Os Confederados, Presbiterianos, e Rita Lee

While I was visiting with the Wilkins, the town of Americana in Brazil came up. Americana is so-called because of a wave of American Southerners who settled in 1865 and the proceeding years. The town is a Brazilian town like many others, experiencing the almost standard Italian and German immigration waves, as workers flocked, with the encouragement of the Brazilian government, to replace slaves in the fields (coffee especially).

But the American contingent still retains some of its character. The descendants of Americans are buried in a separate cemetary; it was illegal then for non-Roman Catholics to be buried in Roman Catholic cemetaries, and the Americans were Presbyterian. Periodically their descendants gather at near the cemetary to hold worship services and festivals (here are the municipal website's "historical summary" in Portuguese, and in google translation).

Here is the Sons of Confederate Veterans' listing for the "Confederados."

This page (google translation, note that the translation misses some things: Sul is South and sulista is Southerner) is the Presbyterian Church of Brazil's list of some of the founders of their national church. They are Americans, sent by the old (and Southern) PCUS. The Presbyterian Church of Brazil is a small, but certainly not tiny, denomination. It has a couple hundreds of churches; Brazil is bigger than the continental United States.

One of my church's affiliated pastors, Neemias Gomes, grew up in the church which John Rockwell Smith founded way up in the northeast of the country. You can visit Pastor Gomes' site here, just choose the "English" option.

And to close this post with a twist, a woman named Judith McKnight Jones wrote, in the sixties, in Portuguese, "the ultimate book covering the saga of the Southerners who would not stand Union tyranny," The Soldier Rests. The Fraternity of American Descendance sells it here to fund their activities and care of historical sites (the cemetary). Here's the wierd bit: Judith McKnight Jones (McKnight family website at the University of North Texas) is the aunt of Rita Lee (yes, that Lee), a very famous David Bowie-esque Brazilian rocker.

Wierd, huh? Tangled webs of history, tangled webs.

And sorry for using too many commas. I'm a bad person, but I don't care enough to change.