Dispatch #2: Brazil / by Martin Toft

Today I spend my time in the Biblioteca Nacional in Rio de Janeiro researching history of trade of bacalhau between Brazil and Canada/ British North America. Not surprisingly very little has emerged as documents kept during the colonial period of Brazil’s history before Independence was not very well administrated. So far the name Charles Robin does not appear anywhere in national records and I’m now looking at reports issued on an annual basis by various Presidents of the provinces of Bahia and Pernumbuco where we know that Robin and other Jersey fish merchants traded dried codfish for mainly sugar and later coffee in the mid 19th century. The main problem is language - as I don’t speak Portuguese and very few people I’ve met so far speak much English! It makes you wonder how Robin kept communications flow with his agents stationed in various outposts and goods cris-crossing the Atlantic #seaflowerventure#transatlantic #trade #codfish #bacalhau #archives