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Cook's Descriptions of PlacesVoyaging Accounts
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Rio de Janeiro


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Rio de Janeiro (continued)

the present Governor is Don Anto Mendoza y Fartado who is no friend to the English; it likewise is the Residence of the Viceroy and Captain General of the States of Brasil, who is as absolute as any Monarch on Earth and the people to all appearence as much slaves. This City and adjacent parts about the Bay are said to contain one hundred thousand Souls, but not much above a twentieth part are Whites the rest are blacks and many of whom are free and seem to live in tolerable circumstances.

The City of Rio de Janeiro is supply'd with water from two different parts of the adjacent Mountains [:] that which comes from the southward is conveyd across a deep Vally by an aqueduct which consists of a great number of arches placed in two rows one upon the other, from thence in pipes to a Fountain which stands in the middle of the square before the Viceroys Palace; at a nother part of the City is a Reservoir to which the water is convey'd much in the same manner; from these two places, but mostly from the former the inhabitants fetch all they want^where there is always a Centinal to keep order: and it [is] likewise here that the ships water: they land their Casks upon a smooth sandy beach about one hundred yards from the fountain, and upon application to the Viceroy they^you have a Centinal to look after them and to clear the way for to come at the fountain to fill your water - upon the whole Rio de Janeira is not a bad place for Ships to put in at that wants refreshments, not only because the Harbour is safe and commodious, but that Provisions and all manner of refreshments may be had in tollerable plenty; Bread and Flower are however Scarce and dear, being brought hither from Europe and are never the better for that passage: in lieu of these are to be had Yams and Casada - All sorts of grain tho it may be the Produce of this Country is dear: Fresh Beef / tho bad / is to be had in plenty, at about 2½ a pound and Jerke'd Beef about the same price. This is cure'd with salt and dry'd in the shade, the bones being first taken, out and the meat cut into large but very thing slices, it eats very well and if kept in a dry place will remain good a long time at sea. Rum, Sugar and Mollasses are both all good and Cheap, Tobacco is cheap, but not good. Mutton they have very little; Hoggs and all sorts of Poultry are to be got tho in no great p[l]enty and of Course rather dear- Garden stuff and Fruits in plenty, but none that will keep long at Sea except Pumpkings- They have a yard for building Shipping and a small Hulk to heave down by, there being no other Method to come at a Ships bottom as the Tides doth not rise above 6 or 7 feet at the New and full Moon- and it is high water at that time about [ ] oClock when the land and Sea breezes are regular, but when they are not the course of ^the tides are alter'd. The Sea breeze begins to blow about 10 or 12 oClock and continues untill sun set when it dies away and is succeeded by the land breeze which continues most part of the night. From a little after Sunrise untill the Sea breeze sets in, it is generally ca^lm and is then the hotist and disagreeablest part of the whole day —

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© Transcribed from National Library of Australia Manuscript 1 page 22, 2004
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