The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2821329
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
25-Jan-10 - 04:14 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Agree with your last line.
Sailors probably singing of a 'generic' Rio Grande, nothing specific in mind.

Many 'Rios' in Latin America, several had ports, and any largish river with a harbour at the mouth could be 'grande'.
Products from Porto Alegre, in Rio Grande do Sul, would have been hides and lumber. Rio Grande (the city) in the same area is equally important.

I should have noted that the Rio Grande in the north of Brazil is known as Rio Grande do Norte, thus the name is easily confused with Rio Grande del Norte between Mexico and Texas.