emperor pedro ii

Leitura (1892). José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior (Brazilian, 1850-1899). Oil on canvas. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.

In 1876, Emperor Pedro II saw Júnior’s work, was impressed, and personally offered his financial support. A Royal Decree awarded Júnior 300 Francs per month for the purpose of studying in Paris. He soon settled in Montmartre and enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts, becoming one of the many students of Alexandre Cabanel. While there, he participated in four of the Salons.

World Head of States in 1889


A photomontage made in 1889 featuring the heads of state of several countries at that time.

From left to right: Yohannes IV (Emperor of Ethiopia), Tewfik Pasha (Khedive of Egypt), Abdülhamit II (Sultan of the Ottoman Empire), Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (Shah of Persia), Christian IX (King of Denmark), Dom Luís I (King of Portugal), Willem III (King of the Netherlands), Dom Pedro II (Emperor of Brazil), Milan I (King of Serbia), Leopold II (King of the Belgians), Aleksandr III (Emperor of Russia), Wilhelm I (German Emperor & King of Prussia), Franz Joseph I (Emperor of Austria & King of Hungary), Victoria (Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland & Empress of India), Jules Grévy (President of the French Republic), Leo XIII (Pope), Meiji (Emperor of Japan), Guangxu (Emperor of China), Umberto I (King of Italy), Don Alfonso XII (King of Spain), Oscar II (King of Sweden and Norway) and Chester A. Arthur (President of the United States).

Confederate Immigrants To Brazil - Mr. Joseph Whitaker and Mrs. Isabel Norris

The Confederados is a cultural sub-group in the nation of Brazil. They are the descendants of people who fled from the Confederate States of America to Brazil with their families after the American Civil War. Santa Barbara do Óeste and Americana Santa Barbara, Vila Americana, New Texas and other towns in the State of São Paulo were heavily populated by Confederate soldiers.

At the end of the American Civil War, the Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil was interested in having cotton crops due to the high prices and, through Freemasonry contacts, recruited experienced cotton farmers for his nation. Dom Pedro offered the potential immigrants subsidies and tax breaks. General  Robert E. Lee advised Southerners not to flee to South America but many ignored his advice and set out to establish a new life away from the destruction of war. Many Southerners who took the Emperor’s offer had lost their land during the war, were unwilling to live under a conquering army, or simply did not expect an improvement in the South’s economic position. Although a number of historians say that the existence of slavery was an appeal, Alcides Gussi, an independent researcher of State University of Campinas, found that only four families owned a total of 66 slaves from 1868 to 1875. The Confederates were the first organized Protestant group to settle in Brazil

The first original Confederado known to arrive was the senator William H. Norris of  Alabama—the colony at Santa Barbara d’ Oeste is sometimes called the Norris Colony. Dom Pedro’s program was judged a success for both the Immigrants and the Brazilian government. The settlers brought with them modern agricultural techniques and new crops such as watermelon, and pecans that soon spread among the native Brazilian farmers. Some foods of the American South also crossed over and became part of general Brazilian culture such as chess pie, vinegar pie, and southern fried chicken. The original Confederados continued many elements of American culture  and established the first  Baptist churches in Brazil. They also established public schools and provided education to their female children, which was unusual in Brazil at the time.

Harter, Eugene C. (2000). The Lost Colony of the Confederacy. Texas A & M University Press.





November 15th 1889: Brazilian coup

On this day in 1889, a military coup occurred in Brazil and the country became a republic. The coup overthrew Emperor Pedro II and was led by Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, who later became the first President of the Republic. The Brazilian monarchy had been unsteady for many years, since Pedro II’s son died, leaving him with only a female heir which many considered unacceptable. Whilst the monarchy was popular with the people, both Pedro and his daughter were indifferent to the continuance of the monarchy. Thus a republican minority was able to overthrow the monarchy and establish the republic.

Morning Read (1916). Antônio Parreiras (Brazilian, 1860-1937). Oil on canvas. Museu Antonio Parreiras.

In 1882, he enrolled at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, but left two years later to attend the free painting classes being offered by the German immigrant artist Georg Grimm. After one of his works was purchased by Emperor Pedro II, he was able to resume his formal studies and travel to Europe in 1888, entering the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.