• INTERESTING FACT:
WA
An admirer of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), Dom Pedro II visited the United States in1876 to join President Ulysses S. Grant
(1822-1885) in opening the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the largest world's fair up to that time. While at the exposition, the emperor met Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), who was demonstrating his new invention-the telephone. Dom Pedro II was the first person to buy stock in Bell's company, the Bell Telephone
Company. One of the first telephones in a private residence was installed in his palace in Petrdpolis, his summer retreat forty miles from Rio de Janeiro.
Dom Pedro II had a deep appreciation for the potential contribu- tions of science and technology to society. He was interested
in expanding his country's primary agricultural commodities
and in making Brazil a major cotton producer. After the defeat of the Confederate States in the U.S. Civil War, the emperor invited successful Confederate cotton planters to settle in Brazil.
Between 1867 and 1871, when slavery was still legal in Brazil, at least three thousand Confederate families passed through the port of Rio de Janeiro. About 80 percent of the families returned to the United States, but one successful American settlement in
Brazil-Americana, founded by Colonel William Hutchinson Norris
(1800-1893) of Mobile, Alabama-still exists.
Located seventy-five miles from the city of Sdo Paulo, Americana in 2003 has a population of approximately 250,000 persons. Con- versations among the descendants of the confederados (about
10 percent of the population) are often in Southern-accented
English. Families with names such as Jones, MacKnight, and
Whitaker come together for the Fourth of July and other holidays to have a Southern-style barbecue. Rosalyn Carter (b. 1927-), wife of President Jimmy Carter (b. 1924-), has relatives buried in the
Confederate cemetery in Americana. In 1992 President-elect Bill
Clinton (b. 1946-) wrote a letter to the confederados of Americana in which he recalled that Arkansas was one of the thirteen states that had sent settlers to Brazil.
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