The City of the Saviour, 1549–1763

  • A. J. R. Russell-Wood


The Bay of All Saints is on the Atlantic seaboard of Brazil, 13° south of the equator. A promontory separates the bay, a deep natural harbour twenty-eight miles wide and twenty-two miles long, from the ocean. Entrance to the bay is from the south. Although the mouth of the bay is some twenty-five miles wide, access is reduced to two channels, one on either side of the Island of Itaparica. This fertile and hilly island extends across much of the mouth of the bay and projects into the bay itself. In conjunction with the promontory to the east, it affords protection for ships within the bay from south-easterly gales. The passage for deep-water vessels is some five miles wide between Itaparica and the promontory on the eastern extremity of the bay. In colonial times considerable care was necessary because sandbanks reduced the width of this channel to some two miles. Visitors to colonial Bahia agreed unanimously that this ‘little Mediterranean’ was one of the best anchorages in the world, with a firm bottom and protection from the prevailing winds. The inner part of the bay is considerably shallower than the roadstead and there are numerous islands. The largest of these are the Ilha da Mare (‘ the Island of the Tide’), the Ilha dos Frades (‘ the Island of Friars’) and the Ilha da Madre de Deus (‘Island of the Mother of God’).


Sugar Cane Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century City Council Sugar Industry 
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  1. 1.
    Inventories of men on this expedition are in Theodoro Sampaio, Historia da fundação da cidade do Salvador (Bahia, 1949), pp. 178–81Google Scholar
  2. Pedro Calmon, História da fundação da Bahia (Bahia, 1949) pp. 123–31.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    muito born sitio sobre a praia em local de muitas fontes, entre mar e terra’, Manoel da Nóbrega, Cartas do Brasil (1549–1560) (Rio de Janeiro, 1931), carta iv of 1549.Google Scholar
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    Fernão Cardim, Tratados da terra e gente do Brasil (Rio, 1925), p. 288.Google Scholar
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    General surveys of the slave trade in Bahia are Luiz Vianna Filho, O negro na Bahia (Rio de Janeir-ão Paulo, 1946)Google Scholar
  6. Pierre Verger, Bahia and the West Coast Trade (1549–1851) (Ibadan University Press, 1964).Google Scholar
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    C. R. Boxer, The Dutch in Brazil, 1624–1654 (Oxford, 1957), p. 18.Google Scholar
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    Antonil, op. cit., parte i, livro i, capítulo i. A more or less complete list of councillors is published by Affonso Ruy, Historia da Câmara municipal da cidade do Salvador (Bahia,1953) pp. 347–74.Google Scholar
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    Fernão Cardim, S.J., Tratados da terra e gente do Brasil. Introduções e notas de Baptista Caetano, Capistrano de Abreu e Rodolpho Garcia (Rio de Janeiro, 1925); Vicente (Rodrigues Palha) do Salvador, História do Brasil, 1500–1627. Revista por Capistrano de Abreu e Rodolfo Garcia (4th ed., São Paulo, 1954); Gabriel Soares de Sousa, Noticia do Brasil. Introdução, comentários e notas pelo Professor Pirajá da Silva (2 vols., 8th ed., São Paulo, 1949). For bio-bibliographical details of Gabriel Soares see Rubens Borba de Moraes, Bibliographia brasiliana (2 vols., Rio de Janeir-msterdam, 1959) and Accioli-Amaral, Memorias, vol. 1, pp. 452–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. J. R. Russell-Wood 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. R. Russell-Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeOxfordUK

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