It was August 19, 1906, a Sunday. Despite a sluggish coffee market and low prices, 11,623 sacks of beans entered Rio de Janeiro that day. At the Chacrinha, the city’s coffee exchange, wholesale trading was moderate, because the coffee factors insisted on a higher price and the buyers would not budge.1 Nevertheless, news from the centers of consumption was encouraging, so the market stayed open despite the fact that prices remained below previous levels. Meanwhile, oblivious to these matters, throngs of people climbed the hill near the port to take part in the feast day of Our Lady of Health at the Igrejinha de Nossa Senhora da Saúde. A mass had been held in the morning, and that afternoon a procession wended its way through the main streets of Saúde parish. Afterward, attendees enjoyed an auction held outside the chapel and the...

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