The German Element in Brazil eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about The German Element in Brazil.

While on a trip of investigation in Brazil the writer was furnished important information and material by Friedrich Sommer, Direktor of the “Banco Allemao Transatlantico” of Sao Paulo; Henrique Bamberg of Sao Paulo; Otto Specht, Chefe da Seccao de Publicidade e Bibliotheca of the “Secretaria da Agricultura” of Sao Paulo; Johann Potucek, Austro-Hungarian Consul in Curityba; J.B.  Hafkemeyer, S.J., of the “Collegio Anchieta,” Porto Alegre; G.A.  Buechler of the “Neue Schule,” Blumenau; Cleto Espey, O.F.M., of the “Collegio St. Antonio,” Blumenau; E. Bloch, Engenheiro Chefe da Estrada de Ferro Santa Catharina, Itajahy; Nikolaus Dechent, Direktor of the “Deutsche Schule,” Joinville; Petrus Sinzig, O.F.M., of the “Convento dos Franciscanos,” Petropolis; Edmondo Hees, Editor of the “Nachrichten,” Petropolis; Pastor Fr. L. Hoepffner of the “Deutsch-Evangelische Gemeinde,” Rio de Janeiro; W. Muenzenthaler, Kaiserlicher General-Konsul, Rio de Janeiro; and Heinrich Lotz, Kgl.  Bezirksgeologe a.D., Berlin.

Special thanks are also due to Professor D.B.  Shumway, of the University of Pennsylvania, for valuable suggestions and assistance in the final arrangement of the manuscript.

The above-mentioned persons are in no wise responsible for any errors which may appear in the text.

=Chapter I.=



The first reference to German settlers in Brazil we have from the pen of Hans Stade of Homberg in Hessen.  Stade made two trips to Brazil; one in 1547 and one in 1549.  In the latter instance he was shipwrecked but succeeded in landing safely near the present port of Santos in the state of Sao Paulo.  As he was a skilled artillerist the Portuguese made him commander of the fort Bertioga, the ruins of which are an interesting landmark to this day.  Later Stade spent several most trying years as the captive of a cannibalistic tribe.

After his return to Germany, Stade published an account of his experiences.  The first edition entitled “Wahrhafftige Historia unnd beschreibung einer landschafft der Wilden, Nacketen, Grimmigen, Menschfresser Leuthen in der Newen Welt America gelegen, ...” appeared at Marburg in 1557.[1] In this work Stade refers to two of his fellow-countrymen located in Brazil; the one Heliodorus Eoban of Hessen, who had charge of a sugar-refinery on the island of Sao Vicente (near Santos); the other Peter Roesel, who was located in Rio de Janeiro as the representative for a business firm of Antdorff.[2]

Next we come to Manuel Beckmann, the son of a German who had located in Lisbon.  He is known in history as Manoel Bequimao and was the leader in the Maranhao revolution of 1684.  This uprising, altho it came to grief, may be regarded as the first of a long series of protests against the home government resulting in the declaration of the independence of Brazil on the field at Ypiranga, September 2d, 1822.  Beckmann died a martyr’s death at Rio on November 2, 1685.  His younger brother, Thomas Beckmann, who had also taken part in the revolution, was acquitted.[3]

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The German Element in Brazil from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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