After the Civil War in the USA, Dom Pedro II placed advertisements in American newspapers and sent recruiting agents north to recruit Confederate Americans to move to Brazil by offering land and financial assistance.
They settled in four locations:
> Santarém – an Amazon city. There are descendants still living there today.
> Linhares, Rio Doce – State of Espiríto Santo north of Vitoria ,the capital
> Santa Catarina State – Most left and move to São Paulo State.
> São Paulo State – Americana and Santa Barbara d’Oeste were founded by the Confederados
As the years passed, most of the colonies disappeared as families returned to the US or were assimilated into the Brazilian society. However, Americana in São Paulo State survived and prospered over the years and carries on the legacy of those Southerns who moved to Brazil after the Civil War.
Peace Corps Brazil would send out Volunteers to survey possible site locations for incoming PCVs. Around 1963, one of these PCVs, while surveying a small town in southern Bahia, was told that there was an American woman living there. He was taken to her home where he met a very elderly lady. She spoke broken English. Supposedly, she was the daughter of one of the original Rio Doce families.
UPDATE – 7 Nov 10: Latest post about The Confedrados
- Santarem Confedrados – some history
- Visit to Santa Barbara d’Oeste with photos
- Os Confederados – the official Brazilian site
- The story of the US Confederates in Brazil – Professor North Texas State University
- Wikipedia – Confederados
- Auburn University Special Collections and Archives Deparment
- Brazil, no promise land for Confederates
- Confederate Colonies of Brazil