Centro de Memória-Unicamp

The Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works’ photographic documentation 

The photographic documentation produced by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works of the São Paulo State constitutes an important visual register of the state government’s actions in the course of the First Republic (1889-1930). The collection, transferred to the CMU by the Agronomic Institute of Campinas in 1994, consists of 24 albums, with about 2.700 photographs, taken between 1896 ad 1925. The Secretariat of Agriculture used them both for the register of its actions and as an ideological and political instrument. Produced in a promotional context to attract foreign workers, appearing in several publishings and events, both in Brazil and abroad, these images helped to forge São Paulo’s image of a modern, enterprising and forward-looking State, more fitting with the socioeconomical development provided by the coffee culture, replacing the image of an outback, modest and isolated province. The idea behind this exposition is to approach, through photography, the economic, social, and political transformations that changed the face of São Paulo at the beginning of the Republic and helped to cement its image of engine-state of the Federation.
The Secretariat of Agriculture (1891-1927) 
The establishment of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works of the São Paulo State connects itself to the Proclamation of the Republic in Brazil, on November 15, 1889. As the Republic gave legitimacy and autonomy to the States, they started to organize their political and administrative structures. In 1891, the State of São Paulo promulgated its first Political Constitution and created mechanisms to cope with various concerns; among those were the Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works, the Secretariat of the Interior and Public Instruction, the Secretariat of Justice and Public Safety and the Department of the Treasury, following the ministerial structure of the federal government. Organized in 1892, the Secretariat of Agriculture concentrated São Paulo’s most important instruments of action in the economic field.
Among its atributions were issues concerning agriculture and livestock raising, commerce, services and public works in general, transportation, comunications, industrial activities, immigration and colonization, as well as land politics. Many analogous structures inherited from the imperial period were incorporated into it, such as the Immigrants Inn (1882), the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (1887), the Railways and Navigation Inspectorship (1896) and the Luiz Queiroz School of Agriculture (opened in 1901). The role played by the Secretary Carlos José de Arruda Botelho (1855-1947) stands out: he implanted several reforms in the organ, kept until 1927, when the Secretariat was divided into State Secretariat of Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial Affairs and State Secretariat of Traffic and Public Works Affairs, ushering a new phase in its history. This happened due to the rise in works and demands within the Secretariat’s sphere during Governor Fernando Costa’s tenure (1927-1930).
The structure of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works of the State of São Paulo
Teaching, Research and Diffusion
The colonial nuclei
The government of São Paulo created the colonial nuclei in the second half of the 19th century, aiming to populate the land with an immigrant workforce. The settling of a worker could happen through the purchase of a lot, land leasing or even through the provision of services to the farms in the region. The first colonial nuclei were installed in the Province of São Paulo still during the Empire to supply the internal market with greengroceries and the larger farms with with arms in their periods of higher activity. The first experiences did not meet the expectations, among other reasons, due to the remoteness of the nuclei and the soil unsuited to the growing of cereals. With the slavery crisis, the colonial nuclei became an alternative workforce, with 16 nuclei installed in several regions of the state during the first decades of the Republic, adding to those created still during the Empire.
Carlos Botelho, while ahead of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works (1904-1907), strived to create and implant colonial nuclei through immigration from overseas. During his tenure, the following nuclei were created: Jorge Tibiriçá (1905), in Corumbataí; Nova Odessa (1905), in Nova Odessa; Conde do Pinhal (1907), in Ubatuba; Nova Europa (1907), in Nova Europa; Gavião Peixoto (1907) and Nova Paulicéia (1907), in Gavião Peixoto. By then, the Colonial Nucleus Campos Salles (now county of Cosmópolis), created in 1897, had already been emancipated.
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works’ Publications
In the first decade of the 20th century, the migratory influx diminished. In order to reverse this situation, the Secretariat of Agriculture broadened its propaganda service abroad through publications at charge of the Information and Publicity Service, aiming to estimulate the immigrants to settle in the colonial nuclei. To illustrate said publications, the Secretariat chose the best photographers of the period, like Guilherme Gaensly (1843-1928), hired in 1906 to document the colonial nuclei in the regions of Campinas, Rio Claro and Araraquara.
The Federal Census of 1920
Through the Law 4.017 of 1920, the holding of the fourth Decennial Brazilian Census was determined, aiming to collect informations on the demographic and economic situation of the country. The census started on September 1st, 1920; it was taken in all parts of the country, and counted a total 30.635.605 inhabitants. At the time, the State of São Paulo had 4.592.188 inhabitants, an increase of 231% in comparison to the 1890 survey. At the census’ year, the lawyer Heitor Teixeira Penteado (1878-1947) was ahead of the Secretariat of Agriculture. The photographic record received great highlights; especially the albums produced under the title “Federal Census of 1920”. With images of the capital and some hinterland towns, such documentation depicts the reality of São Paulo in the first decades of the 20th century.
“Likewise, the census of 1920, once finished, shall form the most exquisite picture that has been made so far of the population and the wealth of the great Brazilian nation in its first centennial. Many of the numbers, even the brightest ones, with which the glorious date of Brazil’s political emancipation will be celebrated, shall disappear in the eternal passing through of time, ‘the wise law that rules and guides everything that love impregnates and life generates’. The census, however, you may rest safe, shall not disappear. And when one or two hundred years from now, the Brazilian people, aiming at the high fate God assured them, have become a great nation, with a population denser than the currently displayed by the United States of North America; when the future historian wants to verify how the mighty nation of the future found itself in 1922, then the census you have taken shall be the safest and most precious source of information. Hence, you have built an unperishable monument, which will be the more valuable the more the years, decades and centuries go by it”. Dr. Alberto Martinez (1868- 1925), Argentinian demographist.
Barra Bonita
Bragança Paulista
Rio Claro
São Carlos
São Paulo
Credits: Story

General Direction:
Paulo Masuti Levy

Maria Elena Bernardes

Executive Coordination:
Ivo Marreiro

Curatorial project:
Ana Cláudia Cermaria
Cássia Denise Gonçalves
João Paulo Berto

Associação pró-Memória de Limeira
Biblioteca Paulo Masuti Levy

Espaço Cultural ENGEP
Largo da Boa Morte, 118 | Centro | Limeira
From September 4th to 27th November 2015

University of Campinas – Unicamp
Coordinatorship of Centers and Nucleuses – COCEN
Memory Center-Unicamp
Espaço Cultural ENGEP

Lude Gomes Cardoso Nunes

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google