Author’s Note
To diminish confusion when using the term ‘‘state,’’ I have opted to cap-
italize ‘‘State’’ when referring to the overarching institutions of govern-
ment. When I use ‘‘state,’’ I refer to the provinces that were redesignated as
‘‘states’’ under Brazil’s republican 1891 Constitution. Because of changing
rules governing spelling in Brazilian Portuguese, I have preserved original
spellings of names as well as titles of books, documents, and articles in
most instances. In some cases, terms or names have been adopted to
contemporary spelling standards for clarity.
Where possible, I have tried to use the language of Brazilian historical
actors to describe racial and ethnic identities, but for the convenience of
certain types of analysis, I have at times used categories that would likely
have seemed alien to many of the individuals who appear in this study.
Terms such as ‘‘nonwhites’’ are utilized to distinguish those who identified
themselves or were identified by others as not being of ‘‘pure’’ European
descent. The term Afro-Brazilian is employed at times to distinguish those
with black African descent from those who did not recognize this racial
heritage as part of their own identity or who were perceived by others to
possess this heritage. Over centuries, Brazilians have devised a plethora of
racial categorizations that belie the simple binary categorizations that con-
temporary scholars attempt to impose. Most Brazilians of African descent
in the late 1800s would have much more readily emphasized black and
brown identities with myriad gradations within each grouping. It is im-
portant to note, however, that Brazilian historical actors themselves did
not always employ racial and ethnic terms consistently.
I would refer interested readers to Ada Ferrer’s insightful and more
detailed discussion of these issues on the use of racial terms by North
American historians and other scholars in the introduction to her book
Insurgent Cuba. I would add to Professor Ferrer’s analysis that similar
caution and attention should be paid to the use of terms for a variety of
social categories used to distinguish class, sexual, gender, and age identifi-
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