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Full text of "A voyage up the river Amazon : including a residence at Pará"

Victorian 

913.11 

Ed93v 

1347 
no . 2 



Joseph Earl and 
Genevieve Thornton 

Arrington 

Collection of 19th 
Century Americana 

Brigham Young University Library 




BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 




3 1197 22886 3004 



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4 

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A VOYAGE 

THE RIVER^AMAZON, 

INCLUDING / JT 

A RESIDENCE AT PARA. 



BY 



WILLIAM H. EDWARDS. 




Umbrella Chatterer. — Page 156. 



NEW- YORK: 

D. APPLETON & COMPANY, 200 BROADWAY 

PHILADELPHIA : 

GEO. S. APPLETON, 148 CHESNUT-ST. 

MDCCCXLVII. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, 

By WILLIAM H EDWARDS, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New -York. 



m 



TO 



HENRY LONGFELLOW NORRIS, ESQ., 



OF PARA, 



THIS VOLUME 



Ks most vesjpectfulli) Knscrtfcetr, 



AUTHOR 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
Leave New- York for Para— Sunset— Curiosities of the sea— Luminous water— Ap- 
proach the mouth of the Amazon— Salinas— Entrance of the river— Scenery- 
Arrival at Para 13 

CHAPTER II. 

Morning view of the harbor and city— Visit— Land at the Punto de Pedras— Novel 
scene— Reception at Mr. Norris's— Garden and plants— Electrical eel— Anaconda- 
Religious procession 17 

CHAPTER III. 

Founding of Para— Late disturbances — Site and vicinity — Form of the city — Rosinhas — 
Houses— Largo da Palacio, da Polvora, da duartel— Public buildings— Churches — Palaces 
— Theatre — Cathedral— Rua da Mangabeiras— Nazare — Mr. Henderson's plantation — 
RosinhaofMr. Smith, and fruit trees — Coffee— Pine-apples— Oranges — Limes— Man- 
goes — Inga — Alligator pears — Custard apple — Flowers 23 

CHAPTER IV. 

License of residence — Officials — Provincial government — Church establishment — Troops 
— Enrollment of Indians — Drilling recruits — Absence of inns — Foreigners — Citizens — 
Manner of living — Public ball — Mechanics — Obstructions to labor — Apprentices and 
school — Carrying burdens — Water jars — Rearing of children — Food of lower classes — ■ 
Mandioca and preparation of farinha — Tapioca — Fish — Beef— Vegetables — Fruits — 
Pacovas — Cocoa-nuts — Assai palms 33 

CHAPTER V. 

Leave Para for the Rice Mills — Boatmen — Night scene upon the water — Arrival — Vi- 
cinity of the mills — A Brazilian forest — Sporting — Toucans — Chatterers — Motmots — 
Manikins— Humming-birds — Snake stories — Absence of flies — Ants — Saiibas — Cupims 
— Little Ant-eater — Lakes — Nests ofTroopials — Sloth — Armadillo — Beetles — Puma — 
Monkeys — Indian boy — Description of the mills — Blacks — Sleeping in hammocks — 
Vampire bats — Wasps' nests — Visit Corentiores — Sporting there — Reception — Bread 
fruit — Larangeira — Cotton tree — Maseranduba or Cow tree — Walk through the forest 
to the city — Spider — Flowers 42 

CHAPTER VI. 

Start for Caripg— Island scene— Arrival— Vicinity — Tomb of Mr. Graham— Dinner— - 
Shelling in the bay — Varieties of shells — Martins — Terns— Nuts and fruits— Mode 
of fishing— Four-eyed fish — Ant tracks — Moqueens— Forest— Creeping plants— Wild 
hogs, or Peccaries— Traps— Agoutis— Pacas— Squirrels— Birds— Chapel and singing of 
the blacks — Andiroba oil 64 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Leave for Taiiaii — Indians — Arrival at midnight — Morning view — The estate — Tuaria 
or Pottery — Lime kiln — Slaves — Castanha tree — Cuya or Gourd tree — Ant hills — 
An ant battle — Forest — Macaws — Doves — Other birds — Sloth — Coati — Macura — 
Butterflies — Return to the city — Festival of Judas— Visit Sr. Angelico, upon the 
Guama — Brazilian country house — Curious air-plant — Seringa or Rubber trees — 
Harpy Eagle — Monkeys 73 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Leave Para for Vigia — Boatmen — Inland passage — Egrets and herons — Stop at sugar 
plantation — Cupuassu — Mangroves — Insolence of pilot — Vigia — Arrival at Sr. Godin- 
ho's — Reception — The Campinha and its scenery — Sporting — Parrots— Employes— Sun- 
bird — Boat-bill — Tinami — Iguana lizard — Sugar cane — Mill — Slaves — Leave the Cam- 
pinha — Kingfishers — Go below for Ibises — Sand-flies — Return to Para — A pet ani- 
mal 86 

CHAPTER IX. 

First discovery of the Amazon by Pinzon — Expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro — Descent of 
Orellaua — Settlement of Para — Second descent — Ascent of Teixera, and arrival at 
Quito — He descends with Acufia — Indian tribes — Rivers, etc. — Their report of the 
country — Number of tribes — Indian customs — Languages — Lingoa Geral — Canni- 
bals — System of the Jesuits — Their banishment — Present system, and condition of 
the Indians — Their government — Compulsory labor 98 

CHAPTER X. 

Preparations for ascending the Amazon — Our companions — The galliota — Indians — Pro- 
visions — Difficulties at starting — Detained at Sr. Lima's — Incident — An afternoon 
upon the beach — Another sitio — Marajo — The Tocantins — Islands — Ciganas and other 
birds — Wood scene — Habits of our Indians — Arrive at Braves — Pottery painting — 
Water-jars — Filing the teeth — Funeral of a child — A palm swamp — Seringa trees and 
gum collectors — Sloth — Howling monkeys — An adventure — Enter the Amazon — A 
macaw hunt 106 

CHAPTER XI. 

Arrive at Gurupa — Situation of the town — Reception by the Commandante — An egg 
hunt — Storm — Cross the Xingu — Carapanas — Cedar logs — Harpy Eagle — Birds — 
Mountains— Indian cooking — Forest trees— Snake birds — A Toucan's nest — Mut.ucas — 
Indian improvidence — Grass fields — Enter an Igaripe — Hyacinthine Macaws — Passion 
flowers — Pass Pryinha — Monte Alegre — Arrive at Sitios — Thrush — Campo — Incident 
— Enter the Tapajos — White Herons — Flowering trees — Arrival at Santarem — Capt. 
Hislop — Morning calls — Beef — River Tapajos — Feather dresses — Embalmed heads — 
Description of Santarem — Departure — A slight difficulty 119 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Amazon thus far — A cacao sitio — Politeness — Runaways — Growing of cacao — An 
alligator — High bank — Deserted sitio — Kingfishers — Romances — Water birds — Arrive 
at.Obidos — Rio des Trombetas — Incidents upon leaving — Manner of ascending the 
river — Shells — Stop at a sitio — High bluff— Water plants — Capitan des Trabalhadores 
— Arrive at Villa Nova — Festa of St. Juan — Water scene — A Villa Nova house — 
Turtles — Stroll in the woods — Lakes 133 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Leave Villa Nova — Our manner of living— Shells— Jacamars— Paroquets— Monkeys — 
Scorpion— Enter an igaripe— A deserted sitio— Wild duck — Scarlet Tanagers— A 
deserted sitio — Tobacco — Shells — A colony of monkeys — A turtle's revenge — Im- 
mense trees — Albino monkey — A self-caught fish — Porpoises — Curassows and nests — 
A turtle feast— Squirrel — Wild Indians— White herons— Shells — Umbrella chatterer 
— Cross to the northern shore — Periecu and Tambaki — Arrive at Serpa — Sr. Manoel 
Jochin — An Indian dance 147 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Fourth of July at Serpa — Lake Saraca — An accession — Pic-nic — An opossum — Narrow 
passage — Swallow-tailed hawks — Sitio of the Delegarde — River Madeira — Village of 
our Taugha — Appearance of his party on arriving at home — The old rascal — Bell- 
bird — Stop at a sitio, and reception — Orioles — A cattle sitio — Swift current — Enter 
the Rio Negro — Arrive at Barra 161 

CHAPTER XV. 

Rio Negro at Barra — The town — Old fort — Sr. Henriquez and family— Manner of liv- 
ing — Venezuelans — Piassaba rope — Grass hammocks — Feather work — Descent of the 
Negro — Gallos de Serra — Chili hats — Woods in the vicinity — Trogons — Chatterers — 
Curassows — Guans — Parrots and Toucans — Humming Birds — Tiger Cats — Squirrels — 
A Tiger story — The Casueris — A Yankee saw-mill — Mode of obtaining logs — A 
Pic-nic — Cross the river to a campo — Cattle and horses — A select ball . . 172 

CHAPTER XVI. 

A new river — Rio Branco — Turtle wood — Unexplored region — Traditions — Peixe boi or 
Cow Fish — Turtles — Influences at Barra — Indians — Foreigners — Indian articles — 
Poison used upon arrows — Traffic — Balsam Copaivi — Salsa — Q,uinia — Vanilla — Ton- 
ga beans — Indigo — Guarana — Pixiri or nutmeg — Seringa — Wild cotton — Rock salt — 
The Amazon above the Rio Negro — The Rio Negro 185 

CHAPTER XVII. ' 

Prepare to leave Barra — Difficulty in obtaining men — The mail — Kindness of our 
friends — Re-enter the Amazon — Arrive at Serpa — A desertion — Working one's 
passage — Disorderly birds — Pass Tabocal — Snake-bird — Marakong Geese — Breeding 
place of Herons — Arrive at Villa Nova — The commandante — Visit to the Lake — 
Boat building — Military authorities — School — King of the Vultures — Parting with 
Sr. Bentos — Pass Obidos — Caracara Eagle — Our crew — Indian name of the Ama- 
zon 199 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Arrive at Santarem— Negro stealing— Pass Monte Alegre — Strong winds— Usefulness of 
the Sun-bird — Family government — Reformation in the Paroquets — Low shore — A 
Congress — Otters — Enter the Xingu— Guru pa— Leave the Amazon— Assai palms — 
A friend lost and a friend gained— Braves— Our water jars— Crossing the bay of 
Limoeiro— Seringa trees — A lost day — Town of Santa Anna— Igaripe Merim— Enter 
the Moju— Manufacture of rubber shoes— Anatto— Arrival at Para . . . 211 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Our Lady of Nazareth — Nazare legend — Procession — Commencement of the festa— A 
walk to Nazare— Gambling— Services in the chapel— An interesting incident . 223 



10 CONTENTS. 



CEIAPTER XX. 

Leave Para for Marajo — Voyage — Cape Magoary — Islands — A morning scene — Arrive 
at Juugcal — A breakfast — Birds — Vicinity of Jungcal ..... 229 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Description of Marajo — Cattle — Tigers — Alligators — Snakes — Antas — Wild ducks — Scar- 
let Ibises — Roseate Spoonbills — Wood Ibises — Other birds — Island of Mixiana — Indian 
burial places — Caviana — Macapa — Bore or Pororoca — Leave Jungcal for the rookery 
— A sail among the trees — Alligators — The rookery — Return — An alligator's nest — 
Adieu to Jungcal — Violence of the tide — Loading cattle — Voyage to Para . 234 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Want of emigrants and laborers — Inducements to settlers, and disadvantages — Citizen- 
ship — Import and export duties and taxes — Want of circulating medium — Embarrass- 
ments of government — Capabilities of the Province — Effect of climate on the whites — 
The blacks — Inducements to the formation of a steamboat company — Seasons — Tem- 
perature — Health — Superior advantages to invalids — Farewell to Para — Voyage 
home 246 



PREFACE. 

In these stirring times, when all Anglo-Saxondom is on the 
qui-vive for novelty, and the discovery of a new watering- 
place is hailed with more enthusiasm than the discovery of a 
new planet; — when the "universal Yankee nation" has so 
nearly exhausted all the whereabouts which modern facilities 
for locomotion have brought so conveniently within its reach; 
—when the Old World has become also an old story, and 
Summer excursions to St. Petersburg and Tornea, and Winter 
sojourns in Australia and Typee, have afforded amusement, 
not only to travelers themselves, but to those who, at their 
own fire-sides, like equally w T ell to take a trip to the ends of 
the Earth in their comfortable arm-chairs ; it has been a mat- 
ter of surprise to me, that those who live upon the excitement 
of seeing and telling some new thing, have so seldom betaken 
themselves to our Southern continent. 

Promising indeed to lovers of the marvelous is that land, 
where the highest of Earth's mountains seek her brightest 
skies, as though their tall peaks sought a nearer acquaintance 
with the most glorious of stars; where the mightiest of rivers 
roll majestically through primeval forests of boundless extent, 
concealing, yet bringing forth the most beautiful and varied 
forms of animal and vegetable existence ; where Peruvian 
gold has tempted, and Amazonian women have repulsed, the 
unprincipled adventurer ; and where Jesuit missionaries, and 
luckless traders, have fallen victims to cannibal Indians, and 
epicurean anacondas. 

With a curiosity excited by such wonders, and heightened 
by the graphic illustrations in school geographies, where men 
riding rebellious alligators form a foreground to tigers bound- 



12 PREFACE. 

ing over tall canes, and huge snakes embrace whole boats' 
crews in their ample folds ; the writer of this unpretending 
volume, in company with his relative, Amory Edwards, Esq., 
late U. S. Consul at Buenos Ayres, visited Northern Brazil, 
and ascended the Amazon to a higher point than, to his know- 
ledge, any American had ever before gone. 

As an amusement, and by way of compensation to himself 
for the absence of some of the monsters which did not meet 
his curious eye, he collected as many specimens in different 
departments of Natural History as were in his power, at the 
same time chronicling the result of his observations, in the hope 
that they might not be unacceptable to the naturalist or to the 
general reader. 

To the science of a naturalist he makes no pretensions, but 
as a lover, and devout worshiper of Nature, he has sought 
her in some of her most secret hiding-places, and from these 
comparatively unexplored retreats, has brought the little which 
she deigned to reveal to him. 

The country of the Amazon is the garden of the world, 
possessing every requisite for a vast population and an ex- 
tended commerce. It is, also, one of the healthiest of regions; 
and thousands who annually die of diseases incident to the 
climates of the North, might here find health and long life. 

If this little book shall contribute to a more general know- 
ledge of the advantages of such a country, the labor of its 
preparation will be amply repaid. 

New- York, May, 1847. 



VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



CHAPTER I. 

Leave New- York for Para — Sunset — Curiosities of the sea— Luminous water — Ap- 
proach the mouth of the Amazon — Salinas — Entrance of the river— Scenery- 
Arrival at Para. 

It was a cold morning, the 9th of February, 1846, that we 
left New- York, in the bark Undine, Capt. Appieton, for Para. 
Our fellow-passengers were Mr. Smith, the U. S. Consul of 
that port, his lady, and two young gentlemen, in quest, like 
ourselves, of adventures. Scarcely out of sight of Sandy 
Hook, a furious northwester burst upon us, and. for a week, we 
dashed on before it, at a rate to startle a landsman, had not 
the accompanying motion speedily induced that peculiar state, 
in which one would as lief not be, as be, and inclined to consider 
a bed beneath the waters as preferable to present torture. But 
the golden-haired spirit at the prow always smiled hopefully, 
and gallantly the noble bark sped onward to calmer waters 
and warmer skies. Here the sea was all loveliness, and, night 
by night, the scantily appareled sky of the north was disap- 
pearing before the as steadily advancing brilliance of the tropics. 
We watched the gradual descending of the north star ; and 
when at last it sank below the horizon, it seemed as though an 
old and familiar friend had deserted us, — one whose place was 
not to be supplied even by the splendor of the southern cross. 

By the twentieth day, we were near land, to the eastward 

2 



14 A VOYAGE UP THE RTVER AMAZON. 

of Salinas, having seen and enjoyed the usual sea-sights. 
Most memorable of these was a sunset, as we lay becalmed. 
The few snow-piled clouds that rested upon the water, gra- 
dually became suffused with flame, and the sea's surface was 
a sheen of green and gold, varying from one color to the other, 
as the rolling of the vessel changed our angle of view. A 
vapor fringe of rainbow hues circled the horizon, more lovely 
because rapidly changing, and beheld, as it were, through an 
atmosphere of floating golden particles. One by one the stars 
peeped out, and we fancied that we could detect a shade of 
sadness over their beautiful faces at having come too late. 

We had seen sharks and brilliant-robed dolphins. A 
grampus had risen under the bow, and flying-fish had repeat- 
edly flown on board. Many an hour we had whiled in fishing 
up gulf weed, and in observing the different species of animals 
with which it was filled. 

As we neared the equator, the water became luminous; 
the waves were crested with fire ; the vessel's path was one 
broad track of light, and as we took our shower bath under the 
pump, liquid flames dashed over us, and every drop was a 
splendor. To heighten our interest in the phenomenon, a 
score of porpoises were playing about in every direction, their 
tracks a living flame, contorted, zigzag, like fiery serpents. 
Now they would shoot out, rocket-like, leaving trains of thirty 
feet; now, darting back, pursue each other round and round, 
till their path appeared a tangled skein of light. 

The blue had changed to green; and long before land was 
visible, the green had lost itself in the muddy brown of the 
Amazon. Every where were discernible currents, known from 
afar, by their different hues, and by the furious boiling of their 
surfaces. Old Ocean was battling with the King of Rivers. 
Tossed about in the commotion were vast quantities of drift 
wood, fruits and plants. Huge fish-hawks were lazily flapping 
along. Gulls and terns were screaming. 

In the night, a number of beautifully marked moths, at- 
tracted by our lights, visited us, and soon after daybreak, an 
inquisitive humming-bird came for a peep at the strangers, 
flitted about us a little time, then darted away to his home. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 15 

Salinas is an island at the month of the river, conspicuous 
from a distance, owing to its broad, white beach. It is prin- 
cipally inhabited by fishermen. We observed a few red-tiled, 
houses, and an ancient white church. Here, vessels bound to 
Para usually take a pilot; but owing to the vexatious delays 
often experienced, American captains prefer trusting to their 
own skill. Directly at the entrance of the river are two banks, 
Braganza and Tigoca, dreaded by sailors ; beyond these, the 
navigation is easy. Para is situated about eighty miles above ; 
but such is the force of the descending tide and current, that 
from twenty-four to thirty hours are frequently required to 
overcome the short distance. 

It was delightful to find ourselves once more in quiet 
water, and a luxury only appreciable by those who have been 
rolled and pitched about, until every bone seems rheumatic, 
and every muscle jelly-like, to sleep as stilly as on land. We 
had anchored inside the banks : before daybreak, we were 
again advancing ; and, that morning, every passenger was 
early upon the look-out. The speedy termination of the voyage 
put us all in high spirits, and impatiently we snuffed the per- 
fumed air that came wafted from the yet scarce visible shore. 
The island of Marajo gradually became distinguishable on 
the right, its tree tops but just fringing the water. To the left, 
long, low islands extended to within a few miles of the city. 
All day, our course was near these, and to one never before 
conusant of tropical luxuriance, and a truant from the wintry 
skies of the north, every thing was enchanting. 

Impervious as a hedge, tall trees shot up their arrow-like 
stems; broad palm leaves undulated with every breath. A 
thousand shades of green were enameled with flowers, in red, 
and white, and gold. The loud notes of the toucans, the shrill 
cries of parrots greeted our welcome ; and about the vessel, 
twittered delightedly numbers of martins, the same old friends 
who used, at home, to disturb us in the early morning. Here and 
there, little patches of clearing, and haystack-shaped huts, in- 
dicated the home of some ease-loving Indian. Some of these 
huts consisted merely of a few poles, covered with palm thatch, 
but occasionally, a delicious little retreat would peep at us 



16 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

through the almost concealing shrubbery, surrounded by a 
grass-plot, and overshadowed by the huge leaves of the bana- 
na, or the feathery tufts of the cocoa tree. In front of one hut, 
upon a grassy knoll facing the river, stood a large cross, de- 
signed to warn away any evil spirit that should venture there. 
Happy ones ! none but fairies, and good angels, should be wel- 
come to such a paradise. 

Often we saw men and women, walking upon the beach, or 
variously employed, and it was amusing to observe their pan- 
tomimic movements. Huge canoes, hollowed from single trees, 
and with mat sails, crept along shore : and the first strange 
voice that we had heard since leaving New-York, hailed us from 
one of these, with the friendly " O Amigo." 

Twenty miles below the city, a number of islands are sprin- 
kled about the channel, one of which was pointed out as the last 
resort of the inhabitants of Para, when the city was sacked by 
the rebel Indians, a few years since. Upon that lovely spot of 
green, five thousand persons died of exposure and starvation. 

Para is situated upon a little bay, forming a safe anchorage, 
and is visible, from below, a little more than ten miles. At 
about that distance, is the Quarantine, not now a terror to trav- 
ellers. Here, a little boat, rigged with two antique triangular 
sails, and manned by negroes bare to the waist, pulled along- 
side, and left with us a custom-house guard, who was to pre- 
vent intercourse with the shore. 

Night was coming on, but still there was light enough to 
display to our eager eyes, the position of the city, nestled in its 
bed of green, and smiled upon by an archipelago of islands. 
Rain commenced pouring, and we were fain to go below. The 
guard at the fort bid us pass on, and, by eight, we were anchor- 
ed off the custom-house. It was too late for a visit, and we 
turned in, impatient for the morning. All night long, church 
bells were ringing, and clocks striking, and, at intervals, we 
could distinguish the notes of a bugle, or the loud cry of the 
patrol ; all doubly cheerful, after the mournful wailing of the 
wind through the rigging, and the monotonous dashing of the 
sea, which had been our melancholy lullaby, for so many weeks. 



CHAPTER II. 

Morning view of the harbor and city — Visit — Land at the Punto de Pedras — Novel 
scene — Reception at Mr. Norris's — Garden and plants — Electrical eel — Anaconda — 
Religious procession. « 

We had arrived in the midst of the wet season, and, all 
night, the rain poured incessantly. But, as the sun rose, the 
clouds broke away, and our first view was rendered still more 
agreeable by the roseate mist that draped the tree tops and 
lingered over the city. Anchored about us, were vessels of 
various nations and strange looking river craft, under whose 
thatched roofs, whole families seemed to be living, and, upon 
which, green parrots and macaws were clambering and 
screaming. 

Canoes, bound to the market, were constantly passing, 
loaded with all kinds of produce. Fine looking buildings, of 
three and four stories height, faced the water, all yellow in 
color, and roofed with red tiles. Vast cathedrals and churches, 
covered with the mould of age, shot up their tall spires, their 
walls and roofs affording sustenance and support to venerable 
mosses and shrubs of goodly size. Garden walls were over- 
hung with creeping vines, like ancient ruins. Vultures were 
leisurely wheeling over the city, or, in clusters, upon the house- 
tops, spreading their wings to the sun. Mid the ringing of 
bells and the discharge of rockets, a long procession was issu- 
ing from the church of San Antonio ; and a Babel of sounds, 
from dogs and parrots, and strange tongues, came over the 
water. 

At about nine o'clock, the doctor of the port visited us; 
and soon after, an official of the custom-house examined our 
passports, and left with each of us a notification to present 



18 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



ourselves, within three days, to the chief of police, and to 
obtain from him a license of residence. We were then pro- 
nounced at liberty to go on shore. 

It was low tide, and as no wharves run out for the con- 
venience of vessels, we were obliged to land at the market- 
place, the Punto de Pedras, a long, narrow pier. It would be 
impossible to conceive a more utterly novel tableau than here 
broke upon us. It was an introduction, at once, to half that 
was curious in the city. Files of canoes skirt the whole 
length of the pier, high and dry above the water. The more 
fortunate occupants, who have sold their wares, are variously 
engaged: some, sleeping; others, preparing their morning 
meal ; others, combing and arranging their luxuriant tresses 
— for even an Indian woman has a little vanity ; and others, 
the most of all, chattering with their neighbors, or screaming 
in shrill tones to friends on shore. Here are negroes of every 
shade of color, from the pure Congo, to the almost pure 
white ; some buying, some selling. There stands one, with 
his basket of coarse cotton cloth and his yard-stick ; and close 
by, an old wench is squatted by a pot of yellow soup, the ex- 
tract of some palm nut. Here are strings of inviting fish, and 
piles of less captivating terrapins ; coarse baskets, filled with 
Vigia crabs, the best in the world ; and others of palm leaves, 
fashioned like a straw reticule, are swelled out with the deli- 
cious snails. Monkeys, fastened to clogs, entice you to pur- 
chase them by their antics ; and white herons, and various 
other wild birds, by their beauty. Every where, and most 
numerous of all, are the fruit-dealers; and for a mere nothing, 
all the luxuries of this fruit-prolific clime are yours. Beau- 
tiful bouquets of flowers invite a purchaser ; and now, for the 
first time, you observe the singularly neat appearance of the 
women, each dressed in white, and with a flower in her hair, 
and you remember that it is a holiday. Oddly-dressed soldiers 
mingle among the crowd ; inquisitive officials peer about for 
untaxed produce ; sailors, from vessels in the harbor, are 
constantly landing ; gentlemen of the city are down for their 
morning stroll ; beautiful Indian girls flit by, like visions ; 
and scores of boys and girls, in all the freedom of nakedness, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 19 

contend with an equal number of impudent goats, for the pri- 
vilege of running over you. 

Through this motley assemblage we picked our way, ac- 
companied by Captain Appleton, to the house of Mr. Norris, 
the consignee of the Undine. Mr. Norris received us with all 
the warmth of an old friend, and immediately insisted upon 
our making his house our home. It was a home to us during 
our stay at Para ; and the generosity of Mr. N. has placed us 
under obligations easily understood by those, who, like our- 
selves, have found a home and a friend among strangers. 

Our first excursion extended no further than the garden, 
at the rear of the house; but even that little distance opened 
to us a new world. It was laid out in home style, with neat 
walks and raised flower-beds. A number of curious birds 
were skulking among the shrubbery, or stalking along the 
path with the dignity and self-possession of birds at home. 
This domestication of wild birds, we afterwards found to be 
common throughout the province. They are restrained from 
truancy Dy the high fences that surround the gardens : and 
ibises and spoonbills, varieties of herons, rails, et tnulti alii, 
are as frequently seen as domestic fowls. But ihe legitimate 
occupants were of greater interest than these strangers : and 
here grew in perfection, the banana, the orange, the fig, the 
tamarind, the cotton tree, the sugar cane ; and over the fence, 
on the soil of a neighbor, a lofty cocoa tree displayed its clusters 
of ripening nuts. Instead of the puny sensitive-plant, that in 
the north, struggles almost hopelessly for frail existence, a 
giant shrub threw out its nervous arms, all flowering, and the 
attraction of passing butterflies. 

Amid this profusion, there was nothing to remind us of the 
home that we had left ; but, afar off, in one lone corner, stood 
a solitary stalk of Indian corn, lank and lean, an eight feet 
spindling, clasped nervously by one sorry ear. Poor thing, it 
spoke touchingly of exile. 

Passing out of the garden, our next visit was compliment- 
ary to an eel: not one of the unhallowed denizens of muddy 
ponds, or stagnant waters; but an electrical eel, large and 
handsome, swimming about in his tub of clear rain water, with 



20 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

the grace of a water king. This fellow was about four feet in 
length, and along his whole lower part extended a wide fin, 
by whose curvings he appeared to propel himself. We often, 
afterwards, amused our leisure in observing this eel, and in ex- 
perimenting upon his electrical power. This did not seem to 
be concentrated in any particular part, or organ, for touch him 
where we would, the violence of the shock seemed the same, 
and equalled an ordinary shock from a machine. When very 
hungry, or particularly spiteful, he would transmit his power 
through the water to a considerable distance. His usual food 
was crabs, and when these were thrown in to him, he swam to- 
wards them, stunned them by a touch of his head, and either 
caught them immediately, or allowed them to fall to the bottom 
of the tub, to be devoured at leisure. 

These eels are common in the small streams about Para, 
and, indeed, throughout the whole northern part of the conti- 
nent, and they often attain great size. One that we afterwards 
saw at Senhor Pombo's, was about six feet long, and five or six 
inches in diameter. We heard frequent accounts of their pow- 
er over large animals in the water. The negroes catch them by 
first teazing them, until they have exhausted the electrical 
power. We ate of them, at different times, but they were too 
fishy in taste to be agreeable, without strong correctives. 

Near by, was disclosed to us a young anaconda, nicely coiled 
up in the bottom of a barrel, and looking as innocent as a dove. 
This fellow was pointed out as something rather diminutive, 
but to our unfamiliar eyes, a snake of ten feet length seemed 
very like a monster. His customary food was rats. These 
snakes are kept about many houses in Para for protection 
against rats, and two who had escaped from Mr. Norris's barrels, 
now prowled at large, and effectually cleared the premises of 
these vermin. They are perfectly harmless, and never molest 
domestic fowls or animals upon the premises, excepting, now 
and then, a young chicken. 

This day was a festival. The saint was popular, business 
was suspended, public offices were closed, and the whole city 
was preparing to do him honor. Such days, in Para, always 
end in processions, and when, late in the afternoon, the crack- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 21 

ling of rockets, and the sounds of martial music, proclaimed the 
procession already formed, we walked to the Rua da Cadeira, 
the Broadway of Para, and took our stand among crowds of 
citizens, all, apparently, as much interested as ourselves in the 
coming events. The balconies above were filled with gayly 
dressed ladies, and bright eyes were impatient to pay their 
homage to the benignant saint, or to exact a homage, more sin- 
cere, perhaps, from their own admirers below. 

Immediately succeeding a fine military band, walked a num- 
ber of penitents, wearing crowns of thorns, and almost en- 
shrouded in long, black veils. It was evident enough that pec- 
cadilloes were not all confined to the whites, for, below the veils, 
bared feet displayed as many hues as we had seen in the mar- 
ket-place. These penitents surrounded a tall banner, borne by 
one of their number, who staggered beneath its weight ; a fair 
penance for many a hearty sin. 

Friars, with corded waists and shaven crowns, and priests, 
in long black robes, came next. Little angels followed, bright, 
happy things, and beautiful, as though they had come down to 
cheer the present sufferings of the weary one, who bore his 
cross behind. Each wore upon her head a crown of flowers, 
and exquisite devices decked her white gauze dress. Wings 
of a butterfly, or some shorn Cupid, told how she came ; she 
bore a wine cup in her hand, and as she stepped, tiny bells 
sent out low music. She was unaccustomed to our rough 
walks here, and, at her side, a seraph boy guided her faltering 
steps. 

Then came the Christ, bending beneath the heavy cross. 
The crowd was stilled, the Host passed by, and respect, or ado- 
ration, were testified by raised hat, or bended knee. 

A number of other figures succeeded, and the line was 
closed by the troops. A few whites followed, curious as our- 
selves ; but the whole negro and Indian population were drawn 
along, as a matter of course. Nearly all the negro women 
were profusely ornamented with gold, partly the fruit of their 
own savings, and often, the riches of their lady mistresses, who 
lend them willingly upon such occasions. Some wore chains of 
gold beads, passing several times about the neck, and sustain- 

2* 



22 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVEH AMAZON. 

ing a heavy golden cross. All wore ear-rings, and the elder 
women, both black and Indian, overtopped their heads by huge 
tortoise-shell combs. The Indian girls, who were in large num- 
bers, were almost always beautiful, with regular features, fine 
forms, black, lustrous eyes, and luxuriant locks, that fell over 
their shoulders. Many women carried upon their heads trays, 
covered with a neat towel, and well provided with temptations 
to errant coin. 

At intervals along the street, were little buildings, in which 
temporary altars were fitted up in all the glare and gaudiness 
of wax candles and tinsel. Every one raised his hat upon 
passing these, and the more devout knelt before them, deposit- 
ing some coin at their departure. 

In the evening, the churches were brilliantly lighted, and 
in the alcoves, before the images of the saint, knelt crowds of 
ladies, the elite of Para. At each altar priests officiated, their 
attention much distracted between the fair penitents at their 
side, and the dulcet tones in the money plate before them. 

Another procession, by torch-light, closed the exercises, 
and at last, wearied with sight-seeing, we wended our way 
homeward, to the embrace of luxurious hammocks, that gently 
received us, without the usual misadventure of the uninitiated 
and uncautioned. 



CHAPTER III. 

Founding of Para — Late disturbances — Site and vicinity — Form of the city — Rosinhas — 
Houses— Largo da Palacio, da Polvora, da Quartel — Public buildings— Churches — Palaces 
— Theatre — Cathedral — Rua da Mangabeiras — Nazare — Mr. Henderson's plantation — 
Rosinha of Mr. Smith, and fruit trees — Coffee — Pine-apples — Oranges — Limes — Man- 
goes — Inga — Alligator pears — Custard apple — Flowers. 

The popular name of this city, Para, is derived from the 
river, its proper designation being Belem, or Bethlehem. Cal- 
deira, in 1615, entered what he supposed to be the main 
Amazon, and learning from the natives that this was, in their 
language, the King of Waters, called it, appropriately, Para; 
or rather, to hallow it by a Christian baptism, the Gram Para. 
Continuing up the river, this adventurer at last fixed upon a 
site, near the junction of several streams, now known as the 
Guama, the Acara, and the Moju, for a city, that should there- 
after be a glory to our Lady of Belem. Our Lady is still the 
patron saint, but the name of her city is almost entirely for- 
gotten in that of Para. 

We will not recount the long series of events that have 
transpired since Caldeira here first planted the cross. They 
would be of little interest to the general reader, and we prefer 
to look at the city as it now is, merely making such allusions 
to the past, as shall serve to render description more intelli- 
gible. 

The only event that requires particular mention, is the 
Revolution of 1835, and the following year. The President of 
the province was assassinated, as were very many private indi- 
viduals of respectability, and the city was in possession of the 
insurgent troops, assisted by designing whites and Indians. All 
the citizens who could, fled for their lives; many to Portugal, 
and many to the United States and England. The whole 



24 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

province, with the exception of the town of Cameta, upon the 
Tocantins, fell into the hands of the rebels, and every where, 
the towns were sacked, cities despoiled, cattle destroyed, and 
slaves carried away. The rebels were constantly quarreling 
among themselves, and several Presidents succeeded each 
other. At last, after this state of anarchy had continued 
nearly eighteen months, President Andrea arrived from Rio 
Janeiro with a sufficient force, and succeeded, without much 
difficulty, in recovering possession of the city. One by one, the 
inland towns returned to their allegiance. The disastrous 
effect of these disturbances is still felt, and a feeling of present 
insecurity is very general, but still, Para has fully recovered her 
former position, and may retain it, if the provincial govern- 
ment guides itself with sufficient discretion. 

The whole Amazonian region is low, and the site of the 
city boasts no advantage in this respect, being, at most, but a 
few feeV above the level of the river at flood tide. Every 
where, nature displays the most exuberant fertility, and this, 
which, in most countries between the tropics, is a prolific 
source of pestilence and death, is here so modified by other 
elements as to be a blessing. During the rainy season, when, 
for several months, rain falls daily, and for several weeks, almost 
incessantly, the surface of the ground is never long covered 
with water ; for, so sandy is the soil, that, no sooner have the 
clouds broken away, than the waters have disappeared, and 
excepting the bright jewels that sparkle profusely upon every 
leaf, little else remains to tell of the furious outpourings of the 
previous hour. During what is termed the dry season, from 
June to December, more or less rain falls weekly, and vegeta- 
tion is never disrobed of her perennial green. The steady 
trade winds from the East come fraught with invigorating sea 
air, tempering the fierce sun-heat, making the nights of a de- 
lightful coolness, and preventing that languor of feeling so in- 
separable from the equatorial climes of the East. 

Old traditions, handed down as applicable to modern times, 
by all-knowing Encyclopedists, represent the climate of Para 
as having been unhealthy, but in some respects improved of 
late years. These reports probably arose from the injudicious 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 25 

method of living introduced by the earlier colonists, and perse- 
vered in, until experience taught them to accommodate their 
habits to the clime. But, of late years, they have been studi- 
ously detailed and exaggerated by monopolizing mercantile 
houses; and when we desired to venture to the country of the 
Amazon, it was next to impossible to obtain any sort of infor- 
mation relative to Para, except a general report of heat and 
unhealthiness. 1 shall speak more of this hereafter, with ref- 
erence to the singularly superior advantages which Para pre- 
sents to invalids. 

The whole city is laid out in squares, and, from the peculiar 
manner in which it is built, covers a much larger area, than, 
from its population of fifteen thousand, one would suppose. 
Near the river, and in the part more especially devoted to bu- 
siness, the houses adjoin, upon streets of convenient width ; but 
elsewhere, each square is usually the residence of but one pro- 
prietor, who here enjoys all the advantages of both city and 
country. These residences are termed rosinhas. Fruit trees, 
of every variety common to the clime, mingle with beautiful 
flowers, and it requires but little taste in the master or ladies of 
the mansion to embower themselves in a paradise. Most of 
these houses are but of one story, built upon two or three sides 
of a square, covering a great area, and containing numerous 
lofty and well ventilated rooms. Very often, the entire flooring 
is of neat, square tiles. A broad verandah offers both shel- 
ter and shade, and here, in delicious coolness, the meals of the 
day are enjoyed. 

The city proper consists of houses of every height, from 
one to four stories, strongly resembling each other in external 
appearance. All are yellow-washed or white-washed, and or- 
namented by mouldings about doors and windows. The build- 
ing materials are small stones cemented in mortar, and such is 
the durability of construction, that unfinished walls, in different 
parts of the city, exposed, for years, to the action of the ele- 
ments, show no sign of crumbling or decay. Of course, cool- 
ness is the great object aimed at, and therefore, in the centre 
of the house is usually an open square from top to bottom, 
serving to keep up a constant current of air. Doors are all 



26 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



wide, and windows rarely glazed. Generally, near the river, 
the lower part of the house is occupied as a store or ware- 
room, the upper stories being the residence of the family. 

In front of upper windows opening upon the street are iron 
balconies, favorite stands of the inmates, who here spend hours, 
in the cooler parts of the day, in observing the passers below, 
and sometimes, it is to be feared, coquetting with correspond- 
ents over the way. It strikes one strangely that necessity has 
not introduced the fashion of shaded balconies as a protection 
from the sun ; but there are none such, and in positions shel- 
tered from the sea breeze, the mid-day heat is excessive. 

The lower houses, in the more retired streets, are mostly dwell- 
ings, and the windows of these are always covered by a close 
lattice, or jalousie, through whose bars dark eyes may flash upon 
passers-by unblushingly. 

The streets are without sidewalks, and are badly paved 
with irregular stones, which render walking excessively fa- 
tiguing, and rapid riding perilous. 

In different parts of the city, are public squares, called Lar- 
gos. The more prominent are the Largo da Palacio (of the 
palace); da Polvora (of powder); and da Quarte! (of the 
barracks). The first of these is very spacious, and might be 
made an ornament to the palace and the city. As it is, it is 
neither more nor less than a dirty common, uneven in surface, 
spotted, in the wet season, with puddles of water, and unshaded 
by a single tree. Miserable, half-starved sheep, parti-colored 
as goats, and libels on the ovine race, glean a poor subsistence 
from the coarse rank grass. The walk across this Largo to 
the palace was of rough stone, and when we first crossed it, 
both daylight and dexterity were requisite ; but I am happy to 
say, that, before we bade adieu to Para, preparations were 
making for an avenue more consistent wtih the dignity of the 
Government. 

Upon the Largo da Polvora formerly stood the powder-house, 
now removed to a distance from the city. Here trees were 
once planted by President Andrea, but with merely exceptions 
enough to show what a public blessing their preservation would 
have proved, they have now disappeared. Near this Largo, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 27 

are the principal wells, whence is supplied the water for the 
city, and about which, may be seen, at any time, scores of ne- 
gro women, engaged in washing and bleaching clothes. 

The Largo da Quartel is of small extent, fronting the bar- 
racks, a long, low building, where Indian recruits are drilled 
into civilization and shape. In the centre of this Largo, is a 
well, about the curb of which, numbers of considerate wenches 
rest their weary water-jars, and with a painful self-denial, gos- 
sip and gesticulate, all day long, upon the affairs of the town. 

The public buildings of Para are conspicuous objects, both 
in number and size far beyond the present wants of the city ; 
but wisely built for posterity, and the future inevitable magni- 
tude of the depot of the Amazon. Even so long ago as 1685, 
when the population numbered but five hundred, there existed 
"a Mother Church, a Jesuit College, a Franciscan, a Carme- 
lite, and a Mercenario Convent, two Churches, a Chapel, and 
a Misericordia or Hospital." The cherished hopes of the Je- 
suits have not yet been fulfilled, but " already is heard the 
sound of the multitude that is coming to take possession of the 
valley." 

The Jesuit college has now become an ecclesiastical semi- 
nary; and the convents, long since deserted of friars, save two 
or three old Franciscans, have been turned to profaner uses. 
That of the Carmelites, is now the palace of the assembly ; 
the vast pile of the Mercenaries has become the custom- 
house ; and still another is the arsenal. All these edifices 
are in good preservation, and the bright green moss, which 
every where has climbed the roofs, and traced the facings, in 
no wise detracts from their picturesque appearance. 

The palace, built about the middle of the last century, when 
Portugal looked to the Amazon as the scene of her future 
glory, is commensurate, in size and massiveness, with the 
anticipated necessities of the empire. It is of the same style 
of architecture as the Portuguese houses generally, and can 
scarcely be called either grand or beautiful. 

In the rear of the palace, stands the unfinished theatre, 
now overgrown with shrubs and close embracing vines ; a far 
greater ornament to the city, than it could have been in its 
finished state. 



28 



A VOYAGE TIP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



The cathedral stands near the palace, upon the southern 
side of the Largo ; the vastest edifice of the kind in Brazil. 
Twin steeples tower aloft, from whose many bells issue most 
of those chimes, that may be heard at almost any hour. 

Near the arsenal, and sufficiently removed to be no nui- 
sance to the city, is the public slaughter-house, where are 
received all the cattle destined for the Para market. Strangers 
usually walk in that direction, to observe the immense con- 
gregation of vultures that are here to be seen, laboring lustily 
for the public health. 

There are a number of pleasant walks, within and around 
the city. The most agreeable, by far, of the former, is the Rua 
da Mangabeiras, a long avenue, crossed, at right angles, by a 
similar rua, and both thickly skirted by mangabeira trees. 
This tree attains a vast size, and throws out a more widely 
spreading top than most Brazilian forest trees. Its bark is a 
singular combination of colors, between green and gray; and 
is of a lustrous smoothness. The ripened fruit hangs over the 
branches ; large red pods, the size of a cocoa-nut, and con- 
taining a yellowish, silky cotton. In the months of March 
and April, these trees are divested of their leaves; and every- 
where mingle in profusion, the ripened fruit, and the large, 
white, crown-like flowers. Later in the season, the flowers 
have given place, in turn, to a most luxuriant foliage ; and 
when the sun strikes mercilessly upon every spot else, here, 
all is coolness and repose. Paroquets, ravenously fond of the 
cotton seeds, are every where chattering among the branches ; 
and the brilliant cicadas chirp grateful thanks to him who 
planted for them this delightful home. From adjacent thickets, 
come the warblings of many birds; and the stranger, haply 
unacquainted with the Brazilian melodists, startles, as he 
hears the liquid trill of the blue bird, the joyful song of the 
robin, and the oriole's mellow whistle. 'Tie a delusion ; but 
the familiar tones sound none the less delightfully, from the 
throats of these southern cousins, than when uttered amid the 
groves and by the streams, of our own home. 

The Rua da Mangabeiras is deservedly a favorite walk in 
summer, and in the early morning, or after sunset, it is con- 
stantly thronged with groups of joyous citizens. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 29 

Another delightful walk, as well as the usual route for eques- 
trians, is towards Nazare, distant about two miles from the pal- 
ace, and one mile from the city. Here is a little chapel dedica- 
ted to the service of our Lady of Nazareth, and looking like some 
fairy's palace, on its spot of green, embowered in the native for- 
est. Our Lady of Nazareth is the peculiar patroness of the sick, 
the afflicted, and the desolate ; and here, the soul-saddened peni- 
tent may find quiet, far away from the crowded shrines of the 
city. At the entrance of the square, a number of seats invite 
the weary. A tall, white pillar, standing near, records, proba- 
bly, some event connected with the place, but the inscription is 
nearly illegible. 

With our friend Captain Appleton, who is a most zealous 
conchologist, and well acquainted with all the shell-haunts in 
the vicinity, we used often to take this route, and, upon the trees, 
in various localities, found as many specimens as we cared for. 
These were principally of three varieties : the Bulimus regius, 
Bulimus glabra, and the Auricula clausa. Continuing on 
through the forest, at about a mile beyond Nazare, is the plan- 
tation of Mr. Henderson, a Scotch gentleman, who, having a 
taste for agricultural pursuits, is endeavoring to show the plant- 
ers of the country the difference between a scientific cultiva- 
tion, and their own slovenly and inefficient mode of farming. 
Amongst other novelties, Mr. H. has introduced a plough, the 
only one in the province of Para. He has devoted particular 
attention to the cultivation of grasses for hay, and his meadows 
looked as freshly, and produced as fine grass as those of New 
England. What with the delightful reception of Mr. Hender- 
son, and the lesser attractions of scenery and flowers, butter- 
flies and shells, we took many a stroll this way. 

But there was no pleasanter place, wherein to while an 
hour, than a rosinha, and as our friend, Mr. Smith, was propri- 
etor of one of the most extensive, within a ten minutes' walk of 
our residence, we used often to visit him, and amuse ourselves 
among his trees. This rosinha was of about an acre's extent. 
Down the middle ran a broad walk, covered by an arbor, which 
was profusely overrun by the Grenadilla passion-flower. This 
produces a yellow fruit, about the size and shape of an egg^ 
within which is a pleasant acid pulp. 



30 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

On either side the arbor were coffee trees. These are 
planted at a distance of about ten feet apart, and being 
prevented from growing more than five feet high, by constant 
trimming of their tops, they throw out very many lateral 
branches. The flowers are white, and, at the flowering season, 
ornament the plant beautifully. The leaves are about six inch- 
es in length, broad, and of a rich and glossy green. The ber- 
ries growupon the under side of the limbs, and at first, are 
green, but when matured, of a deep red. Within each are two 
kernels, and the whole is surrounded by a sweet, thin pulp. 
When the ripe berries are exposed to the sun, this pulp dries, 
and is then removed by hand, or by a mill. The trees produce 
in two or three years after being planted. Formerly the quan- 
tity of coffee raised in the vicinity of Para was sufficient for a 
large exportation, and it was celebrated for its superior flavor. 
Now it is imported, so many planters having turned their at- 
tention to other produce, or to the collecting of rubber. 

There were also large patches of ananas, or pine-apples, 
which plant is two well known to require description. This 
fruit is often raised in these rosinhas, of great size. One which 
we saw upon the table of the British Consul, soon after our land- 
ing, weighed nineteen pounds, and was considered nothing ex- 
traordinary, although, at that time, out. of the season. 

A number of large orange trees were always interesting to 
us, inasmuch as, at every season, they clustered with ripe fruit, 
not the shrivelled or sour specimens seen in New-York, but of 
great size and luscious sweetness. Oranges, in this climate, 
are to be considered rather as a necessity, than a luxury. 
Their cooling nature renders them unspeakably grateful, and 
they are, without doubt, an antidote to many diseases incident 
to a torrid clime. Every one uses them unstintingly, and when 
an old gentleman, upon the Upper Amazon, told us that he al- 
ways settled his breakfast with a dozen oranges, he described, 
with little hyperbole, the custom of the country. 

There were also many lime trees; and these resemble, in 
general appearance, the orange, excepting that they are of 
smaller growth. The acid of limes is more pleasant than 
vinegar, and they are always used as a substitute for this upon 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 31 

the table. They are much used in composing a drink, and 
make the best of preserves. 

The most beautiful trees were the mango and the ochee, 
whose densely leaved tops much resemble each other. Their 
leaves are very long and narrow, and of a dark, glossy green ; 
but when young they are of several shades, dull white, pink, 
and red, and the commingling of hues is very beautiful. The 
mango is esteemed one of the finest fruits. It is the size of a 
large lemon, and of a green color. Beneath the skin is a yel- 
low pulp, which surrounds a large stone. During our stay 
mangoes were temporarily unpopular among the lower classes, 
from a belief that to tbem was owing the appearance of a dis- 
ease called the leprosy. 

The ochee is smaller than the mango, and of a yellow color . 
It contains a sweet, pleasant pulp. 

Another interesting tree was the inga, although for a very 
different reason than its beauty. It bears a profusion of small, 
white flowers, very fragrant ; and the attraction of humming- 
birds, who might, at any time ; be seen rifling their sweets, in a 
great variety of species. The fruit of the inga is a pod, of a 
foot or more in length, and an inch in diameter. It contains a 
sweet, white pulp, imbedded in which are long seeds. The 
paroquets are very fond of this pulp, and they come to the 
trees in great flocks, clustering upon the pods, and'tearing 
them open with their strong beaks. 

There were trees bearing another esteemed fruit, the alli- 
gator pear, or mangaba. Of these there are two varieties, one, 
the more common, green in color, and shaped like a crook- 
necked squash, but of greatly reduced size. The other, con- 
sidered the better species, is called the mangaba da Cayenne' 
and is of the ordinary pear shape, and of a purplish red color. 
In the centre is a large stone, and the substance about this is 
soft and marrow-like. It is eaten with wine and sugar, and to 
our taste was the finest fruit in the province. It is said to be 
the only fruit that cats will eat, and they are extremely fond 
of it. 

The biraba, or custard-apple, is no bad representative of 
the delicacy of which its name is suggestive. It is about the 



32 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

size of a cocoa-nut, covered by a thin, rough skin, and contains 
a white pulp, which is eaten with a spoon. 

Here was growing a cactus, in size a tree ; and numerous 
flowering shrubs, some known to us as green-house plants, 
and others entirely new, were scattered over the premises. 
Cape jessamines grew to large shrubs and filled the air with 
fragrance. Oleanders shot up to a height of twenty feet, 
loaded with flowers; and altheas, in like manner, presented 
clusters of immense size and singular beauty. Here, also, was 
a tree covered with large, white flowers, shaped like so many 
butterflies ; and there were a host of others, of which we could 
admire the beauty, although not knowing the names. 



CHAPTER IV. 

License of residence — Officials — Provincial government — Church establishment — Troops 
— Enrollment of Indians — Drilling recruits — Absence of inns — Foreigners — Citizens — ■ 
Manner of living — Public ball — Mechanics — Obstructions to labor — Apprentices and 
school — Carrying burdens — Water jars — Rearing of children — Food of lower classes — 
Mandioca and preparation of farinha — Tapioca — Fish — Beef— Vegetables — Fruits — 
Pacovas — Cocoa-nuts — Assai palms 

Within the three days limited in our notification, we had 
called upon the chief of police for a license of residence, which 
was furnished us gratuitously. This officer was one of the 
many examples that we met with, of the disregard paid to 
color, in public or private life, throughout the country. He is 
considered the second officer of the Provincial Government, 
and, like the President, receives his appointment directly from 
Rio Janeiro. 

In passing our chattels through the custom-house, also, we 
had not experienced the least difficulty or annoyance, the offi- 
cers discharging their duties in the most gentlemanly manner. 
And, at all times, in our intercourse with officers of the Govern- 
ment, we found them extremely polite and obliging, and gene- 
rally, they were men of intelligence and education. 

The President, with three Vice-Presidents, constitute the 
Executive of the Province. Assemblies of deputies, chosen by 
the people, meet at stated seasons at Para, to regulate provin- 
cial matters. They have a greater license, in some respects, 
than the corresponding branches of our State Governments, 
such as the imposing of tariffs, and the like, but their acts are 
referred to Rio Janeiro for confirmation. 

The Judges of the various districts, who are also chiefs 
of police, are appointed at Rio, but the Justices of the Peace 
are chosen by the people. 



34 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

The church establishment of Para is not very large, when 
the wants of the whole province are considered ; but, as by far 
the larger portion of the padres never go beyond the city, their 
number seems disproportionate. One meets them at every 
step, and probably five hundred is not an exaggeration. Of 
these, many are novitiates in different stages of preparation, 
and the grades are readily distinguished by their differences 
of dress. Since convents have become unpopular, the old 
race of friars have almost disappeared ; still, a few are seen, 
and a small number of others are among the Indians of the 
interior. The clergy are, of coarse, very efficient patrons of 
the three-and-thirty holidays, besides divers festivals extraor- 
dinary, that diversify the Brazilian year. 

Near the Ecclesiastical Seminary is the school for young 
ladies, under the supervision of the sisters of some of the reli- 
gious societies. Here a great number of young ladies from 
various parts of the province receive education in the simpler 
branches, and in what would be called "the finishing" of a 
New-York boarding-school. 

The Catholic is the established religion of the state, but 
all religions are tolerated. There is no other sect in Para, and 
probably within the province, out of the city, preaching of any 
other denomination was never heard. 

The regular troops of the empire are collected in this pro- 
vince in great strength, on account of the revolutionary spirit 
of the people. Every morning they are paraded upon the 
Largo da Palacio until eight o'clock, and then marched down 
the Rua da Cadeira to the music of a fine band. They are 
out upon every public occasion, taking part in every procession. 
They are, moreover, the police of the city, and in discharge of 
their duties, are seen scattered, throughout the day, along the 
pier and streets, and guarding the doors of all public offices. 
Night police, as well as day police, they take their stations, in 
the early evening, about the city, and, at every hour, their loud 
cries disturb the sleepers. 

Upon Sundays, these troops are freed from duty, and the Na- 
tional Guard take their places, on parade or at the sentry. This 
Guard, one would suppose, formed a far more efficient force 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 35 

than the regular army ; the one, composed, as it is. of native 
Brazilians, the other, a heterogeneous compounding of white 
and black, yellow, red, and brown. The Indian seems to pre- 
dominate, however, and it might be questionable how far his 
courage would carry him, once led into action. 

During the last few years, the enrollment of Indians has 
been carried to an unprecedented extent, through apprehension 
of renewed disturbances. Since 1836, ten thousand young men 
are said to have been carried to the south, to the incalculable 
injury of the agricultural interest. As might be supposed, all 
this enlistment has not been voluntary. The police are con- 
stantly upon the alert for recruits, and, the instant that a poor fel- 
low sets foot within the city, he is spirited away, unless some 
protecting white is thereto intercede in his behalf. We frequent- 
ly fell in with cottages in the vicinity of the city, whose only 
occupants were women and children, the men having, in this 
way, disappeared. Most of the market boats, also, are managed 
by women, the men often stopping at some convenient place 
above, and there awaiting the boat's return. 

It is an amusing sight, to watch these Indian recruits, 
during their earlier drillings, upon the Largo ; encumbered 
with oppressive clothes, high leathern stocks beneath their 
chins, and a wilderness of annoying straps about their bodies. 
Their countenances are models of resignation, or of apathetic 
indifference, when the drill-officer has his eye upon them ; but 
when that eye is averted, the nervous twitching, and the half- 
suppressed curses, with which they wipe the beaded sweat 
from their brows, would be ludicrous enough, could one over- 
come a feeling of pity at the predicament of the poor devils. 

Free negroes are very apt to be caught in the same trap; 
and then, negroes and Indians, together, spend their leisure 
hours, off" drill, in the lock-up ; until, between the principles of 
honor therein imbibed, and the ardor of military glory excited, 
they can be considered trustworthy, and suffered to go at 
large. Most free negroes avoid this career of greatness, by 
nominally still belonging to their old master, or some other 
willing protector. 

There are no inns, at Para, for public accommodation. 



36 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

The people from the country do not require them ; each 
having friends in the city, or conveniences for living on board 
his vessel. Strangers visiting the port are usually provided 
with introductory letters to some of the citizens, and are re- 
ceived with the most generous hospitality. There are various 
cafes, where a good cup of coffee or chocolate may always be 
obtained ; but these are not very much patronized. Both 
natives and foreigners, engaged in business, provide at their 
own tables, for their clerks, or others connected with them in 
business ; a system productive of mutual advantages. 

A great proportion of the foreigners in the city, are from 
the United States and Great Britain ; and these form among 
themselves a delightful little society. 

The people of the town are native born Brazilians and 
Portuguese ; often well educated, generally intelligent, and 
always polite. Of the lower classes, very many are Portu- 
guese or Moorish Jews, who obtain a livelihood by trafficking 
with the smaller river craft, by adulterating produce, and by 
various other expedients in which the people of that nation 
are expert. 

Most gentlemen residing in the city, have also estates in 
the country, to which they retire during summer. Their 
mode of living is very simple, and in congeniality with the 
clime. Two meals a day, are considered quite sufficient; and 
late suppers are entirely avoided. 

Most of the business of the day is transacted in the early 
morning; and when the noon's heat is beating, "all," as they 
say, " but Englishmen and dogs," are taking a siesta in their 
hammocks. The cool evening, lovely and brilliant, calls out 
every one ; and a round of pleasure encroaches far into the 
night. Parties and balls are constantly being given ; and all 
over the city is heard the light music of the guitar, and the 
sounds of the joyous dance. Upon the last Saturday evening 
of each month, is a public subscription ball, and Para's 
beauties are there, in all the fascination of flashing eyes, and 
raven hair, and airy movements. Sometimes a theatrical com- 
pany ventures into this remote region, and, for a while, the new 
prima donna is all the rage. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 37 



The mechanics of the city are mostly Portuguese, and have 
all the proverbial industry of their nation. A shoemaker, who 
lived opposite us, used to be rather annoying in this respect; 
pegging away at all hours of the night, and not sparing time 
to breathe, even on Sundays. 

Owing to the imperfection, or entire absence of machinery, 
the labor of an artisan is far more toilsome than with us, and 
he compensates the difference, by something more than pro- 
portionate slowness. The cabinet maker has to saw his mate- 
rials from the log, in his own shop, and two or more boys, la- 
zily pulling away at a pit-saw, are always a part of his fix- 
tures. So with other trades. Such a state of things would be 
excessively annoying, anywhere else, but these people are ac- 
customed to it, probably dream of nothing better, and are well 
content to jog on in the safe and sure path, by which their an- 
cestors, God rest them, moved forward to glory. 

There is this deficiency, throughout the province, with re- 
spect to every sort of labor-saving machinery ; and although, 
now and then, some individual of extraordinary enterprise has 
introduced improvements from other countries, and although 
the government allows new patents of machinery to be entered 
without a duty, yet the mass of proprietors know nothing of 
them. The introduction of machinery would compensate, in a 
great degree, the depressing scarcity of laborers, for want of 
whom, this garden of the world lies desolate. 

Very many of the apprentices in the shops are Indian boys, 
and to facilitate the acquisition of trades by these, the govern- 
ment supports a school, where, in addition to the common 
branches of education, fifty Indian boys are instructed in vari- 
ous trades. This institution owes its existence to President 
Andrea, who seems to have had concentrated in him, more be- 
nevolence and public spirit, than a score of those who preceded 
or succeeded him in office. It is to him, that the city is indebt- 
ed for the Rua da Mangabeiras, and this alone should immor- 
talize a man in Para. 

The absence of horses and carts, together with the univer- 
sal custom of carrying burdens upon the head, seem, at first, an 
oddity to a stranger. In this manner, the heaviest as well as 

3 



38 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

the lightest, the most fragile as well as any other, travels with 
equal safety to its destination. For the convenience of vessels, 
there are two companies of blacks, each numbering thirty men, 
who are regular carriers ; and their noisy cries are heard 
every morning, as in the full tide of some wild song, they trot 
off beneath incredible burdens. 

Every where, are seen about the streets, young women, 
blacks or Indians, bearing upon their heads large trays ofdoces, 
or sweetmeats and cakes, for sale. These things are made by 
their mistresses, and are thus marketed. Nor do the first la- 
dies of the dity consider it beneath their dignity thus to traffic, 
and we heard of some notable examples, where the money re- 
ceived for the doces had accumulated to independent fortunes. 
From similar large trays, other women are huckstering every 
variety of vegetables or fruits ; and not unfrequently meets the 
ear the cry of as-sy-ee, the last syllable prolonged to a shrill 
scream. What assai may be. we shall soon explain. 

In a morning walk, in any direction, one encounters scores 
of blacks, men and women, bearing huge water jars to and 
from the different wells, which are the supply of the city. 
These jars are porous, and being placed in a current of air, the 
water attains a delightful coolness. This custom was borrow- 
ed by the early settlers from the Indians, and is universal. In 
various parts of the house are smaller jars, called bilhas (beel- 
yas), by the side of which stands a large tumbler, for the gen- 
eral convenience. 

The habit of carrying burdens upon the head, contributes 
to that remarkable straightness and perfection of form, ob- 
served in all these blacks and Indians. Malformation, or dis- 
tortion of any kind, is rarely encountered. This is doubtless 
owing, in a great degree, to the manner of rearing children. 
Every where, are to be seen swarms of little boys and girls, un- 
restrained by any clothing whatever, and playing in the dirt 
with goats and dogs. This exposure to the sun produces its 
natural effect, and these little people, blacks and whites, are 
burned into pretty nearly the same tint ; but they grow up with 
vigor of constitution and beauty of form. The latter, howev- 
er, is sometimes ludicrously modified by a great abdominal pro- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 39 

trudence, the effect of constant stuffing with farinha. It is very- 
unusual to hear a child cry. The higher classes, in the city, 
are more careful of their children ; but, in the country, the fash- 
ion of slight investment prevails, and, at the Barra of the Rio 
Negro, the litile son and heir of the chief official dignitary was 
in full costume, with a pair of shoes and a cane. 

The food of all the lower classes, throughout the province, 
consists principally of fish and farinha. The former is the dried 
and salted Periecu, of the Amazon ; the latter, a preparation 
from the Mandioca root. This plant, botanically, is the Jatro- 
pha Manihot, known in the West Indies as Cassava. The stalk 
is tall and slender, and is divided into short joints, each one of 
which, when placed in the ground, takes root, and becomes a 
separate plant. The leaves are palmated, with six and seven 
lobes. The tubers are shaped much like sweet potatoes, and 
are a foot or more in length. They are divested of their thick 
rind, and grated upon stones ; after which, the mass is placed 
in a slender bag of rattan, six feet in length. To this, a large 
stone is appended, and the consequent extension producing a 
contraction of the sides, the juice is expressed. The juice is 
said to be poisonous, but is highly volatile. The last opera- 
tion is the drying, which is effected in large iron pans, the pre- 
paration being constantly stirred. When finished, it is called 
farinha, or flour, and is of a white or brown color, according to 
the care taken. In appearance it resembles dried crumbs of 
bread. It is packed in loose baskets, lined with palm leaves, 
and in the bulk of eighty pounds, or an alquier. Farinha is the 
substitute for bread and for vegetables. The Indians and 
blacks eat vast quantities of it, and its swelling in the stomach 
produces that distention noticed in the children. 

Tapioca is made from the same plant, and is the starchy 
matter deposited by the standing juice. 

The rivers are filled with varieties of fine fish, but, in the 
city, many other articles of diet are considered preferable. 
From Vigia, and below, towards the coast, crabs and oysters 
are brought, at certain seasons, in great abundance. The for- 
mer, particularly, are noticeable for their large size and supe- 
rior flavor; but the oysters, though of prodigious size, can. in 



40 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

no way, be compared with their relatives of the north. They 
are found, in large clusters, about the roots of the mangroves. 

The great dependence of the Para market is beef. Upon 
Marajo, and neighboring islands, vast herds of cattle roam the 
campo, and large canoes are constantly engaged in transport- 
ing them to the city. But often, they are poor when taken, and 
the passage from the islands averaging from four days to a 
week, during which time, they have little to drink, and nothing 
at all to eat, those who survive are but skin and bone. Killed 
in this state, it may readily be imagined that Para beef is defi- 
cient in some points, considered as excellencies in the Fulton 
market. It is cut up in shapeless pieces, without any pretence 
at skill. The usual method of preparing it for the table is to 
boil it, such a dish as legitimate roast beef or steak being un- 
heard of. 

Very few potatoes, of any sort, are seen ; the principal vege- 
tables for the table being rice, fried plantains, and an excellent 
variety of squash, called jurumu. 

It is in fruits that Para excels ; and here is a long cata- 
logue, many of which are common to adjacent countries, with- 
in the tropics, and many others peculiar to this province. Of 
many of these, we have already spoken ; but there are two or 
three others, which deserve mention : and first of these are the 
plantain, and pacova, or banana. These fruits resemble each 
other, excepting in size ; the former being of about eight 
inches length, the latter, in its varieties, from three to five or 
six. The producing tree is one of the most beautiful of the 
palms, the coronal leaves being six feet in length, by two 
broad, and gracefully drooping around the trunk. The fruit 
hangs in clusters about a stalk, depending from the top of the 
plant. While still green, the stalk is cut off, and the fruit is 
suffered to ripen in the shade. The plantains are generally 
prepared for eating, by being cut in longitudinal slices, and 
fried in fat ; but when roasted in the ashes, are extremely plea- 
sant, and reminded us strongly of roasted apples. The pacovas 
are eaten raw, and are agreeable and nutritious. They are 
raised without difficulty, from cuttings, and are the ever-pre- 
sent attendant of the gentleman's garden or the Indian's hut. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 41 

Their yield, when compared with other plants, is prodigious, 
being, according to Humboldt, to wheat, as one hundred and 
thirty-three to one, and to potatoes, as forty-four to one. 

Cocoa palms are abundant upon the plantations, and are 
conspicuous from their long, feather-like leaves, and the large 
clusters of nuts which surround their tops. The nuts are ge- 
nerally eaten when young, before the pulp has attained hard- 
ness. 

From various palm fruits are prepared substances in great 
request among different classes of people ; but, most delightful 
of all, is that from the Euterpe edulis, known as assai, or more 
familiarly, as, was-sy-ee. This palm grows to a height of 
from thirty to forty feet, with a stem scarcely larger than one's 
arm. From the top, a number of long leaves, their webs cut, 
as it were, into narrow ribbons, are waving in the wind. Be- 
low the leaves, one, two, and rarely, three stems put forth, at 
first enclosed in a spatha, or sheath, resembling woven bark. 
This falling off, there is disclosed a tree-like stalk, with diver- 
gent limbs, in every direction, covered with green berries, the 
size of marbles ; these soon turn purple, and are fully ripe. 
Flocks of toucans, parrots, and other fruit-loving birds, are first 
to discover them ; but there are too many for even the birds. 
The fruit is covered by a thick skin, beneath which, imbedded 
in a very slight pulp, is the stone. Warm water is poured on, 
to loosen the skin, and the berries are briskly rolled together 
in a large vessel. The stones are thrown out, the liquid is 
strained off the skins, and there is left a thick, cream-like sub- 
stance, of a purple color. Sugar is added, and farinha to 
slightly thicken it. To a stranger, the taste is, usually, disagree- 
able, but soon, it becomes more prized than all fruits beside, 
and is as much a necessity as one's dinner. 



CHAPTER V. 

Leave Para for the Rice Mills — Boatmen — Night scene upon the water — Arrival — Vi- 
cinity of the mills — A Brazilian forest — Sporting — Toucans — Chatterers- -Motmots — 
Manikms--Humming-birds — Snake stories — Absence of flies — Ants — Saiibas — Cupims 
— Little Ant-eater — Lakes — Nests of Troopials — Sloth — Armadillo — Beetles — Puma — 
Monkeys — Indian boy — Description of the mills — Blacks — Sleeping in hammocks — 
Vampire bats — Wasps' nests — Visit Corentiores — Sporting there — Reception- Bread 
fruit — Larangeira — Cotton tree — Maseranduba or Cow tree — Walk through the forest 
to the city — Spider — Flowers. 

Our first excursion, to any distance, was to the Rice Mills, 
at Magoary, only twelve miles from Para by land, and two 
tides, or about ten hours by water. The overland route being, 
in many respects, inconvenient, we determined to venture in 
one of the canoes, always in readiness for such excursions, near 
thePunto daPedras ; and for this purpose, engaged a fair look- 
ing craft, with a covered and roomy cabin, and manned by two 
whites and a negro. Leaving the city in the middle of the 
afternoon, we took advantage of the ebbing tide, and, by dark, 
had entered the stream, which was to carry us to our destina- 
tion. But our two white sailors were lazy scoundrels, and we 
did not feel sufficiently acquainted with the language, or ac- 
customed to the ways of the country, to give them the scolding 
they deserved. This they knew enough to comprehend, and 
the consequence was, that we lost the flood tide which should 
have carried us up, and were obliged to anchor and spend the 
night on board. One of these men was an old salt, battered 
and worn, the other was a young fellow of twenty, with a 
good-looking face and nut-brown skin, wearing upon his head 
a slouched felt hat, and, altogether, the very image of peasant 
figures seen in Spanish paintings. Not at all disturbed by our 
dissatisfied looks, and ominous grumblings, they coolly stretched 
themselves out upon the seats, and started up a wild song, the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 43 



burden of which was of love, and the dark-eyed girls they had 
left behind them in the city. It was a lovely night, and the 
music, and other gentle influences, soon restored our good hu- 
mor, and we felt, at last, inclined to forgive the laziness that 
had left us here. No clouds obscured the sky, and the millions 
of starry lights, that, in this clime, render the moon's absence of 
little consequence, were shining upon us in their calm, still 
beauty. The stream, where we were anchored, was narrow ; 
tall trees drooped over the water, or mangroves shot out their 
long finger-like branches into the mud below. Huge bats were 
skimming past, night-birds were calling in strange voices from 
the tree-tops, fire-flies darted their mimic lightnings, fishes 
leaped above the surface, flashing in the starlight, the deep, 
sonorous baying of frogs came up from distant marshes, and 
loud plashings in shore, suggested all sorts of nocturnal mon- 
sters. 'Twas our first night upon the water, and we enjoyed 
the scene, in silence, long after our boatmen had ceased their 
song, until nature's wants were too much for our withstanding, 
and we sank upon the hard floor to dream of scenes far different. 

It was eight o'clock in the morning, when turning an angle 
of the stream, we came full in view of the mill, the proximity 
of which we had been made sensibly aware of, for the last 
half hour, by the noisy clamor of the machinery. It was a 
lofty stone structure, standing forth in this retirement, like some 
antique erection. Mr. Leavens was expecting us, and we were 
delighted once more to shake the hand of a warm-hearted coun- 
tryman. Breakfast was upon the table, and here, for the first 
time, we ventured to test our capacities for fish and farinha. 
The fish was a hard case, coarser than shark meat, and requir- 
ing an intimacy with vinegar and oil to remove its unpleasant 
rankness. Farinha was not so disagreeable, and we soon came 
to love it as do the natives. Indeed, long before our Amazo- 
nian experience had ended, we could relish the fish, also, as 
well as any Indian. 

The scenery about the mill is very fine. In front, the 
stream, a broad lake at high ivater, and a tiny brook at other 
times, skirting a low meadow, at the distance of a hundred rods, 
is lost in the embowering shrubbery. All beyond is a dense 



44 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



forest. Upon the meadow, a number of large, fat cattle are 
browsing on the coarse grass, and flocks of Jacanas, a family 
of water-birds remarkable for their long toes, which enable 
them to step upon the leaves of lilies and other aquatic plants, 
are flying with loud cries from one knoll to another. Back of 
the mill, the road leads towards the city, and to the right and 
left are well-beaten paths, leading to small, clear lakes, from 
which the mill derives its water. The whole vicinity was 
formerly a cultivated estate, but the grounds are now densely 
overgrown. At the distance of a mile, the road crosses what 
is called the first bridge, which spans a little stream that runs 
sporting through the woodland. The color of the water of 
this, and other small streams, is of a reddish cast, owing, doubt- 
less, to the decomposing vegetation. It is, however, very 
clear, and fishes, and eels, may at any time be seen playing 
among the logs and sticks which strew the bottom. Beyond 
this bridge is the primeval forest. Trees of incredible girt 
tower aloft, and from their tops one in vain endeavors to bring 
down the desired bird with a fowling-piece. The trunks are 
of every variety of form, round, angular, and sometimes, re- 
sembling an open net-work, through which the light passes in 
any direction. Amid these giants, very few low trees or little 
underbrush interferes with one's movements, and very rarely is 
the path intercepted by a fallen log. But about, the trees cling 
huge snake-like vines, winding round and round the trunks^ 
and through the branches sending their long arms, binding 
tree to tree. Sometimes they throw down long feelers, which 
swing in mid air, until they reach the ground, when, taking 
root, they, in their turn, throw out arms that cling to the first 
support. In this way, the whole forest is linked together, and 
a cut tree rarely falls without involving the destruction of many 
3- others. This creeping vine is called sepaw, and, having the 
strength and flexibility of rope, is of inestimable value in the 
construction of houses, and for various other purposes. 

Around the tree trunks clasp those curious anomalies, 
parasitic plants, sometimes throwing down long, slender roots 
to the ground, but generally deriving sustenance only from 
the tree itself, and from the air; called hence, appropriately 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 45 

enough, air-plants. These are in vast numbers, and of every 
form, now resembling lilies, now grasses, or other familiar 
plants. Often, a dozen varieties cluster upon a single tree. 
Towards the close of the rainy season, they are in blossom, 
and their exquisite appearance, as they encircle the mossy 
and leafed trunk, with flowers of every hue, can scarcely be 
imagined. At this period, too, vast numbers of trees add their 
tribute of beauty, and the flower-domed forest, from its many 
colored altars, ever sends heavenward worshipful incense. 
Nor is this wild luxuriance unseen or unenlivened. Monkeys 
are frolicking through festooned bowers, or chasing in revelry 
over the wood arches. Squirrels scamper in ecstasy from limb 
to limb, unable to contain themselves for joyousness. Coatis 
are gamboling among the fallen leaves, or vieing with monkeys 
in nimble climbing. Pacas and agoutis chase wildly about, 
ready to scud away at the least noise. The sloth, enlivened 
by the general inspiration, climbs more rapidly over the 
branches, and seeks a spot where, in quiet and repose, he may 
rest him. The exquisite, tiny deer, scarcely larger than a lamb, 
snuff's exultingly the air, and bounds fearlessly, knowing that he 
has no enemy here. 

Birds of gaudiest plumage, flit through the trees. The 
trogon, lonely sitting in her leaf-encircled home, calls plain- 
tively to her long absent mate. The motmot utters his name 
in rapid tones. Tucano, tucano, comes loudly from some fruit- 
covered tree, where the great toucans are rioting. " Noiseless 
chatterers" flash through the branches. The loud rattling of 
the woodpecker comes from some topmost limb ; and tiny 
creepers, in livery the gayest of the gay, are running up the 
tree trunks, stopping, now and then, their busy search, to gaze 
inquisitively at the strangers. Pairs of chiming-thrushes are 
ringing their alternate notes, like the voice of a single bird. 
Parrots are chattering ; paroquets screaming. Manakins are 
piping in every low tree, restless, never still. Woodpigeons, 
the "birds of the painted breasts," fly startled ; and pheasants, 
of a dozen varieties, go whirring off. But, most beautiful of all, 
humming birds, living gems, and surpassing aught that's 
brilliant save the diamond, are constantly darting by; now, 

3* 



46 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



stopping an instant, to kiss the gentle flower, and now, furiously 
battling some rival humble-bee. Beijar flor, kiss-flower, 'tis the 
Brazilian name for the humming bird, beautifully appropriate. 
Large butterflies float past, the bigness of a hand, .and of the 
richest metallic blue ; and from the flowers above, comes the 
distant hum of myriads of gayly coated insects. From his 
hole in the sandy road, the harmless lizard, in his gorgeous 
covering of green and gold, starts nimbly forth, stopping, every 
instant, with raised head and quick eye, for the appearance of 
danger ; and armies of ants, in their busy toil, are incessantly 
marching by. 

How changed from all this, is a night scene. The flowers, 
that bloomed by day, have closed their petals, and nestled in 
their leafy beds, are dreaming of their loves. A sister host now 
take their place, making the breezes to .intoxicate with per- 
fume, and exacting homage from bright, starry eyes. A 
murmur, as of gentle voices, floats upon the air. The moon 
darts down her glittering rays, till the flower-enameled plain 
glistens like a shield : but in vain she strives to penetrate the 
denseness, except some fallen tree betrays a passage. Below, 
the tall tree trunk rises dimly through the darkness. Huge 
moths, those fairest of the insect world, have taken the places 
of the butterflies, and myriads of fire-flies never weary in their 
torch-light dance. Far down the road, comes on a blaze, 
steady, streaming like a meteor. It whizzes past, and, for 
an instant, the space is illumined, and dewy jewels from the 
leaves throw back the radiance. 'Tis the lantern-fly, seeking 
what he himself knows best, by the fiery guide upon his head. 
The air of the night bird's wing fans your cheek, or you are 
startled by his mournful note, wac-o-row, wac-o-row, sounding 
dolefully, by no means so pleasantly as our whippoorwill. The 
armadillo creeps carelessly from his hole, and, at slow pace, 
makes for his feeding ground; the opossum climbs stealthily 
up the tree, and the little ant-eater is out pitilessly marauding. 

All this supposes pleasant weather ; but a storm in these 
forests has an interest, though of a very different kind. Heavy 
clouds come drifting from the east, preceded by a low, 
ominous murmur, as the big drops beat upon the roof of leaves. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 47 

Rapidly this deepens into a terrific roar; the forest rocks 
beneath the fury of the blast, and the crashing fall of trees 
resounds fearfully. Tornadoes are unfrequent ; but one, while 
we were at the mills, swept through the forest , now, hurling 
aside the massive trees like weightless things, and now, 
tripping carelessly, only taking tribute of the topmost boughs — 
sportive in its fierceness. We were struck by the absence of 
thunder and lightning in the furious pourings of the rainy 
season. The clouds came to their daily task gloomily, as 
though pining for a holiday, and, in the weariness of forced toil, 
forgot their wantonness. 

Our first gunning expeditions were between the mill and the 
bridge, and the nature of the woods rendered it a toilsome 
matter, until experience had made us acquainted with the 
most convenient paths, and the notes and habits of the birds. 
Every one venturing into the forest is armed with a long, 
curved knife, called a tresddo, for the purpose of cutting his 
way through the entangling vines, that especially obstruct the 
woods of second growth. In such a section, also, the foliage 
is so dense, that it is extremely difficult to discover the birds 
who are uttering their notes all about — and when they are shot, 
it is often a puzzle to the keen eyes of an Indian to find them, 
amid the vines. But one soon learns that most of the families 
have peculiar haunts, where, early in the morning, or late in 
afternoon, they congregate in flocks. The trees in these 
places, are usually thickly covered with berries of some sort. 
and until these are entirely exhausted, the concealed sports- 
man may shoot at the perpetually returning flocks, until he is 
loaded with his game. Berries succeed berries, so constantly, 
.throughout the year, that, in some spot, the birds' food is never 
wanting. 

Most noticeable of all these birds, both for size and pecu- 
liarity of form, are the Toucans. There are many varieties, 
appearing at different seasons ; but the Red-billed, R. ery- 
throrynchos, and the Ariel, R. ariel (Vig.) are the largest 
and most abundant, seen at every season, but towards autumn, 
particularly, in vast numbers throughout the forest. Their 
large beaks give them a very awkward appearance, more 



48 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

especially when flying ; yet, in the trees, they use them with as 
much apparent ease, as though they were, to our eyes, of a 
more convenient form. Alighted on a tree, one usually acts 
the part of sentinel, uttering constantly the loud cry, Tucano, 
whence they derive their name. The others disperse over the 
branches, climbing about by aid of their beaks, and seize the 
fruit. We had been told that these birds were in the habit of 
tossing up their food to a considerable distance, and catching 
it, as it fell ; but, as far as we could observe, they merely threw 
back the head, allowing the fruit to fall down the throat. We 
saw, at different times, tamed toucans, and they never were 
seen to toss their food, although almost invariably throwing 
back the head. This habit is rendered necessary, by the length 
of the bill, and the stiffness of the tongue, which prevents their 
eating as do other birds. All the time, while feeding, a hoarse 
chattering is kept up ; and, at intervals, they unite with the 
noisy sentry, and scream a concert that may be heard a mile. 
Having appeased their appetites, they fly towards the deeper 
forest, and quietly doze away the noon. Often in the very 
early morning, a few of them may be seen sitting silently upon 
the branches of some dead tree, apparently, awaiting the com- 
ing sunlight before starting for their feeding trees. 

The nests of the toucans are represented in works of Natu- 
ral History, as being constructed in the hollows of trees. It 
may be so in many cases, and with some species. The only 
nest that we ever saw, which was of the Toco toucan, was in 
the fork of a large tree, over the water, upon the Amazon. 

Toucans, when tamed, are exceedingly familiar, playful 
birds, capable of learning as many feats as any of the parrots, 
with the exception of talking. When turning about, on their, 
perch, they effect their object by one sudden jump. They eat 
any thing, but are particularly fond of meat. When roosting, 
they have a habit of elevating their tails over their backs. The 
beaks of the Red-billed toucans are richly marked with red, 
yellow, and black ; but preserved specimens soon lose this 
beauty. The other varieties found near Para are the Ptero- 
glossus maculirostris (Licht) ; the P. bitorquatis (Vig.) ; and 
the C. viridis. The family of birds most sought after by col- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 49 

lectors, and the most gaudy of the Brazilian forests, is that of* 
the Chatterers. There are several species, four of which are 
not uncommon in the vicinity of Para, each about the size of 
the blue-bird of the United States. One of these, Ampelis 
Cayana, the Purple-throated chatterer, is of an ultramarine 
blue color, having a bright metallic lustre, and with a throat 
of purple velvet. Another, A. cotinga, the Purple-breasted, 
is of a deep blue, similarly metallic, and ornamented both upon 
throat and breast with purple. A third, the White-winged, A. 
lamellipennis, is of a lustrous black, with wings and tail a 
snowy white. The fourth, A. carnifex, is with us called the 
Cardinal ; in the language of Brazil, Passaro do sol, bird of the 
sun ; and well he deserves the name. The crest upon his head 
is of scarlet, resembling the finest silk ; his back and wings are 
of a golden bronze, and his tail and breast of the most delicate 
vermilion. All these birds may be seen at Mr. Bell's, our 
prince of taxidermists, and even when dimmed of their glories 
and encaged in glass, are pre-eminently beautiful. But when, 
in large flocks, they cluster in the tree-tops, dazzlingly lustrous 
in the sunlight, even the kiss-flower might be envious. These 
birds have no song. That charm, impartial nature has con- 
ferred upon others outwardly less attractive ; and these must 
be content with a simple note. The Cardinal is less common 
than the others, and is more generally seen in pairs, breeding 
in the months of August and September, near the mills. The 
other species seem transient visitors, generally abundant in 
May and June, and, at that season, associating in large flocks. 
There is another variety, the Carunculated chatterer, some- 
times called the Bell-bird, occasionally seen near Para. Mr. 
Leavens seems to be the only person who has met with them, 
having obtained a pair in the deep forest. This bird is the 
size of a small dove, and of a pure white color, when mature. 
On the bill is a fleshy caruncle, about an inch in length, some- 
what like a turkey's comb. Of its habits or its note, we could 
learn nothing. The more common Chatterers are inactive 
birds, and great gluttons, often eating until quite stupified. In 
this, they resemble their relative, the Cedar-bird of the north. 
The Motmot, Momotus Brasiliensis, is another of these cu- 



50 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



rious residents. This bird is about the size of a robin, having 
a back of a dark, rich green, and a long wedge-shaped tail, 
two feathers of which extend some inches beyond the others. 
The shafts of these are stripped of their webs near the extre- 
mities, giving the bird a very singular appearance. One 
would suppose that these birds trimmed their feathers thus 
themselves, for many are found with quills perfect, and others, 
partly denuded. The Motmots are generally in pairs in the 
deep woods, and are easily recognized by their note, motmot, 
slowly repeated. 

The Manikins, in their different varieties, form a beautiful 
family ; the most numerous of any, and corresponding much 
in their habits to our warblers. They are tiny things, gene- 
rally having black bodies, and heads of yellow, red, white, and 
other colors. Like perpetual motion personified, they move 
about the branches and low shrubs, always piping their sharp 
notes ; and unless upon a feeding-tree, almost defying shot. 

The common varieties are the White-capped, Pipra leuco- 
cilla; Red-headed. P. erythrocephala ; Blue-backed, P. pareo- 
la; and Puff-throated, P. manacus. Of these, the first is most 
abundant. A nest of the Red-he*aded was composed of ten- 
drils of vines; and was scarcely larger than a dollar, and very 
shallow. It was affixed to one of the outermost forks of a low 
limb, beyond reach of any enemy but one. The eggs were 
cream-colored, and speckled with brown. A nest of the Blue- 
backed was composed of leaves, fibres, and moss, and much 
resembled in shape a watch-case. A nest of the Puff-throated 
was also pensile, but not so ingeniously composed as either of 
the others. The eggs of the two latter species were cream- 
colored and much spotted, particularly at the larger end. 

Many other remarkable species of birds I shall have occa- 
sion to speak of hereafter ; at present, I will mention but the 
humming-birds. Wherever a creeping vine opens its fragrant 
clusters, or wherever a tree flower blooms, may these little 
things be seen. In the garden, or in the woods, over the 
water, every where, they are darting about, of all sizes, from 
one that might easily be mistaken for a different variety of 
bird, to the tiny Hermit, T. rufigaster, whose body is not half 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 51 

the size of the bees buzzino- about the same sweets. The 
blossoms of the inga tree, as before remarked, brings them in 
great numbers about the rosinhas of the city, and the collector 
may shoot, as fast as he can load, the day long. Sometimes, 
they are seen chasing each other in sport, with a rapidity of 
flight and intricacy of path, the eye is puzzled to follow. 
Again, circling round and round, they rise high in mid air; 
then dart off like light to some distant attraction. Perched 
upon a little limb, they smooth their plumes, and seem to 
delight in their dazzling hues ; then, starting off, leisurely 
they skim along, stopping capriciously to kiss the coquetting 
flowerets. Often, two meet in mid air and furiously fight, their 
crests, and the feathers upon their throats, all erected, and 
blazing, and altogether pictures of the most violent rage. 
Several times, we saw them battling with large black bees 
who frequent the same flowers, and may be supposed often 
to interfere provokingly. Like lightning our little heroes 
would come down, but the coat of shining mail would ward 
their furious strokes. Again and again would they renew the 
attack, until their anger had expended itself by its own fury, 
or until the apathetic bee, once roused, had put forth powers, 
that drove the invader from the field. 

A boy in the city, several times, brought us humming-birds 
alive, in a glass cage. He had brought them down, while, 
standing motionless in the air, they rifled the flowers, by balls 
of clay, blown from a hollowed tube. 

The varieties found about Para are, principally, the White- 
collared, T. mellivorus; Hermit, T. rufigaster; Topaz-throat- 
ed, T.pella; Tufted- necked, T. ornatus ; Magnificent, T. mag- 
nificus ; Scaly-back, T. eurynomus ; Even-tailed amethyst, T. 
orthusa; Emerald, T. bicolor ; Eared, T. auritus ; Rough-leg- 
ged racket-tail, T. Underwoodi ; Sapphire-throated, T. sapphi- 
rinus; Violet fork-tail, T. furcatus; Sable wing, T. latipennis ; 
Blue green, T. cyaneus. We received from Mr. Leavens a 
nest of the Hermit. It was formed upon the under side of a 
broad grass leaf, which drooped in a manner to protect it en- 
tirely from sun and rain. The material of which it was com- 
posed was a fine moss. Day after day, Mr. L. had watched its 



52 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

formation, but before the little architect had completed it, the 
ants appeared, and she sought a safer spot for her home. 

At first, we were somewhat nervous about venturing far 
into the woods, and anxiously careful to protect our feet from 
vicious reptiles by redoubtable boots. A little experience served 
to disabuse us of this error, and we were soon content to go in 
slippers. Old bugbear stories of snakes began to lose their 
force, when day after day passed without meeting even a harm- 
less grass-snake. Not that there really are no such animals, 
for sometimes, huge specimens have been seen about the mills, 
and one, not many months before, had been surprised, who in 
his fright disgorged a fine musk-duck. Bat such cases are of 
extreme rarity, and only occur near the water. In the forest, 
snakes are not seen, and no one thinks of fearing them. 

The absence of flies seems still more strange to a person 
from the North, who has always been accustomed to associate 
flies with warm weather, and who, mayhap, has been torment- 
ed by black swarms, in our woods. Their place, in Brazil, is 
well supplied by ants, who are seen every where, in the houses 
and in the fields. But as the main efforts of these insects are 
directed to the removal of whatever is noxious, most species 
are not merely tolerated, but looked upon as sincere and wor- 
thy friends. They are of all sizes and colors, from the little 
red fire-ant, who generally minds his own business, but who, 
occasionally, gets upon one's flesh, making all tingle, to the huge 
black species, an inch or more in length, who labors zealously 
in the woods for the removal of decaying vegetation. In this 
work, this ant is assisted by a smaller variety, also black ; and 
armies, two and three feet wide, and of interminable length, are 
frequently encountered in the woods. It well becomes one to 
stand aside from their line of march, for they turn neither to 
the right nor to the left, and, in a moment, one may be covered 
to his dismay, if not sorrow. 

But there is one variety of ant which must be excluded 
from all commendation. This a small species, called Sauba, 
and they are a terrible annoyance to the proprietors of rosinhas, 
inasmuch as they strip the fruit trees of their leaves. An army 
of these will march to the tree, part ascending, and the others 






A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 53 

remaining below. Those above commence their devasta- 
tion, clipping off the leaves by large pieces, and those below 
shoulder them as they fall, and march away to their rendez- 
vous. It is surprising what a load one of these little things will 
carry, as disproportionate to its size, as if a man should stalk 
off beneath an oak. Before morning, not a leaf is left upon the 
tree, and the unfortunate proprietor has the consolation of 
knowing, that unless he can discover the retreat of the saubas, 
and unhole them, one by one, every tree upon his premises 
will be stripped. 

There is a small white ant called Cupim, that builds its 
nest in the trees, at the junction of a limb, or often, about the 
trunk. These are sometimes of great size, and, at a distance, 
resemble black knurls. Upon this variety the little Ant-eater 
lives. Climbing up some convenient tree, he twists his long, 
prehensile tail about the trunk, or some favoring limb, and 
resting upon this, commences operations. Making an incision 
in the exterior of the nest, by means of the sharp, hook-like 
claws, with which his arms are furnished, he intrudes his slen- 
der snout, and long, glutinous tongue. So well protected by 
wool is he, that the ants have no power over him, but abide 
their fate. I kept one of these animals for some days, but he 
refused all nourishment. During the day, he sat with his tail 
twisted around a limb appropriated to his use, his head buried 
in his fore paws. But when the dusk of evening came on, he 
was wide awake, and passed half the night in walking pretty 
rapidly about the room, seeking some egress, and in climbing 
about the furniture. The negroes have a belief that if the Ant- 
eater is shut up in a tight box, and secured by every possible 
means, he will be spirited away before morning. The most 
intelligent black about the mills came to me, desiring I would 
try the experiment. " He is a devil," said Larry, and I con- 
sented, shutting his impship in a wooden chest. Next morn- 
ing, Larry's eyes opened, as he saw the test had failed, and 
he signified his intention to believe no more lies, for the future. 

The lakes, in the vicinity, were interesting places of resort 
to us, and several times we pushed the little canoe, or montaria, 
up the raceways, and paddled about amid the bushes, or along 



54 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON, 

the shores, in search of birds or nests. The latter were very- 
common, and it was interesting to observe the care with which 
the building spot was chosen, to keep it from the reach of liz- 
ards, or other reptiles, but above all, from the ever-present ants. 
And yet the ants were always there ; they had passed from 
shore, upon leaves and floating shrubs, and every tree was in- 
fested by them. Most of the nests were arched over above, to 
keep out the sun's heat; and particularly those of the Fly- 
catcher family, who, in the north, build open nests. 

The most singular nests, and most worthy description, were 
those of the Troopials, Cassicus icteronotus (Swain), a large, 
black bird, much marked with yellow, and frequently seen in 
cages. Their native name is Japim. They build, in colonies, 
pensile nests of grass, nearly two feet in length, having an 
opening for entrance near the top. Upon one tree, standing in 
the middle of the lake, not more than ten feet high, and the 
thickness of a man's arm, were forty-five nests of these birds, 
built one upon another, often one depending from another, and 
completely concealing all the tree-top, except a few outermost 
leaves. At a distance, the whole resembled a huge basket. 
Part of these nests belonged to the Red-rumped Troopial — C. 
haemorrhous — and a singular variety of oriole, the Ruff-necked 
of Latham, called Araona, or Rice-bird, after the fashion of our 
Cow-bird, deposits its eggs in the Troopials' nests, leaving the 
young to the care of their foster-mothers. Upon this tree, was 
a small hornets' nest, and the Indian whom we employed, 
asserted that these were the protectors of the birds from in- 
truders. It may be so ; we saw the same fellowship at other 
places. Usually, Troopials build nearer houses, and are always 
welcome, being friendly, sociable birds, ever ready to repay 
man's protection by a song. Often, in such situations, large 
trees are seen with hundreds of these nests dependent from the 
limbs, and swaying in the wind. A colony which had settled 
upon a tall palm, near the mill, was, one night, entirely robbed of 
eggs by a lizard. Snakes are sometimes the depredators, and 
between all their enemies, the poor birds, of every species, are 
robbed repeatedly. Probably owing to this cause, it is very 
unusual to find more than two eggs in one nest. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 55 

The Red-rumped troopials shot in this place, were of different 
sizes, some being several inches longer than others, although 
all were in mature plumage. Their nests were perhaps larger 
than those of the Japim's, but differed in no other respect. 
The eggs were white, spotted with brown, and particularly on 
the larger end. The Japim's eggs were cream-colored, and 
similarly spotted ; and the eggs of the Ruff-necked orioles were 
large in proportion to the size of the bird — bluish in color, and 
much spotted, and lined with dark-brown. 

We employed an Indian who lived near by, by name 
Alexandro, and a notable hunter, to obtain us specimens 
and to serve as guide, upon occasions. He never could be 
induced to shoot small birds, but always made his appearance 
with something that he considered legitimate game — often a 
live animal. One of these captives was a Sloth, and this fellow 
we kept for several days, trying to see what could be made of 
him. He was a pretty intractable subject, and poorly repaid 
our trouble. In face he resembled somewhat a monkey, and 
the corners of his mouth curving upward, gave him a very 
odd appearance, making him look, as one would suppose a 
monkey toper might look, if monkeys ever dissipated. His 
long arms were each terminated by three large claws, and his 
tough skin was well protected by a shaggy coat of coarse, 
grisly hair. Placed upon the ground, he would first recon- 
noitre, turning his head slowly about, then leisurely stretch forth 
one arm, endeavoring to hook his claw in something that might 
aid him in pulling himself onward : this found, the other claws 
would slowly follow, in turn. He uttered no noise of any kind. 
But put him where there was opportunity to climb, and his ap- 
pearance was different enough : that dulled eye would glisten, 
and an idea seem to have struck him ; rapidly his arms would 
begin to move, and sailor-like, hand over hand, he would 
speedily have climbed beyond recovery, had not a restraining 
rope encircled him. These animals are very common through 
this forest ; but upon the Amazon, far more numerous. There 
are certainly two very distinct varieties, and the Indians say 
three. Usually, they are seen upon the lower side of a hori- 
zontal limb, hanging by their curved claws. They sometimes 



56 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

eat fruit, but principally live upon leaves ; and when these are 
stripped from one tree, betake themselves to another, which 
they in turn denude. 

At another time, Alexander brought in a young Armadillo, or 
Tatu, which he had dug from its burrow in the ground. There 
are several varieties about Para. They are easily tamed, eat- 
ing all sorts of vegetables, and insects, particularly beetles, 
which they unhole from their hiding-places in the earth. I 
went, one day, with Alexander, to the margin of one of the 
lakes in the woods, to obtain specimens of a coveted beetle, 
(Phanseus lancifer). We found a number of their holes, reach- 
ing down to the level of the water, rather more than two feet. 
Fragments of wing-cases of the beetles were strewed about, 
and many holes, of a larger size, explained that the Tatu had 
been before us. 

In one of Alexander's excursions, he had the good fortune to 
discover a full-grown Puma, in the act of devouring a deer, 
which it had just killed. Nothing daunted, although armed 
with but a single-barreled gun, and that loaded with BB shot, he 
gave the animal a discharge, which made him leave the deer, 
and spring to a tree. Six several times our hunter fired, until, 
at last, the Puma was dead at his feet. Formerly, these 
animals were not uncommon, but now, are very rarely met, 
except upon Marajo. 

Not unfrequently the fruit of our hunting excursions was a 
Monkey, and we considered this most acceptable, as it furnish- 
ed our table with a meal, delicious, though not laid down in the 
cookery books. These animals are eaten throughout the prov- 
ince, and are in esteem beyond any wild game. Whatever 
repugnance we felt at first, was speedily dissipated, and often, in 
regard to this as well as other dishes, we had reason to con- 
gratulate ourselves, that our determination of partaking of 
whatever was set before us, discovered to our acquaintance 
many agreeable dishes, and never brought us into trouble. 

Somewhere in these precincts. A picked up a little 

naked Indian, with eyes like a hawk, and most amusingly ex- 
pressive features. Squatted upon a bench, with his knees 
drawn up to his chin, he would watch every motion with the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 57 

curiosity of a wild man of the woods. A denominated 

him his tiger, but the black servitors shook their heads, and 
muttered " un poco diabo," a little devil. It was the tiger's 
business to follow in the woods, and pick up game, and in the 
intricacy of a thicket, rarely could even a hummer escape him. 
Here he was at home ; but in the house, the indistinctness of 
his conceptions of meum and tuuro, and his ignorance of the 
usages of even a tolerably decent society, made him very an- 
noying. One day, being rated for not having dried A 's shirt, 

he was discovered, soon after, with the shirt upon his back, and 
standing over the fire. 

The building, a part of which is now used as a rice mill, 
was formerly appropriated to different purposes, and was the 
manor house of a vast estate, now mostly unproductive. It 
was in the days of Para's glory, under the old regime, and 
here, upon the finishing of the structure, were gathered all the 
beauty and aristocracy of the city — coming down in barges, 
with music and flying streamers, to a three days' revel. Every 
Sunday, the old proprietor rode through the forest to the city, 
with coach and four. Those days have passed, and the bound- 
less wealth and the proud aristocracy that surrounded the 
viceroy's court, have passed with them. An American com- 
pany, formed at Northampton, Mass., purchased the estate, and, 
for many years, under the superintendence of Mr. Upton, the 
agent and main proprietor, have carried on a large and profit- 
able business. There are two mills, one propelled by steam, 
the other by water. The rice is brought in canoes from the 
city, and being hulled, is returned, to be reshipped, in great 
part, to Portugal. In this level country, it is extremely diffi- 
cult to find a sufficient fall of water for a mill seat, but still 
more so, to find a fall so conveniently situated as to be acces- 
sible by tide water. Both these requisites are here; the fall 
of water being twelve feet, and the flood tide filling a deep 
basin directly by the side of the mill. About twenty blacks are 
employed upon the place, and the more intelligent are found 
every way competent to attend the different departments. 
Larry, particularly, was a general favorite with visitors, and had 
showed his appreciation of their favor, by picking up a few words 



58 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

of English. His province was filling and marking the sacks, and 
being paid a price for all above a certain number, he earned, reg- 
ularly, between two and three dollars a week. We thought, 
of course, that Larry was in a fair way to be a freeman, and, in 
our innocence, suggested that he was laying up money to buy his 
papers. But he dispersed all such notions by the sententious 
reply, " I do not buy my freedom, because I am not a fool." He 
had a good master , he had a wife, and he did not have care 
or trouble. Thus he was contented. The aspirations of 
another of these blacks, were more exalted; for one day, as he 
sat ruminating upon air castles, his soul fired, perhaps, with 
the glorious " excelsior," he burst out with, " I wish I was a 
rich man, I would eat nothing but fresh fish." The wood 
used in the steam mill was brought up by canoes, and ex- 
changed for broken rice. It was handsome split wood, tough 
as hickory, and of varieties generally capable of a fine polish. 
Most of those who brought it were women, and they threw it 
out and piled it, as though they were not unaccustomed to the 
labor. There was one little boy, of not more than nine years, 
who used to paddle, alone, a small montaria, unload his wood, 
buy his rice, and return with the tide. This was nothing 
unusual, but it serves to show the confidence reposed in chil- 
dren, who, at an early age, are often seen in situations thought 
to require double the years elsewhere. 

It was at the mills, that we first appreciated the real luxury 
of sleeping in hammocks. One lays peacefully down without 
the annoying consciousness that he is beset with marauding, 
bloodthirsty enemies. Throughout the whole province of Para, 
hammocks are universally used, and never, but on one occasion, 
while we were in the country, were we annoyed by flea or bug. 
The hammock is a pleasant lounge by day, as well as resting 
place by night, and the uncomfortable heat that might be felt 
in a bed, is entirely avoided. In the centre of the walls of 
rooms appropriated as sleeping apartments, are staples and 
rings, or suspension hooks, and the hammocks are swung 
across the corners. Sometimes, a post placed in the middle of 
the room, answers as a point of divergence, and thus, a great 
number of guests may be accommodated, in little space, and 
with no inconvenience. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 59 



There is one enemy, who, sometimes, approaches even a 
hammock, and takes a tribute from the unconscious sleeper, and 
that is the vampire bat. They are common enough any where, 
but about the mill, seem to have concentrated in dispropor- 
tionate numbers. During the day, they are sleeping in the 
tiles of the roof, but no sooner has the declining sun unloosed 
the eve, than they may be seen issuing in long, black streams. 
Usually, we avoided all their intimacies by closing the shutters 
at sunset; but occasionally, some of them would find entrance 
through the tiles, and we went forth to battle them with all the 
doughty arms within our reach, nor stopped the slaughter until 
every presumptuous intruder had bit the dust — or, less meta- 
phorically, had sprawled upon the floor. Several thus cap- 
tured, measured, each, upwards of two feet across the wings ; 
but most were smaller. Of their fondness for human blood, 
and especially that particular portion which constitutes the 
animus of the great toe, from personal experience, I am unable 
to vouch ; but every one in the country is confident of it, and 
a number of gentlemen, at different times, assured us, that 
they themselves had been phlebotomized in that member, nor 
knew of the operation, until a bloody hammock afforded indu- 
bitable evidence. They spoke of it as a slight affair, and, pro- 
bably, the little blood that is extracted is rarely an injury. If 
the foot is covered, there is no danger, or it' a light is kept 
burning in the room ; and often, we have slept unharmed, thus 
guarded, where bats were flitting about, and squeaking, the 
night long. Cattle and horses are not so easily protected, and 
a wound once made, the bat returns to it every night, until 
proper precautions are taken, or the animal is killed by loss of 
blood. 

In different parts of the mill, were the nests of a species of 
wasp, made of clay, and generally fastened upon the wall. 
But, several times, upon our boxes, books, or plants, they com- 
menced their labors, constructing so neat a little edifice ; that it 
was hard to consider them intruders. 

Another incident was more home-like. Within the noisiest 
part of the building, and in an unused piece of machinery, a 
little house-wren had constructed her home, and would have 



60 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

reared her pretty brood, but, I am sorry to say, some egg- 
collecting stranger chanced that way. 

One morning, we took the montaria, and started for Corien- 
tiores, a plantation, or rather, what, once was a plantation, some 
three miles below. The sun was rising unclouded — the tide 
fell swiftly, and we skimmed, arrow-like, in our little craft, past 
leafy banks and flowery festoonings, and in a course more tor- 
tuous than that of a meadow brook. The kingfisher sat perch- 
ed upon his overhanging branch, scarcely big enough to carry 
off the minnows he so intently watched for, and a jewel in the 
sunlight, with his back of golden green, and satin breast. 
Sandpipers flew, startled, across the stream, and the shrilly- 
cackling rail skulked away at our approach. A duck-hawk 
sat upon the summit of a leafless tree, fearlessly eyeing us. 
Huge fish leaped out of the water, in all the ecstasy of pisca- 
torial bliss ; and we drew from the general joyousness, good 
omens of a successful morning's work. Arrived at our desti- 
nation, nought appeared but a house in the distance, almost 
concealed by shrubbery, and every where else, a tangled bush, 
with a few tall trees, from whose tops, numbers of large fly- 
catchers were calling " Bentivee — Bentivee." Through this 
labyrinth, we toiled a couple of hours, shooting few birds, run- 
ning heedlessly, and to our peril, into bees' nests, and leaving rags 
of clothes, and shreds of flesh, among the prickly sword-grass ; 
until, at length, we were fain to give it up as a bad job, and. 
coming near the house, sat us down under the orange-trees, 
whose abundant fruit served somewhat to stay our longings for 
breakfast. A white, man came to the door, and seemed dis- 
posed to be communicative ; so we mustered our forlorn stock 
of Portuguese, and soon made considerable advances in his 
graces. He insisted upon our taking a cup of coffee, and, after 
a little more nodding and comprehending, on both sides, nothing 
would do, but we must add to coffee, fish and farinha ; fresh 
fish, too, and of his own catching, and none the less agreeable, 
doubtless, for being presented us by his pretty wife. After 
breakfast, our friend sent out to the orange-tree, and soon 
brought us a brimming goblet of orangeade ; and finally, before 
our departure, he had a number of breadfruits brought in, and 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 61 

the extracted seeds, much like chesnuts, roasted, with which 
he crammed our pockets. Verily, thought we, if this is the 
custom of the country, and the mere fact of one's being a 
stranger is a passport to such hospitality, and a sufficient 
apology for powder-smutted faces, and ragged garments, there 
is some little good left in the world yet. Here was this man, 
with so generous a heart, really one of the laziest squatters in 
the neighborhood, without a vestige of any sort of cultivation 
upon his premises, and, evidently enough, dependent for his 
support upon the fish he might catch in the stream : he would 
have felt offended, had we offered to pay for our entertainment, 
so we did what we could, by slipping some mementoes into the 
hand of a bright-eyed young Apollo, who was trotting about 
with the freedom of a wild colt. 

The breadfruit tree, which we saw growing upon this 
place, sprang from a plant originally introduced into the Bo- 
tanical Garden of Para by the Government. A few of these 
trees are scattered over the province, but they are considered 
rather as ornamental than useful. In appearance, it is one of 
the most beautiful of trees ; having a large, wide-spreading top, 
profusely hung with many-lobed leaves, nearly two feet in 
length, and of a bright green. The fruit is nearly spherical, 
six inches in diameter, green in color, and curiously warted 
upon the surface. Within, it is yellowish, and fibrous, and con- 
tains a number of seeds, which are eaten roasted. There is a 
superior variety, that is seedless, and the whole of which is 
eaten. 

Another common visiting place from the Mills was the 
Larangeira, or Orange Grove, a little settlement not far below 
Corientiores, where a lazy commandant mustered a few beg- 
garly troops, for the security of this pant of the province. The 
most remarkable object here, was a cotton tree, measuring 
thirty-two feet in circumference, two feet above the ground. 
The height corresponded to this vastness, and we left it with a 
very lively impression of what Nature might do here, only give 
her the opportunity. Fortunately for settlers, her powers are 
somewhat restricted, and for one such monster, there are a 
hundred, little formidable, else were clearing the land out of 

4 



62 A VOYAGE TJP THE -RIVER AMAZON. 



the question. From the Larangeira, we received a variety of 
shells, the Helix pellis-serpentis, Anastoma globosa, Bulimus 
regius, and Helix comboides (Ferr.) One of the largest trees 
of the forest is the Masseranduba, or Cow tree, and, about Para, 
they are exceedingly common. One, in particular, stands 
directly on the road, beyond the first bridge from the mill, and 
cutting into this, with our tresado, the milk issued at every 
pore. It much resembled cream in appearance and taste, and 
might be used as a substitute for milk in coffee ; or, diluted 
with water, as a drink. It is, however, little used, except as a 
medicine, or for the adulteration of rubber. The wood of this 
tree is red, like mahogany, very durable, and used much for 
purposes where such timber is required. There are said to be 
eight varieties of trees known at Para, and more or less com- 
mon, which yield a milky sap. Other trees yield fragrant 
gums, and nearly or quite all these products are used for medi- 
cinal purposes. 

At length, we prepared to leave the Mills, having enjoyed 
ourselves to the utmost in this our first experience of Brazilian 
country life. We had seen every thing that we could have 
seen, and had made a beautiful collection of birds and other 
objects. It was with regret that we bade adieu to Mr. Lea- 
vens, who had contributed so much to our comfort and pleasure. 
The sun had not risen, when, guns upon our shoulders, and 
accompanied by a black, with a basket for the carriage of any 
interesting plants, or other objects that we might desire to ap- 
propriate upon the road,we set forth. We passed several bridges, 
spanning little streams, and for ten miles, walked through the 
deep forest. The cries of monkeys resounded about us, and 
every now and then, there came a shrill sound, like that pro- 
duced by whistling with the finger in the mouth. We fre- 
quently afterwards heard this same whistle, in different parts 
of the country, but never were able to ascertain from what it 
proceeded. Most likely a squirrel, but we were assured it was 
the note of a bird. We encountered a spider, leisurely cross- 
ing the road, that might rival the tarantula in bigness. A 
sharpened stick pinned him to the earth, and we bore him in 
triumph to town. Across his outstretched legs none of us could 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 63 

span, and his sharp teeth were like hawk's claws. This spe- 
cies spins no web, but lives in hollow logs, and probably feeds 
upon huge insects, perhaps small animals, or birds. We col- 
lected specimens of a great variety of Ferns, Calandrias, Te- 
lanzias, and Maxillarias, and observed many rich flowers of 
which we know not the names. But we did recognize a Pas- 
sion-flower, with its stars of crimson, as it wound around a 
small tree, and mingled its beauties with the overshading 
leaves. 



CHAPTER VI. 



Start for Carip6 — Island scene — Arrival — Vicinity — Tomb of Mr. Graham — Dinner — 
Shelling in the bay — Varieties of shells — Martins — Terns — Nuts and fruits — Mode 
of fishing — Four-eyed fish — Ant tracks — Moqueens — Forest — Creeping plants — Wild 
hogs, or Peccaries — Traps — Agoutis — Pacas — Squirrels — Birds — Chapel and singing of 
the blacks — Andiroba oil. 



Our delightful visit at Magoary had incited a desire for 
further adventure, and ere a week had elapsed after our 
return, we were preparing to visit Caripe. Profiting by past 
experience, we secured a small canoe, having instead of a 
cabin, merely an arched covering towards the stern, denomi- 
nated a iolda, and affording sufficient shelter for short voyages. 
This was manned by two stout negroes. Caripe is nearly 
opposite Para, distant about thirty miles, but separated by 
many intervening islands. Among these, thirty miles may be 
a short distance or a very long one, as the tides favor ; for 
there are so many cross currents running in every direction, 
that it requires great care to avoid being compelled to anchor, 
and lose much time. As to pulling against the tide, which 
rushes along with a six mile velocity, it is next to impossible. 

We left Para at midnight, two hours before low tide ; and 
falling down about eight miles, received the advancing flood, 
which swiftly bore us on its bosom. There were two others 

of our party, besides A and myself; and one taking the 

helm, the rest of us stretched our toughening bodies upon the 
platform, under the tolda, determined to make a night of it. 

Morning dawned, and we were winding in a narrow 
channel, among the loveliest islands that eye ever rested on. 
They sat upon the water like living things ; their green dra- 
pery dipping beneath the surface, and entirely concealing the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 65 



shore. Upon the main-land, we had seen huge forests, that 
much resembled those of the North magnified ; but here, all 
was different, and our preconceptions of a forest in the tropics 
were more fully realized. Vast numbers of palms shot up 
their tall stems, and threw out their coronal beauties in a pro- 
fusion of fantastic forms. Sometimes, the long leaves assumed 
the shape of a feather-encircling crest, at others, of an opened 
•fan ; now, long and broad, they drooped languidly in the sun- 
light, and again, like ribbon streamers they were floating 
upon every breath of air. Some of these palms were in blos- 
som, the tall sprigs of yellow flowers conspicuous among the 
leaves ; from others, depended masses of large fruits ripening 
in the sun, or attracting flocks of noisy parrots. At other 
spots, the palms had disappeared, and the dense foliage of the 
tree tops resembled piles of green. Along the shore, creeping 
vines so overran the whole, as to form an impervious hedge, 
concealing every thing within, and clustering with flowers. 
Very rarely, a tall reed was seen, and by the leaves which 
encircled every joint, and hung like tassels from its bended 
head, we recognized the bamboo. Frequently we passed 
plantations, generally of sugar cane, and looking, at a dis- 
tance, like fields of waving corn ; in beautiful contrast with 
the whole landscape beside. We lost the tide, and were 
obliged to creep along shore, for some distance, at the rate of 
about a mile an hour. At length, towards noon, turning a 
point, we opened at once into a vast expanse of water, upon 
the farther side of which the tree tops of Marajo were just 
visible. Immediately to our left, distant about a mile, and in 
a small circular bay, the broad white beach and glistening 
house upon its margin, told us we had arrived at Caripe. 
We were all enthusiasm with the beautiful spot, heightened 
doubtless by the approaching termination of our voyage; for 
in our cooped-up quarters, we were any thing but comfortable 
or satisfied. Moreover, a sail in the hot sun, unfortified by 
breakfast, tendeth not to good humor. 

Landing upon the beach, and having the canoe dragged 
up high and dry, we proceeded to the house, and soon made 
the acquaintance of the old negroes, who had charge of the 



66 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

premises. They set about preparing dinner, and we, mean- 
while, slung our hammocks in the vacant apartments, and 
reconnoitred our position. The house was remarkably well 
constructed, for the country, covering a large area, with high 
and neatly plastered rooms, and all else conveniently ar- 
ranged. In front was a fine view of the bay, and Marajo in 
the distance. Upon either side, the forest formed a hedge 
close by. Behind, was a space of a few acres, dotted with 
fruit trees of various kinds, and containing two or three 
thatched structures, used for various purposes ; one of which 
particularly, was a kiln for mandioca. Here a black, shaggy 
goat, with horns a yard in length, lay enjoying himself in the 
drying pan. A number of young Scarlet Ibises were running 
tamely about. A flock of Troopiais had draped a tree, near the 
house, with their nests, and were loudly chattering and scold- 
ing. But amid these beauties, was one object that inspired 
very different feelings. Close under our window, surrounded 
by a little wooden enclosure, and unmarked by any stone, 
was the tomb of Mr. Graham, his wife, and child. He was 
an English naturalist, and with his family had spent a long 
time in the vicinity of Para, laboring with all a naturalist's 
enthusiasm to make known to the world the treasures of the 
country. He left this beach, in a small montaria, to go to a 
large canoe, anchored at a little distance ; and just as he had 
arrived, by some strange mishap, the little boat was over- 
turned, and himself, his wife, and his child were buried be- 
neath the surf. The bodies were recovered and deposited in 
this enclosure. Mr. Graham had been a manufacturer, and 
was a man of wealth. His family suffer his remains to lie 
mouldering here, unmarked, although several years have 
elapsed since the catastrophe. 

We were standing here, when a smiling wench announc- 
ed dinner upon the table, and all reflections upon aught else 
were dissipated. 

It is customary for persons visiting these solitary planta- 
tions to provide themselves with such provisions as they may 
want ; but we were as yet uninitiated, and had secured nothing 
but a few bottles of oil and vinegar. But fish and farinha are 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 67 

the never failing resort, and to this we were now introduced 
with raging appetites. Here a slight difficulty occurred at the 
outset. The old woman had a store of dishes, but neither 
knife nor fork. We had penknives, but they were inconve- 
nient, and tresados, but they were unwieldy ; so, sending eti- 
quette to the parlor, we took counsel of our fingers in this em- 
barrassing emergency, and by their active co-operation, suc- 
ceeded in disposing, individually, of a large platter of a well 
mixed compound, in which oil and vinegar, onions, pepper and 
salt, materially assisted to disguise the flavor of the other two 
ingredients. There have been more costly meals, and perhaps, 
of a more miscellaneous character, than our first at Caripe ; but 
I doubt if any were ever more enjoyed. After this dinner, we 
got on more genteelly, for we heard of a store in the neighbor- 
hood, and by as frequent visitations as our necessities rendered 
expedient, provided ourselves with every thing requisite. 
Fresh fish were abundant; and frequently some Indian in the 
vicinity would bring eggs, in exchange for powder and shot. 
Add to these a daily dish of muscles, or, more conchologically 
speaking, of Hyrias and Castalias, and our ways and means are 
explained. 

We had come to Caripe more particularly for shells, inas- 
much as it was the most celebrated locality for them in the 
vicinity of Para. The bay so faces the channel, that the tides 
create a great surf and collect large numbers of various shells. 
We were just in time for the spring tides, when the water rises 
and falls fifteen feet ; now, foaming almost to the top of the 
bank, now, leaving exposed a broad flat of sand, beyond which, 
in shallow water, is a muddy bottom. This latter was our 
shelling ground ; and whenever the water would permit, all of 
our party, and the boatmen, were wading neck deep about the 
bajr. Each carried a basket upon his arm, and upon feeling 
out the shell with his toes, either ducked to pick it up, or fished 
it out with scoop-nets made for the purpose. In a good morn- 
ing's work we would, in this way, collect about one hundred 
and fifty shells. Those in the deeper water were of three 
varieties, the Hyria corrugata (Sow.), the Hyria avicularis 
(Lam.), and the Anadonta esula (D'Orbigny), the latter of 



68 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



which was extremely uncommon. Nearer the shore, and in 
pools left standing in the sand, were the Castalia ambigua 
(Lam.), always discoverable by the long trails produced by 
their walking. Of three other small species we found single 
specimens, all hitherto undescribed by conchologists. Two of 
these were of the genus Cyrena, and the third an Anadonta. In 
the crevices of the uncovered rocks were great numbers of the 
Neritina zebra (Lam.), which variety is often seen in the 
market of Para, and is eaten by the negroes. About one hun- 
dred yards east of the house, was a tide stream extending into 
the woods, and called in the country, igaripe. Here, and in 
similar igaripes in the neighborhood, were numbers of a red- 
lipped Ampullaria. 

The water was so delightfully tempered, that we expe- 
rienced no inconvenience from our long wadings, beyond blis- 
tered backs, and this we guarded against somewhat by wear- 
ing flannel. A kind of small fish, that bites disagreeably, was 
said to be common in these waters, and though we never met 
them, we thought it as well to encounter them, if at all, in 
drawers and stockings. The tide here fell with very great 
slowness ; but, at the instant of turning, it rushed in with a 
heavy swell, immediately flooding the flat, and breaking with 
loud roarings upon the shore. Besides the shells above enu- 
merated, the Bulimus haemastoma was extremely common 
upon the land. Frequently we found their eggs. They were 
nearly an inch long, white, and within, was generally the fully 
formed snail, shell and all, awaiting his egress. 

At low water, upon the bushes in some parts springing 
plentifully from the sand, large flocks of Martins, Hirundo 
purpurea, were congregated, like swallows in August. They 
seemed preparing for a migration, but as we saw them fre- 
quently throughout our journeyings, at different seasons, they 
probably remain and breed there. Flocks of Terns were skim- 
ming every morning along the beach, and as we shot one of 
their number, the others would fly circling about, screaming, 
and utterly regardless of danger. 

The tides here collected great quantities of nuts and fruits, 
and along high-water mark, was a deep ridge of them, some, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 69 

dried in the sun, others, throwing out their roots and clinging to 
the soil. We picked up an interesting variety of the palm 
fruits, and large beans of various sorts. One kind of the lat- 
ter, in particular, was in profusion, and we soon discovered 
the tree whence they came, growing near by. It was tall 
and nobly branching, and overhung with long pods. Several 
varieties of acacias also ornamented the shore, conspicuous 
everywhere, from the dark rich green of their leaves. These, 
also, bore a bean in a broad pod, and the Indians asserted it a 
useful remedy for the colic. Here, also, we discovered a new 
fruit. It resembled much a strawberry, in shape, color, and fla- 
vor, except that its red skin was smooth, and its size that of a 
large plum. It covered in profusion the top of a large tree, 
and its appearance then was most beautiful. The negroes ate 
large quantities of it. We were told, afterwards, in the city, 
that it was a useful and agreeable medicine, having upon the 
system some of the beneficial effects of calomel. 

Caripe is famous for its fishery, and we observed, with 
interest, the manner of taking fish in these igaripes. A mat- 
ting is made of light reeds, six feet in length, and half an inch 
in diameter, fastened together by strings of grass. This, being 
rolled up, is easily transported upon the shoulder, to a conveni- 
ent spot, either the entrance of a small igaripe, or some little 
bay, flooded by the tide. The mat net is set and properly se- 
cured, and the retiring tide leaves within it the unlucky fish. 
This mode is very simple, yet a montaria is frequently filled 
with the fish, mostly, of course, small in size. We saw a great 
many varieties thus daily taken, and much we regretted that 
our ignorance of ichthyology rendered it impossible for us to dis- 
tinguish them, and that our want of facilities made it equally im- 
possible to preserve them. One curious species, the Anableps 
tetrophthalmus, was very common. It is called by the people, the 
four-eyed fish, and is always seen swimming with nose above the 
surface of the water, and propelling itself by sudden starts. 
The eye of this fish has two pupils, although but one crystal- 
line and one vitreous humor, and but one retina. It is the 
popular belief, that as it swims, two of its eyes are adapted to 
the water, and two to the air. 

4* 



70 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



It was curious to observe the tracks of the Sauba ants about 
the grass, in some parts near the house. By constant passing, 
they had worn roads two inches wide, and one or more deep, 
crossing each other at every angle. These paths usually ran 
towards the beach, where quantities of food were daily de- 
posited for the ants. A far greater nuisance than ants were 
Moqueens, little insects that live in the grass, and delight to at- 
tach themselves to any passer-by. They are red in color, and 
so small, as to be scarcely distinguishable. But there is no 
mistaking their bite, and, for a little time, it produces an intol- 
erable itching. We had known something of them at the Mills, 
but the dwellers there were nothing to those at Caripe. 

The forest around us was mostly of second growth, and 
difficult of ingress, except along the road, which extended back, 
about two miles, to an old ruin. At this place, we noticed, in 
the doorway, a tree, nearly a foot in diameter, and yet, but a 
very few years had elapsed since the house was inhabited. 

The creeping vines were of a different variety from any 
that we had before seen, contorted into strange shapes. One, 
particularly, with its broad stalk, resembled a shrivelled bean 
pod. 

Paths of wild hogs, or Peccaries, crossed the woods every 
where, these animals associating in droves. They much re- 
semble the domestic hog, but never attain a large size. At 
various places, in these paths, were traps set by the negroes 
for Pacas and Agoutis, or other small animals. A thick hedge 
of limbs, and prickly palm leaves, is laid along, and any ani- 
mal encountering this, will prefer following its course to making 
forcible passage, until his mortal career is probably terminated 
in a figure-four trap. 

The Agoutis are small animals of the Rodentia family, of a 
reddish color, very common, and esteemed as food. They are 
much inferior in this respect, however, as well as in size, to the 
Pacas. These somewhat resemble Guinea pigs in form, and 
are the size of a young porker, living in burrows in the ground. 
They are very prettily spotted, and are a beautiful species. 

In these woods, we saw a number of Squirrels, the same 
nimble things as squirrels elsewhere- There seems to be but 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 71 



one variety in the vicinity of the city, something smaller than 
our red squirrel, and of a color between red and gray. The 
place of this family is fully supplied by monkeys, which are 
seen and heard every where. 

In the denser thicket we encountered a curious species of 
bird, which, afterwards, we found to be common throughout 
the province, in like situations. This was the White-bearded 
Puff-bird, Tamatialeucops. By collectors, at Para, it is known 
by the name of Waxbill, from its long, red beak. This bird is 
the size of a jay, and almost wholly a lead color, approaching 
to black. It receives its name from the loose feathers upon the 
throat, which it has the habit of puffing out until its neck ap- 
pears as large as its body. Owing to the secluded situations 
in which we found this bird, we could observe little of its hab- 
its, but another variety of the same family was common about 
the rice-mill, at Magoary, where, at any time, numbers of them 
might be seen sitting upon the top of some dead tree, whence 
they sallied out for insects, after the manner of the fly-catchers. 
They were very tame, and only learned caution after sad thin- 
ning of their numbers. This species is the Swallow Puff-bird, 
L. tenebrosa, and is nearly the size of a Martin. We discov- 
ered a nest of this bird. It was built in the fork of a limb, and 
both the nest itself, and the eggs which it contained, strikingly 
resembled those of our Wood-pewee, Muscicapa virens. A 
third small variety of this family is the Spotted, T. macularia, 
seen only in the deeper woods. 

Connected with our house was a little chapel, upon the al- 
tar of which, was a rude representation of the Virgin, and every 
morning and evening, the blacks knelt in devotion. Upon cer- 
tain evenings, all of them, and some of the neighbors, would 
come together, and, for an hour, chant the Portuguese hymn, 
in wild tones, but very pleasing. A lamp was constantly kept 
burning in this chapel. Similar customs prevail at most of the 
country sitios, and by many of the planters, the blacks are 
trained up rigidly to the performance of these observances. 

The oil universally used for burning is obtained from the 
nuts of a tree known as the Andiroba. This tree is lofty and 
its wide-spreading top is overhung with large round pericarps, 



72 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

each of which contains eight nuts, of a triangular shape. These 
are mashed between stones, and placed in the sun, which soon 
causes the oil to exude. It is dark in color, and burns with a 
dim light. Its taste is intensely bitter. It is considered a val- 
uable remedy for wounds. 

The torches used by the blacks, at Caripe, consisted merely 
of a few small nuts of a species of palm, strung upon a stick. 
They were full of oil, and burned clearly, answering their pur- 
pose admirably 



CHAPTER VII. 

Leave for Tatiait— Indians— Arrival at midnight— Morning view — The estate — THaria 
or Pottery — Lime kiln — Slaves — Castanha tree — Cuya or Gourd tree — Ant hills — 
An ant battle — Forest — Macaws— Doves — Other birds — Sloth — Coati— Macura — 
Butterflies — Return to the city — Festival of Judas— Visit Sr. Angelico, upon the 
Guama — Brazilian country house — Curious air-plant — Seringa or Rubber trees — 
Harpy Eagle — Monkeys. 

Tauau is one of the estates of Archibald Campbell, Esq., 
and by his invitation, we made arrangements for spending a 
few days there, in company with Mr. Norris. The distance 
from Para is one tide, or about thirty miles, nearly south, and 
upon the river Acara. We left the city late in the afternoon, 
in the same canoe, and with the same boatmen, who accompa- 
nied us to Caripe. Just above the city, the Guama flows in 
with a powerful current, setting far over towards the opposite 
islands. Passing this, we entered the stream formed by the 
united waters of the Moju and Acara, and a few miles above, 
turned eastward, into the latter ; a quiet, narrow river, winding 
among comparatively lofty banks, and through large and well 
cultivated plantations. The clear moonlight added inexpressi- 
bly to the charm of this voyage, silvering the trees, and cast- 
ing long shadows over the water. The blacks struck up a song, 
and the wild chorus floated through the air, startling the still- 
ness. Frequently the same song came echoed back, and soon 
was heard the measured sound of paddles, as some night voy- 
ager like ourselves, was on his way to the city. 

One cannot sail upon these streams, where unreclaimed na- 
ture still revels in freedom and beauty, without feeling power- 
fully the thickly clustering associations connected with them, 
and having often before his mind the scenes that have here 
transpired, since white men made this the theatre of their ava- 



74 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

rice and ambition. The great race who inhabited this part of 
the continent were the Tapuyas, whose name is now the gen- 
eral name for Indian. They were a kindly, hospitable race, 
the least cruel of all the Brazilian Indians, and received the 
whites with open arms. The whole main, and all these lovely 
islands, were their homes, and here, in peaceful security, they 
whiled away their lives like a summer's day. Henceforth their 
story is soon told. They were seized as slaves, mercilessly 
treated, their lives of no more value than the beasts of the wood. 
Countless numbers perished beneath their toil. Millions died 
from epidemic diseases, and many.fledfar into the interior, hoping 
to find some spot that the white man could never reach. The 
whole Tapuya race have disappeared, except here and there a 
solitary one, less fortunate, perhaps, than his nation. 

As we approached Tauaii, the bank increased in height, 
and from some distance, the glistening tiles of a long building 
were conspicuous. At length, the large plantation house ap- 
peared upon the brow of the hill, almost concealed by the trees 
and shrubbery, and a light descending the steps betokened that 
our approach was observed. The overseer himself had come 
down to bid us welcome, and landing at the nicely sheltered 
wharf that projected into the stream, we followed him up the 
flight of stone steps to the house. A room in the upper story 
was ready to receive our hammocks, and here, we turned in, to 
await the morning. It was scarcely daybreak, when Ave were 
aroused by the entrance of a servant bringing coffee, and no 
farther inducement was necessary to our early rising. The 
sky was unclouded, and the drops which had fallen during the 
latter part of the night, covered the trees with brilliants, as the 
sun broke upon them. Every thing smiled with the morning, 
the distant woods, the lake-like stream, the hill slope covered 
by orange and cocoa trees. Below, and a little to the right, 
was the tilaria, whose glistening roof had attracted us the 
night before, and numbers of blacks were already within, en- 
gaged at their work. 

This estate was laid out by the Jesuits, and bears the 
marks of their good taste. The land, for a long distance from 
the river, is rolling, sometimes rising one hundred feet above 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 75 

the water level. The soil is of a fine red clay, and from this the 
estate derives its name, Taliaii signifying in the native tongue, 
red clay. Mr. Campbell is one of the largest manufacturers of 
pottery in the province. He labored hard to have fine earthen 
ware made, and was at expense in getting out a workman, and the 
requisite additional material. But the workman was unskilful, 
and the scheme, for the time, proved abortive, though probably 
practicable. The articles of ware most in demand, are water 
jars, and floor and roof tiles. The former are made upon the 
wheel, as elsewhere. The tiles are made by the women, floor 
tiles being about six inches square, by two thick, and roof tiles 
about fifteen inches long, six wide and one half inch thick, 
curved, longitudinally, into half a scroll. Near the house, was 
a kiln for burning lime. This was just finished, and being still 
unblackened by fire or smoke, was of singularly elegant ap- 
pearance, with its dazzling white walls, and yellow mouldings. 
The lime here burned is shell lime, and for this purpose, vast 
quantities of small shells are collected at Salinas, and other 
localities upon the sea shore. Upon the hill, and west of the 
house, stood a small chapel, and beyond this, extending a long 
distance upon the brow, were the houses of the blacks, struc- 
tures made by plastering mud upon latticed frames of wood, 
and thatched with palm leaves. There were about eighty 
slaves connected with this plantation, some engaged in culti- 
vating the ground, or laboring in the forest, others at the 
tilaria or the kiln. They were summoned to labor about five 
in the morning, by the bell, and were at work about two hours 
after dark ; but during the heat of the day, they were allowed 
a long interval of rest. The chief overseer, or fator, was in 
the city, where, at this season, most whites throughout this 
vicinity were attending the festivals, but his place was sup- 
plied by a very intelligent mulatto. Upon Saturday afternoon, 
all the blacks collected around the store-room to receive their 
rations of fish and farinha, for the ensuing week. About 
twenty pounds of the latter was the allowance for an adult, 
and a proportionate quantity of fish ; the whole expense 
averaging a fraction less than three cents per diem, for each 
person. Many of these blacks had fowls, and small cultivated 



76 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

patches, and from these sources, as well as from wood, and 
river, obtained much of their support. 

Beyond the tilaria, was a long swamp, and here, a number 
of jacanas, snipes, and plovers, were constantly flying about, 
and screaming their call notes. Back of the house, was a 
grove of fine trees, some, apparently, having been planted for 
ornament, others, bearing profusion of various sorts of fruits. 
The one of all these most attractive, was that which produces 
the Brazil nut, called in the country castanhas. Botanically, 
it is the Bertholletia excelsa. This tree was upwards of one 
hundred feet in height, and between two and three in diameter. 
From the branches were depending the fruits, large as cocoa- 
nuts. The shell of these is nearly half an inch in thickness, 
and contains the triangular nuts, so nicely packed, that, once 
removed, no skill can replace them. It is no easy matter to 
break this tough covering, requiring some instrument, and the 
exercise of considerable strength : yet we were assured by an 
intelligent friend, at the Barra of the Rio Negro, that the 
Guaribas, or Howling Monkeys, are in the habit of breaking 
them, by striking them upon stones, or the limbs of iron-like trees. 
This friend related an amusing incident of which he had been 
witness, where the monkey, forgetful of every thing else, 
pounding down the nut with might and main, in a fever of ex- 
citement, struck it with tremendous force upon the tip of his 
tail. Down dropped the nut, and away flew monkey, bound- 
ing and howling fearfully. How long the victim was laid up 
by his lame tail, our friend was unable to inform us ; but we 
thought one thing certain, that monkeys had changed since 
Goldsmith's day, inasmuch as, at that time, as we are informed, 
the tip of a monkey's tail was so remote from the centre of cir- 
culation as to be destitute of feeling. When the castanha nuts 
are fresh, they much resemble, in taste, the cocoa-nut, and the 
white milk, easily expressed, is no bad substitute for milk in 
coffee. This soon becomes rancid, and at length turns to oil. 
The nuts are exported largely from Para, and are said to form 
a very important ingredient in the manufacture of sperm can- 
dles. 

There is another nut ; probably of the pot tree, Lecythis 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 77 

ollaria, mentioned by Spix, much resembling the castanha in 
appearance and growth. When this is ripe, an operculum falls 
from the lower side of the encasing pericarp, and affords egress 
to the nuts within. Monkeys and squirrels are so excessively 
fond of these, that it is usually impossible to obtain more than 
the empty pericarp. 

Next to the castanha tree, the calabash, or cuya, was most 
attractive. It was low, its trunk overgrown with moss and 
small parasitic plants. Directly from the bark of the trunk, or 
branches, without intervening stems, grew the gourds, a bright 
green in color, and often six inches in diameter, giving the tree a 
very curious appearance. The smaller gourds are cut in halves, 
the pulp removed, and the shell reduced by scraping. This 
being sufficiently dried, is painted both inside and out, by the 
Indian women, with ingenious and sometimes beautiful devices. 
They are the universal drinking cup, and are known by the 
name of cuyas. 

The cleared space, round about, was of great extent, much 
being under cultivation, but a still larger portion was thickly 
overgrown with tall weeds. Here were scores of ant hills, be- 
tween three and four feet in height, conically shaped, and each 
having two or more entrances the bigness of one's arm. The 
exterior of these hills was of stony hardness; within were 
galleries and cells. The earth of which they were composed 
seemed always different from that in the vicinity, and evidently 
had been brought grain by grain. In the woods, we frequently 
encountered a different kind of ant hill. A space of a rod square 
would be entirely divested of tree or bush, and every where, 
the surface was broken into little mounds, formed by the earth 
brought up from below. While upon this subject, I will de- 
scribe an ant battle, several of which we watched, at different 
times and places. The combatants were always a species of 
small black ant, and a red variety, equally small. Coming in 
long lines from different directions, it seemed as if they had 
previously passed a challenge, and had selected the ground for 
their deadly strife. The front ranks met and grappled, toiling 
like wrestlers, biting and stinging ; they soon fell, exhausted 
and in the death agony. Others fought over their bodies and 



78 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

likewise fell, and still, continually, over the increasing pile, 
poured on the legions of survivors, fighting, for several days in 
succession, until a pile of a peck, or more, lay like a pyramid. 
They marched to certain death, and had their size been pro- 
portionate to their courage, these battle fields had mocked 
earth's bloodiest. 

The woods about Tauaii were of the loftiest growth and 
filled with game, both birds and animals. Here we first en- 
countered the gorgeous Macaws, climbing over the fruit-cover- 
ed branches and hoarsely crying. They were wiser than most 
birds, however, having acquired something of that faculty from 
long experience ; for their brilliant colors, and long plumes 
render them desirable in the eyes of every Indian. They were 
not unwilling to allow us one glimpse, but beyond that, we 
never attained. 

As might be expected, Woodpeckers are exceedingly nu- 
merous throughout these forests, and the size of most species 
is in some proportion to the labor they have to perform, in gain- 
ing their livelihood from these enormous trees. Every where 
is heard their loud rattle, and harsh, peculiar note. In this 
latter respect, many species so resembled those familiar to us at 
home, that we could scarcely believe that the stranger that fell 
dead at our feet, victim of a long, successful shot, ought not to 
have been one of the Golden-wings, or Red-heads, that we had 
so often tried our skill upon. 

The same varieties are found throughout the river country ; 
as common upon the Rio Negro as at Para. The most gaudy 
of all, and the especial favorite of the Indians, is the Picus 
rubricollis, whose crested head, neck, and breast, are of a bril- 
liant red. Another finely crested species is the P. lineatus. 
There is also the P. fulvus, nearly the size of our Golden-wing, 
and of a deep brown color. Another, as large, is almost wholly 
of a light yellow. Of lesser species, there seemed no end, and 
some of them were singularly diminutive. 

The Tree-creepers were a more eagerly sought family, and 
two beautiful little species are quite common in the vicinity of 
Para. One of these is of a deep indigo blue, with a black 
throat, Certhia coerulea; the other, C. Cayana, is conspicuous 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 79 

for the brilliant ultramarine blue that caps his head. Other- 
wise he is marked with blue, and black, and yellow. These 
little things are usually seen running up and down the tree 
trunks, or flitting hurriedly from branch to branch, busied in 
searching for insects upon the bark. They are extremely fa- 
miliar, and allow of near approach. At intervals, they emit 
slight, whispering notes, but their anxious haste leaves one 
with the impression that they might do themselves much more 
credit as songsters, at their leisure. We never fell in with these 
species up the river, their place there being supplied by other 
varieties. 

In the lower woods, were great numbers of Doves, of many 
species, but similar to those we had elsewhere met. Most 
beautiful of all is the Pombo troucal — Columba speciosa 
(Linn.), the " bird of the painted breast." They are of large 
size, and usually are seen in pairs, within the shade of some 
dense tree, but, early in the morning, are often discovered, in 
large numbers, upon the limbs of leafless trees, of which, at 
every season, there are very many throughout the forest. 

The smallest and most graceful of all these doves, is the 
Rola, the Ground Dove — C. passerina — of our Southern States, 
not larger in size than many sparrows. They are seen, about 
cleared fields and houses, in large flocks, and when unmolested, 
become extremely familiar. 

About every plantation, are two varieties of Tanagers, domes- 
tic as our robin, resting in the orange trees under the windows, 
and constantly flitting among the branches, uttering their few 
notes, which, though pleasing, can scarcely be called a song. 
One of these, the Silver-bill, Tanagra jacapa. has a crimson- 
velvet livery, and silvery bill ; the other, Tanagra cana, is, 
mostly, a sky-blue. The former is called Pipira, from its note. 
Its nest is neatly formed of leaves and tendrils of vines, and 
the eggs are usually three and four, of a light-blue color, and 
much marked, at the larger end, with spots of brown. 

Upon one occasion, A brought in a sloth which he had 

shot, and I skinned him, with the intention of preserving his 
body for some anatomical friend, at home, to whom sloths might 
be a novelty. But our cook was too alert for us, and before 



80 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

we were aware, she had him from the peg where he hung 
dripping, and into the stew-pan, whence he made his debut 
upon our dinner-table. We dissembled our disappointment, 
and did our best to look with favor upon the beast, but his 
lean and tough flesh, nevertheless, could not compare with 
monkey. 

There are animals much resembling the racoon, called 
Coatis. They are extremely playful, and may occasionally be 
seen gamboling, in parties of two or more, among the dry 
leaves. When tame, they possess all a racoon's mischievous- 
ness. These, as well as monkeys, according to Goldsmith, 
were wont, of old, to live upon their own tails. 

One 6f the negroes brought us a little animal of the opos- 
sum kind, called the Macura chec^ega. It was scarcely larger 
than a small squirrel, and its hair was of silky softness. We 
could probably have preserved it alive, but its captor had 
broken both its hinder legs, to prevent its running away. This 
is the common custom of the blacks and Indians, when they 
desire to preserve an animal for a time, before it is eaten. 

About the flowers in wood and field, was a profusion of 
butterflies, almost all gaudy beyond any thing we have at the 
North. The most showy of all, was a large variety, of a sky- 
blue color, and brilliant metallic lustre. We observed but one 
species seen also in the Northern States, the common red butter- 
fly of our meadows, in August. In this clime, the insects of all 
kinds are nimble, beyond comparison with those elsewhere, 
and often, the collector is disappointed in his chase. He has a 
more embarrassing difficulty than that, however, for without 
the most unceasing care, the ever-present ants will, in a few 
moments, destroy the labor of a month. 

A week passed rapidly and delightfully. The fator return- 
ed, and urgently pressed our longer stay, but reported letters 
from home, hastened us back to the city. The past week had 
been the close of Lent, and during our absence, the city had 
been alive with rejoicings. Festas and celebrations had taken 
place daily, and hundreds of proprietors, with their families 
and servants, had collected, from every part, to share the gene- 
ral joyousness. Of all these festival days, that of Judas was 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 81 

the favorite, and the one especially devoted to uproariousness. 
That unlucky disciple, by every sort of penance, atoned for 
the deeds done in the flesh. He was drowned, he was burned, 
he was hung in chains, and quartered, and was dragged by the 
neck over the rough pavements, amid the execrations of the 
rabble. 

A few days after our return from Taiiaii, in company with 
Messrs. Smith and Norris, we visited the plantation of Sr. 
Angelico, upon the river Guama, for the purpose of seeing the 
manufacture of rubber. A few hours' pull brought us, by sun- 
rise, to a sitio upon the southern side, standing upon a lofty 
bank, and commanding a fine view of the river. Here we 
exchanged our canoe for a montaria, as we were soon to ascend 
a narrow igaripe, where a few inches of width, more or less, 
might be material ; after which, we continued a little distance 
further up the river. The Guama is a larger stream than 
the Acara, but much like that river in the appearance of its 
banks, these often being high, and, in parts, well settled. By 
some of the eastern branches of the Guama, easy communica- 
tion is had with streams flowing towards Maranham, and this 
route is occasionally taken by carriers. Suddenly the boat 
turned, and we shot into a little igaripe so embowered in the 
trees, that we might have passed, unsuspecting its existence. 
The water was at its height, calm as a lake. Threading our 
narrow path between the immense tree trunks, a dozen times, 
we seemed to have reached the terminus, brought up by the 
opposing bank ; but as often, a turn would discover itself, and 
we appeared as far from the end as ever. Standing in this 
water were many seringa, or rubber trees, their light-gray bark 
all scarred by former wounds. We gave passing cuts at some 
of them, and saw the white gum trickle down. When, at last, 
we landed, it was to pick our way, as best we could, over a 
precarious footing of logs and broken boards, from which a 
false step might have precipitated us into mud, rich and deep. 
Once upon terra firma, a short walk brought us to the house, 
concealed among an orchard of cocoa trees. A loud viva 
announced our approach, and immediately, Senhor Angelico 
bustled out of his hammock, where he lay swinging in the 



82 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



verandah, and, in his night-gown, bade us welcome. He was 
a confidence-inspiring old gentleman, with his short, stout body, 
and twinkling eyes, and a chuckling laugh that kept his fat 
sides in perpetual motion, belying, somewhat, his tell-tale gray 
hairs, and his high-sounding title of Justicia de Paz. 

The Senhor did not forget the necessities of early travel- 
lers. A little black boy brought around fresh water for wash- 
ing, and, in a trice, breakfast was smoking on the table, our host 
doing the honors with beaming face, and night-gown doffed. 

This was the first decidedly Brazilian country house that we 
had visited, and a description of it may not be uninteresting. 
It was of one story, covering a large area, and distinguished, 
in front, by a deep verandah. The frame of the house, was of 
upright beams, crossed by small poles, well fastened together 
by withes of sepaw. A thick coat of clay, entirely covered 
this, both within and without, hardened by exposure into 
stone. The floors were of the same hard material, and in front 
of the hammocks, were spread broad reed mats, answering well 
the purpose of carpets. Few and small windows were neces- 
sary, as the inmates of the house passed most of the day in the 
open air, or in the verandah, where hammocks were suspended 
for lounging, or for the daily siesta. The roof was of palm 
thatch, beautifully made, like basket work in neatness, and 
enduring for years. The dining table stood in the back veran- 
dah, and long benches were placed by its sides, as sears. 
Back of the house, and entirely distinct, was a covered shed, 
used for the kitchen and other purposes. Any number of little 
negroes, of all ages and sizes, and all naked, were running 
about, clustering around the table as we ate, watching every 
motion with eyes expressive of fun and frolic, and as comfort- 
ably at home as could well be imagined. Pigs, dogs, chickens 
and ducks assumed the same privilege, notwithstanding the 
zealous efforts of one little ebony, who seemed to have them in 
his especial charge. Do his best, he could not clear them all 
out from under the table at the same time. They knew their 
rights. But these little inconveniences one soon becomes ac- 
customed to, and regards them as matters of course. The 
house stood in a grove, and round about, for some distance, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 83 



what had been a cultivated plantation was growing up to 
forest, the Senhor having turned his attention to the seringa. 
Scattered here and there, were neat looking houses of the 
blacks, many of whom were about, and all as fat and happy as 
their master. It was amusing to see the little fellows, cram- 
med full of farinha, and up to any mischief, come capering 
about the Senhor, evidently considering him the best playmate 
on the premises. He enjoyed their frolics exceedingly, and 
with a word or a motion would set them wild with glee. It is 
this universally kind relation between master and slaves in 
Brazil, that robs slavery of its horrors, and changes it into a 
system of mutual dependence and good will. 

We strolled about the woods several hours, shooting birds 
and squirrels, or collecting plants. Some of the air plants 
found here produced flowers of more exquisite beauty than we 
ever met elsewhere, particularly, a variety of Stanhopea, 
which bore a large, white, bell-shaped flower. This we suc- 
ceeded in transporting to New- York, and it is now in the 
green-house of Mr. Hogg, together with many other plants of 
our collecting. Under his care, they promise to renew the 
beauty of their native woods. We engaged a score of little 
hands to pick up the shells of the B. haemastoma, which in 
some places strewed the ground. Why so many empty shells 
were there, it was impossible to understand. The Senhor 

asserted that the animals vacated their shells yearly. A 

shot an armadillo in the path, which was served up for our 
dinner. The flesh resembled, in appearance and taste, young 
pork. 

In the afternoon, rain commenced pouring, and we were 
obliged to take to our hammocks in the verandah, amusing 
ourselves as we might. All night long, the rain continued, and 
to such a degree, that it was found impossible to collect the 
sap of the seringa. Greatly to our disappointment, therefore, 
we were obliged to return ungratified in the main object of our 
visit, although in every other sense, we had been richly repaid. 
We had, afterwards, opportunities of observing the manufac- 
ture of shoes, which, in its proper place, will be described. 



84 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

Why rubber should be designated by the barbarous name of 
caoutchouc, I cannot tell. Throughout the province of Para, 
its home, it is universally called seringa, a far more elegant, 
and pronounceable appellation, certainly. 

On our way down the river, we saw the nose of an alliga- 
tor protruding from the water, as he swam up the current. 
These animals very rarely are met in these streams, and in- 
deed, throughout the whole lower Amazon region, excepting in 
the islands at the mouth of the river, where they abound. 

While absent upon this excursion, Mr. Bradley, an Irish- 
man, who trades upon the upper Amazon, arrived at Mr. Nor- 
ris's, bringing many singular birds and curiosities of various 
kinds. One of the former, was a young Harpy Eagle, a most 
ferocious looking character, with a harpy's crest, and a beak 
and talons in correspondence. He was turned loose into the 
garden, and before long, gave us a sample of his powers. 
With erected crest, and flashing eyes, uttering a frightful shriek, 
he pounced upon a young ibis, and, quicker than thought, had 
torn his reeking liver from his body. The whole animal world 
below there, was wild with fear. The monkeys scudded to a 
hiding-place, and parrots, herons, ibises, and mutuns, with all 
the hen tribe that could muster the requisite feathers, sprang 
helter-skelter over the fences, some of them never to be re- 
claimed. 

A less formidable venture was a white monkey, pretty 
nearly equal, in his master's estimation, to most children, and 
some adults. Nick had not been with us long, before he was 
upon the top of the house, and refused all solicitations to come 
down. It was of no use to pursue him. Moving slowly off, 
as though he appreciated the joke, he would at last perch upon 
some inaccessible point, and to the moving entreaties of his 
masler, would reply by the applied thumb to nose, and the 
monkey jabber of " no, you don't." At other times, when there 
was no danger of sudden surprises, he amused his leisure by 
running over all the roofs in the block, raising the tiles, and 
peering down into the chambers, to the general dismay. At 
length, as fair means would not do, foul must ; and Nick re- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 85 

ceived a discharge from a gun loaded with corn. But some- 
where upon the roof, he obtained a rag of cloth, and holding it 
before him, he would peep over the top, ready to dodge the 
flash. It would not do ; we gave Nick up as lost ; but of 
his own accord, he, at last, descended, and submitted to du- 
rance. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Leave Para for Vigia — Boatmen — Inland passage — Egrets and herons — Stop at sugar 
plantation — Cupuassu — Mangroves — Insolence of pilot — Vigia — Arrival at Sr. Godin- 
ho's — Reception— The Campinha and its scenery— Sporting— Parrots— Employes— Sun- 
bird — Boat-bill — Tinami — Iguana lizard — Sugar cane — Mill — Slaves — Leave the Cam- 
pinha — Kingfishers — Go below for Ibises — Sand-flies — Return to Para — A pet animal. 

Soon after Mr. Bradley's arrival, Dr. Costa, the chief judge 
of the district of the Rio Negro, also arrived in Para, upon his 
way to Rio Janeiro, and learning^ that we desired to visit the 
towns upon the Amazon, very kindly offered us his galliota and 
Indians for that purpose. So tempting an offer allowed of no 
hesitation, but as Mr. Bradley was to be in readiness to make 
the same journey, in a few days, we determined to await his 
convenience, and meanwhile, to make a short excursion to Vigia. 
This town is about fifty miles below, near the junction of a small 
tide stream with the Grand Para. As the direct passage down 
the river offered little of interest, and, moreover, at this still 
squally season, was somewhat hazardous in a small canoe, we 
determined on the inland eourse, winding about among the 
islands, and requiring, perhaps, double the time. 

We left Para, on the first of May, in the same canoe that 
carried us to Magoary, and with the same negroes whom we 
had heretofore employed. These fellows, by long acquaint- 
ance, assisted by a modicum of their own good nature, and a 
due sense of our generosity, had moulded themselves pretty 
much to our wishes. Unmerited oblivion ought not yet to over- 
take these good companions of our wanderings, and who knows 
but that a charcoal sketch of their lineaments and character- 
istics, may discover them to the notice of some other travelers, 
who may hereafter have like necessities with ourselves. And 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 87 

first, our round-faced, jolly-looking, well-conditioned Faustino ; 
somewhat less a beauty, perhaps, than Nature intended, by 
reason of undisguisable tracings of small-pox. Yet many a 
worse failing might be amply redeemed by the happy smile 
that ever lightened up his coal-black countenance, particu- 
larly, when enlivened by the slightest possible infusion of ca- 
shaca, which, as with the Rev. Mr. Stiggins, is his weakness. 
Faustino is a famous story-teller, and enacts his own heroes 
with a dramatic effect that is often very amusing. He is 
gifted in song too ; and many a night, have his sweet catches 
softened our hard couch, and hushed us to sleep. 

Faustino's companero, doubtless, once claimed a name 
proper ; but long since, it seems to have been absorbed by 
the more distinguishing and emphatic designation of Checo, 
which in this country, signifies " small," a name by no means 
inapt. A Greek proverb says, " there is grace in the small ;" 
but Checo has been a soldier, and now Checo's right eye is 
cocked for the enemy, and his left has an expressive squint 
toward the remote thicket. Nor do his eyes belie him, doubt- 
less, for though he can wear out the night with his adventures 
in the southern provinces, no scar disfigures his anteriors or 
posteriors, as he sits glistening in the sun, naked as the day 
he was born. But Checo is faithful, and abhors Cashaca. 

Besides these two, we were forced to take a pilot, on 
account of the intricacy of the passage, and, therefore, a lazy, 
villainous-looking mixture of Brazilian and Indian, sat at the 
helm ; while a boy, like a monkey, whom he brought on board 
for what he could steal, was annoying us jDerpetually. 

As there were no occupants of the cabin but A and 

myself, we had a comfortable allowance of room, wherein to 
stretch ourselves : and about us, in ship-shape order, upon the 
cabin sides, were piled our baggage, implements, and provi- 
sions ; among which latter, farinha, bread, and molasses pre- 
dominated. Knives and forks, spoons and plates, completed 
the furniture of our cuisine ; and our table-cloth was a Turkish 
rug, whose more legitimate office it was to " feather our nests" 
at night. 

Before dark, we had left the river, and starlight found us 



88 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



ascending a stream, in no wise distinguished in the character 
of its scenery from those which I have heretofore described ; 
and yet, perpetually interesting from the ever new views that 
constant windings presented, and which required neither sun- 
light nor moonlight to cause us to appreciate their loveliness. 
With the changing tide, we anchored, and turned in for the 
night. It was amusing always to observe with what indif- 
ference our boatmen would stretch themselves out upon the 
seats, unprotected, in any way, from rain or dew, and drop at 
once into a profound sleep, ready, at an instant's warning, to 
start again to the oars. The pilot had brought along a ham- 
mock, which he swung between the masts, high above the 
others' heads ; thus obtaining a situation that might have been 
envied by his masters, had not frequent acquaintance with 
hard resting-places somewhat weakened their sensibilities. 

Some hours before daybreak, we were again under way ; 
and the first glimpse of light found us exchanging the cabin 
for the deck, where, guns in hand, we planted ourselves, ready 
to take advantage of any unsuspicious Egrets that might be 
feeding upon the muddy bank. These Egrets, or Garcas, as 
they term them in Brazil, are small, and of a snowy white, the 
Ardea candidissima ; and are a very interesting addition to 
the river beauties, as they stalk along the banks, or sit perched 
upon the bushes, in the distance, resembling so many flowers. 
The stream was narrow, and the canoe was steered to one 
side or the other, as we saw these birds 5 and thus, until by 
repeated alarms, and much thinning of their ranks, they had 
become shy of our approach, they afforded us constant sport. 
Sometimes, far in the distance, the keen eyes of the men would 
descry the Great Blue Heron, the Ardea herodias ; and with 
silent oars and beating hearts, we crept along the shore, 
hoping to take him unawares. But it was of no avail. His 
quick ear detected the approaching danger ; and long before 
we could attain shooting distance, he had slowly raised him- 
self and flown further on, only to excite us still more in his 

pursuit. 

About nine o'clock, we stopped at a small sugar estate, 
where we proposed to remain over the tide. In landing, I inad- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 89 

vertently stepped off the blind stepping-stones, and brought up 
ail standing with my knees in the mud, and slippers almost be- 
yond redemption. However, I contrived to hook these out, 
and marched, in stocking feet, the remainder of the distance to 
the house, presenting, doubtless, an appearance as diverting as 
pitiful. But the whites and negroes who crowded the veran- 
dah, and awaited our approach, seemed too much accustomed 
to such mishaps to mind them, and a quickly applied liniment 
of agua fresca soon put all to rights again. We strolled into 
the woods, and after chasing about until we were weary, re- 
turned with several birds, mostly motmots and doves, and a 
number of the fruits called cupuassu. These are of the size 
and shape of a cocoa-nut in the husk, and within the shell is a 
fibrous, acid pulp, of which a delightful drink is made, much 
like lemonade. The producing tree is common in the forest, 
and of great size and beauty. The afternoon was rainy, and 
we were confined below. But the time passed not at all te- 
diously, for beside the preserving of the birds, we had store of 
books wherewith to beguile our leisure. Next morning, we 
shot some rail, skulking among the mangrove roots by the wa- 
ter's edge. These birds are called from their notes Cyracuras, 
and are heard upon all these streams, in the early morning, or 
the dusk of evening, loudly cackling. It is unusual to observe 
more than one in a place, but at considerable distances, they 
call and answer each other. This is one of the birds that the 
citizens delight to domesticate. We heard also the sharp, 
quickly repeated notes of the Sun-bird, the Ardea helias, and 
the most beautiful of the heron tribe. Almost every bird is 
named in this part of Brazil, from its note, but this, by way of 
distinction, is called the pavon, or peacock. These birds were 
shy and we yet were ungratified by seeing one. 

The mangroves that skirt all these streams are a curious 
feature. The tree itself is low, and has a small stem ; but from 
this, radiate in every direction towards the water, long, finger- 
like branches. These take root in the mud, and are really the 
roots of the tree, supporting the stem at some distance above 
the water. When they are small, they serve for arrows to the 
Indians, being very light, and often perfectly straight. They 



90 A VOYAGE UP THE RTVER AMAZON. 

not only so bind the soil as to prevent its wearing away by the 
constant flowings of the tide, but catch all sorts of drift, which 
in this way, contributes to the body of the island. Indeed, 
whole islands are thus formed ; and within the memory of res- 
idents, an island of considerable size has sprung up within sight 
of the city of Para. In a similar way, the thousands of islands 
that dot the whole Amazon have been formed. 

Ever since we left Para, our pilot had been inclined to inso- 
lence, but this afternoon, from the effects of casha9a which he 
had obtained at some of our landings, became intolerable. 

A , at last, took his jug from him and pitched it overboard, 

giving him to understand that its owner would speedily follow, 
unless he changed his tone. This cowed the fellow into better 

manners, and A sent him forward, taking the helm himself. 

No traveller will care to employ a second time one of these low 
whites or half breeds. 

Towards evening, as we approached Vigia, we came upon 
a bank, where a large flock of Garcas, mixed with Herons, 
Spoonbills, and Scarlet Ibises were feeding. This was the first 
time we had seen the latter, but the sun was too low to dis- 
cover all their beauty. By eight o'clock we had anchored off 
Vigia. This town had once been populous, and even contained 
a Jesuit college ; but long since, the houses had gone to decay, 
and the forest encroached upon the streets. It is now princi- 
pally inhabited by fishermen, and in the distant view, appears 
like Para, the same building material being used. We were 
not to stop here, as our letters were to Senhor Godinho, who 
lived upon a small igaripe opposite the town, distant a few 
miles ; therefore we were early under way, although the tide 
was against us. In a high bank which we passed, were seve- 
ral holes of Kingfishers, and numbers of the birds, some very 
small, others, twice the size of our Kingfisher of the North, were 
flying about. At length, we turned into the desired igaripe, 
and by dint of hard rowing and poling, advanced as far as the 
shell of a house stuck upon the bank, whither our pilot went 
for directions. The fellow kept us waiting a half hour, and we 
pushed off without him, pleased enough to repay his villanies 
by a long walk through the mud and bushes. But the tide was 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 91 

out, and we lodged immovably in the mud. and for an hour's 
space, were fain to keep ourselves in as good humor as we 
might under a burning sun, until the tide came to our relief. 
A beautiful red hawk sat near by, eyeing our movements, and 
a flock of buzzards were eating the crabs along the exposed 
mud. Numbers of little Sandpipers, the Totanus solitarius, were 
running about, hasting to get their breakfasts before the 
flooding waters should return. There were man)'- dead fish 
lying about, often of large size. We afterwards learned that 
these had been killed by poison thrown into the holes which 
they frequent at low water. 

As the tide rose, we pushed slowly on, and soon opened into 
a large clear space, at the remote end of which appeared the 
plantation house. Senhor Godinho met us upon the dock 
which ran directly by the side o£ his mill, and welcomed us in 
good English with the greatest warmth and politeness. We 
at once, felt ourselves at home. Forthwith, our luggage was 
unstored, a room was opened to the light, very much to the 
astonishment of the bats and cockroaches, and the blacksmith 
made his appearance with hooks and staples for our hammocks. 
We followed the Senhor to the verandah above, and under the 
cool breeze, soon lost all thoughts of our morning's broiling. 
Every thing about indicated opulence and plenty. Black- 
smiths, carpenters and masons were at work in their different 
vocations ; the negroes and oxen were driving the sugar mills ; 
the steam pipe of the distillery was in full blast; and stacks 
of demijohns and jars were piled in the rooms, or standing ready 
to receive the cashaca or molasses. 

The house was surrounded by woods, some nearer, some 
farther ; and directly in front of the verandah, was an inter- 
vening swamp, along whose edges, cyracuras were feeding, 
and in the middle of which, pigs and goats disputed empire 
with various small water birds, and a tame white heron. 
Beyond,, to the left, and extending several miles, was a prairie 
or campo, crossed by parallel strips of woods, and the loud 
cries of parrots and toucans came swelling on the breeze. 
This was irresistible, and as soon as we could dispatch a 
hearty dinner, guns in hand, we sallied on a tour of explora- 



92 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

tion. The trees were all low, and the ground was crossed in 
every direction by the paths of the hogs, who roamed over 
these campos, half tamed, in immense numbers. Water lay 
upon the surface of the ground, often to considerable depth, 
but that we little cared for. We soon discovered the palms 
upon which the parrots were feeding, and in a short time, the 
boy who accompanied us,. was loaded with as many of these 
birds as he could carry. The large parrots, as they fly slowly 
along, have a very conjugal appearance; always moving in 
pairs, side by side, and each and all discoursing with a noisy 
volubility that must destroy the effect of what they have to 
say. When one from a pair is brought down, it is amusing to 
see the survivor continue chattering on, without missing a 
word, or altering his course ; altogether exhibiting a cool self- 
possession most anti-conjugal. Returning to the house, we 
busied ourselves in preserving such specimens as we wanted, 
the Senhor looking on with great interest, and relating anec- 
dotes and histories of different animals and birds thereabout, 
and which, in his solitude, he had both time and'inclination for 
observing. In the morning, we were out again, and indeed, 
were thus occupied every morning for a week, constantly ob- 
taining something new and curious, besides keeping the table 
well supplied with game. It seems as heterodox to eat parrot 
as monkey, yet fricasseed parrot might rank favorably with 
most kinds of wild game. In a day or two, one of the Senhor's 
men, a free mulatto, six feet in height, straight as an arrow, 
and with an eye like a hawk, was enlisted in our service, 
through his masters kindness. Gregorio had a companero, an 
Indian, of like characteristics and propensities, called Fran- 
cisco, and between the two, we were under a press of business. 
One of the birds which they procured for us, was the much 
desired Sun-bird. It was small, and exquisitely marked, " its 
plumage being shaded in bands and lines with brown, fawn 
color, red, gray and black, recalling to our minds the most 
beautiful of the nocturnal Lepidoptera." We frequently saw 
this bird domesticated in other parts of the province, and in 
this state it becomes exceedingly familiar, living entirely on flies 
and other insects. Another species as curious as the last, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 93 

though not for its beauty, was the Boat-bill, Cancroma cochlea- 
ria. It is of the heron kind, but unlike its congeners, each 
mandible is shaped like half a keeled boat, short and broad. 
From the head, long plumes extend far down the back. 
One would think that nature delighted to give the most fan- 
tastic shapes to her handiwork in these climes. Besides these 
dwellers of the water, were Herons of various sorts, Snowy, 
White, Blue, et alii, in profusion. The woods afforded us most 
of the species we had observed elsewhere, and many others 
entirely new. Here, a singular family was the Tinamus, 
gallinaceous birds, resembling pheasants in their habits, but 
shaped more like rails than any other bird, having long, slender 
necks, and scarcely any tails. They are universally known 
by the name of Inambu, and different species of the family 
are found throughout northern Brazil. The eggs of these 
birds are of the deepest green, and are superior to those of 
domestic fowls in taste. Here also were large, reddish-brown, 
Cuckoos, moving stealthily about the low trees, uttering, at 
intervals, the note, which, so generally, characterizes the 
family, and searching for caterpillars, and, it may be, the eggs 
of the little and defenceless birds. The common species is the 
Cuculus Cayanus, rather larger than our Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 
but of inferior beauty. Another species much resembling this 
in color, but of half the size, is often seen, and with far greater 
familiarity than the Cayanus, comes into the orange and cuya 
trees, about the houses, in search of worms' nests. 

Upon the campo, were flocks of Red-breasted Orioles, Icte- 
rus militaris, of a deep brown color, except upon the breast and 
throat, which glow with a rich red. These birds have rather 
the habits of starlings than orioles, being usually seen upon 
the ground, or upon the low bushes, which, here and there, 
diversify the campo. 

Here was also a large variety of Lapwing, called Terra- 
terra, from its loud and constantly repeated note. 

By the brooks, which crossed the paths through the trees, 
numbers of pretty Doves, of all sizes, were congregated, now, 
proudly strutting with outspread tails and drooping wings, 
now, chasing each other about the sandy margin, and now, 

5* 



94 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

with ruffled feathers, bathing themselves in the limpid water, 
and tossing the cooling drops over their shoulders. 

Among the low shrubs, and about the cocoa trees, near the 
house, were many small species of birds, none prettier than 
the Tingtings, Tanagra violacea and T. chlorotica, two spe- 
cies of small Tanagers with steel-blue backs, and yellow breasts, 
frequently seen in cages in Para. There was one other cage 
bird we sometimes met, called the Rossignol, or Nightingale, 
neither more nor less than a yellow- shouldered black oriole. 
It sings well, but scarcely deserves its honored name. 

Besides the birds, we had a constant supply of monkeys and 
other animals for the table. Our pilot labored zealously to re- 
instate himself in our good graces, and brought in various 
articles which he thought would assist him in effecting his 
purpose. One of his captures was a live Iguana, called, in 
Brazil, a Chameleon, a lizard of four feet length. He had shaken 
the beast from a tree, upon the leaves of which it was feeding, 
and seizing it by the neck and the small of the back, made it 
his prize. This fellow was of a greenish color, and spotted. 
Upon his back were spines which he could erect at pleasure. 
Upon the ground, the iguanas move slowly, and their tail is then 
a powerful defensive weapon against their enemies, capable of 
inflicting a terrible lash, as this specimen showed us, after its 
arrival in the city. They are much esteemed as food, and 
their eggs are sought after with avidity for the same purpose. 
Although their food consists mostly of leaves and fruits, yet 
they rob the nests of birds, as do other lizards. 

Senhor Godinho was one of the most extensive planters of 
the province, and interested us greatly by his agricultural and 
other information. The cane used in his mills was grown 
upon the borders of the igaripes, in different localities ; and so 
inexhaustible is this rich alluvium, that it requires replanting 
but once in from sixteen to twenty years. Two mills constantly 
employed were insufficient to dispose of his yearly crop, and a 
large outhouse was filled with cane, half ruined in conse- 
quence. Most of the syrup was converted into cashaca, that 
being considered more profitable than sugar or molasses. In- 
stead of tuns for the liquor, in the distillery, hollowed tree 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 95 

trunks were used, one alone of which contained twenty-five 
pipes' bulk. In the troubles of '35, the Senhor was compelled 
to flee the country, as were all other planters who could, and 
in the sacking of his place, sustained great loss. He was a 
self-made Portuguese, formerly a merchant in Para, and his 
ideas were more liberal than those of his countrymen gene- 
rally, as was evident enough, from his adaption of improved 
machinery for the manufacture of his sugar, instead of the 
methods in* use at the time of the conquest. There were about 
one hundred slaves employed upon the plantation, and they 
seemed to look up to the Senhor with a pride and affection, 
which he fully reciprocated. He told us that, for months 
together, he was not obliged to punish one of them. They all 
had ways of earning money for themselves, and upon holidays 
or other times, received regular wages for their extra labor. 
There was a novel custom here, usual upon these retired 
plantations. Soon after sunset, all the house servants, and the 
children of the estate, came in form to ask the Senhor's bless- 
ing, which was bestowed by the motion of the cross, and some 
little phrase, as " adeos." 

It was with regret that we were compelled by time to leave 
the Campinha. In collecting, we had been more than usually 
successful. The hospitality of the Senhor had exceeded what 
we had seen, even in this hospitable country. His kindness 
followed us to the last moment, for we found that, without our 
knowledge, he had sent to the boat a store of roasted fowls, 
and other provisions, not the most lightly esteemed of which, 
were, some bottles of choice old Port, that had not seen the 
light for many a long year. 

We left, intending to go below Vigia a few miles, and shoot 
Ibises, and for this purpose took one or two hunters with us in 

a montaria. As we passed the kingfisher bank, A took 

the montaria with Francisco, and upon overtaking us, an 
hour after, brought five of the larger and one of the small 
birds. 

Six or seven miles below Vigia, we anchored at the en- 
trance of a small igaripe, beyond which, the retiring tide had 
left exposed a broad sand beach. Here we anticipated finding 



96 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

plenty of Ibises, and forthwith, started A and the hunters, 

with as great expedition as though a flock of those birds were 
in full sight and waiting to be shot. I took the matter more 
leisurely, and sans ceremonie, plunged into the surf, enjoying 
a luxurious bath, and finding plenty of amusement in netting 
Four-eyed Fish, that were in abundance along the edge of the 
w T ater. Thereafter, I strolled along the beach for shells, but 
an hour's search gave me but one worth picking up. The 
water at this place is fresh during the rainy season, and salt in 
summer, and probably, shell-fish of either salt or fresh water 
do not flourish amid these changes. The blacks, meanwhile, 
were filling a basket with large crabs, which they found in deep 
holes in the mud, near shore. All the hunters returned unsuc- 
cessful, but reported Ibises, or Guerras, further down ; and 
therefore, we prepared to go below in the canoe. During the day 
several Ibises had passed by, their scarlet livery, of dazzling 
beauty, glittering in the sunlight. As we coasted along in the 
dusk of evening, we could discover the beach, in many parts, 
black with sand-birds, that had collected for the night. 

We were terribly annoyed, this night, by the sand-fiies and 
small gnats, swarms of which seemed to have scented us out, 
and caused an intolerable itching. Morning found us anchored 
in an igaripe, and as soon as the tide would allow, we dropped 
below to the beach. The men again were unsuccessful, bring- 
ing in nothing but a young Spoonbill. It was now so late and 
we had lost so much time, that we determined not to return to 
Vigia, where we had intended to pass a day or two ; therefore 
we bade adieu to our faithful hunters, feeling as much regret 
as if they had been friends of long acquaintance. A fair wind 
was blowing up the river, and the tide was favorable. The 
former soon became a tremendous gale, and the black clouds 
battled fearfully. The foresail was carried away, the blacks 
began to call on the Virgin, the frightened pilot forgot his 
helm, and nothing but the breadth of the canoe kept us from 

going under. A sprung to the helm, and in a moment, 

consternation gave place ta effective alacrity, and we were 
safe. By ten o'clock, next morning, we were in Para. 

A letter from Senhor Godinho to his wife, requested her to 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 97 

send us a singular pet animal, which the Senhor described as 
small, having a broad tail, with which, umbrella-like, it shield- 
ed itself from the rain, and a lightning-like capacity for mov- 
ing among the trees, now at the bottom, and, quicker than 
thought, at the top. But most curious of all, and most posi- 
tively certain, this little quadruped was hatched from an egg. 
We suggested to the Senhor various animals, but our descrip- 
tion of none answered. Of course, curiosity was at boiling 
point. We had heard of furred animals with ducks' bills, and 
hairy fish that chewed the cud; of other fishes that went on 
shore and climbed trees ; of two-headed calves, and Siamese 
twins ; but here, at last, was something unique — an animal 
hatched from an egg — more wonderful than Hydrargoses, and 
a speculation to make the fortunes of young men of enter- 
prise. All day we waited, and nothing came ; the next morning 
dawned, the noon bell tolled, and we, at last, concluded that the 
Senhora had been loth to part with so singular a pet, and that 
the instructions of her honored lord were to be unheeded. Din- 
ner came, soup was on our plates, spoons were in our hands, 
and curiosity had expended itself by its own lashings, when a 
strange footstep was heard at the door-way, and a well-dressed, 
dusky Rachel appeared, bearing a carefully covered cuya intui- 
tively to A . Here was the wonder. What 'is it? What 

can it be ? What is it like ? Down went soup spoons ; suspense 
was painful. First, unrolled a clean, little white sheet — second, 
another of the same, — the slightest possible end of a tail pro- 
truded from under a third, a little round nose and a whisker 
peeped from the remaining cotton, — and up leaped one of the 
prettiest little squirrels in the world. The little darling ! 
Every body wanted him; every body played with him ; and 
for a long time, he was the pet of the family, running about 
the house as he listed. 

The Indians all believe that if they shoot at a squirrel, the 
gun is crooked ever after. Such superstitions are common 
with respect to other animals, and as they are harmless, de- 
serve to be encouraged. 



CHAPTER IX. 

First discovery of the Amazon by Pinzon — Expedition of Gonzalo Pizano — Descent of 
Orellana — Settlement of Para — Second descent — Ascent of Teixera, and arrival at 
Quito — He descends with Acnfla — Indian tribes — Rivers, etc. — Their report of the 
country — Number of tribes — Indian customs — Languages — Lingoa Geral — Canni- 
bals — System of the Jesuits — Their banishment — Present system, and condition of 
the Indians — Their government — Compulsory labor. 

Before commencing the narrative of our Amazon expedi- 
tion, a few particulars relating to the early history of this river 
may not be uninteresting. For these, I am in great part in- 
debted to Southey, whose extensive work upon Brazil is the 
only one of authority readily accessible. 

Seven years after the discovery of America, Vincente Ya- 
nez Pinzon, who, under Columbus, had commanded the Nina, 
obtained a commission from the Spanish sovereigns to go in 
search of new countries. The first point at which he arrived, 
is now called Cape St. Augustine, and here he landed, and 
took formal possession of the country. Coasting thence north- 
ward, the Spaniards came to what they called a sea of fresh 
water, and they supposed themselves in the mouth of some 
great river or rivers. It was the mouth of the Amazon. 
Without effecting further discovery, beyond landing at one of 
the islands, Pinzon continued on to the Orinoco, and thence 
returned to Spain. He believed that the land which he had- 
visited was India beyond the Ganges, and that he had sailed 
beyond the great city of Cathay. This expedition carried 
many curious productions of the country, but none excited so 
much astonishment as an opossum, an animal unknown in the 
old world. It was described as having the fore part of a fox, 
the hind part of a monkey, the feet of an ape, and the ears of 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 99 

a bat; and was sent to Seville, and then to Grenada, that the 
King and Queen might see it. One or two other attempts 
were made to explore the vicinity of the entrance of the Am- 
azon, within the next forty years, but without much success. 

About the year 1541, Gonzalo Pizarro heard of a country 
rich in spices, to the eastward of Peru, and resolved to secure 
its possession. For this purpose, he set out from Quito, with 
about two hundred foot soldiers, one hundred horse, and four 
thousand Indians. Before they had advanced thirty leagues, 
they suffered extremely from earthquakes and storms, hunger 
and cold. At this distance, Pizarro was joined by the knight 
Francisco de Orellana, with a small reinforcement. Continu- 
ing on, the Spaniards suffered terrible hardships. The Indians 
died, or deserted, the soldiers wasted away, and, at last, upon 
the river Coca, they were in an excessive famine. 

The Dorado of which they were in search, was as distant 
as ever, but still their hopes were fed by the delusive reports 
of the natives. To obtain relief, Pizarro sent forward Orellana, 
in a brigantine which they had built, with fifty men, and with 
orders to proceed to a fertile country, and to return as speedily 
as possible with provisions. Amid perils and disasters, the 
knight continued down about one hundred leagues, unto the 
river Napo. The country, through which he had passed, was 
uninhabited, nor was there any sign of culture or of population 
there. It was impossible to return, and if they waited for the 
army, they should perish with famine. Orellana conceived the 
adventurous hope of being himself the explorer of the great 
river, and his men were easily persuaded to acquiesce in his 
purpose. It was upon the last day of December, 1541, that the 
little band set forth. Sometimes, they met friendly Indians, at 
others, they were obliged to fight their way, sword in hand, 
through swarms of enemies. Famine and sickness thinned 
them. The river seemed interminable ; still on, on. Hostile 
Indians increased in number ; they were hardly ever out of 
sight of their villages. It was the 8th of August, 1542, when 
they sailed out of the river. They had built another brigan- 
tine upon their way, and now, the two were carried towards 
the West Indies by the current. Landing upon one of the 



100 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



islands, our adventurers proceeded thence to Spain. They had 
accomplished one of the most wonderful voyages ever made, 
and were received with distinguished honors. The account 
published by Orellana and the friar, who accompanied him,* 
contained so many fabulous inventions, as to utterly destroy the 
authenticity of the whole. Not the least of these, was their 
account of a nation of Amazons which they had encountered, 
and which thereafter gave the river its name. Orellana re- 
ceived permission to repeat his discoveries, with a grant of do- 
minion. Returning, he was unable to find the entrance of the 
river among the islands, and died worn out by vexation. 

In 1615, Caldeira founded the city of Para, and this was 
the first attempt by the Portuguese to colonize the river. The 
Dutch had previously formed a settlement upon the northern 
bank, some leagues above ; but being soon driven out, the Por- 
tugese remained sole masters. 

In 1637. the Amazon was descended, a second time, by two 
ecclesiastics and six soldiers. They had formed part of a large 
deputation sent to Christianize the Indians, upon the frontiers 
of Peru, and meeting nothing but danger in their undertaking, 
had preferred the descent to the prospect of certain death in 
returning. 

These fathers were so stupified with fear, as to be unable 
to give any intelligible account of what they had seen, except 
horrible narrations of cannibal Indians. They were treated 
most courteously by the Governor of Para, and in sending them 
home, that officer availed himself of the opportunity to cover 
his usurpation of the magistracy of the province, by an offer to 
do the State service in exploring the river. His proposition 
was approved, and Pedro Teixera was appointed commander 
of the expedition. He left Para, the 28th of October, 1637, with 
seventy soldiers, and twelve hundred natiye bowmen and row- 
ers, making with their women and slaves, two thousand per- 
sons in all, and embarked in forty-five canoes. The adventu- 
rers arrived, late in the succeeding year, at Quito, and their 
advent was celebrated by processions and bull fights. 

The journal and map of Teixera were dispatched to the 
Viceroy of Peru, and this officer ordered Teixera to return, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 101 

taking competent companions, who should survey the river, 
and prepare a report of its wonders for the Court at Madrid. 
Two professors were chosen for the purpose, Acuila and Ar- 
tieda, and from their published narrative, we have the first 
authentic accounts of the Amazon. Embarking upon one of 
the small streams near Quito, the party soon arrived at the 
Napo. Here they encountered a tribe of Indians, called En- 
cabellados, or long haired ; so called from the custom with both 
sexes, of suffering their hair to reach below the knees. They 
were formidable enemies, and were constantly at war with 
neighboring tribes. They were cannibals ; and in battle, their 
weapon was the dart. Further down, was the country of the 
Omaguas, or flat-heads ; whose peculiar custom resembled that 
of certain tribes of North American Indians. This was the 
most civilized, rational, and docile tribe upon the whole river. 
They grew and manufactured cotton, and made it an article of 
traffic with their neighbors. From this tribe was first learned 
the use of the seringa or rubber. They possessed the islands 
in the river for an extent of two hundred leagues, and were 
constantly warring with the Urinas on the south side, and the 
Tucunas on the north. The latter of these believed in me- 
tempsychosis, and worshipped a household idol. They were 
clothed about the loins with the bark of a tree ; and were re- 
markable for their skill in stuffing birds, which they shot with 
the blow-gun. The Urinas were cannibals ; shaved the crown 
of the head; and wore feathers of macaws in the corners of 
their mouths, besides strings of shells pendent from ears, nos- 
trils, and under-lip. 

Passing many other curious tribes, differing in customs and 
character, our adventurers came to the country of the great 
tribe called Curiciraris, who possessed an extent of eighty 
leagues, in the vicinity of the river now called Juma. Their 
settlements were almost continuous. They were the shyest 
tribe upon the river, but among the most improved. They 
were excellent potters, making not only jars and pans, but 
even ovens and frying-pans, and in these they trafficked with 
other tribes. Here were first perceived golden ornaments, and 



102 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

Teixera was assured of a river of gold, running from the 
mountains, some days' journey to the northward. * 

Not far below, was the great river Jupura, so called from 
a tribe of Indians thus denominated from a fruit of which they 
made a black paste for food. This river is one of the greatest 
tributaries of the Amazon. 

The next considerable rivet was the Puros, named also 
from the tribe upon its banks. Here Teixera heard of a tribe 
of enormous giants, dwelling two months' voyage up the river. 
The Puros were remarkable for their expiatory fasts, during 
which no state of infirmity or disease was admitted as a relax- 
ation, and numbers actually died of abstinence from food. 

Below the mouth of the Puros, upon the southern side, 
were the Caripunas and Zurinas, tribes remarkable for their 
skill in carving. 

The next river, of note, was the Rio Negro. Here were 
rumors of remote people wearing hats and garments, and the 
voyagers concluded that this fashion was learned in conse- 
quence of their vicinity to some Spanish city. They also 
heard of a great river to the north, communicating, by a 
branch, with the Rio Negro. This was the Orinoco, but geo- 
graphers were long incredulous as to the existence of such a 
connection. 

The next great river, was the Madeira ; so named from 
the great quantities of wood floating down its current. Twen- 
ty-eight leagues below, was a great island, possessed by the 
Tupinambas, and called after their name. This tribe re- 
ported their ancestors to have emigrated from the region of 
Pernambuco, to escape the Portuguese. They were expert 
archers. They reported two remarkable races upon the south- 
ern shore ; one of whom, were dwarfs, not bigger than little 
children ; and the others, singular from their feet, which grew 
backwards. They also reported the existence of a nation of 
Amazons, and gave minute details of their appearance and 
habits. Whether such a nation ever existed or not, can never 
be ascertained ; but it is most remarkable, that almost every 
tribe throughout Brazil, even those most separated, and speak- 
ing entirely different languages, should have believed in their 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 103 

existence. When Condamine descended the river, in 1743, he 
omitted no opportunity of inquiring after the Amazons, and 
invariably received the same reports. 

Below the island of the Tupinambas, about eighty leagues, 
was the river Topajos, named from the tribe so denominated. 
These Indians were dreaded by the Portuguese ; for their 
arrows were venomed with so powerful a poison, that the 
slightest puncture occasioned inevitable death. Here were 
Portuguese settlers, and a fort on the present site of San- 
tarem. Continuing on, our voyagers passed many lesser 
rivers ; and heard rumors of gold and diamonds, far in the 
interior. 

They arrived in Para, upon the 12th of December, 1639 ; 
having scarcely met with an accident, and having enjoyed 
a most delightful voyage. They represented the country, 
through which they had passed, as rich beyond belief, capa- 
ble of yielding all tropical productions ; the forests, filled with 
wild animals and game ; and the river, teeming with fish and 
turtle. Every where, were inestimable gums and drugs ; and 
for ship-building, there were timbers of the greatest strength 
and beauty. 

The number of tribes, were estimated at one hundred and 
fifty, speaking different languages ; and bordering so closely, 
that the sound of an axe in the villages of one, might be heard 
in the villages of another. Their arms, were bows and arrows ; 
their shields, of the skin of the cow-fish, or of plaited cane. 
Their canoes, were of cedars, caught floating in the stream ; 
their hatchets, were of turtle-shell; their mallets, the jaw-bone 
of the cow-fish; and with these, they made tables, seats, and 
other articles, of beautiful workmanship. They had idols of 
their own making, each distinguished by some fit symbol ; and 
they had priests, or conjurers. They were of a less dark com- 
plexion, than other Brazilian nations ; were well made, and of 
good stature, of quick understanding, docile, disposed to re- 
ceive any instruction from their guests, and to render them 
any assistance. 

The Amazon, in its natural features, is the same now, 
as when Acufia descended ; and the rapturous descriptions 



104 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

which he has given of these wild forests, and mighty streams, 
might have been written to-day. But where are the one 
hundred and fifty tribes, who then skirted its borders, and the 
villages so thickly populated ? 

Most of the Brazilian Indians, spoke languages somewhat 
resembling each other. The Tupi, in its dialects, prevailed in 
Brazil; as the Guarani, in Paraguay; and the Omagua, in 
Peru. Of these three, the second is the parent, as the Greek 
is of the Latin. The Jesuits, in Brazil, adopted the Tupi ; 
and this, under the present name of the Lingoa Geral, or 
general language, is understood by every Indian. Still, each 
tribe has its own peculiar dialect ; and those, in contact with 
the whites, speak also the Portuguese. 

The Tupi races were cannibals ; and it was only after 
long and unwearied exertion, that the Jesuits could succeed 
in abolishing that practice. Rumor speaks still of cannibal 
Indians ; but we never were able to obtain any account of 
such tribes, as deserved a moment's credence. 

The Jesuits were always the firm friends of the Indians, 
and entertained the noble conception of civilizing and chris- 
tianizing those unnumbered millions of wild men, and of ele- 
vating them, within a very few generations, to a rank with 
other nations of the earth. They gathered them in villages, 
taught them the lingoa geral, and instructed them in arts and 
agriculture. They opposed, most determinedly, the enslaving 
of the Indians, and the cruelties of the whites. The Carme- 
lites as resolutely defended the colonists, and the history of this 
province, for a long course of years, is little more than the de- 
tail of the struggle between these rival orders. The Monks 
were victorious ; the Jesuits were forced to leave the country, 
and were transported like felons to the dungeons of Portugal. 
Their property in Brazil was confiscated, and at this moment, 
there is scarcely a public edifice in the province of Para, but 
that belonged to them. The Government undertook to carry 
out the beneficent plan of the Jesuits, and, for this purpose, 
sent Friars through the wilderness, to collect together the In- 
dians, and offered them the rights of freemen. But partly ow- 
ing to the inefficiency of the means, and partly to obstructions 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 105 

thrown in the way by the colonists, the system introduced by 
the Government proved ineffectual in preventing the diminu- 
tion of the tribes, or in materially bettering the condition of 
the few who were willing to embrace its offers. Although 
nominally freemen, they are really the slaves of any white man 
who settles among them, and this must be the case, so long as 
they feel their real inferiority. The only hope for them is, that, 
in course of a few generations, their race will be so amalga- 
mated with that of the whites as to remove all distinction. 
But, as far as our observations extended, their condition was 
superior, morally, to that of the frontier Indians in North 
America. 

The head men, or chiefs, of the different settlements are 
denominated Taucjias, and have the rank, and wear the uniform 
of, Colonels in the Brazilian service. In each district is also a 
Capitan des Trabalhadores, or Captain of the Laborers, and to 
him belongs the general supervision of the Indians and free 
negroes. If a certain number of men are required to navigate 
a vessel, or for any other purpose, the Capitan sends a requisi- 
tion to the Taucha, and the men must be forthcoming, no mat- 
ter what may be their private engagements. This looks very 
like compulsion, but it is really no more so than jury duty. 
The men make a voyage to the city and back, and are then 
discharged, perhaps not to be recalled, for several months. 
They are paid stipulated wages, and rations, and are sure of 
good treatment ; for, besides that they have their own remedy, 
by running away, which they will do upon the least affront, 
the law throws over them strong protections. While we were 
at the Barra of the Rio Negro, a white man was lingering out 
a three years' imprisonment, for merely striking an Indian in 
his employ. The Government has been sometimes severely 
strictured for its conduct towards the Indians, but it is difficult 
to see what more it could do for them than it has done. 



CHAPTER X. 

Preparations for ascending the Amazon — Our companions — The galliota — Indians — Pro- 
visions — Difficulties at starting — Detained at Sr. Lima's — Incident — An afternoon 
upon the beach — Another sitio — Marajo — The Tocantins — Islands — Ciganas and other 
birds — Wood scene — Habits of our Indians — Arrive at Braves — Pottery painting — 
Water-jars — Filing the teeth — Funeral of a child — A palm swamp — Seringa trees and 
gum collectors — Sloth — Howling monkeys — An adventure — Enter the Amazon — A 
macaw hunt. 

It was no easy matter to put all things in readiness for an 
expedition up the river. It was like preparing for a family 
movement to the Oregon. In addition to Mr. Bradley, two 
other gentlemen were to accompany us : Mr. McCulloch, the 
proprietor of a saw-mill at the Barra de Rio Negro, who had 
lately come down, with a raft of cedar boards, to within a few 
days' sail of the city ; and Mr. Williams, a young gentleman 
from Newark, New Jersey, staying like ourselves at Mr. Nor- 
ris's, and who desired a further acquaintance with the wonders 
of the interior. 

The boat in which we were to make our cruise was called 
a galliota, a sort of pleasure craft, but well adapted to such ex- 
cursions. It was thirty feet in length, having a round, canoe 
bottom, and without a keel. Its greatest width was seven feet. 
The after part was a cabin, lined on either side, and at the re- 
mote end, with lockers, for provisions and other matters. Upon 
each locker was scanty room for one sleeper, and two could 
lie comfortably upon the floor, while another swung above 
them in a hammock. In front of the cabin door was a tiny 
deck, and beyond this, covering the hold, and extending to 
within two feet of the extreme bow, was the tolda, covered with 
canvass, and intended for the stowage of goods or baggage. 
On either side of this tolda was a space, a foot in width, and 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 107 

Jevel. Here, in most awkward positions, were to sit the pad- 
dlers. 

These were Indians, mostly of the Mura tribe, heretofore 
spoken of as the worst upon the river. They were from a lit- 
tle village below the Rio Negro, and consisted of a Taucha 
and five of his sons, the eldest of whom, the heir apparent, 
had his wife and two small children, in the bow. Beside these, 
was a pilot, and three others, making altogether eighteen per- 
sons. 

The after part of the cabin, and the whole tolda, with barely 
room enough for our trunks, and the fish and farinha for 
the crew, were crammed with Bradley's goods, bringing the 
deck within a few inches of the water. 

Oar main stock of provisions was to be laid in at Para, and 
the lockers, and every spare corner was occupied in their 
stowage. We had a couple of hams, great store of ground 
coffee, tea, sugar, coarse salt, onions, sardines, oil, vinegar, mo- 
lasses, candles, tin cases of cheese, and two large bags of 
oven-dried bread. Sundry demijohns of wine and casha9a 
comprised the stock of drinkables, the former being for home 
consumption, the latter for rations to the crew. In addition to 
these things, several of our lady friends had contributed huge 
loaves of cake, and Yankee dough-nuts, and jars of doces, not 
a few. Not the least acceptable, were some pots of New-York 
oysters, from a clever captain in the harbor. 

We did not anticipate that a forty days' passage in this 
overloaded boat would be without all sorts of inconveniences; 
but such an adventure had charms enough, and we were de- 
termined to have a jolly cruise, the household gods nolentes 
volentes, as General Taylor would say. 

No vessel can pass the fort at Gurupa without a permit from 
the authorities at Para, and all voyagers on the river must pro- 
vide themselves with passports. These we obtained without 
difficulty, and at slight expense. Doctor Costa, Mr. Campbell, 
and other friends, furnished us with letters to persons of note 
in the different towns which we were to pass. 

At last, upon the 23d of May, we were fairly on board, and 
ready to start with the tide. But here occurred a difficulty, 



108 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AB1AZON. 

and an ominous one, at the outset. Six of the Indians had 
given us the slip, not caring to return thus soon to the Rio Ne- 
gro. Our remedies were patience and police, and we resigned 
ourselves to the one, hunting the runaways with the other. 
Towards night, they were brought, in, and now, going on board 
again, we moored outside of a large canoe, to prevent a like 
disaster, and waited the midnight tide. Rain poured furiously, 
but we gathered ourselves around a trunk-table, and ate and 
drank long life to our friends, and a pleasant passage to our- 
selves. The Indians huddled about the door, feasting their eyes, 
and muttering their criticisms, but their envy was speedily dis- 
sipated by a distribution of cashaca, and biscuit, with a plate 
of oysters to the Taucha. The old fellow bore his honor king- 
like, and I fancy, was the first South American potentate that 
ever tasted Downing's best. 

There was still opportunity for a short nap before the tide 
would serve, and we awaked just in time ; but now was another 
trouble. The Indians, having no fear of wholesome disci- 
pline before their eyes, were desperately determined not to be 
awaked, and but for the ruse of calling them toa" nip " of 
cashaca, we might have lost the tide again. The effect was 
electrical, and they started from their deep slumbers, each 
striving to be foremost. There was one boy, however, who 
skulked into a montaria behind the large canoe, and would 
only be induced to come on board again by the capture of his 
trunk. Five on a side, they took their places. The Taucha 
planted himself on the top, having a proper idea of preroga- 
tive, the children hid themselves away among the farinha 
baskets, and the princess covered herself in the bow, and pre- 
pared to sleep. 

Our course was the same that we had formerly taken to- 
wards Caripe, and, by noon, we had arrived at the house of 
Sr. Lima, a trader, within two miles of that place. Here we 
stopped, not caring to pass the bay of Marajo by night, and 
improved the opportunity to make a sail. As the tide rose, 
towards* night, word was brought that the galliota was leaking 
at such a rate as to endanger the goods. No alternative was 
left but to unload her with all speed, and it was only by the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 109 



most active exertions that she was kept from swamping. All 
the goods were piled in the verandah, and the lady of the house 
allowed us the small chapel, in which to dry some of the ar- 
ticles. We sent her a box of sardines, in token of our grati- 
tude, and it seemed to unlock her heart chambers, for forthwith 
appeared a servant to attend our table, bringing a silver tea- 
pot, and various other appliances for our comfort. Slinging 
our hammocks in the verandah, about the goods, we slept in the 
open air. During the night, we were startled by a singular 
incident, trivial enough in itself, but one that carried us back 
to home scenes. Some voyager passed us, singing an air fre- 
quently sung in Sunday schools, at home, and known as the 
" Parting Hymn." We little thought, when last we heard it 
hymned by a congregation of children, that we were next to 
listen to it upon the far distant waters of the Amazon. The 
words were not distinguishable. We started the same tune in 
return, but the voyager was already beyond the reach of our 
voices, and lost behind a point of the island. Who this could 
have been, we were unable to ascertain at Para, upon our re- 
turn. It was not an American. 

Repairing the galliota detained us two days, but every 
thing being carefully repacked, and the boat cleansed, we were 
amply repaid. Starting again, on the 25th, we hoisted our 
new lug-sail, and a fine breeze soon swept us past Caripe, our 
old shelling ground. Full tide forced us to lie by at noon, and 
we brought up under a high bank, upon which was a sideless 
hut, containing a woman and children. The rest of the family, 
it being Sunday, had gone off to a festa in the neighborhood. 
The first impulse of the Indians, upon reaching shore, was to 
look out for some shade where they might stretch themselves 
to sleep. One or two of the more active, however, started out 
with a gun, and, before long, returned with a live sloth, which 
they had obtained by climbing the tree upon which he was 
suspended. This was of a different species from those we had 
seen near Para. The beach was broad and sandy, and we 
amused ourselves with bathing, and searching for flowers, and 
seeds thrown up by the tide. Among the flowers was one 
most conspicuous, of the Bignonia family, large, yellow, and 

6 



110 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

sprinkling in profusion the dark green of the tree which it had 
climbed. Wandering on some distance, we found ourselves in 
a little cove, secluded from the sunlight by a high, rocky bank, 
and so dark that bats were clustering about the tree trunks 
in numbers. The temptation was too strong, and we imitated 
the good example of the Indians. 

By sunset, we were again pressing on, and, in the early eve- 
ning, coasted along several miles. The shore hereabouts was 
lined with ragged sand rocks, and in case of squalls, which oc- 
cur almost daily, during the rainy season, the navigation is 
hazardous. Our own situation began to cause us some anxie- 
ty. Several times the bottom of the galliota had scraped upon 
the rocks, and we were only forced off by the Indians 
springing into the water, and dragging us free. A storm was 
gathering, and vivid lightning and low growling thunder be- 
tokened its near approach. A man, at the bow, constantly 
reported the water more and more shallow, and the rising 
waves dashed hoarsely upon the near rocks. But just then 
a little igaripe opened its friendly arms, and. almost in a mo- 
ment, we were beyond harm's reach, in water calm as a lake. 

The morning dawned pleasantly, and a fine breeze spring- 
ing up, we soon crossed the bay, and, by noon, had arrived at a 
nice beach, upon which was a grove of assai palms loaded 
with fruit. Here we stopped to fill our panellas. Continuing 
on a few miles, we struck into a narrow channel, and came to 
an inviting-looking house, where we concluded to await the 
gathering storm. The occupants' were two Brazilians, of a 
better class than we had seen since leaving the city, and we 
were received with warmth. The frame of the house was 
covered entirely, even to the room-partitions, by the narrow 
leaves of a species of palm, plaited with the regularity of 
basket work. A quantity of cacao lay drying upon elevated 
platforms, and around the house hung much dried venison. 
Deer were abundant here, and one had been killed that 
morning. But what gratified us most was a goodly flock of 
hens, and we at once commenced a parley for a pair, for we had 
become somewhat tired of ham. Meanwhile the women had 
been preparing our assai. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. Ill 

The region of country that we were now in, was exceed- 
ingly low, mostly overflowed at high water. The waters had 
fallen about a foot, but still, everything around this house was 
wet, and we had only gained access to it by walking from the 
boat on logs. 

The next day, the 27th, we coasted along Marajo, observ- 
ing many novel plants and birds. One species of palm, par- 
ticularly attracted attention ; its long feather-like leaves grow- 
ing directly out of the ground, and arranged in the form of a 
shuttlecock. There now began to be great numbers of ma- 
caws, red and blue, flying always in pairs, and keeping up a 
hoarse, disagreeable screaming. We passed what was for- 
merly a large and valuable estate, still having fine-looking 
buildings and a chapel. It had belonged to Mr. Campbell, 
and like many an other, had been ruined during the revolu- 
tion of '35. 

We crossed the mouth of the Tocantins, but without being 
able to discern either shore of that river. It appeared abroad 
sea, every where dotted with islands. The Tocantins is one of 
the largest Amazon branches, and pours a vast volume of water 
into Marajo Bay. This particular portion of that Bay is called 
the Bay of Limoeiro, and is crossed by vessels bound to Para 
from the Amazn, in preference to the route which we had 
taken. The Tocantins, and a few small streams nearer the 
city, are often considered the legitimate formers of Para 
river. But, through numerous channels, a wide body of water 
from the Amazon sweeps round Marajo, and the Gram Para is 
a fair claimant to all the honors of the King of Waters. 

The Tocantins is bordered by many towns, and is the 
channel of a large trade. The upper country is a mineral 
region, and diversified by beautiful mountain scenery. The 
banks yield fustic, and numerous other woods valuable as dyes, 
or for cabinet work, and if the efforts to establish a sawmill, 
now in contemplation, be successful, these beautiful woods 
will soon be known as they deserve. Great quantities of 
castanha nuts also come down the river. The town of Cameta, 
between thirty and forty miles from its mouth, contains about 
twenty-five hundred inhabitants, and is in the midst of an 



112 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

extensive cacao-growing region. This was the only town 
upon the Amazon that successfully resisted the rebels in 1835. 
The Tocantins is navigable for steamboats or large vessels for 
a great distance. 

Since the 26th, we had been sailing among islands, often 
very near together, and again, several miles apart. Upon the 
28th, we were unable to effect a landing until noon, so densely 
was the shore lined with low shrubs. Upon these sat hundreds 
of a large reddish bird, known by the name of Cigana, and com- 
mon upon the whole Amazon, the Opisthocomus cristatus 
(Lath). 

Among them, were numbers of bitterns, and a large, black 
bird, the Crotophaga major. This bird is often seen in flocks 
among the bushes which skirt the river, and is conspicuous for 
its long, fan-like tail, and graceful movements. Sometimes 
it is seen domesticated. There is another species, the C. ani, 
seen about the cattle, on the plantations ; of smaller size, and 
inferior beauty. We afterwards obtained the eggs of the 
former, among the bamboos, at Jungcal. They were large, al- 
most spherical, of a deep blue color, but covered entirely with 
a calcareous deposit, as are the eggs of many of the cormo- 
rants. 

Having reached a spot where the bank was a little higher 
than elsewhere, we landed. A small opening between the 
trees allowed ingress, and we found ourselves in a fairy bower. 
How much we longed for the ability of sketching these places, 
so common here, so rare elsewhere. Not the least interesting 
feature was the group of Indians about the blazing fire, some 
attending to their fish, which was roasting on sticks, inclined 
over the flame ; others sitting listlessly by, or catching a hasty 
nap upon their palm leaves. A tree bearing superb crimson 
flowers shaded the boat, and a large blue butterfly was contin- 
ually flitting in and out among the trees, as if sporting with our 
vain attempts to entrap him. Not far off, macaws were 
screaming, and the shrill whistle, observed in the woods near 
Para, sounded from every direction. 

We had now been nearly a week in the galliota, and al- 
though somewhat crowded, had got along very comfortably. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 113 

The only inconvenience was the sultry heat of the afternoon ; 
for, in these narrow channels, the wind had little scope. But 
no matter how severe the heat, the Indians seemed not to mind 
it, although their heads were uncovered, and their bodies 
naked. Every day, about noon, they would pull up to the 
bank for the purpose of bathing, of which they were extrava- 
gantly fond. Even the little boys would swim about like ducks. 
Their mother, the princess, had quite won our esteem, by her 
quiet, modest demeanor. Her principal care was to look after 
the children, but she spent her spare hours in making cuyas 
from gourds, or in sewing for herself or her husband. He, good 
man, seemed very fond of her, which would not have been sur- 
prising, except in an Indian ; and always paddled at her side. 
He might have been proud of her, even had his potentacy ex- 
pectant been more elevated, for she was very pretty, and her 
hands and arms might have excited the envy of many a whiter 
belle. 

Early upon the 29th, we arrived at Braves, a little settle- 
ment, where was lying Mr. McCulloch's raft. Upon this was 
stationed a " down east " lumberman, by name Sawtelle, who 
was to add another to our full cabin. We were to remain at 
Braves until the arrival of a large vessel, or battalon, which was 
engaged in the transportation of the boards ; and as this was 
likely to be some days, we unloaded upon the raft, slung our 
hammocks under the thatched cabin, and sent the galliota, 
again badly leaking, to be recalked. 

Braves is one of the little towns that have grown up since 
the active demand for rubber, of which the surrounding dis- 
trict yields vast quantities. It is a small collection of houses, 
partly thatched, and partly of mud, stationed any where, re- 
gardless of streets or right lines. Bradley and I started to ex- 
plore for eggs whereon to breakfast. We found our way to a 
little affair called a store, or venda, in front of which, a number 
of leisurely gentlemen were rolling balls at a one-pin. We 
were politely greeted with the raised hat, and the customary 
" viva," and a chance at the pin was as politely offered, which, 
with many thanks, we were obliged to decline. Our errand 
was not very successful, for upon the next Sunday was to be a 



114 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

festa in the vicinity, and the hens were all engaged for that 
occasion. At one of the houses, an old Indian woman was 
painting pottery, that is, plates, and what she called " pombos" 
and " gallos," or doves and cocks, but bearing a very slight 
resemblance to those birds. Another was painting bilhas, or 
small water jars, of white clay, and beautiful workmanship. 
She promised to glaze any thing I would paint, giving me the 
use of her colors. So I chose a pair of the prettiest bilhas, and 
after a consultation on the raft, we concluded to commemorate 
our travels by a sketch of the galliota. It was a novel busi- 
ness, but after several trials I made a very fair picture, with 
the aid of contemporary criticisms. The old Tauqha was might- 
ily pleased to see himself so honored, as were the others, who 
gathered round, watching every movement of the pencil, and 
expressing their astonishment. The figure of the princess es- 
pecially excited uproarious applause. Beside these, were sev- 
eral other devices, and at last, all complete, I took my adven- 
ture to the old woman. But she was provoked at something, 
and would not be persuaded to apply the glazing. However, 
after much coaxing and many promises, she assured us that 
we should have them on our return down the river. The col- 
ors she used were all simple. The blue was indigo ; black, the 
juice of the mandioca; green, the juice of some other plant ; 
and red, and yellow, were of clay. The brushes were small 
spines of palms, and the coloring was applied in squares or cir- 
cles; or, if any thing imitative was intended, in the rudest out- 
line. The ware was glazed by a resinous gum found in the 
forest. This was rubbed gently over, the vessel previously 
having been warmed over a bed of coals. 

The stream opposite Braves, was one-fourth of a mile wide; 
and beyond, was an island heavily wooded. Thither we sent 
a hunter every day, and he usually brought in some kind of 
game ; a Howling Monkey or macaw. For ourselves, we were 
confined pretty much to the raft ; the region about the town 
being nothing but swamp. Yet still, we found opportunity to 
increase our collection of birds by a few specimens hitherto 
unknown to us, particularly the Cayenne Manikin, and the 
Picus Cayanensis. The Indians, meanwhile, had found a 






A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 115 

quantity of rattan, and were busily engaged in weaving a 
sort of covering, or protection from the rain. Two long, cra- 
dle-shaped baskets were made, one fitting within the other, 
the broad banana leaves being laid between ; and under this, 
they could sleep securely. 

We were struck, at Braves, by the appearance of some 
Portuguese boys, whose teeth had been sharpened in the 
Indian manner. The custom is quite fashionable among that 
class, who come over seeking their fortunes ; they evidently 
considering it as a sort of naturalization. The blade of a 
knife, or razor, is laid across the edge of the tooth, and by a 
slight blow and dexterous turn, a piece is chipped off on either 
side. All the front teeth, above and below, are thus served; 
and they give a person a very odd, and to a stranger, a very 
disagreeable appearance. For some days, after the operation 
is performed, the patient is unable to eat or drink without 
severe pain-; but soon, the teeth lose their sensitiveness, and 
then seem to decay no faster than the others. 

One day, there was a funeral of a child. For some time 
previous to the burial, the little thing was laid out upon a 
table, prettily dressed, and crowned with flowers. The mother 
sat cheerfully by its side, and received the congratulations of 
her friends, that her little one was now an angel. 

On the morning of June 1st, we were delighted to see the 
battalon come swiftly up with the tide, and made immediate 
preparations for departure. Now, was trouble again with the 
Indians. Some of the Taucha's boys wanted to return to 
Para, and the old fellow evidently did not care whether they 
did or no, notwithstanding his oft-repeated assurances, that 
he would keep them in order. His authority was very ques- 
tionable, and we were getting tired of his lazy inefficiency. 
The old remedy was tried, and again we were conquerors. 
These difficulties are incident to every navigator upon the 
river ; for, upon the slightest whim, an Indian is ready to de- 
sert, and often, the detention of their little baggage, or the 
wages accruing to them, is matter of perfect indifference. 

The morning of the 2d, found us in a narrow stream, wind- 
ing among small islands, which were densely covered with 



116 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

palms. Landing, in what was almost entirely a palm swamp, 
we amused ourselves a long time, by observing the different 
varieties, of which we had no means of ascertaining the name, 
and in collecting the fruits. Here were numbers of the shut- 
tlecock palms ; and their large leaves, spread upon the wet 
ground, made the Indians a comfortable bed. There are 
more than one hundred described species of palms, in Brazil ; 
growing, to some extent, almost every where. But, within 
the province of Para, by far the larger portion are upon the 
islands, at the mouth of the river. Upon the islands above, 
and upon the main-land, they are comparatively rare. 

Leaving the palms, we came to a region abounding in huge 
trees, where the shore was every where easy of access. Here 
were numbers of seringa trees, and we passed many habita- 
tions of the gum collectors. These were merely roofed, or 
thatched on one side, and very often the water rose to the very 
door. No fruit trees of any sort were there, nor was there sign 
of cultivation. The forest around was just sufficiently cleared 
to avoid danger from falling trees, or to let in a glimpse of the 
sun. In these miserable places were always families, and thus 
they live all the year round, eating nothing but fish and 
farinha, and their situation only bettered in summer by less 
dampness. 

We now entered one of the direct channels from the Ama- 
zon, called the Tapajani. It was half a mile in width, and 
through it poured a furious current. Here we saw a Sloth, 
climbing, hand over hand, up an assai palm, by the water; and 
here, also, we first heard in perfection the Guariba, or Howl- 
ing Monkey. There were a number of them, some, near by, 
and others, at a great distance ; all contributing to an infernal 
noise, not comparable to any thing, unless a commingling of 
the roaring of mad bulls, and the squealing of mad pigs. This 
roaring power is owing to the peculiar conformation of the 
bones of the mouth, by which they are distinguished from all 
others of the family. We got quite up to a pair of these fel- 
lows, as they were making all ring, deafening even themselves. 
They were in a tree-top close by the water, and a shot from 
A brought down one of them. But recovering himself, he 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 117 

made off, as fast as he was able through the bushes. Imme- 
diately the boat was stopped, and A , with several of the 

Indians, sprang on shore in pursuit, but without success. 
There were still some young ones in the tree, and another shot 
sent tumbling one of these. But he too saved himself, twisting 
his tail about a limb as he fell, and, in a twinkling, he was 
snug in a corner, safe from our eyes. Monkey hunts often 
end so. 

Leaving the Tapajani, we were still separated from the 
main current of the Amazon, by a long island, two or three 
miles distant, and it was noon of the 5th, before, through the 
space intervening between this and an island above, we were 
able to distinguish the northern shore, twenty miles away. 
The bank near us was bold, and evidently the force of the cur- 
rent was continually wearing upon it, and undermining the 
enormous trees, that towered with a grandeur befitting the 
dwellers by this unequaled river. Often, the boat struck upon 
some concealed limb or trunk, usually only requiring us to 
back off, but sometimes, making us stick fast. In such cases, 
several of the boys would jump into the water, and in a great 
frolic, drag us free. 

Towards evening, we came to a place where the macaws 
were assembling to roost. Disturbed by our approach, they 
circled over our heads in great numbers, screaming outrage- 
ously. A caught a gun, and as one of them came plump 

into the water, winged, Tau9ha, men, women and children set 
up a shout of admiration. Two of the boys were instantly in 
the stream, in chase of the bird, who was making rapid 
strokes towards a clump of bushes. Macaw arrived first, and 
for joy at his deliverance, laughed in exultation ; but a blow 
of a pole knocked him into the water again, and a towel over 
his nose soon made him prisoner upon our own terms. The 
poor fellow struggled lustily, roaring, and using bill and toes 
to good purpose. His sympathizing brethren flew round and 
round, screaming in concert, and it was not until another shot 
had cut off the tail of one of the most noisy, that they began to 
credit us for being in earnest. Our specimen was of the Blue 
and Yellow variety. During the night, we repeatedly sailed 

6* 



118 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

by trees where these birds were roosting, and upon one dry- 
branch, A , whose watch it was, counted eighteen. The 

opportunity was tempting, but we were under press for Guru- 
pa, and could not delay. The Indians were as anxious for a 
rest as ourselves, and all night, pulled, with scarcely an inter- 
mission. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Arrive at Gurupa — Situation of *he town — Reception by the Commandante — An egg 
hunt — Storm — Cross the Xingu — Carapanas — Cedar logs — Harpy Eagle — Birds — 
Mountains— Indian cooking — Forest trees— Snake birds — A Toucan's nest — Mutucas — 
Indian improvidence — Grass fields — Enter an Igaripe — Hyacinthine Macaws — Passion 
flowers — Pass Pryinha — Monte Alegre — Arrive at Sitios — Thrush — Campo — Incident 
- -Enter the Tapajos — White Herons — Flowering trees — Arrival at Santarem — Capt. 
Hislop — Morning calls — Beef — River Tapajos — Feather dresses — Embalmed heads — 
Description of Santarem — Departure — A slight difficulty. 

Early on the 6th, Gurupa was in sight. As we drew near, 
we were hailed from the fort in some outlandish tongue, in- 
quiring, probably, if we intended to storm the town. Our 
answer was in English, and they seemed as well satisfied as 
though they had comprehended it, bidding us pass on. The 
town does not present a very striking appearance from the 
water, merely the tops of half a dozen houses being visible. 
The landing was at the upper end, and there we moored, 
among numbers of little craft which had collected from the 
vicinity, for the day was a festa. 

Gurupa was formerly considered the key to the river, and 
was of great service to the early colonists in preventing the en- 
croachments of other nations. Now, it is of little consequence, 
and has but a scanty trade. Its population numbers a few 
hundred. Superior sarsaparilla, or salsa, is taken to Para from 
this vicinity, The situation of the town is fine. In front, a 
long island stretches far down the river, called the Isle of 
Paroquets. Above, and within a few miles, are two other 
islands, both small, and beautiful from their circular shape. 
Upon the Isle of Paroquets, all kinds of parrots and macaws 
were now preparing to breed, in vast flocks, and this accounted 



120 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

for the unusual numbers which we had seen, within a few 
days. 

We had a letter from Doctor Costa to the Commandante, 
and suitable respect, moreover, demanded a display of pass- 
ports ; so after breakfasling on the beach, A and Bradley 

went up to his Excellency's house. The Commandante was 
very polite in his attentions, and pressed us strongly to remain 
to a dance, which he was to give in the evening. But if we 
could only wait until afternoon, he would send us some fresh 
beef; and, at any rate, upon our return, we must stay with him 
at least a fortnight. While our two diplomatists were thus 
engaged, Sawtelle undertook the customary search for eggs ; 
and the first person he made inquiry of for these indispensa- 
bles, was the schoolmaster, who with his dignity all upon him, 
and his scholars about him, was discharging his usual duties. 
Yes, the schoolmaster had eggs, and at once started to bring 
them, careless of dignity, duties and all. In his absence, our 
messenger despatched the scholars to their respective homes, 
on a like errand, and soon, they returned with one, two, and 
three apiece, until our cuya was filled. There are no County 
Superintendents, or Boards of Trustees, in Brazil. 

A fresh breeze had sprung up, and we hastened away. A 
few miles above Gurupa, the clouds began to darken, the waves 
were rising ominously, and there was every appearance of a 
squall : several canoes, which had been on the same course, 
had hauled in shore, and their crews seemed to look upon us 

with astonishment, as we swept by them. A was on deck 

as usual, watching the sail, and the Indians, half frightened at 
our speed, kept every eye on him. Suddenly a halyard parted, 
the sail flaunted out, the boat tipped, and there was not an In- 
dian on board but crossed himself, and called on Nossa Sen- 
hora. Perhaps Nossa Senhora heard them, and was willing to 
do them a good turn, for very soon the wind died away, and 
the bright sun made all smile again. 

Soon after dark, we crossed the mouth of the Xingu, 
(Shingu), much to the displeasure of the Indians, who wished 
to stop upon the lower side. And they were very right ; for 
scarcely had we crossed, when we were beset by such swarms 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 121 

of carapanas, or musquitoes, as put all sleep at defiance. 
Nets were of no avail, even would the oppressive heat allow 
them, for those who could not creep through the meshes, would 
in some other way find entrance, in spite of every precaution. 
Thick breeches they laughed at, and the cabin seemed the in- 
terior of a bee-hive. This would not do. so we tried the deck ; 
but fresh swarms continually poured over us, and all night 
long, we were foaming with vexation and rage. The Indians 
fared little better, and preferred paddling on, to anchoring near 
shore. The English consul at Para had told us, " Ye'll be 
ate up alive intirely." and certainly this began to look much 
like it. Moreover, we were told for consolation, that this was 
but the advanced guard. It is very remarkable that carapa- 
nas are not found to any troublesome extent below the Xingu. 
The country is low, and much of it wet, yet. from some cause, 
does not favor these little pests. 

The Xingu is a noble river, in length nearly equal to the 
Tocantins. At its mouth, it expands to a width of several miles, 
and is there profusely dotted with islands. From the Xingu, 
the best rubber is brought, and a number of small settlements, 
along the banks, are supported by that trade. 

Soon after sunrise, upon the 7th, we brought up along side 
of a large cedar log, the land being inaccessible, or rather, 
being entirely overflowed, and speedily, we had a rousing fire 
kindled between two of the roots. This cedar is a beautiful 
wood, light as pine, and, when polished, of fine color. ■ Most 
of the woods of the country are protected against the ravages 
of insects, by their hardness, but the cedar is filled with a 
fragrant resinous gum, which every insect detests. It grows 
mostly upon the Japura, and other upper branches of the 
Amazon, and is almost the only wood seen floating in the river. 
At certain points, along the shores, vast numbers of the logs 
are' collected, and were mill streams common, might be turned 
to profitable purpose. 

Just before we had reached our mooring, a full-sized Harpy 
Eagle perched upon a tree near the water, his crest erect, and 
his appearance noble beyond description. We gave him a 
charge of our largest shot, but he seemed not to notice it. 



122 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



Before we could fire again, he slowly gathered himself up, 
and flew majestically off. This bird is called the Gavion Real, 
or Royal Eagle, and is not uncommon throughout the interior. 
Its favorite food is said to be sloths, and other large sized 
animals. 

After breakfast we sailed by a broad marsh, upon which 
hundreds of herons were stalking through the tall grass. 
Upon logs, and stumps projecting from the water, sat great 
flocks of terns, ducks and cormorants, who, at our approach, 
left their resting places, some, circling about us with loud cries, 
others, diving beneath the water, or flying hurriedly to some 
safer spot. 

We proceeded very slowly. The current had a rapidity 
of about three miles an hour, and it was only by keeping close 
in shore, that we could make headway. The water of the 
Amazon is yellowish, and deposits a slight sediment. It is 
extremely pleasant to the taste, and causes none of that sick- 
ness, upon first acquaintance, that river waters often do. For 
bathing, it is luxurious. 

Upon the morning of the 8th, a range of hills, or moun- 
tains, as they may properly enough be called, was visible upon 
the northern shore ; and after passing such an extent of low 
country, the sight was refreshing. They had none of the 
ruggedness of mountains elsewhere, but rose gently above the 
surrounding level, like some first attempt of nature at moun- 
tain makings 




MOUNTAINS ON THE NORTHERN SHORE. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 123 



We saw a number of Darters upon the branches over the 
water, but were unable to shoot them. A pair of red macaws 
fared differently, and we laid them by for breakfast. During 
the morning we passed about a dozen sloths. They were 
favorite food of the Indians, and their eyes were always quick 
to discover them among the branches, upon the lower side of 
which they usually hung, looking like so many wasp's nests. 
We observed a large lily, of deep crimson color, and numerous 
richly flowered creepers, but without being able to obtain them. 
It was impossible to effect a landing, and we moored again by 
the side of a cedar log, eight feet in diameter. Upon this was 
growing a cactus, which we preserved. Our macaws, fricasseed 
with rice, made a very respectable meal ; somewhat tough ; 
but what then, many a more reputable fowl has that disadvan- 
tage. The Indians shot a small monkey, and before life was 
out of him, threw him upon the fire. Scarcely warmed through, 
he was torn in pieces, and devoured with a sort of cannibal 
greediness, that made one shudder. 

Palm trees had entirely disappeared, but cotton trees, of 
prodigious height and spreading tops, were seen every where. 
So also were mangabeira trees, conspicuous from their leafless 
limbs, and the large red seed pods which ornamented them. 
There was another tree, more beautiful than either, called from 
its yellowish brown bark, the mulatto tree. It was tall and 
slim, its leaves of a dark green, and its elegantly spreading top 
was covered with clusters of small white flowers. The yellow 
limbs, as they threaded among the leaves and flowers, pro- 
duced a doubly pleasing effect. This tree is common upon 
the river, but its wood is esteemed of no value. 

We made little advance, the wind not favoring, and the 
current being strong. Late in the evening, we threw a rope 
over a stump, at some distance from the shore, beyond reach 
of carapanas, and spread ourselves upon the cabin top, in the 
clear moonlight, hoping for a quiet sleep. But the breeze 
freshened, and off we started again, to our great misfortune ; 
for, the wind soon dying away, we got entangled in the cross 
currents, and were hurled with violence among bushes and 
trees. And now a pelting storm came up, and the gaping 



124 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

seams of the cabin top admitted floods of water. To crown 
the whole, we were at last obliged to stop in shore, and sun- 
rise found us half devoured. 

We were always out as early as possible in the morning, 
for besides that it was far the pleasantest part of the day, there 
were always birds enough by the water side to attract one 
fond of a gun. The morning of the 9th was ushered in by a 
brace of discharges at a flock of parrots, and immediately 
after, down dropped a Darter. We had seen several of these 
within a few days, and they were always conspicuous from 
their long, snake-like necks, and outspread tails. They were 
very tame, and easily shot ; but, if not instantly killed, would 
dive below the surface of the water, with nothing but the tip 
of their bill protruding. In this manner, they would swim 
under the grass, and were beyond detection. The Indians 
called them Cararas. This family is remarkable for the ab- 
sence of any tongue, save the slightest rudiment, and for hav- 
ing no external nostril. This specimen was a young male of 
the Plotus Anhinga. 

We here saw another Harpy Eagle, and a variety of 
hawks ; and in a large tree, directly over the river, was the 
nest of the Toco Toucan. 

The land was still swampy, but we contrived to find a stop- 
ping place, where we were terribly persecuted by carapanas. 
The hills, on our right, were increasing in number and size. 
Several canoes passed on their way down, but as these always 
keep in the current, one may sail the whole length of the Ama- 
zon, without hailing a fellow voyager. We were here annoy- 
ed by a large black fly, called mutuca, who seemed determined 
to suck from us what little blood the carapanas had left. 

The men rowed with a slight increase of unction, attributa- 
ble to our being out offish, which they had wasted in the most 
reckless manner. It was impossible to serve them with daily 
rations ; no independent Indian would submit to that. No mat- 
ler how large the piece they cut off, if it was more than enough 
for their present want, over it went into the stream. Of farin- 
ha too, they were most enormous gluttons, ready to eat, at any 
time, a quart, which swelling in water, becomes of three times 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 125 

that bulk. And they not only ate it, but drank it, mixing ifl 
with water, and constantly stirring it as they swallowed. This 
drink they called shibe. 

The morning of the 10th, discovered the northern hills 
much broken into peaks, resembling a bed of craters. Many 
of the hills, however, were extremely regular, often shaped like 
the frustrum of a cone, and apparently crowned with table 
land. 

We coasted, for some hours, along a shoal bank, covered 
with willows, and other shrubs standing in the water. Such 
banks are generally lined with a species of coarse grass, which 
often extends into fields of great size. Large masses of this 
are constantly breaking off by wind and current, and float down 
with the appearance of tiny islets. A nice little cove invited 
us to breakfast, and the open forest allowed a delightful ram- 
ble. Soon after leaving this place, the channel was divided by 
a large island, and taking the narrower passage, all day we 
sailed southward, in what seemed rather an igaripe than a part 
of the Amazon. Here were thousands of small green, white- 
breasted swallows ; and the bushes were alive with the Croto- 
phagas, spoken of before. Here also we saw a pair of Hyacin- 
thine Macaws, entirely blue, the rarest variety upon the river; 
and numbers of a new Passion flower, of a deep scarlet color. 
'• In the lanceolate leaves of the Passion flower, our catholic 
ancestors saw the spear that pierced our Saviour's side ; in 
the tendrils, the whip ; the five wounds in the five stamens ; 
and the three nails, in the three clavate styles. There were 
but ten divisions of the floral covering, and so they limited the 
number of the apostles ; excluding Judas, the betrayer, and 
Peter, the denier." 

Re-entering the main stream, early upon the 11th, we pass- 
ed the little town of Pryinha, upon the northern shore. The 
bank was still skirted by willows and grass, and the only land- 
ing we could discover, was in a swamp of tall callas. Upon 
the stems of these plants was a species of shell, the Bulimus 
picturata (Fer). There was here a large tree bearing pink 
flowers, of the size and appearance of hollyhocks; and crimson 
Passion vines were twined about the callas. During the day, 



126 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

we passed a number of trees formed by clusters of many sepa- 
rate trunks, which all united in one, just below the branches. 

Upon the 12th, we passed Monte Alegre, a little town, like- 
wise upon the northern shore, and noted above other river towns 
for its manufacture of cuyas, some of which are of exquisite 
form and coloring. Just below the town, a fine peak rises, con- 
spicuous for many miles. The shore, near us, was densely 
overhung with vines of the convolvolus major, or morning- 
glory, plentifully sprinkled with flowers of pink and blue. We 
passed a brood of little ducks, apparently just from the shell. 
As we came near, the old one uttered a note of warning and 
scuttled away; and the little tails of her brood twinkled under 
the water. 

About noon, discovering a sitio, we turned in, hoping to ob- 
tain some fish for our men, who grumbled mightily at their fa- 
rinha diet. There were a couple of girls and some children in 
the house ; and they seemed somewhat surprised at our errand, 
for they had not enough to eat for themselves. The poor girls 
did look miserably, but poverty in such a country was absurd. 

Proceeding on, an hour brought us to another sitio, where 
the confused noises of dogs, and pigs, and hens, seemed indica- 
tive of better quarters. Here were three women only, engaged 
in painting cuyas. At first, they declined parting with any 
thing in the absence of their men ; but a distribution of casha- 
9a and cigars effected a wonderful change, and at last, they 
sold us a pig for one milree, or fifty cents, and a hen for two 
patacs, or thirty-two cents. Soon after, an old man from a 
neighboring sitio brought in a Musk Duck for one patac. We 
gave the pig to the men, and, in a few moments he was over 
their fire. Meanwhile, they caught a fish, weighing some do- 
zen pounds, and with customary improvidence, put him also 
into the kettle. Finally, the half eaten fragments of both were 
tossed into the river. The old man, of whom we had bought 
the duck, was very strenuous for cashaca, and brought us a 
peck of coffee in exchange for a pint. Not content with that, 
he, at last, pursued us more than a mile, in a montaria, bring- 
ing eight coppers for more, and seemed to take it much to heart 
that we had none to sell. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 127 

Upon the 13th, we left the southern shore, in order to avoid 
a deep curve, and crossed to a large island. Coasting along 
this, we discovered a number of birds new to us, the most in- 
teresting of which was a small species of the Thrush family, 
the Donacobius vociferans (Swain). This bird we often, af- 
terwards, saw in the grass by the water, and his delightful 
notes reminded us of his cousin, the Mocking-bird, at home. 
He was incomparably the finest singer that we heard upon the 
river, and there, where singing birds are unusual, maybe con- 
sidered as one of the river attractions. Upon either side his 
neck, was a yellow wattle, by the swelling of which he pro- 
duced his rich tones. 

There was high land upon the southern shore, but upon 
our island we could find no place to rest. The Amazon, in 
this part of its course, expands to a width of from fifteen to 
twenty miles. 

Towards night we bought a supply of dried peixe boi, at 
a sitio. It was inconceivably worse than the periecu. or com- 
mon fish, in rankness and toughness. 

We passed a campo extending back for several leagues, 
and covered with the coarse grass mentioned before, and 
mostly overflowed. This was said to be a place of resort for 
ducks, who breed there in the months of August and Septem- 
ber, in inconceivable numbers. There were evidently many 
now feeding upon the grass-seed, and occasionally, a few would 
start up at the noise of our approach. Our pilot suggested that 
there were plenty of cattle and sheep upon this campo, and 
that they belonged to no one. The Indians were longing for 
fresh meat, and had they been alone would have carried off 
one of the " cow cattle," as Bradley termed them, without in- 
quiring for ownership. 

During the morning of the 14th, we stopped at a cacao sitio, 
where was a fine house, and a number of blacks. While here, 
a montaria arrived, containing a sour-looking old fellow, and 
a young girl seated between two slaves. She had eloped from 
some town above with her lover, and her father had overtaken 
her at Monte Alegre, and was now conveying her home. She 
was very beautiful, and her expression was so touchingly dis- 



128 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

consolate, that we were half tempted to consider ourselves six 
centuries in the past, toss the old gentleman into the river, and 
cry St. Denis to the rescue. Poor girl, she had reason enough 
for sadness, as she thought of her unpleasant widowhood, and 
of the merciless cowhide in waiting for her at home. Some 
one asked her if she would like to go with us. Her eyes glis- 
tened an instant, but the thought of her father so near, soon 
dimmed them with tears. 

All day we continued along the islands. Upon the south- 
ern shore, a range of regular highlands extended up and down, 
and along them, we could distinguish houses, and groves of 
cacao trees. 

Towards evening, we passed a campo of small extent, hav- 
ing a forest background, and lined, along the shore, with low 
trees and bushes. These were completely embowered in run- 
ning vines, forming columns, arches, and fantastic grottoes. 

The sun of the 15th had not risen, when an exclamation of 
some one called us all out for the first glimpse of Santarem. 
Surely enough, a white steeple was peeping through the gray 
mist, bidding us good cheer, for here, at last, we should rest 
awhile from our labors. The steeple was still some miles 
ahead, but the spontaneous song of the men, and the hearty 
pulls at the paddle, told us that these miles would be very 
short. 

Crossing to the southern side, we soon entered the current 
of the Tapajos. This river is often called the Preto, or Black, 
from the color of its waters ; and, for a long distance, its deep 
black runs side by side with the yellow of the Amazon, as 
though this king of rivers disdained the contribution of so in- 
significant and dingy a tributary. And yet, the Tapajos is a 
mighty stream. The shore was deeply indented by successive 
grassy bays, with open lagoons in their centres, about the mar- 
gins of which various water-fowl were feeding. Most con- 
spicuous in such places is, always, the Great White Egret, 
Ardea alba, who raises his long neck above the grass as ihe 
suspicious object approaches. With an intuitive perception of 
the range of a fowling-piece, he either quietly resumes his 
feeding, or deliberately removes to some spot near by, where 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 129 

he knows he is beyond harm. The Heron is sometimes spo- 
ken of as a melancholy bird, but whether stalking over the 
meadows, or perched upon the green bush, he seems to me one 
of the most beautiful, graceful beings in nature. The Lady 
of the Waters, a name elsewhere given to a single species, 
might, without flattery, be bestowed upon the whole. 

The trees beyond these bays were many of them in full 
bloom, some covered with glories of golden yellow ; others, of 
bright blue ; and others still, of pure white. Many had lost 
their leaves, and presented sombre Autumn in the embrace of 
joyous Spring; thus tempering the sadness which irresistibly 
steals over one when witnessing nature's decay, with the joy 
that lightens every feeling, when witnessing her renovation. 

Leaving these pretty spots, low trees covered the shore, 
and in their branches, we noticed many new and beautiful 
birds, that made us long for a montaria. 

When near the town, part of our company left the galliota, 
and walked up along the beach. Our letters were to Captain 
Hislop, an old Scotch settler, and directly on the bank of the 
river, at the nearer end of the town, we found his house. The 
old gentleman received us as was usual, placing his house at 
once " a suas ordens," and making us feel entirely at home. 
We walked out, before dinner, to show our passports to the 
proper officers, although we understood this to be rather mat- 
ter of compliment than of necessity, as formerly. Not finding 
the officers, we made several other calls, the most agreeable of 
which was to Senhor Louis, a French baker, and a genuine 
Frenchman. He was passionately fond of sporting, and al- 
though he had been for several days unable to attend his busi- 
ness from illness, he at once offered to disclose to us the hiding 
places of the birds, and to be at our disposal, from sunrise to 
sunset, as long as we should stay. 

After our galliota habits, it seemed odd enough to sit once 
more at a civilized table ; but that feeling was soon absorbed 
in astonishment at Santarem beef, so tender, so fat, so eatable. 
How could we ever return to the starved subjects of Para 
market? 

The captain had been a navigator upon all these rivers, 



130 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

and particularly the Tapajos; having ascended to Cuyaba, 
far amongst its head waters. At Santarem, the Tapajos is 
about one mile and a half wide, at high water. Above, it 
greatly widens, and, for several days' journey, is bordered by 
plantations of cacao. At about twelve days' journey, or not 
far from two hundred and fifty miles, the mountains appear, 
and the banks are uneven, and of great beauty. The region 
thence above, is a rich mineral region, and rare birds, animals, 
and flowers are calling loudly for some adventurous naturalist, 
who shall give them immortality. Here are found the Hyacin- 
thine Macaws, M. hyacinthinus, and the Trumpeters, Psophia 
crepitans. At certain points, the navigation is obstructed by 
rapids, and to pass these, the canoes are unloaded and dragged 
over the land. The journey from Para to Cuyaba requires 
about five months, owing to the absence of regular winds, and 
the swiftness of the current. Canoes occasionally come down, 
bringing little except gold, and in returning, they carry prin- 
cipally salt and guarana, a substance from which a drink is 
prepared. At a distance of several hundred miles above San- 
tarem, is a large settlement of Indians, and from them, come 
the feather dresses seen sometimes in Para. These are worn 
by the Tauchas. A cap, tightly fitting the head, is woven 
of wild cotton, and this is covered with the smaller feathers of 
macaws. To this is attached a gaudy cape reaching far down 
the back, and formed by the long tail feathers of the same 
birds, of which they also make sceptres that are borne in the 
hand. Besides these, are pieces for the shoulders, elbows, 
wrists, waist, neck and knees ; and often, a richly worked sash 
is thrown round the body. These dresses are the result of 
prodigious labor, and far surpass, in richness and effect, those 
sometimes brought from the South Sea Islands. 

From the Tapajos Indians, come also, the embalmed heads, 
frequently seen at Para. These are the heads of enemies 
killed in war, and retain wonderfully their natural appearance. 
The hair is well preserved, and the eye-sockets are filled with 
clay, and painted. The Indians are said to guard these heads 
with great care, being obliged, by some superstition, to carry 
them upon any important expedition, and even when clearing 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 131 

ground for a new sitio. In this case, the head, stuck upon a 
pole in one corner of the field, watches benignly the proceed- 
ings, and may be supposed to distil over the whole a shower of 
blessings. 

The river, below the falls, is not subject to fever and ague; 
and above, only at some seasons. 

Santarem is the second town to Para, in size, upon the 
Amazon, and has every facility, from its situation, for an exten- 
sive trade with the interior. It is in the centre of the cacao 
region, and retains almost entire control of that article. 
Vast quantities of castanha nuts also arrive at its wharves 
from the interior. The campos in the vicinity support large 
herds of fat cattle, in every way superior to those of Marajo; 
and were steamboats plying upon the river, Santarem beef 
would be in great demand at Para. Its population is about 
four thousand. It stands upon ground inclining back from the 
river. Its streets are regular, and the houses pleasant looking, 
usually but of one story, and built as in Para. It contains a 
very pretty church, above which tower two steeples. The 
fort is very conspicuous, standing upon a high point, at the 
lower end of the town, and commanding the river. 

The morning after our arrival, we called upon the com- 
mandante and the chief of police. Both were gentlemanly, 
educated men; and, very kindly, expressed themselves happy 
to do us any favor, or assist us in any way. At one of these 
houses, was a very curious species of monkey ; being long- 
haired, gray in color, and sporting an enormous pair of white 
whiskers. 

Another monkey, of a larger species, shaggy, with black 
hair, was given us as a present. This, we left until our 
return. 

In the vicinity of Santarem, the scarcity of laborers is most 
severely felt ; slaves being few, and Indians not only being 
difficult to catch, but slippery when caught. We suspected 
some persons of tampering with our men, and therefore, judged 
it better to proceed at once, although we had intended to 
remain several days. Our suspicions proved true, for upon 
leaving, two of the boys were determined to remain behind, 



132 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

and were only prevented from so doing by our summoning an 
officer, and the threat of the calaboose. A detention in the 
calaboose, would in itself be sl%ht; but when.it involves, at 
least, three hundred lashes from the cat, a most detestable 
animal to the Indian, it becomes something to be considered. 
Desertion is so common, and so annoying, that it receives no 
mercy from the authorities. 

Leaving Santarem, we crossed to an igaripe, leading into 
the Amazon. Seen from this distance, the town presents a 
fine appearance, to which the irregular hills in the back- 
ground much contribute. The highest of these hills ap- 
proaches pretty nearly our idea of a mountain. It is of pyra- 
midal form, and is known by the name of Irira. The igaripe 
was narrow ; lined, upon one side, by sitios, upon the other, by 
an open campo. While coasting along this, one of the boys, 
who had attempted desertion, threw himself on the cabin top, 
in a fit of sulks, and commenced talking impudently with the 

pilot. A told him to take a paddle, which he refused ; 

and, quicker than thought, he found himself overboard, and 
swimming against the current. He roared lustily for help; 
and after a few moments, we drew up by the grass, and 
allowed him to climb in, considerably humbled, and ready 
enough to take a paddle. This had a good effect upon all ; 
and the alacrity with which they afterwards pulled, was quite 
surprising. 



CHAPTER XII. 

The Amazon thus far — A cacao sitio — Politeness — Runaways — Growing of cacao — An 
alligator — High bank — Deserted sitio — Kingfishers — Romancas — Water birds — Arrive 
at Obidos — Rio des Trombetas — Incidents upon leaving — Manner of ascending the 
river — Shells — Stop at a sitio — High bluff — Water plants — Capitan des Trabalhadores 
— Arrive at Villa Nova — Festa of St. Juan — Water scene — A Villa Nova house — 
Turtles — Stroll in the woods — Lakes. 

The river, above the junction of the Tapajos, was sensibly 
narrower. Between Garupa and Santarem, its width had 
averaged from eight to twelve, and sometimes fifteen miles. 
From the mouth of the river to Santarem, a distance of six 
hundred miles, twelve hundred islands are sown broad-cast 
over the water; many of large size, and but few ver^ small. 
These have been accurately surveyed, and their places laid 
down upon charts, by the officers of a French brig of war, 
within a few years. Owing to this multitude of islands, we 
rarely had the opportunity of distinguishing the northern 
shore. 

The waters now were decreasing, having fallen between 
one and two feet. Their annual subsidence, at Santarem, is 
twenty-five feet; and they do not reach that point, until late 
in December. At that time, the tides are observable for a 
distance of several hundred miles, above the Tapajos. Even 
at the height of water, they cause a slight flowing and ebbing 
at Santarem. 

We had been advised, that the carapanas were more 
bloodthirsty above the Tapajos; and our first night's expe- 
rience, made us tremble for the future. 

Early in the morning, June 17th, we drew up by a cacao 
sitio. The only residents here, were four women ; two, rather 
passe, and the others, pretty, as Indians girls almost always 

7 



]34 A VOVAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

are. They were seated upon the ground, in front of the 
house, engaged in plaiting palm leaves: and to our salutation 
of "muito bem dias," or " very good morning," and " licencia, 
Senhoras," or, " permission to land, ladies," they answered 
courteously, and as we desired. This was rather more agree- 
able, than an affected shyness, a scudding into the house, and 
peeping at us through the cracks, as would have been, our 
reception in some other countries I wot of. Politeness is one 
of the cardinal virtues in Brazil; and high or low, whites, 
blacks, or Indians, are equally under its influence. One never 
passes another, without a touch of the hat and a salutation, 
either, good morning or afternoon ; or more likely still, " viva 
Senhor," " long life, sir:" and frequently, when we have been 
rambling in the fields, a passing stranger has called out to us 
a greeting from a distance, that might readily have excused 
the formality. An affirmative or negative, even between two 
negroes, is "si, Senhor," or "nao, Senhor." Two acquaint- 
ances, who may meet the next hour, part with " ate logo," 
or "until soon," "ate manhaa," "until to-morrow." When 
friends meet, after an absence, they rush into each other's 
arms ; and a parting is often with tears. " Passa bem, se 
Deos quiere," " may you go happily, God willing," is the last 
salutation to even a transient visitor, as he pushes from the 
shore ; and very often, one discovers, that the unostentatious 
kindness of his entertainer has preceded him, even into the 
boat. 

But to return to our ladies. A distribution of cashaca and 
cigars, quite completed our good understanding ; and with the 
more particularly interesting ones, the popularity of the uni- 
versal Yankee nation certainly suffered no diminution. They 
understood the arts of the cuisine too, and assisted us mightily 
in the preparation of our viands. As a parting gift, they sent 
on board a jar of fresh cacao wine, the expressed juice of the pulp 
which envelops the seed, a drink delightfully acid, and re- 
freshing. 

While here, our two boys embraced the opportunity to run 
away, leaving all their traps behind them. It was embarrass- 
ing, but there was no remedy, and we consoled ourselves with 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 135 

the suggestion, that after all, they were lazy fellows, not worth 
having. 

We were now in the great cacao region, which, for an ex- 
tent of several hundred square miles, borders the river. The 
cacao trees are low, not. rising above fifteen or twenty feet, and 
are distinguishable from a distance by the yellowish green of 
their leaves, so different from aught else around them. They 
are planted at intervals of about twelve feet, and, at first, are 
protected from the sun's fierceness by banana palms, which, 
with their broad leaves, form a complete shelter. Three years 
after planting, the trees yield, and thereafter require little at- 
tention, or rather, receive not any. From an idea that the sun 
is injurious to the berry, the tree tops are suffered to mat 
together, until the whole becomes dense as thatchwork. The 
sun never penetrates this, and the ground below is constantly 
wet. The trunk of the tree grows irregularly, without beauty, 
although perhaps, by careful training, it might be made as 
graceful as an apple tree. The leaf is thin, much resembling 
our beech, excepting that it is smooth-edged. The flower is 
very smali, and the berry grows directly from the trunk or 
branches. It is eight inches in length, five in diameter, and 
shaped much like a rounded double cone. When ripe, it turns 
from light green to a deep yellow, and at that time, ornaments 
the tree finely. Within the berry, is a white, acid pulp, and, 
embedded in this, are from thirty to forty seeds, an inch in 
length, narrow, and flat. These seeds are the cacao of com- 
merce. When the berries are ripe, they are collected into 
great piles near the house, are cut open with a tresado, and 
the seeds, squeezed carelessly from the pulp, are spread upon 
mats to dry in the sun. Before being half dried, they are 
loaded into canoes in bulk, and transmitted to Para. Some of 
these vessels will carry four thousand arrobas, of thirty-two 
pounds each, and as if such a bulk of damp produce would not 
sufficiently spoil itself by its own steaming, during a twenty 
days' voyage, the captains are in the habit of throwing upon 
it great quantities of water, to prevent its loss of weight. As 
might be expected, when arrived at Para, it is little more than 
a heap of mould, and it is then little wonder that Para cacao is 



136 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

considered the most inferior in foreign markets. Cacao is very 
little drank throughout the province, and, in the city, we never 
saw it except at the cafes. It is a delicious drink, when properly 
prepared, and one soon loses relish for that nasty com- 
pound, known in the States as chocolate, whose main ingre- 
dients are damaged rice, and soap fat. The cacao trees yield 
two crops annually, and excepting in harvest time, the pro- 
prietors have nothing to do but lounge in their hammocks. 
Most of these people are in debt to traders in Santarem, who 
trust them to an unlimited extent, taking a lien upon their 
crops. Sometimes the plantations are of vast extent, and one 
can walk for miles along the river, from one to the other, as 
freely as through an orchard. No doubt, a scientific cultivator 
could make the raising of cacao very profitable, and elevate 
its quality to that of Guyaquil. 

Towards evening, a little alligator was seen upon a log 
near shore, and we made for him silently, hoping for a novel 
sport. One of the men struck him over the head with a pole, 
but his casque protected him, and plumping into the water, we 
saw him no more. 

The morning of the 18th, found us boiling our kettle under 
a high clay bank, which was thoroughly perforated by the 
holes of kingfishers, who, great and small, were flying back 
and forth, uttering their harsh, rapid notes, and excessively 
alarmed at the curiosity with which we inspected their labors. 
We tried hard to discover some eggs, but the holes extended 
into the bank several feet, and we were rather afraid that some 
ugly snake might resent our intrusion. Various sorts of hornets, 
bees, and ants, had also their habitat in the same bank, 
and so completely had they made use of what space the birds 
had left them, that the broken clay resembled the bored wood 
that we sometimes observed in the river below. This clay 
was of sufficient fineness to be used as paint, and, in color, was 
yellow and red. When fairly exposed to the sun, it seemed 
rapidly hardening into stone. 

Upon the hill were two houses, one neatly plastered, the 
other of rough mud, with a thatched roof. Both were deserted, 
and evidently had been for a long time. Traces of former cul- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 137 

tivation were every where in the vicinity, lime and orange trees 
being in abundance, and the vines of the juramu, a sort of 
squash, running over every thing. No one knew to whom this 
had formerly belonged; but probably, to some sufferer by the 
revolution. Near by the houses, we observed a number of 
new flowers, one of which was a large white convolvolus, that 
thereafter we frequently saw upon the shore. 

During the morning, we sailed some miles under a bank of 
one hundred feet in height, usually entirely wooded to the 
water's edge. But wherever the sliding earth had left exposed 
a cliff, it was drilled by the kingfishers to such a degree, that 
we often counted a dozen holes within a square yard. It 
seemed to be the general breeding place for all the varieties 
of this family from hundreds of miles below. 

We saw many fine looking houses, and large plantations 
upon the hill, and the table land seemed to run back a long 
distance. Here the fortunate proprietors lived, beyond reach 
of carapanas, a most enviable superiority. 

The river took a long sweep to the north, describing nearly 
two-thirds of a circle, and indented by small bays. In these, 
the water was almost always still, and often flowed back. 
These latter aids to poor travellers are called romances, and 
the prospect of one ahead was exceedingly comfortable. Great 
quantities of grass are caught in these romances, and spend a 
great part of their natural lives in moving, with a discour- 
aging motion, now up, now down, as wind or current proves 
stronger. 

About noon, we passed the outlet of a large lake, or rather 
of what seemed to be a wide expansion of the waters of the 
river, between a long island and the southern shore. Here 
were numerous fishing canoes, and hundreds of terns were 
flying about as though they, too, considered this good fishing 
ground. There were also many of the small duck, called the 
Maraca. Both these varieties of birds were seen in large 
flocks, wherever logs, projecting from the water, allowed their 
gathering, and often, hundreds were floating down upon some 
vagrant cedar. The fields of grass were now a constant 



138 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

feature, and often lined the shore to such an extent as ren- 
dered landing impracticable. 

Our route, upon the 19th, was extremely uninteresting, 
passing nothing but cacao trees, whose monotonous sameness 
was terribly tiresome. By three o'clock, we had arrived at 
Obidos. Two high hills had, for some hours, indicated the 
position of the town, but so concealed it, that we were unable 
to distinguish more than two or three houses, until we were 
close upon it. In crossing the current, for Obidos is upon the 
northern side, our galiiota was furiously tossed about, and 
carried some miles below. The main channel of the Amazon 
is here contracted into a space of not more than a mile and a 
half, and dashing through this narrow passage, the waters boil 
and foam like some great whirlpool. The depth of the chan- 
nel had never been ascertained until the French survey, when 
it was measured as one hundred fathoms, or six hundred feet. 
The position of Obidos is very fine, thus commanding the 
river, and being also at the mouth of a large tributary, the 
Rio de Trombetas. It was upon this river, that Orellana 
placed his nation of Amazons. The friar, who accompanied 
him, affirmed, that they had fought their way through a tribe 
of Indians, who were commanded by a deputation of these 
warlike ladies in person, and described them as tall, and of a 
white complexion, wearing their luxuriant hair in plaits about 
the head. Their only dress was a cincture, and they were 
armed with bows and arrows. Expeditions have, at different 
times, been sent to explore the Trombetas, but, from one cause 
or another, have failed ; and numerous accounts are credited 
of single adventurers, who have lost their lives by the can- 
nibals upon its banks. But, no doubt, the country, through 
which the river passes, is well worthy exploration, rich in 
soil and productions, if not in minerals. 

Obidos contains, perhaps, one thousand people, and is built 
in the customary, orthodox manner of the country. It has 
considerable trade, if we might judge by the number of its 
stores, and the good assortments therein contained. 

We walked about, visiting one and another, until evening, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 139 

the observed of all observers. It was not often that so many- 
foreigners perambulated one of these towns together, and 
every one seemed disposed to gaze, as though the opportunity 
occurred but once in a lifetime. 

It was delightful to see a horse once more, for we had not 
enjoyed that privilege since leaving Para. Here also was an 
Indian Hog, or Peccary, running about the streets, and ap- 
pearing in his motions and habits, as any other hog. 

We were under some apprehension of losing more of our 
crew, and made preparations for leaving immediately. But 
considering that our circumstances afforded as fair an excuse 
as those of our neighbors, we offered the pilot a patac for 
every " good and able-bodied seaman " that he would enlist. 
This put him upon his mettle, and, as soon as dark set in, 
he was up and down the beach, surrounded by several ac- 
quaintances whom he had picked up, and eloquently depict- 
ing the advantages of regular wages, and rations of coffee 
and cashaca'. 

Eloquence is "the art of persuasion," and our pilot was a 
gifted man ; for, in a short time, he had engaged five men, and 
more were waiting his approaches. But we had now our com- 
plement, and, by midnight, were under way, the whole crew 
in a most glorious state of jollification. The old Taucha, quiet 
old man as he usually was, lay sprawled upon the top, sput- 
tering unknown tongues, and singing with vigor enough to 
arouse the garrison. In one of his activities, he rolled off, and 
this seemed to freshen him a little, for after we had given him 
a lift out of the shallow water into which he had kicked and 
plunged himself, he became comparatively decent. The men, 
most of them, rowed with a fervor quite delightful, and we had 
crossed the river, and were proceeding rapidly, when, souse 
went another, dead drunk, from the cabin top. Strange that 
cold water should have had so instantaneous an effect, but, 
log-like as he was, he revived at once and pulled for the grass, 
from which we took him in. It was scarcely worth while to 
advance in this manner, so to prevent further mishaps, we ran 
the bow into the grass, and waited a more propitious morning. 

The next morning, the men were in more sensible order, 



140 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

and a pull of a few hours, before breakfast, made them once 
more themselves. The Taucjia was as kingly as ever, and 
placid as a summer's morning. It was amusing to hear him 
joke with the pilot, about the man who fell overboard, and as 
often as he thought of it, his fat sides would shake with inau- 
dible laughter. Evidently, he had entirely forgotten his own 
bad plight. 

The wind was fair, and we sped rapidly. We passed a 
long, low flat, covered with grass, interesting to us as these 
campos always were, from the great variety of birds that con- 
gregated upon them. Here we first observed a small bird of the 
Tody species, with head and shoulders of white, the body be- 
ing black. It was the T. leucocephalus, and was usually seen in 
the grass, rather than on bushes or trees. Here, also, were many 
Red-throated Tanagers, T. gularis, a very common species, but 
striking, from its contrasted colors of red, white, and black. 
Beyond this campo, long lines of willow trees skirted the shore, 
their leaves mostly fallen ; and the whole tableau looked any 
other than a tropical one. We passed one of the arms of the 
river. Heavy waves dashed over our sides, and we felt what 
a slight protection our overloaded craft would be, if overtaken 
by one of the squalls, so common at this season, but which we, 
fortunately, had not yet experienced. 

We had now left the cacao plantations, and again welcomed 
the wild beauty of the forest border, where the birds might 
sing, and the monkeys gambol for our amusement, as merrily 
as though white men had never passed these waters. 

Towards night, we saw a large vessel, which was breasting 
the current in an altogether novel way to us. A montaria 
went ahead, dragging a long rope, one end of which was fas- 
tened to the bow. This rope was tied to some convenient ob- 
ject on shore, and hand over hand, those in the vessel pulled 
her up ; when the same process was repeated. In this man- 
ner, she advanced about one mile an hour, and this is the cus- 
tom with all large craft, when wind does not favor. 

During the night, thd breeze died away, and for several 
days thereafter, was, if blowing at all, dead ahead, so that our 
progress was discouragingly slow. Upon the 21st, the heat 






A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 141 

was most oppressive, and, to add to our discomfort, the current 
ran so furiously, that the utmost exertions of the men, could, 
at times, scarcely propel the boat. About noon, we passed a 
large house, upon a small bluff, adjoining which was a chapel 
and a number of small cottages. Altogether, it was the finest 
establishment that we had seen, since entering the Amazon. 
Not far above, we stopped to breathe a while at a sitio, and in 
wandering about the mandioca plantation, we discovered a 
number of shells, but of similar varieties to those found below. 
Growing upon this place, were pepper plants, in abundance, 
and the Indians had soon stripped them of their berries. One 
could not but wonder what the stomachs of these men were 
lined with, when, with every mouthful of farinha, they threw in 
a fiery red pepper, the very sight of which was almost enough 
to season a dinner. Yet, the whites also acquire this habit, 
and eat the article with as much relish as the Indians. 

Upon the 22d, the course of the river was very tortuous, so 
that, at no time, could we discover the channel far in advance. 
High lands towards Villa Nova began to skirt the horizon to the 
westward. We gathered a new variety of cactus, running 
over the tree-tops like a vine ; and a lofty tree which we passed, 
was draped with the nests of the large Crested Troopial, Cas- 
sicus cristatus, three feet in length. There is another variety, 
more common below, the Cassicus viridis, or Jacu, and usu- 
ally encountered in the deep forest. Both these species are 
nearly the size of crows. We saw, during the morning, an 
unusual number of our favorite Thrush, D. vociferans. Wher- 
ever a grassy spot was seen, his song was sure to come trilling 
out of it, and with very little shyness, he would allow us a fair 
sight of his beautyship, as he sat perched upon some tail spear, 
or chased his mate sportingly through his mimic forest. Just 
before dark, we arrived at the house of a Villa Nova padre. 
He was not at home, but a number of Indian women seemed 
to be the managers, and from them, we obtained a pair of Tam- 
baki, a fish much esteemed upon this part of the river, and a 
turtle. These turtles were now ascending the river to their 
breeding places upon the upper tributaries, and upon several 

7* 



142 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



occasions we had observed them floating upon the water, near 
our boat. 

Early upon the 23d, we passed a high bluff, which marks 
the Upper from the Lower Amazon. Below, we had been in 
the district of Para ; now, we had entered that of the Rio 
Negro. 

We saw increasing quantities of a very pretty water plant, 
whose flowers were blue and white, and about the basis of 
whose leaf-stems were spongy expansions, always filled with 
air — natural swimming corks. 

The sun was just setting, as we drew up at the sitio of the 
Capitan des Trabalhadores, to whom we had letters from Doc- 
tor Costa, desiring him to arrange men for our further advance. 
He promised to go to town in the morning, and filling one of 
our lockers from his orange trees, we proceeded on. Villa 
Nova is not upon so high land as some of the towns below, 
and is not conspicuous from a distance. But its situation is 
marked by an opposite island, the upper point of which ex- 
tends two or three miles beyond the town. This was watched 
by many eager eyes, for it was the eve of the Festa of St. 
Juan, one of their most popular of saints ; and our men, if pos- 
sible, were more anxious than we, and strained every nerve 
to arrive in time for the evening's festivities. With such a 
will, it was not long before the roaring of. the muskets, depu- 
tized as cannon, and the bright light of bonfires, burst upon 
us. Suddenly, the whole illuminated town was before us, bon- 
fires glaring before every door, and an especially large one at 
the upper end, where the Delegarde resided. 

We came in among a crowd of montarias and large canoes, 
mostly filled with women, whom their husbands and fathers 
had deserted for the more attractive cashaca shops, and who 
were patiently awaiting the hour of the danca. Upon the 
bank a procession was passing, the front rank noisy in the 
plenitude of drums and fifes. Succeeding them were ingen- 
iously preposterous angels ; some, overtopped by plumes 
several feet in length ; others, winged with a pair of huge 
appendages, looking like brown paper kites ; and others still, 
in parti-colored gauds, suggestive of scape-angels from Pande- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 143 



monium. Behind these loitered the tag, rag, and bobtail, or 
the black, red, and yellow, in the most orthodox Tammany 
style. 

Some of our party went on shore to look up old acquaint- 
ances. I remained on board, preferring to make observations 
by daylight, ft was late before the noise in the town sub- 
sided, what with muskets and rockets, singing and fiddling; so 
late, that I must have been dreaming hours before ; but the 
first thing that awoke me in the morning, was a splashing, and 
laughing, and screaming all around the gaiiiota, where the sex, 
par excellence, was washing away the fatigues of the dance 
in a manner to rival a school of mermaids. And these Indian 
girls, with their long floating hair, and merry laugh, would be 
no bad representations of that species not found in Cuvier; 
darting through the surf like born sea-nymphs. 

We were invited to the house of Senhor Bentos, a warm- 
hearted old bachelor, and his little reception room, of, perhaps, 
twelve feet square, was soon festooned with our hammocks. 
Here we spread ourselves at ease, as if no such vanities as 
Amazon voyages existed, and waited for the turtle that was 
undergoing a process in the Senhor's kitchen. 

Meanwhile we took the bearings of the Senhor's house, 
and as it was much like the other buildings of the town, its 
description will answer for all. Its framework was of rough 
poles from the forest, and these, within and without, were 
plastered with brown clay. The floor was of the same mate- 
rial, and the roof was of palm leaves, instead of tiles. From 
the outer door, a broad hall crossed the house, and this, being 
used as a dining-room, was occupied by a long table, upon 
either side of which was a four-legged bench. From the hall, 
upon each side, opened a small chamber, one used as the 
sleeping apartment of the family, and the other, in which we 
were swinging, the Senhor's especial parlor, or bedroom, as the 
case might be. In this was a large window, closed entirely 
by a shutter. The whole structure, to our ideas, was rather 
comfortless ; but, under the equator, that is of small conse- 
quence, and sufficient comfort is centred in a hammock, to 
atone for its absence in every thing else. Back of the house 



144 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

was a covered kitchen, and around this was a yard well 
stocked with poultry, and shaded by orange trees. 

The dinner came oft' in good style, and turtle in every 
variety of preparation, from the soup to the roasted in the 
shell, tempted us. It was the first time we had seen the 
turtle of the Amazon, and in our enthusiasm, we pronounced 
it equal to the very best of varieties seen at the North, nor 
wondered, that at civic dinners, aldermen must, perforce, make 
gluttons of themselves. 

After dinner I strolled into the woods back of the town, and 
soon discovered a delightful path, where a coach and four 
might have driven. 

At no great distance was a burying-ground, marked by a 
lofty cross, but as yet, apparently, without a grave. As I 
loitered along, picking here and there a flower, or startling the 
lizard from his afternoon nap, a number of Indians in their 
gala dresses, the women with bright flowers in their hair, 
passed, all greeting me with the musical " viva," or u como 
esta, Senhor." 

Towards evening, the festivities of the day being over, one 
after another, the canoes about the galliota pushed off, leaving 
the town almost deserted. Some of our men endeavored to 
take French leave of us, for which they enjoyed the night in 
the calaboose. 

There were some cattle about Villa Nova, and next 
morning, the 25th, was rendered memorable by the acquisition 
of a goodly quantity of milk, the first real cow's milk that we 
had seen, since New-York milkmen used to disturb our early 
dreaming. And even this good milk tasted all the more 
natural for a dash of water. 

We were very desirous to see the lake that lies about a 
mile in the rear of the town, but were prevented by the 
weather. In this vicinity, a chain of lakes extends along 
the river, upon both shores, and far into the interior. This 
lake region is generally high land, and uninfested by carapanas. 
Multitudes of Indians are scattered over it, obtaining an easy 
subsistence from the vast numbers of Periecu, and other fish, 
which frequent the lakes. At this season also, turtle resort 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 145 

to the same places, and were beginning to be taken in great 
numbers. 

Since leaving Para, our movements had been pretty much 
restricted to the galliota, for want of a montaria in which we 
might visit the shore at our inclination. At Villa Nova, we 
were fortunate enough to purchase one convenient for our pur- 
poses, and now anticipated a great increase to our means of 
amusement. And yet, our time heretofore had passed most 
pleasantly. The skies had favored, and those of us who were 
inclined, spent our days upon the cabin top, shielded from the 
boards by a comfortable rug, and shaded from the sun, if need 
were, by umbrellas. But the sun's heat was rarely inconve- 
nient, and tempered by fresh breezes. Coasting close in shore, 
there was always matter for amusement; in the morning and 
evening, multitudes of birds, and, at all hours, enchanting 
forests or beautiful flowers. At night, we preferred the open 
air to the confinement of the cabin, and never wearied in ad- 
miring the magnificence of the skies, or in tracing the fantastic 
shapes that were mapped out upon them in a profusion incon- 
ceivable to those who are only acquainted with the skies of 
the northern hemisphere. I have alluded to this before; but 
so interesting a phenomenon deserves further notice. This 
increased brilliance of the tropical skies is owing to the purity 
of the atmosphere, which is absolutely free from those obscur- 
ing, murky vapors, that deaden light in other latitudes. The 
sky itself is of the intensest blue, and the moon seems of in- 
creased size and kindlier effulgence. For one star at the 
North, myriads look down with a calm, clear light, and great 
part of the vault is as inexplicable as the milky-way. Most 
beautiful in appearance, and interesting from association, is the 
Southern Cross, corresponding with the Great Bear of the 
North. This constellation is of four stars, of superior brilliance, 
arranged in the form of an oblique angled cross. Just above 
these, and seeming to form part of the same constellation, is 
the Centaur. Orion is in all his glory, and the Scorpion trails 
his length, most easily recognized of all. All the other zodiacal 
clusters are conspicuous, and a kindred host we do not care to 
name. 



146 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

As the sun always set about six o'clock, we had long 
evenings, and it was our custom to gather upon the cabin, and 
while away the hours in singing all the psalms, and hymns, 
and social songs, that memory could suggest. Old Amazon 
was never so startled before ; and along his banks, the echoes 
of Old Hundred and Lucy Long may be travelling still. 

The carapanas had not been so troublesome as we had 
feared, and we had often avoided all their intimacies by tying 
to some tree removed from shore, or by favor of the fresh 
breezes. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Leave Villa Nova — Our manner of living — Shells — Jaeamars — Paroquets — Monkeys — 
Scorpion — Enter an igaripe — A deserted sitio — Wild duck — Scarlet Tanagers — A 
deserted sitio — Tobacco — Shells — A colony of monkeys — A turtle's revenge — Im- 
mense trees — Albino monkey — A self-caught fish — Porpoises — Curassows and nests — 
A turtle feast — Squirrel — Wild Indians — White herons — Shells — Umbrella chatterer 
— Cross to the northern shore — Periecu andTambaki — Arrive at Serpa — Sr. Manoel 
Jochin — An Indian dance. 

The sun of the 26th June was just relighting the water as we 
left Villa Nova. Continuing on a few miles, we stopped in the 
woods to breakfast. Our friends had loaded us with provisions 
offish, fowl, and turtle, and this morning's pic-nic was pecu- 
liarly delightful after the Spartan fare of the last fortnight. 
And here, perhaps, a description of our doings at these break- 
fast hours may not be without interest, to those who care to 
know the romance of a voyager's life. Landing at a conve- 
nient spot, the first point was to clear a space sufficient for 
operations, and this was speedily effected by some of the In- 
dians, with their tresados. Others wandered about collecting 
materials, wherewith to make a blaze, and there was rarely 
difficulty in finding an abundance of such. The flint and steel 
were put in requisition, and soon all was ready. Some of the 
party cut off strips of fish, washing it to extract the saltness ; 
others cut sticks of proper length, into the cleft end of which 
they fastened the fish. These were then stuck in the ground, 
inclining over the fire, and one of the men was always sta- 
tioned near to give it the requisite turning. One of the Indians 
was the particular attendant upon the cabin, receiving sundry 
perquisites for his services ; and upon him devolved the care 
of our tea-kettle. Above the fire, a cross-bar was supported 



148 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

by a forked stick at either end, and on this, the boiling was 
accomplished in the most civilized style. The coffee bag was 
all in waiting, a flannel affair, which, whilom, had done duty 
as a shirt sleeve ; and into this was put about two tea-cups of 
coffee. The boiling water was poured in, and our wash-bowl, 
washed, received the beverage, fragrant and strong. A quart 
was the allowance for each, and this, properly attempered by 
sugar, and unspoiled by milk, was our greatest luxury. As to 
the more substantial moiety of breakfast, the fish, rank and 
tough, we stood not upon ceremony, but pulling it in pieces 
with our fingers, and slightly dipping it in a nicely prepared 
mixture of oil and vinegar, we thereafter received it as became 
hungry men. 

At times, our fare was varied by the articles obtained at 
some sitio, but this was the general rule. Two of us had left 
the North dyspeptics. Sufficient was cooked in the morning 
to serve us through the day, and therefore we usually made 
but one stoppage. 

About the roots of the trees at this place, we found a beau- 
tiful variety of shell, the Bulimus papyracea, in considerable 
numbers, and here also we obtained a richly plumaged Jacamar, 
the Galbula viridis. This species we afterwards frequently 
encountered both in the forest and about plantations. There 
was one other species common at Para, but less beautiful, the 
G. paradisea. These birds resembled the humming birds so 
much in shape, that the people of the country, universally call 
them " beijar flor grande," or the great kiss-flower. Their 
lustrous plumage assists the deception. They live upon insects, 
which they are very expert at catching, with their long, slen- 
der bills. 

During the morning, we tested the capabilities of our new 
montaria, and starting in advance of the galliota, found fine 
sporting, principally among the paroquets and herons. The 
former family of birds had not been very plentiful since leaving 
Gurupa, near which place they had collected in vast flocks, 
from a large extent of country, for the breeding season. But 
now again, we were in the vicinity of some other haunt, and 
they were scarcely ever out of sight, or hearing. Their notes 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 149 

were not extremely agreeable, being little more than a shrill 
chatter, but for beauty of appearance, and motion, when clus- 
tered around some tree top. busily engaged in stripping off the 
berries, they were great favorites with us. There is no enu- 
merating the different varieties we observed, some little larger 
than canaries, others approximating in size to their cousins, the 
parrots. In general, their plumage was green, but they differ- 
ed in their markings, the green being beautified by various 
shades of yellow, of blue; and of pink, or roseate. 

Our advance was not very great, for the wind did not favor 
us, and all day we were coasting about the greater part of a 
circle, with the situation of Villa Nova scarcely ever out of 
sight. We observed very few houses ; the land was low, and 
palms again were numerous. Frequently, turning some 
point, we came upon little squads of monkeys, who scampered 
in terrible alarm, at the first glimpse of us. Excepting on these 
sudden surprisals, it always was exceedingly difficult to catch 
a sight of these animals. Even when one is positive that some 
of them are in his immediate vicinity, none but the keen and 
practised eyes of an Indian can discover their retreat. For any 
other than an Indian, therefore, to venture upon a monkey hunt 
is almost useless, and they only succeed by stripping off their 
clothes, and creeping cat-like among the bushes, or patiently 
waiting their opportunity in some concealment. 

From a passing montaria, we purchased a fish weighing 
about fifteen pounds, for four vintens, or four cents. We had 
noticed that most of the fish that we had seen had broad, flat 
heads, and corresponding mouths ; and this specimen showed 
us the utility of such a shovel-like apparatus; for, in his stom- 
ach, were at least a quart of crabs, as good as new, which he 
had gathered from the bottom of the river. When the refuse 
parts of this fish were thrown into the water near shore, they 
attracted great numbers of a small white fish, which strongly 
resembled eels in their habits, burying themselves in the mud 
at any attempt made to catch them. We succeeded in obtain- 
ing as many as we wanted of these, at another time, by letting 
down a basket in which was a bait of meat. Upon pulling this 
out half a dozen of these fish were always inside. The Indi- 



150 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

ans would not eat them, but pronounced them "devils" of 
fishes. 

While clearing out one of the lockers this afternoon, we 
started a brood of scorpions, a kind of reptile more formidable 
in ancient story that in modern reality. Still, I should prefer 
not to be stung by one of them. We saw them frequently in 
different parts of the country, and occasionally, several inches 
in length. They abound in all canoes and vessels, and once, 
as I opened a letter, brought from Para in one of these craft, a 
nice little specimen dropped from the folds. 

Soon after dark, a tremendous storm of wind and rain set 
in, which twice broke us from our moorings, and deluged the 
cabin. Rain had no sooner ceased, than swarms of carapanas 
hurried to our attack, and for the remainder of the night, sleep 
was out of the question. 

The river, upon the morning of the 27th, made a wide 
bend to the northward, around an immense island ; and to 
shorten the distance, we took the smaller channel, which, in 
narrowness, resembled an igaripe. Here, we again heard the 
Guaribas, who almost deafened us by their howling. 

Towards night, we stopped a few moments at a deserted 
plantation. The house was in ruins; but the fruit trees, and 
the garden, were still productive. In a trice, the whole were 
stripped, as though a party of licensed foragers had chanced 
that way ; and plantains, squashes, sugar-cane, and peppers, 
were handed into our boat. 

Proceeding, we passed a clump of grass, where a duck 
was setting upon her nest. Starting off", she fluttered along 
the water, as if badly wounded, and some one sprung to follow 
her in the montaria ; but, before that could be got ready, she 
had fluttered beyond harm's reach, and then had vigorously 
flown out of sight. 

During the day, we had seen a number of birds new to us ; 
but most attractive of all, was a Scarlet Tanager, the Rham- 
phopis nigri gularis (Swain), or Black-masked, whose bril- 
liant metallic scarlet and black livery, was like a jewel in the 
sunlight. We had seen nothing comparable to it upon the 
river. These birds were always seen about low bushes, by 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 151 

the water-side, catching their favorite insects, and uttering a 
slight note, or whistle, but no song. 

The morning of the 28th, found us still in the igaripe, 
which had become extremely narrow. The shore, upon one 
side, was two feet above the water; upon the other, it was 
overflowed. This contrast is observable upon the main stream, 
and between almost all the islands; high banks being generally 
opposed by low swamps. 

By ten o'clock, we had re-entered the river ; and stopped 
at a sitio, directly upon the point of the island, to prepare our 
breakfast. This plantation evidently belonged to a more in- 
dustrious planter, than was usual. There was a fine orchard of 
young cacao trees, and a large field of tobacco, nicely cleared 
of weeds. The tobacco, grown in this district, is of superior 
quality, and vastly preferred to any American tobacco im- 
ported. When put up for use, it is in long, slender rolls, 
wound about with rattan, and is cut off by the foot. Some- 
times, these rolls are ornamented by the Indians, with feathers. 
All persons, men and women, use tobacco in smoking; and, 
for this purpose, have pipes of clay, the stems of which are 
ornamented reeds, three or four feet in length. In the towns, 
very good cigars are made. We never observed the practice 
of chewing the weed, among our Indians; but they were 
always furnished by us with as regular rations of tobacco, as 
of casha9a. When pipes were wanting, they made cigarillos 
of the fine tobacco, wrapped in a paper-like bark, called 
toware ; and one of these was passed around the deck, each 
person, even to the little boys, taking two or three puffs in 
his turn, with which he was content for an hour or two, when 
the process was repeated. 

Wandering about this plantation, we discovered a number 
of shells of three species ; two of which were Helices, and 
hitherto undescribed. The third was the Achatina octona 
(Des), and observed at Para. 

The Senhor had a large quantity of fish to sell, and we 
bartered cloth for enough to last us the remainder of our 
journey. To show the obstructions to profitable labor, the 
prices received by this man, is a good illustration. Fish, at 



152 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

Villa Nova, was worth two milrees and a half, an arroba ; and 
tobacco, being just then scarce, much more. But, although 
he might have reached Villa Nova in a few hours, yet the 
return passage was so difficult, that he preferred to receive 
one milree an arroba for each, and that in barter. In the 
same way, we bought of him, for about forty cents, a turtle, 
weighing, at least, one hundred and twenty-five pounds, 
which he had lanced the day before. There was a Red and 
Yellow Macaw, Macrocercus Aracanga, in singularly fine 
plumage, climbing about the trees by the house; and we 
longed to possess him, but our boat was too crowded. 

Leaving this place, we coasted along the northern bank, 
and for a long time were passing high cliffs of red clay ; some- 
times perpendicular and overhanging the water, at others, 
running far back among the trees, and presenting a beautiful 
contrast of colors. These banks might well be mistaken for 
stone, were it not for the tell-tale kingfishers. 

Suddenly we came upon a colony of large, bushy-tailed 
Monkeys, who, to the number of, perhaps, a hundred were 
gamboling about the tops of a few tall trees. The first glimpse 
of us, put an end to their sport, and away they scampered, 
helter-skelter, old ones snatching up young ones, and young and 
old possessed with but one idea. Those who could, made pro- 
digious leaps into the trees below, catching the branches with 
their long tails, and swinging out, plunged yet again, and were 
lost to view. Others scrambled down the trunks, or concealed 
themselves in forks and crevices ; and in far less time than I 
have taken to describe the scene, not a monkey was visible. 
We passed on ; some bold veteran ventured a whistle, another 
and another returned it, and shortly, we could see the tree tops 
bending, and hear the rustling of the leaves, as the .whole 
troop hastened back to their unfinished games. 

ToAvards evening, the wind freshening, we crossed the 
channel, and now understood ourselves to be upon the shore of 
the great Island of Tupirambira, the Tupinamba of early 
voyagers, which, formed by the outlets of the River Madeira, 
stretches along many leagues. 

During the night, we were awakened by a groaning among 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 153 

the men. One of them had gone down to bale out the hold, 
and having to do so by the side of the turtle, had thought it 
would be as well to ascertain upon which end was the animal's 
head. The first feel was both satisfactory and unfortunate ; for 
turtle, not comprehending the intentions of these inquisitive 
fingers, seized a thumb in his mouth, and squeezed it, rather 
gently for a turtle, but still, forcibly enough to hint his dis- 
pleasure. Had he been one of the denizens of our Yankee 
ponds, the victimized boy would have had a serious search for 
his old member j as it was, he was disabled, and we thereafter 
promoted him to the helm. 

Not finding a sitio, we stopped upon the 29th, in a forest of 
magnificent growth, where the open space allowed a free 
ramble. The bank was three feet above the water, and the 
fronting trees and shrubs were densely overrun by a vine, pro- 
ducing a profusion of small white flowers, much resembling 
the Clematis. Many of the trees here, were of enormous 
size, and had we measured the girt near the ground, would 
have given us from forty to fifty feet. This seems wonderful, 
but the explanation is simple. Ten or fifteen feet above the 
ground, these trunks are round, and not often more than four 
or five feet in diameter ; but, at about that elevation, set out 
thin supports diverging in every direction, presenting the ap- 
pearance of a column, supported by a circle of triangles around 
its base. Of all these trees, the most conspicuous for beauty, 
was the mulatto tree, mentioned before, and which grew here 
in abundance. 

To-day we obtained a specimenof the Least Bittern, Ardea 
exilis, and saw a number of Crested Curassows, or Mutuns, as 
they are called, but were unable to shoot them. We saw, also, 
many iguanas, who, at our approach, would drop into the 
water, from the branches upon which they were feeding. But 
a greater oddity, was a small monkey, white as snow, and un- 
doubtedly an albino. We drew up to the shore, and endea- 
vored to find his hiding place, but unsuccessfully. 

Upon the flowers, this day, we observed great swarms of 
butterflies, of every size and color. A large one of a rich green, 



154 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

was new to us, and most curious, but the brilliant blue ones, 
seen so often near Para, still bore the palm for splendor. 

Towards evening, a piece of floating grass passed by us, 
upon which laid the remains of a fish, about five feet in length. 
He had thrown himself from the water, and there had died. A 
great variety of the river fish have this habit of leaping above 
the surface, and not unfrequently, fall into a passsing montaria. 
Our Indians alleged this as a reason for not sleeping in the 
montaria, which would have accommodated two or three of 
them with far more comfort than the galliota, where, part of 
them slept, slung across the tolda like so many sacks, and the 
rest, along their narrow seats, as they could find room. 

Upon the morning of the 30th, we were called out to ob- 
serve a school of porpoises, that were blowing and leaping 
all around us. This fish resembles much the sea-porpoise in 
its motions, and is common from Para up. Its color is pinkish, 
upon the belly, and a number of them gamboling about is an 
exceedingly beautiful sight. They are not eaten, and are val- 
uable only for their oil. 

A party went out in the montaria, and returned with a pair 
of White Herons, A. alba, and in the tree tops, in the vicinity, 
were a large number of these birds, evidently just commencing 
their nesting. 

As we drew up by the bank for breakfast, a Crested Curas- 
sow, or Mutun, Crax alector, flew from the top of a low tree 
near us, and one of the Indians darted up for her nest. There 
were two eggs, and tying them in his handkerchief, he brought 
them down in his teeth. These eggs were much larger than 
a turkey's egg, white, and granulated all over. The Crested 
Curassow is a bird about the size of a small turkey. Its gen- 
eral plumage is black, the belly only being white, and upon its 
head, is a crest of curled feathers. This species has a yellow 
bill. It is called the Royal Mutun by the Brazilians, and, in the 
vicinity of the River Negro, is not uncommon. With several 
other varieties of its family, it is frequently seen domesticated, 
and is a graceful and singularly familiar bird in its habits. 
According to some authors, this bird lays numerous eggs, but 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 155 

each of the three nests which we found, during this day, con- 
tained but two, and the Taucha assured us that this was the 
complement. The nest was, in every case, about fifteen feet 
above the ground, and was composed of good-sized sticks, lined 
with leaves and small pieces of bark. 

We determined on the immolation of our monster turtle, 
and all hands, kettles, and pots were in requisition. About a 
peck of eggs were taken from her, and reserving these, with 
the hind quarters, and the parts attached to the lower half of 
the shell, we turned the remainder over to the Indians, who 
very soon had every part, even to the entrails, stewing in their 
earthen vessels. The eggs, mixed with farinha, were very de- 
licious, but in my case, at least, they caused an awful reckon- 
ing, and for a long time, I could scarcely think of turtle with- 
out a shiver. 

Soon after starting, we found two other Mutuns' nests, and 
as the boy climbed to the last, there was a crash and a fall, and 
we thought his Indian skill had, for once, deserted him. But 
the commotion was caused by a pair of iguanas, who, from a 
good height, had precipitated themselves into the water. The 
rascals, no doubt, had been calculating on an omelette break- 
fast. This afternoon, we shot a gray hawk, and on picking him 
up, we found a large red squirrel, of a species new to us, by his 
side, upon which he had but just commenced dining. This 
squirrel had legs and tail greatly disproportioned to his body, 
and we concluded with an acute theorist, that his ancestry 
had lived so long among the monkeys, as to have become 
assimilated. 

Upon the morning of July 1st, we stopped at a sitio, where 
was an extensive plantation of mandioca, and another of ca- 
cao, and in the vicinity we shot a number of Jacamars and Ta- 
nagers, as well as a squirrel of large size and better propor- 
tions than our acquisition of the day before. 

Near this place was a sideless shantee, where a party of 
wild Indians had squatted. There was an old crone, two young 
girls, and a boy of sixteen, all looking miserably enough. The 
only articles they seemed to possess, were a couple of ham- 
mocks, and a large fish roasting on some coals told how they 



156 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

subsisted. These Indians were of the Muras, the same as our 
Taucha, and he went over to have a talk with them. Gipsy- 
like, they often come out in this way, and remain, until some 
depredation obliges them to decamp. This tribe, in particular, 
are arrant thieves, and semi-civilization did not seem to have 
eradicated much of the propensity in those of our party, for sev- 
eral times, we had missed little articles, as knives, which, we 
had no doubt, were carefully preserved in some of the trunks 
in the tolda. 

All day, the shore continued low, but just above the pres- 
ent height of the river, and a few weeks before, evidently'they 
had been entirely flooded. Of course, there were but few 
sitios. 

Just at night, we came upon an immense flock of herons, 

roosting in the trees upon a small island. A went towards 

them with the montaria, and brought down enough of them for 
the morrow's breakfast. The survivors flew round and round 
in puzzled confusion, then wheeled towards another island, 
where darkness prevented his following them. 

Stopped in the woods, upon the 2d, and upon the roots of 
the large trees, we collected a number of shells, the Bulimus 
piperitus (Sowerby), entirely new to us. There were also 
many shells, three varieties common throughout the river re- 
gion, Ampullaria crassa (Swain) ; Ampullaria scalaris (D'Or- 
bigny), and Ampullaria zonata (Wagner), and usually found 
just above high-water mark. They crawl up there adventu- 
rously and are left by the retiring flood. Occasionally, in these 
forests, we discovered dead shells of the Achatina flaminea. 
Here we saw a pair of the Umbrella Chatterers. Cephalopeterus 
ornatus, among the rarest and most curious of Brazilian birds. 
They were sitting near together, upon the lower branches of a 
large tree, and a shot brought down the female. Unfortunate- 
ly, the gun had been loaded but in one barrel, and before am- 
munition could be obtained from the boat, the male, who lin- 
gered about for some moments, had disappeared. We after- 
wards obtained a fine male upon the Rio Negro. These birds 
are of the size of small crows, and the color of their plumage 
is a glossy blue-black. Upon the head, is a tall crest of slen- 






A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 157 

der feathers, whence it derives its name, and upon the breast, 
of both male and female, is a pendant of feathers, hanging to 
the length of three inches. They are, like all the Chatterers, 
fruit eaters. They are pretty common upon an island a few 
days' sail above the Barra of the Rio Negro, but they are not 
found any where in that region in such flocks as others of the 
Chatterer family. The Indian name for these birds is Urumu- 
imbu, and the Taucha informed us, that they built in trees, and 
laid white eggs. 

During the day, we crossed from one island to another, and 
at last, were again upon the northern side. 

Early the next morning, the 3rd, we were overtaken by a 
small canoe pulled by eight men, and some of our party were 
delighted to discover in the proprietor an old acquaintance. 
After mutual compliments and inquiries, the canoe shot past, 
and we soon lost sight of her. While we were looking out for 
a place whereon to build our customary fire, the smoke of some 
encampment ahead caught our eyes, and directing our course 
thither, we found our friend of daybreak, nicely settled upon a 
little clearing which he had made, under the cacao trees of a 
deserted plantation. He politely made room for us, and sent us 
coffee from his own boat. 

Not long after noon, we stopped at a house, where a num- 
ber of Indians were collected about a Periecu, which they had 
just caught. This was the fish whose dried slabs had been our 
main diet for the last few weeks, and we embraced the oppor- 
tunity to take a good look at so useful a species. He was about 
six feet long, with a large head and wide mouth, and his thick 
scales, large as dollars, were beautifully shaded with flesh color. 
These fish often attain greater size, and, at certain seasons, are 
very abundant, especially in the lakes. They are taken with 
lances, cut into slabs of half an inch thickness, and dried in the 
sun, after being properly salted. It is as great a blessing to 
the Province of Para, as cod or herring to other countries, 
constituting the main diet of three-fourths of the people. We 
bought, for eight cents, half this fish, and for six more, a Tam- 
baki, weighing about ten pounds. This is considered the finest 



158 A VOYAGE UP THE RITEE AMAZON. 

fish in this part of the river, and resembles, in shape, the Black 
Fish of the North. 

Not far above this sitio, was the village of Serpa, and a turn 
of the river presented it to us in all the glory of half a dozen 
thatched houses. So aristocratic an establishment as our gal- 
liota was not to come up without causing a proper excitement, 
and, one after another, the leisurely villagers made their ap- 
pearance upon the hill, until a respectable crowd stood waiting 
to usher us. Hardly had we touched the shore, when a depu- 
tation boarded us for the news, and we were forced to spend 
half an hour in detailing the city values of cacao, and fish, and 
tobacco, and the hundred other articles of traffic. Indeed, this 
had been our catechism ever since we entered the river, and 
as we were profoundly ignorant of ''he state of the Para mar- 
ket, we had been obliged to invent a list of prices for the gen- 
eral circulation. 

The bank, upon which the village stands, rises abruptly 
about fifty feet above high water mark, but fortunately, in one 
point, a broad, natural gully allows easier ascent, and, up this, 
we made our way. Our principal business in stopping here, 
was to obtain men, if possible, part of ours being lazy, and 
part disabled from one cause or another. Moreover, the river 
current above Serpa flows with a vastly accelerated swiftness,, 
rendering more men almost indispensable. We directed our 
way to the house of Senhor Manoel Jochin, the most influen- 
tial man of the village, although not a public officer. Nor had 
we far to go, for Serpa has been shorn of its glory, and dilapi- 
dation and decay meet one at every turn. The Senhor was 
sitting at his door, in earnest conversation with the Colonel 
and the Juiz de Paz, and received us not cavalierly, but as 
became a cavalier. For Senhor Manoel had been a soldier in 
his day, and, although on the shady side of sixty, still looked 
a noble representative of those hardy old Brazilians who have 
spent their lives on the frontiers. We had heard of him be- 
low, as the captor of Edoardo, one of the rebel Presidents of 
the Revolution, and looked upon him with interest. For this 
exploit he had been offered a high commission in the army, 
but he preferred living in retirement here. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 159 

In the evening, we sat down to turtle and tambaki with 
the dignitaries before mentioned, and as our style of supper 
varied somewhat from our former experience, I trust I shall be 
excused for entering a little more into particulars. By the 
side of each plate, was a pile of farinha upon the table, and in 
the centre, stood a large bowl of caldo, or gravy. Upon sit- 
ting down, each one, in turn, took up a handful of his farinha, 
and dropped it into the bowl. This, afterwards, was the gen- 
eral store, from which each helped himself with his own spoon, 
as he listed. Water was not absolutely interdicted, but it was 
looked upon with scarcely concealed disapprobation, and its 
absence was compensated by casha9a. There was no limit 
to hob-nobbing and toasting, and our jolly Colonel at last con- 
cluded with a stentorian song. 

The Senhor had been a frequent voyager upon the Madeira, 
and gave us interesting accounts of his adventures upon that 
river. What was quite as agreeable, however, was a collec- 
tion of shells which he had picked up along its shores, and of 
which he begged our acceptance. One of these was a re- 
markably large one of the Ampullaria canaliculata (Lam.), 
which was used as a family cashaga goblet. The others 
were Hyria avicularis, and Anadonta esula. The valves of 
the Anadontas had been used as skimmers, in the Senhor's 
kitchen. 

We were told that there was to be a dance, to which our 
company would be acceptable, particularly if we brought 
along a few bottles of cashaga. Now an Indian dance was a 
novelty, and the insinuating invitation worked its effect. Taking 
each a quart bottle under his arm, we strolled to the scene of 
action, and were politely ushered into one of the larger houses, 
where a crowd of men and girls had collected. The room 
was illuminated by burning wicks of cotton, which were 
twisted about small sticks, and set into pots of andiroba oil. 
Around the walls, were benches, upon which sat a score of 
Indian girls, dressed in white, with the ever accompanying 
flowers, and vanilla perfume. The men were standing about, 
in groups, awaiting the commencement of the exercises, and 
dressed in shirts and trousers. One, distinguished beyond the 



160 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

rest by a pair of shoes, and a colored handkerchief over his 
shoulders, was the major domo, and kindly relieved us of our 
bottles, allowing us to stand ourselves among the others, as 
we might. A one-sticked drum soon opened the ball, assisted 
by a wire-stringed guitar, and for a little time, they divinised 
on their own account, until they were pronounced safe for the 
evening. Two gentlemen then stepped up to their selected 
partners, and gracefully intimated a desire for their assistance, 
which was favorably responded to. The partners stood oppo- 
site each other, and carelessly shuffled their feet, each keeping 
slow time, by the snapping of their fingers. The man ad- 
vanced, then retreated, now moved to one side, and then to the 
other. Now approaching close to the fair one, he made a low 
bow, looking all sorts of expressions, as though he was acting 
a love pantomime ; to which his partner responded by vio- 
lently snapping her fingers, and shuffling away as for dear 
life. Away goes the lover two or three yards to the right, 
profoundly bowing ; then as far to the left, and another bow. 
Getting visibly excited, up again he advances, going through 
spasmodic operations to get louder snaps from his fingers. 
The fair inamorata is evidently rising. Around she whirls 
two or three times; he spins in the opposite direction, and just 
as he is getting up an attitude of advance, out steps another 
lady, taking his partner's place. This is paralyzing, but the 
lover is too polite not to do a little for civility, when some gen- 
tleman steps belbre him, taking the burden from his feet, and 
leaving him to follow his partner to the well earned seat, where 
he solaces his feelings by a long pull at the bottle, and then 
passes it to the lady, who requires sympathy similar in degree 
and quantity. The dancing continued, with no variation of 
time or figure, until the cashaqa gave out, which was the 
signal for a breaking up, all who could preserve their equili- 
brium, escorting their equally fortunate partners, and those 
who could not, remaining until a little sleep restored their 
ailing faculties. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Fourth of July at Serpa — Lake Saraca — An accession — Pic-nic — An opossum — Narrow 
passage — Swallow-tailed hawks — Sitio of the Delegarde — River Madeira — Village of 
our Taugha — Appearance of his party on arriving at home — The old rascal — Bell- 
bird — Stop at a sitio, and reception — Orioles — A cattle sitio — Swift current — Enter 
the Rio Negro — Arrive at Barra. 

An unclouded sky was awaiting the sun of the 4th, as we 
strolled along the river bank, at Serpa, recalling the cluster- 
ing associations connected with the day, and thinking of the 
present occupations of friends, at home. It was a magnificent 
place for fire-works and tar barrels, and that beautiful island 
opposite, was the very spot for a pic-nic. We had quite a 
mind to have a celebration on our own account, for the pur- 
pose of demonstrating to the benighted Amazonians how glo- 
rious a thing it is to call one's self free and independent; but, 
alas ! our powder was precious, and barrels of tar not to be had 
for love or money. The sun peeped over the tree tops, flood- 
ing in beauty the wild forest, and gilding ihe waters that 
rushed and foamed like maddened steeds. The birds were 
making the air vocal with a hundred different notes, and fishes 
were constantly bouncing above the water in glee. And was 
it a fancy, that one red-coated fellow, as he tossed himself up, 
greeted us with a "viva" to the Independence of America? 

Serpa was a pretty place, after all ; and our impressions of 
the night before, had been formed after a long day and a 
scorching sun. And the people of Serpa were a happy people, 
and we almost wished that our names were in their parish 
register. The river teemed with the best of fish, and half an 
hour's pleasure would supply the wants of a week. Farinha 
grew almost spontaneously, and fruits quite so. The people 



162 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

bartered with passing boats for whatever else they might re- 
quire, and lived their lives out like a summer's day, knowing 
nothing of the care and trouble so busy in the world around 
them, and happy as language could express. With an income 
of one hundred dollars, a man would be a nabob in Serpa, as 
rich as with a hundred thousand elsewhere. 

Not far back of the village, is a large lake, the Saraca, and 
at one of the outlets of this, Mr. McCulloch had, a few years 
since, made arrangements for a saw-mill. But after several 
months' labor, when the timbers were all ready to be put to- 
gether, he was ordered by the authorities at Para to desist, 
upon some frivolous pretext." From here, he removed to 
Barra. 

SenhorManoel had been on the point of leaving for Barra, 
as we arrived, and he concluded to go with us, putting two of 
his men upon the galliota. Besides these, we had been unable 
to find any others. The Colonel and Juiz were also to go in 
their own canoes, keeping us company. These gentlemen 
were all going up to Barra to attend a jury, one of the inflic- 
tions of civilization in Brazil, as elsewhere. But, although a 
week's voyaging among the carapanas is no sport, they did not 
grumble half so much at the obligation, as many a man, at 
home, for the loss of his afternoon by similar necessity. 

Leaving Serpa, about seven o'clock, we continued on an 
hour, until we arrived at a spot, whither the Senhors had pre- 
ceded us, and made ready breakfast. We were to have a pic- 
nic after all. Each canoe had brought store of good things, 
and we circled around a little knoll under the trees, to the 
enjoyment of a greater variety than we had seen for the last 
two months. 

At this place, we shot an Opossum, of a smaller variety 
than that of the States. It emitted a very disagreeable odor, 
and even our Indians expressed their disgust at the idea of 
eating it. I intended to have preserved it, and laid it in the 
montaria for that purpose, but soon after, it was missing, some 
one having thrown it into the stream. 

Nearly all day, our course was through a passage, of not 
more than fifty yards width, between the northern shore and 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 163 

an island. At low water, this channel was entirely dry. In 
one part of our way, a large flock of Swallow-tailed Hawks, 
Falco furcatus, a variety found also in the Southern States, 
circled about us in graceful motion, like so many swallows. 
We brought down one, a fine specimen, greatly to our delight ; 
for although we had frequently seen them before, we never had 
been able to reach them, on account of their lofty flight. 

It was nearly midnight when we reached the sitio of the 
Delegarde of Serpa, directly opposite the mouth of the river 
Madeira. The Colonel had arrived before us, and we found 
prepared a substantial supper. The Delegarde of Serpa, has 
not a very lucrative office, and matters about, the house looked 
rather poverty-stricken ; but we cared little for that, on our 
own account, and slinging our hammocks under an open 
cacao-shed, slept as well as the carapanas would allow. 

The river Madeira is the greatest tributary of the Ama- 
zon; having a length of more than two thousand miles. Rising 
far down among the mountains of Southern Bolivia, it drains 
a vast extent of country, receiving constant accessions. Its 
current is not swift, and its waters are comparatively clear. 
When the Amazon is lowest, in the month of December, the 
Madeira is at its height; and at that season, very many fallen 
trees are floated down. Much of the country, about its mouth, 
is low and uninhabitable ; and at certain seasons, the whole 
region, below the falls, is visited by intermittent fevers. This 
scourge to man, is a blessing to the turtles, who congregate 
upon the upper islands, and deposit their eggs, without mo- 
lestation. The first falls are at the distance of two months' 
journey from Serpa ; and, thereafter, a succession of similar 
falls and rapids obstructs the navigation for a long distance. 
Yet canoes of considerable burden, ascend the river passing 
these falls by aid of the Indians, who are settled about these 
places in large numbers. By the upper branches of the Ma- 
deira, easy communication is had with the head-waters of the 
La Plata ; and in the earlier days of Brazilian settlement, the 
enterprising colonists had discovered and taken advantage of 
this connection. To the interior province of Matto Grosso, 
communication is had by the Tocantins, Tapajos, and Ma- 



164 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

deira, from Para. The latter river is preferred, on account 
of the fewer obstructions, although the distance is greatly in- 
creased. Not unfrequently, one of these canoes arrives at the 
city, loaded with the products of Matto Grosso, among which 
gold is one of the principal. The Indians, accompanying such 
craft, are of a very different race from those usually seen ; and 
in strange dresses, wander about the streets, staring at every 
sight. 

There are but few settlements upon the lower waters of the 
Madeira. The chief of them is Borda, upon the southern 
bank, two days' voyage from Serpa. The country is rich in 
woods, cacao, salsa, and gums. A greater obstruction to its 
settlement than unhealthiness, was the obstinate ferocity of the 
Indian tribes upon the river banks, especially the Muras and 
Mundrucus. But both these have yielded in some degree to 
the effects of civilization, and the latter are now considered 
one of the most friendly races in the province. 

Resuming our journey before daybreak of the 5th, we ar- 
rived, about seven o'clock, at the most orderly looking sitio 
which we had yet seen. There were a number of slaves, and 
the fields of mandioca and tobacco were as neat as gardens. 
The houses were well built, and arranged in the form of a 
quadrangle ; and, being upon a lofty bank, commanded a 
beautiful view of the river, and the remote shore. A grove 
of orange trees hung loaded with fruit, and we readily ob- 
tained permission to fill our lockers. The orange season was 
just commencing, and thereafter we found them every where 
in profusion. 

Here also we obtained a shell new to us, the Achatina 
regina. 

Three miles above this place, was the village of our 
Taucha, and as himself and his party had been absent several 
months, we observed their demeanor with some curiosity, as 
we drew near their home. The old man looked sharply, as 
though he would see if any changes had occurred in his do- 
main ; the boys scarcely looked at all, and seemed as apathetic 
as blocks ; but the princess was all smiles, pointing out to her 
children this and that object, or her recognized friends upon 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 165 

the bank. The village did not present a very distinguished 
appearance, although upon a singularly fine site ; the bank 
being fifty feet above the water, and fronted by a small island, 
at the distance of a mile. As we touched the shore, a number 
of women and children were looking on from above, as though 
we were perfect strangers ; only two of the little girls coming 
down to meet their brothers and cousins. With the same in- 
difference, the boys, as they met their mothers and sisters, 
scarcely exchanged a salutation. To give them all the credit 
they deserved, however, their first steps were to the rude 
chapel, where, before the altar, on bended knees, they thanked 
our Lady for their safe return. There was one poor boy, the 
best of the band, who had been sick with jaundice during the 
whole passage. The others had been perfectly indifferent to 
him, not caring whether he lived or died ; but we had done 
every thing for his comfort that circumstances would allow, 
and in return, although he could not speak a word of Por- 
tuguese, he had testified his gratitnde in a hundred little in- 
stances. He lingered about us a long time, as if loth to part ; 
and when, at last, he went upon the hill, where the others were 
collected together, detailing the wonders of their travels, he 
slunk away, unnoticed by any ; nor did we see the least re- 
cognition of him while we remained. 

When Lieutenant Mawe descended this river, in 1831, these 
people had just been gathered out of the woods by an old 
Padre who had converted them, and taught them something 
of civilization. Mr. Mawe particularly observes, that they 
would drink no cashaca, nor exchange fish for that article. 

But the old Padre had gone ; the houses, far better framed 
than usual, were almost all in ruins ; and there did not seem 
to be a dozen adults in the place. A large piece of ground 
had, at one time, been cultivated, but now, the grass and 
bushes had overgrown the whole ; and excepting where a few 
squash vines had found a home upon the side-hill, not a trace 
of agriculture remained. With this outward decay, the Pa- 
dre's instructions had gone likewise, and these Muras were 
noted as arrant thieves, and lazy vagabonds. The little civi- 

8* 



166 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

lization once acquired, had left behind just enough of its dregs, 
to make them worse than their brethren of the woods. 

We wandered some hours in the vicinity, shell hunting and 
sporting, with very little success j but the exercise was delight- 
ful, for long confinement in the galliota had stiffened our joints, 
and well nigh put us upon the sick list. 

Senhor Manoel Jochin waited until afternoon for the return 
of some men, who were said to be absent upon a fishing expe- 
dition ; but, at last he left, after making the Taucha promise to 
forward us with our fall complement, when the absentees re- 
turned. The Senhor, very kindly, left with us his two men, 
whom we had employed since leaving Serpa. No sooner was 
he gone, than the fishermen appeared from the woods, where 
they had been skulking ; and now, the Taugha, having received 
payment, refused to do any thing further. There was no help ; 
we could only threaten Doctor Costa's vengeance, and, there- 
fore, prepared to depart as speedily as possible. 

The price to be paid this party of six, had been stipulated 
by Doctor Costa, before their descent. Their wages had been 
given them in money at Para, and for the forty-five days, dur- 
ing which they had been in our employ, each received three 
shirts of factory cotton, three pairs of pantaloons of blue drill- 
ing, and two balls of thread. In addition, the Taugha was to 
receive at Barra, two whole pieces of drilling ; but this, of 
course, he forfeited by not fulfilling his engagement. 

We had still seven men besides the pilot, although we had 
left eight persons at the village, and were, after all, not so badly 
off as we might have been. 

Bidding; adieu to the Muras with uncourteous blessings, we 
coasted for some hours under the same lofty bank, passing a 
number of fine sitios. The current was often so swift that the 
utmost exertions of the men were unable to propel the boat, 
and they showed great glee at the alacrity with which the 
Senhors sprang to the paddles for their relief. 

During the night, we fancied we heard the far-famed Bell- 
bird. The note was that of a muffled tea-bell, and several of 
these ringers were performing, at the same time ; some, with 
one gentle tinkle, others, with a ring of several notes. I asked 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER. AMAZON. 167 

the pilot, what was " gritando ;" he replied, " a toad." I had 
no idea of having my musician thus calumniated, and remon- 
strated thereupon; but he cut me short with, "it must be a 
toad, every thing that sings at night is a toad." From ac- 
counts of travellers, we had been expecting, ever since we had 
entered the Amazon, to have been nightly lulled to sleep by 
the song of this mysterious bird ; and we used, at first, to strain 
our perceptions to the recognition of something that was bell- 
like, now, starting at the hooting ding-dong of an owl. and now 
at the slightest twitter of a tree-toad. But it was all in vain ; 
the illusion would not last, and unless, when heart-saddened, 
his note, which is usually compared to the " pounding of a 
hammer upon an anvil," comes within the compass of a little 
bell of silver, we never heard the Bell-bird. 

During the whole of the 6th, we were passing through a 
narrow passage, under a melting sun. and unenlivened by a 
single bird, or other enticement. An Amazonian sun can be 
fierce, and upon such days, the birds fly panting into the thick- 
ets, and trees and flowers look sorrowfully after them, as though 
they would gladly follow. The river bank was often high, and 
occasionally we saw a real rock — no clay fiction. 

The carapanas gave, us no rest during the night, and early 
upon the 7th we were advancing, hoping to arrive at a sitio by 
breakfast time. 

Daybreak found us emerging from our narrow passage, and 
we saw but a short distance ahead the embarcagoen, in which 
most of Bradley's goods had been shipped, and which had left 
the city, a few days before ourselves. The men pulled lustily 
to overtake her, for we were out of cashaca, and now should 
be able to obtain a supply. 

It Avas ten o'clock before we came in sight of the sitio, situ- 
ated upon a high, projecting bluff. The embarcacoen was 
anchored in a little bay upon the upper side. We drew up in 
a convenient spot below, and walked in procession to the house. 
The reception chamber in this case, was a raised platform, 
about two feet high, covered with slats, upon which mats were 
spread, and over which two hammocks were hanging. We 
found the Senhor and his lady, with the Captain just arrived 



< 



163 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

engaged with their coffee, and the invitation to us was not 
" entra." but " sobre," that, is, "mount." This direction we 
accurately followed, and squatted ourselves, Turkish fashion, 
upon the mats. Coffee was presented us, and after our now 
tasteless galliota preparation, was a luxury. 

This house was large enough, and had its proprietor thought 
fit to limit the circulation of air, by an outer wall or two. or to 
fetter the grass upon the floor by tiles, would have been one of 
the finest houses upon the river. But such innovations, proba- 
bly, never occurred to him. Under the same roof, and within 
six feet from the platform, was a furnace and anvil, at which, 
a black Cyclops was officiating, with an earnestness that made 
our ears a burden, and that puzzled us to comprehend how the 
good couple could endure their hammocks. 

A number of pretty children were playing about, and one 

of them speedily formed an intimacy with A . She brought 

him acuya of eggs, and seemed happy as a lark, with some tri- 
fling present which he made her in return. How often had we 
wished for some of these pretty toys or books, which children 
at home value so lightly, but which those upon the Amazon 
would regard as priceless treasures. Upon leaving, the Sen- 
hora sent down half a dozen fowls, and some vegetables for 
our acceptance. 

The proprietor of this establishment was counted one of 
the wealthiest men upon the river, and we saw numerous slaves, 
and large fields of tobacco and mandioca. In front of the 
house, an Indian, and his boy, were weaving a grass hammock, 
twisting the cord from the raw material as they required it, a 
few yards at a time. 

Soon after starting, we passed the embarcacoen, obtaining 
our indispensable. This vessel had large schooner sails, but 
as wind did not always favor, eight men stood upon her deck, 
with long sweeps, made by fastening the blades of paddles upon 
the ends of poles, and pulled her onward. Besides these, two 
men were in the montaria with a rope, tying and pulling, as be- 
fore described. In this manner, she advanced nearly as rap- 
idly, or rather, as slowly, as ourselves. 

We had been disappointed in our expectation of obtaining 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 169 



some additional men at this sitio. The riddance of the Tauc;ha's 
party was an inconceivable relief; for the men, having no bad 
example constantly before them, required no urging, but pulled 
steadily and contentedly from four in the morning until eight 
at night, frequently cheering their labor by songs. Many of 
their songs are Portuguese, and the airs are very sweet ; but 
the real Indian is usually unburdened with words, and is little 
more than a loud, shrill scream, with something of measure ; 
a sort of link between the howl of the performer at the Chi- 
nese Museum, and a civilized tone. We never could catch 
these wild tunes, but they were as natural to every Indian, as 
his bow and arrow. 

We saw a number of beautifully marked Orioles, in orange 
and black livery, Icterus guttulatus (Lafresnaye), as well as 
another variety, which we afterwards found to be extremely 
abundant upon Marajo, Icterus jububa ; and the notes of a new 
variety of Toucan, Pteroglossus aracari, sounded noisily along 
the shore. 

Late at night, we stopped at a cattle sitio. The master 
was absent, but the slaves had a number of fine Tambaki, and 
we purchased enough, already roasted, to last us to Barra. 
Habitual travellers upon the Amazon, make it a point to stop 
during the night at sitios, whenever possible, thus avoid- 
ing the carapanas, and greatly relieving the tedium of their 
voyage. 

At seven o'clock, upon the 8th, we were in the swiftest 
current below the Rio Negro. A rocky shore, dry at low 
water, at this season, formed a rapid, down which the waters 
rushed with a furious velocity. Two of us went ahead in the 
montaria ; some used the pole ; while others, with the sail rope, 
jumped upon shore and pulled. By these means, after a hard 
tug, we passed. 

We breakfasted in a lovely spot, where the open woods, and 
the moss-covered rocks, so different from any we had seen 
before, reminded us strongly of well-loved scenes at home. 
Here we gathered several species of Ferns, and from a mound 
of soft red clay, cut out cakes, like soap, for some soil-inquisi- 
tive friend. 



170 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

The remote bank of the Rio Negro now began to rise 
boldly, exhilarating us all. The water of the Amazon gradu- 
ally lost its muddy hue, and the black water of the Negro as 
gradually assumed its proper color; until, at last, intensely 
dark, but clear and limpid, every ripple sparkling like crystals, 
it bade us throw back a joyful adeos to the majestic old friend 
we were leaving, and hail with loud vivas the beautiful newly- 
found. 

At its junction with the Negro, the Amazon bends widely 
to the south; so that, from the northern shore, the former 
seems the main stream. Directly at the junction, lies a large, 
triangular island, and Mr. McCulloch informed us, that he 
himself had found soundings here, at thirty-two fathoms, or 
one hundred and ninety-two feet. Upon either side, the shore 
rises abruptly and loftily, and the river is contracted into much 
narrower, limits than above. 

We sailed under noble bluffs, passing many fine-looking 
houses ; and the effect of these, with the dark water, the cloudy 
sky, and the rich green festooning, made that few hours' sail 
intensely interesting. The current moved sluggishly, and the 
only signs of life which we met. were in correspondence ; a 
swarthy white, in one end of a montaria. listlessly holding a 
fish-line, while in the other, sat, curled up, a little boy, in blue 
shirt and red cap, both pictures of luxurious laziness. 

It was eight o'clock in the evening, as we moored to the shore, 
at Barra. A furious rain was pouring, and thus, we ended our 
voyage as we had begun it. We had left Para, expecting to 
see but thirty days pass upon the Amazon, but the thirty had 
flown long since, and here we were, upon the eve of the fiftieth. 

Yet our time had passed pleasantly, in spite of every 
inconvenience ; and now that the memory of the carapanas 
began to fade into indistinctness, and the big flies could no longer 
trouble us, we could have looked fo- ard to another fifty days 
towards the Peruvian frontier, without trembling. 

The distance from Para to the Barra of the Rio Negro, in 
a straight line, is rather more than eight hundred miles, but as 
we had come, following all the windings of the channel, the 
distance was more than a thousand. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 17 \ 

Early in the morning, a number of gentlemen visited us at 
the galiiota. some to inquire of the market and news below, 
others to make offers of friendly service. Of these latter was 
Senhor Henriquez Antonio, an Italian by birth, and the most 
prominent trader upon these upper rivers. He immediately 
offered us a vacant house next his own, and in a brief time, we 
were fairly installed in our new quarters. The building was 
of one story, containing several rooms, most of which were 
ceiled by roof tiles, and floored by sand. Bradley took 
possession of the large parlor for his goods, and he and Mr. 
Williams were domiciled in one of the little twelve-by-twelve 
sanctums, and A and I in the other. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Rio Negro at Barra — The town-— Old fort — Sr. Henriquez and family — Manner of liv- 
ing — Venezuelans — Piassaba rope — Grass hammocks — Feather work — Descent of the 
Negro — Gallos de Serra — Chili hats — Woods in the vicinity — Trogons — Chatterers — 
Curassows — Guans — Parrots and Toucans — Humming Birds — Tiger Cats — Squirrels — 
A Tiger story — The Casueris — A Yankee saw-mill — Mode of obtaining logs — A 
Pic-nic — Cross the river to a campo — Cattle and horses — A select ball. 

The Rio Negro, at Barra, is about four miles in width, at 
high water, but much Jess during the dry season, when the 
flood has fallen thirty feet. The channel deepens, at once, 
from the shore, forming a safe and convenient anchorage. 
The shore, in some parts, is bold, rising in almost perpendicular 
bluffs; in others, gently sloping to the water's edge. Upon 
land thus irregular, the town is built, numbering rather more 
than three thousand inhabitants, a large proportion of which 
are Indians. The houses are generally of one story, but oc- 
casionally of two and three, and resemble, in form and struc- 
ture, those of the better towns below. 

There was something very attractive in the appearance of 
the Barra. The broad, lake-like river in front, smooth as a 
mirror; the little bay, protected by two out-jutting points ; the 
narrow inlet, that circled around the upper part of the town, 
and beyond which sloped a lofty hill, green with the freshness 
of perpetual spring ; the finely rolling land upon which the 
town itself stood ; and back of all, and overtopping all, the 
flat table, where, at one glance, we could take in a combina- 
tion of beauties, far superior to any thing we had yet seen upon 
the Amazon. Here the secluded inhabitants live, scarcely 
knowing of the rest of the world, and as oblivious of outward 
vanities as our Dutch ancestors, who, in by-gone centuries, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 173 

vegetated upon the banks of the Hudson. Here is no rumbling- 
of carts, or trampling of horses. Serenity, as of a Sabbath 
morning, reigns perpetual ; broken only by the rub-a-dub of 
the evening patrol, or by the sweet, wild strains from some 
distant cottage, where the Indian girls are dancing to the 
music of their own voices. 

Directly upon the river bank, and frowning over the waters, 
once stood a fort, known as San Jose. The Portuguese word 
for fort, is barra, and this name was applied to the town which 
sprung up in the vicinity. Therefore it is, that the town is 
usually spoken of as the. Barra de Rio Negro. Whether peace 
has been unfavorable, or the fortunes of war adverse, we were 
not informed ; but there stands the ruin, with scarcely wall 
enough left to call it a ruin, white with lichens, and protecting 
nought but an area of grass. Upon the top of the ancient 
flag-staff, is perched a Buzzard, who never seems to move, the 
livelong day, but to turn his wings to the sun-light, or to nod 
sympathetically to a party of his brethren, who, upon upright 
poles and crossbeams, that indicate still further ruin, sit droop- 
ing in the " luxury of woe." 

Near by, an antique church shoots up to the loftiness of 
some thirty feet, and at its side, is a quaint adjunct of a tower, 
square, and short, and thick, from whose top sounds the church- 
going bell. Beyond this, is a square or Largo, facing which 
are the Barracks and the Room of the Assembly, for Barra is 
the chief town of the district of the Rio Negro. 

Upon this Largo, stood also the house of Senhor Henri- 
quez, in which we were half domiciled, for being all bachelors, 
and weary of bachelor cooking, we accepted with pleasure the 
invitation of Sr. H. to his table. His house was always open 
to passing strangers, and others beside ourselves were con- 
stantly there, enjoying his hospitality. Both the Senhor and 
his lady, showed us every attention, and seemed particularly 
anxious that we should see all that was interesting or curious 
in the vicinity, while they constantly kept some Indian in the 
woods for our benefit. The Senhora was an exceedingly 
pretty woman, about twenty-two, and delighted us by her 
frank intercourse with strangers; always sitting with them at 



174 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

the table, and conversing as a lady would do at home. This 
would not be noticeable, except in Brazil, and, perhaps, not 
universally there ; but we had ever found the ladies shy and 
reserved, and, although often at the table of married men, the 
lady of the house had never before sat down with us. The 
Senhora surprised and gratified us, also, by her knowledge of 
the United States, which she had obtained from occasional trav- 
ellers. She had three little girls, Paulina, Pepita, and Lina,with 
a little boy of four years. Juan. All these children had light 
hair and fair complexions, and the blue-eyed baby, Lina, espe- 
cially, was as beautifully fair, as though her home had been 
under northern skies. Juan was a brave little fellow, and was 
a frequent visitor of ours, delighting to be with, a Gentio In- 
dian, who was employed in our back yard. This Indian had 
been out of the woods but a i"ew weeks, and could not speak 
Portuguese, but Juan could talk with him in the Lingoa Geral, 
as though it had been his native tongue. 

Each of the children had an attendant ; the girls, pretty 
little Indians of nine or ten years, and Juan, a boy, of about the 
same age. It was the business of these attendants, to obey 
implicitly the orders of their little mistresses and master, and 
never to leave them. Juan and his boy spent much of their time 
in the river, taking as naturally to the water as young ducks. 

At six in the morning, coffee was brought into our room, 
and the day was considered as fairly commenced. We then 
took our guns, and found amusement in the woods until nearly 
eleven, which was the hour for breakfast. At this meal we 
never had coffee or tea ; and rarely any vegetable excepting 
rice. But rich soups and dishes of turtle, meat, fish, and peixe 
boi, in several forms of preparation, loaded the table. The 
Brazilian method of cooking becomes very agreeable, when 
one has conquered his repugnance to a slight flavor of garlic, 
and the turtle oil, used in every dish. The dessert consisted of 
oranges, pacovas and preserves. Puddings, unless of tapioca, 
are seldom seen, and pastry never, out of the city. Water was 
brought, if we asked for it, but the usual drink was a light Lis- 
bon wine. The first movement upon taking our places at the 
table, was, for each to make a pile of salt and peppers upon his 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 175 

plate, which, mashed, and liquified by a little caldo or gravy, 
was in a condition to receive the meat. A bowl of caldo, in 
the centre, filled with farinha, whence every one could help 
himself with his own spoon, was always present. 

The remainder of the day we spent in preserving our birds, 
or if convenient, in again visiting the forest. The dinner hour 
was between six and seven, and that meal was substantially 
the same as breakfast. 

We found at the house, upon our arrival, two gentlemen 
who had lately came from Venezuela, forty days' distance up 
the Rio Negro. One of them was a young German, William 
Berchenbrinck, who had come down merely as passenger, and 
who had been in the employment of a Spanish naturalist. The 
other was a regular trader, Senhor Antonio Dias, from San 
Carlos, and he had brought down a cargo of rope, made from 
the fibres of the Piassaba palm, and a quantity of grass ham- 
mocks. The piassaba rope is in great demand throughout the 
province, and is remarkable for its strength and elasticity, 
which qualities render it admirable for cables. The only ob- 
jection to it is its roughness, for the palm fibres are. unavoid- 
ably, of large size. 

The hammocks were, in general, of cheap manufacture, va- 
lued at half a milree each. The grass of which they were 
made is yellow in color, and of a strength and durability supe- 
rior to Manilla hemp. It grows in very great abundance 
throughout the country of the Rio Negro, and could be supplied 
to an unlimited extent. Senhor Antonio was a genius in his 
way, and some of his hammocks were exquisitely ornamented, 
by himself, with feather work. One, in particular, was com- 
posed of cord, twisted by hand, scarcely larger than linen 
thread ; and in its manufacture, a family of four persons had 
been employed more than a year. Its borders, at the sides, 
were one foot in width, and completely covered with embroid- 
ery in the most gaudy feathers. Upon one side were the arms 
of Brazil, upon the other, those of Portugal, and the remaining 
space was occupied by flowers, and devices ingenious as 
ever seen in needle-work. The feathers were attached to the 
frame of the borders by a resinous gum. Such hammocks 



176 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

are rather for ornament than use. and they are sought with 
avidity at Rio Janeiro, by the curiosity collectors of foreign 
courts. This one was valued at thirty silver dollars, which, in 
the country of the Rio Negro, is equal to one hundred, in other 
parts of the empire. 

Sr. Antonio was something of a wag as well as a genius ; 
and as the blacks came to him, at sunset, for the customary 
blessing, making the sign of the cross upon their foreheads, his 
usual benediction was, " God make you white." 

Berchenbrinck could speak English fluently, and was a 
very agreeable companion to us, besides being enabled, from 
his own experience, to contribute much to our information re- 
garding the natural curiosities of the country. He had crossed 
from the Orinoco to the Rio Negro, by the Casiquiari. and in 
coming down with Sr. Antonio, had been well nigh drowned 
in descending one of the many rapids that obstruct this 
latter river. Their cargo had been sent round by land, but 
through some carelessness, the vessel had been overturned, 
and both our friends precipitated into the whirling flood, whence 
they were, some time after, drawn out, almost insensible, by 
their crew, who from the shore had watched the catastrophe. 
Mr. B. informed us, that in the highlands between the two 
rivers, the Gallo de Serra, or Cock of the Rock, was abundant, 
and frequently seen domesticated. This bird is the size of a 
large dove, and wholly of a deep orange color. Upon its head, 
is a vertical crest of the same. The Indians shoot the Cocks 
of the Rock with poisoned arrows, and stripping off the skins, 
sell them to travellers, or traders, who purchase them for 
feather work. We obtained a number of them at Barra, and 
had we arrived a short time sooner, could have seen a living 
specimen, which was in the garden of Sr. Henriquez. 

The Indians, who accompanied Sr. Antonio, were of a dif- 
ferent race from any we had seen, and looked very oddly, from 
the manner in which they suffered their hair to grow; shaving 
it close, except just above the forehead, from which, long locks 
hung about their cheeks. 

One day, an old Spaniard arrived, with a cargo of Chili 
hats. He was from Grenada, and had come down the River 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 177 

Napo, and the Solemoen. Beside his hats, which he was in- 
tending to take to the United States, he brought a quantity of 
pictures, or rather, caricatures of saints, as small change for 
his river expenses. Chili hats are a great article of trade at 
Barra. They are made of small strips of a species of palm, 
twisted more or less finely. This palm was growing in the 
garden of Sr. Henriquez, and he gave us a bundle of the raw 
material. The leaf was of the palmetto form, and looked 
much like the leaf of which Chinese fans are made. The 
value of the hats varies greatly, some being worth, even at the 
Barra, from fifteen to twenty dollars. But the average price 
is from two to three dollars. We saw one of remarkable 
fineness, which was sent to Doctor Costa in a letter. 

The old Spaniard told us that much of the country upon 
the Napo was still wild, and that, in repeated instances, the 
Indians there brought him beautiful birds for sale, which they 
had shot with poisoned arrows. Two hundred years ago, Acuna 
described the Tucuna tribe as remarkable for their similar habit. 

The woods in the vicinity of Barra were a delightful resort 
to us, and more attractive than we had seen upon the Amazon. 
The land was not one dead level, swampy, or intersected by 
impassable igaripes ; but there were gentle hills, and tiny 
brooks of clearest water, and here, when weary of rambling, 
we could recline ourselves in the delicious shade, unmolested 
by carapanas, or the scarcely less vexatious wood-flies. The 
ground was often covered by evergreens of different varieties, 
and exquisite forms, and many species of ferns were growing 
in the valleys. There were no sepaws, or other climbing ob- 
structions to our free passage, but a thousand lesser vines 
draped the low tree tops with myriads of flowers, new and at- 
tractive. Every where were paths, some made by the inhab- 
itants, in their frequent rambles, others, by wild animals that 
come to the water ; and along these, we could pass quietly, to 
the feeding trees of beautiful birds. 

Here were wont to haunt many varieties of Trogons, un- 
known to us ; and, at any hour, their plaintive tones could be 
heard from the lofty limb, upon which they sat concealed. 

Cuckoos of several species, their plumage glancing red in 



178 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

the light, flitted noiselessly through the branches, busied in 
searching for the worms, which were their favorite food. 

Purple Jays, Garrulus Cayanus, in large flocks, like their 
blue cousins of North America, would be alighted on some 
fruit tree, chattering and gesticulating; but shy. ready to start 
at the breaking of a twig. 

Motmots, and Chatterers, were abundant as at Para ; the 
latter, in greater variety, and still, most gaudy of all. 

Goatsuckers, in plumage more exquisitely blended, than 
any of the species we had ever seen, would start from some 
shade where they had been dozing the day hours, and flying 
a little distance, were an easy prey. 

Manikins were in great variety, and in every bush ; Tana- 
gers whistled, and Warblers faintly lisped their notes in the 
trees. 

Flycatchers, in endless variety, were moving nimbly over 
the branches, or sallying out from their sentry stations, upon 
their passing prey. 

Pigeons, some of varieties common at Para ; others, new 
to us, were cooing in the thicket, or flying affrighted off. 

Tinami, of all sizes, were feeding along the path, or sport- 
ing in parties of half a dozen, among the dry leaves. 

Curassows moved on with stately step, like our Wild 
Turkey, picking here and there some delicate morsel, and 
uttering a loud, peeping note ; or ran, with outstretched neck, 
and rapid strides, as they detected approaching danger. 

Guans were stripping the fruits from the low trees, in 
parties of two and three ; and constantly repeating a loud, 
harsh note, that proved their betrayal. 

Of all these birds, the most beautiful, after the Chatterers, 
were the Trogons. There were half a dozen varieties, differ- 
ing in size, from the T. viridis, a small species, whose body 
was scarcely larger than many of our Sparrows, to the Cu- 
ruqua grande, Calurus auriceps (Gould), twice the size of a 
Jay. All have long, spreading tails; and their dense plumage 
makes them appear of greater size than the reality. They 
are solitary birds, and, early in the morning, or late in the 
afternoon, may be observed sitting, singly or in pairs ; some 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 179 

species, upon the tallest trees, and others, but a few feet 
above the ground, with tails outspread and drooping, watch- 
ing for passing insects. Their appetites appeased, they 
spend the remainder of the day in the shade, uttering, at in- 
tervals, a mournful note, well imitated by their common name, 
Curuqua. This would serve to betray them to the hunter ; 
but they are great ventriloquists, and it is often impossible to 
discover them, although they are directly above one's head. 
The species vary in coloring, as in size ; but the backs of all 
are of a lustrous green, or blue, and bellies of red, or pink, or 
yellow. The Curuqua grande is occasionally seen at Barra ; 
but frequenting the tallest forest, it is exceedingly difficult to 
be obtained. We offered a high price for a specimen, and 
employed half the garrison for this single bird, without suc- 
cess. They reported, that they, every day, saw them, and 
frequently shot at them; but that they never would come 
down. We were fortunate in obtaining a skin of this bird, 
preserved by an Indian. The other species were the Red- 
bellied, T. c;urucui; Cinerous, T. strigilatus ; T. melanop- 
terus; and one other species, much resembling the last, except 
that the outer tail-feathers, instead of being merely tipped 
*vith white, as in the Melanopterus, were crossed by numerous 
white bars. 

Their feathers were so loose, that, in falling, when shot, 
they, almost invariably, lost many ; and this, together with the 
tenderness of their skins, made them the most difficult of birds 
to preserve. 

Of the Chatterers, besides the Cardinal, and other Para 
varieties, which were beginning to be abundant, were the 
Pompadour, Ampelis pompadora, whose wings were white, 
and body of a lustrous carmine; and another variety, the 
Silky, A. Maynana, whose body was of a sky-blue. At this 
season, all these birds were in perfect plumage ; and seemed 
to be just returning from their migration, perhaps towards 
Para, as they were there during the month of May. 

Of Curassows, or Mutuns, we never shot but one variety, 
the Crested, of which we had found the nests, near Serpa. But 
other species were common about the forests, and these, with 



180 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

others still, brought from the upper country, were frequently 
seen domesticated. They are all familiar birds, and readily al- 
low themselves to be caressed. At night, they often come into 
the house to roost, seeming to like the company of the parrots 
and other birds. They might easily be bred, when thus do- 
mesticated, but the facility with which their nests are found, 
renders this no object at Barra. They feed upon seeds and 
fruits, and are considered superior, for the table, to any game 
of the country. For one patac, or sixteen cents, each, we pur- 
chased a pair of the Razor-billed Curassow, Ourax mitu, one of 
which we succeeded in bringing safely home ; a pair of (judg- 
ing from recollection) the Red-knobbed Curassow, Crax Yar- 
rellii; and a male of the Red Curassow, (Crax rubra), said to 
have been brought from Peru. This variety was called Uru- 
mutun. The second species is the most common, and is found 
throughout the country, towards Para. The Parraqua Guan, 
Phasianus parraqua, was common, but not domesticated. It 
resembled the Mutuns in its habits, but in form, had a larger 
neck and tail, in proportion. A specimen which we shot, ex- 
hibited a very curious formation of the wind-pipe, that organ 
passing beneath the skin, upon the outside of the body, to the 
extremity of the breast-bone, where it was attached by a liga- 
ment. Then re-curving, it passed back, and entered the body 
as in other birds. Probably, the loud trumpet note of this bird 
is owing to this formation. 

Of Parrots and Toucans there were many new varieties, be- 
sides some of those common at Para. One species of Parro- 
quet was scarcely larger than a canary bird. 

Of Hawks there were many varieties, not known at Para, 
and a large long-eared Owl, the first owl we had met, was 
brought in by our hunters. 

Humming birds were abundant as elsewhere, but mostly of 
species observed at Para. The Amethystine, T. amethysti- 
nus ; and the Black-breasted, T. gramineus, were all the new 
varieties that we obtained. 

Our hunters were mostly soldiers of the garrison, and for 
their labor we paid them ten cents per diem, and found them 
in powder and shot. When, towards night, they made their 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 181 

appearance with the fruits of their excursions, our table was 
richly loaded, and a long evening's work spread before us. 

Sometimes, they would bring in animals, and upon one oc- 
casion, we received a pair of small Tiger Cats, called Mara- 
cajas. 

Some varieties of Squirrels were also brought in, but as we 
had no leisure to attend to animals, we gave no orders for pro- 
curing them. The same animals found in other parts of the 
province, were common in the vicinity, and we could learn of 
nothing new, excepting Monkeys, who vary in species with 
every degree of latitude or longitude. 

Mr. McCulloch gave us the teeth of a Jaguar, which he had 
shot at his mill ; and we heard of a singular meeting between 
one of these animals and an Indian, upon the road towards the 
mill. The Jaguar was standing in the road, as the Indian 
came out of the bushes, not ten paces distant, and was looking, 
doubtless, somewhat fiercely, as he waited the unknown comer. 
The Indian was puzzled an instant, but summoning his pres- 
ence of mind, he took off his broad brimmed hat. and made a 
low bow, with " Muito bem dias, meu Senhor," or u a very 
good morning, sir." Such profound respect was not lost upon 
the Jaguar, who turned slowly, and marched down the road, 
with proper dignity. 

Several times, during the latter part of our stay, when our 
names had acquired some celebrity, birds, and other curiosities 
were brought in for sale ; and, upon one day in particular, such 
a zeal for vintens actuated all the little blackies and Indians, 
that our big bellied bottles speedily became crowded to reple- 
tion, with beetles, and lizards, and snakes, et id omne genus. 

Three miles back of Barra, is the Casueris, a water fall, of 
which Mr. McCulloch has taken advantage for his mill. The 
water falls over a ledge of yellowish red sand rock, and, 
during the dry season, has a descent of twelve feet. But 
during the wet season, the waters of the Rio Negro set back 
to such an extent, that a fall is scarcely perceptible. These 
changes have their conveniences, for as, when the water is low, 
the wheel can be constantly turning, so, when it is high, the 
supply of logs can be floated directly to the mill. The greater 

9 



182 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



part of the logs used, are of cedar, rafted up from the 
Solimoen. Coming from the head waters of the various 
streams, they are precipitated over cataracts, and rolled and 
crushed together, until their limbs are entirely broken off, and 
their roots require but little trimming. Logs of other woods 
are cut upon the banks of the Rio Negro, and from low land, 
during the dry season. When the waters rise, these logs are 
floated out, bound together, and rafted down. We saw a 
variety of beautiful woods ; some of the most valuable of 
which for cabinet purposes, were the Saboyerana, reddish, 
mottled with black, and varieties of Satin-wood. These are 
scarcely known down the river, but through Mr. McCulIoch's 
enterprise, they are in a fair way to be made common. The 
mill was a perfect Yankee mill, differing, in no respect 
excepting in the materials of its frame ; woods beautiful as 
mahogany not being so accessible as hemlock, in the United 
States. 

Heretofore, all the boards used in the province of Para 
have been hewn in the forest, by the Indians, who are remark- 
ably expert at this kind of work, using a small adze, like a 
cooper's hammer, and making the boards as smooth as 
with a plane. One log will make but two boards, and the 
labor of reducing to the requisite thinness is so tedious, that 
very few builders can afford to use wood for the flooring of 
their houses. But these people are so proverbially slow in 
adopting innovations, that some years must elapse, before this 
expensive system is changed. 

The Casueris being a delightful spot, shaded by densely 
leaved trees, is the usual resort for Sunday pic-nic parties 
which meet there for the fresh, cool air, and the luxurious bath! 
The Senhora Henriquez made a little party of the kind for 
our entertainment, which passed off delightfully, and much as 
such a party would have done at home. It was something 
novel, to meet such an evidence of refinement so far out of the 
world, where we had expected to find nothing but wildness 
But there was one feature that distinguished it from any 
pleasure party I ever participated in, amid civilivation 
and refinement, and that was, the bathing, at the finale. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 183 

In this, there was little fastidiousness although perfect 
decorum. While the gentlemen were in the water, the 
ladies, upon the bank, were applauding, criticising, and 
comparing styles, for there were almost as many nations of 
us, as individuals ; and when, in their turns, they darted 
through the water, or dove, like streaks of light, to the very 
bottom, they were in nowise distressed that we scrupled not 
at the same privilege. They were all practiced and graceful 
swimmers, but the Senhora particularly, as she rose, with her 
long hair, long enough ti sweep the ground when walking, 
enshrouding her in its silken folds, might have been taken for 
the living, new-world Venus. 

For bathing purposes, we never saw water that could com- 
pare with the Rio Negro. One came from its sparkling bosom, 
with an exhilaration, as if it had been the water of a mineral 
spring. In it, the whole town, men, women, and children, 
performed daily ablutions, cleanliness being a part of the 
Brazilian religion. The women were usually in before sun- 
rise, and we never saw, as some have asserted is the case, both 
sexes promiscuously in the water. 

We crossed the river, one day, in a montaria, with three 
Indians, to visit a large campo. Our last mile was through 
woods, the low shrubbery of which was entirely overflowed, 
and as far down as we could see, were trees in full leaf, look- 
ing like a bed of green. Many creeping plants, bearing a 
profusion of flowers, overhung our heads, and of the finest, a 
Dendrobium, with its clusters of pink and purple, we 
obtained a specimen, which we were fortunate enough 
to bring safely to the United States. In this retreat, 
we observed a great number of Trogons and Doves, as though 
the water-side was their favorite resort. The trunks of the 
trees were all marked by the waters of the last year, full five 
feet above their ordinary rise. That unprecedented flood 
poured over the low lands, and caused great devastation. 

The campo was some miles in length, covered with grass 
and low shrubs. The late dryness had deprived the grass of 
all its green, and the whole resembled more a desert than a 



184 A VOYAGE UP THE RTVER AMAZON. 

meadow. There were a number of lean cattle and horses 
wandering about, looking for food, with microscopic eyes. 

Cattle are rare at Barra, and we saw no milk during our 
stay. There was said to be one horse, but he was altogether 
beyond our ken ; and the honors of his genus were done by 
three asses, who were outrageous vagabonds, and unfair 
proxies. 

A ball was got up, for our especial advantage and honor, 
one evening. Six ladies, some well dressed, some so-so ; some 
tolerably white and some as tolerably dark, composed the lively 
part, and about a dozen gentlemen, an essential part, of the 
gathering. One gentleman volunteered to the guitar, another 
to the violin ; one and another sent in refreshments, and an 
old lady took in charge the coffee. The ladies were very 
agreeable, differing mightily from the ladies at Para dancing 
parties, who do not go to talk. The dances were waltzes, 
cotillions, and fandangoes, and some of the ladies danced with 
extreme grace. Those who were deficient in grace, made up 
in good will, and until a late hour, ail went on merrily and 
delightfully. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

A new river — Rio Branco — Turtle wood — Unexplored region — Traditions — Peixe boi or 
Cow Fish — Turtles — Influences at Barra — Indians — Foreigners — Indian articles — 
Poison used upon arrows — Traffic — Balsam Copaivi — Salsa — Guinia — Vanilla — Ton- 
ga beans — Indigo — Guarana — Pixiri or nutmeg — Seringa — Wild cotton — Rock salt — 
The Amazon above the Rio Negro — The Rio Negro. 

While we were at Barra, Senhor Gabriel, one of the dig- 
nitaries of the place, and a very agreeable gentleman, returned 
from an exploring expedition, up one of the smaller rivers, 
which flow into the Rio Negro, between Barra and the Branco. 
Nothing had previously been known of the region lying adja- 
cent to this stream, for vague traditions of hostile Indians had 
deterred even the adventurous frontiers-men, from attempting 
its exploration. The Senhor described it as a beautiful, roll- 
ing country, in many parts high, and covered by forests of 
magnificent growth. It was uninfested by carapanas, and 
never visited by fevers ; nor were there troublesome Indians to 
molest settlers. 

The Senhor gave us the skin of a large black monkey, 
which he had killed during this excursion, and the nest and 
eggs of a White-collared Hummer, the Trochilus melivorus. 
The nest was composed of the light down growing upon the 
exterior of a small berry, and surpassed any thing we had seen 
in bird architecture. The eggs were tiny things, white, with 
a few spots of red. 

The Rio Branco is another interesting stream, which sends 
its wealth to Barra. Its head waters are in the highlands, 
towards Guiana, and it flows through one of the loveliest and 
most desirable regions of tropical America. There are many 



186 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

settlements upon its banks, and an extensive traffic is carried 
on in cattle and produce. Far up among the mountains, at the 
head of this river, is found the Marapamma, or Turtle wood, 
specimens of which may sometimes be seen made into canes. 
This is the heart of a tree, and is nevermore than a few inches 
in diameter. The only person who deals in it upon the Branco, 
is a Friar, who obtains it from some Indian tribe, in the course 
of his mission, and, a few sticks at a time, he sends it to Para, 
where it is in great demand for canes, and other light articles. 
In the same district, are said to be valuable minerals, and we 
obtained of a canoe which had just come down, a piece of red 
jasper, susceptible of a fine polish, which was used as a flint. 
We saw, also, some large and beautiful crystals, from the same 
highlands. 

The whole region, north of the Amazon, is watered by 
numberless rivers, very many of which are still unexplored. 
It is a sort of bugbear country, where cannibal Indians and 
ferocious animals abound to the destruction of travellers. This 
portion of Brazil has always been Fancy's peculiar domain, 
and, even now, all kinds of little El Dorados lie scattered far, 
far through the forest, where the gold and the diamonds are 
guarded by thrice horrible Cerberi. Upon the river banks are 
Indians, watching the unwary stranger, with bended bow, and 
poisoned arrow upon the string. Some tribes, most provident, 
keep large pens akin to sheepfolds, where the late enthusiastic 
traveller awaits his doom, as in the cave of Polyphemus. As 
if these obstructions were not enough, huge, nondescript ani- 
mals add their terrors, and the tormented sufferer, makes costly 
vows that if he ever escapes, he will not again venture into 
such an infernal country, even were the ground plated with 
gold, and the dew drops priceless diamonds. Some naturalist 
Frenchman, or unbelieving German, long before the memory 
of the present generation, ventured up some inviting stream, 
and you hear of his undoubted fate, as though your informant 
had seen the catastrophe. In instances related to us, no one 
seemed to allow, that one might die, in the course of nature, 
while upon an exploring expedition, or that he might have 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 187 



had the good fortune to have succeeded, and to have penetrat- 
ed to the other side. 

We heard, one day, that a Peixe boi, or Cow-fish, had just 
arrived in a montaria, and was lying upon the beach. Hurry- 
ing down, we were just in time to see the animal before he was 
cut up. He was about ten feet in length, and as he laid upon 
his back, between two and three feet in height; presenting 
a conformation of body, much like that of a " fine old English 
gentleman," whose two legs were developed into a broad, flat 
tail. His back was covered sparsely with hairs, and his large 
muzzle was armed with short, stiff bristles. His smooth belly 
was bluish-black in color, and much scarred by the bite of some 
inimical fish. There was nothing corresponding to legs, but a 
pair of flappers, as of a turtle, answered his purposes of loco- 
motion. Both eyes and ears were very small, but the nostrils 
were each an inch in diameter. The skin was one-fourth of 
an inch in thickness, and covered a deep coating of blubber, 
the extracted oil of which is used as butter in cooking. Un- 
der the blubber was the meat, something between beef and 
pork, in taste. These curious animals are in great numbers 
w.pon the Solemoen, and are to the people, what Periecu is be- 
low, being, like that fish, cut into slabs and salted. This form 
is, however, very offensive to a stranger, and no Indian will 
eat dried peixe boi, if he can get any thing else. These ani- 
mals do not venture upon land, but subsist upon the grass that 
lines the shores. When thus feeding, they are lanced by the 
Indians, who know their places of resort, and watch their ap- 
pearance. Although from their bulk, several men might be 
puzzled to lift a cow-fish from the water, when dead, yet one 
Indian will stow the largest in his montaria, without assistance. 
The boat is sunk under the body, and rising, the difficult feat 
is accomplished 

Not unfrequently, a peixe boi is taken eighteen feet in 
length. Their thick skins formerly served the Indians for 
shields, and their jaw-bones as hammers. 



188 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 




PEIXE BOI. 

We would gladly have bought this entire animal, for the 
purpose of preserving his skeleton and skin. But as meat was 
in request that day, we were obliged to be content with the 
head, which we bore off in triumph, and cleansed of its muscle. 
This skull is now in the collection of Dr. Morton, and we learn 
from him that the Peixe boi of the Amazon is a distinct species 
from the Manatus, sometimes seen in the districts adjacent to 
the Gulf of Mexico. 

Sometimes young cow-fishes are brought to Para, and we 
had there previously seen one in a cistern, in the palace gar- 
den. It was fed on grass, and was very tame, seeming de- 
lighted to be handled. Captain Appleton, who has taken 
greater interest in the wonders of this province, than almost any 
person who ever visited Para, has twice succeeded in bringing 
young cow-fishes to New-York, but they died soon after leav- 
ing his care. 

The Turtles are a still greater blessing to the dwellers upon 
the upper rivers. In the early part of the dry season, these 
animals ascend the Amazon, probably from the sea, and assem- 
ble upon the sandy islands and beaches, left dry by the retiring 
waters, in the Japiira and other tributaries. They deposit 
their eggs in the sand, and at this season, all the people, for 
hundreds of miles round about, resort to the river banks as 
regularly as to a fair. The eggs are collected into montarias, 
or other proper receptacles, and broken. The oil, floating upon 
the surface, is skimmed off, with the valves of the large shells 
found in the river, and is poured into pots, each holding about 
six gallons. It is computed that a turtle lays one hundred and 
fifty eggs in a season. Twelve thousand eggs make one pot 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 189 

of oil, and six thousand pots are annually sent from the most 
noted localities. Consequently, seventy-two millions of eggs 
are destroyed, which require four hundred and eighty thou- 
sand turtles to produce them. And yet but a small pro- 
portion of the whole number of eggs are broken. When fifty 
days have expired, the young cover the ground, and march in 
millions to the water, where swarms of enemies, more de- 
structive than man, await their coming. Every branch of the 
Amazon is resorted to, more or less, in the same manner; and 
the whole number of turtles is beyond all conjecture. As be- 
fore remarked, those upon the Madeira are little molested, on 
account of the unhealthiness of the locality in which they 
breed. They are said to be of a different and smaller variety, 
from those upon the Amazon. We received a different variety 
still from the Branco, and there may be many more yet undis- 
tinguished. The turtles are turned upon their backs, when 
found upon the shore, picked up at leisure, and carried to dif- 
ferent places upon the river. Frequently, they are kept the 
year round, in pens properly constructed, and one such, that 
we saw at Villa Nova, contained nearly one hundred. During 
the summer months, they constitute a great proportion of the 
food of the people ; but when we consider their vast numbers, 
a long period must elapse before they sensibly diminish. 
Their average weight, when taken, is from fifty to seventy-five 
pounds, but many are much larger. Where they go, after the 
breeding season, no one knows, for they are never observed 
descending the river ; but, from below Para, more or less are 
seen ascending, every season. They are mostly caught, at this 
time, in the lakes of clear water, which so plentifully skirt either 
shore, and generally are taken with lances, or small harpoons, 
as they are sleeping on the surface. But the Muras have a 
way of capturing them, peculiar to themselves ; shooting them 
with arrows, from a little distance, the arrow being so elevated, 
that in falling, it strikes, and penetrates the shell. In this, even 
long practice can scarcely make perfect; and fifty arrows may 
be shot at the unconscious sleeper before he is secured. 

There are several other small varieties of Turtles or Ter- 
rapins, somewhat esteemed as food, but in no request. Some 

9* 



190 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

of them are of curious form, and. one in particular, found about 
Para, instead of drawing in his head and neck, as do most 
others of his family, finds sufficient security by laying them 
round upon his fore claw, under the projecting roof of shell. 

The land turtles, Jabatis, attain a size of from twenty to 
thirty pounds. They are delicious food, far superior, in our 
estimation, to their brethren of the water. Lieutenant Mawe 
somewhere remarks to this effect, that, in a country where the 
people are cannibals, and eat monkeys, they might enjoy land 
turtles. But the Lieutenant suffered his prejudices to run 
away with his judgment, in a strange way for a sailor. 

We saw at Senhor Bentos' in Villa Nova, turtles of this 
species, which he had in the yard as pets, and who seemed 
very well domesticated, eating pacovas, or any sweet fruit. 
Some of these, the Senhor had kept for seven years, and they 
bore no proportion in size to others seen. From this, we infer- 
red the great number of years that they must require before 
they arrive at maturity. 

Owing to its remote frontier position, Barra is under differ- 
ent influences from other Brazilian towns, and these are ob- 
servable every where. The language spoken is a patois of 
Portuguese and Spanish, with no very slight mixture of the 
Lingoa Geral. This latter language must be spoken, as mat- 
ter of necessity. The currency, too, is in good part of silver, as 
Spanish dollars, the Brazilian paper being but in scanty supply. 

The Indian population is vastly more numerous than below, 
and from the absence of the causes that elsewhere have driven 
the Indians to the woods, the two races live together amicably, 
and will, to all appearance, in a few generations, be entirely 
amalgamated. Labor, of course, is very cheap. Senhor Hen- 
riquez had one hundred Spanish Indians in his employ, to whom 
he paid twelve and one-half cents each per diem. These were 
hired of the authorities beyond the frontiers, and they were pro- 
tected, by contract, from being sent below Barra. They were 
of a darker color, and less finely featured than most Brazilian 
Indians, whom we had seen. Part of them were employed in 
building houses, several of which were in progress of erection ; 
and part in a tilaria, within the town. When Lieutenant 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 191 



Smythe descended the Amazon, rather more than ten years 
since, both houses and tilaria were in a sad state, and the town 
was nearly stripped of inhabitants, on account of recent politi- 
cal difficulties. But better times have come, and a general 
prosperity is rapidly removing the appearances of decay. 

There were a great many pleasant people, whose acquaint- 
ance we made, and who showed us such attentions as strangers 
love to receive. There are always, in such towns, a few strange 
wanderers from other countries, who have chanced along, no 
one knows how. Such an one was a German we found there, 
Senhor Frederics. He had formerly belonged to a German 
regiment, which was stationed at Para, and had been lucky 
enough to escape the fate of most of his comrades, who had 
been killed during the revolution. He had found his way to 
the Barra, had married a pleasant lady of the place, and now 
practised his trade as a blacksmith. He was a man of tremen- 
dous limb, and with a soul in proportion, and we were always 
glad to see him at our house. Another German was a carpen- 
ter ; and an odd genius, from the north of Europe, but who had 
been a sailor in an English vessel, and had picked up a collec- 
tion of English phrases, officiated as sail-maker to the public. 
Through the kindness of Senhor Henriquez, we obtained a 
great variety of Indian articles. The bows and lances are of 
some dark wood, and handsomely formed and finished. The 
former are about seven feet in length, and deeply grooved upon 
the outer side. The bow-string is of hammock grass. The 
lances are ten feet long, ornamented with carvings at the up- 
per extremities, and terminated by tassels of macaw's feathers. 
The arrows are in light sheaves, six to each, and are formed 
of cane, the points being of the hardest wood, and poisoned. 
These are used in war and hunting, and differed from the ar- 
rows used in taking fish, in that the points of the latter are of 
strips of bamboo or bone. Those for wild hogs again, are still 
different, being terminated by a broad strip of bamboo, fashion- 
ed in the shape of a pen. This form inflicts a more effectual 
wound. In the same way, the javelins are pointed, the stems 
being of hard wood, and much ornamented with feather-work. 
But the most curious, and the most formidable weapon, is 



192 A VOYAGE TJP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

the blowing-cane. This is eight or ten feet in length — two 
inches in diameter at the larger end, and gradually tapering to 
less than an inch at the other extremity. It is usually formed 
by two grooved pieces of wood, fastened together by a winding 
of rattan, and carefully pitched. The bore is less than half an 
inch in diameter. The arrow for this cane, is a splint of a palm, 
one foot in length, sharpened, at one end, to a delicate point, 
and, at the other, wound with the silky tree-cotton, to the size 
of the tube. The point of this is dipped in poison, and slightly 
cut around, that, when striking an object, it may break by its 
own weight, leaving the point in the wound. 

With this instrument, an Indian will, by the mere force of 
his breath, shoot with the precision of a rifle, hitting an object 
at a distance of several rods. Our Gentio Pedro never used 
any other weapon ; and we saw him, one day, shoot at a Tur- 
key Buzzard, upon a housetop, at a distance of about eight 
rods. The arrow struck fairly in the breast, the bird flew over 
the house, and fell dead. Senhor Henriquez assured us that 
an Indian formerly in his employ, at one time and another, had 
brought in seven Harpy Eagles, thus shot. 

The accounts we received of the composition of this poison 
were not very explicit, and amounted principally to this ; that 
it was made by the Indians at the head waters of the Rio Bran- 
co, from the sap of some unknown tree ; that it was used uni- 
versally by the tribes of Northern Brazil, in killing game, be- 
ing equally efficacious against small birds and large animals j 
that the antidotes to its effect were sugar and salt, applied ex- 
ternally and internally. It comes in small earthen pots, each 
holding about a gill, and is hard and black, resembling pitch. 
It readily dissolves in water, and is then of a reddish brown 
color. Taken into the stomach, it produces no ill effects. We 
brought home several pots of this poison, and by experiments, 
under the superintendence of Dr. Trudeau, fully satisfied our- 
selves of its efficacy. The subjects were a sheep, a rabbit, and 
chickens. The latter, after the introduction of one or two drops 
of the liquid poison into a slight wound in the breast or neck, 
were instantly affected, and in from two to three minutes were 
wholly paralyzed, although more than ten minutes elapsed be- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 193 

fore they were dead. The rabbit was poisoned in the fore 
shoulder, and died in the same manner, being seized Avith 
spasms, and wholly paralyzed in eight minutes. The effect 
upon the sheep was more speedy, as the poison was applied to 
a severed vein of the neck. 

As M. Humboldt witnessed the preparation of the poison, 
and has given a full account of his observations, his recital will 
here not be out of place. The Indian name is Curare. It is 
made from the juice of the bark and the contiguous wood of a 
creeping plant, called the Mavacure, which is found upon the 
highlands of Guiana. The wood is scraped and the filaments 
mashed. The yellowish mass resulting is placed in a funnel 
of palm leaves; cold water is poured upon it, and the poisonous 
liquid filters drop by drop. It is now evaporated in a vessel of 
clay. There is nothing noxious in its vapor, nor until concen- 
trated, is the liquid considered as poisonous. In order to render 
it of sufficient consistence to be applied to the arrows, a con- 
centrated, glutinous infusion of another plant, called Kiraca- 
guero, is mixed with it, being poured in while the curare is in 
a state of ebullition. The resulting mixture becomes black, 
and of a tarry consistence. When dry, it resembles opium, 
but upon exposure to the air, absorbs moisture. Its taste is 
not disagreeable, and unless there be a wound upon the lips, 
it may be swallowed with impunity. There are two varieties, 
one prepared from the roots, the other from the trunk and 
branches. The latter is the stronger, and is the kind used 
upon the Amazon. It will cause the death of large birds in 
from two to three minutes, of a hog in from ten to twelve. The 
symptoms in wounded men are the same as those resulting 
from serpent bites, being vertigo, attended with nausea, 
vomitings, and numbness in the parts adjacent to the wound. 
It is the general belief that salt is an antidote, but upon the 
Amazon, sugar is preferred. 

The Indian stools were curious affairs, legs and all being 
cut from the solid block. The tops were hollowed to form a 
convenient seat, and were very prettily stained with some dye. 

Beside these things, were various articles woven of cotton, 
and of extreme beauty ; sashes, bags, and an apparatus worn 



194 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



when hunting, being a girdle, to which were suspended little 
pouches for shot and flints. 

The civilized Indians rarely use their ancient weapons, 
except in taking fish. Cheap German guns are abundant 
throughout the country, and it is wonderful that accidents do 
not frequently occur, with their use. Unless a gun recoils 
smartly, an Indian thinks it is worth nothing to shoot with ; 
and we knew of an instance, where a gun was taken to the 
smith's, and bored in the breech, to produce this desirable 
effect. 

Senhor Henriquez has establishments upon several of the 
upper rivers. Coarse German and English dry goods, Lowell 
shirtings, a few descriptions of hardware, Salem soap, beads, 
needles, and a few other fancy articles, constitute a trader's 
stock. In return, are brought down, balsam, gums, wax, 
drugSj turtle oil, tobacco, fish, and hammocks. 

When Sr. H. goes to Ega, a distance of less than four 
hundred miles, he forwards a vessel thirty days before his own 
departure, intending to overtake it before its arrival. So tedious 
is navigation. 

The quantity of Balsam Copaiva brought down, is prodi- 
gious. There were lying upon the beach, at Barra, two 
hollowed logs, in which balsam had been floated down from 
above. One had contained twenty-five hundred, and the other 
sixteen hundred gallons. They had been filled, and carefully 
sealed over ; and in this way, had arrived without loss, 
whereas, in jars, the leakage and breakage would have 
been considerable. At Barra, the balsam is transferred to 
jars, and shipped to the city. There, much of it is bought up 
by the Jews, who adulterate it with other gums, and sell it to 
the exporters. It is then put up in barrels, or in tin, or earthen 
vessels, according to the market for which it is intended. 

The tree grows in the vicinity of Barra, and we were very 
desirous of obtaining, at least, some leaves ; but delay of one 
day after another, at last made it impossible. The tree is of 
large size, and is tapped by a deep incision, often to the heart. 
In this latter case, the yield is greater, but the tree dies. The 
average yield is from five to ten gallons. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 195 

Sarsaparilla, is another great article of production. It is 
found throughout the province ; and when collected and care- 
lessly preserved, is packed in so rascally a manner, as to de- 
stroy its own market. We saw some, that was cultivated in 
a garden ; and its large size and increased strength showed, 
clearly enough, that by proper care, the Salsa of Para might 
compete with the best, in any market. It is a favorite remedy 
in the country ; and when fresh, an infusion of it, sweetened 
with sugar, forms an agreeable drink. 

Quinia grows, also, pretty universally. Happily, for in- 
termittent fevers, opportunities rarely occur of testing its 
qualities. We never encountered but one case of this fever, 
which we were enabled to relieve by a single dose from our 
medicine box. 

Vanilla, grows every where; and might, by cultivation, be 
elevated into a valuable product. 

Tonga beans are brought to Barra, from the forest. 

Indigo, of superior quality, is raised in sufficient quantities 
for home consumption ; and might be, to any extent. 

Not far from Barra, is obtained the nut of which Guarana 
is made ; which article is extensively consumed throughout 
the greater part of Brazil, in the form of a drink. The plant 
is said to produce a nut, shaped somewhat like a cherry; and 
this is roasted, pounded fine, and formed into balls. A tea- 
spoonful, grated into a tumbler of water, forms a pleasant 
beverage; but when drank to excess, as is generally the case, 
its narcotic effects greatly injure the system. The grater, 
used for this and other purposes, is the rough tongue-bone of 
one of the large river fish. 

There is another fruit, called Pixiri, considered as an ad- 
mirable substitute for nutmeg. It is covered with a slight 
skin, and when this is removed, falls into two hemispherical 
pieces. Its flavor is rather more like sassafras, than nutmeg. 

Seringa trees abound upon the Amazon, probably, to its 
head waters. The demand for the gum has not yet been felt 
at Barra, where it is only used for medicinal purposes, being 
applied, when fresh, to inflammations. But when it is wanted, 
enough can be forthcoming to coat the civilized world. 



196 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

The Sumaumeira tree, which yields a long-stapled, silky, 
white cotton, grows upon the banks of the Rio Negro, in great 
abundance ; and could probably be made of service, were it 
once known to the cotton-weaving communities. It is exces- 
sively light, flying like down ; but the Indians make beautiful 
fabrics of it. 

Another article, which might be made of inestimable value 
to the country, is Salt. Upon the Huallaca, and perhaps other 
tributaries, are hills of this mineral, in the rock; and so fa- 
vorably situated, as to fall, when chipped off, directly upon the 
rafts of the Indians, who collect it, and bring it as far down 
as Ega. It sometimes finds its way to Barra, and we were 
fortunate in obtaining a piece, weighing nearly one hundred 
pounds. It is of a pinkish color, and is impregnated with some 
foreign substance, that needs to be removed. Some enter- 
prising Yankee will make his fortune by it yet. All the salt 
now used, throughout an area of one million square miles, is 
imported from Lisbon, and at an enormous expense. 

Before closing this chapter, a brief mention of the principal 
towns, and of the larger rivers above the Negro, may not be 
inappropriate. At a distance of one hundred miles from Barra, 
enters the river Perus, a mighty stream, flowing from the 
mountains of Bolivia. We were informed by individuals, who 
had voyaged upon this river, that its course was more winding 
than any other; that it was entirely unobstructed by rapids, 
and, therefore, preferable to the Madeira, as a means of com- 
munication with the countries upon the Pacific. Its banks 
abound in seringa trees ; and cacao, of good quality, is 
brought down by traders. 

Three hundred miles above Barra, is the town of Ega, 
upon the southern side of the Amazon. It stands upon a river 
of clear water, which is navigable for canoes, to a distance of 
several hundred miles; but for larger vessels, but a few days' 
journey. The town contains about one thousand persons. 
Upon the northern side, comes in the Japilra, through many 
channels. This river rises in the mountains of New Grenada, 
and its broad channel is sprinkled with a thousand islands. 
During the wet season, it is one of the greater branches of the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 197 

Amazon, and flows with a furious current ; but during the dry- 
season, it is so filled with sandy shoals, that navigation is im- 
possible. Here the turtles frequent, and down the torrent 
come vast numbers of cedars. The Japilra. is said to have 
communication with the Negro, by some of its upper branches. 
It forms the line of boundary between the Spanish and Bra- 
zilian territories. Its region is considered unhealthy ; and 
owing to this reputation, and the obstructions to navigation, is 
little settled by whites. 

Opposite one of the mouths of the Japura, is the little town 
of Fonteboa, one hundred miles above Ega. The rivers flow- 
ing into the Amazon in this vicinity are numerous, and large, 
but their courses are said to be laid down upon maps, with the 
greatest inaccuracy. 

The most remote town is Tabatinga, on the northern bank, 
opposite the mouth of the Javari. This town contains but a 
few hundred inhabitants. Its distance from Para is from six- 
teen to eighteen hundred miles, a six months' journey for the 
river craft. The country between Tabatinga and the Ma- 
deira, was formerly inhabited by a tribe called Solimoens, and 
that part of the river between the Negro and Ucayali. is called 
by their name. 

Beyond the Brazilian frontiers, enter many great branches, 
the Napo, the Maranon. or Tunguragua, and the Ucayali. 
The latter is considered the main stream, and down its western 
branch, the Huallaca, Messrs. Smythe and Lowe came in 
1834. starting from Lima. They were in search of a naviga- 
ble communication between the two Oceans, but were unsuc- 
cessful. Whether such a stream exists, as, by a few miles 
portage, would answer this purpose, is problematical. The 
country has never been thoroughly explored. The depth of 
the Amazon, for a long distance up the Ucayali, is very great ; 
at every season navigable for steamboats, unobstructed by 
rapids, snags, or sawyers. 

The Negro receives, in its course, about forty tributaries, 
and, from the healthiness of the region through which it flows, 
has long been a favorite resort of settlers. A greater number 
of towns are upon its banks, than upon any other branch of 



198 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

the Amazon. At nine days' distance from Barra, is the town 
of Barcellos, formerly the ca; ital of the District of the Rio 
Negro. Eight days beyond this, are rapids, and these are 
found in succession, for a distance of twenty days. At forty 
days' distance from Barra, is the Casiquiari, the connecting 
stream with the Orinoco. Its passage is frequently made, and. 
we encountered, several persons who had crossed from An- 
gostura. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Prepare to leave Barra — Difficulty in obtaining men — The mail — Kindness of our 
friends — Re-enter the Amazon — Arrive at Serpa — A desertion — Working one's 
passage — Disorderly birds — Pass Tabocal — Snake-bird — Marakong Geese — Breeding 
place of Herons — Arrive at Villa Nova — The commandante — Visit to the Laki — 
Boat building — Military authorities — School — King of the Vultures — Parting wi.h 
Sr. Bentos — Pass Obidos — Caracara Eagle — Our crew — Indian name of the Amazon. 

After twenty days had passed delightfully, we prepared to 
leave the Barra, upon the 28th of July, in the galliota, which 
was to return for Doctor Costa, who was probably awaiting us 
at Para. Senhor Pinto, the Delegarde. had promised us some 
Indians, arid another official had assured us of others; but it 
was discovered, when upon the beach, at the last moment, that 
both had counted upon the same men. These were three of 
the Villa Nova police, who happened to be up, and with our 
Gentio, Pedro, and one other whom Senhor Henriquez lent us, 
were all we could muster. They were less than half our 
complement, and none of them were to go below Villa Nova. 
We had letters to the commandante of that place, and he was 
to provide men for our further advance, in consideration of our 
being the bearers of His Majesty's mail, and of despatches 
from Venezuela. This mail proved a great acquisition, and I 
would advise all travellers upon the Amazon to secure the 
same charge. 

It was three o'clock, in the afternoon, when our friends 
gathered upon the beach to bid us adieu. From all of them, 
although our acquaintance had been so very brief, we were 
sorry to part ; but from Senhor Henriquez, to whom we had 
been under a thousand obligations, and from Mr. Bradley and 
Mr. Williams, who had so long been our companions, and to 



200 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

whom we were the more closely drawn, from our being stran- 
gers together, in a strange land, the last embrace was 
peculiarly painful. Messrs. McCulIoch and Sawtelle had left 
some days previously, for the upper waters of the Rio Negro. 
We had said adeos to the Senhora Henriquez an hour before, 
and her husband told us, that after our departure from the 
house, she had sat down to a quiet little weep on our account. 

The kind lady had sent down to the galliota, a store of 
meat and chickens, sufficient for some days to come, besides a 
large basket of cakes made of tapioca, and a turtle. To 
these, she had added half a dozen parrots and parroquets, as 
companions of our voyage. 

Senhor Pinto had had a large basket made, and in it were 
a pair of the beautiful geese of the country. Chenalopix 
jubatus (Spix), called Marakongs, and a Yacou Guan, a rare 
species, from the country above. With these was also a Red 
and Yellow Macaw, who was unusually tame, and promised 
to keep the parrots in subjection. Most of our mutuns we 
were obliged to leave behind, for want of room ; and a tiny 
monkey, which we had bought for a lady friend at home, was 
retained by his rascally master, on the plea that he was in a 
tree in the yard, and that he could not catch him. 

Barra quickly disappeared from view, and before dark, we 
were floating down the Amazon, at the rate of about four 
miles an hour. There were but two of us, and we were just 
enough to fill the cabin comfortably, reserving any spare 
corners for our collections of one article and another, and for 
any of the respectably behaved parrots. The geese and 
their basket, were slung by the side of the cabin ; and the 
macaw w r as elevated upon a cross in front of the tolda. 
Below, were several logs of beautiful woods ; and a iew bags 
of coffee, which some friend had shipped for Santarem. A 
few turtles found space to turn themselves, among the rest, 
and answered well as ballast. The sail was left behind, as we 
had no further use for it, the wind generally blowing strongly 
from below. 

In the middle of the stream, carapanas did not molest us, 
and we slept through the night as quietly, as if at home 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 201 

There was no danger of encountering snags, or floating logs, 
and therefore we kept no watch, but let the boat drift down 
stern foremost. 

Early upon the 29th, we passed the mouth of the Madeira, 
and shortly after, the village of our old Tau^ha. A number 
of people were upon the hill, and seemed beckoning us to stop, 
but we were not desirous of further intimacy with his 
highness or any of his subjects. When upon better terms, 
the old man had very politely invited us to stop a few days 
with him, upon our descent, and had promised us great assist- 
ance in collecting birds and shells. 

Before daybreak, upon the 30th, we were moored off 
Serpa. Here we had hoped to obtain additional men, but 
Senhor Manoel Jochin was absent, upon the Madeira, and 
excepting one petty officer, and a few soldiers, not a man was 
left in the place. Senhora Jochin commiserated our situation, 
and offered to enlist a complement of women, but this was too 
terrible to think of. She sent us some roasted chickens, eggs, 
and pacovas ; and as we had nothing further to detain us, we 
cast loose from Serpa. 

Meanwhile, two of our policemen had taken their 
montaria and deserted, leaving us with but three men. This 
number was hardly sufficient to keep the boat in its course, 

but, fortunately, there was little wind. A and I took our 

turns at the helm, and we soon discovered, that however 
romantic the working one's passage down the Amazon might 
seem, at a distance, as a hot reality it was exceedingly disa- 
greeable. 

The day was delightful, and we floated with such rapidity, 
that the quick succession of turns, and points, and islands, 
made time pass most pleasantly. We could readily imagine 
what a fairy scene the river would be could we pass with 
steamboat speed. 

We longed to know what sort of arrangements Noah made 
for his .parrots. Thus far, ours had been left pretty much to 
their own discretion, and the necessity for an immediate 
'' setting up of family government," was hourly more 
urgent. The macaw, no wise contented with his elevation, 



202 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

had climbed down, and was perpetually quarreling with a 
pair of green parrots, and, all the time, so hoarsely screaming, 
that we were tempted to twist his neck. The parrots had to 
have a pitched battle over every ear of corn, and both they, 
and the macaw, had repeatedly flown into the water, where 
they but narrowly escaped a grave. There were two green 
paroquets and one odd one. prettiest of all, with a yellow 
top, and they could not agree any better than their elders. 
Yellow-top prided himself on his strength, and considered 
himself as good as a dozen green ones, while they resented 
his impudence, and scolded away, in ear-piercing tones that 
made the cabin an inferno. At other times, they all three 
banded togther, and trotting about deck, insulted the parrots 
with their impertinences. When a flock of their relations 
passed over, the whole family set up a scream, which might 
have been heard by all the birds within a league ; and if a 
duck flew by, which was very often, our geese would call in 
tones like a trumpet, and the guan would shrilly whistle* 
When we came to the shore, we were obliged to shut up our 
protegees in the tolda, or they were sure to scramble up the 
nearest limb, or fly into the water, and swim for the bank. 
Really, it would have troubled a Job ; but we could see no 
relief. 

In the afternoon, instead of taking a smaller passage, by 
which we had ascended, we continued with the main current, 
and passed a collection of houses, known as Tabocal. Each 
house stood upon a little point, overhanging the water ; and 
the general appearance was neat and pleasing. The people 
were all fishermen, and the river, aided by a little patch of 
mandioca, supplied all their wants. There were, also, a great 
many orange trees, which indicated rather more providence 
than usual in the river settlers. 

We shot a female Snake-bird, Plotus anhinga, in full plu- 
mage. The Indians asserted, very positively, that this was a 
different species from that found below, calling it, by way of 
distinction, the Carara de Rio Branco. We had no opportu- 
nity, afterwards, of verifying their account, and the only speci- 
men that we had shot, upon our ascent, was a young male of 



A V07AGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 203 

this same species. But whether there be one species or two, 
the Darter is common every where upon the river, and upon 
Marajo. The Surinam Darter is probably quite as abundant, 
but from its small size, more easily overlooked. We obtained 
one of these at Barra, and, afterwards, saw several in a col- 
lection, at Jungcal. 

Upon the 31st, as we were stopping in the forest to break- 
fast, our geese called up a kindred wild one, which we shot 
and preserved. This species I have before mentioned as the 
Chenalopix jubatus (Spix). It is more elegant in its move- 
ments than any of its family with which we are acquainted, 
being small, with long neck and legs, and extremely active. 
It walks with stately step, but usually its motion approaches a 
run. with outspread wings, and proudly arching neck. It is 
not seen at Para, but is common above, and is much prized, by 
gentlemen, as ornamental to their yards. 

At about ten o'clock, we reached the place, where, in 
ascending, we had seen a few Herons' nests. Now, the trees 
along the shore, were white with the birds ; and a boat, moored 
to the bank, indicated that some persons were collecting eggs. 
Taking one of the men, with the montaria, leaving the galliota 
to float with the current, we started for the spot. The trees 
were of the loftiest height, and in every fork of the branches, 
where a nest could be formed, sat the female birds, some, with 
their long plumes hanging down, like the first curving of a 
tiny cascade ; others, in the ragged plumage of the moulting 
season. The male birds were scattered over the tree tops, some, 
hoarsely talking to their mates, others, busily engaged in dress- 
ing their snowy robes, and others, quietly dozing. The loud 
clamor of their mingled voices so deafened us, that we were 
obliged to speak to each to each other in screams. The re- 
port of the gun made no impression upon the thousands around, 
and the marked bird fell unnoticed. Many of the trees were 
half denuded of their bark, by the animals who had climbed 
up, and the tracks of tigers, large and small, exposed the ma- 
rauders. We shot an iguana who was sucking the eggs from 
a nest, and the Indians, whom we found, assured us that they 
had seen large snakes in the trees on like errands. Dead birds 



204 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

strewed the ground, some partly devoured, and others nothing 
but skeletons^ upon which the swarms of ants had feasted. 
Soiled plumes were in profusion, but ruined beyond redemp- 
tion, and we did not care to gather them. There was to be 
seen but one pair of the Great Blue Herons, the rest were all 
the Great White Herons, A. alba. We shot about a dozen of 
these in fullest plumage, and prepared to hasten after our boat. 
There were two men collecting eggs, but owing to the size and 
loftiness of the trees, and the multitudes of stinging ants which 
infested them, they had made but little progress. They had 
ascended but one tree, and with a bag and string, had let down 
thirty-four eggs, which we bought for twelve cents. They 
were blue, and the size of small hens' eggs. 

There was another breeding place of this kind opposite 
Serpa, and we had intended spending a day within it, had Sr. 
Manoel Jochin been at home. 

We arrived at Villa Nova, about noon of August 1st, hav- 
ing in forty-eight hours made a distance, which required eight 
days in ascending. Senhor Bentos invited us tj make his 
house our home during our stay, and we, at once, moved into 
it, leaving the galliota in charge of Pedro and his comrade. 
The commandante was absent, and we were likely to be de- 
tained some days, as no spare men were in the place, and sev- 
eral other voyagers were in the same predicament as ourselves. 
But there was no use in complaining, and come what might, 
we were in comfortable quarters. 

When we went up, the town was crowded from the sitios 
in the vicinity, on account of the festa of St. Juan ; but now, 
many of the houses were closed, their inmates being in the 
country, for the summer, and every thing bore an aspect of 
dreariness. 

The next day was Sunday, but there were no services in 
the church, the Padre being absent on some of his trading ex- 
peditions ; but in the afternoon, there was a procession of the 
women and children, preceded by " that same old " drum. 

The commandante had returned, and we called to pay 
him our respects, and make known our wants. He was a very 
young man, and appeared anxious to oblige us by every means 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 205 



in his power. He promised to forward us, with twelve men 
and a pilot, if we would only wait a few days, until he could 
obtain them from the woods. Of course, we could but choose 
the only alternative, though our friend's promise enabled us to 
bear the infliction with a tolerable grace. He was very indig- 
nant at the recital of our desertion by two of his men, and 
before he had heard the story out, had ordered them to the ca'a- 
boose, with the et ceteras. 

This day was memorable, in that we then, for the first 
time since we had been in Brazil, saw tomatoes. They were 
little and Cew, for the climate is unfavorable to their growth. 
Ocra is much more common, and is eaten both in soups and 
with boiled dishes. It. seems strange that, directly under the 
equator, the Brazilians can live as they do, upon turtle, and 
meat, and fish. With all this, they consume vast quantities of 
cashaca, which is as bad as New England rum, and sleep, in 
the interior towns, about sixteen hours out of the twenty-four. 
And yet, we saw very many old men, of sixty and seventy 
years, and scarcely ever knew a case of sickness. 

Next morning, a large party of us went to the lake. A well 
beaten road led to its side, and we found it a pretty sheet of 
clear water, in a valley of considerable depression. Large 
fields of grass were floating upon the surface, at the will of the 
winds, and from them were startled many ducks, Anas autum- 
nalis, of which we shot enough for a dinner. They were now 
in pairs, just about to commence their breeding season; at 
which time, they resort to inland lakes, whither every one, who 
can raise a gun and a montaria, follows them* There were 
several Indian houses about this lake, and at a distance, were 
two men in montarias, engaged in taking Periecu. Every man 
of consequence, in Villa Nova, employs an Indian or black in 
fishing, selling the surplus of what he himself wants. 

The Indians were building one of their largest vessels upon 
the beach at Villa Nova, and it was a matter of astonishment 
to us, that their carpenters could cut the planks and timbers 
with so great facility, and fit them with such precision, using 
only a handsaw, and the little adz of the country ; while the 
timber was of almost iron hardness, and impenetrable to worms 

10 



206 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

or insects. The shape of these river embarcagoens is calculated 
for any thing but speed, they being broad, round-bottomed, and 
nearly square-bowed. A vessel after the model of the Hudson 
river sloops, would ascend the Amazon in half the time now 
required. 

The little montarias are constructed in a different manner 
from Indian canoes in other countries. A log is selected, not 
more than a foot in diameter, and properly hollowed, through 
as narrow an aperture as will allow of working. This finished, 
it is laid over a fire, bottom side up, and the aperture is thus 
enlarged as is requisite. The outside is properly modelled, 
and upon either gunwale is fastened a strip of board, six inches 
in width, meeting at, each end of the boat. They are usually 
about fifteen feet in length, and a load of Indians will cross the 
river, when the edges of their tottleish craft are scarcely above 
the water, and when white men would certainly be overturned. 
In such labor as boat building, timber hewing, paddling, and 
making of hammocks, the Indians enjoy an uncontested supe- 
riority, although in any other, they are worse than useless. 

Our boatmen were to have arrived on Tuesday night, but 
upon going to the beach, the next morning, we saw the Com- 
mandante just pushing off, with eleven men in two boats. His 
sergeant, he said, had returned without a man, and he had 
ordered him to the calaboose, for disobeying orders ; now he 
was going upon our errand himself, and would have the men 
at any rate. This Commandante was a noble fellow, and, 
although he was acting under orders, yet he entered into our 
plans with so much good will, as to make us personally in- 
debted to him. He had taken all the workmen from the boat, 
and the beach and town were as still as a New England 
village on a Sunday. 

The poor sergeant, who was in durance for his misfortune, 
had the best reason in the world for not bringing the men, the 
first and most important point being to find them. This was 
no easy matter, when the hunted ones were unwilling Indians, 
in their own woods. 

The military officers, in these inland towns, are despotic for 
evil or good, and according as they are public spirited men, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 207 

does the town prosper. At Serpa, every thing appeared care- 
less and disorderly ; at Villa Nova, on the contrary, a change 
was evidently taking place for the better, and even since we 
had passed up the river, the vicinity had undergone an entire 
transformation. The soldiers had been employed in cutting 
down the bushes that encroached upon the town, in pulling 
down and removing the crazy hovels, in building handsome 
fences about the houses of the officers, and in clearing and re- 
pairing the road leading to the lake. 

Near our house, a school was in daily session, and as the 
path to the woods ran directly by it, we took frequent peeps at 
the little fellows within. The master was a deputy, a boy of 
sixteen, and a flock of children, of all colors, were gathered 
around him, all talking or studying at the top of their voices. 
Here these future statesmen learned reading, and writing, and 
a little arithmetic. The Brazilians, generally, are very neat in 
their chirography. The government pays the salary of the 
head teacher, or Professor, as he is styled. In Villa Nova, his 
salary was one hundred and fifty milrees annually, from which 
he deputized as cheaply as possible. This Professor, Senhor 
Amarelles, who, by the way, was one of the dignitaries of the 
place, concentrating in himself some half a dozen offices, chan- 
ced to be in possession of a counterfeit note ; and this, he desired 
the shopkeeper of the place to palm off upon us, as we, being 
strangers, he said, would not know the difference. Very dubi- 
ous morality, for a schoolmaster. 

Apropos, there were an unusual number of Vultures about 
Villa Nova, the Cathartes atratus of Wilson ; and indeed, this 
species is seen more or less, every where upon the river. At 
Para, particularly, they are seen by hundreds, about the slaugh- 
ter yard, and with them may occasionally be seen a red-headed 
species, which we supposed to be the common Turkey Buzzard 
of the North, C aura, but which, it has been suggested, may 
more probably be the Cathartes Burrovianus of Cassin. Un- 
fortunately, we did not preserve specimens of this bird. There 
is a third species, the King of the Vultures, Sarcoramphus pa- 
pa, or as it is called in Brazil, Urubu-tinga. The termination 
tinga, in the Lingoa Geral, means king, and this bird well de- 



208 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

serves the name, from its beauty and superior strength. If a 
King Vulture makes its appearance where a number of the 
other species are collected about carrion, the latter instinctively 
give way, and stand meekly around, while their sovereign lei- 
surely gorges himself. These birds are not very common upon 
the Amazon, and we never had an opportunity of shooting 
them, but several times, we observed them circling, in pairs, 
over the forest. Senhor Henriquez informed us, at the Barra, 
that they were not unfrequently taken alive, particularly if a 
putrid snake, of which they are fond, be exposed to them. A 
noose is arranged to fall over their heads, and the caught bird is 
transformed from a wild marauder, into a peaceable citizen. 
At Para, they are highly valued. We saw a pair in perfect 
plumage, which were presented to Mr. Norris, and felt nothing 
of the disgust inspired by the other, common species. Their 
bare necks were beautifully marked with red and black, orange 
and yellow, and were surrounded near the base by a ruffle of 
feathers. Their breasts were white, and the general color of 
the upper parts, was a light ashy gray. These birds were 
very active, moving about the yard with a leap rather than a 
step. 

At last, upon Saturday, the 8th, the Commandante returned 
successful, and by five o'clock in the afternoon we were ready to 
bid a glad adieu to Villa Nova. During our stay, Senhor Ben- 
tos had been perpetually studying ways of obliging us, and, at 
last, he overwhelmed us with all kinds of gifts, even to a ham- 
mock and towels. He killed a cow for us, packed up two bas- 
kets of chickens, sent down a pair of his pet land turtles, a 
supply of farinha and oranges, bought or begged a curious par- 
rot from the Rio Tapajos, and added to it all the parrots which 
he had about the house, and even a basket of half-fledged 
doves. Moreover, after we had pushed from the shore, and 
descended several miles, a montaria overtook us with one of 
the Senhor's house servants, whom he had sent with orders to 
accompany us, as far as we wished, and 1o attend to our cook- 
ing. When the hour for parting came, we found the good old 
man in his hammock, the tears coursing down his cheeks, and 
apparently in great distress. He threw his arms about our 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 209 

necks, and sobbed like a child, and it was only after an interval 
of several minutes, that he let us go, loaded with a hundred 
blessings. 

Our men were nearly all of the tribe of Gentios, the best 
upon the river. Among them were two free negroes, who 
had been admitted to the rights of tribeship. To look after 
them, the Commandante sent also a corporal and a sergeant ; 
the former of whom was to be pilot, and the latter, a gentle- 
man of leisure. 

During the preceding night, Pedro had been seduced away 
by a white man, who was engaged in fishing, in some of the 
lakes. Pedro had seen quite enough of civilization, and longed 
for his woods and freedom again. We had found him one of 
the best natured fellows in the world, and there was no fault 
in him, except his inquisitiveness, which was natural enough. 
He was always for trying on our hats, or using our brushes 
and combs, or some similar liberty, and there was no use in 
attempting to explain the impropriety of the thing. 

Our load was now considerably increased. The few turtle 
with which Ave had started from Barra, were reinforced to the 
number of fifteen, and filled all the space beneath the cabin 
floor, and a good share of the tolda. In the bow, some trader 
had stowed several pots of balsam, and had had the assurance 
to further impose upon our good will, by demanding a receipt 
for the same, which he did not get. 

Early in the morning of the 10th, we passed Obidos. Sail- 
ing as we did, in the middle of the channel, the shores appear- 
ed to fine advantage, and yet, we could obtain but a very indif- 
ferent idea of the country, or of its productions, at such a dis- 
tance. We had hoped to collect a number of birds and plants, 
whose localities we had marked in ascending, but we found it 
impossible to stop, even could we have recognized the proper 
places. We could only take counsel for the future, and re- 
solve, that if ever we enjoyed another similar opportunity, we 
would not thus defer increasing our collection to a more con- 
venient season. 

Towards night, we stopped at the same high point, at which 
we had breakfasted, the second morning from Santarem. Now 



210 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

we were distant but six hours from that place. Here, by the 
deserted house, we found an abundance of oranges and limes. 
We shot a Caracara Eagle, Polyborus Braziliensis, a bird in- 
teresting to us, from its being also a resident of the United 
States. The Indians called it the Caracara Gavion. It is one 
of the smaller eagles, and somewhat, allied to the vultures. We 
had often seen them, sitting upon trees not far from the water, 
and they seemed little shy at our advance. We afterwards saw 
them on Marajo, and, undoubtedly, they are common through- 
out the whole country. The Hawk tribe of birds was always 
exceedingly numerous, many being beautifully marked, and of 
all sizes, down to a species smaller than our Sparrow-hawk. 
We had shot many varieties, and shot at as many more. 

Our men required no urging, and we found a vast change 
from the lazy Muras. The sergeant regulated their hours of 
labor, and we were unconcerned passengers. They were all 
young, and more inclined to frolic than other Indians that we 
had seen. 

The sergeant had with him a curious musical instrument. 
It consisted of a hollow reed six feet in length, in one end of 
which was fitted a smaller joint, extending a few inches. In 
this was a blowing hole ; and from the whole affair, our ama- 
teur produced sounds much like those of a bugle, playing a 
number of simple tunes. The men passed half their time in 
singing, and two of them, who seemed to be leaders, often 
composed a burden of their own, of the wonders they expected 
to see in the city, to which the others joined in chorus. 

We inquired of them the name of the Amazon in the In- 
dian tongue. It was Para-na-tinga, King of Waters. 



CHAPTER XVHL 

Arrive at Santarem — Negro stealing — Pass Monte Alegre — Strong winds — Usefulness of 
the Sun-bird — Family government — Reformation in the Paroquets — Low shore — A 
Congress — Otters — Enter the Xingu — Gurupa — Leave the Amazon — Assai palms — 
A friend lost and a friend gained — Braves — Our water jars — Crossing the bay of 
Limoeiro — Seringa trees — A lost day — Town of Santa Anna — Igaripe Merim — Enter 
the Moju — Manufacture of rubber shoes — Anatto — Arrival at Para. 

We arrived at Santarem about midnight, and anchored off 
the house of Captain Hislop, waiting for the morning. The 
Captain was absent, but had left orders to place his house at 
our disposal. Therefore, without further ceremony, we took 
possession, and breakfasted, once more, upon the delightful 
Santarem beef. We called upon our friend Senhor Louis, and 
were gratified to find that he had not forgotten us, in our ab- 
sence, but had made for us a good collection of insects, and 
other matters, in which we were interested. .He pressed us 
much to protract our stay, as did Mr. William Goiding, an 
English resident, who called upon us; but our loss of time at 
Villa Nova obliged us to make all speed to Para. 

The large black monkey, which had been given us two 
months before, and whose society we had anticipated with 
mingled emotions, had gone by the board, about a week pre- 
vious, " laying down and dying like a man," as the old lady 
said. To console our bereavement somewhat, she sent down 
to the galliota, a pair of young, noisy, half-fledged parrots, 
and a Pavon, or Sun-bird. Senhor Louis added a basket of 
young paroquets, and a pair of land turtles, and Mr. Goiding 
a pretty maraca duck. Thus we were to have no lack of ob- 
jects for sympathy or entertainment, for the remainder of our 
voyage. 



212 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

We do not know how near we came to getting into diffi- 
culty with some of Santarem's officials, although innocent of 
all intention of offending. Senhor Bentos' servant had gone i 
ashore, and called upon the sister of the Senhor ; and, proba- 
bly, not exactly understanding, herself, why she had been for- 
warded in our boat, had" made an unintelligible story of the 
whole matter. The Senhora sent us a polite request to visit 
her. which we did ; and to her inquiries, we answered as we 
could. She was anxious that we should see her brother-in- 
law, who could not call upon us, she observed, " because his 
neck was so short, and his belly so big.*' and offered to send a 
servant with us to the gentleman's house. We could not re- 
fuse, and went accordingly. The Senhor was in his hammock, 
and it was evident enough, that his sister's expression was 
truthful, at least, for he was sorely afflicted with dropsy. He 
was a lawyer, and after thanking us for our attention, com- 
menced a legal cross-examination of the whys and wherefores 
of the wench's case. It was no joke to be suspected of negro 
stealing ; but we replied according to our ability, that we had 
received no instructions from Senhor Bentos, that the woman 
had come on board without our wishing it, that she had stayed 
on board without our needing her services, and that we had 
brought her to Santarem, because we had not stopped else- 
where. Just at this time, came in a gentleman whom we had 
known at Para, and after a few words of explanation, we were 
bowed out of the house with the profoundest civility. And we 
would advise no Amazon voyager to receive in charge negro 
cooks, unless their master comes with them. 

We left Santarem as the sun was setting, and the men 
being favorably inclined, we made rapid speed during the 
night. 

We passed Monte Alegre upon the afternoon of the next 
day, the 12th. It had been our intention to stop, for a few 
hours, at this town, for the purpose of obtaining specimens of 
the beautiful cuyas there made, and for a ramble upon the 
mountain in the vicinity. But a strong breeze drove, us into 
the remoter channel, at least fifteen miles from the town, and 
we could not cross. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 213 



During the night, a furious wind, accompanied by rain, 
prevented our advance. Early upon the 13th, we stopped in a 
small bay, for a few hours, until the sea should abate. The 
men slung their hammocks under the trees, or stretched them- 
selves on logs, as they could find opportunity. For ourselves, 
we got out the lines, and fished with decided success. We 
also shot a pair of geese, which were called up by our decoys. 

At this spot, our cabin was filled with a large fly, the Mu- 
tuca, which, in the dry season, is almost as great a pest, by 
day, as the carapana by night. But here our Pavon showed 
himself useful, walking stealthily about the floor, and picking 
off fly after fly, with inevitable aim. Not many days after, 
we discovered that he was as fond of cockroaches as of flies ; 
and it was then a regular pastime to put him in one of the 
lockers, and stir up the game, which we had no difficulty in 
finding, nor he in catching. 

. Our noisy additions from Santarem made longer endurance 
out of the question, and after long threatening, at last we suc- 
ceeded in " setting up the family government." A s the first over- 
ture thereto, a rope was crossed a few times in the tolda. Upon 
this, the arara and the parrots were placed, with the under- 
standing that they might look out of the door as much as they 
pleased, and be invited thence, at regular hours, to their meals; 
but that further liberties were inadmissible and unattainable. 
So there they sat, scarcely knowing whether to laugh or cry. 
The paroquets were stationed at the afterpart of the cabin, and 
the change, which had come over one of the green ones, from 
Barra, was amusing. She had been the wildest, and crossest 
little body on board, always resenting favors, and biting kindly 
hands. But since the lately received young ones had been 
put with her, she had assumed all the watchfulness of a 
mother, feeding them, taking hold of their bills and shaking 
them up, to promote digestion, and generally keeping them in 
decent order. She had no more time to gad about deck, but 
soberly inclined, with the feathers of her head erect and ma- 
tronly, she stuck to her corner, and minded her own business. 
Meanwhile, Yellow- top looked on with the calm dignity of a 
gentleman of family. 

10* 



214 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



When opposite Pryinha, we took an igaripe, to avoid the 
long circuit and the rough channel, and sailed many miles 
upon water, still as a lake. Here were vast numbers of ducks 
and ciganas, Opisthocomus cristatus. These latter had lately 
nested, and the young birds were in half plumage. They 
seemed to be feeding upon pacovas, which grow in abundance 
upon the grounds of a deserted sitio ; and as we startled them, 
they flew with a loud rustling of their wings, like a commotion 
of leaves, hoarsely crying, era, era. The nests of these birds, 
are built in low bushes ; and are compactly formed of sticks, 
with a lining of leaves. The eggs are three or four, almost 
oblong, and of a cream color, marked with blotches of red and 
faint brown. 

During the night, the wind blew with such strength, as to 
drive us towards shore ; and several times, we were among 
the carapanas, or running up stream in the romancas, almost 
equally disagreeable. 

Where we stopped, next morning, the 14th, the whole 
region had been overflowed, upon our ascent. Now, the 
waters had fallen three feet; and the land was high and dry, 
and covered by a beautiful forest. While at this place, extra- 
ordinary noises from a flock of parrots, at a little distance, 
attracted our attention. At one instant, all was hushed ; then 
broke forth a perfect babel of screams, suggestive of the 
clamor of a flock of crows and jays about a helpless owl. 
It might be, that the parrots had beleaguered one of these 
sun-blinded enemies ; or, perhaps, the assembly had met to 
canvass some momentous point, the overbearing conduct of 
the araras, or the growing insolence of the paroquets. Guns 
in hand, we crept silently towards them, and soon discovered 
the cause of the excitement. Conspicuously mounted upon a 
tree top, stood a large green parrot, while around him, upon 
adjacent branches, were collected a host of his compeers. 

There was a pause. " O Jesu u," came down from the 

tree top ; and a burst of imitative shrieks and vociferous ap- 
plause followed. " Ha, ha, ha a," and Poll rolled his 

head, and doubled up his body, quite beside himself with 
laughter. Tumultuous applause, and encores. " Ha, ha, ha, 



A VOYAGE TJP THE RIVER AMAZON. 215 



Papaguyri a," and he spread his wings and began to 

dance on his perch with emphasis. The effect upon the audi- 
tory was prodigious, and all sorts of rapturous contortions 
were testifying their intelligence, when some suspicious eye 
spied our hiding place ; and the affrighted birds hurried off, 
their borrowed notes of joy ludicrously changed to natural 
cries of alarm. Complacent Poll ! he had escaped from con- 
finement; and with his stock of Portuguese, was founding a 
new school among the parrots. 

In the afternoon, we entered the igaripe, through which 
we had sailed upon the 11th of June, occupying then, the 
entire day; but which now required but two hours. Here 
we saw a number of Otters. The men called them by some 
wild note ; and, immediately, the animals raised their heads 
and shoulders above the surface of the water, and listened 
without the least apparent fear. It was almost too bad to 
spoil their sport; but the opportunity was too tempting, and 
straightway, amongst them whizzed a ball. They dived 
below, and we saw them no more. 

When ascending, we had seen the mountains, upon the 
northern side of the river, for several days ; but, as we left 
this igaripe, they broke upon us, in one full view, seemingly of 
twice the height, and tenfold the beauty, of the mountains we 
had seen before. 

Next morning, the shore was very low ; scarcely dry from 
the receding waters. A mud flat extended for more than a 
mile into the river; and the top of the water was spotted by 
roots and stumps of trees. 

Towards night, we left the Amazon, for a narrow passage, 
which led into the River Xingu ; and, for several hours, our 
course was in the clear waters of that river, among islands of 
small size and surpassing beauty. Just at sunset, as we were 
proceeding silently, there came floating over the water, the 
rich, flute-like notes of some evening bird. It was exactly the 
song of the Wood Thrush, so favorite a bird at the North ; and 
every intonation came freighted with memories of home, of 
dear ones, far, far away. Even the Indians seemed struck with 
an unusual interest, and rested upon their paddles to listen. 



216 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



We never had heard it before ; and so strangely in unison 
was the melody with the hour and the scene, that it might 
well have seemed to them the voice of the " spirit bird." 
We passed the small town of Boa Vista. At first, there 
seemed to be but one house, from the light j but the noise of 
our singing attracted attention, and a dozen torches welcomed 
us to shore, if we would. 

Here we had first made the acquaintance of the carapanas, 
and here we left them for ever. They had clustered around us 
in prosperity and adversity, with a constancy that might have 
won the hearts of those, who were stronger nerved, or whose 
sympathies were more expanded than ours; but we parted 
from them in ungrateful exultation. 

We reached Gurupa, about noon, of the 16th. Here we 
first received tidings of the war between the United States 
and Mexico. Seventy thousand volunteers^ our informant said, 
had passed over the Mexican frontiers, and were advancing, 
by rapid marches, to the borders of Guatemala ! 

It was three o'clock, the next afternoon, when we stood 
upon the cabin-top, for a last look at the main Amazon ; and 
as a turn of the Tajipuru, into which we had now entered, 
shut it suddenly from our view, we could not but feel a sad- 
ness, as when one parts from a loved friend, whom he may 
never see more. The months that we had passed upon its 
waters, were bright spots in our lives. Familiarity with the 
vastness of its size, the majesty, and the beauty of its borders, 
the loveliness of its islands, had not weakened our first im- 
pressions. He was always the King of Rivers, stretching his 
dominions over remotest territories, and receiving tribute from 
countless streams; moving onward with solemn and awful 
slowness, and going forth to battle with the Sea, in a manner 
befitting the loftiness of his designation, and the dignity of his 
claims. 

We were now sailing, in narrow channels, towards Braves; 
but by a different route from that of our ascent. A great 
number of channels, from the Amazon, intersected our course 
through which the water poured furiously. The shores again 
bristled with palm trees ; or forests of seringa, and the huts 
of the gum-collectors, skirted the stream. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 217 

We gathered grent quantities of assai, and, ourselves 
turning artists, we could have it in Para perfection, and could 
bid adieu without a thought, to our stores of coffee and other 
former indispensables, which were disappearing, one after 
another; a sure token, that, by this time, our voyage should 
have ended. 

Our motherly Paroquet came upon deck, for an airing, and 
embraced the opportunity of a high starting point, and a near 
shore, to give us French leave; but, a few hours after, as if to 
supply her loss, we picked up a little Musk Duck, not more 
than a day or two from the shell. The little fellow was all 
alone, his mother having taken flight, at our approach, and his 
brothers and sisters, very likely, having fallen prey to some 
water enemy. He was wild enough at first, but soon became 
extremely familiar, and was the pet of the cabin. Now, he 
swims, in matured and beautiful plumage, in one of our New- 
York ponds, and, we trust, that when his flesh returns its dust 
to dust, it will be when his head is gray, and his years honored, 
and without the intervention of Thanksgiving epicure, or 
Christmas knife. 

Late in the evening of the 18th, we reached Braves, the 
same little old town that we had left it. We went on shore for 
our much desired water-jars, and found that the old woman 
had fulfilled her promise, for there they stood, glazed and fin- 
ished, amongst a row of gaudy brothers, that quite looked them 
out of countenance. We offered to pay for them in two milree 
notes, which, being at a slight discount, were not received. 
Then we offered Spanish dollars, but the jackass of a store- 
keeper did not exactly like the appearance of those bright- 
looking things, and refused to receive any thing but copper. 
We had no copper, and came away, with a hearty, and heartily 
expressed wish that the jars might stand upon his shelves till 
his head was gray. 

Leaving Braves, with the morning tide in a few hours, we 
had passed out of the narrow channels, and were fairly crossing 
the Bay of Limoeiro, taking what is called the Cameta route, 
the usual one for vessels bound down. For three days we 
were crossing from one island to another, often twelve and fit- 



218 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

teen miles apart, and in what looked more like a sea, than the 
mouth of a river. The channel was not very distinct, and our 
pilot knew little of his business. Every where were shoal 
banks, exposed at low tide, and, many times, we struck upon 
the bottom, which, fortunately, was no harder than mud. 

The men were growing eager for the city, and soon after 
midnight, upon the morning of the 22d, they started, of their 
own accord, and for a couple of hours, we went on swimmingly. 
But a strong wind arose, and the rising waves tossed our frail 
boat somewhat uncomfortably. For some hours, we coasted 
along a sand bank, in vain endeavoring to attain a passage to 
the island, an hundred yards within, frequently striking with 
such violence as to make us fearful that the bottom of the boat 
would be stove in. At last, about daybreak, we contrived to 
set two poles firmly in the mud, and tying our boat to them, 
we were pitched and rolled about, as if in an ocean storm. 
The men swam to shore, and caught a breakfast of shrimps, 
in pools left by the tide. Towards noon, as the flood came in, 
we were able to moor nearer the trees, and beyond reach of 
the wind. 

This island was covered by a fine forest, in which were 
abundance of Seringa trees, all scarred with wounds. We 
made some incisions, with our tresados, and the milk, at once, 
oozed out, and dripped in little streams. Its taste was agreea- 
ble, much like sweetened cream, which it resembled in color. 
These trees were, often, of great height, and from two to three 
feet in diameter. The trunks were round and straight, and the 
bark of a light color, and not very smooth. The wood was 
soft, and we easily cut off a large root, which we brought away 
with us. The top of the Seringa is not very wide spreading, 
but beautiful from its long leaves, which grow in clusters of 
three together, and are of oblong-ovate shape, the centre one 
rather more than a foot in length, the others a little shorter. 
These leaves are thin, and resemble, in no respect, the leaves 
of an East-Indian plant, often seen in our green-houses, and 
called the Caoutchouc. There is not, probably, a true Seringa 
in the United States. Around these trees were many of the 
shells (Ampullarias), used in dipping the gum, and also, some 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 219 

of the mud cups, holding about half a gill each, which are fast- 
ened to the tree, for the purpose of catching the gum, as it 
oozes from the wound. We found also the fruit of the Seringa. 
It is ligneous, the size of a large peach, divided into three 
lobes, each of which contains a small black nut. These are 
eagerly sought by animals, and although the ground was 
strewed with fragments, it was with great difficulty that we 
found a pair in good preservation. Specimens of all these 
things, wood, leaves, shells, cups, and seeds, we secured. The 
manufacture of the gum we had not yet seen, but shall describe 
shortly. 

The waves somewhat subsiding, and the wind being more 
favorable, we started again at two in the afternoon, this being 
our last crossing. The point, at which we aimed, was about 
fifteen miles distant, and we arrived near the shore, soon after 
sundown. But here, we were again entangled in shoals, and 
for a long time, were obliged to beat backwards and forwards, 
endeavoring to find the channel, with the comfortable feeling 
to incite us, that the tide was rapidly running out, and that we 
bade fair to be left high and dry in the mud. At last, we 
found the right course, and were soon stopping at a house, at 
the entrance of an igaripe. Here, we were told that our pas- 
sage had been very perilous, and that, only the day before, a 
vessel, loaded with cacao, had gone to pieces, upon these same 
shoals. We engaged a man to go with us, to pilot our pilot, 
and starting once more, pulled all night. 

The morning of the 23rd, found us in a narrow stream, and 
soon after sunrise, we stopped at a deserted sitio to breakfast. 
Here our guide left us, returning in his montaria, as our pilot 
declared, that now he perfectly remembered the way. We 
sailed on, the streams winding about in every direction, and 
passed many sitios, and sugar engenhos, upon the banks. At 
eleven o'clock, we came to a very large house, which our pilot 
said was that of the Delegarde of Santa Anna, and that now 
thattown wasbuttwo turns ahead. We continued on two turns, 
and twenty-two turns, but without seeing the lost town, although 
our necks were strained, and eyes weak, with the search. As 
fortune would have it, a montaria came down the stream, and 



220 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



we learned, to our dismay, that we were in the river Murue 
altogether the wrong stream, and that we had deviated from 
the main and evident course, soon after breakfast. Moreover 
that, had we not chanced to meet this montaria, we might have 
gone on, all night, through the forest, without seeing a house, 
or a man. Here was the time for all our philosophy. Turn- 
ing back, after a few hours, we struck into a cross stream, and 
at last, were in the Kixi, the river upon which Santa Anna 
stands. It was midnight, when we arrived at this town. It is 
an excise port, and every vessel passing, pays a toll often vin- 
tens. We were hailed by a guard and ordered to stop. Our 
sergeant had put on his uniform, and now went on shore to ad- 
just matters; while we remained, viewing the town, as we 
could by starlight. Starlight undoubtedly flatters ; still, Santa 
Anna is considered the prettiest little town in the province. A 
large church, of fine proportions, stands directly by the shore ; 
the houses are well proportioned, and good looking; and, front- 
ing the stores, are wharves built out into the water. The town 
derives much of its importance from its being a port of excise; 
but all the surrounding country is thickly settled by sugar plant- 
ers and growers of cotton. 

The sergeant, returning, reported no duties, as he had told 
the officer that we were upon public business, bearing his ma- 
jesty's mail. 

Between Santa Anna and the river Mojd, is the igaripe Me- 
rim. a short canal cut through by government, for the purpose 
of enabling vessels to reach Para more readily, and to avoid a 
tedious circuit. Striking into this, we continued down with the 
tide, and daybreak of the 24th found us far advanced upon the 
Mojil. This is a small stream, and its banks are covered with 
flourishing plantations. We passed what appeared to be the 
ruins of a village, consisting of a large church, and a few 
houses. 

At ten o'clock, we stopped at an anatto plantation, await- 
ing the tide, and here we saw the manufacture of rubber. 
The man of the house returned from the forest about noon, 
bringing in nearly two gallons of milk, which he had been en- 
gaged, since daylight, in collecting from one hundred and twen- 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 221 

ty trees, that had been tapped upon the previous morning. This 
quantity of milk, he said, would suffice for ten pairs of shoes, 
and when he himself attended to the trees, he could collect the 
same quantity, every morning, for several months. But his 
girls could only collect from seventy trees. The Seringa trees 
do not usually grow thickly, and such a number may require a 
circuit of several miles. In making the shoes, two girls were 
the artistes, in a little thatched hut, which had no opening but 
the door. From an inverted water jar, the bottom of which had 
been broken out for the purpose, issued a column of dense, 
white smoke, from the burning of a species of palm nut, and 
which so filled the hut, that we could scarcely see the inmates. 
The lasts used were of wood, exported from the United States, 
and were smeared with clay, to prevent adhesion. In the leg 
of each, was a long stick, serving as a handle. The last was 
dipped into the milk, and immediately held over the smoke, 
which, without much discoloring, dried the surface at once. It 
was then re-dipped, and the process was repeated a dozen 
times, until the shoe was of sufficient thickness, care being ta- 
ken to give a greater number of coatings to the bottom. The 
whole operation from the smearing of the last, to placing the 
finished shoe in the sun, required less than five minutes. The 
shoe was now of a slightly more yellowish hue than the liquid 
milk, but in the course of a few hours, it became of a reddish 
brown. After an exposure of twenty-four hours, it is figured, 
as we see upon the imported shoes. This is done by the girls, 
with small sticks of hard wood, or the needle-like spines of 
some of the palms. Stamping has been tried, but without suc- 
cess. The shoe is now cut from the last, and is ready for sale : 
bringing a price of from ten to twelve vintens, or cents, per 
pair. It is a long time before they assume the black hue- 
Brought to the city, they are assorted, the best being laid aside 
for exportation as shoes, the others as waste rubber. The pro- 
per designation for this latter, in which are included bottles, 
sheets, and any other form excepting selected shoes, is boragha, 
and this is shipped in bulk. There are a number ofpersonsin 
the city, who make a business of filling shoes with rice chaff and 
hay, previous to their being packed in boxes. They are gen- 



222 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



erally fashioned into better shape by being stretched upon lasts 
after they arrive at their final destination. By far the greater 
part of the rubber exported from Para, goes to the United 
States, the European consumption being comparatively very 
small. 

At this place, we found the largest and finest oranges that 
we had ever seen, and, for about twelve cents, purchased a 
bushel. 

Anatto is a common product in the vicinity of Para, but in 
no place is it cultivated to much extent. The plant is the 
Bixa Orellana. It is a shrub, growing much like the lilac, and 
bears a dark leaf, similarly shaped, but much larger. The 
clusters of fruit pods contain numerous small red seeds, which 
yield the substance known as the anatto of commerce, and 
which is used extensively in coloring cheese. It is difficult to 
obtain the anatto in a pure state. Its color so much resembles 
that of red clay, as to render adulteration easy and profitable. 

Late in the evening we arrived at Jaguary, the place of 
the late Baron Pombo, who was the greatest proprietor in the 
province, owning more than one thousand slaves, and cultiva- 
ting an immense territory. The village consists almost entirely 
of the residences of those dependent upon the estate ; and the 
bright light of torches, and the noise of various factories and 
mills, indicated that labor was exerting itself by night as well 
as by day. We moored close under the Baron's house, a 
large, palace-like edifice. 

Starting once more, at two in the morning, of the 25th, by 
three we had crossed the Acara, and by daybreak, were within 
sight of the city. The music of the band, the ringing of the 
bells, and the distant hum, came towards us like water to 
thirsty souls. The men broke out into a joyous song, and with 
a lively striking of their paddles, beating time to their quick 
music, they sped us past canoe after canoe, that, in easy indo- 
lence, was coursing like ourselves. 

At eight o'clock, we were once more upon the Punto da 
Pedras, the spot we had left one hundred days before, receiv- 
ing the warm congratulations of friends, and the curious atten- 
tions of a motley crowd, who had collected to gaze at the stran- 
gers from the Sertoen. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Our Lady of Nazareth — Nazare legend — Procession — Commencement of the festa — A 
walk to Nazare — Gambling — Services in the chapel — An interesting incident. 

Shortly after our return, commenced the festival of Na- 
zare. 

This is the grand holiday of Para, when business is sus- 
pended, and citizens have no care but pleasure. Our Lady of 
Nazareth seems to have received proper honors of old, in the 
mother country, and the faithful colonists still acknowledged 
her maternal kindness by enshrining her as their most popular 
tutelary. Did trouble afflict, or sorrow bow down ; did danger 
menace, or were dangers escaped, our blessed Lady was ever 
considered the friend and benefactress. Many are the tradi- 
tions of her miraculous interpositions and wonderful cures, all 
tending to prove how well she deserves the exalted place she 
holds in the hearts of all good citizens. 

Befitting so beneficent a Saint is the beautiful spot de- 
voted to her worship ; a neat chapel within an ever ver- 
dant forest-embowered meadow. Quite lately, a number of 
graceful cottages have been erected about the area, mostly by 
wealthy persons in the city, who prefer to live here during the 
festa. At this time, numerous temporary constructions also 
line the adjacent road on either side, or find room about the 
square. The time usually chosen, by long custom, is the last 
of September, or early in October, when the increasing moon 
throws her splendors over the scene, and the dry season has 
fairly ushered in the unclouded, brilliant nights; when the air 
is redolent of perfume, and delicious coolness invites from the 
closeness of the city. 



224 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



Associated with the kind offices of our Lady is an ancient 
legend, deemed worthy an annual recollection. It is of a knight, 
who, when rushing over an unnoticed precipice in pursuit of a 
deer, was saved from destruction by the timely apparition of 
our Lady, which caused the deflection of his affrighted horse. 

It was about four in the afternoon, when the fierce sun's 
heat began to lose its power, that the procession which was 
to commence the festa by escorting our Lady to her chapel, 
formed in the Largo da Palacio. Amid the din of music, the 
discharge of rockets, and the vociferous applause of a vast 
crowd of blacks, it set forth. We had accepted the kind offer 
of a friend, and were watching from a balcony in the Rua da 
Cadeira. As the line approached, first and most conspicuous 
was a car drawn by oxen, in whieh were stationed boys having 
a supply of rockets, which at little intervals they discharged. 
Nothing so pleases a Brazilian as noise, especially the noise of 
gunpowder; and not only are rockets crackling night and day 
upon every public occasion, but the citizens are wont to cele- 
brate their own private rejoicings by the same token. 

Directly behind this car came another, similarly drawn, 
upon which was a rude representation of the before mentioned 
legend ;— a monster of a man upon a caricature of a horse, 
being about to leap into space, while a canvass virgin upon the 
edge of the rock, or rather in the middle of the cart, prevented 
the catastrophe. Behind her was an exquisite little deer, no 
canvass abomination, but a darling of a thing, just from the 
forest, wild and startled. The poor thing could not compre- 
hend the confusion, and would gladly have escaped, but the 
cord in its collar forced it back, and at last seeming resigned to 
its fate, it lay motionless upon its bed of hay. 

Next followed the carriages, and therein, the pictures of 
complacence, sat the civic dignitaries and civic worthies. As 
locomotion is the sole object, every thing that can contribute 
thereto, from the crazy old tumble-down vehicle of the con- 
quest, through every description of improvement, until the 
year '46, is pressed into the service. Most noticeable in this 
part of the procession is the President, a fine looking man, 
whose attention is constantly occupied by his fair friends in 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVEK. AMAZON. 225 

the balconies. Here and there, is a foreign consul, conspicu- 
ous among whom is the official of her Majesty of England, a 
venerable, soldierly figure, one of Wellington's campaigners and 
countrymen, and occupying decidedly the most dashing turn- 
out of the day. Last of the carriages, comes a queer looking 
vehicle, known by no conventional name, but four-wheeled, 
and resembling the after part of an antique hackney coach, 
cut in two vertically and crosswise. In this sits a grave per- 
sonage, holding in his hand the symbol of our Lady, to all 
appearance, a goodly sized wax doll, in full dress, magnifi- 
cent in gaudy ribbons, and glowing with tinsel. Nossa 
Senhora is the darling of the crowd, and her attractions 
have lost none of their freshness during her year's seclusion. 

Now come the equestrians, whose chargers do credit to 
their research, if not to the country which produced them ; 
now and then one being a graceful animal, but the greater 
number, raw boned, broken-winded, down-hearted, and bat- 
bitten. After these, come black-robed priests, students in 
uniform, and genteel pedestrians, and, last of all, the military 
in force, preceded by their fine band. 

Passing through the more important streets, the long line 
turns its course towards Nazare, and here our Lady is depo- 
sited upon the altar of her chapel, and the festa has fairly 
begun. 

The festa is of nine days' duration, and service is performed 
in the chapel every evening. For the first two or three days, 
the people are scarcely in the spirit of the thing, but before 
the novena is ended, the city is deserted, and its crowds are at 
home in Nazare. Let us take a sunset walk, and see what is 
curious in a Para festival. The brightness of day has passed 
with scarcely an interval, into the little inferior brilliance of 
the full moon. The trades, that blow more freshly at night, 
unite with the imperceptibly falling dew in exhilarating after 
the day's fatigues. Lofty trees, and dense shrubs throw over 
us their rapidly varying shadows, and from their flower homes, 
the cicadas, and other night insects, chant their homage to the 
blessed Lady, in a vesper hymn. Grave matrons are passing 
along, attended by servants bearing prayer books ; and com- 



226 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



fortable looking old gentlemen, who have forgotten age in the 
universal gayety, are rivalling young beaux in the favors of 
laughing girls, whose uncovered tresses are flashing in the 
moonlight, and from whose lips the sweet tones of their beau- 
tiful language fall on the ear like music. Indians move 
silently about in strong contrast to the groups of blacks, the 
same noisy, careless beings, as elsewhere. Numbers of 
wenches, picturesquely attired, are bearing trays of doces upon 
their heads ; and children, of every age, add their share of 
life and glee to the scene. 

Suddenly we leave the road, and the square is before us. 
The air is brilliant with torch lights ; crowds of indistinct, 
moving figures are crossing in every direction, and the noisy 
rattle, of a hundred gambling tables drowns all other sounds. 
These tables are as remote from the chapel as possible, and 
are licensed by the authorities. Upon each table are marked 
three colors, black, red, and yellow. The proprietor holds in 
his hand a large box, in which are a number of correspond- 
ingly colored balls. Whoever is inclined, stakes his money 
upon either color ; a little door opens in the side of the box, a 
ball comes forth, and he has lost or won; probably the 
former, for the chances are two to one against him. But 
adverse chances make no difference, and crowds are constantly 
collected about the tables, mostly of little boys who have 
staked their last vinten, and who watch the exit of the ball 
with outstretched necks, starting eyes, and all the excitement 
of inveterate gamblers. It is amusing to watch these scenes. 
The complacent proprietor, very likely a black boy, grinning 
so knowingly at the increasing pile before him, and at the 
eagerness of his dupes, is evidently in sunshine. The poor 
little fellow who has lost his all, turns away silently, with de- 
jected look, and tearful eyes. But let him win. A proud sat- 
isfaction brightens up his face, he looks around upon his 
unsuccessful mates with an air of most provoking triumph, and 
slowly rakes the coppers towards him, as though they could 
not be long enough in coming. Sometimes a pretty Indian 
girl hesitatingly stakes her treasure, timidly hoping that she 
may yet be the fortunate possessor of some coveted trinket : 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 227 

but, alas, the divinities here are heedless of black eyes and 
raven hair, and she turns away disappointed. At another 
stand, nothing less than paper is the etiquette, and some of 
Para's bucks seem inclined to break the bank or lose their last 
milree. 

Scattered every where over the square, are the stands of 
the doce girls, who are doing a profitable business. Some of 
the cottages round about are fitted up with a tempting display 
of fancy wares; others are used as cafes, or as exhibition 
rooms for various shows ; and from others come the sounds of 
music and dancing. Ladies and gentlemen are promenading 
about, waiting the commencement of the ceremonies in the 
chapel. 

In all this crowd there is perfect order, and no drunken 
brawl or noisy tumult demands the police. 

At eight o'clock, service is notified by the ascent of rockets, 
and those who care, attend the chapel. Within are the more 
fashionable ladies, and a few gentlemen ; without, in the large 
open portico, are seated upon the floor the black and Indian 
women, dressed in white, with flowers in their hair, and 
profusely scented with vanilla. The congregation is still, the 
ceremonies proceed. Suddenly a sweet chant is commenced 
by the choir, one of the beautiful Portuguese hymns. The 
chorus is caught by the crowd in the portico. An old 
negress rises upon her knees, and acts the part of chorister 
and guide ; in a voice almost drowning the sweet tones about 
her, calling successively upon all the saints of the calendar. 
u Hail to thee, Santo Tornasio. Hail to thee, Santo Igna- 
cio." Certainly, she has a good memory. There is something 
indescribably beautiful in the tones of these singers. Men, 
women, and children, all join in the same high key, and the 
effect is wild and startling. 

The service is over, and the amusements succeeding 
encroach far into the small hours of morning. Balls and 
parties are given in the cottages, or beneath the broad 
spreading trees, and the light hearted and happy, dance, until 
they are weary, to the music of the guitar, or their own songs. 

While we were in Para, an interesting incident occurred 



228 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

to diversify the festival. A few weeks before, a Portuguese 
bark had left Para for Lisbon. One day out of the river, in 
the early morning-, a squall struck her, threw her upon her 
beam's end, and she was capsized before a single passenger 
could escape from the cabin. The mate and seven seamen 
were thrown unhurt into the water. The small boat was like- 
wise cast loose, and this they succeeded in attaining. They 
were in the ocean, without one morsel to eat, or one drop of 
water. For several weary days they pulled, and worn out by- 
hunger and thirst, they laid them down to die. They had 
implored the aid of our Lady of Nazareth, had made her a 
thousand vows, but she would not save them. One rises for 
one more last look ; land is in view. Hope rouses their wasted 
frames, and they reach Cayenne in safety. The inhabitants 
succor them, and send them to Para, with the boat, whither 
they arrive during the festa, bringing the first accounts of the 
disaster. The enthusiasm of the people was extreme. An 
immense procession was formed. The boat was borne upon 
the shoulders of the saved men, and deposited with rejoicings 
in the portico of our Lady's chapel, another memorial of her 
kindly aid. 






CHAPTER XX. 

Leave Para for Marajo — Voyage — Cape Magoary — Islands — A morning scene— Arrive 
at Jungcal — A breakfast — Birds — Vicinity of Jungcal. 

The far famed Island of Marajo, a little world of itself, 
differing from aught else in its appearance, its productions, its 
birds and its animals, had long been to us an object of the 
most intense curiosity. Did we inquire the whereabouts of 
any curious animal of the dealer in the Rua, almost in- 
variably the answer was, Marajo ; or the locum tenens of 
some equally curious bird, of the wenches on the Punto da 
Pedras, of course, it was Marajo. Could not we catch a 
glimpse of an alligator 1 Yes, thousands on Marajo. And 
monster snakes and tigers ? Always on Marajo. One would 
have thought this island a general depot, a sort of Pantologi- 
cal Institute, where any curiosity might be satisfied by the 
going. Ever since we had been in the country, we had heard 
of it, had seen, occasionally, the distant tree tops, and had 
even coasted along its upper side in the galliota ; but our long- 
ings for a face to face acquaintance, and an exploration of 
its wonders, seemed likely to remain ungratified. And yet, we 
had been upon the eve of seeing Marajo for the last thirty 
days, thanks to Mr. Campbell's kindness. But the festa of our 
Lady of Nazareth, and the slow and easy habits of the people 
had kept us waiting from day to day, until the Undine's arrival, 
and expected speedy return, bade us bend our thoughts home- 
ward. 

But our intention was fulfilled, after all. At an hour's 
notice, we left Para, about nine o'clock, one pleasant evening 

11 



230 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

in September, dropping down with the ebbing tide. Our des- 
tination was Jungcal, upon the remote north-west corner of the 
island. The distance is not very great; a clipper schooner 
would call it a holiday excursion, and a little steamer, which 
could mock at the trades and the flood tides, would run it off 
in a pleasant morning. As it is, and alas, that it should be 
so, the Jungcal passengers think themselves fortunate, if the 
winds and tides of a week speed them to the destined point. 
Our craft was a cattle boat, a little schooner without a keel ; 
with the least possible quarter-deck, and scanty turnings-in for 
two, below. A year before, we should have quarreled with 
the rats and cockroaches, but our recent experience had endued 
us with a most comfortable coolness in our manner of taking 
such small inconveniences. The crew were half-breeds, about 
a dozen in all, men and boys. The captain was a mulatto, 
not over twenty years of age, intelligent and sufficiently atten- 
tive. Had it not been for these attractive qualities, we should 
have grumbled unconscionably at a speculation of his, where- 
by, to deposit an Indian woman, who had ventured on board 
as passenger, in the steerage, he had lost an entire day in 
crossing to the Marajo side and back again. One would 
naturally suppose, that once upon the island shore, we could 
have coasted around Cape Magoary without re-crossing. But 
the river is beset with shoals, and no careful survey has yet 
sufficed to put these mariners at their ease. 

Early upon the fourth morning, we struck across from Point 
Taipu, sixty miles only below Para, and soon were running 
towards Cape Magoary with no guide but the stars, beyond 
view of land on either side. Our careful captain himself took 
the helm, and as we neared the shoals a man was constantly 
heaving the lead. The channel now was usually but one and 
two fathoms deep, and the brackish taste of the water was 
soon lost in the overpowering current which set in from the 
main Amazon. Beyond Cape Magoary are a number of small 
islands, the names of three of which are the Ship, the Bow, 
and the Flycatcher, or Navio, Arco, and Bentivee ; all unin- 
habited by man, and affording secure homes to countless 
water birds. The isle of the Bow is overrun with wild hogs, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 231 

the increase of a tame herd once wrecked upon a shoal near 
by. Here the captain offered to land us for an afternoon's 
sport, but the wind was fresh, and we were too near Jungcal 
for any such enticements. Late in the evening, we crossed 
the bar, passing into a small igaripe, and, in a few minutes, 
were moored off the cattle-pen. Once more we slept quietly, 
undisturbed by surfs and tossings. 

The morning dawned in all the splendor of a tropical sum- 
mer, and long before the sun's rays had gilded the tree tops, 
we were luxuriating in the fresh, invigorating breeze, and ad- 
miring the beautiful vicinity, that wanted not even the sun- 
light to enchant us. The ebbing tide had left exposed a large 
flat, extending an eighth of a mile opposite the cattle-pen, and 
lost, at perhaps, twice that distance, in the woods above. Here 
and there a tiny stream crept slowly down, as if loth to leave 
the beautiful quiet island for the rough waters beyond. Di- 
rectly at our side, an impervious cane-brake shot up its tas- 
seled spires, rustling in the wind ; while in every other 
direction, was piled the dark, massive foliage of tropical shrubs 
and trees. Above, and beyond reach of harm, a number of 
Great Blue Herons were stalking solemnly about, and near 
them, a company of Spoonbills and White Egrets displayed to 
us their delicate tints, in the increasing light. Opposite, a con- 
stantly gathering flock of large White Herons were intently 
watching our movements, as though balancing in their own 
minds the chances of danger, with the prospect of no break- 
fast, and a hungry family at home. 

But the loveliest views will tire, in time, and despite the 
interest we felt in the position of things about us, when hour 
after hour passed away, and the gentle twilight became the 
fierce morning heat, while the scarce perceptibly ebbing tide 
would in no wise speed its movements in our behalf, we began 
to feel somewhat like prisoners, in durance. So, to vary the 
scene, we ventured, by the kindly aid of some tottering poles, 
to gain the shore, and started to explore a little, landward. 
But the country soon opened out into a campo, and the baked 
clay, uncovered with verdure, and deeply indented by the 
hoofs of cattle, made walking out of the question. Therefore, 



232 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

we were fain to turn back again, and perched upon a fence 
top, attempted resignation. 

When the tide did turn, it made amends for all sluggish- 
ness ; dashing furiously in. with a seven mile velocity, instantly 
flooding the shoals, and filling the channel. Quickly we were 
in the boat, and hurrying towards Jungcal, unaided by the 
paddle, save in keeping the course. The birds which had been 
feeding had gathered themselves hastily up, and now sat 
perched upon the overhanging trees, gazing down, as if they 
did not half comprehend the mystery of such a sudden wateri- 
ness, although daily, for their lives long, they had thus been 
shortened of their morning's meal. A pair of King Vultures, 
Urubutingas, were sailing overhead, conspicuous for their 
white shoulders and glossy plumage. Two miles, quickly 
sped, brought us to Jungcal, a small settlement of some half 
dozen houses, residences of the overseers and cattle drivers. 
We were greeted as old friends, and being just in time for 

breakfast, sat down be not startled, companions of our 

heretofore wanderings, who have heard us discourse upon the 
virtues of aboriginal diet, and partaken with us of monkey 

and sloth, parrots, cow-fishes, and land turtles sat down 

to a steak not of the exquisitely flavored victim of the 

Fulton Market, nor of the delicious colt-flesh of the Patagonian 
gourmand ; but to one more exquisite, more delicious. Ah ! 
ye young alligators, now comprehended we why chary Nature 
had encased ye in triple mail. 

One of our objects in visiting Jungcal, was to see a rookery 
of Ibises and Spoonbills in the neighborhood; but as the day 
had so far advanced, we determined to postpone an excursion 
thither until the morning. Meanwhile, we amused ourselves 
in exploring the vicinity, and in looking over the beautiful col- 
lection of bird-skins, belonging to Mr. Hauxwell, an English 
collector, whom we were agreeably surprised to meet here. It 
was interesting to find so many of the water-birds of the United 
States, common here also, and to recognize in the herons, the 
rails, the gallinules, the ibises, the shore-birds, et multi alii, so 
many old acquaintances, in whose society we had, long ago, 
whiled away many a delighted hour. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 233 

Upon one side of the houses, the bamboos formed a dense 
hedge, but elsewhere, in every direction, stretched a vast 
campo, unmarked by tree or bush, save where the fringed 
stream but partially redeemed the general character. A few 
horses were feeding about, the last remnant of vast herds that 
once roamed the island, but which have disappeared, of late 
years, by a contagious pestilence ; and which, judging from 
the specimens we saw, were any thing but the fiery coursers, 
described as herding on the, perhaps, more congenial plains, to 
the North and South. 

Upon the margin of a small pond, close by, a number of 
Scarlet Ibises were feeding, so tame, from all absence of molesta- 
tion, as to allow of near approach. Terra-terras were scream- 
ing about, and, at a distance, stalked a pair of huge white 
birds, known in the island as Tuyuyus, Mycteria Americana. 
We were exceedingly desirous to obtain one of these birds, 
but they were wary, and kept far beyond even rifle-shot. 
They are not uncommon upon the campos, and are occa- 
sionally seen domesticated in the city. A young one, which 
we had previously seen in the garden of the Palace, stood 
between four and five feet from the ground. When full grown, 
the Tuyuyu is upwards of six feet in height. Its neck is bare 
of feathers, and for two thirds of its length from above, black : 
the remainder is of a dark red. Its bill is about fifteen inches 
long, and by its habit of striking the mandibles together, a loud, 
clattering noise is produced. About every house were pens 
in which were scores of young ibises and spoonbills, which 
had been brought from the rookery, for the purpose of selling 
in Para. They readily became tame, and well repaid the care 
of the negroes. Brought up for the same purpose, were 
parrots, paroquets, blackbirds, larks, and egrets ; besides a 
mischievous coati, who was every where but where he should 
have been. Towards night, vast flocks of various water-birds 
came flying inland, attracting attention by their gaudy coloring 
and noisy flight. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Description of Marajo — Cattle — Tigers — Alligators — Snakes — Antas — Wild ducks — 
Scarlet Ibises — Roseate Spoonbills — Wood Ibises — Other birds — Island of Mixiana — 
Indian burial places — Caviana — Macapa — Bore or Pororoca — Leave Jungcal for the 
rookery — A sail among the trees — Alligators — The rookery — Return — An alligator's 
nest — Adieu to Jungcal — Violence of the tide — Loading cattle — Voyage to Para. 

The length of the Island of Marajo is about one hundred 
and. twenty miles ; its breadth averages from sixty to eighty. 
Much of it is well wooded, but far the larger part is campo, 
covered during the wet season with coarse, tall grass. At that 
time, the whole island is little more than a labyrinth of lakes. 
In summer, the superabundant waters are drained by numer- 
ous igaripes, and, rain rarely falling, this watery surface is 
exchanged, for a garden of beauty, in some parts, and into a 
desert, upon the campos. The population of the island is 
large, consisting mostly of Indians and half-breeds. Some of 
the towns, however, are of considerable size, but most of the 
inhabitants are scattered along the coast and upon the igaripes. 
Four hundred thousand cattle roam over the campos, belong- 
ing to various proprietors, the different herds being dis- 
tinguishable by peculiar marks, or brands. The estate of 
which Jungcal forms part, numbers thirty thousand cattle, and 
a great number of Indians and blacks are employed in their 
care, keeping them together, driving them up at proper seasons 
to be marked, and collecting such as are wanted for exporta- 
tion to the city. These men become extremely attached to 
this wild life, and are a fearless, hardy race, admirable horse- 
men, and expert with the lasso. When horses abounded, it 
was customary to drive the marketable cattle towards the 
Para side of the island, whence transmission to the city was 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 235 

easy; bat, at present, they are shipped from Jungcal, or other 
places still more remote, thus causing great waste of time, 
and ruining the quality of the beef. The cattle are of good 
size, but not equal to those of the South. Great numbers of 
young cattle, and old ones unable to keep up with the herd, 
are destroyed by the " tigres," which name is applied without 
much precision to different species. The black tiger is seen 
occasionally; the Felis on9a is most common of all. Neither 
of these is known to attack man ; and in their pursuit, the 
islanders exhibit great fearlessness and address, never hesita- 
ting to attack them when driven to a tree, armed with a 
tresado fastened to a pole. At other times, they overtake 
them upon the campos, running them down with horses, and 
lassoing them. Once thus caught, the tiger has no escape. 
He is quickly strangled, his legs are tied, and, thrown over the 
horse's back like a sack of meal, he arrives at the hut of his 
captor. Here a dash of water revives him, but his efforts to 
escape are futile. An Onca taken in this manner, was brought 
to Para for Mr. Campbell. Fie was strangled both on being 
taken on and off the canoe, and after being revived, was 
marched upon his fore legs through the streets, two men hold- 
ing each a hind leg, and others guiding him by the collar upon 
his neck. This animal was afterwards brought to New-York 
by Capt. Appleton. Frequently, young tigers are exposed for 
sale in the market, and one of these was our fellow passenger in 
the Undine, upon our return. We read in works of Natural His- 
tory, most alarming accounts of the fierceness of the Brazilian 
felines, but as a Spanish gentleman remarked to us, of the 
Jaguar, " those were ancient Jaguars, they are not so bad 
now-a-days." 

The cattle have another enemy in the alligators, who seem 
to have concentrated in Marajo from the whole region of the 
Amazon, swarming in the lagoons and igaripes. There are two 
species of these animals, one having a sharp mouth, the other 
a round one. The former grow to the length of about seven 
feet only, and are called Jacare-tingas, or King Jacares. This 
is the kind eaten. The other species is much larger, often be- 
ing seen twenty feet in length, and we were assured by Mr, 



236 A V07AGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



Campbell, that skeletons of individuals upwards of twenty-five 
feet in length are sometimes encountered. 

In the inner lakes, towards the close of the rainy season, 
myriads of ducks breed in the rushes, and here the alligators 
swarm to the banquet of young birds. Should an adventurous 
sportsman succeed in arriving at one of these places, he has 
but a poor chance of bagging many from the flocks around him, 
for the alligators are upon the alert, and the instant a wounded 
bird strikes the water, they rush en masse for the poor victim, 
clambering over one another, and crashing their huge jaws 
upon each others' heads in their hasty seizure. Late in the wet 
season, they lay their eggs, and soon after, instead of becoming 
torpid, as would be the case in a colder climate, bury themselves 
in the mud, which, hardening about them, effectually restrains 
their locomotion, until the next rains allow their dislodgment. 
The inhabitants universally believe, that the alligator is para- 
lyzed with fear at the sight of a tiger, and will suffer that an- 
imal to eat off its tail, without making resistance. The story 
is complimentary to the tiger, at all events, for the tail of the 
alligator is the only part in esteem by epicures. 

Snakes spend their summers in the same confinement as al- 
ligators, and upon their issuing forth, are said to be very nu- 
merous, and often of great size. It was from Marajo, that the 
anaconda, now or lately exhibited at the American Museum, 
was brought, and this fellow, as well as the " Twin Caffres," 
we frequently saw at Para before their transportation to New- 
York. The largest snake known, of late years, at Para, was 
twenty-two feet in length. He was captured upon Fernando's 
Island, near the city, by the negroes, with a lasso, as he laid 
upon the shore, basking in the sun. He had long infested the 
estate, carrying off, one time with another, about forty pigs. 
Even after being captured and dragged a long way to the 
house, he coiled his tail around a too curious pig, that we may 
suppose, was gloating over his fallen enemy, and would have 
made a forty-one of him, had not the exertions of the blacks 
forced him to let go his hold. 

We never heard an instance of snakes attacking man, and 
the negroes do not fear an encounter with the largest. Snake 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 237 

hunts, doubtless, have exciting interest, as well as others less 
ignoble. As elsewhere remarked, these reptiles are very fre- 
quently kept about houses in the city, and may be often pur- 
chased in the market, nicely coiled in earthen jars. Southey 
records an old story to this effect: " that when the anaconda 
has swallowed an anta, or any of the larger animals, it is una- 
ble to digest it, and lies down in the sun till the carcass putri- 
fies, and the urubus, or vultures, come and devour both it and 
the snake, picking the flesh of the snake to the back-bone, till 
only back-bone, head and tail be left ; then the flesh grows 
again over this living skeleton, and the snake becomes as active 
as before." The march of knowledge in this department is cer- 
tainly onward ; now, gentlemen in Para believe no more, than 
that the whole belly and stomach fall out, trap-door like, soon 
to heal again, and ready for a repetition. In either case, the 
poor snake is much to be pitied. 

The Antas, or Tapirs, are animals not often found upon the 
main-land, but occasionally observed on Marajo, along the iga- 
ripes. They are, by many, considered as amphibious, but they 
live upon the land, merely resorting to the water for bathing. 
In size, they resemble a calf of a few months, and when old, 
are of a brown color. They are remarkable for a proboscis- 
like nose. When tamed, they are extremely docile, and are 
allowed to roam freely, being taught to return home regularly. 
One which we saw in this state was small, and marked with 
longitudinal spots of a light color. 

The large Ant Eater is also a dweller on Marajo. 

The Ducks breeding upon this island are of two kinds, 
the common Musk Duck, and the Maracas (Anas autumnalis). 
The latter are most numerous. By the month of September, 
the young are well grown, and the old birds are debilitated 
from loss of their wing quills. Then, particularly upon 
Igaripe Grande, on the Para side, people collect the ducks in 
great flocks, driving them to a convenient place, and, catching 
them, salt them down by the canoe load. 

Of the water birds frequenting Marajo, the Scarlet Ibis, 
and the Roseate Spoonbill, excel all in gorgeousness and 
delicate coloring. The Ibises are of the brightest scarlet, 

11* 



238 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

excepting the black tips of the wings, and their appearance, 
when, in serried ranks, the length of a mile, they first come to 
their breeding place, is described, as one might well imagine 
it, as wonderfully magnificent. They appear, in this manner, 
in the month of June, and, at once, set about the forming of 
their nests. At this time, they are in perfect plumage, but 
soon commencing to moult, they lose somewhat of their 
beauty. The young birds are ready to depart in December, 
and then, the whole family disappear from the vicinity, 
excepting a few individuals here and there. In Maranham, 
the breeding season is in February, and, in that month, Capt. 
Appleton found them there in vast numbers. Sometimes, but 
rarely, they are observed in the Gulf districts of the United 
States, but they have never been known to breed there. The 
nests are made of small sticks, loosely formed. From two to 
three eggs are laid, greenish in color, and spotted with light 
brown. 

The Roseate Spoonbills do not migrate as do the Ibises, 
being quite common upon the whole coast, and sometimes 
being seen far up the Amazon in summer. The delicate 
roseate of their general coloring, with the rich, lustrous 
carmine of their shoulders, and breast tufts, as well as the 
singular formation of their bills, render them objects of great 
interest as well as beauty. They are seen fishing for shrimps 
and other small matters along the edges of the water, or in 
the mud left exposed by the ebbing tide, and as they eat, 
grind the food in their mandibles moved laterally. As well as 
the Ibis, they are exceedingly shy at every season, except 
when breeding. They breed in the same places with the 
Scarlet Ibises and the Wood Ibises, and the nests of the three 
resemble each other in every respect, but in size. The eggs 
of the Spoonbill are from three to four, large, white, and 
much spotted with brown. The birds are called by the 
Brazilians, Colhereiros, meaning spoonbill. The name of 
the Ibis is Guerra, signifying warrior. 

Another of the northern birds here breeding, is the Wood 
Ibis, Tantalus loculator, much larger than either of the above. 
Its general plumage is white, the tips of the wings, and 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 239 

the tail, being a purplish black. By the natives, it is called 
the Jabiru, which name in Ornithologies is more generally 
applied to the Tuyuyu. It lays two or three eggs, of a dirty 
white color. 

Besides these, the Glossy Ibis, Ibis falcinellus ; the Great 
Blue Heron, A. herodias ; Night Heron, A. nycticorax ; Great 
American Egret, A. alba; Snowy Heron. A. candidissima; 
Least Bittern, A. exilis ; Purple Gallinule, Black-necked Stilt, 
and perhaps others common in the United States breed upon 
Marajo ; as well as a variety of the same family peculiar to 
the South. 

We found here, also, one of the rarer land-birds of 
Audubon, the Fork-tailed Fly-catcher, Muscicapa forficatus, 
and were fortunate enough to discover its nest. This was 
near the water, in a low tree, and was composed of grass 
and the down of some plant. The eggs were two in num- 
ber, white, and spotted with brown, at the larger end more 
particularly, resembling, except in size, those of our King- 
bird. 

Generally, the land-birds upon Marajo are of different 
varieties from those found about Para, and upon the Main. 
The Chatterers are not seen there ; the Toco Toucan takes the 
place of the Red-billed; the Cayenne Manikin, whose head and 
shoulders are bright red, is as common as the White-capped 
elsewhere ; Black-backed Yellow Orioles, Icterus jububu, are 
extremely abundant; as are also the Mango Humming Bird, 
T. mango ; the Ruby and Topaz, T. moschitus ; Swallow- 
tailed, T. forficatus; Black-breasted, T. gramineus; and many 
other varieties of this family. 

Opposite Jungcai, and in view from the shore, is the Island 
of Mixiana, twenty-five miles in length, and resembling Marajo 
in its characteristics. This is entirely the property of Srs. 
Campbell and Pombo, the proprietors of the Jungcai estate 
and here they have many thousand cattle. 

Upon Mixiana are Indian burial places, and from these 
are disinterred urns of great size, containing bones and va- 
rious trinkets. Unfortunately, our time would not allow us 
to visit that island, or we should have been at the pains of 



240 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



exploring these interesting remains. We saw, however, one 
of the jars at Jungcal. Similar burying places are found in 
various parts of Brazil and j> araguay, and the ancient method 
of interment in most of the tribes was the same. 

Beyond Mixiana, is the much larger island of Caviana, 
and many other islands, of considerable size, are strewn over 
the mouth of the river. 

Upon the opposite shore is the town of Macapa, said to 
contain the finest fort in Brazil. The situation is considered 
unhealthy, and foreigners rarely visit there. Sailing from 
Para to Macapa, one passes more than forty islands. Between 
Macapa and Marajo is seen in its perfection the singular 
phenomenon, known as the Bore, or Pororoca, when the flood 
tide, at the instant of its turning, rolls back the waters of the 
river in an almost perpendicular wall. Condamine, many 
years ago, described the sea as " coming in, in a promon- 
tory from twelve to fifteen feet high, with prodigious rapidity, 
and sweeping away every thing in its course." No one 
knows of such terrible phenomena now-a-days. We inquired 
of several persons accustomed to piloting in the main channel, 
and of others long resident in the city and familiar with the 
wonders of the province, but none of them had known the 
water to rise above the height of five feet, even at the spring 
tides. A canoe of any size is in no danger, her bow bein^ 
turned to the flood. 

Early in the morning, we accompanied Mr. Hauxwell to a 
tree, upon which a pair of Tuyuyus were building their nest. 
A nimble Indian climbed the tree, but the nest, was unfinished. 
It was thirty feet from the ground, composed of large sticks; 
and looked from below, big enough for the man to have curled 
himself in. 

We left Jungcal for the rookery, about nine o'clock, with the 
flood tide, in a montaria, with a couple of guides. They were 
men of the estate, and looked upon the adventure as most 
lucky for them. Making pleasure subservient to business 
they carried their harpoons for fish or alligators, and baskets 
for young birds. Immediately after leaving the landing, we 
startled a Cigana from her nest, in the low bushes by the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 241 

water. The stream grew more and more narrow, winding 
in every direction. Tops of tall trees met over our heads, 
countless flowers filled the air with perfume, and the light and 
shade played beautifully among the green masses ofifoliage. 

Upon the trees were perched birds of every variety, who 
flew before our advance, at short distances, in constantly 
increasing numbers, or curving, passed directly over us ; in 
either case, affording marks too tempting to be neglected. 
Upon some topmost limb, the Great Blue Heron, elsewhere 
shyest of the shy, sat curiously gazing at our approach. Near 
him, but lower down, Herons, white as driven snow; some, 
tall and majestic as river naiads, others, small and the pictures 
of grace, were quietly dozing after their morning's meal. Mul- 
titudes of Night Herons, or Tacares, with a loud quack, flew 
startled by ; and, now and then, but rarely, a Boatbill, with 
his long plumed crest, would scud before us. The Snake- 
bird peered out his long neck, to discover the cause of the 
general commotion ; the Cormorant dove from the dry stick, 
where he had slept away the last hour, into the water below; 
swimming with head scarcely visible above the surface, and 
a ready eye to a treacherous shot. Ducks rose hurriedly, and 
whistled away; Curassows flew timidly to the deeper wood; 
and fearless Hawks, of many varieties, looked boldly on the 
danger. 

With a noise like a falling log, an alligator would splash 
into the water from the bank, where she had been sunning 
herself, or looking after her nest ; and often, at once, half a 
dozen huge, unsightly heads were lifted above the surface, 
offering a fair, but not always practicable mark for a half- 
ounce ball. Occasionally, a whole family of little alligators, 
varying in length from six to eighteen inches, would start out 
of the leaves instinctively, some, plumping themselves in, as 
the examples of their respected mammas had taught them ; 
others, in their youthful innocence, standing gazing at us, 
from the top of the bank ; but with more than youthful cun- 
ning, ready also to plump in at the least motion towards 
raising a gun. At frequent intervals, the beaten track from 
the water, disclosed the path of some of these monsters ; and 



242 A VOYAGE U? THE RIVER AMAZON. 

a pile of leaves, just seen through the trees, showed clearly 
the object of their terrestrial excursions. 

As we neared the rookery, after a two hours' pull, the birds 
were more* and more abundant; and the alligators more and 
more bold, scarcely minding our approach, and only learn- 
ing caution, by repeated applications of leaden balls. The 
frequent proximity of the King Jacares, offered many oppor- 
tunities to the harpooner in the bow ; but we learned, by his 
ill success, that these autocrats cared very little for punches in 
the ribs. 

Turning suddenly, we left the bordering forest for a cane- 
brake, and instantly broke full upon the rookery. In this part, 
the Scarlet Ibises, particularly, had nested; and the bended 
tops of the canes were covered by half-grown birds in their 
black plumage, interspersed with many in all the brilliance of 
age. They seemed little troubled at our approach, merely 
flying a few steps forward, or crossing the stream. Continu- 
ing on, the flocks increased in size ; the red birds became 
more frequent, the canes bent beneath their weight like reeds. 
Wood Ibises and Spoonbills, began to be numerous. The 
nests of all these, filled every place where a nest could be 
placed ; and the young Ibises, covered with down, and stand- 
ing like so many Storks, their heavy bills resting upon their 
breasts and uttering no cry, were in strong contrast to the well- 
feathered Spoonbills, beautiful in their slightly roseate dress, 
and noisily loquacious. Passing still onward, w r e emerged 
from the canes into trees ; and here the White Herons had 
made their homes, clouding the leaves with white. Inter- 
spersed with these, were all the varieties mentioned before, 
having finished their nesting, and being actively engaged in 
rearing their young. We had sailed above a mile, and at 
last, seeming to have approached the terminus, we turned and 
went below a short distance to a convenient landing, where 
we could pursue our objects at leisure. The boatmen, at once, 
made their dispositions for basketing the young birds; and 
soon, by shaking them down from the nests, and following 
them up, had collected as many as they desired. We wan- 
dered a long distance back, but the nests seemed, if any thing, 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 243 

more plentiful, and the swarms of young more dense. At the 
sound of the gun, the birds in the immediate vicinity, rose in a 
tumultuous flock ; and the old ones circled round and round, 
as though puzzled to understand the danger they instinctively 
feared. In this way, they offered beautiful marks to our skill ; 
and the shore, near the canoe, was soon strewed with fine 
specimens. Evidently, this place had been for many years, 
the haunt of these birds. Not a blade of grass could be seen; 
the ground was smooth and hard, and covered with excre- 
ment. 

Occasionally, and not very rarely, a young heedless would 
topple into the water, from which the noses of alligators con- 
stantly protruded. Buzzards, also, upon the bank, sunned 
themselves and seemed at home ; and not unfrequently, a 
hungry Hawk would swoop down, and away with his prey 
almost unheeded. 

We were amused by the manner of feeding the young Scar- 
let Ibises. In the throat of the old female bird, directly at the 
base of the lower mandible, is an enlargement of the skin, 
forming a pouch, which is capable of containing about the 
bulk of a small hen's egg. She would return from fishing on 
the shallows, with this pouch distended by tiny fish, and allowed 
her young to pick them out with their bills. 

It was late when the tide turned, and we hastened away, 
with the canoe loaded to overflowing. The birds seemed now 
collecting for the night. Squads of bright-colored ones were 
returning from the shore, and old and young were settling on 
the canes, over the water, like swallows in August. An alli- 
gator gave us an opportunity for a last shot, and the air was 
black with the clouds of birds that arose, shrieking and crying. 
I never conceived of a cloud of birds before. 

On our way down, we discovered the nest of a Socco, the 
Tiger Bittern, close by the water. The old bird observed our 
motions for an ascent with indifference, when, up through the 
feathers of her wing, peered the long neck of a little fellow, 
intimating that we might as well be off; for it was of eggs we 
were greedy. 

Soon after, we arrived at the spot, which we had marked 



244 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

in the morning, where an alligator had made her nest, and sans 
ceremonie, proceeded to rifle it of its riches. The nest was a 
pile of leaves and rubbish, nearly three feet in height, and 
about four in diameter, resembling a cock of hay. We could 
not imagine how or where the animal had collected such a 
heap, but so it was ; and, deep down, very near the surface of 
the ground, from an even bed, came forth egg after egg, until 
forty-five had tolerably filled our basket. We kept a good 
look-out that the old one did not surprise us in our burglary, 
having read divers authentic tales of the watchful assiduity of 
the mother. But nothing appeared to alarm us, and we con- 
cluded, that, like others of the lizard family, alligators are 
merely anxious to make their nests, and trust to the fermented 
heat, and to Providence, for hatching and providing for their 
brood of monsters. These eggs are four inches in length, and 
oblong ; being covered with a crust rather than a shell. They 
are eaten, and our friends at the house would have persuaded 
us to test the virtues of an alligator omelette, but we respect- 
fully declined, deeming our reputations sufficiently secured by 
a breakfast on the beast itself. 

Ave Maria had sounded when we reached Jungcal, and 
the satisfaction we felt at the close of this, the greatest day's 
sporting we had ever known, amply compensated for all our 
fatigue. The boat in which we came being obliged to return 
immediately, we were under the necessity of leaving this de- 
lightful spot, where we could have been content to while away 
a month. But one such day as we had passed, repaid us for 
the inconveniences of a week upon the water. 

We bade adieu to our good friends in the morning, taking 
the last of the ebb to arrive at the vessel. But when quite 
near, the tide turned, the flood rushed in, and we were very 
likely to revisit Jungcal. However, by running in shore, and 
claiming assistance of the overhanging canes, after a weary 
pull, we reached our goal, almost inclined to credit M. Con- 
damine. 

The crew were loading with the cattle, which had been 
driven down the day before, and were now confined in the 
Ven. This was enclosed on every side ; but that toward the 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 245 

water. A dozen men stood inside and out, some holding the 
lasso, others ready to pull, the instant the animal was caught, 
and others, still, were armed with sharp goads, with which to 
force him onward. Some of the cattle showed good Castilian 
spirit, and their rage was several times with difficulty eluded 
by a leap to the friendly fence. Once in the water, their 
struggles were over. A rope was fastened about their horns, 
and thus they were hoisted up until they were above the hole 
in the deck made to receive them. Below, they were secured 
to side beams, and were scarcely allowed room to move. 

Putting out of the igaripe. for two days we were beating to 
windward, anchoring half the time, and being tossed about in 
a way to make us curse all cattle boats. The poor victims in 
the hold fared worse than we, deprived of food and drink, 
pitched back and forth with every motion, and bruised all over 
by repeated falls upon the rough floor. We lost all gusto for 
Para beef. From Cape Magoary we had a fine run, reaching 
Para upon the third night. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



Want of emigrants and laborers — Inducements to settlers, and disadvantages — Citizen- 
ship — Import and export duties and taxes — Want of circulating medium — Embarrass- 
ments of government — Capabilities of the Province — Effect of climate on the whites 
— The blacks — Inducements to the formation of a steamboat company — Seasons — 
Temperature — Health — Superior advantages to invalids — Farewell to Para — Voyage 
home. 



The want of emigrants from other countries, and of an ef- 
ficient laboring class among its population, are the great obsta- 
cles to the permanent welfare of Northern Brazil. It never 
was the policy of Portugal to encourage emigration excepting 
from her own territory, and although, by the indomitable en- 
terprise of her sons, she secured to herself the finest Empire 
in the world, yet for want of other assistance, this Empire is 
impoverished, and the millions of square miles that should now 
be teeming with wealth, are entirely unproductive. With the 
nobler qualities of the old Portuguese, to which popular his- 
tory has never done justice, was mingled a narrowness of mind, 
that was natural enough in the subjects of an old and priest-rid- 
den monarchy. The Brazilians have not entirely thrown off this 
prejudice of their ancestors, and still entertain somewhat of the 
old jealousy of foreigners, but very naturally, in a newly libe- 
rated government, they dislike the Portuguese above all others. 
Much of the wealth of the country is in the hands of the Por- 
tuguese, who, coming over when young, with habits of shrewd- 
ness, and economy, almost always accumulate fortunes. The 
Brazilians are no match for them in these qualities, and there- 
fore hate them most cordially. For the same reason, this feel- 
ing is continually excited, although in a lesser degree, against 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 247 

other foreigners, but more in some parts of the Empire than 
others, and probably, as little in Para as any where. 

The Brazilian government offers great inducements to emi- 
grants, and yet these are more than neutralized by disabilities 
and present disadvantages. Land is free of cost, and upon 
any vacant section, a man may settle, with the proprietorship 
of, at least, a square league, and as much more as he really 
requires. Moreover, any new improvement in tools, or ma- 
chinery, may be introduced free of duties. 

The ground is easily cleared, as the roots of the trees do 
not extend far beneath the surface, and the efforts of man are 
further aided by causes attendant upon the clime. The soil is 
of the greatest fertility, and sugar cane, rice, coffee, anatto, 
cotton, cacao, and a hundred other products, richly repay the 
labor bestowed upon their cultivation ; while from the forests 
are obtained gums and drugs, all yielding a revenue. Almost 
every thing grows to hand that man requires ; living is cheap, 
and the climate delightful. 

On the other hand, the counteracting obstacles are very 
great. Although the government professes every desire for 
the accession of foreigners, it denies them the rights of citizen- 
ship, excepting under peculiar circumstances, which, of course, 
obliges them to labor under legal disabilities. 

Again, import duties are extravagantly high, and articles 
of furniture, tools, or machinery, which cannot be manufac- 
tured in the country without great expense, if at all, are taxed 
so highly as to be really prohibited ; although, as before stated, 
new inventions and improvements, are introduced from abroad 
without charge. 

But a greater drawback, by far, is the export duty, the 
most stupid, indefensible measure that could be conceived ; a 
withering curse to all enterprise, and a more effectual hinder- 
ance to the prosperity of Brazil, than a weak government, 
dishonest officials, a debased currency, and all other influences 
together. Brazilian statesmen (?) imagine that the export tax 
comes directly from the pocket of the foreign purchaser, 
whereas, it recoils upon the producer, and its effect is to make 
the price paid for labor so low, as to prohibit cultivation. 



248 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



There is scarcely a product raised in the two countries, in 
which Brazil could not undersell the United States in every 
market of the world, were it not for this tax. Its cotton and 
rice, even during the past year, have been shipped from Para 
to New- York. Its tobacco is preferable to the best Virginian, 
and can be raised in inexhaustible quantities. 

The imposition upon the producer is also increased by the 
tithe required for the church, and, between the two, the lower 
classes are under a burden, which occasionally becomes insup- 
portable, and which is the undoubted cause of the general and 
increasing disaffection toward the government, and of the revo- 
lutions which have heretofore broken out, and which are always 
feared. Rubber shoes, which are principally made by the low 
whites and Indians, pay three taxes to the treasury before they 
leave the country, until the first price is nearly doubled. Not 
a basket of oranges, or of assai, comes to market, untaxed. 

Not only do products exported to foreign countries pay du- 
ties, but even from one Brazilian port to another, and from one 
inland town to another. A few bags of coffee, which were 
sent by us from the Barra of the Rio Negro to Santarem, paid 
duties at the latter place. . Chili hats, coming from Peru, pay 
duties at the frontier, again at Para, and again at Rio Janeiro. 
No country in the world could bear up under such intolerable 
exactions, and Brazilian statesmen may thank their own folly 
if the Empire be dismembered. 

Another obstacle, severely felt, is the want of a circulating 
medium. The Brazilian currency consists almost entirely of 
copper, and paper issued by the government. The smallest 
value is one ree, corresponding to one half mill in our currency, 
and the smallest coin is of ten rees : the largest of eighty, or 
four vintens. One thousand rees make a milree, the smallest 
paper note, about equal in value to a half dollar. There are 
various issues, from one milree to one thousand. Excepting in 
the city, and upon the remote frontiers, gold and silver will not 
circulate. The amount of bills, in the province of Para, is 
never adequate to the wants of the people, and their tendency 
is always to the city. Furthermore, by the operations of go- 
vernment, even the little currency that is floating, is constantly 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 249 

fluctuating in value. Upon one pretext or another, they call 
in notes of a certain denomination, at short notice, and under 
a heavy discount. Such was the case with the two milree 
notes, when we were upon the river. Not long since, it was 
discovered that the Treasurer at Rio Janeiro, had sent to the 
provinces a vast amount of money for the payment of the 
troops, which was certainly struck off the original plate, but 
differed from the true emission by the absence of a letter or 
word. It was a fraud of the Treasurer, unless, as many be- 
lieved, sanctioned by the government. These bills were scat- 
tered to the remotest corners of the Empire, when suddenly 
appeared an order, recalling the whole, within a certain lim- 
ited time. If this were a speculation of the government, it 
was, probably, a profitable one, though the country may not 
have received the benefit of it. But a few years since, one 
milree was nearly or quite equivalent in value to one dollar in 
silver. 

The truth is, that the Brazilian government is a weak gov- 
ernment. It is too republican to be a monarchy, and too mo- 
narchical to be a republic. If it were decidedly one or the 
other, there would be greater strength and greater freedom ; 
but now, it has neither the bulwark of an aristocracy, nor the 
affection of the people. It is forced to depend entirely upon a 
regular army for its existence, and is kept in a state of constant 
alarm by disturbances in its provinces, or invasions of its fron- 
tiers ; it is bowed beneath a heavy foreign debt, and obliged 
to use all kinds of expedients, not to make advance, but to 
retain its position. 

Were Para a free and independent State, its vast wilds 
would, in a few years, be peopled by millions, and its products 
would flood the world. It contains an area of 950,000 square 
miles, nearly half the area of the United States and all its ter- 
ritories. Its soil is every where of exhaustless fertility, and 
but an exceedingly small portion of it is unfitted for cultivation. 
The noblest rivers of the world open communication with its 
remotest parts, and lie spread like net-work over its surface. It 
is estimated that the Amazon and its tributaries present an ag- 
gregate navigable length of from 40,000 to 50,000 miles. The 



250 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

whole territory is as much superior, in every respect, to the val- 
ley of the Mississippi, as the valley of the Mississippi is to that 
of the Hudson. 

But besides the hinderances to prosperity on the part of the 
government, the settler has other disadvantages to struggle 
against, one of which being the deficiency of means of trans- 
portation throughout the interior, may be but temporary ; the 
other is the effect of the climate. It is not to be denied, that 
although the climate is singularly healthy, its constant heat is 
enervating, and that natives of colder regions, after a few years' 
residence, have not that bodily strength requisite to daily and 
protracted toil. It is only in the early morning, and late in the 
afternoon, that white men can labor in the open air ; but where 
a white would inevitably receive a sun-stroke, a negro labors 
with uncovered head, without injury or exhaustion. The one 
has capacity to direct, and the other the ability to perform, and 
it is difficult to conceive how the resources of Brazil can ever 
be successfully developed, without a co-operation of the two 
races. The blacks need not be slaves, they would answer 
every purpose, in being apprentices after the British West 
India system. 

Brazilian slavery, as it is, is little more than slavery in name. 
Prejudice against color is scarcely known, and no white thinks 
less of his wife because her ancestors came from over the wa- 
ter. Half the officers of the government and of the army, are 
of mingled blood ; and padres, and lawyers, and doctors of the 
intensest hue, are none the less esteemed. The educated 
blacks are just as talented, and just as gentlemanly as the 
whites, and in repeated instances, we received favors from 
them, which we were happy to acknowledge. 

Efforts have been made for the establishment of steamboats 
upon the Amazon, but from causes unforeseen, and not inhe- 
rent in the enterprise, they have failed. A few years since, 
the government granted a monopoly of the river, for a term of 
years, to a citizen of Para. A company was formed, and a 
small steamboat brought out, but from lack of confidence in the 
individual referred to, the enterprise progressed no further. It 
is said, the government are ready to renew their offers, and 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 251 

there can be no question but that an efficient company would 
meet success. Such a company should have sufficient capital to 
enable it to purchase its own freight in the interior, at least, in 
the beginning of the enterprise. For. at first, the novelty of 
the thing, and the general dislike to innovation, would prevent 
the co-operation of the people at large. Time and success 
would soon wear away their prejudices. The present method 
of transportation is so tedious and expensive, that a steamboat 
would destroy all opposition from the river craft, and by ap- 
pointing proper agents in the several towns, and making the 
upper depot at the Barra of the Rio Negro, constant and profit- 
able freights would always be secured. 

A boat built of the wood of the country, would be prefera- 
ble, on account of its not being affected by boring worms in the 
water, or by insects ; but perhaps the former might be avoided 
by copper. 

The navigation of the river is perfectly clear, excepting in 
the Bays of Marajo and Limoeiro, and surveys in these, would 
no doubt discover convenient channels. There are neither 
snags, nor sawyers ; the only thing of the kind being floating 
cedars, easily guarded against. 

If a company were formed, much of the stock would be ta- 
ken in Para, and the enterprise would receive every encourage- 
ment from the citizens. Sooner or later, the Amazon must be 
the channel of a vast commerce, and Para must be, from the 
advantages of its situation, one of the largest cities of the 
world. 

It remains further to speak of the climate of Para, and of 
the extraordinary advantages which it presents to invalids and 
travellers. 

The seasons are, properly speaking, but two, the rainy 
and the dry. The former commences about the 1st of Jan- 
uary, and continues until July. During the first part of this 
time, rain pours unremittingly ; then, for a season, the greater 
part of the afternoon and night, and, at last, perhaps only in a 
daily shower. At this time, also, the trade-winds blow with 
less regularity than in summer. 

Throughout the dry season, more or less rain falls weekly, 



252 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 

but strong trades blow, heavy dews distil, and the climate is 
perfectly delightful. This season commences, in the interior, 
one or two months earlier than at Para, and, during its con- 
tinuance, rain falls more rarely. At this time, a passage up 
the river is speedy, and a descent exceedingly tedious. Senhor 
Henriquez told us, that he was once sixty days in coming from 
the Rio Negro to Para, in a small boat, on account of the 
winds. Thunder and lightning rarely accompany the rains, 
and any thing approaching a tornado is almost unknown. 

It seems singular, that directly under the equator, where, 
through a clear atmosphere, the sun strikes vertically upon 
the earth, the heat should be less oppressive than in the 
latitude of New York. This is owing to several causes. The 
days are but twelve hours long, and the earth does not become 
so intensely heated as where they are sixteen. The vast 
surface of water constantly cools the air by its evaporation, and 
removes the irksome dryness, that in temperate regions, renders 
a less degree of heat insupportable. And finally, the constant 
winds blowing from the sea, refresh and invigorate the system. 

According to observations made by Mr. Norris, during the 
months of June, July and August, at the hours of 6 A. M., 3 
P. M., and 8 P. M., the .mean temperature for June was 79° 98' 
Far. ; the highest 86°, lowest 77° : for July, the mean was 80° 
54' ; highest 86° lowest 77° : for August, the mean was 80° 92' ; 
highest 86°, lowest 77°. The mean for the three months was 
80° 48', and the variation but 9°. I do not believe that another 
spot upon the face of the earth can show a like result. This 
heat we never felt to be oppressive, except when dining in 
state, in black cloth coats. Moreover we were never incom- 
moded by heat at night, and invariably slept under a 
blanket. The reason for this, and also for wearing flannel 
next the skin, at all times, is, that in a very few weeks, a 
person becomes so acclimated as to be sensitive to a very slight 
degree of variation in the temperature. 

This equality of temperature renders the climate of Para 
peculiarly favorable to health. There is no kind of epidemic 
disease; people live to a good old age, and probably the 
average of life is as high as in the city of New- York. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 253 

Such a climate is invaluable to invalids, particularly those 
suffering from pulmonary complaints. Two hundred years 
ago, Sir William Temple wrote after this manner upon the 
Brazilian climate generally: " I know not whether there may 
be anything in the climate of Brazil more propitious to health, 
than in other countries ; for besides what was observed among 
the natives upon the first European discoveries, I remember 
Don Francisco de Mello, a Portugal embassador in England, 
told me, it was frequent in his country for men spent with age 
or other decays, so as they could not hope for above a year or 
two of life, to ship themselves away in a Brazil fleet, and upon 
their arrival there, to go on to a great length, sometimes of 
twenty or thirty years, or more, by the force of that vigor they 
received with that remove. Whether such an effect might 
grow from the air, or the fruits of that climate, or by approach- 
ing nearer the sun, which is the fountain of life and heat, when 
their natural heat was so far decayed ; or whether the piecing 
out of an old man's life were worth the pains, I cannot say." 
This is more true of the climate of Para, than of any other part 
of Brazil. 

Multitudes of persons from the Northern States, now visit 
the south, in search of health, or spend their winters in the 
West India Islands, at great expense, and little gain, who in 
Para, could reside for comparatively nothing, with a certainty 
of recovery. The passage out is low, from fifty to seventy-five 
dollars, and living in the city is cheap. At present, there are 
no houses for public accommodation, but until the influx of 
strangers imperatively required one, the citizens and the 
foreign residents would receive the comers with open arms. 
And Brazilian hospitality is not hospitality only in name ; it is 
the outflowing of a noble and generous warmheartedness that 
would redeem a thousand failings. But if individuals prefer, 
houses are always to be obtained and servants always to be 
hired, and they may live as they please. 

The novelty and beauty of the country, as well as the 
luxury of the climate, afford sufficient inducements to the in- 
valid for seeking both health and pleasure, in Para, while its 
trees and flowers, birds, shells and insects, offer exhaustless 

12 



254 A VOYAGE UP THE RTVER AMAZON. 

resources for diverting the mind, and promoting the bodily ex- 
ercise necessary to a recovery of health. 

Good medical care is always present ; the physicians of the 
city being graduates from European universities. Moreover, 
the medicines peculiar to the country are of great number and 
efficacy, and there is scarcely a form of disease for which 
Nature has not a remedy at hand. An instance in point came 
directly under our observation, the gentleman who was the 
patient being for several weeks with us, at the house of Mr. 
Norris. He had gone out from the United States with his 
system so filled with mercury, that his mouth was ulcerated, 
his teeth dropping out, and his joints so affected that every 
motion produced agony. He was recommended, at Para, to 
try a remedy called by the Indians Mu-lu-re, which is the 
juice of a creeping plant found plentifully throughout the 
country. In three weeks, our friend was perfectly cured, and 
is now in the United States, a well man. We heard of similar 
astonishing cures from other individuals who had been the 
subjects, and every one in Para is acquainted with the virtues 
of the medicine. Why it has not been known abroad, it is 
difficult to say. 

There is a wide field for medical inquiry yet left in the 
Brazilian forests, and one that demands to be explored. 

It may be that some naturalist or sportsman may be incited 
by the recent accounts of adventures on the Amazon, to un- 
dertake an expedition thither for research or pastime, and as 
we ourselves were unable to gain proper information with 
regard to the articles necessary to an outfit, a few words upon 
that subject will, perhaps, not be useless. In the way of 
clothes, half a dozen suits of light material, some of which are 
calculated for forest wear, are necessary, and may be obtained 
ready made, and at low prices, at any of our Southern clothing 
stores; as well as check and flannel shirts. A black dress 
suit is required by Para etiquette. A naturalist's implements 
must also be taken out, as well as powder, fine shot, arsenic, 
flower presses, and paper and wooden boxes for insects and 
other objects. Many of these things cannot be obtained at 
all, or only at extravagant prices and of poor quality, at Para. 



A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 255 



As for medicines, we took out a well filled chest, and ex- 
cepting for one or two doses of calomel, never opened it on 
our own account. Hartshorn is more valuable than aught 
else, being effectual against the stings of all insects. 

Hammocks are always to be had, but blankets are not, and 
if a man intends to stretch himself upon hard boards, a rubber 
pillow is rather softer than a gun-case. We also took out a 
variety of rubber articles. The clothes' bags were useful, and 
the light cloaks answered in the absence of something better, 
but as a general thing, the articles were all humbugs. And most 
especially are rubber boots, which ought to have been known 
to the Inquisition. A far better article for a cloak is the 
Spanish poncho, a square cloth, with a hole in the middle, for 
the neck. Made of heavy cloth, and lined with baize, no rain 
since the deluge could wet it through, and it always answers 
for bed or pillow. 

As to ignorance of the language, that is a matter of no 
consequence. The Portuguese is intimately allied to the 
Spanish, and is one of the most easily acquired languages in 
the world. A stranger readily learns the necessary phrases, 
when he is compelled to do so, and a few weeks' attention 
renders him sufficiently an adept for all practical purposes. 
Not only are there many foreigners in Para who speak English, 
but it is very generally understood by the Brazilian and Por- 
tuguese merchants of the city. 

It was a delightful morning in the latter part of October, 
when, in the good bark Undine, we bade adieu to Para. We 
had come from winter into summer, and were now returning 
to winter again, and although the thoughts of home were 
pleasant, it was very hard to part with kind friends, and to say 
a -farewell, that was to be perpetual, to this land of sunshine, 
of birds and flowers. 

Our passage was long and tedious. For days, we lay be- 
calmed beneath torrid burnings, and when winds did come, 
they blew in furious gales. But we had wherewithal to amuse 
ourselves, and upon sundry occasions, enlivened the mornings 
by spearing a dolphin, or by hooking a shark. The parrots 
and monkeys, too, exerted themselves in our behalf. Some 



256 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



of the parrots died, and the prized gift of Senhor Bentos de- 
liberately dove from one of the upper yards, into the deep, deep 
sea. The paroquets bore the voyage bravely, housed in a 
flannel-covered basket, and yellow-top now chatters as mer- 
rily as in his far distant home, by the Rio Negro. The little 
dnck that we picked up from the water, under the christian 
designation of Paddy, swims proudly in an Ulster lake, and 
discourses to the marakong geese who keep him company, of 
the sudden changes of life, and the virtue of contentment. 
But the poor macaw, who had been our faithful companion 
from the remotest point of our travels, and who had made a 
triumphant entry into New- York streets, covered in a blanket, 
and declaiming lustily to passers-by, ventured, one cold night, 
to the outer yard, and perished the victim of his imprudence. 



THE END. 



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CONTE NTS'. 
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and Capture ; 27, Second Trial, and second time Condemned to Death ; 28, Transporta- 
tion ; 29, Banishment ; 30. Repentance and Amendment ; 31, Conclusion. 

MARGUERITE DE VALOIS, an Historical Romance. By Alex- 
ander Dumas. First American edition. Price 25 cents. 
" M. Dumas is a consummate master of his craft. All his scenes are combined with 
tho certainty of one familiar with the management of stage effect, costume and char- 
acter. He has also an especial pleasure in displaying Catherir.e de Medicis when deep 
in her astrological conjurations, or when laying snares for the life of Henry of Navarre ; 
— and describes the imprisonment of the conspirators, and lovers of royal ladies, La 
Mole and Cocannas, with a sarcastic gusto which deepens the horror of their subse- 
quent doom ; while his Charles of France, and his Marguerite de Valois, if not histori- 
cally exact, have still life, fashion, color and contrast. We do not recollect any look 
in which the intrigues and the tragic events which " darkened like a cloud" tho Louvre, 
are so forcibly and so pictorial]}' represented." — London jSthenaium. 

INCIDENTS OF SOCIAL LIFE AMID THE EUROPEAN ALPS 

Translated fr m the German of H. Zschokke. 1 vol. 12mo., pa 

per cover, 50 cents, cl:>th $1. 

This volume includes four narratives, thus entitled : — 

I. Florian, the Fugitive of the Jura.— II. Marble and Conrad ; Mend the Hole in your 
Sleeve —III. Oliver Flyeln ; a Fool of the Nineteenth Century. — IV. Horlensia, the 
Double-sighted : Asleep and Awake. 

MY UNCLE HOBSON AND I; or Slashes at Life with a Free Broad 
Axe. By Pascal Jones. 1 vol 12mo., paper cover, 50 cents, cloth 
75 cents. 

My Uncle Hohson and I — Have you read the book ? If you have not, huy it. The 
tale is well told. There is a vein of philosophy running through it appMcable to every- 
day life, which shows the writer to be no common author. For instance, the much ridi- 
culed subject of conversation, " the weather," is elevated to a rank it most justly de- 
serves, and by a witty course of reasoning which is irresistible. So, too, you will find 
some hints upon religion, vastly sound and pertinent, and which deserve to bo spread 
far and wide ; and then, again, a power of graphic description and delineation of char- 
acter bursts forth, that quite takes one by surprise. — Philadelphia Enquirer. 

FORTUNES OF HECTOR O'HALLORAN and his man Mark An- 
thony O'Toole. By \V . H. Maxwell 1 vol. 8vo., two plates, pa 
per 50 cents, twenty-four plates, boards, $1 00, cloth, $1 25. 
It is one of the best of all the Irish stories, full of spirit, fun, drollery, and wit. — 
Courier fy Enquirer. 

HANDY ANDY: a Tale of Irish Life, by S. Lover. Illustrated with 
23 characteristic steel Engravings. 1 vol. 8vo , cloth, $1 25, 
boards, $1 00. Cheap edition, two Pla'«^, paper, 50 cents. 

This hoy Handy will be the death of us. What is the police force about to allow the 
nttering of a publication that has already brought us to the brink of apoplexy fifty 
times? — Sport. Renew. 

L. S D — TREASURE TROVE : a Tain By S. Lover. 1 vol. 8vo., 
with 2 steel Engravings. Paper cover, 25 cents. 

Thi9 is a capita] storv. Tho gay and the gravf>, th'- " livolv and severe," are united 
with a skillful hind, and there is a latent t»ae of sound morality running through ,4 1». 
8. D." which will give a lasting value to ** ages. — Commercial Advertiser