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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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September 8. — The East Wind was blowing, already at the dawn of the day, so we did not need to follow the WSW along the continent. It seemed to us that the shores were rising and that the islands, as well as the continent, before just protruding from the level of the waters, stood out some feet above them. By nightfall, we stopped, following the counsel of the Indians, who predicted a Temporal. Like this, however, the storm did not approach as quickly as we thought, so we raised anchor, at sunset, to seize the East wind, which became stronger. At 10:00 of the night, we were forced by a new thunderstorm to look for shelter on the sidelines.

The storm triggered with extraordinary violence that lasted 1 hour. With this the air temperature was considerably lowered. It was at noon, in the shade, 24 ° 8, R., and descended, then, to 21 °, 3 R. In the water, which in the morning had indicated 22 °, 7, and at noon, 22,6, the thermometer returned to 22 ° 6.

During the night of 8 to 9 September, we had only anchored a few hours at Gurupa, and, in the last few days, we had skirted another point of land, when, in a small elevation of this place, we spotted the southern bank of the Rio Santo Antonio de Gurupa (or Corupa) and named "Fortaleza " in the official reports

Fortaleza on Gurupa

but does not have, besides a mud escarpment in front of the river, any fortification, nor artillery, and, as Guarnicao, only few soldiers, who are absent most of the year, attending to the Xingu River, etc. The canoes, which descend the Amazonas laden with goods, are registered here, to pay export tax, which is charged at the customs of Belem do Para, before boarding, or according to the declaration that they are goods necessary to the place.

Customshouse

The inferior state of the population’s culture manifests itself in the quality of what it produces. The province, which has not less than 30 articles of export, does not receive much in taxes because of the inconstancy of export and the small quantity of many articles. The commander of the village, at the same time judge of the troops of soldiers, tax collector and customs officer, described this place to us as “Village of Whites “. This was a town, whose inhabitants are pure whites, without mixture of Indian blood. Undoubtedly, the village began as a fortification of the Dutch (1615), and La Condamine expressly states that the Indians found here were slaves of the whites. Our glorious predecessor had also been here on 9 September 1743, so exactly 77 years earlier; And it seems that, then, the place had been in more flourishing conditions than at the time of our arrival.

Capuchins

In the neighborhood of Povoado, a mission had existed of the Capuchin of Para, from which the inhabitants probably had moved to the village, where we found no white, only people of color among whom were many with a mixture of the indigenous natives, or pure

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