“Norte-Americano,” politely suggested a Brazilian to me in the course of a conversation, and I accepted the correction.
“We also are Americanos,” he continued. After that I was very careful to make the distinction, although in an unguarded moment it would sometimes appear. “Ingles” or “Norte-Americano,” would sometimes be asked, although the most of the Brazilians can spot the “Yanqui,” as he is called with all due respect. It is said that our former Secretary of State, during his circular tour around South America, was very careful in all his speeches to call himself a North American, and this one little distinction aided in increasing his popularity. It is often the delicate little recognition that pleases these Latin people, who are themselves full of flattery and compliments. It is time for the people of the United States, especially as they are now entering upon an era of commercial conquest, to recognize that these people of the great continent south of us are just as much entitled to the use of that term, of which they are likewise proud, as we ourselves are; that though these people are Brazilians, Argentinians, Chileans, etc., they consider themselves first and foremost as Americans, in order to distinguish themselves from Europeans, Asiatics and Africans. We can say to them: “We are North Americans, you are South Americans; but we are all Americans, and proud of our homes in this great, glorious and promising continent.”
The vastness of Brazil is not fully realized. The geographical maps of South America are usually drawn on a smaller scale than those of the United States, so it is not generally known that the United States of Brazil are larger than the United States of America, exclusive of Alaska and the island possessions. From the most northerly point to the extreme southerly boundary is a distance of two thousand six hundred and seventy-five miles. For the sake of comparison one might say that if our own Atlantic coast line was prolonged in the same way it would reach from the southernmost extremity of Florida to the Hudson Bay region of upper Canada. It extends from four degrees twenty minutes North Latitude to thirty-three degrees forty-five minutes South, or thirty-eight degrees in all. The last ten degrees are below the Tropic of Capricorn and in the temperate zone. From a point near the city of Recife, or Pernambuco, to the most westerly point, is a distance of two thousand seven hundred and twenty-nine miles. From there the country to the south narrows continuously, until it is but a few hundred miles wide in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. A line drawn west from near the city of Bahia, or São Salvador, would give about the medium width. Rio de Janeiro is in longitude nearly half-way across the Atlantic from New York to London, while the easternmost land, Cape San Roque, is still seven hundred miles farther to the east. Within these confines is a territory of three million three hundred and thirty-two thousand seven hundred and thirty square miles, according to the best estimates, and this makes it the fifth country in the world, being exceeded in extent only by China, the British Empire, the United States of America and Russia.