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Two The Journey The Sarah Bellona Smith Ferguson Narrative Edited by Cyrus B. Dawsey andJames M. Dawsey The first accounts of the emigration to Brazil, for the most part written or compiled by colonization agents, are extremely valuable to the scholar. These include Dr. James McFadden Gaston's Hunting a Home in Brazil, Ballard S. Dunn's Brazil, the Home for Southerners, and Lansford Warren Hastings's Emigrant's Guide to Brazil. Many of the emigrants sent letters to family and friends back in the United States describing their new homes, trials, and triumphs. They also wrote articles and essays for American newspapers , often urging other Southerners to join them. And a few of the emigrants wrote more extensive accounts of their journey to Brazil and their settlement there. Of interest are John Codman's Ten Months in Brazil and Hasting Charles Dent's Year in Brazil. One of the finest first-person accounts is the diary ofJulia L. Keyes, entitled "Our Life, in Brazil." Published in the Alabama Historical Quarterly in 1966, it comprises a wonderful overview of life in Brazil and the Gunter colony experience in particular.1 Many other primary sources are available. One base of data about Brazil is found in the papers of George Scarborough Barnsley, a Georgian who was one of two non-Texans who sailed to Brazil with Frank McMullan. The Barnsley papers are extensive, but the largest caches are located at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina and at the William L. Perkins Library, Duke University. Other important Barnsley papers are found at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and at Emory University. The Blanche Henry Clark Weaver Papers is a valuable research collection containing important primary material. At present, these papers are in the possession of William Clark Griggs. Any serious student of Confederate emigration to Brazil must also utilize the excellent primary manuscript material available in several Brazilian archives. Of real importance are the National Archives of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro; Archives of the state of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo; the Archives of the 24 25 The Journey Brazilian Institute of History and Geography, Rio de Janeiro; and the Archives of the Palace of Itamarati in Rio de Janeiro. Several articles containing first-person accounts by persons who emigrated to Brazil also are available to the researcher ofAmerican emigration. Edwin Ney McMullan, Frank McMullan's younger brother, wrote an account of the troubles of that group in an article entitled "Texans Established Colony in Brazil Just after Civil War," in the semi-weekly Farm News of Dallas, Texas, in January 1916. Another article on the same subject, "Sailing Down to Rio in 1866-67," was written by Eugene C. Smith, a McMullan colonist, and published in the Brazilian American of Rio in March 1931.2 While most of these documents and papers are readily accessible, one of the most interesting and informative accounts written by an emigrant generally has not been available to the scholarly community. This account, written by Eugene Smith's sister, Sarah Bellona Smith Ferguson, focuses on the McMullan colony. The narrative is one of the most extensive first-person accounts written after the end of emigration to Brazil. Although manuscript versions of the narrative have circulated privately among family and friends and have reached the hands of a few scholars, and although Sarah Bellona Smith Ferguson herself published versions of her story, first in 1916-17 in four parts in Farm and Ranch and then, twenty years later, in 1936 embellished in the Times of Brazil, Bellona Smith's account has not received wide circulation among American scholars.3 Bellona's story generated extensive interest among the descendants of the Southern colonists living in Brazil, and as a result, several fuller, unpublished versions of her manuscript are extant. One, a longhand account in the Weaver Papers, is dated May 29, 1935. Unlike the earlier versions, this manuscript includes a listing of McMullan colonists. Bellona Smith's last and fullest account has never been published in English or Portuguese. It is the account included in this book, and it dates from April 1943, when the author was eighty-six years old. Bellona Smith Ferguson wrote the narrative in longhand for her nephew, Oliver Ferguson, and in the 1970S it was passed down to the Reverend Cyrus B. Dawsey, Jr., a friend of the family, who at the request of the family, translated it into Portuguese and also passed it on for inclusion in...


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