The Highlands of Brazil: Fortnightly Slave Muster at the Casa Grande, Morro Velho
This image shows a large group of slaves gathered in a plantation compound in the valley of Rio de San Francisco. The "big house" or casa grande, is in the background. This illustration was first published in Richard F. Burton, Explorations in the Highlands of Brazil (London, 1869), vol. 1, facing title page. Burton described how the "muster of the blacks [took] place every second Sunday. . . about 1100 out of 1452 attended in the 'Compound'. . . Both sexes were bare-footed - everywhere in the Brazil a token of slavery. The women. . . were ranged in columns of six companies. They were dressed in the 'Sabbath' uniform, white cotton petticoats, with narrow red band round the lower third; cotton shawls striped blue and white, and a bright kerchief, generally scarlet, bound round the wool. . . Ranged behind the women, the men are clothed in white shirts, loose blue woollen pants, red caps. . . and cotton trousers. . . Children of an age to attend the Revista are clad in the same decent comfortable way. . . The slaves answer to the roll-call made by the heads of the respective departments. This done, the Superintendent, followed by the Manager and Assistant Manager of the Blacks, and the two medical officers, walks down the companies and minutely inspects each individual. . . Muster over, both sexes and all ages are marched off to church. The day is then their own" (pp. 236-237). Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization was an American political magazine based in New York City and published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916. It featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects and humor, alongside illustrations. It covered the American Civil War extensively, including many illustrations of events from the war.
Harper's Weekly (Jan. 30, 1869), p.77.
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"The Highlands of Brazil: Fortnightly Slave Muster at the Casa Grande, Morro Velho", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed February 2, 2023, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1439