|Decree imposed by Don Jose, King of Portugal, on the 10th of July of 1760, making unlawful in Brazil the felling of mangrove trees for firewood without the use of the bark for tanneries. The decree was a result of widespread cutting of trees for firewood in Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuko, Santos, Paraiba, Rio Grande, and Cearz, Brazil. There was a reasonable fear in the colonial authorities of Brazil that within a few years bark for the tannin industry could become scarce. The decree imposed a penalty of 50,000 reis and a jail term of three months for cutting trees.
Text of decree:
Thusly I command the Council of Paço, Claims Chief, Royal Council of Overseas Revenue, Council of Concience, Senate, Commercial Union of the Kingdom and Domains, Viceroyal of the State of Brasil, Governors and General Captains, judges and the populace of my Kingdom, obey and serve this law and all it contains. Futhermore, I declare this law to be in force for more than one year, and this Law will be displayed in every place with my laws registered there. The original document has been sent to the Tower of Tombo. At the palace of Our Lady of Ajuda, July 9, 1760.
Count of Oeyras
By the power of the law with which His Majesty has prohibited that in the Captaincies of Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Santos, Paraíba, Rio Grande and Seará, mangroves be cut which have not previously lost their bark, under penalties therein defined, all in form as affirmed and declared.
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Comments on page content: Dr. Yoav Bashan
Design & production: Larry Miller
Version: February 2005