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Colonies and Dialect



Americana Germanica
Number 26
Americana Germanica Press
Copyright[TN1] 1917
Benjamin Franklin Schappelle.

* * * * *

Americana Germanica
Monographs Devoted to the Comparative Study of the Literary, Linguistic
and Other Cultural Relations of Germany and America

Marion Dexter Learned
University of Pennsylvania


_(See List at the End of the Book)_

* * * * *



Lied der Deutschbrasilianer




The First Settlers


Introductory Remarks
Minas Geraes
Espirito Santo
Rio de Janeiro
São Paulo
Santa Catharina
Rio Grande do Sul

The Total Number of Germans in Brazil



Underlying Basis of the Dialect

Brazilian German Word Forms
Baptismal Names
Terms of Family Relationship in Titles


The Written Language

The Spoken Language

Introduction to Glossary



The Brazilian German Press



Rein wie hoch am Himmelsbogen
Unsrer Heimat Sterne stehn.
Mächtig, wie die Meereswogen
Gegen unsre Küste gehn,
Soll der Heimat Sang uns dringen
Aus der treuen Brust hervor,
Soll Brasiliens Preis erklingen
Aus dem deutschen Männerchor.

Fülle liegt auf deinen Fluren,
Gottgesegnet Vaterland;
Leuchtend zeigst du noch die Spuren
Von des Schöpfers Meisterhand:
In des Mittags blauen Fernen
Wo die goldne Sonnenpracht,
Mit des Himmels schönsten Sternen
Schmükt sie funkelnd deine Nacht.

Deine fruchtgetränkte Erde
Gibt uns Mut zu frischem Tun,
Gibt uns Müsse, um am Herde
Sonder Sorge auszuruhn.
Aus des Bodens Scholle ziehen
Wir des Lebens bestes Mark,
Aus des Bodens Kraft erblühen
Die Geschlechter frei und stark.

Lasst uns schaffen mit der Stärke
Dessen, der die Heimat liebt,
Lasst uns beten, dass zum Werke
Gott uns das Gedeihen gibt!
Ewig heilig, ewig teuer
Bleibest du dem deutschen Lied,
Heimatland, in dem das Feuer
Unsres Herdes gastlich glüht.

O. Meyer in _Uhle's Kalender_ for 1916.


The primary purpose of this work is to give an idea of the dialect which
has been developed by the German-speaking element in Brazil.

As comparatively little is known by the English-speaking public
concerning the history, location and relative importance of the German
element in Brazil (judging from extant English publications referring to
the subject), the main part of the work has been preceded by a chapter
dealing with these particular phases. This first chapter is also
intended to prepare the reader to form a reasonable estimate of the
comparative importance and extent of the dialect under discussion in the
main part of the work.

In connection with this study the author is particularly indebted to the
well-known authority on German American cultural relations and
conditions, Professor Marion Dexter Learned, of the University of
Pennsylvania. It was at his suggestion and under his constant help and
advice that the plan was carried out.

While on a trip of investigation in Brazil the writer was furnished
important information and material by Friedrich Sommer, _Direktor_ of
the "Banco Allemão Transatlantico" of São Paulo; Henrique Bamberg of São
Paulo; Otto Specht, _Chefe da Secção de Publicidade e Bibliotheca_ of
the "Secretaria da Agricultura" of São Paulo; Johann Potucek,
Austro-Hungarian Consul in Curityba; J.B. Hafkemeyer, S.J., of the
"Collegio Anchieta," Porto Alegre; G.A. Büchler of the "Neue Schule,"
Blumenau; Cleto Espey, O.F.M., of the "Collegio St. Antonio," Blumenau;
E. Bloch, _Engenheiro Chefe da Estrada de Ferro Santa Catharina,_
Itajahy; Nikolaus Dechent, _Direktor_ of the "Deutsche Schule,"
Joinville; Petrus Sinzig, O.F.M., of the "Convento dos Franciscanos,"
Petropolis; Edmondo Hees, Editor of the "Nachrichten," Petropolis;
Pastor Fr. L. Hoepffner of the "Deutsch-Evangelische Gemeinde," Rio de
Janeiro; W. Münzenthaler, _Kaiserlicher General-Konsul,_ Rio de Janeiro;
and Heinrich Lotz, _Kgl. Bezirksgeologe a.D._, Berlin.

Special thanks are also due to Professor D.B. Shumway, of the
University of Pennsylvania, for valuable suggestions and assistance in
the final arrangement of the manuscript.

The above-mentioned persons are in no wise responsible for any errors
which may appear in the text.




The first reference to German settlers in Brazil we have from the pen of
Hans Stade of Homberg in Hessen. Stade made two trips to Brazil; one in
1547 and one in 1549. In the latter instance he was shipwrecked but
succeeded in landing safely near the present port of Santos in the state
of São Paulo. As he was a skilled artillerist the Portuguese made him
commander of the fort Bertioga, the ruins of which are an interesting
landmark to this day. Later Stade spent several most trying years as the
captive of a cannibalistic tribe.

After his return to Germany, Stade published an account of his
experiences. The first edition entitled "_Wahrhafftige Historia unnd
beschreibung einer landschafft der Wilden, Nacketen, Grimmigen,
Menschfresser Leuthen in der Newen Welt America gelegen, ..._" appeared
at Marburg in 1557.[1] In this work Stade refers to two of his
fellow-countrymen located in Brazil; the one Heliodorus Eoban of Hessen,
who had charge of a sugar-refinery on the island of São Vicente (near
Santos); the other Peter Rösel, who was located in Rio de Janeiro as the
representative for a business firm of Antdorff.[2]

Next we come to Manuel Beckmann, the son of a German who had located in
Lisbon. He is known in history as Manoel Bequimão and was the leader in
the Maranhão revolution of 1684. This uprising, altho it came to grief,
may be regarded as the first of a long series of protests against the
home government resulting in the declaration of the independence of
Brazil on the field at Ypiranga, September 2d, 1822. Beckmann died a
martyr's death at Rio on November 2, 1685. His younger brother, Thomas
Beckmann, who had also taken part in the revolution, was acquitted.[3]

In the 18th-century there was another important German figure in
Brazilian history; that of Lieutenant-General Johann Heinrich von Böhm.
It was von Böhm who, at the head of Portuguese troops, recaptured the
city of Rio Grande in Rio Grande do Sul from the Spaniards in 1777.[4]
Von Böhm was assisted by two other German officers, i.e., the Count of
Lippe and Marschal Funk. These three characters were in a sense the
forerunners of the German battalions brought into Brazil by the First
Empire in the early part of the following century.

The first colonization of importance by Germans in Brazil did not take
place until the early part of the 19th century. Beginning with that
century there was a steady stream of non-Portuguese settlers into the
country, and of these the Germans formed an important part.


_Introductory Remarks._

The following is a résumé of the German colonies[5] in Brazil and a
brief introduction to their history.

For the sake of convenience, the colonies have been divided:

First; according to the states in which they are located.

Second; according to the date of founding.

Third; according to the kind of colony administratively at the time of
founding. As to this they fall under three categories:

a) Private colonies, i.e., founded by a private individual or

b) Provincial colonies, i.e., founded by a particular state or former

c) State colonies, i.e., founded by the central government, whether
during the time of the Empire[6] or since the formation of the Republic.

The word _German_ as applied to colonists refers only to natives of
Germany who became naturalized citizens of Brazil and to Brazilians of
German extraction.

Colonies located within the confines of other German colonies (_e.g.,_
Hansa, São Bento _etc._) are not listed.

_Direct immigration_ signifies immigration from Europe.

_Indirect immigration_ signifies immigration from a South American
country bordering on Brazil; immigration from another Brazilian state;
or from another colony within the same state.

Numerical statistics concerning individual colonies have been avoided
except in a few cases where they are of sufficient comparative
importance to be noted in a work of this scope.

All the colonies coming in consideration (excepting some of those
founded since 1890) have been "emancipated," _i.e.,_ they no longer
receive special aid from, the government and their special colonial
directorates have been abolished.

The states of Brazil which are important so far as German colonization
is concerned are Bahia, Minas Geraes, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro
(Federal District), São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catharina and Rio Grande do
Sul.[7] This is the geographical order from north to south and the one
according to which they will be taken up.


In this state is located the first German colony founded in Brazil. It
is =Leopoldina=, started as a private undertaking by Busch, Reycke and
Freireiss in 1818.[8]

=Frankenthal=, another private colony, was founded in 1822 by Peter
Weyll and Saueracker.[9]

Of all the states mentioned, Bahia is the least important so far as
German colonization is concerned. This is largely due to the fact that
its climate is too tropical to favor such colonization oft an extended


The private colony =Theophilo Ottoni=,[10] in the north-eastern part of
the state was founded by a German stock-company in 1851.

Recent state colonies where Germans form a considerable part of the
population are =Nova Baden, Francisco Salles, Itajubá, João Pinheiro,
Constança, Vargem Grande,= and =Rodrigo Sylva=.[11]

Germans form a considerable part of the population of the capital of the
state (Bello Horizonte) and of the important city of Juiz da Fora.


The state colony =Santa Izabel= was founded in 1847. The first settlers
were composed chiefly of Rhenish Prussians.

=Santa Leopoldina=, another state colony, was founded in 1857. A
suggestion as to the origin of the first settlers is offered by the
names of the different districts into which the colony was first
divided; _viz._; Schweiz, Sachsen, Pommern, Rheinland, Tirol and

The two above-mentioned are the most northern of the important German
colonies in Brazil to-day.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Federal District).

=Nova Friburgo=, the oldest state colony in Brazil, was founded in 1819.
The first settlers were Swiss, but since Germans immediately followed
them and formed the larger part of the subsequent influx, Nova Friburgo
is properly classed as a German colony.

=Petropolis= was made a state colony in 1845. In reality it had its
origin as a German colony in 1838. The first settlers were German
emigrants originally bound not for Brazil but for Sydney, Australia. On
account of the bad treatment they received on the French sailing vessel
"Justine" they revolted and compelled the captain to land them at Rio de
Janeiro on December 2d, 1837. Here the Brazilian Imperial Government
assisted them and at the suggestion of Major Julius Friedrich
Koehler[12] gave them employment on the construction of the Serra road
between Estrella, located a short distance above Rio, and Parahyba do
Sul, located near the border between the Federal District and Minas
Geraes. They formed their settlement at what later became Petropolis. On
account of the satisfaction which the government found in these
immigrants it turned the settlement into a state colony in 1845, as
above mentioned.

As in the case of Santa Leopolidina, the origin of individual groups of
colonists to Petropolis is indicated by the names of some of the
sections into which the colony was divided, _viz.,_ Bingen, Ingelheim,
Moselthal, Nassau, Westphalen, Unteres-Rheinthal, Mittleres-Rheinthal,
Simmern, Castellaunerthal, Untere Pfalz, Obere Pfalz, Oberes Rheinthal,
Wöstädterthal, Schweizerthal, Wormserthal, Darmstädterthal, etc.

Since 1850 there has been but little German immigration into the
Petropolis colony. On the other hand, this particular colony has been a
rich source for indirect German immigration into the more southern

Among the recent state colonies of Rio de Janeiro that of =Visconde de
Mauá= is largely populated by Germans.[13]


The oldest German settlements in the state are the provincial colonies
founded in 1827. On November 13th of that year the first levy of
settlers, all South Germans, landed at Santos. These were apportioned
into two colonies; one located at _Santo Amaro_ and the other between
Penha and Nossa Senhora dos Garulhos.

The provincial colony of =Quilombo=, located between Itapecerica and
Contia, was founded in 1828.[14]

In 1847 the private colonies of =Ybicaba= and =Angelica= were founded by
the Senador Vergueiro. They were put on the basis of _meiação_,[15] the
later abuse of which, by others than Vergueiro, paved the way for the
famous Heydt rescript[16] of November 3d, 1859.

In the following more recently established provincial colonies the
population is largely made up of German settlers: =Campos Salles=,
founded in 1897; =Jorge Tibiriça=, founded in 1905; =Nova Europa=,
founded in 1907; and =Bandeirantes=, founded in 1908. In addition to
these, the provincial colonies of =Monção= and =Pariquera Assú= also
contain important quotas of Germans.

In the state of São Paulo the Germans form to-day an urban rather than a
rural population. They are very strongly represented in São Paulo (the
capital), Campinas and Santos. The following towns and their vicinities
are also important centers of German population: Riberão Pires, São
Bernardo, Rocinha, Vallinhos, Helvetia, Nova Friburgo, Salto de Ytú,
Sorocaba, Botucatú, Riberão Preto, São João da Bôa Vista, Villa
Americana, Pires, Araras, Leme, Rio Claro, São Carlos do Pinhal, Santa
Rita do Passo Quatro, Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, Brotas, Dous Corregos,
Jahú, Villa Raffard, Piracicaba, and Jacarehy.[17]

Excepting the older colonies first mentioned, the German element in São
Paulo is largely made up as the result of indirect immigration; in the
early years from the Petropolis district, and later from the more
southern states and from Argentine.


The state colony of =Rio Negro= was founded in 1829[18] while this
section of Brazil was still within the limits of São Paulo.[19] Shortly
after its founding the colony was increased by the location of members
of the mustered-out German legion of the Imperial army.[20] Subsequently
many settlers from the São Bento district in Santa Catharina moved over
to this colony.

The following provincial colonies are settled largely by Germans or
German-speaking Austrians: =Jesuino Marcondes, Ivahy, Iraty,= all
founded in 1907; =Itapará= and =Tayó=, both founded in 1908; and =Vera
Guarany=, founded in 1909.[21]

By far the most important center for Germans in the state is the
capital, Curityba. There are some 12,000 German-speaking residents in
this city. In addition, a large number are located in the important
cities of Lapa, Ponta Grossa, Porto da União and Castro.[22]

A large part of the German element in Paraná is due to indirect
immigration from Santa Catharina.


=São Pedro de Alcantara=, a state colony, was founded in 1828.[23] Its
first settlers came mainly from the Rhine district.

=Itajahy=[24] and =Santa Izabel=, two other state colonies were founded
in 1835 and 1846 respectively.

=Blumenau=, a private colony (originally), was founded in 1850 by Dr.
Hermann Blumenau.[25] The first settlers were mainly natives of
Pomerania and Mecklenburg. Blumenau is the most widely known (largely
because of its German name) and one of the most important German
colonies in Brazil to-day. According to Carvalho "Blumenau constitue
dans l'Amérique du Sud le type le plus parfait de la colonisation
européenne."[26] The area of the "municipio"[27] covers 10,725 square
kilometers and is populated by about 60,000 inhabitants, the great
majority of whom are of German descent.[28] The "Stadtplatz"[29] is
composed mainly of one street 5-1/2 kilometers in length (including
Altona) and is most beautifully situated on the right bank of the river
Itajahy-Assú. It contains about 3,000 inhabitants, nearly all of whom
are Germans.

=Dona Francisca= was founded in 1851 as a private colony by the
"Hamburger Kolonisationsverein von 1849." It comprises the territory
given as a marriage dot by Dom Pedro II. to his sister, Dona Francisca,
at the time of her marriage to the Prince of Joinville of the French
House of Orleans. The "Stadtplatz" of the colony was named Joinville in
honor of the prince.

Dona Francisca was founded under favorable circumstances at a time when
many Germans, including members of the "upper classes" were leaving the
Fatherland on account of the general political discontent during the
latter part of the forties of the past century. This fact is reflected
in the German language as spoken in Joinville to-day. It is perhaps more
free from dialect than in any other German colony in Brazil. The
general cultural status of the inhabitants of Germanic origin is
relatively high.

The entire colony (municipio) of Dona Francisca contains more than
30,000 inhabitants; the "Stadtplatz" about 6,000. In both, the
inhabitants of Germanic origin form the great majority.

The colony of =Brusque=[30] was founded in 1860. Its early colonists
were composed largely of former inhabitants of the Rheinland,
Westphalia, Oldenburg and Baden. Next to Blumenau and Dona Francisca,
Brusque is to-day the most important German colony in Santa Catharina.

In the territory not included in the "municipios" mentioned above, the
larger part of the inhabitants of the following centers are of German
descent: Angelina and Santa Thereza, both founded in 1853; Therezopolis,
founded in 1860; Palhoça, Braço do Norte and Pedras Grandes.

Important numbers of Germans are located along the following rivers of
Santa Catharina: Rio Itajahy do Sul; Rio das Tijucas; Rio Braço do
Norte; and Rio Capivary.[31]

In point of numbers, Santa Catharina is next to the most important state
in Brazil so far as German colonization is concerned.


=São Leopoldo=, a state colony, was founded in 1824. The first settlers
came from the Hunsrück section. To-day its population is estimated at
more than 50,000, mostly of German descent.[32] We may designate São
Leopoldo as the center of the "Deutschbrasilianerthum" of Rio Grande do

The state colonies of =Tres Forquilhas= and =São Pedro de Alcantara das
Torres= were founded in 1826. The former was settled by German
Protestants, the latter by German Catholics.

=Santa Cruz=, a state colony, was founded in 1849. Its first settlers
were mainly from Pomerania and the Rheinland.

Next in order there followed an important period of private
colonization. As a result of this we have =Rincão d'El Rei=, founded in
1850 by Dr. Israel R. Barcellos; =Mundo Novo=, founded in 1850 by
Tristão José Monteiro; =Conventos=, founded in 1853 by Baptista F.
Pereira e Cie.; =Estrella=, founded in 1856 by Santos Pinto; =Mariante=,
founded in 1856; and =Maratá= founded in 1856 by Andreas Kochenborger
and Pedro Schreiner.

In the year 1857 two provincial colonies were founded, i.e., =Santo
Angelo= and =Nova Petropolis=.

The year 1858 marked the second period of private colonization. In that
year =São Lourenço= was founded by Jakob Rheingantz. The first settlers
of this colony were Pomeranians and natives of the Rheinland. In the
same year =Teutonia= was founded by a group of capitalists of Porto

The last period of strictly provincial colonization is marked by the
founding of =Monte Alverne= in 1859 and of =São Feliciano= in 1867.

In the most recent period a number of colonies supported by both the
state and central governments have been founded. Of these the following
have been settled largely by Germans; =Guarany=, founded in 1891;
=Ijuhy=,[34] founded in 1891; and =Erechim=, founded in 1909.[35] In
addition, Dr. Hermann Meyer's private colonies of =Xingú= and =Neu
Württemberg= were founded in this period; the former in 1897 and the
latter in 1899.

The German element is very strongly represented in the important cities
of Porto Alegre and Pelotas as well as in the "municipios" of São João
de Montenegro, São Sebastião do Cahy (now includes Nova Petropolis),
Venancio Ayres, Lageado, Taquara, Cruz Alta and Palmeiro.

Rio Grande do Sul has a much larger population of German descent than
any other state in Brazil. The main reason why so many Germans settled
in this state we may attribute to the climatic conditions which are here
more favorable to Germanic peoples than in any other section of the


It is impossible to make an exact statement as to the total number of
Germans in the country. The reasons for this are not far to seek. The
fact that an accurate census for Brazil does not exist is not surprising
when we consider the enormous expanse of territory.[36] The greater part
of this is but sparsely settled and largely covered with primeval
forests. Official statistics, where they do exist are apt to have been
carelessly compiled and often are entirely untrustworthy, "Paciencia,"
has been the watchword here as well as throughout all other walks of
life in Brazil.

If we restrict ourselves to estimate, among the total of Brazilian
citizens, those of any particular European origin, the difficulty
increases. Here the census reports offer practically no help because all
persons are listed simply as Brazilians, no reference being made as to
their origin.

The primary sources in making up the estimates are furnished by the
immigration reports as they are found in the "Ministerio da Agricultura"
in Rio and the "Secretaria da Agricultura" of several individual states.
Even here the statistics are inadequate for our purpose. As a rule only
such colonists as came in third class on ships from Europe are
listed.[37] In addition, it is impossible to determine how many
colonists came by land (indirect immigration) from adjoining South
American countries such, as Uruguay, Paraguay or Argentine.

The secondary sources, and the ones which in this instance are most
valuable, are embodied in the estimates of former colonial directors and
other officials, as well as private persons having first hand knowledge
concerning the different European elements in Brazil.

The official data offered by the Bureau of Statistics of the "Ministerio
da Agricultura" in Rio concerning immigration directly from Europe
begins with the year 1820. That concerning immigration from Germany in
particular begins with 1827. Official figures are available as to the
number of immigrants from Germany from that date to the present
excepting the years 1830-1836 inclusive, 1838, 1839, 1843, 1844, 1846,
1848 and 1849. The total is 128,233 up to the end of the year 1915.[38]

In order to determine the approximate numerical value of the German
element in the population of Brazil, many estimates worthy of
consideration have been compared. The estimates which in the opinion of
the writer have the strongest claim to accuracy, are listed below. As
will be seen, those determined upon by Friedrich Sommer, _Direktor_ of
the "Banco Allemão Transatlantico" of São Paulo are largely followed.
This authority has for years been making a careful study of the subject

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