Punishment in Paradise: Race, Slavery, Human Rights, and a Nineteenth-Century Brazilian Penal Colony
Peter M. Beattie is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. He is the author of The Tribute of Blood: Army, Honor, Race, and Nation in Brazil 1864-1945, also published by Duke University Press, and he has served as coeditor of the Luso Brazilian Review for the areas of history and social science since 2004.
“A Stench in the Nostrils of God”? The Material and Social Life of Exile
2015. "“A Stench in the Nostrils of God”? The Material and Social Life of Exile", Punishment in Paradise: Race, Slavery, Human Rights, and a Nineteenth-Century Brazilian Penal Colony, Peter M. Beattie
Download citation file:
An exploration of colony social, material, and spiritual life illuminates hierarchies of color, ethnicity, class, and education. There was stratification among convicts that the administration promoted in a number of ways, but everyday routines also exemplified a Brazilian preference for the integration of convicts of different colors and conditions in state institutions that inducted the intractable poor. Convicts had ready access to some services that most mainland free men did not have, such as trained physicians, resident priests, public school, and minimal rations. On the other side, however, life in the colony was dangerous, plebeian convicts and their children often lacked adequate clothing, and housing was often precarious and insalubrious. Even though convicts enjoyed some privileges that many members of the free poor did not, their pariah status was palpable. The most common terms used to describe convicts in correspondence are telling: “unhappy ones,” “disgraced ones,” and “miserable ones.”