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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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address, the Presidio of Sao Joao Batista; He had us accompanied there by one of his men, and told the servants of his house and the soldiers of the post in writing the order to satisfy our desires in everything.

The first discoverer of Minas Gerais seems to have been Sebastiao Tourinho, from Porto Seguro, who, in the year 1573, sailed up the Rio Doce, and returned to the coast by Jequitinhonha. He followed in the footsteps of Antonio Dias Adorno and Marcos de Azeredo, in an attempt to look for emeralds and sapphires, for the first observed (aquamarines, green tourmaline and blue topaz). Faster and better, however, this region became known, for the trips by land, which, in the last decades of the seventeenth century

Paulistas

were undertaken by the Paulistas, no longer for farming, but to collect gold. The portion of gold, which these adventurers brought to their investors, led to numerous emigrations, from both native Brazilians and Portuguese, to the new Eldorado.

The country was soon populated; these places were elevated to village: - Vila Rica and Mariana, in the year 1711; Sao Joao d'El-Rei and Sabara, in 1712, and Vila do Principe, in 1714. Since 1720, Minas Gerais has been an independent captaincy, separate from Sao Paulo, to which it belonged, and in the same year had a quartermaster. The first Governor-General, Lourenco de Almeida, found the country already quite busy and divided into four counties. In 1818, Vila Rica was elevated to the capital city of Minas, as well as Vila Boa to Goias and Vila Bela to Mato Grosso.

(1) According to the Journal von Brasilien, by Von Eshwege, (I, page 209).
(2) An insecure news that we owe to Marshal Felisberto Caldeira Brant Pontes, from Bahia, to Minas, in the year 1820, 621,885 inhabitants, of which 456,675 were free and 165,210 slaves. Having twice the population of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais has three and a half times more black slaves and nine times more free blacks than it does.