Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dixie traditions in Brazil

An article in the 2 October 2007 Washington Times newspaper is titled "Dixie tradition kept alive in Brazil enclave."

The article includes:


Now well past 90, Judith MacKnight Jones is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the illness that robbed her of all of her memory, her most precious asset.
She has been lying here for the past 11 years, covered by a patchwork blanket, made from pieces her great-grandmother brought from the United States between 1865 and 1885, after the Confederacy lost the Civil War.

"Unable to speak or remember now, her book "Soldado Descanso" ("Rest Soldier") is written in Portuguese, but soon will be translated into English, as the publisher thinks Americans should know about the proud history of Confederate immigrants settling in Brazil, finding a new home here but maintaining many of the traditions they brought from Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, the Carolinas and Georgia.

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""Over a century old and symbolizing our heritage, the flight from our homelands, it is extremely important to keep it that way. I teach my children and grandchildren the American values our ancestors have brought with them. And I expect them to teach their children and grandchildren the same," she said.

"Every spring, hundreds of the descendants of the soldiers who lost the war against the North go to the cemetery they call O Campo. They party and meet dressed in traditional costumes, staging shows, singing Southern songs like "When the Saints Come Marching In" or "Oh Susannah," playing banjos and blowing trumpets, the men eventually getting drunk on home-brewed beer."

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"Almost 150 years ago, Dr. James McFaddon from South Carolina went to Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans to open negotiations with Brazil to migrate, looking for a new home. He traveled to Brazil and, on his return, wrote a book, "Home Hunting in Brazil," planting seeds for emigration.

"Between 10,000 and 20,000 Americans made the journey, leaving the United States to look into building a new home and life. Today, they live not only in Americana and nearby Santa Barbara, but are scattered all over the hills of the state of Sao Paulo and over several other parts of Brazil, the fifth-largest country in the world. "


Isn't that fascinating? Keeping traditions alive like that? Read the whole article. Has anybody ever researched these families?

1 comment:

Lori Thornton said...

If I'm not mistaken, there were some northeast Mississippians who also went to Brazil.