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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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In the person of Dr. Jutonio Correia de Lacerda (1), the physicist of the state of Grao-Para, we became acquainted with an excellent disciple of Felix Brotero. He was determined for the botanics of Brotero to establish itself here, in the curriculum he shared with us. Since Rocinha, located north of Belem, is only a quarter of an hour away, we were determined when we concluded our scientific investigations, to look for this friend or to receive him at our house in the city.

Belem harbor right

Belem harbor left

Santa Maria de Belem, capital of Grao-Para, generally called Para, distant from the sea about 16 leagues in a straight line, is situated on a flat and low land edge, along the east bank of the great river, which, by the union of the Tocantins River waterfall

Tocatins waterfall

with the waters of the Amazon in the Tajipuru Channel along with many tributaries of the mainland and the Island of Marajo, is named Rio Para.

That part of this super body of water which stretches north of the mouth of the Moju River, between the Island of Marajo and the mainland, to the city and the Bay of Santo Antonio,

Guajara Bay today

It is called Guajara bay. (Others call it the low, wooded embo, interrupted by some of the Guama islands). The length of the river here, from the mainland to Marajo, is estimated in a league and a half; except for one part, which extends to the other band.

The shore is hidden to our eyes, on the island of the Oni; the same, west-facing, almost an hour from the other. To the south of the city, the great body of water of the Guama River, the imposing river, meets, coming from the mainland, to the east.

Belem, Rio Guama today

Because the land is a plain, the spectator can see the city, as consisting of only two rows of houses, and the proximity of the gigantic virgin forest, which forms the land, shows how here the construction activity of man is conquered by the tropical vegetation. On the sea side, near the shore and almost in the middle of

the rows of houses, we can see the Commerce and Customs Square, behind which the two towers of the Mercos Church appear. Further in, the dome of the Church of Santa Ana rises, and, in the northern part, the view ends with the Capuchin Convent of Santo Antonio; in the southern part, the gaze rests in the Castle and the Military Hospital, which is joined by the Episcopal Seminary and

the Cathedral, with its towers. Further into the land, stands out in that area, the Government Palace, an imposing edifice which was built during the administration

Government Palace today

(I) Antonio Correia Lacerda (1777-1852) was born in Portugal and died in Brazil, where he became naturalized. He has left many works, the list of which can be found in the "Historical-Geographical Statement of the Province of Maranhao." of Cesar Marques and in the "Dictionairio Bibliografico Brasileiro", by Blake. Having arrived in Brazil in 1818, he established himself first in Para, where he became involved in the agitated policies of that province, whose Governing Board was part of it in 1823, and was forced to emigrate to the United States later. He was a member of the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute, as well as of the Velosian Society. (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. And Geogr. Bras.).

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