less moisture or sprinkling is required. He also decides when to remove the clay or the sugar from the molds. However, even when there is a special refiner, ...

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Chapter IV: The Clay Used for the Sugar Molds; What Type It Should Be, How It Should Be Kneaded, and If It Is Wise to Have a Pottery Workshop on the Plantation

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pp. 99-100

The clay used for refining the sugar comes from the apicus, which, as we have said, is the beach exposed at low tide and covered at high tide.3 It is transported on boats, canoes, or rafts. These rafts are two canoes tied together with boards crossing them, with the clay piled on the boards. Once it arrives at the mill, the clay is put in a special place and from there it is dried in the furnace house on...

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Chapter V: How Sugar Is Refined in the Molds and How It Is Treated in the Refinery

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pp. 101-103

The molds are brought into the refinery and put on boards with holes cut to hold them. The plug that was placed in the bottom of the molds in the cooling shed is removed. With a pointed iron rod two and a half palmas long, they are pierced with blows using a small wooden hammer. Once they are pierced, the molds are arranged and placed on the boards, which are called “those with holes” [drainboards]. ...

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Chapter VI: How Sugar Is Removed from the Molds, Separated, and Dried

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pp. 104-106

When the time has come to remove the sugar from the molds, on a very clear day as many people as possible work at the drying counter. The molds are brought on the backs of slaves or in wheelbarrows from the refinery to the separating tables. It is very important that the selected day be very clear, since if the sugar absorbs any humidity, even if later dried in the sun, it will never return to the ...

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Chapter VII: Weighing, Distributing, and Crating the Sugar

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pp. 107-108

From the drying counter, the sugar is taken in the canvas cloths to be weighed. The crater is there and ensures that this is done accurately and truthfully so that each gets what is due to him. To make this possible, there are large scales and weights of two arrobas, as well as smaller weights and pound weights, which also compensate for the extra weight of the basket holding the sugar. A small spoon is used ...

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Chapter VIII: Various Types of Sugar Crated Separately, the Marks on the Crates, and Their Transport to the Warehouse

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pp. 109-111

Before marking the crates, it is necessary to discuss the various types of sugar that are crated separately, since with this substance also there is a nobility, a base caste, and a mixture. First there are white and mascavado sugars. White sugar takes its name from the color it possesses, and it is much admired and esteemed above others. It is remark-able that it absorbs so little color from the clay. Mascavado is brown and ...

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Chapter IX: The Past and Present Prices of Sugar

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pp. 112-113

Twenty years ago, the prices in these parts changed a lot for white, mascavado, and batido sugars. The white that was selling for eight, nine, or ten tostões per arroba afterward rose to twelve, fifteen, and sixteen, and finally eighteen, twenty, twenty-two, and twenty-four tostões. It then fell to sixteen. The white batido that they had let go for seven or eight tostões rose to twelve and fourteen. The mascavado macho, ...

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Chapter X: The Number of Crates of Sugar Normally Produced Each Year in Brazil

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pp. 114-140

Right now in the region of Bahia, there are 146 sugar mills in active production. In addition, there are others in production in the Recôncavo, along the shore, and in the interior. These days they are the most lucrative. Those in Pernambuco, since they are smaller, total 246, and in Rio de Janeiro there are 136...

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Chapter XI: The Cost of a Crate of Sugar of Thirty-Five Arrobas Cleared through the Customs House in Lisbon, and the Value of All Sugar Produced in Brazil Each Year

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pp. 115-117

The list that Follows will clearly and precisely show the cost of one crate of white macho sugar weighing thirty-five arrobas, produced on any mill in Bahia until it reaches the customs house in Lisbon and is cleared through it. Also clearly shown will be the cost of one crate of mascavado macho, one of white batido, and one of masca­vado batido. Following this, there is a summary of the value of all sugar ...

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Chapter XII: The Suffering of Sugar from the Time It Is Born in the Field until It Leaves Brazil

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pp. 118-120

It is a unique aspect noted by those who study nature that plants of the greatest benefit for humanity cannot offer their perfect gifts without first being completely crushed. This can be clearly seen in Europe in the making of cloth, bread, olive oil, and wine. These critical fruits of the earth are buried, thrashed, trampled, and milled before being perfectly transformed from what they are. We see much more of...

The Second Part

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Chapter I: How Tobacco Was Developed in Brazil and What Esteem It Has Attained

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pp. 123-124

If Brazilian sugar has become known in all the kingdoms and provinces of Europe, its tobacco has become much more acclaimed throughout the four corners of the earth. Today it is highly desired, and people expend great effort to obtain it by any means. It has been a little more than one hundred years that this leaf began to be cultivated and processed in Bahia. When the first one to plant it realized a modest...

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Chapter II: The Labor of Tobacco, How It Is Seeded, Transplanted, and Weeded, and When to Plant It

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pp. 125-126

All the work and cultivation of tobacco, in its correct order, consists of: seeding, transplanting, trimming, topping, picking the leaves, harvesting, stemming, twisting, wrapping, joining, rolling, wrapping in leather, and pressing. All of these we will discuss in the following chapters. Beginning with the plant, place the seeds in a seedbed that is very rich with manure, or in an interior area cleared by burning...

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Chapter III: How the Tobacco Leaves Are Picked and Cured and How These Are Treated and Made into Coils

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pp. 127-128

The tobacco leaves are broken off where the stem meets the stalk. Gathered together and taken inside, they are left in this state for twenty-four hours, more or less. Before they are heated and dried, they are hung by twos by the stem in straw (which is present in the houses where it is treated) or on poles or in another place where the breeze, but not the sun, will catch them. If the sun does shine on...

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Chapter IV: How Tobacco Is Cured after Making Coils

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pp. 129-155

Now that the coil has been made to the desired length and wrapped around a pole, it is unrolled daily. That is, in the morning and at night laborers unroll the coil and wrap it around another stick in order to keep the tobacco from getting too warm. This process of transferring the tobacco, the twisting and turning, should be done gently so that the coil is well attached. Once the tobacco turns black, ...

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Chapter V: How Tobacco Is Rolled and Encased in Leather and Those Engaged in This Entire Process from Planting until Rolling

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pp. 130-131

In order to roll the tobacco, fold a cured and sweetened coil in half, to a length of three palmas, on top of a thin, lightweight pole. The ends of the pole have four little pieces of wood shaped like a cross. The coils of tobacco are then wrapped around these ends, pulling and keeping the coils tightly together so that there are no empty spaces among the folds. So that the ends are always straight, rather than using...

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Chapter VI: The Second and Third Collections of Tobacco Leaves and Their Diverse Qualities for Chewing, Smoking, or Grinding

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pp. 132-158

Everything stated up to this point about tobacco, which is called the first collection of leaves, is the same for the second and third collections as for the first. This is if the soil is able to provide these and it is aided by good weather and manure. So, once the first leaves have been collected from the plant, the stalk is cut to less than a palma high above ground so that the second leaves will develop. Once they...

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Chapter VII: How Tobacco Is Ground, Sifted, Powdered, and Perfumed

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pp. 133-159

In order to grind tobacco it needs to be very dry. This can be done by the sun, on a brazier,5 or in copper ovens, paying attention that it is not burned. To prevent this, it needs to be stirred constantly. The mortar to grind it needs to be made of marble and the pestle made of wood. Once ground, it is sifted. Those who are nimble separate it. The largest...

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Chapter VIII: The Moderate Use of Tobacco for Health and the Great Injury Done to the Health However It Is Used

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pp. 134-135

Those who are excessively fond of tobacco call it “holy herb.” There is no praiseworthy description that is not attached to it in order to defend its excessive use, which is worthy of rebuke and careful attention. It would seem that there are men who cannot live without this “fifth element,” puffing away at all hours at home and on the streets, chewing its leaves, using snuff wicks, and filling their noses ...

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Chapter IX: How Tobacco Is Cleared through the Customs House of Bahia

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pp. 136-162

The tobacco has now been treated and rolled and has paid its tax to God, which is one arroba for every twenty. (The income from this tax, from one year to another, yields 18,000 cruzados. This comes from Cachoeira of Bahia and its neighboring parishes, not counting what is grown in the other parts of the interior of Bahia, in Sergipe del Rei, Cotinguiba, Rio Real, Inhambupe, Montegordo, and...

Chapter X: The Cost of One Roll of Tobacco of Eight Arrobas, Sent from Bahia to the Customs House in Lisbon, with Duties Paid, Ready to Ship

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pp. 137-163

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Chapter XI: The High Regard in Which Brazilian Tobacco Is Held in Europe and Other Parts of the World, and the Great Tax Revenues It Provides the Royal Treasury

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pp. 138-139

From what has been said so far, it is easy to understand the high regard and value that tobacco has attained, especially that from Brazil. Notwithstanding (as was stated at the beginning), it has been a little longer than one hundred years since it was first planted and processed in Bahia. The first arrobas sent to Lisbon each year quickly became a success, stimulated demand, and led to more requests. More ...

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Chapter XII: The Penalties for Trafficking in Tobacco Not Cleared through Customs and Methods Used to Avoid Taxation

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pp. 140-142

Any illegal diversion of tobacco from any part of Brazil to avoid the ledgers or registers by which all legal tobacco is taxed carries as a fine the confiscation of the tobacco and the ship where it is found, and five years’ banishment to Angola for the guilty party. However, the penalties for gangs of thieves who break these laws in Portugal are much harsher. In other kingdoms there are so many such serious penalties...

The Third Part: The Development and Wealth of Brazil by Gold Mining

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Chapter I: The Gold Mines Discovered in Brazil

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pp. 145-146

It was always well known that in Brazil there were iron, gold, and silver mines. However, there was always a lack of interest in discovering and exploiting them. The inhabitants were content with the abundant fruit the land provided from its surface, as well as fish caught in the large and delightful rivers. They did not attempt to divert the natural course of these rivers to examine their depths, nor to open ...

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Chapter II: The Gold Mines Called “General” and Who Discovered Them

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pp. 147-148

It has Been just a few years since the general mines of Cataguá were discovered. Arthur de Sá was governing Rio de Janeiro at the time. They say that the first person to discover gold was a mulatto who had been at the mines in Paranaguá and Curitiba. This fellow went into the interior with Paulistas to look for Indians. After they arrived at Tripui Mountain, he went down the mountain to draw water from the creek ...

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Chapter III: The Other Gold Mines along the Rio das Velhas and in Caeté

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pp. 149-175

In addition to the general mines of Cataguás, other Paulistas discovered additional mines along the river called Velhas. These are located, as they claim, at the latitude of Porto Seguro and Santa Cruz. These are the mines along the stream of Campo, discovered by Master Sergeant Domingos Rodrigues da Fonseca, and at the stream of the Roça dos Penteados. These include the mine of Nossa Senhora ...

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Chapter IV: The Yield from the Creeks and the Different Qualities of Gold Extracted from Them

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pp. 150-151

From the general mines of Cataguás, the best and greatest yield until now has come from the creeks of Ouro Preto, Nossa Senhora do Carmo, and Bento Rodrigues. From these, in a little more than a strip of land five braças long, five arrobas of gold have been extracted. Also, the Rio das Velhas is abundant in gold, both along its banks as well as along the islands in it. From the river channel a lot of gold has ...

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Chapter V: The People in the Mines and Who Mine Gold in the Streams

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pp. 152-153

The unquenchable thirst for gold motivated so many to leave their lands and follow the very rough roads, as they are in Minas, that only with difficulty is it possible to count the number of people who are currently there. Taken all together — those who have been there these past few years, for a long time, and those who have recently moved there — they say that more than thirty thousand souls are working...

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Chapter VI: The Rights or Shares of the Mines

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pp. 154-180

In order to avoid the confusion, chaos, and deaths that took place during the initial discoveries of gold in the creeks, it was decided that the shares of ownership would be determined in the following manner. The one who discovered the mine has first right as its discoverer, and another right as a miner. This is followed by what belongs to the king, and after that to the Head of the Customs House, and the others are...

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Chapter VII: The Great Availability of Equipment and Daily Necessities in the Mines and the Indifference about Their Extraordinarily High Prices

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pp. 155-157

The earth that gives forth gold is barren of all that gives life to humans. No less sterile are the better parts of the roads into the region. It is hard to imagine the deprivation suffered by miners at the beginning of the gold rush caused by the lack of food. Many miners were found dead clutching an ear of corn. However, when the abundance of gold extracted and the inflated prices paid for all things sent ...

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Chapter VIII: The Different Prices for Gold Sold in Brazil and the Amounts of Gold Annually Extracted from the Mines

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pp. 158-160

The Prices For gold have varied during the past few years, not only because one was better than the other, because it had more karats, but also because of the locations where it was sold. Gold is less expensive in the mines than in the town of São Paulo or Santos, and it is much more expensive in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia than in the two towns to which I referred. Also it is worth more in bars after ...

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Chapter IX: The Obligation to Pay the King, Our Lord, One-Fifth of the Gold Extracted from the Mines in Brazil

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pp. 161-171

This issue can be examined in two ways. That is, by that which pertains to the external laws issued in the laws and ordinances of the Kingdom of Portugal, or by that dealing with what is an internal right and what conscience dictates.9
Regarding the first way, these laws are outlined in the Ordenações10 of Portugal, book 2, title 26, paragraph 16, which is “Among the Royal...

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Chapter X: The Route from the Town of São Paulo to the General Mines and to the Rio das Velhas

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pp. 172-175

Normally it takes at least two months for those from São Paulo to reach the general mines of Cataguás because they do not travel all day long, but only until midday. If they push themselves, they might travel until one or two in the afternoon. This gives them time to eat as well as rest, hunt, or fish, where it is possible, and eat honey or any The route they take goes from the town of São Paulo to the Itatiaia ...

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Chapter XI: The Old Route from the City of Rio de Janeiro to the General Mines of Cataguás and the Rio das Velhas

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pp. 176-202

In less than thirty days, traveling all day, those who leave from Rio de Janeiro can arrive in the region of the general mines. How-ever, rarely can this schedule be maintained because the roads are so much more rugged than the route from São Paulo. The following is an account from someone who traveled this route with Governor Artur de Sá. Leaving the city of Rio de Janeiro on August 23, they traveled ...

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Chapter XII: The New Route from the City of Rio de Janeiro to the Mines

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pp. 177-180

Leaving the city of Rio de Janeiro by land with people carrying loads and walking as the Paulistas do, the first stop is Irajá. The second stop is at the mill of Constable Tomé Correia; the third is at the docks of Nobrega on the Iguaçu River, where there is passage on canoes and rowboats; and the fourth is at a place named for Manuel de Couto...

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Chapter XIII: The Route from the City of Bahia to the Mines of the Rio das Velhas

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pp. 181-182

Leaving from the city of Bahia the first stop is at Cachoeira, and from there the road continues to the village of Santo Antonio de João Amaro and from there to Tranqueira. At that point, the road divides and taking the road on the right, it heads to the pastures of Filgueira, located right at the source of the Rãs River. From there, the road passes by the pastures of Coronel Antonio Vieira Lima, and from these...

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Chapter XIV How Gold Is Extracted from the Mines and Creeks in Brazil, as Observed by Someone Traveling with Governor Artur de Sá

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pp. 183-212

I relate the account here that its author sent me, which is the following. This is according to the enterprises, which I personally witnessed in the gold mines of São Paulo. It includes information from both the panning done in the creeks, as well as working the earth next to the mines. I will briefly relate sufficient information so that curious investigators of the natural world can easily tell from their experiences ...

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Chapter XV How to Recognize Silver Mines

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pp. 187-188

First, generally, silver mines can be found in lands with red or white earth, land without trees and with little grass. You should always look at the top of the knolls and hills, since this is where the veins of silver pop up in the same way that old walls follow straight lines, or how foundations are underground, or how a mountain top is made of many stones piled in a ring. If you find many stones together, ...

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Chapter XVI How to Recognize Silver and Purify Metals

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pp. 189-191

If there is kindling (and the best to burn are the droppings from livestock because they create a stronger fire), make a fireplace and in the middle place some of the stones from the mine. Let them burn until they turn red in the way that iron does. Once they are red, throw them into cold water, each in a different place so that you can discern which of the colors has more silver. This will be obvious once they are ...

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Chapter XVII: The Damage Done to Brazil by Greed Following the Discovery of Gold in Mines

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pp. 192-194

There is nothing so good that it cannot be accompanied by much evil because of its misuse. Even the most holy commit the greatest sacrileges. What a wonder that gold is such a beautiful and precious metal, so useful for human commerce, so worthy of use on cups and ornaments in churches for divine services. Because of the unending greed of men, it becomes a constant instrument and cause ...

The Fourth Part The Development and Wealth of Brazil by the Abundance of Cattle, Leatherworking, and Other Royal Contracts Remaining in This Colony

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pp. 195-222

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Chapter I: The Great Expanses of Land for Pastures in Brazil, Filled with Cattle

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pp. 197-201

The interior oF Bahia extends along the coast to the mouth of the São Francisco River some 80 legoas. Continuing to the mouth of the next river north, which is called Agua Grande, is some 115 legoas from Bahia. From Bahia to Centoce it is 130 legoas; to Rodelas in the interior, it is 80 legoas; to Jacobinas it is 90 legoas; and to Tocano it is 50.¹ Because the cattle ranches and corrals are located where there ...

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Chapter II: The Herds Normally Conducted from Their Ranches to the Cities, Towns, and Bays of Brazil Destined for Both the Slaughterhouse as well as Sugar Mills, Tobacco Farms, and Other Places of Industry

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pp. 202-203

In order to comprehend the number of herds that each year are taken from their ranches in Brazil, it is sufficient to note that all the exported rolls of tobacco leave packed in leather. Each roll weighs 8 ar­robas, and the rolls from Bahia, as we have noted earlier, annually total at least 25,000 and the rolls from Alagoas in Pernambuco 2,500. It is clear how many head of cattle are needed to pack 27,500 rolls in leather....

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Chapter III: Transporting Herds from the Interior, the Normal Prices for Cattle for Slaughter and Cattle for Farmers

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pp. 204-205

The herds that usually come to Bahia number 100, 150, 200, and 300 head. Of these, almost every week some arrive in Capoame, a place located some distance of eight legoas from the city, where there are pastures and where merchants make their purchases. At some times of the year, there are weeks when herds arrive every day. Those who guide them there are whites, mulattoes, negros, and also Indians, who by this ...

Chapter IV: The Cost of One Hide of Leather and Half a Hide, Treated and Exported from Brazil, Placed in the Lisbon Customs House

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pp. 206-232

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Chapter V: Summary of Everything Normally Exported Annually from Brazil to Portugal and Its Value

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pp. 207-208

...as my last demonstration of the wealth Brazil provides for the Kingdom of Portugal, I have now listed here a summary of what I have noted in these four parts of this work. By placing it all together, it will not fail to attract more attention than it did when listed separately...

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The Last Chapter How It Is Only Just that Brazil Is Favored Because of Its Value to the Kingdom of Portugal

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pp. 209-210

By what we have said up to now, no one can doubt that Brazil is the best and most productive colony of the many that the Kingdom of Portugal possesses. This is both for the Royal Treasury, as well as for the public good. We have here noted the plethora of goods departing from these ports of Brazil that are true and abundant mines of income. Is there anyone who can doubt that this great and continuous profit ...


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pp. 211-218


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pp. 219-220


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pp. 221-228

Production Notes

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pp. 229-252

E-ISBN-13: 9781933227511
E-ISBN-10: 1933227516
Print-ISBN-13: 9781933227443

Page Count: 246
Publication Year: 2012