Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Valeria López Fadul

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Following the end of the United States Civil War, thousands of former members of the Confederate States of America chose to immigrate to Brazil. These ex-Confederates organized themselves under leaders who scouted out locations and negotiated land grants with the Brazilian government. One colony leader was Lansford Warren Hastings, who led about two hundred people to the city of Santarém in the northern province of Pará. I argue that Hastings’ colony resulted from US racist and imperial ideas that targeted the Amazon in the nineteenth century. I also contend that the colonists attempted to preserve in Brazil a white identity inextricably connected to the right to own slaves, which had been central to their lives in the antebellum US South. Immigration to Brazil constituted a re-affirmation of a notion of citizenship that was dependent on slavery and superseded national identity.

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