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Title: R. Gumbleton Daunt, Brazil, to the Editor of The Nation.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileGumbleton, Richard/46
SenderGumbleton Daunt, Richard
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCampinas, province os San Paulo, Brazil
RecipientEditor of The Natin
Recipient Genderunknown
Relationshipletter to a newspaper editor
SourceThe Nation, Dublin, Saturday, January 22, 1848.
ArchiveThe Linenhall Library, Belfast.
Doc. No.9601080
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 05:01:96.
Word Count1354

"Si au'em pro otioso verbo reddimus rationem, videamus, ne
reddamus pro otioso silentio."
S. AMBROSE, liber e Officiis.

Sir - So long as the question of Irish emigration could
be treated speculatively I abstained from obtruding any
opinions of my own upon it before the public. From the
account contained in the last number of THE NATION here
received it is evident, however, that an emigration of a
large portion of the Irish people must be considered in
the order of the faits accomplis, and all which can now
be done is to so guide and administer it as to obtain
from it the greatest amount of benefit to the emigrants
and to the whole Irish nation, and to make it on the
other hand in the least possible degree a means of
strengthening the colonial empire of our arch enemy.
I think that these joint objects may be better
attained than by the indiscriminate current of emigration
now flowing towards the United States and the North
American Colonies. In the former the demand for labour,
skilled or unskilled, is so limited as to leave the
majority of our emigrating countrymen a burden on the
industry of their new home; and in the latter the
preponderence of the Saxon element is such as to
threaten the absorption of the distinctive qualities of
the Celtic nationality.
There are two countries to which I now wish to direct
the attention of my emigrant countrymen, and these are
the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, which embraces the
whole southern extremity of Africa, and the empire of
Brazil, at least as to the provinces of San Paulo, St.
[Saint?] Catherina,and S. [San?] Pedro do Rio Grande do
Sul. The former is, it is true, an English possession, but
the English and Scotch are a small minority, the population
being a mixed race, composed of the descendants of
adventurers from all the countries of Europe, and who,
under Dutch rule, settled down into a thrifty,
justice-loving, frugal, industrious, and virtuous people,
retaining, at the same time, so acute a sense of wrong
and love of independence as to have repeatedly caused the
greatest annoyance to their English rulers, who would,
perhaps, ere this have received warning to retire from
their cares, were it not that by a fiendishly subtle
policy the English government has contrived to keep up on
the frontiers a continual state of irritation between the
colonists and the Kafir tribes, which, when so to its
wisdom appears good, it stimulates into a war, in which
the colonists are the only sufferers; and when peace is
made it is such a one as permits the Kafir to remain a
ready instrument in the hands of the English government
to clip the wings of colonial spirit of independence and
desire for self-government, when these become
presumptuously strong. However, this colony is very
slightly Anglicised, save in some districts, and even in
these the demand for labourers is so great that Irishmen
would find themselves in a position to defy the hate and
scorn of the few who would find their presence
inconvenient. I have travelled through the whole of this
colony, and can with truth qualify it as being the finest
emigration field I know, and as possessing a most
salubrious climate. When I visited South Africa provisions
of all sorts were abundant and cheap, and wages high, I
myself paying house servants at the rate of thirty pounds
per annum, with food and lodging; and up to the present
time house servants of both sexes, grooms, gardeners, and
all who have any useful capital-producing calling continue
to be in great demand, while a good number of agricultural
labourers could also be annually absorbed.
The most promising field for the Irish emigrants en masse
is, I think, to be found in the southern provinces of Brazil
and the Terra or mountain land of the province of Rio de
Janeiro. Here the Irish emigrants would breathe an air free
from the taint of the Saxons' breath, and would find himself
in the midst of a Catholic population, in a country where
privileged classes are unknown, except in the fact of the
existence of that much misunderstood institution - Negro
slavery. The Brazilian government has latterly shown the
greatest desire to further the introduction of free labour,
and has, at great trouble and cost, obtained an immigration
of some thousands of German emigrants, whom it has located
in various spots eligible for European husbandry, as well
as for the tropical, should the newly arrived European
prefer the former to the latter. About a month ago five
hundred German immigrants passed through Campinos, on their
way to the Senator Vergneiro's estate of Ibicaba, where they
are now located. They are provided with provisions by him
until they shall have the produce of their own labour, and
the contract is such that a few years of patient toil will
elevate these European proletarians, who are transported
at the public expense to this distant spot, into independent
small proprietors. The majority of these Germans are
Protestants, and here we see a wonderful contrast - for
this body of five hundred colonists, of whom four hundred
are of Protestant belief, the Catholic government of Brazil
obliges the contractor, the Senator Vergneiro to provide,
for a certain time, a Protestant German religious teacher!!!
To me it is a source of endless regret, that the Irish
peasant emigrant, if he must become one, has no means of
transport to Brazil, where he might have an equality of
advantage with the Geramn or Swiss, who, though differing
in race, and generally in creed from the present white
population of Brazil, are now reaping all the advantages
whichits richly fertile, but uncultivated interior offers
to the strong arm and resolute perseverance of the European
The climate of Southern Brazil is, I affirm, much more
healthy than that of the greater part of Europe; and the
disease which does appear, is very tractable. That terrible
scourge of God, the typhus fever, is here unknown, as
indeed it is in the rest of the world, save in two countries
which have many other things, - ancient glories and present
miseries in common - Ireland and Hungary. The system of
colonisation now followed in Brazil, is to allot a certain
portion of territory to a given number of families, to each
a separate allotment being marked out. Government assistance
is, for a given time, afforded to the settlement, which has
a provisional directory to guide and instruct the colonists
in their new circumstances; and, in a short time, they
become independent proprietors. Those, however, who choose,
may form such agreement as they think advantageous to
themselves with any private individual. The most desirable
means of securing these advantages would be the formation
of an Irish Company, which should obtain a grant of eligible
land, to be allotted to the colonists, and to be retained
by the company until the expenses incurred were reimbursed,
and then transferred in full property to the cultivators.
Than the sucess of such ameasure, nothing could be more
facile, in the present disposition of the Brazilian
government; and the negotiations need occupy but a short
time, Under such auspices the Irish emigrants, accompanied
and guided by their clergy, would very shortly become
emancipated in spirit; and, by their enjoyment of free
instutions, and a perfect social equality, disenvolve
those lofty virtues natural to their race, and fit
themselves to aid their mother country in her struggles
for liberty. Should the idea of the formation of such a
company be entertained, I will be ever ready to do my
utmost to facilitate its negotiations here; and doubt not
that such proposals would find even more ready support than
those coming from persons interested in favor of Germany,
Belgium, and Switzerland. In the meantime I trust that what
I have said may induce some of my distressed countrymen to
turn their steps towards South Africa, proceeding either to
Cape Town, Algoa Bay, or Port Natal, where they may
confidently reckon on employment and remuneration, and live
till a better future dawns on their country.
I have the honor to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
Campinas, province of San Paulo,
Brazil, August, 1847.