RIO DE CONTAS, or Villa De Contas, a town of Brazil in the state of Bahia, 230 m. S.W. from the city of Bahia, on the Brumado (Contas-Pequeno), a head stream of the Rio de Contas (Jussiape), which rises on the eastern slope of the neighbouring Serra das Almas, and flows S.E. and E. to the Atlantic coast at Barra do Rio de Contas. Pop. (1890), including rural districts, 17,318. The surrounding country is fertile and produces sugar, cotton, mandioca and tobacco, but has lost much of its prosperity through the droughts that have devastated the interior of the state, and because of the costs of transporting produce to market. Stock-raising was at one time an important industry here. The town was founded in 1715 by some "Paulistas" who discovered gold there in the sands of the river. It became a "villa" in 1724, but was soon afterward moved down the river 5 m. to a more convenient site on the high road between Bahia and Goyaz.
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