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This article examines the Portuguese pamphleteer José Freire Monterroio Mascarenhas's journalistic and literary endeavors as they illuminate an early-eighteenth-century intersection of imperial transformation and an expanding culture of print. Recent scholarship has analyzed Mascarenhas's work as editor of the Gazeta de Lisboa, as well as how his writings on monstrosity addressed a waning vision of disaster as divine intervention and newer scientific understandings of nature. This article turns to the less-studied ways in which Mascarenhas's prolific textual production also accounted for territories beyond Europe over which the Portuguese Crown claimed sovereignty. While Mascarenhas's historia presente reinforced the juxtaposition of an Asian military enterprise and its absence in America, his accounts of the empire also invited scrutiny of the scope of conquest and limits of bellicosity and suggested that in cultivating knowledge of the imperial present, readers needed to recognize the range of exchanges that generated Portuguese authority and wealth.