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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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The penetration of the Portuguese has hitherto been opposed, the navigation in Rio Doce has been made unsafe, and the indians terrorize the neighborhoods. Even more urgent is the need to reestablish the navigation of the Rio Doce and the Belmonte River, in order to connect the backlands with the coast. To pacify the Botocudos, it is necessary to employ them as rowers on these waterways,

formerly without navigation. and thus, by the most peaceful of all means, commercial traffic, promote gradual civilization. From Tocaios, canoes loaded with cotton, usually reach the coast in fourteen to twenty days.

They are very long and narrow, usually consisting of a wide keel and a board on each side, and carry the load of eight mules, that is, 64 arrobas. Three rowers, knowledgeable about the river, receive food and a daily pataca to steer the vessel. Halfway there, the canoes meet a waterfall, where today is the Quartel do Salto military barracks. Alas, the boats must be unloaded to avoid danger. In addition, further down, the banks are full of rocks, and also the riverbed; however, the strong current is overcome, without dispatching the Quartel dos Arcos. The soldiers of these two detachments are the pilots of these voyages, and they seem fit for this service, knowing how to impose themselves on the Indians, and to protect the sailing against their assaults. As the mouth of the Belmonte River, because of its rocks is dangerous, the Bahia Government has taken care to widen the Salsa River, the link between the Belmonte River and the Pardo River, which can only easily be navigated during the rainy season, so that the canoes, by the bar of this last river, reach the ocean. From there the shipment continues, in boats and schooners, sometimes spending only 24 hours until Bahia.

Minas Gerais to Bahia

For the future, when the production of the district of Minas Novas develops more and more, it will be a commercial route of great importance; Already now, some enterprising firms from Bahia use this route to their advantage. Many inhabitants of the termo of Minas Novas have also tried to open a road along the Belmonte River to Quartel do Salto, but because of the proximity of angry Indian tribes and the thickness of the virgin forest, it was hardly frequented; And now, probably, the bush has regrown there.

Vila do Fanado

The village of Bom Sucesso do Fanado, or simply Vila do Fanado, is situated on a strongly convex hill between the Bom Sucesso and Fanado streams.

It is the main place of the northern district of the Serro Frio district or termo of the Minas Novas, so called because, only after the other auriferous lands were mined (between 1724 and 1727) was its gold discovered and explored. Herein sits the out-of-court judge, who, as a superior authority, deals with all judicial and administrative matters (the latter, above all, with the chief captain).

Chief Captain or Capitao mor

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