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Etching 22 Waterfall  from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by C. Miranda Chor

#22 Waterfall of the river Ribeirao do Palmital, near Sabara in the province of Minas Gerais

Latin Translation by Ben Hennelly

The picture presented to the kind reader here is owed to a man very dear to me who spent some time in that region of the province of Minas (1): Stephanus, M.D., the chosen doctor of Amalia, the widowed Empress of Brazil. That waterfall -- a sight extolled by the inhabitants for its remarkable, splendid beauty -- is located at the top of the realm of the river Rio das Velhas, between the towns Oiro Preto and Sabara, near the districts of Rio das Pedras and Morro de S. Vicente. The valley is formed by two mountain ridges running from south to north; the mountain to the east divides the abundant sources of the rivers Rio Doce and Rio das Velhas, and the one to the west divides the sources of this river and of Rio Paraopeba.

That first ridge is the highest and fullest tract of mountains throughout the whole province of Minas, and because it makes up as it were the spine of this land, it has been designated by my friend Guilielm de Eschwege with the general name Serra do Espinhaco; its individual parts, beginning with the southernmost ridge in the province of Sao Paulo, Serra Mantiqueira, are spoken of by different names, which you will find on geographical maps. The western ridge is smaller, and does not have a common name (Serra da Moeda, do Salto, do Espiritu Santo, etc.).

The Rio das Velhas receives on its southern bank, in addition to many others, the torrent of the Ribeirao do Palmital; this has its source in the middle of Serra do Palmital, which is to the north of Ouro Preto and not far from the district of Capanema, and descends to the west to mix its clear waters with the yellowish Rio das Velhas, not far from the village of S. Antonio, about 2500 feet above sea-level. Serra do Palmital, which you see in the back of etching #22, is said to be about 5000 feet high.

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#22 of 42 commentaries