author’s note
cations among others. I have tried to present the terms utilized by histori-
cal Brazilian actors with each of these categories, but as with race, some
compromises had to be made for analytical reasons or the lack of a tight
linguistic fit for Portuguese terms translated into English. For instance,
most of the Brazilian poor in the late 1800s distinguished stratification
among their ranks with the terms ‘‘protected’’ (those with a prominent
patron) and ‘‘unprotected’’ (patronless poor). Brazilians tended to use
these homegrown terms rather than, for example, the exotic language of
Karl Marx to distinguish between the proletariat and the lumpen pro-
letariat (even though many Brazilians came to be exposed to these terms
by way of the Brazilian labor movement beginning in the late 1800s).
Di√erent terms and competing conceptions of class, racial, sexual, ethnic,
gender, and age identities coexisted, and in most cases, they continue to
coexist in contemporary Brazil. I share Professor Ferrer’s hope that atten-
tion to these distinctions will lead scholars toward a fuller examination of
how these unnatural identities were formed and remade ‘‘on the ground’’
in specific historical settings.
Scholars often use the term conscription as a synonym for impressment.
The tendency to conflate the two terms is heightened by the fact that there
is no equivalent of the noun form ‘‘conscript’’ for impressment. In the text,
I at times reluctantly resort to neologisms such as ‘‘dragoonee’’ and ‘‘in-
ductee’’ to avoid both this imprecision and more cumbersome phrases
such as ‘‘men pressed into service.’’ I am careful to distinguish between
these two distinct types of recruitment for military mobilizations because
they are so di√erent that to confuse them is similar to equating indentured
servitude and debt peonage. There were times when these two forms of
recruitment overlapped. The Brazilian government called up a number of
enrolled national guardsmen for service in the Paraguayan War (a method
I would regard as a type of conscription), and when many failed to report
for duty, it empowered recruitment agents to hunt down and press draft-
dodging guardsmen.
Both conscription and impressment are ultimately coercive forms of
tribute labor recruitment, but their methods and the meanings attributed
to them are distinct. Conscription comes from Latin meaning ‘‘to enlist or
to select from a list.’’ This referred to the obligation of Roman citizens of
the Republic (men who satisfied minimum property requirements) to
enroll as able-bodied adults liable to be periodically called up for military
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