Charles Gavin's Immigration to
Records show Charles Gavin traveling between Rio Doce and Rio de Janeiro as early as 1867, but we do not know in which settlement he lived or when and with whom he arrived in Brazil. It seems probable that he lived in Rio Doce and traveled to Rio de Janeiro to conduct business. South Carolinian Charles G. Gunter formed his colony on Lake Juparana at the mouth of the Rio Doce River at Linharis, the town from which Charles Gavin wrote the letter in 1880 to his daughter, Annie. According to Betty Antunes de Oliveira, a letter exists that indicates that Charles Gavin died in Brazil in 1886. His place of burial is unknown.
Charles Gavin's nephew, John L. Gavin, arrived in Rio de Janeiro from New York on June 19, 1868 aboard the South America, and traveled to Rio Doce on July 30, 1868. There is no record of the date of his return to the United States. However, we know that he returned to St. George, South Carolina, where he married twice and died in 1916.
The diaries of David Gavin (brother of Charles
who remained in St. George, South Carolina to manage the estates of brothers
William and John and absentee brother, Charles) indicate that David Gavin
was studying the Portuguese language as well as the history and politics
of Brazil at least as early as 1864, using "Brazil and the Brazilians"
by Rev. D. P. Widder. D.D. & Rev. J. C. Fetcher, Godeys, June 1859
as one reference.
From the diary of David Gavin:
|Rio Doce, Parahyba, San Fidelis, Rio Ponba
are infested by a savage tribe called Puris.
Brazil has 18 provinces,. In the Legislature are 54 senators (chosen for life, 548 Representatives elected for four years by persons having a certain amount of neat income from property, trade or employment,. A voter is eligible to a seat as a delegate.
The Aristocracy is not hereditary, but the Emperor is. House of delegates designate the person or dynasty when an heir fails.
Sugar is principally produced near Bahia. Coffee near Rio Jeneiro. Cotton only inferior to sea island is raised principally near Bernambuco, 170.000 bags of 160 lbs. arch worth L 5 sterling per bag in 1839. Some is produced in the province of Pernambuco, some in Bahia & Maranham - Tobacco is raised principally on the islands near Rio Jeneiro. There are rich lands around Bahia, and rroduce cotton, sugar, coffee & tobacco, but is best for cotton and sugar.
Town Hall is called (caza decamarca). Tribunal of Appeal (caza de reloca). Bank (caza de misericordia)...
One bushel of coffee weighs 12 lbs.
One hand can gather 36 lbs. or 3 bushels per day. 100 trees six (6)
years old will produce $100.00 worth coffee. One hand can cultivate
15 acres or 3000 trees. This was in 1839.
Texas plantation St. Georges parish province of South Carolina. Dec. 26, 1865.
David Gavin's Last Will and Testament seems to urge surviving family members to immigrate from the "so called" United States.
Many of the dates for Charles and John L. Gavin's time in Brazil
were supplied to Arnold and Joan Gavin by Betty Antunes de Oliveira in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A Brief History of the
Confederate Colonies of Brazil
The cost of passage was $20-$30, and the voyage took several weeks. Each family was encouraged to bring a tent, light weight furniture, farming supplies and seeds, and provisions to last six months. Land was offered at 22 cents an acre, with four years credit, and rich farmland was promised.
After landing on the coast, travel by land and river was difficult. Women who had never cooked a meal or washed a garment were cooking and washing over an open campfire. Malaria was prevalent, and a drought ruined most of the first crops in the colony of Rio Doce.
Although many Confederates ultimately returned to their homes in the United States, many more settled permanently in Brazil and their descendants are living in Brazil...many still celebrating their Southern American heritage as well as their Brazilian culture. Read more about the Brazilian descendants of the Confederados at the The Sons of Confederate Veteran's web page for the "Os Confederados"
an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Article
at the University of South Carolina
at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Handbook of Texas at Univ. of Texas
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