tv Confederados CSPAN May 21, 2016 6:00pm-6:47pm EDT
announcer: next, a discussion on confederate soldiers who immigrated to brazil. was cohosted by longwood university. it is about 45 minutes. >> our second speaker today is casey clabough. is a professor t lynchburg college and editor of the james dickey review and is english graduate director. a richmond native who grew up
and appomattox county, he has editor of the multivolume "best creative nonfiction of the press" "texas review and a variety of other things. one of the editors of the encyclopedia of virginia, which is online. he's had a number of fellowships and received a number of awards. he has published over 100 works in anthologies and periodicals, such as the sewanee review, the virginia quarterly review and so on. author of " confederados: a novel of the americas." the confederates that left the u.s. at the end of the war and went to brazil. i remember from 30 or 40 years ago reading an article about that. bill maybe wrote that and i have never heard of it and i got interested. i'm looking for to hearing his top. -- his talk.
his talk today is entitled, " confederados. casey clabough. [applause] professor clabough: thank you, dr. coles. thank you all for being here and for inviting me. so extend the last speaker' eloquent comment about the end of the war being a time of beginainty, i'd like to with that. that is essentially the reason for the strange story of these people called, who came to be called in brazil, confederados. ,hat is, former confederates former families, civilians, soldiers, administrators, who
somehow ended up in brazil. dark slate in terms of history. there is only one boat in existence, it came out in the 1990's, university of alabama press, on the subject. students,courage graduate students watching and scholars watching who are interested in pan-american history as well as the civil war, this is a rich area of inquiry in which there is a lot of that still needs to be done. how did i come to it? i'm a little out of my element here, an english professor among s historicalho write fiction but did a lot of historical research for my book.
for my fictional title," confederado." professorn english from appomattox, virginia, come to have an interest in confederados? and the answer is, marriage. [laughter] a local gal from buckingham county who had an ancestor who fought in the civil war in mosby's rangers and who afterward, for various reasons, was compelled -- he was a bachelor, a young guy -- was compelled to leave the country. comment,k to bert's reconstruction after the surrenders, it is a time of uncertainty. a lot of southerners were concerned, how are we going to be treated? is it going to be martial law? are we going to the hung?
as one of the generals seems to hope his soldiers would be. what's going to happen? how long is martial law going to last? are we ever going to have any measure of freedom again? you have to put yourself in that why there understand were these people desperate , whichto leave the south they fought for desperately in many cases for several years. he got intocestor, some local trouble. mutual acquaintance discovered that there were virginians who were traveling to brazil. in fact, this was not a virginia
phenomenon. it was something that was happening throughout the south. the reason for it was that, at least in the case of brazil, it has been advertised in newspapers in places like new orleans, atlanta, charleston, , by brazilian officials. , beinga was that brazil an enormous country, it is still an enormous country, needed further development of its interior. it's government officials thought, what better immigrants these confederates who have advanced agricultural knowledge compared to a lot of other perspective immigrants. obviously, are not happy with
how things are going at home. so they essentially were given land grants to come to brazil. so that is the reasoning behind it. t's point,ing home berr i would like to read something thefly called, it's from virginia magazine of history and biography. appomattox" iso the title. edited by frank j. merley. i want to read the opening paragraph. peoplely brings home how were feeling and how people responded to these various surrenders and the prospect of following the end of the confederacy.
the title of the essay is "alternatives to appomattox." i am sure many of them wished there had been an alternative. "some weeks after general robert e lee surrendered at mathematics courthouse in april 1865, -- appomattox courthouse in april put aa disgruntled leader rifle in his mouth. he chose not to live in the world the war had made. many confederates shared the grim revulsion, few emulated his method of escape. most came to terms as best they could with the new order ushered in by the war and attempted to revive a broad and to establish a southern presence in many parts of the world. many of these exiles remained romantic rebels, haunted strangers in strange lands, many
others -- talented, dedicated, determined -- made contributions to their adopted country's. coincidentally, deprived of their homeland of one of its most precious resources. still others dreamed dreams and schemed to escape the yoke of yankee domination." that line about depriving the , one othersources fact. people leaving are not leaving, general robert e lee, when asked about the confederado question and the immigration, he wasn't this a firstly against that -- he was vociferously against that. this was symbolized when he assumed the president ship at washington college, which later
became washington and lee university. he thought it was important, particularly for young men to remain in the south and help rebuild the country. he was against this kind of thing. for others, for various reasons, the uncertainty of the postwar south, it was something that buted not only preferable in some cases necessary. d like to read just a basic definition of what a confederado is. what, essentially, this constituted. .t's kind of a confusing term on the one hand you have former confederate.like to you've got brazilian colonist. what really is the crux of a confederado? what is their story? this is a working definition
that i used based on primary sources when i was doing research for my book. focusesderado immigrant on essentially a person who left north america between 1865 in 1870 and settled in such areas , rio deaulo, santarem janeiro and parana. only the settlements confedera. in santa barbara and americana were successful. than estimated that more 50% of those who traveled eventually return to the u.s. due to various unanticipated hardships. those who chose to remain tended to congregate around colonel inliam norris' settlement the area of santa barbara and americana.
1865, theled in americans in this area it retained their sense of confederate identity. that is even true today. in a country of immigrant groups such as brazil, this people not only remember the confederate ancestors, but embrace heritage as a way of distinguishing themselves from other brazilian groups. that is one thing to keep in mind as well. this is not an issue that is limited to the conclusion of the oril war and the ensuing two three decades following. it is an ongoing narrative. barbara,r in santa there is a celebration in which confederados come together and celebrate their heritage. they play "dixie" but they sing it in portuguese.
if you look at the people who are participating, a large portion of them are people of color. uniformsare wearing and the ladies are wearing southern bell attire. so, it's very surreal. and there's the confederate battle flag all over the place. it's a surreal kind of thing to witness in another country. these people celebrating their confederate heritage yet at the same time, having been wholly integrated into brazilian society. ethnically and liquid linguistically, and economically. yet it is important that they had this in their past. oformer first lady,
president and georgia governor jimmy carter claims confederado heritage. there was a media blitz when they traveled to this festival in the late 1970's. her family was among one of the families that returned. .hey did not stay it did result in some dialogue and sound exchange programs between young people, brazilian confederados coming to spend time in the south and in georgia , contemporary georgians journeying to santa barbara to spend time among these confederados. i think that is very interesting as well. so, what was it like to be a confederado?
the quote that i read mentioned and various other factors that came with the experience. it is true that slavery still existed in brazil. brazil was the last country to abolish slavery in the 1880's. however, for any southerner hoping to acquire slaves, they would find that they could not afford them for they were much more expensive in brazil. , as an economic institution and social institution, was on the way out. to the united states, it was abolished eventually , withinpeaceful means
brazil. there were actually military elements that contributed to its , most notably the war of the triple alliance, which involved paraguay, brazil, and argentina. if a slave were to enlist in the brazilian army for that war, he was automatically guaranteed his freedom once he had served his time as a soldier. those factors were gradually leading to the abolishment of slavery in brazil. and of course, disenfranchised southerners had not the with laborsist them and developing these land grants they had received from the presiding government. so, what did they do? they had to work really hard, really hard. i would compare it in american
history to some of the grisly details of the jamestown settlement in its infancy. there was not cannibalism, as there was at jamestown. there were people who were literally starving at times as crops, theto develop bull tongue plow, for example, did not exist in brazil. they were trying to make their own. trying to clear fields for crops and so forth. a lot of the time their land grants were in very remote places. even if you successfully grew something it was very difficult to get it to a place where he could be taken by rail to rio de janeiro to be in a market, the roads were really bad.
they are still really bad in the world brazil. a lot of the time their land grants were in very remote the next thing i'm going to do is read a brief description from a typical confederado. this is a person who visited a confederate -- who visited a confederado. he was a civil war veteran from tennessee. these were the living circumstances of this veteran in brazil, trying to make a go of farmer. "the farmer's home was in a large clearing in the forest. that isase of a plateau some hundred feet above the river. all around, there were splendid masses of green trees and lime trees and great banana plants and coffee bushes in the woods. beyond those, untouched forest with the giant brazilian nut tree towering over it. the farmer says with all the
beauty of this site, it evidently has a hard time of it. i still have a hard time of it, i am careworn and a little discouraged. the land is excellent but the stream is too small to give me good waterpower. without that, i cannot manage a large cane plantation. the man went on to complain that how the prices he received for his produce were not very good. traders take advantage of his helplessness, he cannot speak portuguese. it would be like an immigrant in this country. it is a huge disadvantage. all the americans are cultivating, who are cultivating the juice is distilled into round which is sold at santarem. coffee or coconut might pay better but colonists came without money, there's the disenfranchisement.
they could not wait for slow going crops. the farmer tells me how he and his family were housed with the hatchedin a great t building. the colonists were supported until they could locate plantations and get crops. they had to struggle with utter poverty, work without tools, live as best they could until fields were established. he had saved a little money and bought this ground of an old indian woman, it was a small clearing with a dozen trees. the family lived in a shed until they could delay thatched house ./ the farmer had to bring provisions from santarem on his back. it was a long time before he could cut a road and longer before he had horses. he had to grind cane with a wooden mill until he could procure an iron one from the u.s. things on credit
and pay a premium. obtained at a sacrifice. he had been his own carpenter, everything. it was a long time before he could hire a single indian to work with. after seven years of struggle, he finds his elf with what question -- he finds himself with what? sellntation he could not for one fourth of its real value because there are no buyers. a burden of debt that it will take him a long time to pay. himself, with a broken down body and discouraged heart. there you go. are not so bad in the united states after all. they were getting letters, it is not like they were living in a vacuum. they were getting letters oforming the confederados
how things were preceding. reconstruction, despite its rough spots and problems, was not as bad as they had imagined, remember from the previous talk the sense of uncertainty and fear. so, this was the situation. families, they could live that colonial lifestyle in it was preferable to returning to the south it was just too painful for them to return. because ofo return scenarios like the one i just shared with you. it was just too difficult to make a living in brazil. that, i asked patrick about this and he thought it was ok,
considering the topic is so unexamined and many of you might have questions about it. opening the floor a little earlier and then may be returning to some more reading later. please, if you have any questions, come up to the microphone at this time. thank you, casey, for enlightening us. i see people with questions but i am going to preempt them and ask the first question. life make aour pilgrimage to brazil? .hile researching your book second question, is there an account of the number of confederados in brazil today? the answerlabough: to the first question is yes. i was fortunate to get a
research travel grant from the brazilian government to spend a couple weeks down there. go to santale to barbara and see the festival firsthand. there is video footage of it, but i wasve seen, more interested in tracing the ancestor's footsteps. he, as well as most of the confederados, had come into port at rio de janeiro. the government house them for a while, as it had the tennessee gentlemen. in the ancestor's case, he had gone to the state essentially would be comparative to west virginia of brazil. so, very rugged, very poor, very run-down. called espirito santo and
its main city is linhardes. i it was not a glamour trip. i spent a lot of time writing around on back roads. i got some fascinating pictures of anacondas. one of them ended up on the back of the book. they were sunning themselves. with regard to the other question, historians still disagree about how many confederados and their families, how many southerners and their families went to brazil and other countries. it kind of goes back to ron wilson's question to the last speaker about paroles or the
lack thereof. to some extent, to the conclusion of many modern wars, records are sketchy. there are diasporas of people, huge movements of people going every which way. given that chaotic element it is hard to put a number on how many southerners actually migrated. today it is estimated, brazil has a large population similar to that of the u.s. , perhapsless than 1% , a of the entire population small minority. >> is this microphone on? my name is james, i am from williamsburg.
did any of the former slaves come with their former owners to brazil? that is the first part. this subjectted in years ago. i understand that brazil has noing anywhere with the problem of race relations like the u.s. has. can you comment on those two questions? thank you. professor clabough: sure. the first question, yes. in some cases, former slaves did a company -- former slaves did a company families to brazil. that immediately became a thorny hade given that they technically, in terms of, as far as the u.s. government was concerned, been freed in north
america. and then arriving in brazil, there was no real means to re-enslave them that the government was willing to get involved with. so, yes, in some cases, african-americans did travel with the families that formerly had owned them to brazil. but they were not slaves. they essentially just worked with the family or eventually went their own way. as opposed to the second question, brazil most definitely , and to this day is much ine open and accommodating terms of its various ethnicities . that has to do with the development of the country itself. you had portuguese, you had a presence,g indigenous and then the people, the
colonists that had initially developed brazil were from all , even into north africa. s, even italian, german turkish immigrants.. then you throw in the indigenous andles of brazil african-americans brought in for slave labor and you have got an ethnic pool that is more diverse than the u.s. and more used to working together. were also bonded and still are to an extent by
common religion. the catholic church had a very strong presence there. >> hi, i >> hi -- i don't have a question, but a quick story. a friend of mine who is a world bank representative in brazil. we vacationed last summer. she told us a story about sitting next to a supreme court justice in brazil. a blonde haired, blue-eyed woman, that was perfectly portuguese in her language. she reminded my friend of having had a southern type of hospitality and airs about her. as they got talking, it turns out this woman was a confederado descendent. from the top of the judicial food chain in brazil, but retains much of her southern culture. i thought that was fascinating. mr. clabough: yeah, it is interesting. brazil is very different from
other south american countries. s a strong economic power, it is a very large country now. and i have been in other places in central america, south america, where it is kind of strange to see someone with blonde hair and blue eyes. it is really not that strange in .razil and argentina as well just because there is a long tradition of northern european immigration to those areas. thank you for that story. >> i am william, former captain hampden sydney college and a farmville resident. i've heard you speak before and i want to make a comment about a
local confederado theme here. southerntired presbyterian minister. 867, the southern presbyterian denomination established its foreign mission field in brazil. now, this was not, as it turned out, an evangelical approach to the native population or to protestants whistling to proselytize from the roman catholic church. reality is, and i speak to this because the presbyterian seminary was located at hampden there were several of our initial southern presbyterian evangelical missionaries who went to brazil in the late 1860's. not to convert but essentially to be a chaplaincy presence two people who
had immigrated as confederados. there was a strong appeal by a theology professor who had been on the stonewall jackson staff to get some people from this area to go to brazil as confederados. he made an especially strong thornton, who et,ed over here on beech stre because her husband had been killed at sharpsburg. lee visited her home in farmville. but she had 4 young boys. said they had their best chance to get out of here and go to brazil. told him tonister leave parishioners alone. the reality is that southern presbyterian denomination opened
field inign mission brazil but it was really to be a chaplaincy outreach to our kind of people there. professor clabough: thank you. question. quick do you think the majority of the people left for political reasons? not wanting to live under yankee it economics, perhaps hoping to establish a slave institution in brazil or elsewhere? do you have information about the states that they were more likely to have left? deep south like alabama or mississippi or upper south? i would think it would be deep south but i am guessing. professor clabough: let me start with your last question. yes, it was predominantly deep where the brazilian
government advertised. the ports lended themselves to transportation to brazil as well. there were some virginians and they would have left from norfolk. there was a man from lynchburg who was sort of the point person for gathering people interested i travelingn to brazil. in terms of your other question, that's more difficult -- economics versus politics. i would say, again, the fact that the brazilian government was offering land grants, you could essentially go and have free land to work. toiously that was a draw
people who had been disenfranchised by the war. at the same time, that was accompanied by, even if you had trepidation, it was accompanied by the post-surrender uncertainty. it is difficult to get into that mindset. what is the future of the south going to be? how long are there going to be union soldiers running towns and cities? there going to be widespread abuse? what is going to happen? that kind of fear and anxiety, coupled with the economic factor , those elements worked in tandem to draw people to brazil. >> my name is dennis. profiledescribe higher can veterans that went down
south or were these ordinary folks? professor clabough: again, going and to -- i brought up lee his disdain for people leaving the south. some of that stature had alternatives after the war. there were things he could do because of his rank and fame and standing. sayit was more, i would .unior officers and below i mentioned the colonel william norris settlement. i would say from that military rank and below were predominately the people who left. back to dr. colt's
question about why the motivated to go, there had to be an economic need and also possibly well.tical drive as or a political concern about what the future held. england and france never did recognize the confederacy. did brazil? or did brazil take sides in the war? professor clabough: it is interesting. throughout the war, brazil was essentially pro-southern. for that, youason would think it might have to do slavery.issue of as near as i could discover, it had mostly to do with the , they weremperor
still an empire at that time. the emperor's name was dom pedro ii. u.s. ambassador to brazil at the time, from washington d.c. had personally insulted dom pedro ii at some social occasion. and so that was the main reason closerere was not a association between the brazilian government and washington, d.c. it had less to do with politics and more with the whim of the emperor. whereain, that's governmental and cultural differences come into play. , the u.s.ador
ambassador was kind of a pushy person. withdid not go over well someone who is titled as emperor. yes, sir? >> in connection with the settlement of some ex- confederates in other latin american countries, was there, in the case of the brazilian ex-confederates, confederatesy x who might have organized the migration to brazil. if i understand your question correctly, for lack of a better sent to brazil
ahead of time and organized? >> even to the point of organizing people here in the united states to get on board ships and go down. , there was an operative for the brazilian government to help round up people in the central virginia area who might be interested in going to brazil, identify them, and get them organized to travel totheir and charter ship send them on their way to brazil. there were people like that in ,ifferent cities in the south who championed the brazilian alternative, and then there were southerners in some cases, usually the male of the family,
who would go ahead to scout out the area, check out where the land grants were going to be, make arrangements with the brazilian government, and then it they did not like what they saw, then they might come back and consider staying in the south. more often than not they went. >> i was thinking of that because of this example you gave of the farmer who had been there for some time. it sounded like the area he settled in was not as promising as some of these other areas. >> most of the areas -- brazil whereenormous country -- north, west, and a little south of rio de janeiro, and that is essentially a tropical like
environment -- i mentioned the banana trees, for example, for the tennessee gentlemen. ground isthe typically very rich, but as you saw, the main problem was not having the proper equipment, funding, and the language barrier as well. to the most part, they had stick together much of the way that immigrants do when they come to the united states today is -- today. mastery of english isn't strong, they tend to develop subcommunities within the larger community to help pool that was the situation with the confederate onfederados.
>> thank you. >> this will be our last question. >> do you know if there are other countries other than these eor x-confederates, or these african-americans who may have been freed or they immigrated on their own to other countries in south america? researchre, yeah, my was specifically on the con federados who emigrated to brazil, but there were some who democratic -- it some who emigrated -- some who immigrated to mexico as well.
britain, france, and even africa. there is a film from the 1990's .alled ghost in the darkness a formert a cold -- confederate soldier who becomes a professional line hunter in africa. a lot of the southerners ended up all over the place. there are all kinds of stories. of disastrous -- disastrous occur at the end of war. of the reason why there has not been more research accomplished on the confe derados. studentsi challenge
and scholars to research in this area. i think it's a promising area of >> [inaudible] >> thank you, casey. "roaderican artifacts," to the white house rewidn" and more on c-span.org/history. >> marshall university professor kat williams talks about life on the home front for women during world war ii. here is a preview. >> do you remember me telling you how didn't have a lot of opportunities to work outside the home? certainly not a lot of