top of page





A very well written thesis on the history and settlement albeit a little one-sided

Santarem old view, Brazil, at confluence of Tapajos river with Amazon. Created by Riou and Hildibrand,                                                                 published on Le Tour du Monde, Paris, 1867

This is the Estação da Luz, in the center of the city of São Paulo, a few months before its inauguration in the year 1900. The original station was inaugurated in 1867 by the com-pany The São Paulo Railway , then Santos-Jundiaí Railroad. Yes, it was the golden days of the coffee, and the railroad shipped the product to the port of Santos. Likewise, the railroad brought European immigrants to the interior and to the large farms of the Paulista West, allowing the settlement and opening of a huge consumer market later supplied by the capital industry. As a result, to better meet passenger demand and rail traffic, the station was expanded, giving way to the imposing English-style building, officially opened in 1901 at the turn of the 20th century. 

Estação da Luz, in the center of the city of São Paulo  1900

The Bairro da Luz was one of the most elegant of the capital of São Paulo, very different from the current times where abandonment predominates and the known cracolândia established in its vicinity. In the photo above, we can see, on the right side, practically in front of the station, the current building of the State Pinacoteca, desig-ned by the well-known engineer and architect Ramos de Azevedo. Behind this building you can see part of Jardim da Luz, the oldest public park in the city of São Paulo. It was a place of leisure and walking for the residents of the city, in that early twentieth century. 

As it is known, the Estação da Luz building was recently hit by a fire and currently houses the Museum of the Portuguese Language. The photo above was taken by the photographer Guilherme Gaensly (1843-1928) and today is part of the collection of the Public Archive of the State of São Paulo. 

Dr. Josiah H. Pitts   -Tennessee

A fact little known to Brazilians and probably even to Americans! A consequence for Brazil of the American Civil War or War of Secession (1861-1865). Hundreds of confederate Southerners decided to come to our country after the end of the war and some of them to the city of Santarém, located at the confluence of the Amazonas and Tapajós rivers, in the State of Pará. Families that had men who served in this conflict and who were victims of the destruction of the southern United States economy. The family of Dr. Josiah H. Pitts (photo left, 1866) was one of them. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, he served in the Confederate Army as an officer. Pitts and other Americans accepted the challenge of living in the Amazonian rain forest in order to establish themselves as owners,Dixieland (Southern United States).

As is well known, the Civil War was the result of the disruption between the States of the North and those of the South of the United States, as a result of divergences regarding the direction the United States should take in the economic and social field  For example, the North pleaded for a protectionist policy while the South sought free trade; greater investment in railroads was an interest also of the northerners; a more devalued dollar against the pound sterling favored the interests of the southern cotton planters who received for this product in pounds and, above all, the question of the continuity of slave labor, something that was in the interest of these same farmers.The expansion of slavery to the newly conquered West, was also the target of misunderstandings, since it could generate an imbalance in the representation of the US Congress between abolitionists and slaveholders. In the end, the most urbanized and industrialized society of the North was in confrontation with the rural and patriarchal organization of the South. 

Such divergences eventually led to the war (in the photo above, confederate soldiers from Virginia, at the beginning of the conflict), which ended with the Yankees' victory over the Confederates (South).  Many scholars and writers, including the German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883), saw in this result the victory of the most progressive and bourgeois positions of the North over the conservative aristocracy of the South. In a letter sent to President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, through the International Workers' Association (also known as the First International), Marx celebrated the end of slavery in the United States as an important chapter in the struggle of the workers against exploitation.

After the conflict, the southern states remained under a military administration imposed by the winning Yankees and many government positions were under the control of the northerners . Such intervention lasted until the year 1877, when occupying troops were withdrawn after the Congress of the United States passed a General Amnesty Law. The emancipation of slaves, proposed by President Lincoln and passed in Congress (13th Amendment), was evidently not well accepted by the southern elite. Moreover, in the view of the same represented an expropriation, since the owners of the slaves were not indemnified. Violence and excesses have occurred, including the emergence of the well-known Ku Klux Klan racist organization. On the part of the military administration there were also authoritarian excesses and measures, which made it difficult for the southern population to be reintegrated into the Union. As a result, many of the former inhabitants of the South decided to leave the region, even leaving the country.

Well, it's this chapter that interests us, the fate of some of these families.Mexico would be a natural option, due to the proximity. But, the political instability in that country (in 1867 the emperor Maximiliano was executed) made difficult the process. On the other hand, many Americans had already established contact with Brazil. Since the opening of the Brazilian ports established by the decree of the prince-regent D. João, in 1808, ships from North America established commercial connections with the ports of Brazil, including in the Amazon. Brazil nuts became known as well as rubber (rubber) and even our tapioca could be found in the English and North American market since the beginning of the 19th century. 

 Matthew Fontaine Maury

A USP researcher, Maria Clara Sales Carneiro Sampaio, based on new documentation, revealed other intentions by the US government in the Amazon. President Lincoln  intended to establish agreements with the Brazilian government to send freed slaves here, since there was a fear of a serious racial conflict after the end of the Civil War. Blacks or Afrodescen-dants were viewed as culturally inferior and unable to fully integrate into the American nation. Yes, Abraham Lincoln thought that way! Let us remember that a similar experience had already been made in Liberia, West Africa, when a colon-izing society acquired territory to be occupied by Africans sent back to the continent.However, the polls with Brazil did not go ahead, since the Brazilian government wanted to bring in white settlers of European origin and not more Africans.  The idea was to promote the gradual waxing of the Brazilian popu-lation! Dear reader, do not miss these visions and points of view, after all we are in the nineteenth century. 

In turn, even before the Civil War, many English and American naturalists had already been to the Amazon, describing the region as favorable to settlement, fertile and despite the hot weather, the same would be softened by the shadows of the forest and the breeze of the rivers. In the opinion of men like Louis Agassiz, Henry Walter Bates, Alfred Russel Wallace (friend of Charles Darwin), and principally Lieutenant of the American Navy Matthew Fontaine Maury, the region presented conditions favorable to the settlement and the establishment of colonies.

In addition, these same explorers bragged about the natural wealth of the Amazon, especially the abundance of wood of the most varied types, the fishy rivers and the diversity of fauna, through which no individual would be left without the means of subsistence. Through these reports, the interest on the part of the United States in the opening of the navigation of the Amazon river grew. Matthew Fontaine Maury (photo above) was one of the great advocates of this measure in articles published in the American newspapers. In 1851, Maury sent his cousin Lieutenant William Lewis Herndon and a former US Naval Observatory collaborator, Lieutenant Lar-dner Gibbon, to explore the Amazon River Valley and collect information on the possibilities of occupation of the region. Subsequently, Maury published a book,The Amazon and the Atlantic Slopes of South America , 1853. Other American travelers who traveled throughout the region predicted that Belém do Pará could become a kind of "New Orleans" of South America, since occupied by settlers southern countries, including slave labor. On the part of the Brazilian government there were distrusts regarding the intentions of Maury, due to the policy of annexations of the North American government in relation to Mexico. In fact, there seemed to be a desire to establish a kind of "slave-like imperialism" on the part of the American Southerners in the Caribbean and in the Amazon. Some years later, in 1867, the imperial government opened the Amazon River to international shipping, although with some restrictions. 

Unsuccessful in the proposal of southern expansion and sending freed slaves to South America, Brazil emerged as an alternative to defeated Confederates. Many of these went to the interior of the Province of São Paulo, in the present municipalities of Santa Bárbara D'Oeste and Americana. The occupation in these places was stable and generated a descent until now settled in these cities of São Paulo. Many of them dedicated themselves to the production of cotton and fruits, among which the watermelon was outstanding.

But let us return to the Confederates who came to settle in Santarem. As we said, the descriptions made about the Amazon were favorable, which made the region a possible alternative for the arrival of these immigrants. The initiative for this undertaking was assigned to Major Warren Lans-ford Hastings (1818-1868). A native of the American state of Ohio, he gained notoriety as a young man, leading a group of American settlers who traveled from Oregon to California to occupy the latter territory, then belonging to Mexico.  Hast-ings (in the image right) published a book about this adven-ture: The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California. There are those who believe that Hastings thought of the possi-bility of leading a movement in California to make it an independent country, an idea that would have fallen to the ground after the war between the United States and Mexico in 1846, when the region was finally annexed to the feder-ation North-American. In any case, the Pathfinder helped to expand the population of Americans relative to that of Mexicans in that territory. After marrying Charlotte Toler, whose mother was Venezuelan, Hastings moved to Arizona.  

During this period he also acted as a lawyer specializing in land titles. Perhaps his interest in South America came at this time. 

Aligned with the Southerners during the Civil War, Hastings devised a plan to take Southern California, Arizona, and New  Mexico to  the  Confederates,  to which  he  also fought. 

With the defeat of the Southerners, Hastings traveled to Mexico and then to Brazil, checking places to establish colonies of confederates such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. But at that moment, as we have already observed, the prestige of the Amazon as a region to be ex-plored, with availability of natural resources and lands, prevailed.

Santarem  -  1858

In 1866, Major Hastings arrived in Belém do Pará and soon afterwards he crossed the Amazon River in a steamboat of the Navigation Company of the Amazon River (belonging to Barão de Mauá), with the purpose of knowing the region. Hastings was thrilled with what he saw, the high-value woods and agricultural produce produced in the riverside towns: coffee, cocoa, sugar, rice, cotton, beans, and tropical fruits. In return, Hastings and his entourage had an excellent impression of Santarem (in the above picture, the city in 1858), considering the place in good condition to receive American immigrants.

Colonel Miguel Antônio          Pinto Guimarães,

    Baron de Santarém

In Santarém, the delegation of Hastings was well received by Colonel Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães, Baron de Santarém, who was vice-president of the Province of Pará (in the time of the Empire, local governors were appointed as presidents). The Baron (image left has become a great incentive for the arrival of American immigrants. 

After his stay in Pará, Hastings went to the Court in Rio de Janeiro, where he was received by authorities and ministers. Back in Pará, the Americans went to check the lands that were granted them near San-tarém. They were located between the Amazonas, Curuá and Tapajós rivers. 

Ready! Now it was only to return to the United States and bring together families interested in coming to a new country. Three members of Has-tings' entourage began preparing the land and building houses. The major asked for subsidies of 44 dollars from the imperial government and 56 dollars from the Parana government for each immigrant who was brought to the region. Despite not having obtained this last value of the government of Pará, it granted $ 13,000 of aid for the coming of the Americans. In total, each adult received $ 70 for travel expenses to Brazil. A proposal by Hastings was rejected by the Brazilian government, that settlers should be governed by their own laws and regulations!

Hastings returned to his hometown, Mobile, in the state of Alabama, in order to get settlers in the jungles of the Amazon and published a guide for them:  An Emmigrant's Guide to Brazil, in 1867. In July of that same year, a steam  ship with 109 immigrants left the port of Mobile towards Brazil. However, a breakdown in the middle of the road forced the pas-sengers to have to change ships and, finally, to reach Belém.

Claiming expenses and problems during the trip, Hastings demanded an extraordinary payment and that he be appointed director of the colony with the right to salary. However, it had not been able to comply with the six-month deadline for the colony's implementation. Anyway, a new contract was being arranged between Hastings and the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, where the North American would be named director of the center in Santarém and receive a good annual bonus. But an unexpected fact prevented the implementation of this new agreement. On the return trip to Alabama, in 1868, to bring in new settlers, Major Hastings passed away!

At the same time, difficulties arose for those already established in Santarém (in the photo below, Santarém at the time of the North American presence). The promised government aid was not always fulfilled, access to the plots was difficult due to distance, inadequate transport and constant rains, which are common in Amazonia.  Groceries and provisions were difficult to obtain and expensive. The settlers requested support from the US Consul in Belém. He sent reports to the United States about the colony's implantation, pointing out several problems, including the fact that many immigrants are not familiar with agricultural work and exist among them thugs, adventurers from the Confederate Army and even criminals. Also, the choice of location would not have been well made. 

Santarém at the time of the North American presence

According to the report of the President of the Province of Pará, Jose Bento da Cunha Figueiredo, made to the imperial government in 1869, of the 112 immigrants brought by Major Hastings, added to those already in San-tarém, a total of 192 colonists arrived. However, a few months later, only 87 remained. Many returned to the country of origin and others dispersed, some searching for the cities of Belém, Manaus and Santarém itself.  Approximately 9 families remained on the land granted to Major Hastings. 

From the descriptions left later by other American travelers who visited Santarém, it is possible to perceive that the settlers had diverse social origins. Many had no resources of their own, others without experience in agri-cultural work and of proletarian origin, leading the Baron de Santarém, Coronel Pinto Guimarães, to affirm that they were not well chosen. On the other hand, the departure of a good part of the adventurous and surly im-migrants was good for those who remained, as they became more respected within the community of Santarém, so much so that others came to the region between 1868 and 1874, on their own, like the Rikers of South Car-olina; the Rhome, from Texas; the Wallace and the Hennington of the Mississippi, who left offspring in San-tarem and other parts of the Amazon. Some English families also joined the nucleus in 1871, as was the case with the Wickham.Researcher Norma Guilhon, in her book "The Confederates in Santarém", where most of the information in this post was extracted, mentions something about a hundred settlers living in the municipality, in the year 1874.

The North American settlers settled in the highest area of ​​the municipality of Santarém, known as Serra do Diamantino. Initially, they lived in houses made of wood and covered with straw, very rudimentary (like the one that appears in the drawing below, a housing of the Wickham family). They had no machines or equipment, which could only later be brought from the United States by those who remained in the colony. Many were dedicated to the cultivation of sugar cane and the production of brandy (cachaça). In order to get money they mortgaged the crops as an advance in order to buy groceries and tools. The difficulties with the local labor were great, for the slaves were expensive and the free caboclo was not accustomed to systematic work.  Generally, these workers stayed for a few days and then suddenly left the service. In the early years, settlers also resented the lack of fellowship with other families and the absence of institutions that were part of their lives in the United States: the Protestant Church and the schools. The most successful families had a decade of great effort to establish themselves effectively in the region. 

Drawing Of The Wickham Family House

From 1873, roads were opened linking Santarém to the colonial nuclei with the help of the provincial government of Pará and the settlers themselves. Two roads, Ipanema and Diamantino, connected the colonies to Santarém, in a distance of approximately 16 kilometers (as it appears on the map above, with the same route in 1901).

A Reverend named Richard Hennington (photo right) ended up establishing himself in the nucleus. The same maintained religious services in his farm and later in the own city of San-tarém, in the commercial house of mr. Rhome. Initially, edu-cation was provided within the families themselves or when one of them was entrusted with the task of bringing together young people and children. 

Hennington came in 1868 with his wife, Mary Elisabeth and the three children of the couple: Thomaz, Edwin and Eliza, the youngest (photo below left). Thomaz and Edwin married wo-men from Para. 

Edwin married Estefânia Bentes (photo below center) and remained living in Brazil, unlike Thomaz who returned with his Brazilian wife to the United States. 

The couple Edwin and Estefânia had three children: Carmem, Eduardo and Eula (respectively in the photo below right). As for the Reverend Hennington, he remained in Brazil and ini-tially devoted himself to his small farm, where he set up a sawmill, a hardware store and a sugar cane mill. His establish-ment was regarded as the most important of the Confederate colony.

In 1894, when he began a visit to the United States, Reverend Hennington died in the city of Belém do Pará, where he was buried.

Richard Hennington

Eliza Hennington

       Estafania Bentes 

Mrs. Edwin Hennington

Carmen, Eduardo and         Eula Hennington

Many North American settlers contri-buted to spread the use of the iron plow. In addition to producing sugar and brandy (cachaça), they set up sawmills, water powered mills and specialized in the construction of wagons to transport the products.  Later, the children of the aforemen-tioned Reverend Hennington devoted themselves to the construction of vessels. The engines and engines were brought from the United States. The first steamboat built in Santarém left the Reverend's workshops and was named "Mississipi" (the larger vessel shown in the photo above). Already the first steamship built in the Amazon left the establishment of Baron de Sant-arém and its American partner Rom-ulus Rhome. The boat was called "Taperinha".  The settlers also culti-vated agricultural products such as tomato, beans, rice, cassava, cashew, pepper, tobacco, corn and also brought a new variety of small beans, later known as "bean from Santarém", from the State of Massachusetts. 

Steamship "Mississippi"   Larger in center

Rev. Hennington's House

According to information from the researcher Norma Guilhon, in 1872 there were 49 families scattered in the mountains south of Santarém, whose members numbered 77 Am-ericans and 44 English, for a total of 121 individuals. It seems that in the following years the number of Englishmen declined considerably.


 After the 1890s, many of these immigrants moved into the city, where they began to have business and most of these farms disap-peared. Many dedicated themselves to the trade and exploitation of rubber. Reverend Hennington's own family did this (in the photo left, the Reverend's house in Santarem with eight windows). 

In 1871 Robert Henry Riker (pictured below left, 1866) arrived in Santarem and bought land from the govern-ment of Pará. Riker, together with his brother Herbert, made the first rubber plantations in the Amazon. A curious detail is that decades later, the American industrialist Henry Ford tried to cultivate the plant in the same area, on the banks of the Tapajós river.

Robert Henry Riker was a railway entrepreneur in the United States and was in Fort Sumter, near the city of Charleston, South Carolina, when the first shot of the Southerners who started the Civil War was fired.Riker came to Brazil accompanied by his wife and 5 children (a nine-month-old baby died on the trip). For the aristocratic family, and a member of the high society of Charleston, living in a rustic area and where the neighbors were distant was undoubtedly difficult. The couple Riker still had a son here in Brazil, baptized Marlin Amazonas. However, the boy was born with deficiencies and had to be supported by the other brothers until the adult age.

Mrs. Sarah Riker (pictured below right) and her children made trips to visit their homeland. According to Odete Guilhon tells us, Mrs. Riker never got used to the change of country and lived sadly her years in Brazil, dying, still new, in 1877. Four years later, Robert H. Riker lost his eldest son , Robert, only 29 years old. The older daughter Lilla married Charles Vaughan from another immigrant family and returned to the United States. The other sister, Virginia, followed the same path. The patriarch Robert H. Riker passed away in 1883.

However, his two sons David and Herbert continued the family business in the city. The farm in the Diamantino was sold by David in 1910 (in the photo below, the farm headquarters when still in the power of the family).

David and his brother Herbert Riker eventually became the administrators of the family assets after the death of their parents. After being widowed, David married a 19-year-old Santarém girl named Raimunda or Dona Mundica, with whom she remained until her death (in the photo right, David Riker is already old). The couple had 14 children. 

David Riker (photo left) left a written account where he refers to the Wickham family, of English origin, who maintained a school in the city of Santarém. One of its members was Henry Wickham, known for taking the rubber tree seeds to the Kew Botanical Garden in London. They were then transplanted to Malaysia, where they were domesticated. This fact led to the collapse of rubber production in the Amazon in the early twentieth century.

David Riker was approached by American journalists interested in knowing the fate of the Confederates who came to Brazil. In 1941, James E. Edmonds of The Saturday Evening Post came to Santarem and met David Riker, living in a good house, which could easily be recognized by the American eagle trapped in the front holding the United States' America (photo below).

 Inside a large family, described as friendly and cheerful. David introduced his wife and proudly said that she had given him 14 children, 11 of whom were alive. He recalled the old confederates who remained and were buried in the region, as in the case of David's parents and his elder brother.

David Rilker referred to the venture of the Henry Ford (Fordlandia) indus-trialist, where he worked as an interpreter and also directed the meat supply sector. David criticized the inadequate practices adopted by the famous entrepreneur and intended to change the life of the Amazonian caboclo, as well as the way the rubber plantation business was being remot-ely directed remotely. 

Realizing that the reporter was going to ask the question "Was it worth it?", David Riker replied, "I am glad to have stayed here.God has been kind to me.My children are considerate.Wife is kind and loyal.Nothing is missing How many can say the same. " David Riker passed away in 1954, at the age of 93. His wife, Dona Mundica, died in 1975, also at age 93! Other Con-federate families remained, such as the Jennings-Vaughan family, who came in Major Hastings's group in 1867 and was originally from Ten-nessee. James Vaughan initially devoted himself to agriculture and later to shipbuilding. 

One of Jennings-Vaugham's children, Jorge Clemente Jennings, remained in Santarém and perpetuated the family's name in the local community, dedicating himself to the exploitation of the rubber as a rubber stamp worker (pictured below, sitting with Jorge Jennings and his wife). 

Elisio Sevier Wallace and his wife Mary came to Brazil in 1867 or 1868 and probably had their children here in Brazil. Wallace came to own some sites, helped open roads in the area and returned to the United States in 1912 to buy equipment and machines. All the daughters of the Wallace couple were married to Brazilians. 

Elisio Wallace lived in Santarém until his death in 1912, at the age of 73, and left descendants in Belém, Man-aus and Santarém   (in the photo below, on the right, Mr. Wallace  and  just  behind, his  grandson).   Jennings,
Hennington, Riker, Wallace, Vaughan ... anyone aware of the historical facts would notice the presence of these names in a city in the interior of Pará. This was the case with Norma Guilhon, the wife of the former governor of Pará, Fernando José de Leão Guilhon (with mandate from 1971 to 1975). While accompanying her husband on her trips through the interior of the state, she noticed in that detail when she visited Santarém, which led her to research and write a book entitled "The Confederates in Santarém", published by the State Council of Culture of that State in 1979. For what is known , remains the most complete study of this episode of Amazonian History.

Did Scarlett O'Hara, the well-known character in the novel "... And the Wind Took It," wondered about coming to the Amazon, as did many Confederate families? In the book written by Margaret Mitchell, South America appeared as a possibility for the Confederates to take refuge.Would Rhett Buttler join you? Well, there it would be to imagine ...

Image Credit: 
Photo by Matthew Fontaine Maury: 
Photo of the Confederate Soldiers Group: Sirs colonial period 1850-1900. Collection History in Magazine. April Books / Time Life, 1992, p. 141.  
Photo of Major Warren Lansford Hastings: Wikipedia 
Engraving of Santarém in 1858: Urgent Amazon: Five Centuries of History and Ecologies by Berta G. Ribeiro. Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Belo Horizonte, 1990, p. 51.  
Photo by Robert Henry Riker: 
Photo of David B. Riker Already Old: 
All other photos were taken from the aforementioned book by Norma Guilhon. 



A Tale of Two Brothers: When in Rhome, Do as the Brazilians Do

Posted on November 10, 2017 by hometown

In our cemeteries every tombstone tells a story. And Oakwood Cemetery is a vast anthology of such stories written on pages of marble. One story in Oakwood begins with the name on this modest tombstone:

Surely Mr. and Mrs. Rhome named their baby boy “Romulus” in reference to the myth that the city of Rome was founded by the brothers Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a she-wolf and fed by a woodpecker. (Hey, I don’t make up this stuff.) Did this local Romulus Rhome indeed have a brother named “Remus”? Did they found a city?

The answers are “no” and “sorta.”

Let’s back up to 1835, when Romulus John Rhome was born in New York to Peter and Nancy Rhome. In 1855 the family moved to Cherokee County, Texas, and in 1857 Romulus married Missouri Robertson. In 1861 Romulus enlisted in the 1st Texas Infantry in the Confederate army and served in Hood’s brigade. Romulus fought in the first Battle of Manassas, but his health began to fail, and he was mustered out of the army.

When the war ended, for Romulus John Rhome the South was not south enough. In 1866 Romulus Rhome, his family, and possibly some former slaves moved to Santarem, Brazil. This is Romulus Rhome’s passport application.

The Rhomes were not alone in their southern migration. After the South lost the Civil War, an estimated 10,000-20,000 southerners, unwilling to live under Union rule, migrated to Brazil, many of them to Santarem on the Amazon River. Many returned to the United States after Reconstruction ended, but even today in Brazil their descendants, the Confederados, are an ethnic subgroup.

In Brazil Rhome became a successful sugarcane and tobacco farmer. He also distilled rum from his sugarcane and collected archeological artifacts of local indigenous cultures. Scribner’s magazine in 1879 printed fourteen pages on Rhome’s Taperinha plantation.

Romulus Rhome’s children, such as daughter Gita, were sent back to the States only for education. His wife, Missouri, died on the plantation in 1884. Romulus died there in 1892. One account says he was shot by rebels after the overthrow of emperor Pedro II, who had offered U.S. citizens—especially farmers—subsidies and tax breaks to immigrate.

Romulus Rhome had a brother named not “Remus” but rather . . .

Byron Crandall Rhome in 1864 married Ella Elizabeth Loftin in Cherokee County. When the Civil War began Byron, like his brother, joined the Confederate army. He enlisted in the 18th Texas Infantry in 1862 and served in General Walker’s division. Byron fought in the battles of Mansfield, Opelousas, and Pleasant Hill in Louisiana and in the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry in Arkansas.  In 1879 Byron and Ella moved to Wise County, near the settlement of Prairie Point. Prairie Point, located at the crossroads of two stagecoach routes, had been settled in the late 1850s by migrants from Missouri. By the early 1860s Prairie Point had a hotel, a school, and a post office and was the second-largest town in Wise County. But during the Civil War the area, defended only by the very young and very old, had been left vulnerable to attacks by Indians and outlaws.

By the end of the war Prairie Point was flirting with ghost town status. This Clarksville Standard article is from 1865.

But then Byron Rhome arrived in Wise County and began to breed Hereford cattle on his ranch, Hereford Park. His ranching operation was successful. And his success was Prairie Point’s success. Then came more good news for the community: In 1882 Rhome convinced the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway to lay tracks nearby. Soon the dying town of Prairie Point was back on the map. In 1883 the rejuvenated Prairie Point was renamed “Rhome” to honor the man who helped bring the railroad to town and whom the Star-Telegram called the “best-known breeder of pure Hereford cattle in the Southwest.”

A former ranch hand recalled that after the railroad came to town, Byron Rhome decided that his namesake town also needed a post office. But Byron could not convince the postmaster in Decatur to relocate to Rhome. So, finally, after a few drinks one night, Byron and some of his ranch hands drove a large wagon to Decatur, loaded the small post office building onto the wagon, and hauled it, lock, stock, and stamps, back to their town. The people of Decatur, of course, soon reclaimed their post office, but the town of Rhome got its own post office soon after.




A colony site, at the town of Santerem on the Amazon River in northern Brazil, was to be long-lived. It was pioneered by Lansford Warren Hastings, a remarkable man whose exciting career reads more like fiction than truth, born in Ohio, Hastings was elected leader in 1842, of one of the first wagon trains that journeyed to Oregon. He traveled from there to California, where he saw an opportunity for leadership and power. In quest of the presidency of a California Republic, Hastings sought to bring immigrants to the West Coast of North America and then overthrow Mexican rule and establish a Republic. Hastings yearned to in the late Texas Sam Houston and to become the leader of the new nation. In a book entitled The Emigrants Guide to Oregon and California, Hastings extolled the virtues of the region and was successful in attracting hundreds of families and action he believed to be essential to his sign of independence from Mexico. Hastings are fell, however, when one group immigrants, the Donner party, was trapped by a winter storm on the way to California after following the Hastings cutoff, a shortcut recommended in the Emigrants Guide. It was said that one survivor had to be physically restrained from killing Hastings after the rescue of the remains of the wagon train. Without question the tragedy was the end of Hastings dream for political power in the American West. After serving in the Confederate Army until the end of the Civil War Hastings them to renew his stated dreams of Empire in a new colony on the Amazon.


Hastings was not long in assembling a group of 42 disaffected Alabamians, and to sail to New Orleans for Brazil on December 27, 1865, on board the schooner Neptune. Bad luck continued to talk the California entrepreneur, however, and on January 4, 1866, the ship went aground during Gail 26 miles from Havana on the coast of Cuba. After making their way to event of, the colonists dispersed with some going to Mexico, some to Florida, and some taking the guiding Star back to New Orleans, hence the Alabama. Hastings according to the newspaper account in the mobile advertiser, although feeling this calamity very sensibly, still resolute and hopefully his enterprise, and informs us that the colonists with whom he has come first, about their intentions to review the effort, after a visit to their old home friends.


Unlike other entrepreneurs who spent months planning the trip to Brazil and made every possible arrangement with the government before venturing for South America, Hastings was in no mood to delay fervor his exit from the United States. Undaunted by the wreck of the Neptune, Hastings assembly can 35 Alabamians, boarded these steamship marker, and set sail for mobile on March 26, 1866, for the Amazon. Within days of departure, however, smallpox appeared on board. Hastings ordered the return of the ship to Mobile where he immediately was placed in quantity. The sickness took the lives of 11 of the would-be immigrants, and Hastings second expedition into before her to attend.


Not to be deterred, Hastings was soon we to Brazil once more, but this time without a father.       By way of you are, where he had arrived on April 28, Hastings confirmed that the Brazilian consul, pro-fighters of California’s senators introduction to persons in the province power. Hastings with New York on North America on April 30 arrived in paragraph on may 16. Provided with an interpreter, and American identified by Hastings only as Mr. Colyer, Hastings left on the steamer and Alice that same evening. Four days later, the ship docked at Santerre him, and locations which showed great promise as the side of the colonial venture. Hastings was not content to look at the countryside only around Santerre, however, and he continued his trip up the Amazon River to the analysis on may 23rd. From there, he went back down the River to Santerre and eventually to Paris.


From para, Hastings sailed for Rio de Janeiro on June 28, arriving at the capital city on July 16. There, he presented letters of introduction from government officials and parents to the Brazilian Sec. of agriculture. His business in Rio complete, Hastings sailed again for para where he was to finalize agreements of the president of the province. Once negotiations with satisfactory completed, Hastings sailed again for Santerre on the steamer Ideas along with three passengers from the Margaret named bar, Chafee, and sparks, along with Felix Demarest, from Louisiana and Texas. The men made a thorough survey of the region around Santerre. Following a dinner in honor of the prospective immigrants, one Brazilian woman expressed her heartfelt sympathy for the Americans he felt themselves constrained to abandon the homes of their fathers, and who trusted in God that they may find a home of peace and quiet to in this prosperous and happy country. At the limb, the capital of the province of para, on November 7, 1866, Hastings signed a contract with the president of para, Dr. Pedro video fellow so, validating the establishment of the colony on the Amazon. Hastings sailed for United States on November 12 arriving in New York on November 30 and mobile on December 15. Hastings claim to have traveled over 19,000 miles on the trip over 10,000 being in the Empire of Brazil.


Hastings agents were busy while he was making final provisions for his grant 60 weeks of land in Santerre, and on July 12, 1867, a total of 109 colonists boarded the steamer read complex bound for Brazil. However, upon arrival at the first port of call, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, a hint of Hastings former problems returned with adequate money was not available to pay the crew. According to one account, the United States consul at St. Thomas refused to allow the red, to continue, ordered the vessel sold to pay wages. As a result, the colonists were stranded Pattillo Hastings made arrangements with the Brazilian government for transportation to the colony site at Santerre him. Although Hastings died during this trip or on a subsequent voyage, the colony remained in place even though life there was dimmed by some as being very harsh. In 1940, however one writer was able to locate three of the original Hastings immigrants.


The Americans from the south immigrated to Brazil were no doubt sincere in their belief that it was to their best interest to the United States. Some persons that to their new surroundings almost immediately and he would have been reluctant to return to their old homes for any reason. It was quickly recognized that their decision had been a mistake and begin assembling means to return as soon as they were able to do so. Perhaps the most excellent reasons for dissatisfactions were expressed by the physician George Burns to the official Dr. of McMullen colonists. Barnsley noted the principal problems were this familiarity of language and customs, difficulties of transportation, low price for skilled labor, differences in religion, inability to vote in the sovereign, the disgust for the Brazilian idea that a man who switch from work is not a gentleman, and finally the most potent of all, that this country Brazil offers and gives nothing for the American, which he cannot get in his own country nothing worth the sacrifice of exile from his native soil and kindred. Yet Barnsley’s return to Georgia and could have remained there, but he elected to return to his adopted country. Nate McMullen, Frank McMullen’s younger brother, went back to Texas in 1872 but returned to Brazil for good with his family in 1895. There was no door to the South American nation at many former some Southerners simply cannot ignore. ------

Litoral de Santarém at the end of the 19th century.

View of part of the santareno coast at the end of the 19th century, in a photo of the Fidanza Photo. You can see, besides the beach, the houses on Commerce Street, the Municipal Market, the "caisinho" (in the dry season) and, in the background, "Morro da Fortaleza", where the ruins of the old fort the forest cover.






















Located in the Ituqui area (80 km from Santarém), it is accessible by river. From Santarém, one navigates by the Tapajós river until the entrance of Lake Maicá, traveling all the way until arriving in Paraná Ayayá, where the farm is located.


Natural reserve and historical-scientific monument, the farm belonged to Barão de Santarém, An-tônio Pinto Guimarães, in the nineteenth century, who took as partner the American immigrant Romulus J. Rhome. Under the administration of Mr. Rhome, who came to reside there with his family, the property has progressed significantly, standing out among the existing ones in the mun-icipality. Frontier to the house was the mill, with steam-powered mills, novelty at the time. It was in Taperinha that the first steam boat was built in the Amazon region, which received the same name from the Fazenda.

Mr. Rhome devoted himself to doing archaeological research and, it is well known, was the first to be interested in this type of activity in Santarém. He collected the strange clay figures he found or ordered to be unearthed, such as buzzard heads, crested roosters and deer, stone axes, etc., and several exotically ornamented urns containing calcined human bones. The Rhome collection was incorporated into the Museum of Rio de Janeiro, through the American professor Charles Frederic Hartt who traveled the region on field trips.


In 1882, the Baron of Santarem died. The following year the society between the Baron and Mr. Rhome is undone, and the heirs of the Baron were in possession of the half of the sugar mill that belonged to Mr. Rhome, as well as the slaves of the property.


In 1917 the German scientist Godofredo Hagmann settled in the estate, where he installed and managed, along with his wife Júlia Hagmann and later, his daughter Érica, the first meteorological station in the Amazon, whose operation lasted until the decade of 70. To the main house, with large rooms, bedrooms and kitchen, Mr. Hagmann attached a library.


The sambaquis found on the site are quite extensive and are up to 6.5m thick. Associated with the deposits of sambaquis are ceramics, whose dating, carried out by the researcher Ana C. Roosevelt, of the Field Museum of Chicago, revealed ages approximately of 8,000 years, being one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the Amazon, since represents the oldest pottery ever found in the Americas. 


















Just as the Portuguese government decided to establish hereditary captaincies in the Northeast.  There are indications that in the North region there were also sugar mills (only Taperinha will be approached) focused on large-scale production of spirits for marketing purposes with Europe. The real proof of these indications is that in Santarém Baron Miguel Pinto acquired from D. Pedro II the title of possession of a vast property of 42 km of area called Taperinha that means ruin, old house or quality of life according to the silvícolas. With an entrepreneurial vision, Mr. Romulus J. Rhome, one of the immigrants from the advent of American immigration, who had the capital to construct the plantation, became the partner.The property is managed by Graziela Hagmann, one of the heirs of the estate. In fact, knowing the place depends on the approval of the family, who lives in Santarém.

The studies of the archaeologist Anna Roosevelt attest that the city of Santarém was born in Taperinha. For Anna Roosevelt apud Funari (2006, 80), the Mongols arrived in the Lower Amazon between 8 and 11 thousand years ago by the Bering Strait and later gave birth to the main Amazon tribes such as the Tapajó (No Nhengatu is not pronounced plural with s). During the expeditions of Anna Roosevelt's property in 1986 and 1993, she launched as theory the fact that Taperinha is the oldest South American archaeological site due to having found monteiroeros of sambaquis, traces of ceramicstapajônica dating from 8 to 11 thousand years and mainly "tierra black "that characterizes the presence of the prehistoric man, since this one is fruit of the decomposition of organic residues deposited by the own hominids. However, the following questions remain in locus; What are the similarities and differences between taperinha and other engenhos? Was sugarcane production invested only in cachaça or also in molasses? What end did the slaves have? What is Taperinha's relationship with the cabanagem? What is the scenario of Taperinha's economic relationship with Europe? Nonetheless, we have noted the architectural and structural similarities between the Nordestinos and Taperinha mills, which, in the midst of variations, resembled: A mansion, a complex encompassed by an ingenuity, a chapel, a What are the similarities and differences between taperinha and other engenhos? Was sugarcane production invested only in cachaça or also in molasses? What end did the slaves have? What is Taperinha's relationship with the cabanagem? What is the scenario of Taperinha's economic relationship with Europe? Nonetheless, we have noted the architectural and structural similarities between the Nordestinos and Taperinha mills, which, in the midst of variations, resembled: A mansion, a complex encompassed by an ingenuity, a chapel, a What are the similarities and differences between taperinha and other engenhos? Was sugarcane production invested only in cachaça or also in molasses? What end did the slaves have? What is Taperinha's relationship with the cabanagem? What is the scenario of Taperinha's economic relationship with Europe? Nonetheless, we have noted the architectural and structural similarities between the Nordestinos and Taperinha mills, which, in the midst of variations, resembled: A mansion, a complex encompassed by an ingenuity, a chapel, a

The economic activity in Taperinha in the middle of the nineteenth century was linked to the exploitation of sugar cane for the purpose of producing the brandy, tobacco production for the specific use of the Barão de Santarém family, logging, cocoa plantation, the production of orange, cashew and cupuaçu wines, the cultivation of vegetables and legumes coated in the consumption of farm animals, as well as the cultivation of curauá, where their fibers were invested in the production of ropes and marketed in the region and elsewhere. In Taperinha the muscular blacks fed all day the great sugar mill. The plantations were in the upper part of the land, where they were cut by hand and taken to be thrown in the zinc channel that led them near the mill, which would later apply the broth in large-scale production of spirits and small-scale molasses. The fiery water was boxed and exported to Europe, already molasses, mainly to Amsterdam in Holland where it was refined and whitish in the so-called "Purgatory houses".

In addition to the Engenho there was a rustic sawmill where the most varied kinds of hardwood were explored, such as the Jacaranda, the Muiraquatiara, the Muirapixuna, and the rich Pau D'arco brown. As far as the Cabanagem in Santarém is concerned, the small passage accurately transcribes this movement in Santarém: 

In early 1835 the situation was already bleak. The seditious were scattered in armed groups that assaulted settlements, farms, places, killing, devastating, plundering, ... Who could escape, flee, burying their possessions, jewels and valuables, hoping to recover them later, when the end of the civil war ... (SANTOS, 1999. p.197-198).

The historian, like any scientist, works with evidence and assumptions. [...] If he does not risk hypothesizing from assumptions, he risks repeating the already known, reaffirming the obvious, ... If, on the other hand, he abandons the evidence and allows himself to "delirious" at will, can create an interesting work of fiction [...], compromised only with the creative imagination of the author. From this we infer that in fact Taperinha was influenced by Cabanagem, where the Tupaiulândia section affirms that at the time of the revolt many farmers and elitist hid their wealth so as not to be plundered by the cabins, in the mill there was no difference other than in Alcova da mansion there was a hole that was supposedly used for such purposes of prevention against the rebels. There is striking evidence - at least verbal - that the Engenho served as a strategic point for interception of food and communications between the huts of the interior of the Tapajós, where the military garrison was sent to the region by the 1st judge of the Comarca de Santarém, Dr. Joaquim Rodrigues de Sousa. It can not be said exactly whether the garrison suffered defeat, but it can be inferred that it succeeded at the end of the "popular" movement, where it succeeded in repressing the rebels. It is noteworthy that in 1883, the society between Rhome and the Baron was undone, because of his death, and the planters and slaves were divided by their descendants. From this, many of Taperinha's slaves were brought and sold in Santarém, others offered the festivities of N. Sra. of Conceição,



When there is previous contact, groups, especially students, usually explore the property. The place has all the characteristics for the development of scientific tourism, but also the adventure. After a walk of several minutes you can reach a very high point, seen as a gazebo, which provides a privileged view of the entire region of Ituqui, as well as nearby lakes and even the Amazon River. With a little physical conditioning and the help of a tour guide gives you to know part of the forest. The walk can be arranged in an igarapé bath, which serves to refresh the body and prepare the trip back.


The boat is the most used means of transport to reach the place, but during the summer the access is also by car, facing, of course, the difficulties of the road of beaten ground. It is, without doubt, a must-see.

Traces of the Mill of Taperinha Engenho





Source:   Taperinha: history of natural history research carried out on a farm in the region of Santa-rém, Pará, in the XIX and XX centuries / Nelson Papavero;William L. Overal, organizers - Belém: Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, 2011, p.43.44, 45.46, 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51.






























National, Commander and Dignitary of the Imperial Order of the Rose [cf. Fig. 4.31; 4, 3 'and 20 (from July 31, 1855 to July 1856, May 16 to November 8, 1869, and November 5 from 1872 to 18 April 1873) Vice-President of the Province, and in 1871 he was awarded the title of Baron de Santarém ... As a politician, he always militated in the ranks of the Conservative Party, taking over the leadership from 1848 ... This illustrious vario succumbed in the dawn of August 16 of this year, the same day in which was completed 19 months after the death of her shaken consort. He leaves eight children, three of whom are still younger. "He has four reports published (Guimarães (MAP), 1855, 1869a, 1869b, 1873).

According to Meira. (1976: 7), "Having begun his life poorly, fishing to survive, and then becoming the owner of many fishing vessels, and later as owner of farms in Prainha [cf. Sánchez 1998: 226, note 541 , in Monte Alegre in Alenquer, cacauais, sugar plantations [Taperinha], rubber plantations and native and wild rubber plantations, became an absolutely rich man, to the point of leaving for the children of the wife who had Baroness, a good beginning of life, apart from the jewels of his wife who were count-less gems that touched the six legitimate daughters. "

He had a brother, Manoel Antônio Pinto Guimarães, who had died before him. In the cemetery of Santarém this is his tomb, next to the tombs of the Baron and the Baroness of Santarém [photo in 4ª. of pages of unnumbered figures, between pp. 320 and 321 of Meira's book, 1976].

Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães married, on January 16, 1845, with D. Maria Luíza Pereira [born on January 6, 1828] [Fig. 4.4], daughter of Pedro José de Bastos and D. Maria Francisca Pereira, orig-inally from the Vila de Viana, Freguezia do Monte, Archbishopric of Braga, Portugal, then deceased, in the Church of Our Lady of Conception, in the town of Santarém.

The famous naturalist Henry Walter Bates, who met him in 1851, on his second visit to Santarem, on which occasion he took three and a half years, thus referred to him (1863, 1944: 10): to the small crimes of his fellow citizens, but he is very respected. A nation can not be despised, whose best men can rise to positions of trust and command. "

Avé-Lallemant (1860,1980: 76) also praised the Baron, who came to know in 1859:  "The arrival of the steam boat was the main event in Santarém, and everyone was looking at the Marajó. Upon landing, I was able to give the recipients the letters that would facilitate access to Santarém, one for the comp-any's agent, Mr. Joaquim Rodrigues dos Santos, another for the lieutenant colonel and commander, Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães, one of the men of great prestige in the province and the first in Santarém.

They would gladly have filled me with every possible kindness, but our fleeting permanence did not give me time for this. Both were very pleasing to me by the frank obsequiousness.

I was particularly interested in the old commander, Portuguese by birth [two inaccuracies: Pinto Guimarães was 50 or 51 years old at the time, but, as Bates had said, he was early gray; and he was a native of Santarém], a man who made himself and who, as I was told, had begun his career in the Tapajós, driving his own canoe, in which his personal tapuia gave himself to fishing. He had accum-ulated a fortune of 300,000 thalers, with such a simple industry which is certainly not easy. Its beginning and its end honors the old [sic], which seemed to me envied by many. "

Avé-Lalleman then devotes a few lines to the site of the future Barão de Santarém (Figs 4.5 and 4.6), currently located in the center of the city of Santarém, on the street Senador Lameira Bittencourt (former merchants' street):

"The house, on the banks of the Tapajós [sic: of Amazonas], is magnificent, with seven front windows on the ground floor, the rooms are clean and well-furnished, and in the living room you can see a vertical piano. very well arranged, and without the fagot staff in the house, it would be considered not to be in Brazil, not to mention the Tapajós. "

The three-storey house had the ground-level facilities for trade and / or the quarters of servants, slaves, and travelers, whose access to the street is through six single, wide doors, as well as a main door. The second and third floors were intended for the owner's and his family's quarters. Amorim (2000: 1581-59) gives more details of the diverse destinies that had this splendid building after the death of the Baron.

If the "mill" referred to by Bates (see above) is really the Taperinha Engenho, then we have here the minimum date (1850) in which he passed from the hands of José Joaquim Pereira do Lago, or his heirs, to the Manuel Antônio Pinto Guimarães. As for the name "Taperinha", it will only appear in literature in 1870, in the work of Hartt (see chapter 7).

After the arrival of the confederates in Santarém, Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães formed a partner-ship with Mr. Romulus John Rhome, for the development of Taperinha Mill.  Romulus John Rhome was born on March 7, 183 in Frankfort, Herkimer, New York, the second son of Peter Gremps and Nancy Almira Crandall Rhome (whose first daughter, Elizabeth Clarinda Rhome, was also born in Frankfort, Heridmer, NY , on March 15, 1833 and died on February 28, 1920). By the year 1837 his family had settled in Richmond, Virginia, where, on November 22, 1837, his brother Byron Crandall Rhomne was born. The Rhome family, in the year 1840, was in Camak, Warren, Georgia, where their daughter Almira Georgia Rhome was born (August 3, 1840: died March 13, 1863). After the death of Mrs. Rhome, on August 25, 1840, in Camak, the family moved to Jacksonville, Cherokee County, in the Chartered, in the early 1850s.

Peter G. Rhome was very successful economically and became a large landowner and operated a mer-chant company in Jacksonville.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Peter was the representative of Cherokee County at the Secession Convention. Romulus J. Rhome enlisted in the 1st Texas Infantry in the spring of 1861 as Second Lieutenant, and served in General Lee's "Hood's Brigade." He participated in the first Battle of Man-assas. For being sick, she had to return to Texas. Byron enlisted in the 18th Texas Infantry, Company K, of Jacksonville (Cherokee County, Texas), in July, 1862. He served in the General Walker Division in the Trans Mississippi Department, spending the war years in Louisiana and in Arkansas: began his service as First Sergeant, then was elected Second Lieutenant and then promoted to First Lieute-nant. He was injured at the Battle of Opelousas but continued on active duty until the 18th was dispersed in Hempstead, Texas,

Romulus was married at an unknown date to Missouri Robertson Rhome, and the two decided to emigrate to Brazil in 1865, to settle in Santarém, Pará.

Byron Crandall Rhome married Ella Elizabeth Loftin on August 31, 1864, in Cherokee County. In 1876 he moved to Wise County, where he started to raise Hereford cattle at his ranch. His wife passed away in 1879, probably from a typhoid fever. Byron Crandall Rhome died on November 10, 1919, in Fort Worth, Tarrant, Texas.

Undoubtedly the most successful of the Confederate settlers, Romulus John Rhome dedicated himself at the Taperinha Farm to various activities. Of him said Guilhon (1979: 181-185):  "At the root of the Taperinha mountain range, on the banks of the Ayayá River, the Baron de Santarém had a large settle-ment situated on a vast expanse of land that measured for square miles.With the advent of American immigration, he took him as a partner to one of the immigrants under the dynamic and efficient administration of Mr. Rhome, who came to reside there with his small family, the property knew its most flourishing days and progressed, surpassing, after some time, all other existing in the muni-cipality.

The large dwelling house was covered with tiles and frontier to it was the mill. The taperinha mills were steam powered. At that time there were several mills scattered in the region, but this type was novelty and was the most powerful of all. It moved with the waters of weir, brought by a long artificial channel [cf. Fig. 20.361. As in other American plantations, most sugarcane juice was distilled in cach-aça. Mr. Rhome soon improved the sugar evaporators by predicting that this production would become quite profitable.

Muscled blacks fed all day the great mill of letter [Cf. Fig. 9.31 and carrying the bagasse. The planta-tions were on the high ground. The cane was cut by hand and taken up in b0 car. There she was thrown into the gutter that led to the mill. This large wooden gutter descended in the shape of a half horseshoe and ended near the. mill house It was about 400 feet tall.

Beyond the mill there was a sawmill. The most splendid woods grew in the neighborhood. There was the jacaranda, the muirapixuna that looked like iron, and the rich brown duck. Of all the muiraqua-tiara stood out, striped black and yellow. All were polished exceptionally, and some were so hard and tough that they were advantageously used in place of iron and copper. In the sawmill, even the roof was set in fine hardwood, just as all the machinery was mounted on marvelous woods rich in color.

In Taperinha, besides the own products of the mill, also excellent wines of orange, cacao, cane, cashew, etc. were manufactured. The corn, the rice, the beans, the tobacco, the cassava, the cacao were also grown there. Under the direction of Mr. Rhome the plantations were developed with the aid of the plow. It was very beautiful the view of  the sugar cane stretching for more  than half  a  mile on all sides.

Everything that was consumed in Taperinha was produced there. Fish and turtles abounded in the lakes. The hunt was full and varied. The fruit was made of various kinds of wine, and to top it all, even the cigarettes were made from the fragrant Taperinha tobacco. In fact, there were about fifteen or twenty men on the estate who were exclusively engaged in the preparation of tobacco by local proces-ses [Cf. FIGS. 9.4 and 9.5].

Mr. Rhome built a bathhouse where one could swim in the cemented pool and take a shower bath with one hundred gallons per minute.

Mr. Rhome's greatest distraction was to collect the strange clay figures he encountered or ordered to be unearthed.They were easily found throughout the region. For years he was dedicated to do arch-aeological research and, it is known, was the first to be interested in this type of activity in Santa-rém. So he was able to gather buzzard heads, crested and barked roosters, stone axes, etc., and several exotically ornamented urns containing calcined human bones. For a long time, the tribe of the Tapajos had inhabited the ravines that border the river and which were intensely populated. The sophisticated pottery, however, say the experts, is more than certain to have belonged to another people, of superior culture, much older than the Tapajós and until today unknown.

The American professor Charles Frederic Hartt [see Chapter 71, who toured the region on a study tour], became deeply interested in that taperinha dish, soon recognizing the importance of the disco-very. Later, the Rhome collection was incorporated into the collection of the National Museum, through Prof. Hartt. Many years later, as a result of strong floods, in the city of Santarém, much more valuable and beautiful pieces were unearthed, resembling the Mayan and Inca ceramics: idols, vases and urns, which until today are challenging deciphering as to their origin and history of the people who produced them.


In 1882, the Baron of Santarem died, of whom Mr. Rhome was a partner. A few days after this fact, Mr. Rhome had the following denial published in the newspaper of Santarém, probably because of some news circulating in the small town:

"It is utterly false that there was never the slightest disagreement between my very mournful friend the venerable Mr. Barão de Santarém and the undersigned, referring to our society at Engenho Taperinha.

It is equally false and slanderous, that I have demanded the large sums from which it was proclaimed, as the balance of accounts of the social form; for which, they say, I have asked for the intervention of my consul and adjusted lawyer in the capital.

It is finally false that there were never any motives during the years of my residence in Santarém to complain to me of the lightest of any member of the illustrious family of that meritorious elder, for whom I have only expressions of grateful acknowledgment and high appreciation.

Serve, therefore, these lines of denial to the vis slanderers. "(Jornal" O Baixo Amazonas ", No. 36, 16.ix.1882).

Finally, in April 1883, the inventor of the late Baron made public by the same newspaper that he had liquidated the industrial society that the deceased had signed with Mr. Rhome at the Taperinha mill, at the rate of Pinto & Rhome, acquiring by purchase for the heirs of the Baron was the domain of half of the estate belonging to Mr. Rhome, as well as the slaves of the estate.

Missouri Robertson Rhome, wife of Romulus John Rhome, died in Santarem on February 23, 1884. The couple had only two children, Romulus John Rhome Jr. and Byron Rhome. The former was perhaps married, for there are references to 'probably daughters of one of them, in Pastor Henning-ton's diary. Romulus Jr. died tragically in a firearm accident in 1887. Mr. Rhome also died in Santarém on July 9, 1892. The following year, his son Byron went to the United States, probably for ever , since all his family in Brazil was extinct. As with others, the name Rhome disappeared from Santarem be-cause of the lack of male descendants.

Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães, the future Baron of Santarém (Figs 4.2 and 4.3) (Vasconcelos & Vasconc-elos, 1918; Meira, 1976) was born in Vila de Santarém (Fig. 4.11, in Pará, on June 8, 1808, with his parents Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães (whom we have already seen in chapter 2, receiving in sesmaria the island of Ituqui) and D. Tereza Joaquina de Jesus. Of small stature (perhaps a meter and a half, and no more), it was endowed with extraordinary energy and great work capacity. The first time he heard of his name, according to Meira (1976: 9), when he was only 23, he attended a meeting called by the military com-mander, João Batista da Silva, sergeant-general of the 4th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Line of the Army, on September 16, 1831, to deal with the defense of Santa-rém, still a village, against the factious partisans of canon Batista Campos who had revolted. This advice was from all the official garrison authorities, merchants and farmers, who were truly threatened in their life and in their patrimony.  According to his obituary, publish-ed in the newspaper Baixo Amazonas, year XI, no. 33, dated August 17, 1882 (in Meira, 1976: 11): "Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães [was] invested in the com-mand of the corps of workers, who was later exting-uished, and thereafter served collectively Provincial Legislative Assembly, in the legislatures of 1852 and 1868, Deputy to the General Assembly in the legislature of  1855,   Colonel  Commander  Superior  of  the  Guard

Figura 4.2. Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães, Barão de Santarém.

 Figura 4.3. Miguel Antônio Pinto Guimarães, Barão de Santarém, em idade mais provecta.

Figura 4.4. A Baronesa de Santarém (Maria Luíza Pereira)

Figura 4.6. Vista do Solar do Barão de Santarém, em 1932.

Figura 4.5. Vista do solar do Barão de Santarém (com três andares), em Santarém.


bottom of page