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Sojourner Truth
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Confederate ExodusConfederate Exodus

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

Alan P. Marcus

Narrated by Alan Reinhardt

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Nebraska Press

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 author of several academic journal articles about Brazil and immigration.


“This impressively researched book on the Confederados ... offers a fascinating look at a little-known aspect of post-Civil War American emigration. Confederate Exodus should especially appeal to those readers who are interested in Southern history.”

Journal of America's Military Past

“Marcus's book is an example of a type of scholarship that is all too rare in the American discussion of the Atlantic world, that of historical geography with a strong sense of place and networks.”

—Jeremy Black, New Criterion

“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 Colleg

“Through a geographer’s lens Marcus dissects the anatomy of this complex migration from its substrata of ideologies, religion, science, international trade, and Freemasonry to the power of Southern migrants’ geographical imagination juxtaposed against the realities of Brazilian locales, agriculture, and racialized politics.”

—Laura Jarnagin Pang, associate professor emerita, Division of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the Colorado School of Mines

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University Press Audiobooks