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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Consider all the sacrifice for the general good that does not reach the isolated inhabitants, and that this is the most powerful obstacle for the political development of the province of Para. Para is a new State, whose resources mainly need to be based on indirect taxation, and, precisely therefore, are never quite calculable. These conditions that will undoubtedly be annulled, also soften by the measures of the administration, and a task as painful, as it is beneficial and effective. We dare not remember here, however, how the government achieved its goals. Allow us to add the opinion that, just as in the primitive colonization of America,

Colonization is also an important goal the clergy who, without egoism, work to produce the most favorable effects for this purpose. The history of medieval European civilization and many works of religious organizations in America, with more experience than secular authorities may serve as a guide to such a way.

These considerations relate particularly to the Indians that, in Grao-Para, have a relatively higher number than any other region in Brazil. Besides the isolated families, who live outside the city, there are so many who live in the city, who are recognized as being part of the population. In the houses, the blacks employed in domestic service are rarer than other major cities in Brazil. This work is done almost always by the Indians. Fishermen and porters are of this race, and also, the Indians work with sailors in the coastal yachts and are rowers in the canoes that sail the Great River. This last employment belongs exclusively to them, and it often happens to be necessary to resort to cunning to convince them to take the oars. This explains the lack of safety on the longest journeys, because as soon as they are present, the Indians leave the boat and passengers in distress (1). Under the direction of whites and mulattos, there are many Indians in the tasks of the shipyard, the Arsenal and other public works.

The Count of Vila Flor, convinced of the importance of Belem and the mouth of the Amazon River, as a military position, instituted a infantry of Indians, whose precision and strength in the newly evolving military we had occasion to appreciate.

For all these purposes, several times a year, flocks of young Indians, taken from the villages of the interior and the Isle of Marajo, are requested, and sent to the city, where they receive a salary with room and board.

(1) It is said that once, when the governor of Grao-Para, Francisco Xavier de MCN Brendan Furtado, brother of Pombal, took a trip of inspection to the Ilha de Marajo, and the Indians were commanded to row, they all jumped together in the river and swam for land. Vicindo-SC , the Captain general and his officers were coerced to wield and handle the oars.

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