Remember the Rainforest 1
very large waves of blacks, brought from the coast of Africa.
The three main roads, through which the commerce of the sertao are made, are the ones that pass through Conquista and Rio Pardo, to Minas Gerais; by Rio das Contas, for Goias and Mato Grosso; and by Juazeiro, to the northern provinces, Pernambuco and Piaui, etc. On these roads, however, there is no regular mail service, as has been done for many years along the coast of the sea, passing by Sergipe d'El-Rei, Alagoas, etc., to Pernambuco and Maranhao.
The most important among all Bahian products is sugar, whose export in 1817 amounted to 1,200,000 arrobas (about 27,300 boxes), and in 1818 to 29,575 boxes (each containing 40 to 55 arrobas). Already in 1807, the export of this article amounted to 26,000 or 27,000 boxes, and since that time, has relatively
little increased, and it can be safely said that the 511 mills, which send sugar to embark in Bahia, produce no more than 30,000 boxes, abstracting from internal consumption (1).
The exportation of cotton has risen in recent years, due to the exaggerated demand of the English, to 40,000 bags; The rate of tobacco, by contrast, has declined considerably, and cannot be valued at more than 200,000 quintais. Rice, which is most abundantly planted in Ilheus County, is exported in small quantities throughout the land, reaching only 12,000 quintals. The number of salted and tanned leathers ranges from 15,000 to 30,000. The rum is exported from 10,000 to 11,000 pipas (each holding about 500 bottles).
Coffee production has so far been limited to just a few districts, providing a maximum of 12,000 arrobas. The other articles mentioned above are exported in very unequal quantities. The total value of Bahia's exports can, without exaggeration, be estimated at 13.8 million florins, which, compared with the value of imports, proves the wealth of Bahia.
There are also few commercial centers that boast such large and rich business houses, and it is well known that many of these and the oldest, according to the custom of the land, keep a treasury of 400,000 to 500,000 cash cruzados out of circulation. The bank, founded here under the guarantee of some commercial houses, transacts mainly with similar establishments in Rio de Janeiro, and at the outset had the obligation to sell, for little profit, the Treasury withdrawals from the capital to this center. (Note IV).
The above assessment, referred to me by Mr. Marecbal Felioberto Caldeira, the government statistician, is far more than half that of von Humboldt and Aug. of Saint-Hilaire, the first of whom attributes Bahia an export of 100,000 boxes, and the second with an estimated 60,000 boxes.