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Bissau, Farim, Zinquixor and other areas of the northwest coast of Africa, and those of the Bissago and Balanta nations were the most appreciated; half of them are now brought here by land from Bahia. In the year 1783 were imported in 14 ships, 1,602 black, and sold for 175: 738 $ 000.

The average price was then 135$000 to 100$000. Now the importation of slaves has considerably diminished; In the years 1812 to 1821 it amounted to 45,477, each of which cost an average price of 200$000, or, as often happened throughout Brazil, on credit for 250$000 to 300$000. (Note IV).

So quickly was our health restored, thanks to the care of our kind host, his brother William, and Dr. Hall, that we not only shared the company of society, but also practiced horseback riding. The only well-maintained road led us to the largest Indian village, the village of Passo do Lumiar within the island; On the other hand, through damp plateaus, we went to Vinhais, a league east of the capital.

The Indians, who are the almost exclusive inhabitants of these towns, and originate in part from the Tupinambas, in part from the Manajos, we find in the same sad conditions of insignificant life, in which almost all of the native villages of Brazil appeared to us. They enjoy the privilege of independent municipal organization; they pay almost no taxes, and engage in fishing, basket manufacture, and pottery, or contract as rowers of coastal boats. They are all Christians, and constitute their own parish.

The appearance of the regions of the island, which we came to know, were reminiscent of the thick, locked, murky, swampy woods we had seen along the Itapicuru River.

Itapicuru River

On the shores of the sea, we did not see the coconut palm, an ornament of tropical marine lands, which is much rarer here than in the southern provinces. The whole island is low, cut by numerous moats and streams, which are almost always connected with rivers and coves; and because, for this reason, they lose part of their waters as a result of reflux, swarms of mosquitoes live on their muddy banks. The highest side of the island lies between the town and the bay of Aracai, on whose bank rise abrupt cliffs of reddish-brown color.

The orogenic formation of the entire island is the iron-containing grain cluster, which we had already noted on the continent, along the Itapicuru River, and which occupies the thickness of more than 100 feet above the granite.


One finds this stone in the most diverse sizes and thicknesses; here and there, it contains in its fractures ocher clay. The considerable mixture of iron oxide in the

Iron oxide