cover image

Confederate Exodus

Social and Environmental Forces in the Migration of U.S. Southerners to Brazil

Alan P. Marcus

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 04/2021
Pages: 288
Subject: History
eBook ISBN: 9781496225245


While Americans have been deeply absorbed with the topic of immigration for generations, emigration from the United States has been almost entirely ignored. Following the U.S. Civil War an estimated ten thousand Confederates left the U.S. South, most of them moving to Brazil, where they became known as "Confederados," Portuguese for "Confederates." These Southerners were the largest organized group of white Americans to ever voluntarily emigrate from the United States. In Confederate Exodus Alan P. Marcus examines the various factors that motivated this exodus, including the maneuvering of various political leaders, communities, and institutions as well as agro-economic and commercial opportunities in Brazil. Marcus considers Brazilian immigration policies, capitalism, the importance of trade and commerce, and race as salient dimensions. He also provides a new synthesis for interpreting the Confederado story and for understanding the impact of the various stakeholders who encouraged, aided, promoted, financed, and facilitated this broader emigration from the U.S. South.


Alan P. Marcus is a professor of geography and environmental planning at Towson University. He is the editor of Transnational Geographers in the United States: Navigating Autobiogeographies and author of several academic journal articles about Brazil and immigration.    


"Well researched and masterfully presented. . . . Confederate Exodus brings to light important new information about the post–Civil War emigration of Americans to Brazil. Marcus adds a major contribution to our knowledge of this significant period in our history."—Cyrus B. Dawsey, professor emeritus at Auburn University

"Alan Marcus tells a compelling story of migration, ranging from analysis of the Confederado cemetery that brought a former U.S. president to tears, to a reinterpretation of commercial and ideological processes encouraging Southern families to move to Brazil."—Christian Brannstrom, professor of geography at Texas A&M University

"In this intriguing historical geography, Marcus illuminates the little-known postbellum migration of American Confederate veterans to Brazil. Rather than serving as a mere curiosity, the Confederado experience highlights migration, agriculture, race, and nation-building in two giants of the Western Hemisphere."—Brian Godfrey, professor of geography at Vassar College