According to THEDRESSWIZARD, the Paulist settlers, in whom the Creole element (mamelucos) by now predominated, and who were endowed with a daring and adventurous spirit, then organized the famous bandairas, that is bands specialized in hunting, in the search for gold and in the enslavement of Indians, in spite of the various protective laws that emanated from Lisbon. The action of the bandairantes, which then operated throughout the century. XVII, was noted for cruelty towards the Indians; but it also worked out to the advantage of the country. The immense virgin forest was explored and communication routes were opened, among which the one between the captaincy of S. Vicente and Paraguay. Another consequence of the Jesuit monopoly of Indian labor was the large-scale introduction of slaves from Africa, who had great importance in the economic and demographic development of Brazil. In any case, Mem de Sá must have the great merit of having averted the Indian danger, which appeared so frighteningly under the first two governors. He also favored several attempts at exploration and colonization in the interior and the search for precious metals and stones. Thus Braz Cubas, the famous founder of Santos, and Luigi Martins, expert miner, they made long investigations until, in 1562, near Jaraguá, they found the first traces of gold. Around the new city of Rio de Janeiro, they arosesugar engenhos, following the example of Cristoforo de Barros; and the Pernambuco captaincy continued to prosper, now pacified.
In 1573, Brazil was divided into two governments: that of the North, with Bahia as its capital and Luigi Brito d’Almeida as governor; and that of the South, capital Rio de Janeiro, governor Antonio Salema. But the experience did not give good results; so that, four years later, in 1577, it returned to the single government, with the appointment of Lorenzo da Veiga. In this period, new laws were enacted on the captivity of Indians, recommending great moderation in the ransom of slaves pela necessitade que as fazendas delles teem. A large part of the country’s economy was in the hands of the Jesuits, who continued to grow in number, and many arrived with the new governor Emanuele Telles Barreto, who succeeded Veiga in 1583 (even after the union of Portugal with Spain, i.e. period 1580-1640, Portuguese officials continued to be sent to Brazil). Which Barreto, examining the budget of the Bahian treasury, found that it had an income of 30,000 cruzados (a cruzado, of 400 reis, corresponded almost to 3 lire): of which 10,000 went to the metropolis and 6500 were used to maintain the missions of the Jesuits. At the end of the 16th century, Benedictines, Carmelites and Capuchins also began to flow in, especially the latter in large numbers; and the convents multiplied so much that in 1609 the Spanish court forbade the rise of new ones without a special royal license. Under the government of the Veiga, the S. Francisco river was explored, and Antonio Dias Adorno, with an expedition of 150 settlers and 400 between Indians and Africans, arrived in Minas, finding precious stones (turmaline and amethysts, not emeralds and sapphires, as it was believed at the beginning).
With the death of Barreto in 1587, he was succeeded by a council composed of the third bishop of the diocese, Antonio Barreiros, the finance administrator and the general auditor, who governed until the arrival of Francesco de Souza (1591), infatuated with the search for mines. Under the subsequent governor Diogo Botelho (1602), who entered into open disagreement with the Jesuits over the settlement of the Indians, numerous jurisdictional conflicts occurred, for which also in Lisbon, as in Spain since 1524, a Conselho da India was created. In 1603, a special mining code was also issued for Brazil, with which the Crown granted private individuals the exploitation of the gold mines, reserving the fifth, for the collection of which a “superintendent of the mines” was in charge. In 1608, Diogo de Meneses and Sequeira being governors, the southern captaincy offices once again formed a separate government: Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and S. Vicente; and the mines superintendency was created, headed by the ex-governor Francesco de Souza, who continually flashed the mirage of gold at the court of Madrid. And in vain the wise governor Meneses wrote to the king: “And believe VM that the real mines of Brazil are sugar and wood.
Brazil, from which VM draws a lot of profit, without costing the treasury a penny. “Meneses was absolutely right, as can be seen from a quick glance at the economic conditions of the captains’ offices at the end of the 16th century. always Pernambuco, with 2000 settlers and as many slaves, almost all employed in 66 engenhos, with an annual production of 200,000 sugar arrobas (the arroba corresponded to about 15 kilos), for the transport of which more than 40 ships were needed; there was also export of brazil. Bahia, with 2,000 settlers, 4,000 African slaves and 6,000 baptized Indians, exported 120,000 sugar arrobas, which was considered the best on the whole coast. The Capitanerie of Ilhéos and Porto Seguro were among the least profitable, with three or four engenhos and scarce cotton cultivation.