Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A slightly different take on immigration

My extemporaneous inquiry into varying topics led me to uncover a bit of information earlier today about which I had all but forgotten.  Initially saved to a file I discovered while searching for something else, the originator(s) of this piece is unknown, but the subject matter is verifiable nevertheless:

"Confederate leaders ... had their eyes squarely on Brazil — a country of nearly 4 million square miles and more than 8 million people.  Prior to the outbreak of the [Civil] war, U.S. Naval Academy founder Matthew Maury dispatched two Navy officers to the Amazon basin, ostensibly to map the river for shipping.  Instead, they were secretly ... collecting data about separatist movements in the region."

"When the South lost the war, Maury refused to abandon his plans.  He helped 20,000 ex-rebels flee to Brazil, where they established the Confederate colonies of New Texas and Americana. ... Confederados also educated slaves and black freedmen in their new schools.  To their Brazilian neighbors, this practice was considered unusual and even scandalous.  To this day, hundreds of descendants of the Confederados still gather outside Americana to celebrate their shared heritage of rocking chairs and sweet potato pie.  In a strange way, a part of the Old South still survives — thousands of miles below the U.S. border."

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