Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/687

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TBE COTTON INDUSTRY IN BRAZIL. 667

eighteentli century. The earliest record of its exportation is given incidentally in the story of the shipwreck of Jorge de Albuquer- que Coelho, who sailed from Pernambuco in May, 1565. The passage was a stormy one, and the sea became so rough at one time that they were obliged to throw part of their cargo over- board. " And seeing that all this was of no avail, and that the waves grew the higher, as if they wished to overwhelm us, we threw overboard the artillery and many boxes of sugar, and many bales of cotton."

Early Uses. — In early times — indeed, as late as 1747 — cotton thread and cotton cloth were used throughout Brazil in lieu of money. In 1670 it was complained that, unless the exportation of cotton cloth was prohibited, " not a yard of cloth, or rather no money, would be found in Maranhao." Balls of cotton thread were used as small change, and circulated as such in all the shops and in all kinds of financial transactions. The manufacturers of these balls do not appear to have been always scrupulously honest, for the Legislature was finally obliged to take action to prevent the fraud of putting pieces of cloth, rags, and other such things in them. The trade in cotton between the neighboring captain- cies became so large that the authorities of Maranhao, in order to keep all the money at home, prohibited the exportation of cotton from that place, and it was not until fifty years later (1756) that this law was repealed.

The manufacture of cotton cloth was carried on to such an ex- tent (" the people generally, even the senators, were accustomed to dress in clothing made of cotton ") that complaint was made to the King of Portugal by the Portuguese merchants that it was interfering with their export trade with the colony and with the receipts of the royal treasury. Instructions were, therefore, given (January 5, 1785) to the agents of the crown in Rio de Janeiro to prohibit all spinning-factories, and, if necessary, to confiscate the looms. This prohibition, however, did not extend to the factories and looms for making coarse cotton cloth, such as was used for clothing slaves and for like purposes.

Yet in the face of these obstacles cotton culture in Brazil rapidly increased. The only statistics to be obtained of the expor- tation of cotton up to the end of the eighteenth century are those of the captaincy or province of Maranhao. In 1760 Maranhao exported 24,960 pounds of cotton ; and in 1800, 5,529,408 pounds. That captaincy, however, stood only second among those export- ing cotton ; Pernambuco exported more than twice as much as Maranhao, while Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and Pard, together ex- ported about as much as Maranhao. Cotton was also one of the principal products of Rio Negro, Piauhy, Rio Grande do Norte, Parahyba, Alagoas, and Sergipe. These facts give us an idea of

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