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Book details
  • SubGenre:Adventurers & Explorers
  • Language:English
  • Series title:The George Anton Schaeffer TRILOGY
  • Series Number:3
  • Pages:303
  • eBook ISBN:9780988476813

George Anton Schaeffer

Shipping Germans to Brazil

by Lee B Croft

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This the third book in a biographical trilogy of books about George Anton Schaeffer (1779-1836), a German physician who came to administer a secret project of Russian Tsar Alexander I to construct a shark-shaped, hydrogen-filled, rotor-wing-powered balloon from which to drop timed-fuse explosives on Napoleon Bonaparte and his soldiers who were invading Russia in the summer of 1812 (book one of the trilogy), participated in a Russian "reverse circumnavigation of the world" and was stranded in Alaska, from where the Governor of Russian America Alexander Baranov sent him on a mission to establish a provisioning outpost for the Russians' north Pacific fur enterprise in the Hawaiian islands where he meddled in inter island politics during the reign of Kamehameha and ruled the island of Kaua'i as co-regent with its last independent King, Kaumuali'i, in 1816-7 (book two of the trilogy), and wound up founding a colony called Frankenthal in the Bahia State of Brazil and transporting thousands of German mercenaries and colonists to Brazil on behalf of Brazil's first independent Emperor Dom Pedro I and his Hapsburg wife, Dona Leopoldina from 1821 to 1830 (this book in the trilogy).
In this third book in the George Anton Schaeffer trilogy, Dr. George Anton Schaeffer has been expelled from Hawaii and finds sanctuary in Macau, China. From there he and two companions cross the Pacific and round Cape Horn on a Portuguese ship, arriving in Rio de Janeiro in April of 1818. There he revives his acquaintance with the Brazilian royalty, especially the German-speaking young wife, Dona Leopoldina, of Emperor Dom Joao's son Pedro, who is soon to become Brazil's first independent Emperor. From Rio de Janeiro he sails back to Europe, trying to gain an audience with the Russian Tsar Alexander I in order to convince him that the Russian annexation of the Hawaiian islands would be of immense future benefit to Russia as a port and provisioning station in the Central Pacific Ocean. But his effort to speak to the Tsar is futile and he returns to his wife Barbara and daughter Inga in St. Petersburg after an absence of more than five years. Barbara's life in St. Petersburg as the wealthy wife of an absent prominent stockholder in the government-chartered Russian-American fur Company is depicted in Chapter nine, focusing on the rivalry for her affections of the very colorful Russian Count Fyodor Ivanovich Tolstoi, known as "The American," and the swashbuckling American adventurer in the far east, Peter Dobell. The U.S. Ambassador to Russia, future President John Quincy Adams plays a role in this drama. But when George returns, he and Barbara decide to liquidate their very considerable Russian assets and return to their homeland in Germany. From there they convince over forty of their friends and relatives to accompany them to Brazil, where they found a colony called Frankenthal on land in the southern horn of the Bahia State granted to them by Emperor Dom Pedro I. George then accepts an imperial commission to procure German mercenaries for Dom Pedro's army in a transportation-and-land-for-military-service scheme. For the next eight years, on two dozen ships specially fitted for the purpose, George pays for and supervises the transportation to Brazil...largely to the southern Rio Grande do Sul State...of thousands of German, Swiss, Dutch, and Austrian emigrants. One of the involved voyages, that of the GERMANIA in 1824, involved a controversial execution of eight convict-mutineers who tried to take over the ship and sail it, instead of to Brazil, to the United States.
About the author
Author Lee B Croft (1946-) is a teacher, scholar, and Professor Emeritus of the Russian Language and Culture at Arizona State University, where he taught and administered language programs for thirty-eight years. He is the author of thirteen books and over 200 scholarly articles, translations, and reviews.
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