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Pernambuco and the construction of the Brazilian nation-state, 1831-1850

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Pernambuco and the construction of the Brazilian nation-state, 1831-1850
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Mosher, Jeffrey Carl, 1959-
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vi, 266 leaves : ; 29 cm.

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Conservatism ( jstor )
Consuls ( jstor )
Emperors ( jstor )
Liberalism ( jstor )
Police ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Political power ( jstor )
Rebellion ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Violence ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- History -- UF
History thesis, Ph. D
Politics and government -- Brazil -- 1822-1889 ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1996.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 254-265).
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Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jeffrey Carl Mosher.

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PERNAMBUCO AND THE CONSTRUCTION
OF THE BRAZILIAN NATION-STATE, 1831-1850














By

JEFFREY CARL MOSHER


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1996













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The debts one incurs in a project such as this are, of course, too numerous to list. A

few individuals, however, must be thanked. The members of my supervisory committee,

David Bushnell, Murdo MacLeod, Jeffrey Needell, Harry Paul, and Steven Sanderson,

have both served me well and been a pleasure to work with. I am grateful for their time

and effort throughout my years at the University of Florida. In particular, I wish to thank

my advisor, Jeffrey Needell. He has offered not only his expertise, but also patience,

encouragement, and wise guidance in far greater measure than any individual could

reasonably expect. I can only hope that one day I will be able to assist students as well as

he has done for me.

I would also like to thank Thomas Gallant, who has been very giving of his time.

Many scholars at the University of Florida and elsewhere who have taken the time to

read various drafts of my work. I appreciate their efforts. The librarians at the

University of Florida's Latin American Collection have also assisted me on countless

occasions.

I owe Hildo Leal da Rosa, an archivist at the Arquivo Piblico Estadual de

Pernambuco, more than he will ever know for the considerable assistance he provided

me. The staff at the Arquivo was always helpful. Marcus Carvalho, a historian at the

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, offered suggestions and made his own valuable








work available. Jose Ant6nio Gonsalves de Mello opened the archives of the Instituto

Arqueol6gico, Hist6rico, e Geografico Pernambucano to me. It was a pleasure to work

alongside the Saturday morning genealogy group at the Instituto. Marc Hoffnagel was

helpful on various occasions. In Rio de Janeiro I was fortunate to receive, like so many

researchers before me, the assistance of Jose Gabriel da Costa Pinto. A list of people

who assisted me at the Arquivo Nacional, the Biblioteca Nacional, and the Insituto

Hist6rico e Geogrifico Brasileiro would be lengthy. I am grateful for their assistance.

The University of Florida, the Tinker Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, and

the National Science Foundation provided financial support. I trust the end result will

validate their decisions to support my work.

My debt to my parents, Carl and Anne Mosher, is, of course, of long standing. I

appreciate their continued support and hope this work will give them some sense of what

it is I have chosen to pursue. Above all, I am endebted to my wife Dina and our

daughters Talia and Miriam. This project has kept me away from my wife, children, and

home more than I wanted. It has been Dina's support that has made it all possible. I am

grateful, yet more than that, I know I have been truly fortunate.














TABLE OF CONTENTS



ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ............................................... ii

A B ST R A C T ......................................................... v

IN TRO D U CTIO N .................................................... I

CHAPTERS

1 INDEPENDENCE, REFORM, AND REBELLION, 1831-1835 ............. 22

2 REACTION 1836-1841 ........................................... 61

3 CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS, 1837-1847 ...................... 84

4 "FOREIGNERS IN THEIR OWN LAND": POLITICAL PARTIES,
POPULAR MOBILIZATION, AND THE PORTUGUESE ............... 150

5 THE PRAIEIRA REVOLUTION, 1848-1850 ......................... 183

CO N CLU SIO N ..................................................... 248

SO U RCES CITED .................................................. 254

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................ 266













iv













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

PERNAMBUCO AND THE CONSTRUCTION
OF THE BRAZILIAN NATION STATE, 1831-1850

By
Jeffrey Carl Mosher

May 1996

Chairman: Jeffrey D. Needell
Major Department: History

This dissertation examines nation-building from the provincial perspective of

Pernambuco, Brazil, in the period 1831-1850. The project rectifies the bias towards

state-making as a uni-directional process of expansion from the center, by examining the

dialectic between provincial and national politics and society. The work analyzes the

impact of local power struggles, particularly popular mobilization and violence, on the

development of national political institutions and practice in the early phases of nation

building. In exploring the bases of unity and division among the elite, the work

demonstrates that careful scrutiny of political behavior reveals tension between the

impulse to compete for land, labor, prestige, and related control of state power and the

need for elite unity in the face of the ever-present fear of social upheaval. The

dissertation demonstrates that intra-elite conflict in the context of a weak central state ran

such a risk of igniting larger social conflagrations that many of the very regional elites








that had succeeded in achieving considerable autonomy in the 1830s subsequently

became the greatest proponents of centralization.

The work complements the traditional focus on familial and clientelistic networks

with analysis of ideology. The dissertation challenges the prevailing interpretation of ',{ '

political parties, that they were mere vehicles for patronage, devoid of ideological

content. The Praieir liberal party in Pernambuco, for example, made frequent appeals to

the discontented urban lower classes on the basis of lusophobia. Anti-Portuguese appeals

played on the belief that the large Portuguese presence in the economy, particularly in

small-scale commerce, impeded Brazilians from gaining employment and undermined ri .t-

artisan production. The party's call for a nationalist development strategy demonstrated a

sharp programmatic difference from the Conservatives. Willingness to appeal to the

"dangerous classes" marked differences in attitudes towards democratic participation. *1,

The party's call for decentralization of national political institutions likewise challenged (I

the political system constructed by Conservatives.














INTRODUCTION


Historiography

The nature and role of the state is currently undergoing reassessment in Latin

America and elsewhere. Such reassessment requires historical analysis of the origins of

the relationship between the state and civil society. This study explores the impact of

local political struggles on the development of national political institutions in the early

phases of nation-building in Brazil. My focus is upon the Province of Pernambuco

between 1831 and 1850, a period which encompasses both decentralizing, democratic

reforms and subsequent consolidation under an authoritarian centralized regime. I have

chosen Pernambuco because it combines considerable economic importance with both ,J,

political instability (revolting against the central government in 1817, 1824, 1832-1836,

and 1848) and political importance (with an unusually large number of prominent

statesmen participating in the nation's construction).

Several developments have generated renewed interest in state and society relations

in Latin America. The first was the rise of "bureaucratic-authoritarian" regimes in the

1960s and the 1970s, because they appeared to increase state power sharply at the

expense of civil society. For the Brazilian case, Peter Evans, in Dependent Development,

explores the alliances that a powerful state can make with national and foreign actors.'

The second, related to the newly increased power of the state, has been criticism of


'Peter Evans, Dependent Development: The Alliance of Multinational. State, and
Local Capital in Brazil (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1979).








governmental inefficiency and calls for a reduced state role in the economy. The third

has arisen from the work of neo-Marxists such as Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas.

These analysts observe that traditional Marxist literature de-emphasizes the state, treating

it mainly as an instrument for class rule. They point out, however, that Marx qualified

his analysis of the state as the "executive committee of the bourgeoisie," allowing for

cases in which no one class enjoys a dominant position in society or in which a parasitic

bureaucracy develops. Their renewed attention to the state in advanced capitalist

societies has coincided with a more general interest among academics, including some

social historians, in bringing the state back into the analysis.'

State-making, whether in early modem Europe, former European colonies after the

Second World War, or nineteenth-century Latin America, has often been characterized by

violent resistance to centralization. Cohen, Brown, and Organski argue that violence is

an integral part of the accumulation of power by the new national state.' Charles Tilly's



2 Ralph Miliband, The State in Capitalist Society (New York: Basic Books, 1969);
Nicos Poulantzas, Political Power and Social Classes (London: New Left Books, Verso,
1978). The state has received considerable attention from Marxists for several decades
now, but Miliband and Poulantzas have been particularly influential in Latin America.
On the broader interest in the state among social scientists, see Peter Evans, Peter
Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, eds., Bringing the State Back In
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985). Two early calls for reincorporating politics
into social history were issued by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, "The
Political Crisis of Social History: A Marxian Perspective," Journal of Social History 10:2
(1976) and Tony Judt, "A Clown in Regal Purple: Social History and the Social
Historians," History Workshop 7 (1979). Also, see William Taylor, "Between Global
Process and Local Knowledge: An Enquiry into Early Latin American Social History,
1500-1900," in Olivier Zunz, ed., Reliving the Past: The Worlds of Social History
(Chapel Hill: Duke Univ. Press, 1985). For a recent work that has taken up this call, see
George Reid Andrews, Blacks and Whites in S~o Paulo. Brazil, 1888-1988 (Madison:
Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1991).

Youssef Cohen, Brian Brown, and A.F.K. Organski, "The Paradoxical Nature of
Statemaking: The Violent Creation of Order," American Political Science Review 75:4
(December, 1981).








work exemplifies a considerable body of literature that explores the institutional

consequences of struggles between state-makers seeking extraction of resources and the

populations that resist loss of local control.4 Examination of nineteenth-century Brazil

suggests that such approaches, in focussing on resistance to extraction by the central

government, have failed to identify a significant dynamic that can facilitate

centralization--the need to maintain social control threatened by local conflict. I "4

hypothesize that it was the very success of demands for provincial autonomy in the 1830s

that, paradoxically, led to the definitive establishment of a highly centralized regime in

the 1840s which could establish and maintain the social and political order. I argue that

reforms that shifted control of influential offices from the Court to the provincial capitals

and reforms that increased citizen participation, such as local election of powerful

justices of the peace and instituting the jury system, ran significant risks of igniting larger

social conflagrations. As a consequence, many of the very regional elites that had "

succeeded in achieving autonomy subsequently became, when threatened from below,

the greatest proponents of centralization.

The seemingly paradoxical provincial assistance in building centralized state power

suggests the need to reformulate Michael Mann's influential distinction between despotic

and infrastructural state power.5 Mann sees despotic power in the range of actions which

the state elite is empowered to undertake without need for routine negotiations with civil


4 Among Charles Tilly's abundant works, see especially The Contentious French
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986), as well as Coercion. Capital. and European
States. A.D. 990-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990) and the influential
volume he edited, The Formation of National States in Western EuroPe (Princeton:
Princeton Univ. Press, 1975).

Michael Mann, "The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and
Results," in John Hall, ed., States in History (Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell,
1986).








society. Infrastructural power is conceptualized as the capacity to penetrate civil society

and implement political decisions throughout the realm. This distinction illuminates

Brazil's First Reign (1822-1831) as a period of struggle over the Court's efforts to

construct infrastructural capacity throughout the country and the Regency (1831-1840) as

the abandonment of that effort. The first decade or so of the Second Reign (1840-1889)

marks a period of renewed efforts to create infrastructural power, this time, crucially,

with the active support of many leaders on the periphery who had been challenged by

Regency social and political upheavals. I argue that the active role of some provincial

leaders in helping to construct infrastructural power for the state suggests the need to

refine Mann's conceptualization. State power ought to be seen not only as something I

wielded over civil society by a central, state elite, but potentially as an enabling power,

which, by providing desired services, can increase the power of both the state and certain

local groups in civil society.6

Conceptualization of civil society in Brazil has long focused on informal structures

based on kinship and patron-client networks. Tightly interwoven with formal +' 'f'

institutions, an understanding of these informal structures is crucial to grasping the

significance of the better documented and more easily observable formal institutions.

Family networks were crucial after independence, when the central government

proved unable to consistently and successfully impose itself on the provinces. Political

union with Portugal had been ruptured; the contours of a new political framework were

hotly contested. Pernambuco, for example, was the scene of a struggle for an

independent republic in 1817, and, again, in 1824. In the 1830s, various urban revolts


6 See John Hall's discussion of Mann's argument in "Introduction," Hall, States in
Hiry, esp. p. 16.








erupted, as well as the three-year Guerra dos Cabanos in the countryside.7

Governmental reforms changed relationships of authority; indeed, they contributed to the

instability of the period. In this context, family groups were well positioned to pursue

their goals without being forcefully restrained by the state.'

Richard Graham describes the family and household as the basic units of the polity.

Reaching beyond the nuclear family, they encompassed a variety of people related by

blood, marriage, and ritual kinship. A degree of ambiguity in the term is clear, in that

others not thus related, such as a senhor de engenho's slaves and tenants, might be called

"family" as well.' Linda Lewin notes that in Paraiba "family" generally referred to the

"extended family" or parentela. This large group included "maternal and paternal

ascendants and lineal descendants of several generations," aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces,

as well as others brought in by marriage, and fictive kin."




Cabanos were shanties or shacks of the rural poor and, by extension, members of the
rural poor who participated in this rebellion.

On the opportunities independence allowed family networks generally in Latin
America and on the inverse relationship between the power of the state and that of
families, see Diana Balmori, Stuart F. Voss, and Miles Wortman, Notable Family
Networks in Latin America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 10, 23.
Oliveira Viana, Populag6es Meridionais do Brasil: hist6ria. organizaco. psychologia
(SAo Paulo: Monteiro Lobato, 1922). Here and below, Portuguese orthography in the
citations reflects the usage in the works cited and will not necessarily conform to modern
spelling and diacritical mark usage.

9 Graham, Patronage and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Stanford: Stanford
Univ.Press, 1990), 17, 20-21. Eul-Soo Pang observes that slaves and the free poor
population dependent on a senhor de engenho often used his surname and wryly notes
that the sexual access the senhor abused often fully justified this practice. See In Pursuit
of Honor and Power: Noblemen of the Southern Cross in Nineteenth-Century Brazil
(Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 1988), 77.
10 Linda Lewin, Politics and Parentela in Paraiba: A Case Study of Family-Based
Oligarchy in Brazil (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1987), 129-131.








The father's firm control of his family was reinforced by laws that enhanced his

authority. He rewarded loyalty with benevolence, protection, and access to resources.

Insufficient loyalty could elicit harsh treatment. Extreme cases might even bring

imprisonment or expulsion from the family."

Families formed advantageous alliances, especially through marriages. A political

alliance could be cemented, for example, by two men marrying each other's sisters;

especially tight bonds were formed if the marriage was between cousins. This strategic

view of family can also be seen in the flexibility of recognizing kinship. There was

"ample opportunity for asserting claims to membership in a range of families, since

everyone could claim to belong to at least two parentelas.""2 Naming practices allowed

great flexibility in recognizing and emphasizing kinship and could be manipulated to

advance political interests. 13

The family provided the resources necessary for political engagement; the personal

connections inherent in family networks were crucial. Linda Lewin has observed that

[T]he parentela underlay the basis of a politician's network and political friends.
From it he constructed the core of his personalistic following, a family-based group
that organized and delivered his votes locally, defended his partisan interests in his





1 Graham, Patronage and Politics, 17-23. Lewin cites refusal"'to marry or exact
vengeance, or to execute capricious demands" as grounds for expulsion. Lewin, Politics
and Parentela, 133. For a detailed analysis of legal changes influencing the institution of
the family, see Dain Borges, The Family in Bahia, Brazil, 1870-1945 (Stanford: Stanford
Univ. Press, 1992), chapter 4. The work is relevant to a longer period than the title
suggests.
12 Lewin, Politics and Parentela, 143.

13 Ibid., 133-134, 149; Pang, In Pursuit of Honor, 76-77. Dain Borges provides a
careful analysis of family strategies in Bahia. See Borges, The Family in Bahia, chapter
7.








home municipio, and served him loyally as officeholders or bureaucratic
appointees.'4

Analysis of nineteenth-century Brazil has traditionally emphasized the importance

of family and other informal groups over formal political institutions. Indeed, political

parties have long been seen as personalistic groups formed to capture the spoils of

government." Many authors have assumed similarity in their class composition, outlook

and interests and have dismissed whatever differences may have existed in their political

ideas as of little importance. Emilia Viotti da Costa, for example, has written that until

the last decades of the Empire, "political struggle was really little else than a struggle for

power between factions under the leadership of prestigious families."'6 While party

divisions and the absence of ideological commitments made for ministerial instability, it

was of little significance. "As long as the elites agreed about the main policies to be

followed the alternation of political parties did not make any fundamental difference."7

Likewise, Caio Prado Junior wrote that governments were differentiated by liberal and

conservative labels, "without that variety of nomenclature having the slightest

significance." "

Some analysts, however, have seen differences in the compositions and interests of

the parties. In 1948, Afonso Arinos Melo Franco wrote of agrarian interests in the


'4 Lewin, Politics and Parentela, 127. Lewin's main interest is in a later period, but her
discussion applies here as well. Graham, Patronage and Politics, 18.

"Variations on this view are common in discussions of today's parties as well.
16 Emilia Viotti da Costa, The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1985), 70-71.
17 Ibid., 70.

'8 Ciio Prado Jinior, Evoluco Politica do Brasil e Outros Estudos (Sao Paulo:
Editora Brasiliense, 1963), 81.








Conservative party and urban interests and magistrates in the Liberal party. In contrast,

Raymundo Faoro wrote of the Conservative Party as a bastion of a bureaucratic estate,

and the Liberal Party as representing agrarian interests opposed to a strong central state.

All these analyses share a lack of any firm documentary evidence for their conclusions. 1

The understandings of political parties seem to speak more to varying conceptualizations

of nineteenth-century society than to a careful sifting of evidence. Faoro, for example,

sees a centuries long battle between an expanding bureaucratic estate and civil society,

and projects that battle onto the political parties."

Jose Murilo de Carvalho has written the most carefully documented analysis of the

composition of the political parties. He concludes that public functionaries, mainly

magistrates, were more heavily represented in the Conservative Party, while the Liberal

Party attracted more of the liberal professions. Rural landowners were represented evenly

in both parties, but the Conservatives had the allegiance of more landowners in-export-

oriented areas and ones of the oldest colonization, while the Liberals were supported by

landowners with internal markets. There were merchants in each party, but the

wealthiest tended to be Conservative. Thus, Conservatives were strong in Rio de Janeiro,

Bahia, and Pernambuco, where foreign trade made for powerful merchants with a less

provincial view of politics, and where, in the three largest cities of the empire,

preoccupation with order was greatest. Individuals with higher education and

administrative training were also concentrated there, due to the strong economies or


19Raymundo Faoro, Os Donos do Poder: Formag.o do patronato politico brasileiro 2
vols. (Rio de Janeiro: Globo, 1987); Afonso Arinos Melo Franco, Hist6ria e Teoria do
Partido Politico no Direito Constitucional Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, 1948). For
summaries of other works that touch on these issues, see Jose Murilo de Carvalho, A
Construgio da Ordem: A elite politica imperial (Rio de Janeiro: Editora Campus, 1980),
155-157 and Ilmar Rohloff de Mattos, 0 Tempo Saguarema: A Formagdo do Estado
Imperial (Sdo Paulo: Editora Hucitec, 1990), pp. 130-132, notes 84-85.








importance as administrative centers in the colonial period. Conservative cadres from

these areas supported and carried out policies of state centralization. Liberals were

strongest in S~o Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul, where links with foreign

trade were weaker, there were fewer individuals with higher education and where

opposition to centralization had been greatest. The weakness of Murilo de Carvalho's ( -

study is that it analyzes only party members who served as government ministers: its

conclusions refer only to the party elite. Thus, unless one accepts an assumption that the / /

party elite faithfully reflects the membership of the entire party, the composition of the

imperial political parties in terms of class and occupation remains an open question.2"

Richard Graham has provided the most powerful argument for viewing parties as

devoid of ideological content and any significant differentiation. Graham believes that

emphasizing struggles over policies is to misunderstand nineteenth-century politics.

Politics was-not fundamentally about government policies; rather, politicians were

concerned, above all, with patronage. In particular, patronage was the building block

which allowed leading landowners to solidify their power locally and thus deliver votes

for candidates for national office. The Deputies could then aid their local patrons to

expand their clientele and power by securing government posts for them from cabinet

ministries, in exchange for political support in Parliament.2"

In its focus on patronage, politics was not, first and foremost, about policies, but

about reinforcing values that undergird stability. The wealthy used government positions

20 Murilo de Carvalho, A Construgiio da Ordem, chapter 8. In fairness to the author,
no one has found a documentary base for a broader study that would encompass a cross
section of the parties and it is questionable whether sufficient data exists. See Murilo de
Carvalhos's appendix, "Algumas observagoes sobre fontes de dados biogrificas," 185-
189.


21 Graham, Patronage and Politics, pp. 71-100.








not for "adopting this or that policy, tax law, tariff regulation, or labor act, but as an

influence on concepts of the good and true, of properly deferential behavior within a

hierarchical social structure, of loyalty to one's patron and care towards one's clients."22

Politicians' preoccupation with patronage "legitimized the existing social structure...

Politics indeed worked to that end, but not solely or even principally through the pursuit

of particular government policies. Rather the goal was reached through an entire style of

life and practice."' The purpose of political action was based on two fundamental

notions. First, "that all social relations consisted in an exchange of protection for loyalty

[and that] recalcitrance merited punishment. Second, virtually every institution served to

stress the social hierarchy, insisting that for every individual there was a very particular

place... ,"24 The mobility of the free but landless rural poor, people with a will of their

own, made effective social control imperative.2"

Elections were frequent events in which many participated. They "were, first of all,

elaborate dramatic performances that insistently reiterated the conviction that the only

proper basis of social organization lay in a clear recognition of everyone's social

superiority or inferiority."26 Beyond their symbolic function, elections also worked to

provide the government with support from the most powerful members of society.

Elections did not serve primarily for voters to select winning candidates, for there was

little doubt about this, since whichever faction controlled the electoral board that


22 Ibid., 4-5.

23 Ibid., 7.
24 Ibid., 23-24.

25 Ibid., 4-7, 32-3 1.

26 Ibid., 120-121 for the quotation. On elections as theater, pp. 101-121.








supervised the elections was likely to win. Rather, they served as a testing ground, in

which challengers to the dominant faction attempted to demonstrate their power through

force or its threat. Successful challenges resulted in objections to fraud being recorded in

the electoral minutes. Challengers who demonstrated their strength would likely be

recognized by the government and allowed some government posts. Thus, through

frequent tests of power and appropriate government responses, the government stayed in

touch with the balance of power in villages throughout the empire.27

Graham depicts a system in which power simultaneously flowed down from the -

cabinet through the Provincial President and up from the powerful landowners through

the Provincial President. Deputies to the Parliament found themselves at the intersection

of these two planes of power, needing the support of each. Candidates appealed not to

individual voters for support, but to electors or their patrons, as well as to the Cabinet.

Local factions sought to be recognized as the most powerful, and thus deserving of

government patronage. The Cabinet, in turn, supported the group perceived as the most

powerful.28

Nowhere in this scheme do political ideas, ideology, or policies figure prominently.

For Graham, personal ties determined political groups, not questions of party or ideology.

Parties were merely loose affiliations of deputies, without any commitment to particular

policies. Indeed, some individuals switched parties and parties failed to consistently I"

pursue distinctive programs.29


27 Ibid., 122-145.

28 Graham, Patronage and Politics, pp. 146-181.

29 Ibid., 122-145, 169-170. Graham qualifies his argument slightly. He recognizes
that some deputes who were out of power might take somewhat more doctrinaire
(continued...)






12
The prevailing interpretation of political parties, that they were mere vehicles for

patronage, devoid of ideological content, appears open to question. Pernambuco

provides evidence not only for important differences between elite political conceptions,

but also for meaningful party differences over programs and willingness to mobilize the
Ii (p.
lower classes for political struggle. The Praieira liberal party in Pernambuco, for

example, made frequent appeals to the discontented urban lower classes on the basis of

lusophobia.3 Anti-Portuguese appeals played on the belief that the large Portuguese

presence in the economy, particularly in small-scale commerce, impeded Brazilians from

gaining employment and undermined artisan production. The party's call for

nationalization of retail commerce demonstrated a sharp programmatic difference from

the Conservatives, as well as a dramatic contrast in willingness to appeal to the

"dangerous classes." Anti-Portuguese riots, particularly two days of mayhem in June of

1848, provide considerable support for this analysis, as does the large-scale mobilization

of the urban and rural poor for the last great regional rebellion of the Monarchy, the

Praieira Revolution of 1848.


(...continued)
positions and that urban voters began to identify with particular political positions. He
sees that landowners in regions more recently settled, who lacked ties to powerful
politicians, might favor greater provincial autonomy. Yet he minimizes the importance
of these qualifications. Cities were few. Elections were won in the countryside--only
there could local potentates marshal large blocs of voters. Despite what minor
differences might exist, deputies shared a common social background and the crucial
issues they dealt with were the patronage of local bosses. Even issues which might seem
crucial to modern readers, such as taxes and distribution of revenues, did not supersede
the local leaders' concern with securing appointments. Ibid., 169-171, 176-181.
30 The praieiros, who took their name from the Rua da Praia (Beach Street), where
their party newspaper was published, were the local, Pernambuco allies of the Liberal
party in Rio. On the fbefQs, especially in Rio, see Thomas Flory, Judge and Juy in
Imperial Brazil. 1808-17i1 Social Control and Political Stability in the New State
(Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1981) and Roderick Barman, Brazil: The Forging of a .1
Nation. 1798-1852 (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1988).








In exploring the bases of unity and division among the elite, I argue that careful

scrutiny of political behavior reveals tension between the impulse to compete for land,

labor, prestige, and related control of state power, and the need for elite unity in the face

of ever-present fear of social upheaval in a society profoundly divided by race and / 'I,

slavery. Having examined the political conflict of the period, I have come to emphasize

the ideological significance of the rift between liberals and conservatives. I hypothesize

that ideological differences in part corresponded to a conflict between older entrenched

families and the newer planter families that challenged them. I propose that rising groups ,

combined a strategic view of liberalism with a commitment to democratic intellectual

currents flowing from the United States and England. These intellectual currents,

however, in a fluid period of experimentation in developing new political institutions and

practice, offered such promise that they attracted individuals from other groups as well. I

further hypothesize that the clash of liberals and conservatives can be read, in part, as a

crucially important ideological debate over the propriety of inclusion of the middle and

predominantly Afro-Brazilian lower classes in intra-elite conflict. I propose that the

great political violence of the period profoundly influenced discourse on race, politics,:,; -;

and political institutions, leaving a legacy of pessimism concerning the possibility of

democratic participation.


The Setting

The varied geographical conditions of Pernambuco have long been recognized as a

key to understanding how Pernambucans have ordered their society. Since early colonial

days, sugar has been grown for export in the coastal zona da mata, or forest area.

Stretching the 225 kilometers from the northern border with Paraiba to Alagoas in the








south, comprising sixteen percent of the province, it is here that the bulk of the

population has lived since Portuguese settlement in the 1530s. In contrast, the serto, or )'T /x'

backland, occupies well over half of Pernambuco's total area, yet has always supported

only a small population. These harsh, dry scrublands served most importantly for raising

cattle for the coastal sugar industry. Between the two lies a varied transitional zone, the

agrest, resembling the sertio here, the coastal zona da mata there. Commercial hubs

such as Caruaru developed in the agr~et, linking the cattle raising interior with the sugar

producing coast.3'

The humid zona da mata, extending from the Borborema Plateau to the coast, with

rich black massap soils, rainy and dry seasons and perennial rivers, was early

recognized as ideal for growing sugar cane. It was here that Duarte Coelho established

the first successful sugar mills in Brazil, in the 1530s. The southern half of the forest

zone, roughly that south of Recife, presents superior conditions for cultivating sugar

cane, particularly its greater rainfall, 2,500 mm in some places, and larger and more

regular rivers. The flood plains adjacent to these large rivers with soils moistened and

enriched with humus left by river overflow were the most productive areas. By the

nineteenth century, the greatest estates were located around Cabo, between the Jaboatao

and Serinhaem Rivers, estates with 100 to 150 slaves and huge, two story houses for the

estate owners. In the drier mata north of Recife there were fewer of the great estates like

those in Cabo. Rainfall here rarely exceeds 2,000 mm a year, and is considerably less in


31 Manuel Correia de Andrade, The Land and People of Northeast Brazil
(Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1980), provides a detailed statement on the
geography of the region in chapter 2; Peter L. Eisenberg, The Sugar Industry in
Pernambuco: Modernization Without Change. 1840-1910 (Berkeley: Univ. of California
Press, 1974), 121-123; Nancy Priscilla Naro, "Brazil's 1848: The Praieira Revolt" (Ph.D.
diss., University of Chicago, 1980), 11-12.








many places, especially farther from the coast. On lands not suitable for cane, squatters

or slaves might plant beans, manioc, or fruit. In some places sugar cane shared the

landscape with cotton fields, large and small, though cotton was more important in the

transitional W~s. to which the zona da mata gives way here within ninety kilometers of

the coast north of Recife, and 160 kilometers in places to the south.32

The a a drier area sometimes struck by drought, supported a sparser

population. Still,though scattered among the drier lands, were some brgio, elevated

areas with cooler temperatures moistened by wet winds year round, niches providing

pockets of denser settlement. The bulk of the province's cotton was produced in the

agr.g, on a variety of scales, from large land holdings worked by numerous slaves, to

small plots worked by renters and sharecroppers. The far smaller labor and capital

requirements, shorter growing cycle, as well as the practice of planting beans and maize

alongside the cotton, made even small-scale farms feasible. Cattle raising was also

important. Commercial centers such as Caruaru, a key point in the cattle route from the

backlands to the coast, and Bom Jardim, important in the cotton trade, developed."

The hot, dry serto, an enormous area not infrequently struck by drought, was, and

continues to be, thinly populated. The region's settlers spread over the area, grazing

cattle for the coastal sugar industry, with its need for beasts of burden for mill work and

transportation, as well as for meat. Extensive grazing and massive ranches, only vaguely



32 Correia de Andrade, Land and People, 10-12, 73, 76; Marcus Joaquim Maciel de
Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion in Pernambuco (Brazil), 1821-1835" (Ph.D. diss.,
Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1989), 22; Naro, "Brazil's 1848," 12; on massap,
see Ibid., note 4, pp. 14-15 and Eisenberg, The Sugar Industry, 36, 123.
33 Correia de Andrade, Land and People, 18, note 16 p. 224, 118; Carvalho; Carvalho,
"Hegemony and Rebellion," 21; Henry Koster, Travels in Brazil (Carbondale and
Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1966), 98, 169-170.








demarcated, were the norm; ten hectares were needed for each head of cattle.4 Corrals

were often established near large rivers. Cowboys were central figures in the "leather

civilization" that developed, as hides were put to multiple and ingenious uses. Their

demanding physical labor was rewarded with a share of the cattle and horses raised, a

share cowboys sometimes enlarged, in light of oversight by absentee owners in distant

cities. The cowboys also raised sheep, pigs, and goats on their own near their small mud

dwellings. Great cattle drives were common sights, transporting cattle to commercial

hubs in the agget, and on to the coast, or to more humid areas in the sertAo during the

driest times."

Rivers provided relief from the region's dry spells, as did the elevated areas touched

by moisture laden winds. A few areas, such as Triunfo at the peak of the Serra da Baixa

Verde, were sufficiently humid to grow sugar cane for local use and subsistence crops

such beans and maize. More common was cotton farming, which was established in the

late eighteenth century and expanded greatly in the early nineteenth century. Some of the

cotton was processed for slaves' clothing, while some was exported to Great Britain. The

Pajeu Valley figured prominently in this latter trade. In the 1840s coffee was introduced ( f

to the more elevated, humid areas of the arrest and sertAo.

From the pioneering efforts in the mid-sixteenth century into the twentieth century,

sugar production was Pernambuco's leading economic activity. Long after the mid


31 Indicative of the approximate nature of measurements and boundaries in the region
was Koster's observation that sertanejos speak of large leagues, small leagues, and
nothing leagues, all of varying and approximate size, though none smaller than four
miles. Koster, Travels in Brazil, in Brazil, 42.
31 Correia de Andrade, Land and People, 144-147, 157-159; Koster, Travels in Brazil,
65, 69, 72.
36 Correia de Andrade, Land and People, 149-153.








seventeenth- century decline from the apogee of the colonial sugar cycle, long past the

rise of coffee in south-central Brazil in the 1830s as the country's leading export, growing

and processing cane and transporting and exporting sugar overshadowed other activities

in Pernambuco. Sugar supplied the foundation for the planter elite, with its control of

land and rural labor, and was the basis for fortunes made in Recife by merchants, often

Portuguese born, who loaned capital to planters, exported their sugar, and imported

goods and slaves for their use.7

By the nineteenth century the zona da mata was mostly occupied. The bulk of the

best lands were controlled by a relatively small number of families, many of whom had

acquired land through the generous land grants made by the Crown in the colonial period.

Initially as large as four square leagues, by the early nineteenth century royal grants

usually measured one square league. Smaller estates spread across the countryside as

well, organized in a similar manner. Only a fraction of a planter's lands, perhaps a fifth,

grew cane at any given time. The remaining land was held for its potential value.

Boundaries between land holdings were often vague and many held lands without titles.

De facto control of land was assured by the threat or the use of force and through

political influence.38

Senhores de engenho employed forty or fifty slaves, or 100 to 150 on large

plantations, or even 300 on the very largest, to carry out the arduous work of cane






"7 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 14-16.
33 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 6-7,126-127, 129-131; Naro, "Brazil's 1848," 18; T.
Lynn Smith, Brazil: People and Institutions (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press,
1972), 257-282 offers an extensive discussion on indeterminate property boundaries.








growing, harvesting, processing and transporting.39 In the early nineteenth century

Koster wrote of forty slaves (in addition to free laborers) as sufficient. Whatever the

number, it was a labor-intensive business. Gangs of slave field workers equipped with

hoes broke the ground, planted cane, and weeded the fields over the twelve to fifteen

months after planting the first harvest. Slaves used machetes and brush hooks to cut the

cane, bundled it and sent it to the mills in carts or on horses or mules. New cane grew

from the stubble within a year, and not until the quality had diminished by the fourth year

were the stalks cut down and left to nourish the soil.'

The cane was processed much as it was in other sugar growing regions of the world,

except that nineteenth-century Brazilians were slower to adopt innovations than their

counterparts elsewhere.4' Large iron covered wooden rollers crushed the cane to extract

the juice. By 1854 a large majority of mills still employed horses, oxen or mules to turn

levers attached to the roller axles, though some took advantage of rivers, using water

wheels to power their mills. Not until the 1870s would a significant number invest in

steam-driven machinery.42

Water was evaporated from the juice in a series of boiling kettles, to which the

sugar master added clarifying agents and subsequently skimmed off the impurities which

rose to the surface. Straining further removed impurities. The juice then cooled and


39 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 146, cites averages of 55, 20, and 70 from surveys in
1842, 1854 and 1857. The second figure, being so far out of line with the others, seems
questionable.

4 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 34-36; Koster, Travels in Brazil, 161-163.

4, Eisenberg attributes this to the relatively low costs of land and labor, low profit
margins, a faltering and uncertain world market for sugar, and high tariffs on imports.
Sugar Industry, 41-48.
42 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 37-38; Koster, Travels in Brazil, 164-5.








crystallized for four to five days in conical clay pots; more water was removed by

purging over the next week, as water and clay sprinkled on top of the sugar worked its

way through to the bottom. After three weeks of drying in the sun, the final product was

ready--a dry loaf of sugar, white at the top and brown at the bottom.43

Rivers or the ocean allowed the cheapest transportation. Barcacas, sailing vessels

capable of carrying twenty-five- to fifty-ton loads were preferred, but even the far smaller

and accident-prone iangadas might be used."" For those without access to water

transport, oxcarts loaded with a ton to a ton and a half of sugar, and drawn by six to

twelve oxen, made a plodding substitute. Mules and horses were packed with sixty to

eighty pound sacks on each flank. The poor quality of the roads, which were often barely

passable after rains (especially over hills), kept overland freight rates high.45

Sugar loaves and cotton were brought to warehouses in the Bairro do Recife. This

commercial district, the oldest of Recife's three sections, housed the customs house and

sugar-inspection buildings. Here ships loaded and unloaded, protected from rough seas

outside the harbor by the wall of reef (recife) which gave the city its name. Old brick,



4" Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 38-39 and p. xiii, note 2, for citations to publications on
sugar in various other provinces; Koster, Travels in Brazil, 165-166. The classic work on
sugar is Noel Deerr, The History of Sugar, 2 vol. (London: Chapman and Hall, 1949-
1950). For colonial Brazil, see Stuart Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of
Brazilian Society: Bahia. 1550-1835 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
For comparison, see Manuel Moreno Fraginals, The Sugarmill: The Socio-Economic
Complex of Sugar in Cuba. 1760-1860 (New York: Monthly Review press, 1976); H.
Galloway, The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origin to 1914
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Sidney Mintz Sweetness and Power:
The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Books, 1986).

"On jangadas, see Koster, Travels in Brazil, and L. F. Tollenare, Notas Dominicais
(Recife: Estado de Pernambuco, Secretaria de EducaqAo e Cultura, Departamento de
Cultura), 17-18.
'4 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry, 50-52; Koster, Travels in Brazil, 28.








three- and four-story buildings lined narrow, twisting streets, housing larger commercial

establishments and their warehouses, insurance companies, foreign consuls, small shops,

bars, and the coffee house in which merchants carried out transactions. People resided in

smaller structures along these paved streets as well. A crowded hustle and bustle

continued from morning until late afternoon. A French observer noted the "continuous

movement of blacks coming and going, carrying bundles, picking up their spirits with

simple, monotonous song" into which were mixed cries of Afro-Brazilian women selling

cloth and other wares which they carried in baskets on their heads.' Upon arrival, an

English traveller was also struck by "the very circumstance of seeing a population

consisting chiefly of individuals of a dark color," and, like the Frenchman, commented on

theirer hideous noise when carrying any load."47

Three miles to the north of the Bairro do Recife sat Olinda, the site of the first

European settlement in the area, built upon hills that allowed a spectacular view. A thin

sandy isthmus, upon which the Brum and Buraco forts were built, linked the two.

Canoes were often the preferred means of traversing the distance. In the other direction,

one could leave the commercial district by crossing a bridge into the Bairro de Santo



Tollenare, Notas Dominicais, 20.
47 Koster, Travels in Brazil, 4 for the quotation, 4-6 for his description of the Bairro do
Recife. For Tollenare's initial description of Recife, see Notas Dominicais, 20-23. Other
descriptions of Recife are collected in Mirio Souto Maior and Leonardo Dantas Silva,
eds., 0 Recife: Ouatro Sculos de sua Paisagem (Recife: Editora Massangana, 1992).
Ant6nio Pedro de Figueiredo provided a detailed description in 1857, pp. 169-192;
Daniel Kidder and James Cooley's Brazil and the Brazilians portrayed in historical and
descriptive sketches. based on travels in the latter 1830s and early 1840s, is excerpted,
see pp. 149-158; Charles Darwin seems to have been in ill humor during his 1836 visit
and offers a consistently pessimistic assessment of Recife, though he was clearly
impressed by the safe anchorage provided by the reefs, pp. 165-166. Figueira de Mello,
Ensaio Sobre a Estatistica Civil e Politica da Provincia de Pernambuco (Recife: M. F. de
Faria, 1852) provides abundant information.








Ant6nio. This island neighborhood between the Bairro do Recife and the Bairro da Boa

Vista was separated from the former by the Beberibe River and the latter by the

Capibaribe River. The principal government buildings, such as the Presidential Palace,

the Treasury Building, and the prison were located here. There was also much

commercial activity here as well, but it was retail sales, unlike the large-scale merchant

activities across the Beberibe River in the Bairro do Recife. Crossing a bridge to Boa

Vista, one stepped back onto the land mass. While the oldest section, near the river, held

tall buildings housing retail commerce, by and large it was a residential area. It quickly

shaded into the countryside, with country homes surrounded by gardens."'

Recife's population was rapidly growing in the period under study. A systematic

study published at mid-century, using figures from the 1840s, estimated the number of

the city's inhabitants between 60,000 and 70,000, out of a provincial population of

644,000. Sixty-five percent of Pernambuco's population was--ofleagtas rt1yAffican

descent, reaching nearly seventy percent in Recife. In the province as a whole, some

twenty-three percent of the population were slaves, while in Recife the number reached

twenty-six percent.49 The residents of the capital thus comprised only a fraction of the

entire provincial population, but they exercised greater influence on politics than their

numbers alone would suggest. Let us see how as we turn our attention now to politics in

the early 1830s.



4' Koster, Travels in Brazil, 6-7; Tollenare, Notas Dominicais, 18-19, 21-23;
Figueiredo, "0 Recife," excerpted in Souto Maior and Dantas Silva, eds.,O Recife:
Ouatro S6culos, 179-192 and Kidder Brazil and the Brazilians, excerpted, Ibid., 154-155.

49 Population figures vary substantially. See Figueira de Melo, Ensaio sobre a
Estatistica, 265-283, and "5o MAPA ESTATiSTICO DA POPULACAO DA
PROVINCIA DE PERNAMBUCO..." and "60 MAPA ESTATISTICO DA
POPULACAO DA COMARCA DO RECIFE..." in the appendixes.














CHAPTER 1
INDEPENDENCE, REFORM, AND REBELLION,
1831-1835


Brazil achieved political independence from Portugal in 1822, in a movement led

by the Portuguese monarch's son, Dom Pedro I. In this chapter we will see that Pedro's

subsequent abdication opened the way for far-reaching liberal reforms that restructured

political authority. A series of revolts in Pernambuco, however, staged by various groups

with diverse goals, raised doubts about the optimistic assumptions that intellectually

undergirded the reform efforts. They suggested that without traditional, central political

authority, the social order was open to profound challenge.



April 7, 1831 marked the completion of Brazilian independence from Portuguese

tutelage. Formal independence had been achieved in 1822, but a Portuguese prince rose

to the Brazilian throne. Dom Pedro I, surrounded by Portuguese advisors, sought to

impose his will, yet many were resentful of centuries of colonial rule from Lisbon. The

familiar institution of the monarchy enjoyed broad support, particularly as a means of

ensuring social stability. Yet Dom Pedro's autocratic ways, exemplified by his forceful

dismissal of a Constituent Assembly and subsequent unilateral promulgation of the

Constitution of 1824, did not sit well with many. This fundamental conflict played out in

frequent clashes between the Emperor and Brazil's political representatives, especially in

the Chamber of Deputies, throughout the 1820s. A disastrous military campaign in the








Banda Oriental, where military defeat led to the creation of Uruguay, as well as rioting

by foreign mercenary solders in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, only worsened matters.

Inflation, fueled by poorly handled state finances, as well as easily counterfeited copper

coins, added to urban discontent. Unable to rule as he wished, unwilling to accept the

limits on his powers the Chamber of Deputies sought to impose, Dom Pedro abdicated in

favor of his son and left for Portugal, to battle for his daughter Maria da Gloria's claim to

the Portuguese throne.'


active, were, like the citizens of any newly independent country, abruptly forced to

confront basic political questions. The first decision was made immediately by the

Chamber. To the great disappointment of radicals (exaltados), who had played so

prominent a role in opposing Dom Pedro, the dream of a republic went unrealized. The

Chamber of Deputies maintained the Monarchy, appointing a provisional three-man

regency to rule in place of the six-year old heir to the throne, Dom Pedro IIV


'On the abdication as the completion of independence, see "Comunicado," Diario de
Pernambuco, Oct. 6, 183 1, pp. 860-861, especially, "If the independence of Brazil was a
vain title .... It became a reality on April 7 of the current year 1831." See Neill
Macaulay, Dom Pedro: The Struggle for Liberty in Brazil and Portugal. 1798 1834
(Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1986), ch.5 and ch.7 for a detailed study of the period
focusing on Dom Pedro; Roderick Barman, Brazil: The Forging of a Nation (Stanford:
Stanford Univ. Press, 1989), 130-160; Leslie Bethell and Jose Murilo de Carvalho,
"1822-1850," in Brazil: Empire and Republic, 1822 1930, ed. Leslie Bethell
(Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989), 49-58; Paulo Pereira de Castro, "'A Experi6ncia
Republicana', 1831-1840," pp. 9-11 in Hist6ria Geral da Civiliza o Brasileira. Tomo II.
0 Brasil Monirquico 2' Volume. Dispersao e Unidade, eds. S6rgio Buarque de Holanda
and Pedro Moacyr Campos (Sao Paulo: DIFEL, 1985).
2 Joaquim Nabuco, Um Estadista do Imperio: Nabuco de Arao Sua Vida. Suas
Opinioes. Sua tpoca. Tomo Pimeiro, 1813-1857 (Rio de Janeiro: H. Gamier, 1898), 29-
30.

Exaltado could be rendered as extreme or radical liberal, zealot, or hothead.
(continued...)








Fundamental questions on the nature of political authority and on viable political

institutions that could ensure stability and progress would be debated and struggled over

throughout the Regency (1831-1840).'

The early years of the Regency saw dramatic institutional changes. Key liberal

reforms involved decentralizing power from the Court to provincial capitals and

involving citizens to a greater degree in the political process, particularly through locally

elected officials with broad powers. In part, these reforms were a strategic response to

the fear of a restoration attempt by Dom Pedro and his allies in Brazil, the caramurus, or,

as they were commonly referred to in Pernambuco, colunas' More fundamental,

however, was an earnest commitment to institutional change based on localism as the





(...continued)
Exaltados sought federalism and, in many cases, a republic. Unlike most other
politically-active groups, they often resorted to action in the streets. Exaltados published
many newspapers, normally employing fiery language, that often lasted only short runs.
Their nativism appealed especially to artisans. Ant6nio Borges da Fonseca was a leading (';
exaltado in Pernambuco. On exaltado publications, see Luis do Nascimento, Hist6ria da
Imprensa de Pernambuco. 1821-1954 (Recife: Imprensa Universitiria Federal de
Pernambuco, 1968), vol. 2, Diarios do Recife. 1828-1900 and vol. 4, Periodicos do
Recife. 1821-1850; Helio Vianna, Contribuigao i Historia da Imprensa Brasileira (1812-
1869) (Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1945); Nelson Werneck Sodre, Hist6ria da
Imprensa no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: CivilizagAo Brasileira, 1966).
4 Nabuco, commenting on the disillusionment of the radicals, notes The6philo Ottoni's
characterization of their experience as a journee des dupes, Nabuco, Estadista, 27-28.
See Theopilo Ottoni, Circular dedicada aos Srs. Eleitores pela Provincia de Minas Gerais
(SAo Paulo: Establecimento Graphico Irmdos Ferraz, 1930), 19; Pereira de Castro, "A
Experi~ncia Republicana," 11 13; Barman, Brazil, 160-162.

Ottoni asserted that without fear of restoration the key liberal reform, the Additional
Act, would not have passed. Ottoni, Circular, 40-41. Nabuco, Estadista, 31, and
Barman, Brazil, 176-178, agree. Thomas Flory, Judge and Jury in Imperial Brazil, 1808-
1871: Social Control and Political Stability in the New State (Austin: Univ. of Texas
Press), 66, makes the same argument for the passage of the 1832 Criminal and Procedural
Code.








means of securing a stable, progressive nation in which individuals could freely pursue

their own goals.6

Portugal had exercised colonial rule in large part through its legal system, with

judges defending the interests of the Crown throughout the realm. Criticism of this

system, which the new country inherited with independence, and which now served the

emperor in Rio de Janeiro, was widespread. Routine complaints included its cost,

inefficiency, and delays. Many voices denounced corruption and corporate spirit among

the magistracy. It was this system to which reformers first turned their attention.7

The 1832 Criminal and Procedural Code was based on the notion that localism

would facilitate a more democratic and responsive system. Elections at the county level

would bring to office men who enjoyed local support, who had an interest in local

stability and who would not be agents of the central government in Rio de Janeiro.

Judicial independence would strike the sharpest blow against the legal system founded on

colonial rule. A new judicial organization based on local participation displaced the

professional magistracy and jury trials were instituted.'


6 For a comparative perspective on federalism and utilitarianism in Latin America, see
David Bushnell, The Santander Regime in Gran Colombia (Newark: Univ. of Delaware
Press, 1954); Simon Collier, Ideas and Politics of Chilean Independence. 1808-1833
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1967); Charles Hale, Mexican Liberalism in the
Age of Mora, 1821-1853 (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1968); Paul Gootenberg,
Between Silver and Guano: Commercial Policy and the State in Post-Independence Peru
(Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989); Frank Safford, "Bases of Political Alignment in
Early Republican Spanish America," in Richard Graham and Peter H. Smith, eds., New
Approaches to Latin American History (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1974).
7 Flory, Judge and Jury, 31-43.

Raymundo Faoro, Os Donos do Poder: Formago do Patronato Politico Brasileiro
(Rio de Janeiro: Globo, 1987). 305-307; Flory, Judge and Jury, 33-34 on localism and the
contrast to the Portuguese colonial system's attempts to isolate judges from local
influences. On this latter subject, see Stuart Schwartz, Sovereignty and Society in
(continued...)








The 1832 Code established elected justices of the peace as the linchpin of the

criminal justice system. This position, which did not require a law degree, combined

judicial and police functions. Ajustice of the peace could arrest subjects in any

jurisdiction, assemble evidence and bring charges in all court proceedings, and try lesser

crimes. The justice of the peace also exerted great influence over local elections. He

served with the parish priest and president of the county council on the electoral boards

that judged credentials to vote, and counted the votes. He could also influence voters

directly through his fight to authorize conscription and his ability to dispense favors.'

Localism also informed other judicial reforms. County councils presented triplicate

lists of nominees for the new position of county judge and for district attorneys to the

provincial president. The former did not need law degrees, and were, to a large extent,

assistants to the district judges.

The 1832 Criminal Code also instituted citizen juries. From the lists of electors,

sixty jurors were randomly chosen.' Twice a year, or up to six times in large cities such

as Recife, grand juries and juries to judge guilt were assembled. Professional district

judges were thus reduced to presiding over trials and deciding only the punishments for

those found guilty by the juries. Individual rights were further protected by the fight of

habeas corpus."


(...continued)
Colonial Brazil: The High Court of Bahia and Its Judges, 1609-1751 (Berkeley: Univ. of
Calif Press, 1971).

9 Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 64; Flory, Judge and Jury, 49-68; Faoro, Os
Donos do Poder, 306-307.
1o The basic qualification was an annual income of 200 milreis.

"Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 64; Flory, Judge and Jury, 112, 115-119; Faoro,
(continued...)








Reform of the 1824 Constitution provided the arena for the most important of

liberal reforms. The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies battled for three years, as

fundamental reforms to overhaul the political system were debated. Moderado (moderate

liberal) proponents of far-reaching reforms to reduce the Emperor's prerogatives,

eliminate the Senate, or at least its life-time appointments, and shift power to the

provinces were consistently blocked by the Senate. In July of 1832 the frustrated

minister of justice, Diego Ant6nio Feij6, led a coup attempt with the support of the

regents, the ministry and the majority of the Chamber. The minister planned that, with

the armed backing of the National Guard, the Chamber would declare itself a National

Convention and pass sweeping reforms, codified in a new constitution. A dramatic and

powerful appeal to constitutional process by mineiro representative Hon6rio Hermeto

Carneiro LeAo on the floor of the Chamber, however, weakened the plotters' will. The

coup attempt failed, with significant long-term consequences. Feij6's willingness to

dismiss legality raised an ugly specter for men who prized order. It encouraged the drift

of many moderados towards more conservative stances. It also increased personal

bitterness and animosity towards Feij6, a fact that later weakened him when he served as

Regent. '2

In the short run, however, even a failed coup attempt revealed the depth of desire

for reform. The following day, the Senate approved a measure to allow the next


(...continued)
Os Donos. do Poder, 306.
12 Aurelino Leal, Do Ato Adicional a Maioridade (Brasilia: Senado Federal, 1978),
16-23; Faoro, Os Donos do Poder, 304-305; Barman, BrDil, 172-175; Octivio Tarquinio
de Sousa wrote the classic account of the attempted coup in Hist6ria de Dois Golpes de
Estado (Rio de Janerio: Jos6 Olympio, 1939). The new constitution was referred to as
the "Pouso Alegre Constitution."








legislature to reform the Constitution. Within several months the Criminal and

Procedural Code was passed. In 1834, Dom Pedro triumphed in securing the Portuguese

crown for his daughter, increasing expectation of a restorationist attempt in Brazil. This

strengthened the hand of those who sought to decentralize power, as doing so would

avoid the possibility of a coup in Rio de Janeiro that could seize the locus of institutional

power. With this added threat, compromise was reached and the Additional Act of 1834

passed. "

Liberals struggling against the legacy of absolutism failed in attempts to abolish the

Senate, a bulwark of absolutism, or its life-time appointments, and provincial presidents

continued to be appointed from Rio de Janeiro. Nor did the reformers manage to

eliminate the Emperor's extensive prerogatives under the constitution's "moderating

power," which Frei Caneca, the eloquent leader shot for his role in Pernambuco's

separatist rebellion in 1824, had termed the "master key for oppression of the Brazilian

nation and the strongest garrote of peoples' liberty."'4 In the Additional Act, they did,

however, manage to suspend this power during the Regency. Liberals also succeeded in

abolishing the Council of State, an influential policy-making group and advisory body

that assisted the Emperor, and was a bastion of support for the absolutist tradition.5


13 Barman, Brazil, 175-177; Faoro, Os Donos do Poder, 22-23.

"Cited in Faoro, Os Donos do Poder, 305.

Following the French publicist Be instant, the Constitution of 1824
invested the Emperor not only with executive authority, but also with the "moderating
\po a fourth branch of government. This power enabled the Emperor to oversee the
other branches of government and, for example, dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and
make appointments to the Senate. On the Council, see Jos6 Murilo de Carvalho, Teatro
de Sombras: A Politica Imperial (SAo Paulo: Vrtice and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto
Universitario de Pesquisa do Rio de Janeiro, 1988), 107-138; Jose Honorio Rodrigues, 0
Conselho do Estado. o Quinto Poder? (Brasilia: Centro Grafico do Senado Federal, 1978)
(continued...)








Liberals firmed up the position of regent, replacing the three-man regency with a single

regent, now chosen by the provincial electors. The moderado leader Ant6nio Diego Feij6

was elected to the post in 1835. The decisive victory, however, was obtained in

delegating considerable powers to the provincial assemblies that replaced the weak

provincial general councils.6

Provincial assemblies were authorized to legislate concerning the civil, judicial, and

ecclesiastical structure of the provinces; public education, expropriations for the public

good; municipal police; county and provincial taxes and expenditures; the creation and

elimination of, and appointment to, provincial and county posts; public works; charitable

organizations; and the provincial president's authority to appoint and dismiss provincial

employees. The Additional Act at the same time established limits to the province's

broad powers. Provincial and county taxes were not to be prejudicial to national taxes,

nor were import taxes allowed. Provinces could not legislate to the detriment of the

interests of their provinces. Provincial presidents continued to be named from the

Court.'7


(...continued)
and Lydia Magalhies Nunes, "In Pursuit of Order: A Study in Brazilian Centralization, v
the Section of the Empire of the Council of State, 1842-1889" (Ph.D. diss., Johns
Hopkins Univ., 1988).
16 Paulino Jose Soares de Sousa, Estudos priticos sobre a administragdo das provincias
no Brasil. pelo Visconde do Uruguay. Primeira parte. Ato Adicional. (Rio de Janeiro: B.
L. Gamier, 1865); Aurelino Leal provides a detailed study of the Additional Act in part
one, "Hist6ria Constitucional," of Do Ato Adicional a Maioridade, 23-40; Barman,
Brazil. 177-178; Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 64-65; Faoro, Os Donos do Poder,
306-3 10; Flory, Judge and Jury, 90, 158-159; Jeffrey Needell, "Brasilien 1830-1889";
Joao Camillo de Oliveira Torres, A Democracia Coroada: Teoria Politica do Imprio do
Brasil (Petr6polis: Editora Vozes Limitada, 1964), 435-440.

"7For the text of the Additional Act, see Jos6 Ant6nio Pimenta Bueno's classic
commentary on the constitution, Direito Pfiblico Brasileiro e AnAlise da ConstituigAo do
(continued...)






30

Liberal reforms succeeded in undermining rule from Rio de Janeiro, rule associated

with absolutism and colonial subjugation. The dependent magistracy that Portuguese

rulers, and subsequently Dom Pedro, had relied on saw its power significantly weakened

as elected judicial officials gained new powers. The locus of state power shifted

decisively towards the provinces, where provincial assemblies exercised broad authority.

Yet would localism and increased citizen participation succeed in Brazil? There were

high expectations that such liberal institutions from Europe and especially the United

States would bring about progressive changes. Popular handbooks and newspaper

articles explained the new institutions and suggested paths to responsible citizenship.

Optimistic images of Brazil, emphasizing its vast potential and common interests in

progress, offered an intellectual foundation for liberal reforms. Yet there were doubters

from the start. Those who dissented tended not to see harmony in Brazilian social

relations, but diversity, conflict, and danger.8

Disorder and conflict marked the Regency from its inception. After all, it was the

sight of several thousand people gathered in the national capital, including most of the

military units there, and the prospect of violence, that had prompted Dom Pedro to

abdicate. When word of events in the Court reached the provinces, uprisings erupted in





(...continued)
Imperio (Rio de Janeiro: Ministro da Justiga e Negocios Interiores, 1958), 506-512, esp.
507-509. Oliveria Torres also makes it available in A Democracia Coroada, 497-501,
esp. pp. 498-499; Barman, Brazil, 177-178. Thomas Flory argues that since some of the-
powers granted to the Provincial Assemblies had previously been located not in the
Court, but in municipalities, the Act was actually the first hesitant step away from
decentralization. Flory, Judge and Jury, 158-159.
Flory, Judge and Jury, 17-30, on the importance of the liberals' optimism over the
country's common interests and potential for the intellectual foundation of the reforms.






31

various locales.'9 Our concern here, of course, is what transpired in Pernambuco. News

of the abdication reached Recife on May 4, where it was greeted with celebrations,

fireworks and frequent vivas. Seizing the opportunity, Captain Francisco Ignacio Roma

led forty to fifty military men to Olinda, where they were joined by other soldiers and

officers, as well as Law School students. They sent a petition requesting the dismissal of

fourteen army officers and public employees "well known for their anti-national and

openly absolutist behavior and opinions."2" The list of Portuguese and their Brazilian- r .

born absolutist allies to be dismissed included the commander of arms, Bento Jose
).
Lamenha Lins; the military commander, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Jose Martins; and "'

Captain Major Domingo Lourengo T6rres Galindo, all of whom had played prominent

roles in putting down the 1824 Confederation of the Equator, as well as two magistrates

on the High Court of Appeals and commanders of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Army

Battalions.21 Two days of riots in Recife strengthened the bargaining position of those

making demands in Olinda. The General Council acted with urgency, accepting the












'9 Silverio Candido Faria, "Breve Noticia dos felizes acontecimentos politicos no Rio
de Janeiro nos dias 6 e 7 de abril de 1831," BNRJ/SM, 32, 6, 24, fol. 26-79; Macaulay,
Dom Pedro, 250-251; Bethell and Murilo de Carvalho, "1822-1850," pp. 58-59.
20 BNRJ/SM, II 32,44,47 for the petition demanding dismissal of Portuguese-born and
names of those to be dismissed.
21 The Confederation of the Equator was a short-lived attempt at creating an
independent republic.






32

demands, and thus defusing the tense situation.22 Far more dramatic, however, would be

events in September of 1831.

Military troops provided the most significant armed force in the province.

Paradoxically, however, these forces, crucial for social control, were also a source of V '

considerable turmoil. Forcibly recruited for lengthy terms of service, poorly paid, and I

subject to harsh discipline, soldiers were quick to desert or rebel. It was the most

vulnerable among the generally Afro-Brazilian poor, those without powerful patrons to

protect them, who were arrested, in order to recruit them for military service. Lack of

discipline thus reflected not only problems specific to service in the military, but

discontent among the poor generally.'

Brigadier General Francisco dePaula Vasconcellos, the commander of arms in

Pernambuco, was keenly aware of the unreliability of the troops. Salaries were a

particularly sore point with the soldiers. Not only was the salary quite small at 126

milreis a day, but it was routinely late, often many months in arrears.24 Compounding

matters was the widespread counterfeiting of copper coins, the currency in which soldiers




22 "Acta da Sessao extraordinaria do Conselho Geral do Governo de 6 de Maio de
1831. presidida pelo Ex. S". Presidente Joaquim Jos6 Pinheiro de Vasconcellos";
Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos: 1824-1833. Vol. 9 (Recife:
FUNDARPE, 1983), 392; BNRJ/SM, II 32, 44, 47; Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," 192-194; Manuel Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas em
Pernambuco: Setembrizada e Novembrada (Recife: Universidade Federal de
Pernambuco, 1971), 54-60.

Graham, Patronage and Politics, 27-31; Michael Mc Beth, "The Brazilian Recruit
during the First Empire: Slave or Soldier?" in Essays Concerning the Socioeconomic
History of Brazil and Portuguese India (Gainesville: Florida International University,
1977) ed. Dauril Alden, 71-86; Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas, 75-77.
24 Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas, 77. Official correspondence of the
period is full of requests to pay back salaries.






33

were paid, that led many merchants to refuse payment in coin." The commander of arms

pushed for prompt payment of salaries, but the issue was outside his control. He also

tried to reduce wasteful use of military funds, terminating contracts of suppliers who

failed to adequately meet their obligations and eliminating payments to officers no longer

on active duty.26

At the same time, Vasconcellos insisted on strict discipline, and was not averse to

the common practice of corporal punishment to enforce it. It was the commander of

arms' efforts to impose discipline which sparked a military rebellion on the night of

September 14, 1831. Brigadier General Vasconcellos' recent order to lock the gates to

the barracks and carry out inspection of the troops at eight o'clock PM, the same time as a

curfew imposed on slaves a month before, was deeply resented, and, combined with *'

indignation over the corporal punishments inflicted on several soldiers that afternoon,

proved unbearable.27

At nine o'clock, soldiers of the Fourteenth Battalion from Rio de Janeiro, stationed

in Santo Ant6nio, began shouting against the commander of arms. Notified, he quickly

arrived at the barracks, only to be met with gunshots. Brigadier General Vasconcellos

immediately sent his adjunct to the Thirteenth Battalion barracks to summon help, and set


25 In September alone, the government discovered two counterfeiting operations. In
an attempt to limit access to necessary materials, the government prohibited the sale of
sheets of copper. Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas, 77.
26 "Correspondencia," signed Cahet6, Diario de Pernambuco, October 4, 1831, pp.
854-855; Mario Mircio de Almeida Santos, "A Septembrizada," Clio: Revista do Curso
de mestrado em Hist6ria 5 (1982) p. 177.
27 "Comunicado: Nota sobre a rebeli~o do 14 do corrente," signed D. M., Diario de
Pernambuco, September 30, 1831, pp. 841-842; On corporal punishment, see "Narraqgo
Official dos Acontecimentos da Provincia de Pernambuco nos Dias 14, 15, e 16 de
Setembro," Revista do Instituto Arqueol6gico e Geogrifico de Pernambuco 10, no. 56
(1902), 79; On the slave curfew, see Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 204-205.








off himself for the Presidential Palace. The rebellion, however, spread too quickly to be

contained. Some rebels immediately went to the Campo de Eririo, where artillery troops

needed little convincing to join the revolt. When they rose up, they brought artillery

pieces with them. Troops broke into the Laborat6rio, an arms deposit, and seized more

weapons and ammunition, setting fire to the building afterwards. Soon troops throughout

Recife had defied their superiors and were running rampant. Rebellious soldiers were

shooting wildly, looting stores and taverns, calling for death to the commander of arms,

an end to corporal punishment and crying out against the Portuguese. Prisoners were

freed from jails. Some slaves and some of the urban poor joined in the looting. By

eleven o'clock, another arms deposit, the Trem, was broken into and its arms distributed.

The ever present fear of anarchy, so often a subtext in the political discourse of the

period, was being realized.28

That evening, the commander of arms went to the Cinco Pontas fort to gather troops

and exhort civilians to arm themselves and help regain control of the city. With only

twenty policemen and civilians at his command, however, he opted to withdraw to

Afogados district on the city's outskirts to gather forces, mobilizing a military unit there,

as well as alerting nearby militia units and sending a justice of the peace to gather

civilians. The next day Commander Vasconcelos returned with these forces, augmented


28 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Empire, Recife, Sept. 20, 1831, BNRJ/SM,
11-32,34,5 1, no. 1, fol. 1-6; Commander of Arms to President of Pernambuco, Recife,
Sept. 20, 1831, printed in the Diario de Pernambuco, Sept. 23, 1831, 821-823;
Commander of the 13th Battalion to Commander of Arms, Sept. 23, 1831 printed in
Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 12, 1831, pp. 881-882; Captain in Charge (gA"it-
mandante) of the 4th Artillery Corps to Commander of Arms, Sept. 22, 1831 printed in
Diario de Pernambuco Oct. 1, 1831, pp. 845-848 and Oct. 3, 1831, pp. 849-85 1; Bussola
da Liberdade, Sept. 21, 1831, pp. 127-129 provides a narrative that follows closely the
Sept. 20 report of the Commander of Arms to the President of the Province; "Narragao
Official," p. 80 refers to "scum and slaves" joining in the looting.








by soldiers who claimed to be opposed to the rebellion, to the Cinco Pontas fort. There,

soldiers left the fort and fraternized with Vasconcellos men. With cries of "traitors," and

"death to the colunas," the soldiers turned on Vasconcellos and the other officers and

civilians there, firing on them. After being chased to Afogados, the commander of arms

retreated from the city entirely, marching to the district of Boa Viagem. From there he

sent messengers to gather militia troops in the interior of the province and collect gun

powder and lead. Francisco Ignacio Ribeiro Roma was sent to Cabo and his brother Joao

Ignacio Ribeiro Roma to Casa Forte to gather army battalions. By mid day on September

16, the commander of arms, with 100 cavalry, 200 infantry and additional civilian

volunteers was ready to enter the fray again.29

The intendant of the Navy, Lieutenant Captain Ant6nio Pedro de Carvalho, ,

attempted to impede the spread of the rebellion to the Bairro do Recife. When the,

rebellion broke out in Bairro do Santo Ant6nio, Carvalho was worried by the large crowd

that gathered at the Arco da ConceiqAo, by the bridge linking the Bairro do Recife with

Santo Ant6nio. He went to the Arsenal, gathered a few troops and had the justice of the

peace gather civilians. He sought to cut off contact with the disorder by using axes to

make unpassable the bridge linking Santo Ant6nio with the Arco da Conceiio in the

Bairro do Recife. The civilians strongly opposed this, however, and prevailed by

claiming the disturbances were simply arguments among soldiers and were not serious.

Despite the intendant's requests, they simply dispersed.3


29 Commander of Arms to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1831, Diario de
Pernambuco, Nov. 8, 1831, pp. 965-967.

30 Intendant of Navy to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1835, printed in Diari0 de
Pernambuco, Sept. 28, 1831, 838-839.


'ft








On the fifteenth, when looting spread to the Bairro do Recife, the intendant

managed to gather civilians from Fora de Portas. Seventy volunteers from Olinda,

including fifty students from the Law Faculty there, added to the police and Arsenal

Guard at his command. After setting out to impede further looting, however, about forty

of the police and Arsenal Guard rebelled, turning on the intendant. The remainder of his

force quickly dispersed under fire. The law students regrouped and went to the Fortaleza

do Brum, only to discover that the soldiers there had rebelled when their officers began

firing on rioters on the bridge to the Bairro do Recife. Led by the intendant, however, the

law students managed to take back the fort when the rebellious soldiers abandoned it to

join the assault on the Armazem de Intendencia and seize more artillery pieces. On the

sixteenth, the intendant ordered the war schooner Rio da Prata to fire on the barricades in

the Arco da Conceiqao. Once they were demolished, order was soon reestablished in the

Bairro de Recife."1

By the afternoon of the sixteenth, the bulk of the rebels were concentrated, along

with their artillery pieces, in the Bairro de Santo Ant6nio, near the Palicio Velho. The

groups attempting to reestablish order converged there. Joio Ignacio Ribeiro Roma

brought eighty to a hundred men gathered in Casa Forte. Militia Colonel Francisco

Jacinto Pereira, who had entered Santo Ant6nio the night before but had been expelled

when some of the soldiers he brought turned on him, brought his force of three to four

hundred men from Olinda. The students and other civilians in the Fortaleza do Brum

joined in, as did various civilians from the Bairro do Recife, who had gathered on the

3' Intendant of the Navy to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 183 1, printed in Diario
de Pernambuco, Sept. 28, 1831, pp. 838-839; President of Pernambuco to Minister of
Empire, Recife, Sept. 20, 183 1, BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,5 l,no. 1, fol. 1-6; Captain in Charge
of the 4th Artillery Corps to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 22, 183 1, printed in Diario
de Pernambuco, Oct. 1, 1831, pp. 845-848 and Oct. 3, 1831, pp. 849-851.








bridge linking the bairro to Santo Ant6nio. When the rebels opened fire at two o'clock,

Colonel Francisco Jacinto's men and the civilians from Recife led the attack and the

rebels were soon defeated. The revolt was over.32

This series of events, called the Setembrizada, demonstrated the precarious nature

of social and political order. Even the most important repressive force, the military, was

itself a source of instability. Contemporary observers were quick to point out the

inherent risks in forced recruiting of the poor. The Sociedade Harmonizadora, a

moderate liberal group, noted the dangers of relying on "those cohorts of mercenaries

often pulled from prisons to which they had been sent for their immoral acts. "3 A letter

to a newspaper characterized forced recruits as "[e]xtracted from the most vile and most

corrupt class of society... (with) all the attendant vices and crimes of an entirely brutal

education and without the slightest honor or virtue. 0' Forcibly seized, poorly fed and

clothed, paid little and late, and punished severely, the armed men of the marginal poor

had proven their unreliability.

In the aftermath of the rebellion, Pernambucan authorities briefly relied on troops

from other provinces to guard prisoners and law students consented to man forts for



32 President of Pernambuco to Minister of the Empire, Recife, Sept. 20, 1831,
BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51, no. 1, fols. 1-6; "Narrag9o Official," pp. 80; Olindense, Sept. 20,
1831, lengthy excerpts of which appear in Helio Vianna, Contribuigdo a Hist6ria da
Imprensa, p. 52.
33 Sociedade Patri6tica Harmonizadora to President of Pernambuco, Sept.22, 1831,
printed in Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 5, 1831, p. 855. This organization, like the
Sociedade Defensora da Liberdade e Independencia Nacional in other provinces, was an
instrument of moderate liberals, opposed to both restorationism and radicalism, and
supportive of constitutional legality as the surest means to maintain order.
31 "Coumunicado: nota sobre a rebeli~o de 14 do corrente," signed D. M., Diario de
Pernambuco, Sept. 30, 1831, pp. 840-840 (mislabeled in the original, should read 841-
843).






38

several months." The ranks of the Municipal Guards were raised to five hundred.6 The

measures taken by the justice of the peace of Santo Antonio reveal great anxiety. He

prohibited dancing in the streets by slaves during the festival of Our Lady of the Rosary.

He further instructed police to prohibit gatherings of any kind, shouting in the streets,

batuques of Afro-Brazilians, and any incidents in which individuals incited others to

anger, whether by showing a lack of respect, by drunken behavior or by throwing

stones." Efforts to retrieve the arms stolen or distributed to civilians putting down the

rebellion met with little success.3" The Diario de Pernambuco suggested diminishing the

size of the army, dispersing soldiers in the countryside to perform agricultural labor, and

replacing it with a small, well-paid army composed of property-owning citizens.39 The

paper thus anticipated reforms recently passed in the Court (but news of which had

apparently not yet arrived in Pernambuco) which reduced the size of the army and

created a citizens' militia. This liberal institution, the National Guard, was composed of





Jose Octivio, "Septembrizada e Novembrada Fontes de Irradia Ao Nordestina," in
Movimentos Populares no Nordeste no Periodo Regencial (Recife: Massangana, 1989)
ed. Manoel Correia de Andrade, 54, on troops from Ceari manning prisons in Recife.
See the letter of Sept. 19, 1831 signed by 193 law students, offering to serve to help keep
order, Diario de Pernambuco, Sept. 26, 1831.

36Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 213.
17 Edital from the Justice of the Peace of Santo Antonio, Oct. 1, 1831, printed in Diario
de Pernambuco, Oct. 3, 1831, p. 851; "Circular. Instrucqoes para os Delegados do Bairro
de S. Antonio do Recife," Oct. 1,183 1, printed in Ibid., pp.851-852. Batugue refers to a
gathering in which Afro-Brazilians, especially slaves, drank and danced, accompanied by
percussion instruments.
3' Edital from the President of Pernambuco Oct.3, 1831, printed in Diario de
Pernambuco, Oct.5, 1831, p.856.
39 "Comunicado," Diario de Pernambuco, Sept.26, 1831, pp. 829-831.








propertied citizens, and was designed to maintain order and carry out various police

functions.'

The reports of the provincial president, commander of arms, and several military

leaders, as well as journalistic accounts, emphasized the spontaneous nature of the

uprising, denyingany political connotation. The provincial president declared to the

minister of the empire that it had "no political character." He reported that "[i]t was not

possible to deal with rebels, who, armed, and spread across the entire city in groups,

demanded nothing and did not have a leader." He also noted that there was no attempt to

seize the Presidential Palace, nor any attempt on his life.42 There seems to have been

little effort to organize an effective rebel defense.43 Indeed, many of the rioters

abandoned themselves to drinking and the pleasures of houses of prostitution. Many of

the stolen goods were subsequently found in brothels." Nor were any officers inciting



40 On the National Guard, see Jeanne Berrance de Castro, A milicia cidadA, a Guarda
Nacional de 1831 a 1850 (Slo Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1977) and Fernando
Uricoechea, Patrimonial Foundations of the Brazilian Bureaucratic State (Berkeley:
Univ. of California Press, 1980).

"The United States Consul dissented from this view, reporting that the insurrection
was premeditated, but that its goals were unknown. Consul John Mansfield to Secretary
~. of State, Oct.2, 1831. Despatches from the United States Consuls in Pernambuco. 1817-
1906, T-344 roll 1 (hereafter consul reports are cited as Consul (name) to Secretary of
State, date, index number, and roll).
42 President of Pernambuco to Minister of the Empire, Recife, Sept.20, 1831,
BNRJ/SM II 32, 34, 51, no. 1, fols. 1-6; Commander of 13th Battalion to Commander of
Arms, Sept. 23, 1831, printed in Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 12, 1831, pp. 881-882;
"Narrag9o Official," p. 79; Commander of Arms to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20,
1831.
4' Almeida Santos, "A Septembrizada," Clio: Revista do Curso de mestrado em
Hist6ria 5 (1982), 170, 183.

""Olindense," Sept.26, 1831 [published in Olinda] in Vianna, Contribuig~o A Hist6ria
da Imprensa, 52.






40

the men to riot. Numerous reports had soldiers consistently expelling officers from their

midst. The commander of the 13th Battalion, for example, reported that his troops were

furious in their insistence that they would not accept orders from him, nor any other

officers.4" f,( J

Harsh dis.jpw generally Akedas the cause. The majorexception was the-.

half-hearted suggestion by the Diari0 de Pernambuco two weeks afterwards, that ilma

have been the result of a restorationist conspiracy. The paper noted that a few people

asserted that fireworks had gone off just before the outburst, possibly as a signal to begin

the rebellion. The paper asked rhetorically why the restorationists would not sow

disorder to open the way for Pedro's return. The Diario de Pernambuco also suggested

that troop disorders in Rio de Janeiro and Salvadpr, Bahia may have been similarly

motivated.46 By the journalistic standards ofthe day, however, such an effort lacked

conviction. Nor was any evidence presented. Nor did leading officials and military

officers, including the commander of arms, a noted sympathizer of the extreme liberals

and a proponent of federalism, report evidence, or make charges, of such a conspiracy.

Moreover, the greatest losses were suffered by the small businesses dominated by the ,?

Portuguese--the thirty-three stores and twenty-one taverns looted in Santo Ant6nio, the






41 Commander of the 13th Battalion to Commander of Arms, Sept.23, 1831, printed in
Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 12, 1831, pp. 881-882; President of Pernambuco to Minister
of the Empire, Sept.20, 1831 BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51 no. I, fols. 1-6; Commander of
Arms to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1831, printed in Diario de Pernambuco,
Sept.23, 1831, pp. 821-823; Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 205.

46Diario de Pernambuco, Sept.28, 1831, p. 839-840. Also, "Correspondencia," signed
Cahet6, Diario de Pernambuco, Oct.4, 1831, pp. 854-855 and "Correspondencia," signed
Chanchan, Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 17, 1831, pp. 897-898 for similar charges.








nine stores and four taverns in the Bairro de Recife, and the three taverns in Boa Vista.4"

The Diario de Pernambuco's suggestion seems to have been part of the jostling for

partisan advantage--this newspaper and the Btssola da Liberdade disputed who deserved

more credit in putting down the rebellion. Restorationists maneuvered for political

advantage as well, making an appeal to people of color, trying to drive a wedge between

them and the restorationists' political opponents."

The anarchy that gripped Recife was clearly not in the interests of any of the

politically active groups of propertied men. Faced with the breakdown of order, the elites

of the region, of all political colors, came together--militia units, civilian volunteers

rounded up by the Justices of the Peace, and law students from Olinda were crucial in

restoring order.9 Assistance from the interior of the province, after a delay in its

arriving, was crucial. Regaining control of the city was achieved at no small cost;

contemporary estimates placed the number of rebels killed between one and three



47 BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51 no. 1, fols. 1-6, President of Pernambuco to Minister of the
Empire, Sept. 20, 1831. Also, see below the section on the shouts of the rebels, which
contradicts the notion of the rebellion being the works of restorationists.

4' On this so-called intriga de cores, see correspondence critical of it in Btssola da
Liberdade [(trans.) Compass of Liberty] Oct. 9, 1831; "Correspondencia," signed Fonseca
Capibaribe; Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 13, 1831, pp. 887-888 disputes the praise offered
by the Echo d'Olinda of some of their partisans' roles in the repression. The Bilssola da
Liberdade complained on Sept. 21 that liberals did much to restore order, but now others
tried to deny this.

'9 This included the extreme liberals. Note, for example, the editor of the Bfissola da
Liberdade, an exaltado newspaper, volunteering to assist in putting down the rebellion.
See Coronel Comandante Militar de Olinda to Interim Director of Law Faculty, Sept. 17,
1831, and Sept. 19 letter signed by 193 law students assuring their continued willingness
to help maintain order, printed in the Diario de Pernambuco, Sept. 26, 1831; Intendant of
the Navy to President of Pernambuco Sept. 20, 1831, printed in Diario de Pernambuco,
Sept 28, 1831, pp. 838-839. Students continued to help man forts for some time
afterwards. In mid-October there were fifty students helping at the Brum fort and twenty
at the Buraco fort. Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos 9, 432.








hundred, with about thirty deaths among their opponents. About one thousand rebels

were arrested, including over eight hundred soldiers. Most of these were immediately

sent to ships in the harbor, and many were subsequently banished to the distant island of

Fernando de Noronha for imprisonment.5"

A reference in the official narration of the events to abuses during the

reestablishment of order, as well as a proclamation circulated by the provincial president

and conselho warning against excesses in searches for, and arrests of, criminals, raises

the issue of how serious acts of vengeance were. Given the low number of casualties

among those repressing the rebellion, it seems possible that many of the deaths of the

defeated may have come not in pitched battles, but from retaliatory acts. Mario Marcio

de Almeida Santos has gone so far as to argue that most of the rebels, whose number

killed he gives as five hundred, were massacred, as those repressing the rebellion

responded to their terror of anarchy with acts of utter savagery. Almeida Santos judges

the repression as thoroughly excessive, noting that there was a lack of any sadistic desire

to kill among the rebels, that there were no rapes reported and that only one house was

burned down.5

Statements and testimony of the rebels have not survived, but the attitudes of the

rebels can be inferred. There were various reports of shouts against the commander of


'o Jose Ignicio Abreu e Lima, a contemporary of the events, states that 300 rebels
were killed, according to Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos 9, p.
428. Presumably the figure comes from Abreu e Lima, Synopsis ou Deducgo
Chronologica dos Factos mais Notiveis da Hist6ria do Brasil (Recife: M. F. de Faria,
1845). See Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 206.

"' Mario Marcio de Almeida Santos, "A Setembrizada," Clio 5 (1982), 185. For the
figure of 500 he cites Milton Mello A Setembrizada (Recife: Directoria de Documentago
e Cultura, 1951); "Narraqio Official" p. 80-81; "Bando" Sept. 17, 1831, reprinted in the
collection of documents entitled "A Sedigao Militar de Setembro de 1831" in Revista do
Instituto Arqueol6gico e Geografico de Pernambuco 10, no. 56, 1902, p. 81.








arms, corporal punishment, and the Portuguese. One shout, sounded repeatedly during

wild shooting of firearms, summed up the complaint, "Out with the colunas

(restorationists)! Out with the castigo de espada (being struck with the flat of the sword)!

Out with the Brigadier (Commander of Arms Vasconcellos)! Out with the marinheiros

(sailors, i.e., Portuguese)! Long live Dom Pedro II, Long live Brazilians!"52 A revealing

point is the fusion of the outrage against the commander of arms and the Portuguese.

There were many cries against Brigadier General Vasconcellos, some of them

denouncing him as a restorationist. "Out with Vasconellos, who's a couna death to the

colunasf!"" The commander's political orientation was far different, however. He had

played a key role in providing military pressure against Dom Pedro, helping to force his

abdication.' He was sympathetic to the radical liberals and was elected the first vice-

president of the Federalist Society which formed in October." In the course of military

reforms he had angered various restorationists when he terminated their contracts as

suppliers to the military. Yet in the minds on many of the aggrieved soldiers, the

commander, hated for his efforts to impose discipline, was equated with the evils of the

Portuguese and their restorationist Brazilian allies.




52 Captain of Fourth Artillery Corp to Commander of Arms, Diario de Pernambuco,
Oct. 1, 183 1, p. 845.
13 Bfissola da Liberdade, Sept. 21, 1831, p. 128. Another was "death to the
Commander of Arms and long live our liberty!" Thirteenth Battalion Commander to
Commander of Arms, Diario de Pernambuco, Sept. 23, 1831.

54 Bussola da Liberdade, on Nov. 2, 183 1, p. 175 referred to Vasconcellos as "the
hero of April 7 (whose only crime in this province was to join the Pernambucan liberals)"

s Bussola da Liberdade, Oct. 19, 1831, p. 159.

s "Correspondencia," Diario de Pernambuco, Oct. 4, 1831.








The Septembrizada demonstrated that the doubts about social stability, the ever-

present fear of anarchy, were indeed well founded. Just two months after the violent

eruption of poor, forcibly conscripted soldiers in September, a different type of challenge

arose. Eaajdo, or extreme liberals, took control of the Cinco Pontas fort, the principal

one in the city. The Novembrada, as the revolt came to be known, contrasted sharply

with events in September. The second revolt was staged by officers and propertied

citizens, with clear leadership and well-defined political goals. There were no rampages

of destruction and looting; indeed, no one was killed at all.

The exaltados' demands centered upon displacing the Portuguese and their Brazilian

allies from their government posts. A list was prepared of thirty-three people who were

to be dismissed from judicial, military, and other posts and deported, including prominent

restorationists such as Manuel Pedro de Moraes Mayer, Domingo Lourenqo T6rres

Galindo, Colonel Bento Jose Lamenha Lins, and even the Marques of Recife, Francisco

Paes Barreto. Another list named eight others who were to simply be dismissed from

their posts. All adoptivos, Portuguese-born individuals who had become naturalized

Brazilians, were to be fired from public posts as well, except those who had distinguished

themselves in service to Brazil."

All Portuguese with less than two million reis (the large majority of Portuguese

residents) were to be deported, as well as those who were single or "enemies of liberty."

No more Portuguese with less than two million reis were to be allowed to enter

Pernambuco. Public weapons which had been distributed to the Portuguese, including

militia members, were to be confiscated. Finally, the ban on foreign societies, or political

groups, was to be enforced. The rebels' petition also railed against the restorationist


" BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,4, "Representagio da gente reunida em Cinco Pontas."








political society Coluna do Throno e Altar and warned against an attempted military

invasion by the "despot" Dom Pedro.58

The revolt seems to have been set off by the dismissal of Commander of Arms

Vasconcellos. In the first days of November, word reached Pernambuco that the minister

of war had replaced Vasconcellos, upon receiving news of the Septembrizada.9 Both

radical liberal organs, such as the Bissola da Liberdade, and more moderate papers, such

as the Diario de Pernambuco, criticized the move.' A petition to rescind the measure

was circulated by the extreme liberals.6' Apparently, the loss of a powerful supporter

may have prompted the exaltados to resort to violent means to press their nativist

agenda.62

The events of the revolt itself are suggestive. On the night of November 15, a

group overpowered those guarding the Cinco Pontas fort. Provincial President Francisco

de Carvalho Paes de Andrade immediately sent the justice of the peace of Santo Ant6nio

to disperse those occupying the fort, but they refused to leave. The rebels argued that

they did not comprise an illegal gathering of armed men; rather, they were citizens


"' BNRJ/SM, 11-32, 34, 4 "Representaqdo da gente reunida em Cinco Pontas"; Diario
de Pernambuco, Nov. 25, 183 1, pp. 1017-1018.

'9 Minister of War to the President of Pernambuco, Oct. 20, 183 1, informed that the
Commander of Arms was being dismissed for having allowed the Septembrizada,
reprinted in Diario de Pernambuco, Nov.4, 183 1, pp. 953-954.
c' "Comunicado," Diario de Pernambuco, Nov. 14, 183 1, pp. 989-990; Bfissola da
Liberdade, Nov. 2, 183 1, pp. 175-176.
61 Diario de Pernambuco, Nov. 5, 1831, p. 958 prints the petition.

62 The absence of a demand for the reinstatement of the Commander of Arms leaves a
degree of ambiguity on the point. Marcos Carvalho has argued for this link, asserting
that those who signed the petition were the same people who staged the revolt. The
newspaper transcription he cites to support this, however, does not present the names of
those who signed. At any rate, it is a plausible position.








peaceably gathered insisting on their constitutional right to petition the government."

Without sufficient force to overwhelm the fort, the provincial government bided its time.

On the sixteenth, emissaries from the government were told to wait, that a petition would

be issued. The rebels were gaining strength as people entered the fort to join them. Even

some of the soldiers instructed to impede such actions went over to the rebel side.

Meanwhile, some inhabitants of the city, with memories of the Septembrizada still fresh

in their minds, abandoned Recife for the safety of ships in the harbor, carrying what

possessions they could. Francisco de Carvalho Paes de Andrade left the Presidential

Palace for the Brum fort."

The government, deprived of its normal allotment of military troops, many of

whom were incarcerated or dismissed after the Septembrizada, amassed some eight

hundred people, between militia and civilians gathered by the justices of the peace.65 Yet

the efforts to apply force were undermined by the refusal of citizens to fire on the rebels.

After all, unlike the lower-class soldiers of the Septembrizada, these rebels were of

similar background to the propertied militiamen and citizens. The Olindense reported

that they argued that "Those in the fort are Brazilians ... they have not yet acted








63 Diario de Pernambuco, Nov. 29, 1831, pp. 1029 for the Nov. 16 message from the
rebels to the Provincial President.
"Olindense, Nov. 28, 1831, reprinted in Vianna, Contribuigio a Historia da Imprensa,
59-61.
65 Olindense, Nov. 28, 183 1, in Vianna, Contribuicg 0 a Hist6ria da Imprensa, 61.








aggressively, is there any need to spill blood?"" The Diario de Pernambuco later

criticized the insistent claim that "We will not fire on our countrymen."6"

On November 17, the rebels finally issued their petition, which was promptly

rejected.68 The provincial president, who had consistently tried to avoid bloodshed,

instructing troops not to fire unless fired on first, allowed the Federalist Society to send a

commission to the fort to convince the rebels to put down their arms.69 The Federalist

Society shared many of the rebels' goals and the commission was met enthusiastically. It

failed, however, to convince the rebels to abandon the fort. The Society sent a second

commission the following day, which was joined by several members of the Law Faculty,

including future statesmen Jolo Lins Vieira da CanqaqAo and Jose Tomas Nabuco de

Araijo, as well as Francisco Carneiro Machado Rios. The rebels issued to the

commission a reduced, though still considerable, list of demands--that the Portuguese be

disarmed, that Portuguese without two million reis be deported and that the government

not treat the rebels as engaged in a criminal act.7"



"Ibid.
67 Diario de Pernambuco, Dec. 7, 1831, pp. 1055-1056.

68 BNRJ/SM, 11-32, 34, 4, no. 3, fol. 5-7.

69 Examples of the president's emphasis on avoiding bloodshed are numerous. On
Nov. 19 he instructed the commander of arms to seize the fort "with all prudence and
moderation, avoiding insults, and demonstrations of enthusiasm for the triumph...
(proceed) vigilantly and carefully, so that not even one drop of blood is spilled, it that is
possible." printed in the Diario de Pernambuco, Dec. 1, 1831, p. 1034. Also see the Nov.
16 instructions of the president to the commander of arms and intendant of the Navy in
Diario de Pernambuco, Nov. 29, 1831, pp. 1029-1030 and p. 1030 respectively and the
President"s Nov. 18 instructions to each of these men, as well as to various Commanders
of troops, printed in the Diario de Pernambuco, Dec. 1, 1831, p. 1033.
70 Nov. 18, 1831 statement form the Federal Society Commission to the Provincial
President, printed in Diario de Pernambuco, Dec. 1, 1831, pp. 1033-1034.








Though the government had by this time assembled more forces, it did not attack.

One historian has seen this as evidence of the provincial president's indecisiveness, yet it

was consistent with his manifest desire to avoid bloodshed, and it was tactically sound, as

the rebels would only weaken over time; they were trapped in the fort, without supplies,

while the government accumulated forces from the interior of the province.7 Indeed, the

weakness of their position was becoming clear and on the eighteenth some rebels

abandoned the fort. The next morning, nearly all the rebels left the fort and it was taken

without resistance.72

The Novembrada demonstrated Pernambuco's rough and tumble political struggle

in a period of fluidity. After Dom Pedro's abdication, there was no charismatic force

symbolizing the unity of Brazil and the stability of its institutions. The Regency which

ruled in place of Dom Pedro's son could not embody authority and stability as fully as an

Emperor exercising his powers. Political institutions and practice were open to

challenge. In Pernambuco extreme liberals resorted to violence to pressure the

government to carry out their favored policies. The government's tenuous control of

armed force made such a tactic feasible. The government possessed no monopoly over

the instruments of coercion. Various groups could mobilize armed men.

In this particular instance, the exaltados' armed efforts were not effective. Some

restorationist army officers were dismissed, but otherwise the demands for action against

the Portuguese and their allies went unsatisfied. Indeed, Colonel Pereira dos Santos, an

ally of the dismissed commander of arms, was briefly jailed, and the two exaltado


"Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas, 122-123.
7 Olindense, Nov. 28, 1831, reprinted in Vianna, Contribuic~o i Hist6ria da Imorensa,








officers who led the rebellion were jailed for several months.7' Moreover, the rift

between the moderates and the extreme liberals, allies during the struggle against Dom

Pedro, was significantly exacerbated.74 Nonetheless, the government's conciliatory

efforts and pursuit of a peaceful resolution, as well as the refusal of the militia and

citizenry to fire on the rebellious officers and citizens, made it clear that the resort to

arms could be a viable tactic in political struggle.

In December of 1831, a restorationist rebellion led by Joaquim Pinto Madeira

erupted in the sert3es and agreste of Ceari and quickly spread to the backlands of nearby

provinces.75 Fearful of a broader conspiracy to facilitate Dom Pedro's return to the

Brazilian throne, and worried by rumors of an uprising in Pernambuco to support Pinto

Madeira, security measures were tightened. Influential restorationists Domingos

Lourenqo T6rres Galindo and Bento Jos6 Lamenha Lins were ordered to appear in Recife

for questioning and many Portuguese houses were searched for arms. The effect,

however, was to prompt, earlier than planned, the rebellion known as the Abrilada.76

The conspirators were mainly restorationists--both Portuguese-born adoptivos and

their Brazilian-born allies. In a period of ferment of liberal ideas from abroad,

consequent institutional reform, and turbulent challenges to traditional authority,


71 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 234-235.

71 Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas, 124-125; Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," 235.

Justice of the Peace of Flores to President of Pernambuco, Flores, Feb. 8, 1836,
BNRJ/SM, 11-33, 6, 4 1, and accompanying documents; S6crates Quintino da Fonseca e
Brito, "A Rebelido de Joaquim Pinto Madeira: Fatores Politicos e Sociaes,"(M.A. thesis,
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 1979).
7'6 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 32-34; Diario de Pernambuco, April 28,
1832, pp. 1441-1442; "Correspondencia," signed Feliciano Joaquim dos Santos, May 4,
1832, pp. 1453-1454.








restorationists sought a retreat from unsettling change. The return of Dom Pedro, they

hoped, would also allow them to recover positions and privilege lost or threatened in

recent years. Portuguese-born military officers, for example, were deeply resented by

Brazilian-born officers. At independence the small number of Brazilian-born officers

made it imperative to allow many Portuguese-born officers to remain in the Brazilian

army.77 In Pernambuco, many had been expelled, or threatened with expulsion, after the

riots in May of 1831 when news arrived of Dom Pedro's abdication and after the

Novembrada.7' Such officers played a prominent role in the Abrilada. Likewise,

absolutist senhores de engenho in the interior who had lost their positions as colonial

militia officers when that militia was eliminated, fearful of persecution by their local

enemies, conspired with restorationists in Recife to open a second front in the interior of

the province. Portuguese shopowners, clerks, and artisans in Recife, victims of the

heightening nativism of the times, and no doubt resentful of calls for their expulsion,

were active in the 53rd Militia Battalion that was central to the rebellion. In addition,

wealthy Portuguese merchants were significant in the restorationist milieu. With large

loans extended to Brazilian landowners, and valuable merchandise warehoused in Recife,

they potentially had much to lose if nativism spread dramatically."'



At the time of the abdication over half the brigadier generals and generals were
Portuguese-born. Drcio Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros do Imperador (Rio de Janeiro: Graal,
1978), 79.
78 Compare the names of men implicated in the Abrilada, "Relag~o dos cumplices na
revolta apparecida nesta Provincia na noite de 14 do corrente," BNRJ/SM, 11-33,6,33,
with names of individuals whose dismissal was demanded in May of 1831, BNRJ/SM, II-
32, 34, 47, and with a similar list prepared during the Novembrada, "Relaglo para fora da
Provincia," BNRJ/SM-II, 32,34,4 no. 3, fols. 6-7.

79 Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros, 77-81 on restorationism; Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," 239-247.








A different source of support came from leaders of the prominent Cavalcanti

family, on whose properties some of the conspirators met. The Cavalcantis, along with

Francisco Paes Barreto (the Viscount, and future Marquis, of Recife), were definitively

not interested in restoration. They did, however, see a chance to topple the provincial

government of Francisco de Carvalho, so that one of their own, provincial Vice-President

Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, could assume the presidency. When the

urban rebellion failed, however, they quickly withdrew their support."0

The conspirators counted on the relative weakness of the government's armed

support. In the aftermath of the Septembrizada many of the military troops had been

imprisoned or dismissed, while the Novembrada had opened a rift between the

government and the radical liberals, whose combativeness made them especially

valuable, beyond their numerical importance and significant presence in the army. With

the government relying on the volunteer Municipal Guard and the militia, many of whom

were Portuguese and favorable to their cause, the conspirators' plan to launch a

simultaneous rebellion in Recife and in the countryside was a threat of formidable

potential."

On the night of April 14, 1832, the 53rd Militia Battalion, composed largely of

Portuguese-born men and stationed in the Bairro do Recife, the commercial district with

* a heavy Portuguese presence, rose in rebellion. Some militia men in Santo Ant6nio,

mainly Portuguese, crossed over to the Bairro do Recife in support of the movement.

The rebels damaged the bridge linking the Bairro do Recife with Santo Ant6nio, built

barricades from the Customs Building to the Arco da Conceigio 'next to the bridge


0 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 238-239.

8 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 31-32.








barricades from the Customs Building to the Arco da Conceigo next to the bridge

connecting the Bairro do Recife with Santo Ant6nio, and placed an artillery piece there

as well. Through the Brum and Buraco forts, whose lack of resistance indicated

connivance on the part of their commanders, they commanded control of the isthmus to

Olinda that provided the only other access to the peninsula on which the Bairro de Recife

is built. The Bairro secure, they planned to await news of the uprisings in the interior.82

Deprived of significant military troops, the government relied on the 54th Militia

Battalion, the Permanent Municipal Guards, the National Guard of nearby towns, Olinda

law students, and volunteers. Colonel Jos6 Joaquim Coelho led these forces.3 On the

fifteenth, with the schooner Rio da Prat firing on the Arco da Concei~lo, four hundred

to four hundred and fifty men attempted to enter the Bairro do Recife, but failed as they

could not cross the damaged bridge and artillery fire forced the ship to withdraw. In the

meantime, the students from Olinda, led by the commander of arms, Major Joaquim Jose

da Silva Santiago, crossed the isthmus from Olinda, took the Buraco fort, and fired

artillery shots at the Brum fort for the rest of the day. On the sixteenth, the fort fell to the


82 President of Pernambuco to President of Paraiba, April 15, 1832 in Diario de
Pernambuco, April 26, 1832, p. 1434; Bussola da Liberdade, April 14, 1832; Commander
of Arms to President of Pernambuco, "Exposig o dos acontecimentos, que tiverio lugar
nesta Provincia nos dias 14, 15, e 16 d"Abril do corrente anno," April 17, 1832 in Diaio
de Pernambuco, April 26, pp. 1434-1436 and April 27, 1832, pp. 1437-1438; "Circular da
Sociedade Patriotica Harmonizadora," May 6, 1832 in Pereira da Costa, Anais
Pernambucanos 9, pp. 484-486; M. Lopes Machado, "0 14 de Abril de 1832, em
Pernambuco," Revista do Instituto Archeol6gico e Geogriphico Pernambucano 6 no. 38
(1890), 55; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 34-35; Felix Fernandes Portella,
"A Setembrisada, a Abrilada, e a Guerra dos Cabanos: Apontametos para a Historia
Patria," Revista do Instituto Archeol6gico e Geop-raphico Pernambucano 10 no.58
(1903), 429.
13 Portella, "A Setembrizada," 430; Lopes Machado, "0 14 de Abril," 57; Correia de
Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 35. Coelho years later would lead the military forces that
put down the Praieira Revolution.








students. On the sixteenth, Coelho's forces from Santo Ant6nio, carrying large wooden

boards to pass over the damaged areas of the bridge, successfully passed into the Bairro

do Recife.4

The rebels, already in flight, put up no resistance to the forces from Santo Ant6nio.

Casualties up until this point were relatively low; one source cites sixteen dead, but now

the killing began in earnest. An eyewitness subsequently wrote of massacre. Rebels who

surrendered were murdered, some were marched off the damaged bridge to drown.

Others were shot on iangadas as they tried to reach ships in the harbor. Some sought

refuge in churches, but those in the Madre de Deus Convent found no succor. Amidst

angry screams and the echo of repeated gunfire, rebels were systematically killed, a

contemporary reported. Others escaped the Bairro do Recife, however, including the

leaders of the rebellion Colonel Francisco Jos6 Martins and Sergeant Major Jose Gabriel

de Morais Maier."

In the meantime, the rural uprising that became known as the Guerra dos Cabanos

erupted.'6 Men who had participated in the repression of the 1824 Confederation of the

Equator, and had benefitted in the provincial administrations that followed until Dom

Pedro's abdication in 1831, planned and led the insurrection. Captain Major Domingo

Lourengo T6rres Galindo, a cotton planter in Vit6ria, dismissed after the events of May,


s4 Portella, "A Setembrizada," 430-431; Lopes Machado, "0 14 de Abril," 56-58;
Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 34-36; Commander of Arms to President of
Pernambuco, April 17, 1832 in Diario de Pernambuco, April 26, 1832, pp. 1434-1436
and April 27, 1832, pp. 1437-1438; B6ssola da Liberdade, April 19, 1832.

"5 Portella, "A Setembrizada," 431-432; Lopes Machado, "0 14 de Abril," 58-59. Both
sources note that cadavers were dragged to the cemetery of the convent. Lopes Machado
gives sixty as the number of bodies brought there.

Ca/ano means a dwelling for the rural poor, a shanty. In this case, cabano refers to
the inhabitants of such dwellings that fought in this rural rebellion.








1831, was active not only in plotting against Francisco de Carvalho's government in

Pernambuco, but also in aiding Pinto Madeira's restorationist rebellion with men and

supplies." Supporters in the south of the province were led by Sergeant Major Manuel

Affonso de Mello. From Barra Grande, Lieutenant Colonel Joo Batista de Arafijo

mobilized support, including financial support from the Portuguese community in Barra

Grande. There was considerable support for the rebellion in the south of the province,

where the government had rewarded landowners for their support against the 1824

Confederation of the Equator. Across the province, former captain majors and sergeant

majors of the extinguished colonial militias played leading roles in the rebellion.8

The rural rebellion proved far more long lasting than-the-barracks uprising in

4ecife. Forests and mountains impeded rapid movement of forces and facilitated

ambushes by the rebels. The government's shortage of arms and ammunition, as well as

the habitually late payment of salaries, damaged morale and effectiveness. The rebel

forces were substantially enlarged when Ant6nio Tim6teo, a small property owner in

Panellas de Miranda, mobilized hundreds of Indians from Jacuipe for the struggles. The

rebels then numbered over one thousand. Abuses by soldiers, such as theft and rape,

helped alienate the rural population, many of whom were already sympathetic to the rebel

cause. Nevertheless, over the course of 1832, local opponents of the rebels, armed by the

provincial government and aided by the five- hundred-member Municipal Guard of the

capital and by newly organized National Guard of various towns, managed some



17 Note that T6rres Galindo was also on the Novembrada rebels' list of people to be
expelled from the province. "Relaglo para fora da Provincia," BNRJ/SM-32, 34, 4 no. 3,
fols. 6-7.
88 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 243-248; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos
Cabanos, 38-39.






55
victories. T6rres Galindo fled the province in September. Manuel Affonso de Mello and

Joio Batista de Araijo were arrested in October. The following month in Ceara, the

militia and army troops sent from Rio de Janeiro succeeded in capturing Pinto Madeira.

The leadership of the restorationist rebellion had been eliminated.89

The conspirators behind the Abrilada and the rural rebellion in support of it had

expected a quick victory. With the failure of the urban rebellion, they shifted to a

guerrilla strategy. In light of the considerable elite preoccupations with social control,

this was a dramatic decision; mobilizing the lower classes for intra-elite conflict and

engaging in prolonged violence was fraught with risks. Indeed, when the bulk of the

restorationist leadership fled, was captured, or simply abandoned arms, the rebellion did

not end. Rather, the character of the struggle changed as it was transformed into the first

major peasant rebellion in Brazil.

Absolutist senhores de engenho had, in time-tested fashion, mobilized their

retainers to supply the bulk of their forces. In the south of the province, especially in the

Jacuipe Valley and in Panella, this involved mobilizing Indians. There was nothing new

about this. As early as the seventeenth century, Indians had fought against the Dutch and

against the maroons of the guilombo at Palmares. Indians had fought in the

independence struggles. Although in some cases, when they lived in their own

communities and possessed land grants, they had a greater degree of independence than

personal retainers on landed estates, their leaders were still subordinate to the locally






9 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 249-251; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos
Cabanos, 51-55, 59.








powerful and were incorporated into clientelisic networks. Exercise of their rights may

have depended, de facto, on understandings with the locally powerful."

If many were mobilized through clientelistic ties, others joined the rebel cause due

to the hardship that was imposed on them during the rebellion. The government

authorized large-scale forced recruitment in the areas of the struggle. In Panellas,

attempts to draft all men between eighteen and twenty-five years of age set off a

rebellion, and brought large numbers of Indians into the battle against the government.

Many of the Indians and other rural poor who joined the rebels continued the struggle for

three years because they had been evicted from their lands. While it seems there had

been encroachment on lands for some time, there is little doubt that this accelerated in the

course of the war. Area landlords who sided with the government seized the opportunity

to expel Indians from their lands. This was doubtless crucial in the mobilization of the

Jacuipe Valley, a key area of Indian support for the rebellion, because it was the only

area of the province with significant amounts of fertile, legally unclaimed land.9

By the end of 1832, when the upper-class leaders of the rebellion had been

eliminated, Vicente de Paula emerged as the undisputed leader of the movement. This

former army sergeant and deserter, son of a priest from Goiana, proved to be a

charismatic figure who effectively led the cabanos throughout the rest of the war. He

preoccupied political leaders afterwards, as well, with raids by his armed bands in the


9o Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 261-264. Marcus Carvalho places great
emphasis on the significance of clientelism in mobilizing the Indians of Jacuipe. The
rural poor generally often gained access to land, of course, through clientelism. On
clientelism, patronage and access to land see Graham, Patronage and Politics, 20-23;
Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros, 37-39. For a study of the war focussing on the Indian
communities in the south of the province, see Dirceu Lindoso, A Utopia Armada:
Rebeli6es de Pobres nas Matas do Tombo Real (Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1983).

91 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 262-270; Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros, 94-95.








1830s and 1840s. In the 1840s, various Conservative and Liberal leaders attempted to

attract him to their side in armed struggles. He molded a fighting force from Indians,

others of the rural poor, and runaway slaves that used guerilla tactics to stymie the

government for three years. Vicente de Paula organized his forces in accord with his

military experience, and took the title of General of the Royalist Force.92

Vicente de Paula's calls for restoration of Dom Pedro responded to the upheaval of

recent-years. He crystallized the discontent of the rural poor, blaming the various crises

that buffeted them on the liberals who had overthrown the emperor. Liberal reforms, in

shifting the locus of political power to provinces and municipios, had made the locally

prominent even more powerful, diminishing what mediating role the state had previously

played. Creation of the National Guard had led to drafting the rural poor to serve in it.

With the opening of the ports to international trade in 1808, significant inflation began.

By the early 1830s, counterfeit copper coins were increasingly common, and merchants'

frequent refusals to accept copper coins at all presented difficulties for the poor. Land

encroachment increased. Even the law protecting the forests as a monopoly of the

government was repealed after the abdication, facilitating the seizure of lands by

powerful landowners. Vicente articulated a belief that the litany of problems affecting

the rural poor were the handiwork of irreligious jacobins, liberals who respected neither

property, tradition, nor God. His proclamations and letters urged the return of an

absolutist regime, in which Dom Pedro would not be restrained by a constitution.93


92 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 63, 205-209; Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros,
106-109, 116. The name was later changed to Restorationist Forces.

93 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 255-259, 266-270, 277-279; Freitas, Os
Guerrilheiros, 53-63; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 205-209; Nov. 16, 1833
proclamation by Vicente de Paula, reprinted in Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos 9,
(continued...)






58

"' Under Vicente de Paula's leadership, the cabanos were composed almost entirely of

the rural poor. Yet they attracted the support of restorationists elsewhere. They

periodically received aid from Recife. Ammunition was occasionally supplied from

Maceio, the capital of Alagoas. Operating in that province, they benefitted from such

indecision on the part of the provincial president and Army that one historian has

speculated that they may have been sympathizers.94 Even prominent Pernambuco

restorationists in Rio de Janeiro maintained hopes for their cause. General Abreu e Lima

wrote from the Court to his brothers Luis and Jodo, both of whom were also involved in

the restorationist cause, urging Luis to go to the battlefield in Jacuipe and assume

leadership of the movement. "Do not delay one moment, apart from the cabanos, I do not

see any solution for Brazil." He assured his brother that with a prominent victory, and

his own subsequent public incorporation into the movement, a wide-spread restorationist

movement would erupt."





(...continued)
pp. 535-536. The rural poor making common cause with conservatives was not
unprecedented at this time in Latin America. On such support for Rafael Carrera, see
Ralph Lee Woodward, Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala,
1821-1871 (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1993) and Miles Wortman, Government and
Society in Central America. 1680-1840 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982),
261-268. For Venezuela, see German Carrera Damas, Boves: aspectos socioecon6micos
de la guerra de independencia (Caracas: Ediciones de la Biblioteca, Universdad Central
de Venezuela, 1972). For a later period in Brazil, see Euclides da Cunha, Os Sert6es
(Campanha do Canudos) (Rio de Janeiro: F. Alves, 1914) and Robert Levine, Vale of
Tears: Revisiting the Canudos Massacre in Northeastern Brazil. 1893-1897 (Berkeley:
Univ. of California Press, 1992).
94 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 211.

9' Quote from a Nov. 29, 1833 letter printed in Diario de Pernambuco, Jan. 12, 1834,
reprinted in Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 227-229; Correia de Andrade,
Guerra dos Cabanos, 209-213.








Outside support, however, was never enough to greatly aid the cabanos. Still, the

provincial government, with its limited resources, was unable to easily impose itself in

the countryside against an often hostile population. In 1834, it adopted a scorched-earth

policy that finally proved decisive. Everyone in the theater of operations was warned to

leave the area or be treated as cabanos. A fierce campaign by the government followed.

Offers of amnesty then separated many rebels from the cause. In 1835, the Bishop of

Pernambuco toured the region, preaching among the rebels and convincing most to lay

down their arms. Vicente de Paula and a small number of followers, mostly escaped

slaves who feared bondage and punishment, refused. They founded a community,

Riacho do Mato, of difficult access in mountainous forests, and were not captured.

However, the Guerra dos Cabanos was over.'



Nonetheless, the weakness of the government had been seen by all. Undermined by

conflict among its supporters, lack of supplies for its troops, inability to control the

excesses of its soldiers or avoid their desertion, the government needed three years to win

the war. Much of the fighting had been carried out by local senhores de engenho and

their retainers, supplied and funded from Recife, with the aid of government troops.97

The government's authority in the countryside was still, to a considerable degree,

delegated to the locally powerful. All of this pointed to a significant political reality:

preservation and retention of power depended upon local elites' social control; conflict

among the elite could threaten social stability. If powerful senhores de engenho had been


96 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos, 127-154, 175-185, Freitas, Os

Guerrilheiros, 151-155.

97 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 265-266.






1 60

accustomed to thinking of the poor as resources to be mobilized for their own purposes,

the Guerra dos Cabanos showed another possibility. The rural poor, led by a shrewd and

charismatic leader, carried on their own struggle long after the absolutist senhores had

abandoned the battle field. Actively intervening in politics in the most direct of ways,

waging war, they stymied the government for several years. In demonstrating the

possibility of independent action on their part, they added a new element into future

calculations of political struggle.













CHAPTER 2
REACTION, 1836-1841


Brazilian elites were deeply concerned with maintaining order. They were keenly

aware of the profound divisions of class and race which structured their society, a society

in which slavery played so prominent a role. Thus, restructuring political institutions

offered not only promise, but risks as well. The crucial test of any reform effort would be

if the promised improvements could be attained without upsetting social and political

stability. We have seen the danger to order posed by armed revolts. In this chapter, we

will continue examining the problem of order, focusing on the formal institutions of

social control and the routine challenges they faced, particularly the pervasiveness of

.crime. Much of the discussion will draw on material from the Court, but evidence from

Pernambuco will also appear. We will see how difficulties in maintaining order, both in

terms of revolts and in terms of crime, facilitated the success of a conservative critique of

liberalism that would have a profound and enduring impact.



For Joaquim Nabuco (1849-1910), a deputy from Pernambuco, a noted abolitionist,

a diplomat, and the Monarchy's historian, Dom Pedro's shocking abdication on April 7,

1831 ushered in, de facto, a decade-long republic and with it, a threat to the nation's

integrity and order.' Bereft of the stabilizing influence of the monarchy, fundamental

fear of disorder and anarchy increased. Order was tenuously maintained in the best of


Nabuco, Estadista, 33.








circumstances. A subjugated slave population, many of whom were African-born, large

numbers of the oppressed rural poor, often mixed-race white and Indian caboclos, and

urban poor, often Afro-Brazilian, might rise up at a given provocation. Juxtaposed to a

fragile state presence, whether in the form of administrative agents or a repressive force,

social control was a constant concern. With the abdication, and especially with the

liberal reforms that shifted the locus of state power from the Court to the provincial

capitals and counties, political struggle was unleashed. Long standing elite fear of the

breakdown of hierarchy and order was confirmed, as intra-elite struggles spilled over to

the lower classes, largely people of color, providing openings for contests that challenged

the social order.

In Recife, the abdication ushered in an era that saw the provincial government

forced to dismiss many Portuguese-born military officers and office holders. The

Novembrada demonstrated the willingness of urban radicals, especially those in the

military, to resort to armed force to realize nativist goals. The Abrilada of 1832 and the

Guerra dos Cabanos, in turn, showed the restorationists willing to attempt an armed

uprising in Recife and rural guerrilla war in pursuit of their aims. When the restorationist

leaders lost the appetite for rural warfare, they discovered that they-could not control

what they had begun. A rural insurgency of the poor, led by individuals from their own

ranks and marked by scenes of great violence and destruction ravaged the south of the

province until 1835. If the Septembrizada had exposed the fragility of the repressive .

apparatus in the capital, where forced conscripts from the poor had thrown off the I

command of their superiors, looting, drinking, whoring, seizing artillery pieces and

battling the ad hoc forces gathered to repress them, the Guerra dos Cabanos revealed the

inadequacy of the state's capacity to marshal efficient repression in the countryside.






63
Nor was Pernambuco unique by any means. Revolts rocked various provinces. An

elite-led separatist struggle brought civil war to Rio Grande do Sul from 1835 to 1845. A

rebellion by Muslim slaves in Salvador, Bahia, brief in duration, but powerful in the fear

of "Haitianismo" it enflamed, gripped the consciousness of elites across Brazil. Even

four decades after the Haitian Revolution, that Caribbean uprising and slaughter of white

elites continued to provoke anxiety among Brazilian upper classes. In Pari, fierce

struggles among the elites led to civil war in January of 1835; by August, a general

conflagration had erupted in which Indians and caboclos slaughtered the wealthy. Not

until 1840 was the Cabanragem, as this rebellion was called, repressed, and the cost was

startling; a fifth of the population, about 30,000 people, perished. In Salvador, resistance

to perceived efforts to "recolonize" Bahia, this time in subservience to the Court at Rio de

Janeiro, led to the Sabinada. Intra-elite conflict quickly spilled over to a mass movement.

Rebels seized Salvador and only after four months and at a cost of 1,800 lives did

government troops defeat them. Maranh~o likewise saw elite conflict spread to a mass

movement, the Balaiada (1838-1841). Thus, across Brazil, time and again, violent,

frightening upheavals erupted as slaves, Indians, and the urban and rural poor, largely

people of color, in different combinations at different times and places, seized the

opportunities presented by intra-elite conflicts.2

2 Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 68-75; Barman, Forging of a Nation, p. 170
presents maps that locate the revolts and chapter 6 includes summaries of them; Thomas
Flory, "Race and Social Control in Independent Brazil," Journal of Latin American
Studies 9:2 (Nov., 1977). On individual revolts, see Moacyr Flores, A RevolucAo
Farroupilha (Porto Alegre: Univ. Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 1990); Walter Spalding,
A Revolu9lo Farroupilha (Porto Alegre: Petroquimica Triunfo, 1987); Jolo Jos6 Reis,
Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins Univ. Press, 1993); J6lio Jos6 Chiavento, Cabanagem: o povo no poder (Sio
Paulo: Brasiliense, 1984); Pasquale di Paulo, Cabanagem: A Revoluco Popular da
Amaz6nia (Belem: Centro de Estudos Juridicos do Para, 1986); Hendrik Kraay, "'As
(continued...)








Maintaining order had always been a fundamental concern of the upper classes and

the government in Pernambuco. There were vast stretches of thinly populated lands,

difficult to police and in which people could easily hide. In the more populated zona da

Mna there were concentrations of slaves and free poor on plantations. With very limited

government presence, slow communications, and widespread ownership of guns, many

regions, though long settled, bore a certain resemblance to a frontier zone.'

The provincial government and representatives of the imperial government in

Recife found considerable obstacles in working their will throughout the province.

Bureaucratic capacity was sharply limited. Indeed, one provincial president, Francisco

do Rego Barros, once explained to the Provincial Assembly that he was unable even to

report crime statistics, or the number of National Guardsmen in the province, as the

district judges (iuizes de direito) and National Guard leaders had failed to provide such

information, despite requests to do so.4 A similar situation prevailed in other provinces,







(...continued)
Terrifying as Unexpected': The Bahian Sabinada, 1837-1838," Hispanic American
Historical Review, 72:4 (Nov., 1992); Paulo Cesar Souza, A Sabinada: a revolta
separatista da Bahia. 1837 (Slo Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987); Maria de Lourdes M6naco
Janotti, A Balaiada (Sao Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987); Maria Januiria Vilelea Santos, A
Balaiada e a insurreico de escravos no Maranhao (Sao Paulo: Atica, 1983).
3 Relatrrio que Assembleia Legislativa de Peranmbuco apresentou na Sesso
Ordinaria de 1839 o Exmo. Presidente da mesma Provinica Francisco do Rego Barros, p.
15 on widespread use of arms. Hereafter cited as Relatorio ... 1839... Presidente (de
Pernambuo).

Falla que. na occaziio da abertura da Assembleia Legislativa Provincial de
Pernambuco no I0 de Marco de 1838 recitou o Exm. Snr. Francisco do Rego Barros
Presidente da mesma Provincia, pp. 16, 21. Hereafter cited as Falla ... 1838...
Presidente (de Pernambuco).






65

as the minister of justice indicated in 1838 when he reported the same inability to present

crime statistics, as many provincial presidents could not supply the relevant information.'

Across Brazil the police suffered poor organization, and Pernambuco was no

exception.6 In 1842, discipline difficulties were so pervasive that most police units

employed National Guardsmen to supplement their numbers. This presented problems as

well, as using Guards from the same region was unsatisfactory, presumably because they

were subject to local influences, prompting the use of National Guards from other

regions.7 The police cavalry was so ineffective, due to the poor condition of its horses,

that the provincial president recommended that if new horses were not purchased that the

cavalry be disbanded. More generally, effective police work depended on diligent and

competent work by the justice of the peace, who exercised key police functions.' Unpaid

police officials, subprefeitos and commissaries de policia created in 1836, generally did

not devote sufficient time to their official duties, a complaint that continued even after

the reorganization of 1841 that reduced the functions of the justice of the peace and


Relat6rio da Repartic~o dos Negocios da Justiga Apresentado i Assembleia Geral
Legislativa na Sesslo Ordinaria de 1838 pelo Respectivo Ministro e secretario de Estado
Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos, p. 8. Hereafter cited as Relat6rio ... Negocios da
Justiga... 1838.
6 Ibid., pp. 10-12. The Minister of Justice lamented that "It is not possible, senhores,
for the police, as it is currently organized, to carry out the important functions of this
ministry." p. 11. On the police in the Court, see Thomas Holloway, Policing Rio de
Janeiro: Repression and Resistance in a 19th-Century City (Stanford: Stanford University
Press, 1993) and Bernice Cavalcanti Branddo, Ilmar Rohlof de Mattos, and Mafia Alice
Rezende de Carvalho, A policia e a forga policial no Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro:
PUC/RJ, Serie Estudos, no. 4, 1981)

7 Relat6rio.,. 1843 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), 5.

'Relat6io... Negocios da Justiga... 1838, p. 11; Relat6rio Apresentado i
Assembleia Geral Legislativa na Sessdo Ordinaria de 1840. pelo Ministro e Secretario de
Estado dos Negocios da Justiga, p. 22. Hereafter cited as Relat6rio... 1840...
Negocios da Justiga.








created unpaid delegados (police commissioners) and subdelegados (deputy police

commissioners).9

The National Guard was the largest force in the province.'" In theory it numbered

about 19,000 members, but the number actually available, trained, and armed was far

less." As in other provinces, Pernambuco's National Guard was poorly organized and

generally poorly led, though the problems were less severe in Recife and Olinda.'2 There

were insufficient arms, as the frequent, almost routine, requests for weapons demonstrate.

Many of the arms available were defective, being leftovers from the extinct colonial

militias.3 Training and discipline were poor. Many of the leaders had no knowledge of

military organization and tactics. Leaders often resided far from their units, there being

no requirement that the officer live in the same district or county. Consequently, rapid

mobilization was undermined.'4 Men often sought positions as officers only for the



9 See Falla... 1838... Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 18-19, which contains a call
for salaries under the earlier system, and ANRJ IJ322, President of Pernambuco to
Minister of Justice, Recife, April 8, 1843, for a suggestion that delegados and
subdelegados earn a salary, to allow them to devote more time and vigor to their duties.
'o On the National Guard, see Jeanne Berrance de Castro, A milicia cidadi, a Guarda
Nacional de 1831 a 1850 (Slo Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1977) and Fernando
Uricochea, The Patrimonial Foundations of the Brazilan Bureaucratic State (Berkeley:
Univ. of Calif. Press, 1980).

"Falla ... 1838... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 21.
12 Relat6rio da Repartico dos Negocios da Justica Apresentado i Assembleia Geral
Legislativa na Sessao Ordinaria de 1841 pelo respecitvo Ministro e Secretario de Estado
Paulino Soares de Sousa, p. 30, hereafter cited as Relat6rio ... 1841 ... Negocios da
Justice; Falla ... 1838... President (de Pernambuco), p. 22. On Recife and Olinda,
see Relatrio. .. 1839 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 20.

'3 Relat6rio. 1841 ... Negocios da Justica, p. 30.
14 Falla... 1838 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco). p. 22 Relat6rio ... 1843..
Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 5-6.








associated honors and then evaded the responsibilities. A common tactic was to resign,

on the pretext of illness, immediately following appointment; the law allowed one to

continue to enjoy the honors.'" As there was rapid turnover among officers, there was

little incentive for improvement; the fruits of one's efforts might be enjoyed by someone

else.6 Registration boards, composed of the justice of the peace and the electors,

determined the eligibility of men to serve in the Guard. They often became embroiled in

disputes, due to their considerable partiality, providing troops for units led by allies and

impeding the filling of position in units commanded by rivals.'7 Yet, despite all the

problems, the National Guard was crucial. In areas with little military presence, the '

Guard was the only significant force available to repress political disputes that erupted

into violence, to capture criminals, and to guard prisoners. ".

The military provided the most reliable troops, though troop riots in the 1830s, and

desertion throughout the period under study, caution against overestimating their

reliability. Soldiers were forcibly recruited for extended military duty, with meager (and

often late) salaries and harsh discipline. Recruitment was a common tactic to deal with

troublemakers, vagrants, and, in general, those among the poor who lacked the protection

of a powerful patron.'9 Along with the National Guard, they were the linchpin of

repressive strategies in the event of major disturbances.




Falla. .. 1838 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 22.
16 gelat6rio... 1841 ... Negocios da Justiga, p. 31.

17 Ibid.

"S Ibid., p. 30.

'9 Graham, Patronage and Politics, pp. 27-31.








The police, National Guard, and Army could put down major disorders, but were

not capable of assuring order on a daily basis. In the countryside, this depended largely

on the efforts of planters, whose groups of armed retainers provided the force to impose

their wills. A senhor de engenho's power depended in part on his ability to mobilize

armed followers to defend his interests.2" Planters allowed various free poor people to

squat on their land in exchange for labor and loyalty, including armed service when

needed. There were limits to the effectiveness of such a system, for while planters

controlled their own lands, conflicts with other planters could arise, pitting one armed

group against another. There were also bands of outlaws that roamed the countryside,

and whose mobility allowed them to escape the forces of the senhores, as well as those of

the government. Such bands often made use of provincial borders, crossing form one

province to another to elude capture.21

In 1843, the minister ofjustice, Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa, one of the chief

spokesmen for the Conservative Party, explained the rise of powerful bosses, surrounded

by numerous armed retainers, as a consequence of the backwardness of the interior.

There, he reported, the inhabitants lived in isolation, out of the reach of governmental

authorities, without morality, religion or the benefits of civilization. They were







20 Ibid., 20-23.

21 Relatorio da Repartigio dos Negocios da Justiga Apresentado i Assembleia Geral
Legislativa na Primeira SessAo da 5' Legislatura pelo respectivo Ministro e Secretario de
Estado Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa (1843), p. 26, hereafter cited as Relatorio ... 1V
Sesslo.. .(1843)
Negocios da Justi"a, on the armed bands operating on the Pernambuco / Alagoas
border.








characterized by barbarous customs, ferocious behavior and horrible crimes, constituting

a distinct society from that of the littoral.22

Interestingly, the minister of justice explained the predominance of powerful

senhores, protecting large groups of men in exchange for their loyalty, in terms of an

adaptation to these severe conditions in the interior, which he conceived of as outside the

littoral society.

[E]ven the notables that inhabit those places are forced, in self defense, to oppress
in order not to be oppressed themselves; they create small centers of power, to
which the persecuted agglomerate... [E]ach one attempting to achieve greater
preponderance and become feared in order to be respected seeks to protect the
largest number of villanous criminals and turbulent individuals.'

This description could also apply to senhores de engenho in the zona da mata (though

perhaps to a lesser degree), yet the minister invokes the barbarous condition of the

interior as his explanation. Perhaps to recognize openly the predominance of such a



22 The minister clearly differentiated himself and his audience from this culture and
people by referring to the contrast with "our littoral." Sarmiento advanced a similar
argument for Argentina, although his argument is ambiguous about how much weight is
assigned to the isolation of the interior and how much to the influence of what he saw as
the backward civilization of Spain, symbolized by C6rdoba, in explaining the barbarous
backlands of Argentina. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Facundo: Civilizaci6n y barbaric
(Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1975). Incidents like the human sacrifices that had occurred
in Pernambuco's sertio may well have been on the minister's mind as he spoke of
barbarous customs and behavior. In 1838, a woman by the name of Pedra Bonita
convinced her neighbors that an enchanted kingdom existed, but was about to lose its
enchantment. A follower of hers preached that human sacrifice was needed to restore the
enchanted kingdom and that people should be burned and the soil irrigated with their
blood. All the victims would be resuscitated rich, powerful, and happy. The Provincial
President reported that fathers, ignorant and superstitious, handed over their children in
good faith. In all, forty-two people were sacrificed. The nearest police unit attacked,
killing twenty-nine, arresting others and losing five of their own forces. See Relat6rio ...
1839... Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 3-4. For a twentieth-century novel revolving
around this incident, see Jos6 Lins do Rego, Pedra Bonita, published along with two
other of the author's works, Pureza Pedra Bonita: Riacho Doce (Rio de Janeiro:
Jos6 Olympio, 1961).


Negocios da Justiga... 1841, p. 19.


2s Relat6rio ...








system across the entire province might have admitted too great a contradiction between

the ideals of a constitutional system, in which free citizens respect the rule of law, and the

every day reality.24

Government leaders were greatly distressed by the high incidence of crime. In

1841, the same minister, Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa, blamed Brazil's "state of

civilization," its sparsely populated large territory, and the government's lack of

resources; in 1843 he lamented the spread of immorality.25 In a similar vein, Provincial

President Francisco do Rego Barros blamed backwardness in customs and civilization, as

well as the apathy of eyewitnesses, for the increasing numbers of crimes, their gravity

and the boldness of criminals.' Even in the provincial capital, in plain day, people were

not safe--on June 28, 1841 a man was murdered and witnesses were too fearful to point

I out the perpetrator. Likewise, at midday on January 25, 1842, two men, described as

blacks dressed in mourning, knifed a man to death on the Rua da Cadeia, "the busiest

street" in the center of Recife. Again, witnesses failed to intervene, or even to shout to

alert the police. Subsequent investigation revealed it was an act of vengeance of which







24 Relat6rio .. 1839 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 15, Provincial President
Francisco do Rego Barros expressed his frustration with "professional criminals" who
worsened the effects of impunity. He suggested adopting a law similar to one passed in
Maranh~o in 1830 that punished property owners who allowed people without honest
occupation to reside on their lands as agregados or for other specious reasons. This
seems as unrealistic as the Minister of Justice's 1841 comments, in that the practice was
so widespread.
25 Relat6rio... 1841 ... Negocios da Justica, pp. 18-19; Relat6rio ... la SessAo...
1843 ... Negocios da Justiga, p. 4.
26 Relat6io... 1842 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 4.








the victim had been warned, but he failed to believe he was in danger in the capital.

Again, no witnesses identified the guilty.27

Nor were the victims of crime restricted to the poor. In July of 1842 the interim

delegado of Rio Formoso, Pedro Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Uchoa, was murdered near

the engenho Genipapo. In response, a group of armed men surrounded the engenho and

killed a man they thought to be the murderer. On October 19, 1842, a group again

surrounded the engenho and proceeded to kill two individuals. On January 6, 1843,

Ant6nio Francisco do Rego Barros, the owner of the engenho, arrived from Ceari, to

which he had earlier fled to protect his life. Though he returned backed up by armed

men, a local police official convinced him to disband the armed men. Once disarmed,

however, Ant6nio Francisco was murdered, just as he had feared.2

This general reality of unpunished criminality was exacerbated by the violence and

terror associated with slavery. Slaveowners inherently ran risks in employing coerced

labor. Ant6nio Rabello da Silva Pereira, for example, long feared an attempt on his life

by his enemies. When he was murdered on the evening on March 27, 1843, suspicion



27 Ibid., pp. 3-4; President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Recife, Feb. 12, 1842
and the appended letters, Prefeito of Recife to President of Pernambuco, Feb. 5, 1842 and
Juiz de Direito Primeira Vara do Crime to President of Pernambuco, Feb. 11, 1842,
ANRJ/SM, IJ1322.
28 Relat6rio que i Assembleia Legislativa de Pernambuco Apresentou na Sessdo
Ordinaria de 1843 o Excellentissimo Bario da Boa Vista Presidente da Mesma Provinica,
pp. 4-6, hereafter cited as Relat6rio ... 1843 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco); Relat6rio
Apresentado i Assembleia Geral Legislativa na 2a SessAo da 5aa Legislativa de 1843
pelo Ministro e Secretario de Estado dos Negocios da Justi~a, p. 6, hereafter cited as
Relat6rio... 2" Sessao... 1843 ... Negocios da Justiga; on Ant6nio Francisco's murder,
see Diario Novo Jan. 13, 1843 and that issue's reprinting of Chief of Police to President
of Pernambuco, Jan. 8, 1843 and First Police Commander to President of Pernambuco,
Jan. 8, 1843; Diario Novo Jan. 18, 1843 and Jan.27, 1843. On the absolving of the police
officials involved, see the various documents in President of Pernambuco to Minister of
Justice, May 10, 1843 and Oct. 27, 1843, ANRJ/SM, IJ1322.






72

immediately fell on one of his slaves. The police speculated that the slave may have been

hired by an enemy of Ant6nio's.29 In another case, Manuel Xavier de Vasconcellos went

to sleep drunk, only to be shot at midnight by his slave Isabel, who had been aided and

taught to use the gun by another slave, Jose3

Conservatives endlessly denounced liberal reforms for exacerbating the difficulties

of maintaining order in such a society. Depicted as theoretical, uninformed by Brazilian

realities, the result of an excessive reaction against Portuguese colonial rule and as based

on doctrines of exaggerated and impractical liberty, Conservatives blamed liberal reforms

for undermining what little security there was. In particular, theejury system and the

extensive powers of the justice of the peace were routinely attacked. Indeed, reports of

Conservative ministers of justice can be read as salvos in the intellectual assault on the

liberal reforms. Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos, chief architect of the Conservative

Party in 1837, and Paulino Jose Soares de Sousa, the prominent Conservative spokesman,

whose ministerial reports of 1838 and 1841 are cited above, were the principal authors of

the laws that would overturn the liberal reforms.1

Central to the Conservatives' attack were repeated denunciations of the alleged

impunity that criminals enjoyed. The term implied not only high frequency of crime with

little chance of being punished, but an upsetting of the moral order. The ill-disposed,

disorderly, criminal elements brazenly attacked, offended and disrupted decent, law-


29 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Recife, April 8,1843, ANRJ/SM,
IJ'322.
30 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, July 11, 1843, ANRJ/SM, IJ1322.
Isabel was subsequently executed and the slave Jose who assisted her was condemned to
life in prison.
31 Relat6rio... Negocios da Justica... 1838, pp. 10-18, esp. 12-13; Relatorio,...
1841 ... Negocios da Justiga, p. 18-30, esp. 18-19.








abiding society. In 1841, Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa noted that nearly all provincial

presidents complained that impunity prevailed.2 A number of causes were cited, chief

among them, the organization of the judiciary that placed excessive power in ill-prepared,

elected Justices of the Peace and the jury system.

Poor judicial organization, specifically the liberal reforms that assigned extensive

responsibilities to Justices of the Peace, who were not required to have legal training,

were blamed for undermining the capture and conviction of criminals. District judges,

the nominal police chiefs, were unable to achieve much if the justice of the peace, who

actually wielded considerable police powers, was not effective. Earlier, Minister of

Justice Bernardo de Vasconcellos had lamented the impossibility of the police carrying

out their functions when power rested with inexperienced Justices of the Peace and

County Judges elected by the Camaras; in such circumstances, the police chiefs authority

was "to not say ridiculous, nominal and illusory."33 He called for police authorities with

wider jurisdiction and nominations by the government, in order to assure the selection of

competent individuals.34

When criminals were arrested and charged, the Justices of the Peace were entrusted

with the formaco da culpa--gathering the facts of the case, explaining the circumstances,

citing which laws were broken, and justifying charges with statements and evidence.

Conservative ministers ofjustice denounced the inadequacy of incompetent, ignorant,

sometimes dishonest, justices of the peace. These men were criticized as unprepared



32 Relat6rio... 1841 ... Negocios da Justiga, p. 20; Relat6rio... Negocios da Justiga
... 1838, p. 8.

3 Relat6rio... Negocios da Justiga ... 1838, pp. 10-11.

Ibid., pp. 10-18.






74

professionally for their responsibilities and for routinely failing to successfully prosecute) I

individuals of whose guilt there was little doubt.5

Conservatives were scathing in their denunciation of another liberal reform--the

jury system. Above all, the institution was attacked for routinely absolving individuals

despite considerable proof of guilt. Selection of inappropriate members, who would be

subject to the influence of the locally powerful, was criticized, as was the failure to

convene juries at appropriate intervals.6 In decrying the low rate of convictions,

Pernambucan Provincial President Francisco do Rego Barros noted that only three of the

twenty-six individuals brought before juries in the district of Santo Amaro in 183 7 were

convicted, sarcastically suggesting that this may have been due to the bonhomie of the

jury. He went on to lament the demoralization that resulted from juries absolving

criminals and the resulting atmosphere of impunity. Several years later he addressed

the same issue, blaming it for the spread of immorality in Brazil.3"

Increasing the difficulties of arresting and convicting criminals was the

unwillingness of witnesses to testify. Impunity assured that powerful figures were likely

to escape punishment, making witnesses fearful of retaliatory acts by the accused. The

mayor of Recife complained of the apathy of the witnesses to a murder who failed to

help, or even alert the police. In frustration, he declared that if only witnesses would


3' Relat6rio ... 1840... Negocios da Justiga, p. 14; Relat6rio ... Negocios da Justica
... 1838, pp. 14-15.
36 Relat6rio... Negocios da Justica.. 1838, p. 15; Relat6rio... 1839... President
(de Pernambuco), p. 14; Relat6rio... 1841 ... Negocios da Justia, pp. 22-23; President
of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, June 10, 1843 and the appended Chief of Police to
President of Pernambuco, May 11, 1843, ANRJ/SM, IJ'322.
31 Falla... 1838... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 14.

38 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, April 8, 1843, ANRJ/SM, IJ'322.








testify it would be easy to get convictions, or at least to publicly accuse the guilty.39 In

1841 Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa insisted on the necessity of surrounding those making

accusations with sufficient force to protect them. In 1843 this same minister ofjustice

reported the comments of a police chief regarding the intimidation of witnesses, who

observed that his jurisdiction did not seem to be part of a constitutional empire of free

citizens, but a complex of fiefs with lords and vassals, on which the police authorities

and criminals were completely dependent.' Even in the case of the different murders at

the Genipapo estate noted earlier, of which there had been various witnesses and a

lengthy investigation, no one could be found willing to testify.4'

If arrest and conviction were demanding tasks, the inability-to keep prisoners jailed

made for more complications. Police records are full of reports ofjailbreak Prisons

were often in woeful condition, leading provincial presidents to call repeatedly for

improved penitentiaries. Moreover, there was a shorage ofguards, and those that were

available were sometimes bribed.42




3 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Feb. 12, 1842 and the appended

Prefeito interino to President of Pernambuco, Feb. 5, 1842, ANRJ/SM, IJ'322.

o Relat6rio ... I" Sessao... 1843 ... Negocios da Justiga, p. 25.

4' Relat6rio 2' Sesso. ... 1843 ... Negocios da Justiga, p. 6.
42 See any Falla or Relat6rio of the President of Pernambuco to the Provincial
Assembly in this period. Also see "Ouvidor da Comarca do Serto to President of
Pernambuco," Aug. 22, 1831, reprinted in Diario de Pernambuco, Sept. 26, 1831, who
communicated complaints that prisoners were being kept in jails for too long, leading to
escapes. After the Septembrizada, prisoners were kept on ships in the harbor, because
the prisons were under repair. See President of Pernambuco to Minister of the Empire,
Sept. 20, 1831, BNRJ/SM, 11-32, 34, 51, no. 1, fol. 1-6. In 1841, the Minister of Justice
also asserted the need to build better prisons to reduce the likelihood of escape. Relatorio
... 1841 ... Negocios da Justica, p.24.






76

By the latter 1830s, the Conservative critique found much resonance in public

opinion. The optimistic images of Brazil that liberals had earlier favored, emphasizing

common interests and the possibility of significant improvement through institutional

reforms, seemed out of touch with the disorder and violence that marked the Regency.

Elected Justices of the Peace seemed not to offer improved justice administered by

people who were intimately familiar with local conditions, but incompetent judicial

practice that undermined effective police work, by people chosen through coercion of the

electorate. Citizen juries, susceptible to intimidation by those they judged, seemed to

assure impunity by lawbreakers. Even the most prominent of liberals, statesmen like

Ant8nio Diego Feij6 and the influential editor of the Aurora Fluminense, Evaristo da

Veiga, were conceding the failures with the reforms.43

For many people, a pessimistic interpretation of Brazil had displaced the seemingly

ill-founded optimism of First Reign and Regency liberalism. Brazilian civilization was

depicted as in an early state of development. Brazilians, especially the masses, were seen

as nQot yt possessing sufficient ,"civilization" to participate in modem liberal institutions

of Europe and North America. Foreign models, many now thought, might work in their

lands of origin, but only impractical theorists, out of touch with local realities, could still

have hopes for them in Brazil." 1 .


4' Flory, Judge and Jury, 134-139, 142-144 and especially Feij6's article in the Aurora
Fluminense on Jan. 26, 1835.
44 See the quotations from Ministers of Justice Vasconcellos, in 1838, and Paulino
Soares de Sousa, in 1841, four paragraphs below; Flory, Judge and Jury, 144-148, This
argument provided an important foundation for Brazilian conservative thought; its
influence continues to this day. Oliveira Viana, a particularly influential conservative
thinker in this century, explicitly used the experience of the First Reign and Regency as
evidence for his reactionary critique of democracy in Brazil. He also made a parallel
argument against the "liberal" restructuring of power in the Old Republic. See Viana,
(continued...)








Leading the reevaluation was a group of politicians opposed to the liberal leader

Regent Ant6nio Diogo Feij6. All of them had figured among the moderado leadership.

Hon6rio Hermeto Carneiro Le~o, and Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos, two Coimbra

trained magistrates well-versed in liberal constitutionalism, who had earlier broken with
t
Dom Pedro I over his absolutist tendencies, were the key figures of the Regresso, or

Reaction. Supporting them were three astute politicians known as the saquarma,

Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa, Eus6bio de Queir6s Coutinho Matoso Camara, and

Joaquim Jos6 Rodrigues T6rres, whose estate near Saquarema supplied the nickname for

the three. These men, the core of what would become the leadership of the Conservative

Party, marshaled the opposition to Feij6 from 1835 to 1837.4s

The bitter experience of the Regency prompted many to abandon liberalism and to

embrace the RegMesso. Vasconcellos epitomized this shift in attitude. On the floor of the

Camara he declared that in the First Reign

.' I was a liberal. Then liberty was new in the country; it was in everyone's
aspirations, but not in the laws, not in practical ideas. [State] power was
everything; I was a liberal. Now, however, society has changed. Democratic
principles have prevailed everywhere and have proved prejudicial. Society, which
was then threatened by [state] power, is now threatened by disorganization and
anarchy. Today, I want, as I wanted then, to serve society, and save it, and
therefore I am a regressista. I am not a turncoat. I do not abandon the cause I


...continued)
Populacoes Meridionais do Brasil. On Viana, see Jeffrey D. Needell, "History, Race, and
the State, in the Thought of Oliveira Viana," Hispanic American Historical Review 75:1
(Feb., 1995), 1-30. Similar critiques of liberalism could also be found elsewhere in Latin
America at this time. See, for example, Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, Cesarismo
Democritico: estudios sobre las bases sociol6gicas da la Constituci6n effectiva de
Venezuela (Caracas: Empresa El Cojo, 1919).
41 Jeffrey D. Needell, "Brasilien, 1830 1889," chapter in Raymond Buve and John
Fisher, eds., Handbuch der Geschichte Lateinamerikas, 3 vols. (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta,
Oct., 1992), 2: 441-97. I have used the unpublished, English-language version of this
piece, provided to me by Jeffrey Needell. Page numbers refer to the English language
version. See pp. 13-14, 26-27. Also see Rohloff de Mattos, 0 Tempo Saquarema.








defend in its time of peril and weakness. I abandon it when it is so secure in its
triumph that its excesses damage it.46

Like Vasconcellos, many other moderates split from their allies. This was made

much easier by Dom Pedro's death in 1834, which ended any chance of restoration.

Former restorationists, no longer discredited by association with the cause of restoring a

Portuguese-born monarch, joined former moderate liberals in a formidable parliamentary

majority in opposition to Regent Feij6. Utterly blocked in the Chamber, Feij resig in

1837. Under the new Regent, the Pernambucan conservative, Pedro de Araujo Lima,

Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos and other regressistas took office and began the

struggle to dismantle the liberal reforms.47

In 1838, Minister of Justice Vasconcellos asserted that "Unhappiness will always be

excited, clamor will always be produced, grave inconveniences will always follow

legislative changes which are rapidly introduced, when they are not in complete harmony

with the country's habits and customs."48 The fundamental regressista verdict on the

liberal reforms was thus declared. Liberal reforms inspired by European and North

American success were not always attacked frontally as inherently mistaken; rather, they

were judged inapplicable to the particular circumstances of Brazil. In 1841, Minister of

Justice Paulino Jos6 Soares de Sousa declared that havingig recently left the colonial



6 Nabuco, Estadista, p.41; For an analysis of Vasconcellos' shift, see Leal, Do Ato
Adicional, 77-82.

Leal, Do Ato Adicional, 72-76; Needell, "Brasilien," 19-20; Flory, Judge and Jury,
132. The first regresso cabinet included, along with its leader Vasconcellos, who served
as both minister of justice and minister of the empire, two Pernambucans, Ant6nio
Peregrino Maciel Monterio and SebastiIo do Rego Barros, a brother of the Pernambucan
Provincial President Francisco do Rego Barros; a saquarema, Joaquim Jose Rodrigues
T6rres; and Miguel Calmon do Pin e Almeida, the Marquis of Abrantes.
48 Relat6rio ... Negocios da Justiga... 1838, p. 12.








regime, too mistrustful and fearful of arbitrariness, we avidly embraced vague doctrines

of exaggerated liberty, putting aside ... the facts, whose observation, analysis and study,

pours immense light on the applicability of legislative, political and moral questions of a

country.49

Radical innovations had resulted in "calamity," "anarchy," and "sad lessons."'

Paulino, as minister of justice in 1843, affirmed that "Nothing is more fatal and

demoralizing for a country than weak (government) power."5 Regressistas thus sought a

return to strong centralized rule. Above all, by insulating power from local influences

and by making government officials in the provinces dependent on, and agents of, the

central government, firm rule could be reestablished and crime and political instability

reduced. Much of the struggle to shift power from the provinces to the Court would be

fought in the Chamber, with key battles over undoing the localism of liberal judicial

reforms.

Reestablishing the prestige and authority of the monarch was an essential element

of strong central rule. In part this involved such institutional issues as recreating the

Council of State, which offered advice on the exercise of the moderating power,

extending to influence on the cabinet, including legislative opinions and programs. Yet

an effective centralized monarchy required more than a particular machinery of

government and corresponding legislation. It required integrating the institution in to the

traditions and habits of society, to create what Walter Bagehot later described as the

British monarchy's "dignified" aspect, in contrast to its efficient aspect (the actual making


49 Relat6rio... 1841 ... Negocios da Justica, pp. 18-19.

o Ibid., p. 18; Relat6rio... V Sess~o... 1843...Negocios da Justi~a, p. 18.

Ibid., p. 1.








and implementing of public policy). To achieve this "dignified" element, a theatrical

show of prominent persons identified with the government that reinforced public

acceptance and the colonial traditions of the monarchy was needed.52 Even in 1843, the

leading Conservative journalist in Brazil, Justiano Jos6 da Rocha, wrote that "Public

spirit is clearly tending towards monarchy, yet that tendency, born of reason, inspired by

love of order, is not aided by our laws, nor by our customs, nor by our habits: the throne

does not have a foundation."53

Establishing the dignified aspect of the monarchy, to help strengthen an emotional,

intuitive embrace of the monarchy, was an important aspect of creating a strong, stable

centralized monarchy generally overlooked by the historiography. Yet one notes that to

this end, the trappings of the monarchy were refurbished by the Conservatives quite

carefully. Traditional rituals of court ceremony were reintroduced. In 1837, the new

regent, Pedro de Araujo Lima, complemented the legislative battle for regresso by

kneeling before the eleven-year old emperor in a public street, and humbly kissing the

child's hand. This ritual, revived by the regent, with its emphasis on hierarchy and

obedience, was known as the beija mo (hand kiss). Portraits of the emperor were

distributed to bring his image to presidential palaces, provincial assemblies and town

halls in all the provinces. In Recife's presidential palace, on the emperor's birthday in

1840, a three-hour ceremony, also referred to as a beija mIo, was held. Prominent


52 See Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (Ithica: Cornell University Press,
1986). It is worth noting that Bagehot saw an evolution, from a time when the dignified
and efficient elements were united in an absolute monarch to a period (Bagehot published
his work in 1867) in which the efficient aspect of government was directed by the cabinet
in parliament. In the Brazilian constitution the monarch possessed a significant portion of
the efficient aspect of government.
s3 Cited by Jos6 Murilo de Carvalho in Teatro de Sombras: A Politica Imperial (Sio
Paulo: Vrtice and Rio de Janeiro: IUPERJ, 1988), 16.






81

individuals of the province, elegantly dressed, filed one by one in front of a large portrait

of the emperor that was flanked by the Provincial President and the Bishop.

Pernambuco's leading citizens each bowed to the portrait, flanked by Church and State,

and paid their respects.54

The Regresso, although it found broad support, was most closely associated with

one province, Rio de Janeiro. In the 1830s coffee had overtaken sugar as Brazil's leading

export. Coffee exports initially came almost entirely from Rio de Janeiro's Paraiba

Valley, and subsequently spread to the provinces of SAo Paulo and Minas Gerais. The

tremendous boom in coffee exports, and the revenues that taxes on increased imports and

exports allowed the state, facilitated a mutually beneficial relationship between a strong

monarchy and wealthy fluminense planters and merchants." 4,'

Coffee planters needed a stable government with considerable authority. Slaves,

the majority of whom were African-born and potentially more likely to rebel, provided

the bulk of the labor pool. The fear of rebellion, even the dreaded possibility of race war

as in the Haitian Revolution, was ever present. Particularly worrisome were unstable

political conditions, in which upheavals of any nature might create divisions and

openings which slaves could seize. A strong and stable government, with an effective

Army and National Guard, was the surest guarantee. Stability was important as well to

assure the credit worthiness of Brazil in foreign financial markets where long-term loans


54 Barman, Brazil, 197, 202, 296 (note 64); Louis Leger Vauthier, Dirio Intimo de
Louis Leger Vauthier, reprinted in its entirety in Gilberto Freyre, Um Engenheiro Frances
no Brasil 2' Tomo (Rio de Janeiro: Jos6 Olympio, 1960), 646-647.

Needell, "Brasilien," 16-17; Barman, Brazil, 196-197; Flory, Judge and Jury, 133.
For a broad ranging, yet detailed, local study of fluminense coffee, see Stanley
Stein, Vassouras: A Brazilian Coffee County. 1850-1900 (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1957).








were sought. A strong national government also had a role to play in providing basic

infrastructure for a an expanding export economy.56

Conservative fluminense planters and merchants shared this interest in a strong

state with large-scale exporters elsewhere, particularly in the sugar, tobacco, and cotton

areas of Pernambuco and Bahia, but with an important distinction. Rooted in the port and

province of Rio de Janeiro, they were best positioned to establish connections at the

Court and influence politics there. The prominent politicians that led the regresso were

well-connected with the closely inter-knit Portuguese and fluminense merchant and \

planter elite of the Court and its hinterland. Consider, for example, the saquaremas.

Paulino Jose Soares de Sousa, from a prominent family in Minas Gerais which married

into various fluminense families, himself married a woman from a prominent planter clan

of the province, whose sister married Joaquim Jose Rodrigues T6rres. Rodrigues T6rres,

born in Itaborai to a prominent local Portuguese and his fluminense wife, himself headed

an extended family of planters with relations throughout the old plantation region of the

baixada fluminense (Rio de Janeiro's provincial lowlands). Eusdbio de Queir6s, a

Portuguese born in Angola, son of a prominent crown magistrate who had set down

Brazilian roots, himself married into a prominent Portuguese merchant family in Rio de

Janeiro; his mother-in-law, after the death of her husband, remarried to Jose Clemente

Pereira, a key Portuguese-born statesmen of the First Reign and former restorationist.

Likewise, an important ally, the strong-willed Conservative leader Hon6rio Hermeto

Carneiro LeAo, with roots in Minas Gerais, married a cousin, the daughter of a prominent

Rio merchant, and became a fluminense planter in time. Thus, this elite, with interests

ranging from Crown magistracy through Portuguese commerce and provincial planting,


56 Needell, "Brasilien," 17-18; Flory, Judge and Jury, 134; Barman, Brzil, 192.








had especially strong reason to see its future and fortune identified with the monarchy,

and provided it with solid political support and, via taxes on its exports and imports, a

strong revenue base for the state.57



As we have seen, the tumultuous years of the Regency discredited political

innovation. After Dom Pedro's abdication removed the key symbol of authority and

legitimacy, resorting to force to achieve political goals became widespread. The reader

may recall that decentralizing reforms only increased local struggle, as the stakes were

that much higher. Liberal judicial reforms, although crucial to restructuring political

power, seemed to unleash waves of crime, summed up in the complaint of impunity.

With authority and order undermined, increasing numbers of politically active Brazilians

accepted the conservative critique of liberal reformism. As this chapter has shown, it was

the regEessista triumph, intimately associated with the fluminense elite, that ultimately

gave significance to the Regency, by drawing the conclusions that led to the strengthened

state that emerged in the 1840s. For this reason, Nabuco would later describe the

interregnum as "The agitation of... ten years [that] produced the peace of the fifty years

that followed.""












Needell, "Brasilien," 17-19.

s Nabuco, Estadista, 32.














CHAPTER 3
CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS, 1837-1847
(01,
If Joaqu mNabuco looked upon the instability of the 1830s as the key to

understanding the Empire, it was the following decade in which the implications of the

Regency were worked out. Making sense of political competition in the period requires

attention to competing groups of elite families, although individuals of any position

might participate in political struggle. In the dramas played out, the question of order

was never far from center stage. Criminal violence, armed political struggle, the

possibility of violent upheaval of the lower classes, and how the newly emerging

institutions of the state could impose the law in distant and often unruly reaches of the

Empire were crucial to political discourse. Nonetheless, the dynamics of local and

provincial competition, with intimate links to the "high politics" of the Court, led to

intense polarization that made appeals to the lower, and potentially "dangerous," classes

attractive.



Much of Pernambuco's rich littoral was covered by great estates. There, relatively

small numbers of men exercised control over vast dependent populations. Large-scale

commercial activity in Recife revolved around export of the estates' production,

especially sugar, and the import of a wide variety of goods that such exports made

possible. Not surprisingly, wealthy landowning families possessed considerable political

influence.






85
The most powerful of all were the Cavalcanti de Albuquerques. Joaquim Nabuco

noted that the so-called Cavalcanti family was not, strictly speaking, one family, but

"diverse circles, formed by the old families," which controlled a large portion of the land

in the province.' Captain-Major Francisco de Paula de Holanda Cavalcanti de

Albuquerque, an organizer of turn of the century conspiracies against Portuguese rule and

a significant figure in the failed struggle for an independent Pernambucan republic in

1817, was descended from four powerful families that settled in early Brazil, three of

them in the sixteenth century--the Coelhos, Cavalcantis, Albuquerques, and Holandas.

He in turn fathered four sons who were ennobled, three of whom became significant

political leaders in their own right--the Liberal leader, Ant6nio Francisco de Paula

Holanda Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the Viscount of Albuquerque) and the

Conservatives Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the Viscount of Suassuna)

and Pedro Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the Viscount of Camaragibe).

Manuel Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti (the Baron of Moribeca) served only one term as a

provincial deputy, and did not pursue politics further. Over the course of the Monarchy,

the Cavalcanti de Albuquerques and their cousins received fifaen titles, more than any

other family in Brazil.2


'Nabuco, Estadista, 37. The statement on diverse circles parallels a comment in a
newspaper edited by the subject of the biography, his father, Jos6 Tomis Nabuco de
Araujo, from which Joaquim Nabuco quotes. It was presumably in response to
denunciations of "the Cavalcantis," whose target was really a broader group of families
allied with the Cavalcantis. Joaquim Nabuco was himself quite familiar with the
Pernambucan elite. His mother, a niece of Francisco Paes Barreto (the Marquis of Recife
and a leader of the 1817 bid for regional independence), belonged to a prominent family.
See Nabuco, Estadista, 46-47.
2 Eul-Soo Pang, In Pursuit of Honor and Power: Noblemen of the Southern Cross in
Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1988), 78-80.
Basic biographical information and brief narratives on prominent Pernambucans are
(continued...)








Elite families were closely inter-knit. The four ennobled Cavalcanti de

Albuquerques were cousins of Francisco do Rego Barros, the Baron of Boa Vista (the

Provincial President from 1837 to 1844 and leader of the Rego Barros family), by virtue

of marriage between a paternal aunt and the Baron of Boa Vista's father. One of the four

Cavalcanti brothers, Manuel Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti (Moribeca), was also son-in-

law to Francisco do Rego Barros.' The allied Rego Barros and Cavalcanti de

Albuquerque families played the leading role in provincial politics in the 1830s and

1840s. Ant6nio Francisco (Viscount of Albuquerque) was son-in-law to an imperial

senator from Pernambuco, Manuel Caetano de Almeida e Albuquerque. The Viscount of

Albuquerque thus served in the imperial Senate with both his brother, the Viscount of

Suassuna, and his father-in-law. Along with a handful of other families, such as the Sa

Albuquerques and the Paes Barretos in Cabo, the Lins in Escada, the Sousa Leaos in

Jaboatao, and the Wanderleys, this relatively small elite occupied commanding

economic and political positions and enjoyed great prestige.4

Jos6 Tomas Nabuco de Ara6jo, a leading Conservative politician, defended the

Cavalcantis from charges of oligarchical domination by arguing that their influence was

natural and appropriate.5 He noted the many official positions the Cavalcantis had


(...continued)
available in Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Dicionanro de Pernambucanos Celebres
(Recife: FundagAo de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1981). On the 1817 Revolution, see
Carlos Guilherme Mota, Nordeste 1817: Estruturas e Argumentos (Slo Paulo:
Perspectiva, 1972) and Glacyra Lazzari Leite, Pernambuco 1817: estrutura e
comportamentos sociais (Recife: Massangana, 1988).
3 Naro, "Brazil's 1848," p.79. The Baron's brothers Sebastido and Joao were also
active politically and, of course, related to the Cavalcantis.
4 Pang, In Pursuit of Honor, 76-80.

s As alluded to earlier, Nabuco de Arafijo is the subject of the magisterial biography
(continued...)








occupied prior to and after independence, and claimed they owned a third of the sugar

estates in the province. Yet he did not see this as evidence of oligarchy:

The influence of the Cavalcanti family is not a fact of 1835, but derives from H
remote times; that influence is not the work of power or revolution, but proceeds
from the nature of things; it is the influence that an old, rich and numerous family
that has always occupied the most advantageous social positions has always and
will always have.6

Powerful as the Cavalcantis were, their predominance did not go uncontested.

Much of their opposition coalesced around elite families of the littoral north of Recife. In

broad terms, one can speak of an alliance of families of more recent origin, as the dry

mata north of Recife had only prospered beginning with the cotton boom of the latter

eighteenth-century.7 While some of these families gained their wealth through cotton,

others grew sugar cane, like their rivals to the south of Recife. When political parties

emerged late in the Regency the faction north of Recife tended to ally with the Liberal

Party and their opponents with the Conservative Party. This split in the Pernambucan

elites was far from clear cut. Some planters in the north supported the Cavalcantis and

vice versa. Indeed, a key leader of the faction challenging the Cavalcanti led group,

Gervsio Pires Ferreira, owned a sugar plantation south of Recife. Exceptions were not

unusual, as local rivals routinely joined opposing parties. Nonetheless, the usefulness of

viewing political divisions in terms of these factions is apparent when one observes the

continuity over time in the composition of the rival political groupings. Individuals

(...continued)
Estadista do Imperio by Joaquim Nabuco.
6 Jose Thomaz Nabuco de Arafijo, Justa Apreciac&o do Predominio do Partido Praieiro
ou Hist6ria da Dominacao da Praia (Recife: Unido, 1847), 4. This piece was published
anonymously, but was the work of Nabuco.

On this cotton boom, see Dauril Alden, "Late Colonial Brazil, 1750-1808," esp. pp.
318-22, in Leslie Bethell, ed., Colonial Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1987).






88

associated with these two groups contested state power from the independence struggles

of 1821 and 1822 to the Praieira Revolution in 1848 and 1849.'

The Cavalcantis and their allies scored a significant victory when they placed one

of their own, Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the future Viscount of

Suassuna), into the provincial presidency in 1835. This they managed, ironically enough,

by supporting a radical liberal barracks revolt against Provincial President Manuel

Carvalho Paes de Andrade, a leader of the opposing faction.9 In 1837, their relative and ( ,

ally, the Conservative Francisco do Rego Barros, the future Baron of Boa Vista, replaced "I;

Francisco Ant6nio. He served as provincial president, with some interruptions, for the

unusually long period of seven years. Under his leadership, the so-called Rego Barros-

Cavalcanti oligarchy became thoroughly entrenched in government positions. The Baron

was thus a central figure of the era.

Like many members of the elite, Francisco do Rego Barros had undertaken

university studies in Europe. Arriving in Paris in 1823, Rego Barros must have felt the

same admiration for European civilization that so many of his contemporaries did.

Behind they had left a society lacking, in a certain way, self-confidence. Across Latin

America, many of the educated in the newly independent countries felt a degree of

cultural inferiority in relation to Europe. It was a commonplace of the era that their

countries had suffered from colonial rule that had retarded their progress. In the eyes of

some, even the Iberian colonial powers that had bequeathed them many of the European


Carvalho, Hegemony and Rebellion, 32-34.

9 Manoel Carvalho had led the Confederation of the Equator, an 1824 attempt at
forming an independent republic, against which the Cavalcantis and their southern allies
had struggled. Army troops from Rio de Janeiro put down the secessionist attempt.








elements of their culture and population themselves lagged behind in the changes

associated with the Enlightenment.'"

In Brazil, as elsewhere in Latin America, these feelings were compounded by the

contradictions of living in a society with profoundly racist assumptions, in the midst of a

population in which people of color predominated, and in which African-born slaves

were present in large numbers. Padre Lopes Gama summed up an attitude common

among the elite when he wrote that, "We, unfortunately born in the midst of African

slaves, are mainly and almost inevitably, poorly raised. The crude and brutal ways, the

vices of that unfortunate race have been inoculated on our people, and that is the seed of

our general immorality."" The view that Brazil possessed less "civilization" than the

more advanced countries of Europe was powerfully reinforced by the perceived failures

of the liberal reforms of the Regency.

If Brazil was lacking in civilization, Europe was the idealized model to which (i f

many looked. French and British literati exerted considerable influence, and not only

among those who devoted serious attention to their works. Serialized versions appeared

in newspapers, making them available to the broad range of the politically active

population. Newspapers provided regular coverage of European politics. One

Pernambucan newspaper explicitly stated that it was reprinting an article on the July


'o See Frank Safford, "Politics, Ideology, and Society," in Leslie Bethell, ed., Spanish
America After Independence. c. 1820-c. 1870" (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1987). In Argentina, for example, Sarmiento's depiction of New World barbarism is one
in which C6rdoba, symbolizing retrograde Spanish influence, is partly responsible. See
note 22 of chapter 2.

"Carapuceiro. A mi creaglo.," Diario de Pernambuco, Feb. 21, 1840, p.2. Diario de
Pernambuco, Feb. 21, 1840.








Revolution of 1830 in France and its consequences because of the applicability of its

lessons to Brazil.'2

It is easy to understand how Francisco de Rego Barros, upon arriving for his

studies of mathematics, was swept up in the culture and ambience of Paris. In

subsequent years, his opponents often noted the manners of a &[and seigneur he had

acquired in Europe. Immersion in French culture had not simply spurred vanity,

however. After his experience in Paris, he was convinced that beautifying Recife and

enriching the cultural life of the capital could play an important role in avoiding the flight

of talented men and in advancing the province.'" He further decided on the necessity of

improving the economic infrastructure of the province. Public-works projects were

crucial to achieving these goals.

The president lamented the difficulty of implementing projects. He cited the

"lack of intelligent workers... (and) engineers to direct them" and deplored the absence

of people capable of making maps, establishing budgets, and directing the construction of

roads, bridges, sidewalks and public buildings.'4 He wanted to establish a School of

Architecture to train people, but insisted on the need to hire competent professionals,

wherever they might be found. In 1838, the French engineer Boyer was hired to direct

port improvements and build the Quay do Colegio. Rego Barros relied mainly, however,

on another French engineer, Louis L6ger Vauthier. Trained at the renowned Ecole



12 "Diario de Pernambuco," Diario de Pernambuco, Nov. 17, 1842, p. 2. The same
paper later explained that many of the ideas and phrases in one of its articles were
derived from a recent article on events in France. See "COMMUNICADO. NOSSA
SITUAC AO ACTUAL.," Diario de Pernambuco, Jan. 5, 1843.

Nabuco, Estadista, 48.
'4 Falla ... 1838... Presidente (de Pernambuco) pp. 48-50, p. 49 for the quote.








Polytecnique in Paris, he had been hired in 1840, during Manuel de Sousa Teixeira's

brief term as provincial president, to supervise work on a hospital in the Convento do

Carmo and the building of a new government school. Rego Barros granted him

considerable authority to increase the scope of public works.I" Vauthier and his team of

foreign engineers subsequently oversaw all public works under Rego Barros.

The French engineer met resistance from various quarters. Rego Barros'

determination to see the plans through, however, led him to reorganize the Department of

Public Works, unifying its three branches. The president fired the head of one branch,

the Inspector General of Public Works, Firmino Herculano de Morais Ancora, a

prominent opponent of Vauthier. The German engineer Agusto Kersting, the head of

another, was placed under Vauthier's command. The Department of Public Works was

placed directly under the orders of the provincial president, avoiding bureaucratic

entanglements which could delay projects. Vauthier was given complete responsibility

for the preparation and execution of all public works projects, including preparing their

technical and administrative aspects, acquiring materials, handling the accounting, and

supervising the work performed. The French engineer only needed to submit his plans to

Rego Barros and receive his approval. Vauthier's freedom of action was assured.6

In 1838 the provincial president moved to address the shortage of skilled labor by 10 i

recruiting artisans from Europe. The following year a Companhia de Operarios brought

105 German artisans, masons, carpenters, and blacksmiths. They added considerably to

the skilled labor available in the province, working on the construction of roads, bridges,



'" Relat6rio ... 1841.. .Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 9.
16 Freyre, Um Engenheiro Francds, 312-315; Relat6rio. .1841.. Presidente (de
Pernambuco), pp. 8-9.








wharves, and buildings until the company was disbanded in 1843. Their contribution

was notable in the two most dramatic architectural achievements of the period--the

Teatro de Santa Isabel and the Caxanga suspension bridge over the Capibaribe River.7

Seeking foreign technical experts was not a novelty. As early as 1825, Provincial

President Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque had written to Holland, seeking

a hydraulic engineer to direct port improvements." In 1830 the County Council of

Recife hired the German engineer Jolo Bloem as Encarregado da Architectura da Cidade.

Bloem held various posts over the rest of the decade. He helped develop plans to

improve Recife along European lines. The narrow, twisting streets were to be replaced

with wider ones, straight, and of uniform sizes and division into blocks. Building codes

were to ensure greater uniformity. Contiguous buildings were to be of the same height.

The height of new homes, as well as the number and size of windows and doors were

regulated, cornices made mandatory and stone sidewalks of determined width were

specified.'9

If acquiring access to foreign technical expertise was not new, the scale of the

reforms undertaken was indeed unprecedented. Under the provincial president's

leadership, old structures, such as the Customs building, were improved, and new ones



"7 Flivio Guerra, 0 Conde da Boa Vista e o Recife (Recife: Fundaqlo Guararapes,
1973), 87-88, 91-93; Freyre, Um Engenheiro Frances, 291-293, 1839; Relatorio...
1840 .. President (de Pernambuco), p. 12; Guilherme Auler, A Companhia de
Operirios. 1839-1843: Subsidios para o Estudo da Emigragio Germanica no Brasil
(Recife: Arquivo P6blico Estadual, 1959).

Freyre, Um Engenheiro Francis, 292.

'9 Ibid., 285-290. Under Dom JoAo VI (initially as Prince Regent and then as King of
Portugal), the prefect of Rio de Janeiro, Paulo Fernandes Viana, had undertaken similar
reforms. See Jeffrey D. Needell, A Tropical Belle Epoque : Elite culture and society in
turn-of-the-century Rio de Janeiro (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987), 24-25.








were constructed, including an impressive Presidential Palace. Most striking, however,

was the Theatro de Santa Isabel. Francisco de Rego Barros had been taken by French

theater, especially the classic works of Moliere, Racine, and Corneille. The years of his

residence in Paris, 1823-1825, had seen the openings of impressive theaters--the

_ymns, Gat and Porte Saint-Martin, as well as the rebuilding of the Od6on.2 As

president, Rego Barros sought a new theater which, with the "advantages that result for

civilization and morality," would play an important role in enriching the capital's cultural

life.2' The dilapidated old theater, popularly known disparagingly as the Teatro r, s

Capoeira, or Bush Theater, was so rundown that few people attended its performances.2

Rego Barros rejected initial plans for a new building, drawn up by the French

engineer Boyer, as too modest. At his first meeting with the French engineer Vauthier he

discussed his own ideas for a new theater. Vauthier then drew up plans for an

appropriately sumptuous theater. The project was thoroughly foreign in inspiration and

architectural models. A Frenchman directed its construction, employing many foreign

artisans, using new construction techniques, and various materials imported from abroad-

-stone blocks from Lisbon, iron from France, copper nails from England, and cement

from Sweden.2





20 Guerra, 0 Conde, 78.

21 Relat6rio ... 1839. .. Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 36.

22 Ibid.; Guerra, 0 Conde, 80.

23 Guerra, 0 Conde, 82; Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos
10 (Recife: FUNDARPE), 173-175; Freyre, Um Engenheiro Francds on first meeting.
Funding cuts under the Liberals delayed its opening to 1850. It was named after the heir
to the Brazilian throne, Princess Isabel.








Beautification of the provincial capital was only part of Rego Barros' plans. His

immediate concern upon entering office was to improve the economic infra-structure of

the province. In his first report to the Provincial Assembly, in March of 1838, he said

that,

[I am] persuaded, Senhores, of how beneficial it would be for the province to ,.1'> .4'
establish the means of easy transportation of goods to the market of this city, thus,
shortening the distance between places, diminishing the risk of travellers and
avoiding the increase in costs of production, it was my first and principal care to
find out exact information on works in progress... I arrived at the conclusion
that... very little has been done for the material improvement of our land. 24

Road construction figured prominently in the president's plans. During his

administration considerable progress was made on four trunk roads from Recife to

Goiana in the north, Limoeiro in the northwest, Vit6ria de Santo Antio in the west, and

Escada in the southwest. Likewise, his annual reports to the Provincial Assembly were

filled with details on the progress of repairs to bridges and earthen embankments around

them. Citing the extraordinary costs of continual repair of wooden bridges, the Recife

and Boa Vista bridges were rebuilt with iron. Rego Barros also noted that new iron

bridges would beautify the city, as well as conserve labor. In 1843 work began on a

suspension bridge, a startling innovation in the province, over the Beberibe River near

Caxanga.25

24 Falla ... 1838 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 35.

25 Freyre, Um Engenheiro Frances, 307-310; Falla ... 1838... Presidente (de
Pernambuco), pp. 33-53; Relatorio... 1839 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco) pp. 28-36;
Relatorio... 1840 .. Preidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 10-13; Relatorio...
Presidente... (de Pernambuco), pp. 7-10; Relatorio... 1842 ... President (de
Pernambuco), pp. 17-19; Relatorio... 1843... President (de Pernambuco), pp. 20-24;
Relatorio.., 1844.,. Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 14-17. For roads, see all the
presidential reports to the Provincial Assembly of the period, as well as Naro, "Brazil's
1848," pp. 88-92; for iron bridges, see Falla ... 1838... Presidente (de Pernambuco),.
pp. 41-42; and Relat6rio... 1841 ... Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 8. On the Caxanga
(continued...)




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PERNAMBUCO AND THE CONSTRUCTION
OF THE BRAZILIAN NATION-STATE, 1831-1850
By
JEFFREY CARL MOSHER
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1996

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The debts one incurs in a project such as this are, of course, too numerous to list. A
few individuals, however, must be thanked. The members of my supervisory committee,
David Bushnell, Murdo MacLeod, Jeffrey Needell, Harry Paul, and Steven Sanderson,
have both served me well and been a pleasure to work with. I am grateful for their time
and effort throughout my years at the University of Florida. In particular, I wish to thank
my advisor, Jeffrey Needell. He has offered not only his expertise, but also patience,
encouragement, and wise guidance in far greater measure than any individual could
reasonably expect. I can only hope that one day I will be able to assist students as well as
he has done for me.
I would also like to thank Thomas Gallant, who has been very giving of his time.
Many scholars at the University of Florida and elsewhere who have taken the time to
read various drafts of my work. I appreciate their efforts. The librarians at the
University of Florida's Latin American Collection have also assisted me on countless
occasions.
I owe Hildo Leal da Rosa, an archivist at the Arquivo Publico Estadual de
Pernambuco, more than he will ever know for the considerable assistance he provided
me. The staff at the Arquivo was always helpful. Marcus Carvalho, a historian at the
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, offered suggestions and made his own valuable
11

work available. José Antonio Gonsalves de Mello opened the archives of the Instituto
Arqueológico, Histórico, e Geográfico Pernambucano to me. It was a pleasure to work
alongside the Saturday morning genealogy group at the Instituto. Marc Hoffnagel was
helpful on various occasions. In Rio de Janeiro I was fortunate to receive, like so many
researchers before me, the assistance of José Gabriel da Costa Pinto. A list of people
who assisted me at the Arquivo Nacional, the Biblioteca Nacional, and the Insituto
Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro would be lengthy. I am grateful for their assistance.
The University of Florida, the Tinker Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, and
the National Science Foundation provided financial support. I trust the end result will
validate their decisions to support my work.
My debt to my parents, Carl and Anne Mosher, is, of course, of long standing. I
appreciate their continued support and hope this work will give them some sense of what
it is I have chosen to pursue. Above all, I am endebted to my wife Dina and our
daughters Talia and Miriam. This project has kept me away from my wife, children, and
home more than I wanted. It has been Dina's support that has made it all possible. I am
grateful, yet more than that, I know I have been truly fortunate.
in

TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
ABSTRACT v
INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTERS
1 INDEPENDENCE, REFORM, AND REBELLION, 1831-1835 22
2 REACTION, 1836-1841 61
3 CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS, 1837-1847 84
4 “FOREIGNERS IN THEIR OWN LAND”: POLITICAL PARTIES,
POPULAR MOBILIZATION, AND THE PORTUGUESE 150
5 THE PRAIEIRA REVOLUTION, 1848-1850 183
CONCLUSION 248
SOURCES CITED 254
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 266
IV

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
PERNAMBUCO AND THE CONSTRUCTION
OF THE BRAZILIAN NATION STATE, 1831-1850
By
Jeffrey Carl Mosher
May 1996
Chairman: Jeffrey D Needell
Major Department: History
This dissertation examines nation-building from the provincial perspective of
Pernambuco, Brazil, in the period 1831-1850. The project rectifies the bias towards
state-making as a uni-directional process of expansion from the center, by examining the
dialectic between provincial and national politics and society. The work analyzes the
impact of local power struggles, particularly popular mobilization and violence, on the
development of national political institutions and practice in the early phases of nation
building. In exploring the bases of unity and division among the elite, the work
demonstrates that careful scrutiny of political behavior reveals tension between the
impulse to compete for land, labor, prestige, and related control of state power and the
need for elite unity in the face of the ever-present fear of social upheaval. The
dissertation demonstrates that intra-elite conflict in the context of a weak central state ran
such a risk of igniting larger social conflagrations that many of the very regional elites
v

that had succeeded in achieving considerable autonomy in the 1830s subsequently
became the greatest proponents of centralization.
The work complements the traditional focus on familial and clientelistic networks
with analysis of ideology. The dissertation challenges the prevailing interpretation of
political parties, that they were mere vehicles for patronage, devoid of ideological
content. The Praieira liberal party in Pernambuco, for example, made frequent appeals to
the discontented urban lower classes on the basis of lusophobia. Anti-Portuguese appeals
played on the belief that the large Portuguese presence in the economy, particularly in
*P¡Pope tC
small-scale commerce, impeded Brazilians from gaining employment and undermined c¿>! r
artisan production. The party's call for a nationalist development strategy demonstrated a
sharp programmatic difference from the Conservatives. Willingness to appeal to the
"dangerous classes" marked differences in attitudes towards democratic participation.
The party's call for decentralization of national political institutions likewise challenged App’rjyef
pgtrrtU}*?)
the political system constructed by Conservatives.
vi

INTRODUCTION
Historiography
The nature and role of the state is currently undergoing reassessment in Latin
America and elsewhere. Such reassessment requires historical analysis of the origins of
the relationship between the state and civil society. This study explores the impact of
local political struggles on the development of national political institutions in the early
phases of nation-building in Brazil. My focus is upon the Province of Pernambuco
between 1831 and 1850, a period which encompasses both decentralizing, democratic
reforms and subsequent consolidation under an authoritarian centralized regime. I have
r>
chosen Pernambuco because it combines considerable economic importance with both • . i
^ few
political instability (revolting against the central government in 1817, 1824, 1832-1836,
and 1848) and political importance (with an unusually large number of prominent
statesmen participating in the nation's construction).
Several developments have generated renewed interest in state and society relations
in Latin America. The first was the rise of "bureaucratic-authoritarian" regimes in the
1960s and the 1970s, because they appeared to increase state power sharply at the
expense of civil society. For the Brazilian case, Peter Evans, in Dependent Development,
explores the alhances that a powerful state can make with national and foreign actors 1
The second, related to the newly increased power of the state, has been criticism of
1 Peter Evans, Dependent Development: The Alliance of Multinational. State, and
Local Capital in Brazil (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1979).
1

2
governmental inefficiency and calls for a reduced state role in the economy. The third
has arisen from the work of neo-Marxists such as Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas.
These analysts observe that traditional Marxist literature de-emphasizes the state, treating
it mainly as an instrument for class rule. They point out, however, that Marx qualified
his analysis of the state as the "executive committee of the bourgeoisie," allowing for
cases in which no one class enjoys a dominant position in society or in which a parasitic
bureaucracy develops. Their renewed attention to the state in advanced capitalist
societies has coincided with a more general interest among academics, including some
social historians, in bringing the state back into the analysis.2
State-making, whether in early modem Europe, former European colonies after the
Second World War, or nineteenth-century Latin America, has often been characterized by
violent resistance to centralization. Cohen, Brown, and Organski argue that violence is
an integral part of the accumulation of power by the new national state.3 Charles Tilly's
2 Ralph Miliband, The State in Capitalist Society (New York: Basic Books, 1969);
Nicos Poulantzas, Political Power and Social Classes (London: New Left Books, Verso,
1978). The state has received considerable attention from Marxists for several decades
now, but Miliband and Poulantzas have been particularly influential in Latin America
On the broader interest in the state among social scientists, see Peter Evans, Peter
Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, eds., Bringing the State Back In
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985). Two early calls for reincorporating politics
into social history were issued by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, "The
Political Crisis of Social History: A Marxian Perspective," Journal of Social History 10:2
(1976) and Tony Judt, "A Clown in Regal Purple: Social History and the Social
Historians," History Workshop 7 (1979). Also, see William Taylor, "Between Global
Process and Local Knowledge: An Enquiry into Early Latin American Social History,
1500-1900," in Olivier Zunz, ed., Reliving the Past: The Worlds of Social History
(Chapel Hill: Duke Univ. Press, 1985). For a recent work that has taken up this call, see
George Reid Andrews, Blacks and Whites in Sao Paulo. Brazil. 1888-1988 (Madison:
Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1991).
3 Youssef Cohen, Brian Brown, and A.F.K. Organski, "The Paradoxical Nature of
Statemaking: The Violent Creation of Order," American Political Science Review 75:4
(December, 1981).

3
work exemplifies a considerable body of literature that explores the institutional
consequences of struggles between state-makers seeking extraction of resources and the
populations that resist loss of local control.4 Examination of nineteenth-century Brazil
suggests that such approaches, in focussing on resistance to extraction by the central
government, have failed to identify a significant dynamic that can facilitate
centralization—the need to maintain social control threatened by local conflict. I Hr
hypothesize that it was the very success of demands for provincial autonomy in the 1830s
that, paradoxically, led to the definitive establishment of a highly centralized regime in
the 1840s which could establish and maintain the social and political order. I argue that
reforms that shifted control of influential offices from the Court to the provincial capitals
and reforms that increased citizen participation, such as local election of powerful
justices of the peace and instituting the jury system, ran significant risks of igniting larger
social conflagrations. As a consequence, many of the ve^ regtona, Cites «ha, had ^ ^
succeeded in achieving autonomy subsequently became, when threatened from below,
f
the greatest proponents of centralization.
The seemingly paradoxical provincial assistance in building centralized state power
suggests the need to reformulate Michael Mann's influential distinction between despotic
and infrastructural state power.5 Mann sees despotic power in the range of actions which
the state elite is empowered to undertake without need for routine negotiations with civil
4 Among Charles Tilly's abundant works, see especially The Contentious French
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986), as well as Coercion, Capital, and European
States. A D, 990-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990) and the influential
volume he edited, The Formation of National States in Western Europe (Princeton:
Princeton Univ. Press, 1975).
5 Michael Mann, "The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and
Results," in John Hall, ed., States in History (Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell,
1986).

4
society. Infrastructural power is conceptualized as the capacity to penetrate civil society
and implement political decisions throughout the realm. This distinction illuminates
Brazil's First Reign (1822-1831) as a period of struggle over the Court's efforts to
construct infrastructural capacity throughout the country and the Regency (1831-1840) as
the abandonment of that effort. The first decade or so of the Second Reign (1840-1889)
marks a period of renewed efforts to create infrastructural power, this time, crucially,
with the active support of many leaders on the periphery who had been challenged by
Regency social and political upheavals. I argue that the active role of some provincial
leaders in helping to construct infrastructural power for the state suggests the need to
refine Mann's conceptualization. State power ought to be seen not only as something \
wielded over civil society by a central, state elite, but potentially as an enabling power,
(cwlrfititn
which, by providing desired services, can increase the power of both the state and certain
local groups in civil society.6
Conceptualization of civil society in Brazil has long focused on informal structures
based on kinship and patron-client networks. Tightly interwoven with formal
Jon**'
4
npbseTlrS'
institutions, an understanding of these informal structures is crucial to grasping the
significance of the better documented and more easily observable formal institutions.
Family networks were crucial after independence, when the central government
proved unable to consistently and successfully impose itself on the provinces. Political
union with Portugal had been ruptured; the contours of a new political framework were
hotly contested. Pernambuco, for example, was the scene of a struggle for an
independent republic in 1817, and, again, in 1824. In the 1830s, various urban revolts
6 See John Hall's discussion of Mann’s argument in “Introduction," Hall, States in
History, esp. p. 16.

erupted, as well as the three-year Guerra dos Cabanos in the countryside.7
Governmental reforms changed relationships of authority; indeed, they contributed to the
instability of the period. In this context, family groups were well positioned to pursue
their goals without being forcefully restrained by the state.8
Richard Graham describes the family and household as the basic units of the polity.
Reaching beyond the nuclear family, they encompassed a variety of people related by
blood, marriage, and ritual kinship. A degree of ambiguity in the term is clear, in that
others not thus related, such as a senhor de engenho's slaves and tenants, might be called
"family" as well.9 Linda Lewin notes that in Paraiba "family" generally referred to the
"extended family" or parentela. This large group included "maternal and paternal
ascendants and lineal descendants of several generations," aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces,
as well as others brought in by marriage, and Active kin.10
7 Cabanos were shanties or shacks of the rural poor and, by extension, members of the
rural poor who participated in this rebellion.
8 On the opportunities independence allowed family networks generally in Latin
America and on the inverse relationship between the power of the state and that of
families, see Diana Balmori, Stuart F. Voss, and Miles Wortman, Notable Family
Networks in Latin America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 10, 23.
Oliveira Viana, Populacoes Meridionais do Brasil: historia, organizacao. psvchologia
(Sao Paulo: Monteiro Lobato, 1922). Here and below, Portuguese orthography in the
citations reflects the usage in the works cited and will not necessarily conform to modern
spelling and diacritical mark usage.
9 Graham, Patronage and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Stanford: Stanford
Univ.Press, 1990), 17, 20-21. Eul-Soo Pang observes that slaves and the free poor
population dependent on a senhor de engenho often used his surname and wryly notes
that the sexual access the senhor abused often fully justified this practice. See In Pursuit
of Honor and Power: Noblemen of the Southern Cross in Nineteenth-Centurv Brazil
(Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 1988), 77.
10 Linda Lewin, Politics and Parentela in Paraiba: A Case Study of Family-Based
Oligarchy in Brazil (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1987), 129-131.

The father's firm control of his family was reinforced by laws that enhanced his
authority. He rewarded loyalty with benevolence, protection, and access to resources.
Insufficient loyalty could elicit harsh treatment. Extreme cases might even bring
imprisonment or expulsion from the family.11
Families formed advantageous alliances, especially through marriages. A political
alliance could be cemented, for example, by two men marrying each other's sisters;
especially tight bonds were formed if the marriage was between cousins. This strategic
view of family can also be seen in the flexibility of recognizing kinship. There was
"ample opportunity for asserting claims to membership in a range of families, since
everyone could claim to belong to at least two parentelas."12 Naming practices allowed
great flexibility in recognizing and emphasizing kinship and could be manipulated to
advance political interests.13
The family provided the resources necessary for political engagement; the personal
connections inherent in family networks were crucial. Linda Lewin has observed that
[T]he parentela underlay the basis of a politician's network and political friends.
From it he constructed the core of his personalistic following, a family-based group
that organized and delivered his votes locally, defended his partisan interests in his
11 Graham, Patronage and Politics. 17-23. Lewin cites refusal "to marry or exact
vengeance, or to execute capricious demands" as grounds for expulsion. Lewin, Politics
and Parentela. 133. For a detailed analysis of legal changes influencing the institution of
the family, see Dain Borges, The Family in Bahia. Brazil. 1870-1945 (Stanford: Stanford
Univ. Press, 1992), chapter 4. The work is relevant to a longer period than the title
suggests.
12 Lewin, Politics and Parentela. 143.
13 Ibid., 133-134, 149; Pang, In Pursuit of Honor. 76-77. Dain Borges provides a
careful analysis of family strategies in Bahia. See Borges, The Family in Bahia, chapter
7.

7
home municipio, and served him loyally as officeholders or bureaucratic
appointees.14
Analysis of nineteenth-century Brazil has traditionally emphasized the importance
of family and other informal groups over formal political institutions. Indeed, political
parties have long been seen as personalistic groups formed to capture the spoils of
government.15 Many authors have assumed similarity in their class composition, outlook
and interests and have dismissed whatever differences may have existed in their political
ideas as of little importance. Emilia Viotti da Costa, for example, has written that until
the last decades of the Empire, "political struggle was really little else than a struggle for
power between factions under the leadership of prestigious families."16 While party
divisions and the absence of ideological commitments made for ministerial instability, it
was of little significance. "As long as the elites agreed about the main policies to be
followed the alternation of political parties did not make any fundamental difference."17
Likewise, Cáio Prado Júnior wrote that governments were differentiated by liberal and
conservative labels, "without that variety of nomenclature having the slightest
significance."18
Some analysts, however, have seen differences in the compositions and interests of
the parties. In 1948, Afonso Arinos Melo Franco wrote of agrarian interests in the
¡M&i
jV*f
om'n.
14 Lewin, Politics and Parentela. 127. Lewin's main interest is in a later period, but her
discussion applies here as well. Graham, Patronage and Politics. 18.
15 Variations on this view are common in discussions of today's parties as well
16 Emilia Viotti da Costa, The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1985), 70-71.
17 Ibid., 70.
18 Cáio Prado Júnior, Evolucáo Política do Brasil e Outros Estudos (Sao Paulo:
Editora Brasiliense, 1963), 81

8
Conservative party and urban interests and magistrates in the Liberal party. In contrast,
Raymundo Faoro wrote of the Conservative Party as a bastion of a bureaucratic estate,
and the Liberal Party as representing agrarian interests opposed to a strong central state.
All these analyses share a lack of any firm documentary evidence for their conclusions. ?
The understandings of political parties seem to speak more to varying conceptualizations
of nineteenth-century society than to a careful sifting of evidence. Faoro, for example,
sees a centuries long battle between an expanding bureaucratic estate and civil society,
and projects that battle onto the political parties.1^^
José Murilo de Carvalho has written the most carefully documented analysis of the
composition of the political parties. He concludes that public functionaries, mainly
magistrates, were more heavily represented in the Conservative Party, while the Liberal
Party attracted more of the liberal professions. Rural landowners were represented evenly
in both parties, but the Conservatives had the allegiance of more landowners in-export-
oriented areas and ones of the oldest colonization, while the Liberals were supported by
landowners with internal markets. There were merchants in each party, but the
wealthiest tended to be Conservative. Thus, Conservatives were strong in Rio de Janeiro,
Bahia, and Pernambuco, where foreign trade made for powerful merchants with a less
provincial view of politics, and where, in the three largest cities of the empire,
preoccupation with order was greatest. Individuals with higher education and
administrative training were also concentrated there, due to the strong economies or
19 Raymundo Faoro, Os Donos do Poder: Formapao do patronato politico brasileiro 2
vols. (Rio de Janeiro: Globo, 1987); Afonso Arinos Melo Franco, Historia e Teoría do
Partido Político no Direito Constitucional Brasileiro ÍRio de Janeiro. 1948). For
summaries of other works that touch on these issues, see José Murilo de Carvalho, A
Construcao da Ordem: A elite política imperial (Rio de Janeiro: Editora Campus, 1980),
155-157 and limar Rohloff de Mattos, O Tempo Saquarema: A Formapao do Estado
Imperial (Sao Paulo: Editora Hucitec, 1990), pp. 130-132, notes 84-85.

9
importance as administrative centers in the colonial period. Conservative cadres from
these areas supported and carried out policies of state centralization. Liberals were
strongest in Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul, where links with foreign
trade were weaker, there were fewer individuals with higher education and where
opposition to centralization had been greatest. The weakness of Murilo de Carvalho's ( f
study is that it analyzes only party members who served as government ministers: its
conclusions refer only to the party elite. Thus, unless one accepts an assumption that the jcqifct*
party elite faithfully reflects the membership of the entire party, the composition of the
imperial political parties in terms of class and occupation remains an open question.20
Richard Graham has provided the most powerful argument for viewing parties as
i
OP
devoid of ideological content and any significant differentiation. Graham believes that
emphasizing struggles over policies is to misunderstand nineteenth-century politics.
Politics was not fundamentally about government policies; rather, politicians were
concerned, above all, with patronage. In particular, patronage was the building block
which allowed leading landowners to solidify their power locally and thus deliver votes
for candidates for national office. The Deputies could then aid their local patrons to
expand their clientele and power by securing government posts for them from cabinet
ministries, in exchange for political support in Parliament.21
In its focus on patronage, politics was not, first and foremost, about policies, but
about reinforcing values that undergird stability. The wealthy used government positions
20 Murilo de Carvalho, A Construcao da Ordem. chapter 8. In fairness to the author,
no one has found a documentary base for a broader study that would encompass a cross
section of the parties and it is questionable whether sufficient data exists. See Murilo de
Carvalhos's appendix, "Algumas observares sobre fontes de dados biográficas," 185-
189.
21 Graham, Patronage and Politics, pp. 71-100.

/
10
not for "adopting this or that policy, tax law, tariff regulation, or labor act, but as an
influence on concepts of the good and true, of properly deferential behavior within a
hierarchical social structure, of loyalty to one's patron and care towards one's clients."22
Politicians' preoccupation with patronage "legitimized the existing social structure . . .
Politics indeed worked to that end, but not solely or even principally through the pursuit
of particular government policies. Rather the goal was reached through an entire style of
life and practice."23 The purpose of political action was based on two fundamental
notions. First, "that all social relations consisted in an exchange of protection for loyalty
[and that] recalcitrance merited punishment. Second, virtually every institution served to
stress the social hierarchy, insisting that for every individual there was a very particular
place . . ."24 The mobility of the free but landless rural poor, people with a will of their
own, made effective social control imperative.25
Elections were frequent events in which many participated. They "were, first of all,
elaborate dramatic performances that insistently reiterated the conviction that the only
proper basis of social organization lay in a clear recognition of everyone's social
superiority or inferiority."26 Beyond their symbolic function, elections also worked to
provide the government with support from the most powerful members of society.
Elections did not serve primarily for voters to select winning candidates, for there was
little doubt about this, since whichever faction controlled the electoral board that
22 Ibid., 4-5.
23 Ibid., 7.
24 Ibid., 23-24.
25 Ibid., 4-7, 32-31.
26 Ibid., 120-121 for the quotation. On elections as theater, pp. 101-121.

11
supervised the elections was likely to win. Rather, they served as a testing ground, in
which challengers to the dominant faction attempted to demonstrate their power through
force or its threat. Successful challenges resulted in objections to fraud being recorded in
the electoral minutes. Challengers who demonstrated their strength would likely be
recognized by the government and allowed some government posts. Thus, through
frequent tests of power and appropriate government responses, the government stayed in
touch with the balance of power in villages throughout the empire.27
Graham depicts a system in which power simultaneously flowed down from the
cabinet through the Provincial President and up from the powerful landowners through
the Provincial President. Deputies to the Parliament found themselves at the intersection
of these two planes of power, needing the support of each. Candidates appealed not to
individual voters for support, but to electors or their patrons, as well as to the Cabinet.
Local factions sought to be recognized as the most powerful, and thus deserving of
government patronage. The Cabinet, in turn, supported the group perceived as the most
powerful.28
Nowhere in this scheme do political ideas, ideology, or policies figure prominently.
For Graham, personal ties determined political groups, not questions of party or ideology.
Parties were merely loose affiliations of deputies, without any commitment to particular
policies. Indeed, some individuals switched parties and parties failed to consistently ) (H.^
pursue distinctive programs.29
27 Ibid., 122-145.
28 Graham, Patronage and Politics, pp. 146-181.
29 Ibid., 122-145, 169-170. Graham qualifies his argument slightly. He recognizes
that some deputes who were out of power might take somewhat more doctrinaire
(continued...)

12
The prevailing interpretation of political parties, that they were mere vehicles for
patronage, devoid of ideological content, appears open to question. Pernambuco
provides evidence not only for important differences between elite political conceptions,
but also for meaningful party differences over programs and willingness to mobilize the
L
lower classes for political struggle. The Praieira liberal party in Pernambuco, for
\ #rr>.
example, made frequent appeals to the discontented urban lower classes on the basis of
lusophobia.30 Anti-Portuguese appeals played on the belief that the large Portuguese
presence in the economy, particularly in small-scale commerce, impeded Brazilians from
gaining employment and undermined artisan production. The party's call for
nationalization of retail commerce demonstrated a sharp programmatic difference from
the Conservatives, as well as a dramatic contrast in willingness to appeal to the
"dangerous classes." Anti-Portuguese riots, particularly two days of mayhem in June of
1848, provide considerable support for this analysis, as does the large-scale mobilization
of the urban and rural poor for the last great regional rebellion of the Monarchy, the
Praieira Revolution of 1848
(...continued)
positions and that urban voters began to identify with particular political positions He
sees that landowners in regions more recently settled, who lacked ties to powerful
politicians, might favor greater provincial autonomy. Yet he minimizes the importance
of these qualifications. Cities were few. Elections were won in the countryside—only
there could local potentates marshal large blocs of voters. Despite what minor
differences might exist, deputies shared a common social background and the crucial
issues they dealt with were the patronage of local bosses. Even issues which might seem
crucial to modern readers, such as taxes and distribution of revenues, did not supersede
the local leaders'concern with securing appointments. Ibid , 169-171, 176-181
30 The praieiros. who took their name from the Rua da Praia (Beach Street), where
their party newspaper was published, were the local, Pernambuco allies of the Liberal
party in Rio. On the Liberals, especially in Rio, see Thomas Flory, Judge and Jury in
Imperial Brazil. 1808-1871: Social Control and Political Stability in the New State
(Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1981) and Roderick Barman, Brazil: The Forging of a
Nation. 1798-1852 (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1988).
I

13
In exploring the bases of unity and division among the elite, I argue that careful
scrutiny of political behavior reveals tension between the impulse to compete for land,
labor, prestige, and related control of state power, and the need for elite unity in the face
of ever-present fear of social upheaval in a society profoundly divided by race and
slavery. Having examined the political conflict of the period, I have come to emphasize
the ideological significance of the rift between liberals and conservatives. I hypothesize
that ideological differences in part corresponded to a conflict between older entrenched
'/
families and the newer planter families that challenged them. I propose that rising groups :rj6rj â– 
■ ’ J
combined a strategic view of liberalism with a commitment to democratic intellectual ,*• >>
currents flowing from the United States and England. These intellectual currents,
however, in a fluid period of experimentation in developing new political institutions and
practice, offered such promise that they attracted individuals from other groups as well. I
further hypothesize that the clash of liberals and conservatives can be read, in part, as a
crucially important ideological debate over the propriety of inclusion of the middle and
predominantly Afro-Brazilian lower classes in intra-elite conflict. I propose that the
great political violence of the period profoundly influenced discourse on race, politics,
and political institutions, leaving a legacy of pessimism concerning the possibility of
democratic participation.
The Setting
The varied geographical conditions of Pernambuco have long been recognized as a
key to understanding how Pernambucans have ordered their society. Since early colonial
days, sugar has been grown for export in the coastal zona da mata, or forest area.
Stretching the 225 kilometers from the northern border with Paraiba to Alagoas in the

14
south, comprising sixteen percent of the province, it is here that the bulk of the
population has lived since Portuguese settlement in the 1530s. In contrast, the sertao. or f
backland, occupies well over half of Pernambuco's total area, yet has always supported
only a small population. These harsh, dry scrublands served most importantly for raising
cattle for the coastal sugar industry. Between the two lies a varied transitional zone, the
agreste, resembling the sertao here, the coastal zona da mata there. Commercial hubs
such as Caruaru developed in the agreste, linking the cattle raising interior with the sugar
producing coast.31
The humid zona da mata, extending from the Borborema Plateau to the coast, with
rich black massapé soils, rainy and dry seasons and perennial rivers, was early
recognized as ideal for growing sugar cane. It was here that Duarte Coelho established
the first successful sugar mills in Brazil, in the 1530s. The southern half of the forest
zone, roughly that south of Recife, presents superior conditions for cultivating sugar
cane, particularly its greater rainfall, 2,500 mm in some places, and larger and more
regular rivers. The flood plains adjacent to these large rivers with soils moistened and
enriched with humus left by river overflow were the most productive areas. By the
nineteenth century, the greatest estates were located around Cabo, between the Jaboatáo
and Serinhaem Rivers, estates with 100 to 150 slaves and huge, two story houses for the
estate owners. In the drier mata north of Recife there were fewer of the great estates like
those in Cabo. Rainfall here rarely exceeds 2,000 mm a year, and is considerably less in
31 Manuel Correia de Andrade, The Land and People of Northeast Brazil
(Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1980), provides a detailed statement on the
geography of the region in chapter 2; Peter L. Eisenberg, The Sugar Industry in
Pernambuco: Modernization Without Change. 1840-1910 (Berkeley: Univ. of California
Press, 1974), 121-123; Nancy Priscilla Naro, "Brazil's 1848: The Praieira Revolt" (Ph D.
diss., University of Chicago, 1980), 11-12.

15
many places, especially farther from the coast. On lands not suitable for cane, squatters
or slaves might plant beans, manioc, or fruit. In some places sugar cane shared the
landscape with cotton fields, large and small, though cotton was more important in the
transitional agreste, to which the zona da mata gives way here within ninety kilometers of
the coast north of Recife, and 160 kilometers in places to the south.32
The agreste, a drier area sometimes struck by drought, supported a sparser
population. Still,though scattered among the drier lands, were some breios. elevated
areas with cooler temperatures moistened by wet winds year round, niches providing
pockets of denser settlement. The bulk of the province's cotton was produced in the
agreste, on a variety of scales, from large land holdings worked by numerous slaves, to
small plots worked by renters and sharecroppers. The far smaller labor and capital
requirements, shorter growing cycle, as well as the practice of planting beans and maize
alongside the cotton, made even small-scale farms feasible. Cattle raising was also
important. Commercial centers such as Caruaru, a key point in the cattle route from the
backlands to the coast, and Bom Jardim, important in the cotton trade, developed.33
The hot, dry sertao. an enormous area not infrequently struck by drought, was, and
continues to be, thinly populated. The region's settlers spread over the area, grazing
cattle for the coastal sugar industry, with its need for beasts of burden for mill work and
transportation, as well as for meat. Extensive grazing and massive ranches, only vaguely
32 Correia de Andrade, Land and People. 10-12, 73, 76; Marcus Joaquim Maciel de
Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion in Pernambuco (Brazil), 1821-1835" (Ph D. diss.,
Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1989), 22; Naro, "Brazil's 1848," 12; on massape.
see Ibid., note 4, pp. 14-15 and Eisenberg, The Sugar Industry. 36, 123.
33 Correia de Andrade, Land and People. 18, note 16 p. 224, 118; Carvalho; Carvalho,
"Hegemony and Rebellion," 21; Henry Koster, Travels in Brazil (Carbondale and
Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1966), 98, 169-170.

16
demarcated, were the norm; ten hectares were needed for each head of cattle.34 Corrals
were often established near large rivers. Cowboys were central figures in the "leather
civilization" that developed, as hides were put to multiple and ingenious uses. Their
demanding physical labor was rewarded with a share of the cattle and horses raised, a
share cowboys sometimes enlarged, in light of oversight by absentee owners in distant
cities. The cowboys also raised sheep, pigs, and goats on their own near their small mud
dwellings. Great cattle drives were common sights, transporting cattle to commercial
S\m<
Co^t
érl*&
hubs in the agreste, and on to the coast, or to more humid areas in the sertao during the
driest times.35
Rivers provided relief from the region's dry spells, as did the elevated areas touched
by moisture laden winds. A few areas, such as Triunfo at the peak of the Serra da Baixa
Verde, were sufficiently humid to grow sugar cane for local use and subsistence crops
such beans and maize. More common was cotton farming, which was established in the
late eighteenth century and expanded greatly in the early nineteenth century. Some of the
cotton was processed for slaves' clothing, while some was exported to Great Britain The
Pajeu Valley figured prominently in this latter trade. In the 1840s coffee was introduced rLc to the more elevated, humid areas of the agreste and sertao.36
From the pioneering efforts in the mid-sixteenth century into the twentieth century,
sugar production was Pernambuco's leading economic activity. Long after the mid
34 Indicative of the approximate nature of measurements and boundaries in the region
was Roster's observation that sertaneios speak of large leagues, small leagues, and
nothing leagues, all of varying and approximate size, though none smaller than four
miles. Roster, Travels in Brazil, in Brazil, 42.
35 Correia de Andrade, Land and People. 144-147, 157-159; Roster, Travels in Brazil.
65, 69, 72.
36 Correia de Andrade, Land and People. 149-153.

17
seventeenth- century decline from the apogee of the colonial sugar cycle, long past the
rise of coffee in south-central Brazil in the 1830s as the country's leading export, growing
and processing cane and transporting and exporting sugar overshadowed other activities
in Pernambuco. Sugar supplied the foundation for the planter elite, with its control of
land and rural labor, and was the basis for fortunes made in Recife by merchants, often
Portuguese born, who loaned capital to planters, exported their sugar, and imported
goods and slaves for their use.37
By the nineteenth century the zona da mata was mostly occupied. The bulk of the
best lands were controlled by a relatively small number of families, many of whom had
acquired land through the generous land grants made by the Crown in the colonial period.
Initially as large as four square leagues, by the early nineteenth century royal grants
usually measured one square league. Smaller estates spread across the countryside as
well, organized in a similar manner. Only a fraction of a planter's lands, perhaps a fifth,
grew cane at any given time. The remaining land was held for its potential value
Boundaries between land holdings were often vague and many held lands without titles.
De facto control of land was assured by the threat or the use of force and through
political influence.38
Senhores de engenho employed forty or fifty slaves, or 100 to 150 on large
plantations, or even 300 on the very largest, to carry out the arduous work of cane
37 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 14-16.
38 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 6-7,126-127, 129-131; Naro, "Brazil's 1848," 18, T.
Lynn Smith, Brazil: People and Institutions (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press,
1972), 257-282 offers an extensive discussion on indeterminate property boundaries.

18
growing, harvesting, processing and transporting.39 In the early nineteenth century
Koster wrote of forty slaves (in addition to free laborers) as sufficient. Whatever the
number, it was a labor-intensive business. Gangs of slave field workers equipped with
hoes broke the ground, planted cane, and weeded the fields over the twelve to fifteen
months after planting the first harvest. Slaves used machetes and brush hooks to cut the
cane, bundled it and sent it to the mills in carts or on horses or mules. New cane grew
from the stubble within a year, and not until the quality had diminished by the fourth year
were the stalks cut down and left to nourish the soil.40
The cane was processed much as it was in other sugar growing regions of the world,
except that nineteenth-century Brazilians were slower to adopt innovations than their
counterparts elsewhere.41 Large iron covered wooden rollers crushed the cane to extract
the juice. By 1854 a large majority of mills still employed horses, oxen or mules to turn
levers attached to the roller axles, though some took advantage of rivers, using water
wheels to power their mills. Not until the 1870s would a significant number invest in
steam-driven machinery.42
Water was evaporated from the juice in a series of boiling kettles, to which the
sugar master added clarifying agents and subsequently skimmed off the impurities which
rose to the surface. Straining further removed impurities. The juice then cooled and
39 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 146, cites averages of 55, 20, and 70 from surveys in
1842, 1854 and 1857. The second figure, being so far out of line with the others, seems
questionable.
40 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 34-36; Koster, Travels in Brazil. 161-163.
41 Eisenberg attributes this to the relatively low costs of land and labor, low profit
margins, a faltering and uncertain world market for sugar, and high tariffs on imports.
Sugar Industry. 41-48.
42 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 37-38; Koster, Travels in Brazil. 164-5.

19
crystallized for four to five days in conical clay pots; more water was removed by
purging over the next week, as water and clay sprinkled on top of the sugar worked its
way through to the bottom. After three weeks of drying in the sun, the final product was
ready-a dry loaf of sugar, white at the top and brown at the bottom.43
Rivers or the ocean allowed the cheapest transportation. Barcacas, sailing vessels
capable of carrying twenty-five- to fifty-ton loads were preferred, but even the far smaller
and accident-prone jangadas might be used.44 For those without access to water
transport, oxcarts loaded with a ton to a ton and a half of sugar, and drawn by six to
twelve oxen, made a plodding substitute. Mules and horses were packed with sixty to
eighty pound sacks on each flank. The poor quality of the roads, which were often barely
passable after rains (especially over hills), kept overland freight rates high.45
Sugar loaves and cotton were brought to warehouses in the Bairro do Recife This
commercial district, the oldest of Recife's three sections, housed the customs house and
sugar-inspection buildings. Here ships loaded and unloaded, protected from rough seas
outside the harbor by the wall of reef (rerife) which gave the city its name. Old brick,
43 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 38-39 and p. xiii, note 2, for citations to publications on
sugar in various other provinces; Koster, Travels in Brazil. 165-166. The classic work on
sugar is Noel Deerr, The History of Sugar. 2 vol. (London: Chapman and Hall, 1949-
1950). For colonial Brazil, see Stuart Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of
Brazilian Society: Bahia. 1550-1835 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
For comparison, see Manuel Moreno Fraginals, The Sugarmill: The Socio-Economic
Complex of Sugar in Cuba. 1760-1860 (New York: Monthly Review press, 1976); J H
Galloway, The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origin to 1914
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Sidney Mintz Sweetness and Power:
The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Books, 1986).
44 On jangadas, see Koster, Travels in Brazil, and L. F. Tollenare, Notas Dominicais
(Recife: Estado de Pernambuco, Secretaria de Educaqáo e Cultura, Departamento de
Cultura), 17-18
45 Eisenberg, Sugar Industry. 50-52; Koster, Travels in Brazil. 28.

20
three- and four-story buildings lined narrow, twisting streets, housing larger commercial
establishments and their warehouses, insurance companies, foreign consuls, small shops,
bars, and the coffee house in which merchants carried out transactions People resided in
smaller structures along these paved streets as well. A crowded hustle and bustle
continued from morning until late afternoon. A French observer noted the "continuous
movement of blacks coming and going, carrying bundles, picking up their spirits with
simple, monotonous song" into which were mixed cries of Affo-Brazilian women selling
cloth and other wares which they carried in baskets on their heads.46 Upon arrival, an
English traveller was also struck by "the very circumstance of seeing a population
consisting chiefly of individuals of a dark color," and, like the Frenchman, commented on
"[t]heir hideous noise when carrying any load."47
Three miles to the north of the Bairro do Recife sat Olinda, the site of the first
European settlement in the area, built upon hills that allowed a spectacular view A thin
sandy isthmus, upon which the Brum and Buraco forts were built, linked the two
Canoes were often the preferred means of traversing the distance. In the other direction,
one could leave the commercial district by crossing a bridge into the Bairro de Santo
46 Tollenare, Notas Dominicais. 20.
47 Koster, Travels in Brazil. 4 for the quotation, 4-6 for his description of the Bairro do
Recife. For Tollenare's initial description of Recife, see Notas Dominicais. 20-23. Other
descriptions of Recife are collected in Mário Souto Maior and Leonardo Dantas Silva,
eds., O Recife: Quatro Séculos de sua Paisagem (Recife: Editora Massangana, 1992).
Antonio Pedro de Figueiredo provided a detailed description in 1857, pp. 169-192;
Daniel Kidder and James Cooley's Brazil and the Brazilians portrayed in historical and
descriptive sketches, based on travels in the latter 1830s and early 1840s. is excerpted,
see pp. 149-158; Charles Darwin seems to have been in ill humor during his 1836 visit
and offers a consistently pessimistic assessment of Recife, though he was clearly
impressed by the safe anchorage provided by the reefs, pp. 165-166. Figueira de Mello,
Ensaio Sobre a Estatistica Civil e Política da Provincia de Pernambuco (Recife: M. F. de
Faria, 1852) provides abundant information.

21
Antonio. This island neighborhood between the Bairro do Recife and the Bairro da Boa
Vista was separated from the former by the Beberibe River and the latter by the
Capibaribe River. The principal government buildings, such as the Presidential Palace,
the Treasury Building, and the prison were located here. There was also much
commercial activity here as well, but it was retail sales, unlike the large-scale merchant
activities across the Beberibe River in the Bairro do Recife. Crossing a bridge to Boa
Vista, one stepped back onto the land mass. While the oldest section, near the river, held
tall buildings housing retail commerce, by and large it was a residential area It quickly
shaded into the countryside, with country homes surrounded by gardens.48
Recife's population was rapidly growing in the period under study. A systematic
study published at mid-century, using figures from the 1840s, estimated the number of
the city's inhabitants between 60,000 and 70,000, out of a provincial population of
644,000. Sixty-five percent of Pernambuco's population was of at least partly African
descent, reaching nearly seventy percent in Recife. In the province as a whole, some
twenty-three percent of the population were slaves, while in Recife the number reached
twenty-six percent .49 The residents of the capital thus comprised only a fraction of the
entire provincial population, but they exercised greater influence on politics than their
numbers alone would suggest. Let us see how as we turn our attention now to politics in
the early 1830s.
48 Koster, Travels in Brazil. 6-7; Tollenare, Notas Dominicais. 18-19, 21-23;
Figueiredo, "O Recife," excerpted in Souto Maior and Dantas Silva, eds .O Recife:
Ouatro Séculos. 179-192 and Kidder Brazil and the Brazilians, excerpted, Ibid., 154-155
49 Population figures vary substantially. See Figueira de Meló, Ensaio sobre a
Estatistica. 265-283, and "5° MAPA ESTATÍSTICO DA POPULADO DA
PROVINCIA DE PERNAMBUCO..." and "6° MAPA ESTATÍSTICO DA
POPULACÁO DA COMARCA DO RECIFE..." in the appendixes

CHAPTER 1
INDEPENDENCE, REFORM, AND REBELLION,
1831-1835
Brazil achieved political independence from Portugal in 1822, in a movement led
by the Portuguese monarch's son, Dom Pedro I. In this chapter we will see that Pedro's
subsequent abdication opened the way for far-reaching liberal reforms that restructured
political authority. A series of revolts in Pernambuco, however, staged by various groups
with diverse goals, raised doubts about the optimistic assumptions that intellectually
undergirded the reform efforts. They suggested that without traditional, central political
authority, the social order was open to profound challenge.
%A(c*heof re* cm
April 7, 1831 marked the completion of Brazilian independence from Portuguese
tutelage. Formal independence had been achieved in 1822, but a Portuguese prince rose
to the Brazilian throne. Dom Pedro I, surrounded by Portuguese advisors, sought to
impose his will, yet many were resentful of centuries of colonial rule from Lisbon. The
familiar institution of the monarchy enjoyed broad support, particularly as a means of
ensuring social stability. Yet Dom Pedro's autocratic ways, exemplified by his forceful
dismissal of a Constituent Assembly and subsequent unilateral promulgation of the
Constitution of 1824, did not sit well with many. This fundamental conflict played out in
frequent clashes between the Emperor and Brazil's political representatives, especially in
the Chamber of Deputies, throughout the 1820s. A disastrous military campaign in the
22

23
Banda Oriental, where military defeat led to the creation of Uruguay, as well as rioting
by foreign mercenary solders in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, only worsened matters.
Inflation, fueled by poorly handled state finances, as well as easily counterfeited copper
coins, added to urban discontent. Unable to rule as he wished, unwilling to accept the
limits on his powers the Chamber of Deputies sought to impose, Dom Pedro abdicated in
favor of his son and left for Portugal, to battle for his daughter Maria da Gloria's claim to
the Portuguese throne.1
^Abdication came as a shock.2 Brazilians, or at least those who were politically
active, were, like the citizens of any newly independent country, abruptly forced to
confront basic political questions. The first decision was made immediately by the
Chamber. To the great disappointment of radicals (exaltados), who had played so
prominent a role in opposing Dom Pedro, the dream of a republic went unrealized. The
Chamber of Deputies maintained the Monarchy, appointing a provisional three-man
regency to rule in place of the six-year old heir to the throne, Dom Pedro II.3
1 On the abdication as the completion of independence, see "Comunicado," Diario de
Pernambuco. Oct. 6, 1831, pp. 860-861, especially, "If the independence of Brazil was a
vain title. ... It became a reality on April 7 of the current year 1831." See Neill
Macaulay, Dom Pedro: The Struggle for Liberty in Brazil and Portugal. 1798 - 1834
(Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1986), ch.5 and ch.7 for a detailed study of the period
focusing on Dom Pedro; Roderick Barman, Brazil: The Forging of a Nation (Stanford:
Stanford Univ. Press, 1989), 130-160; Leslie Bethell and José Murilo de Carvalho,
"1822-1850," in Brazil: Empire and Republic. 1822 - 1930. ed. Leslie Bethell
(Cambridge Univ Press, 1989), 49-58; Paulo Pereira de Castro, "‘A Experiéncia
Republicana’, 1831-1840," pp. 9-11 in Historia Geral da Civilizapáo Brasileira. Tomo II.
O Brasil Monárquico 2° Volume. Dispersao e Unidade. eds. Sérgio Buarque de Holanda
and Pedro Moacyr Campos (Sao Paulo: DIFEL, 1985)
2 Joaquim Nabuco, Um Estadista do Imperio: Nabuco de Araúio. Sua Vida. Suas
Opinioes. Sua Época. Tomo Primeiro, 1813-1857 (Rio de Janeiro: H. Gamier, 1898), 29-
( 3 Exaltado could be rendered as extreme or radical liberal, zealot, or hothead.
(continued...)

24
Fundamental questions on the nature of political authority and on viable political
institutions that could ensure stability and progress would be debated and struggled over
throughout the Regency (1831-1840).4
The early years of the Regency saw dramatic institutional changes. Key liberal
reforms involved decentralizing power from the Court to provincial capitals and
involving citizens to a greater degree in the political process, particularly through locally
elected officials with broad powers. In part, these reforms were a strategic response to
the fear of a restoration attempt by Dorn Pedro and his allies in Brazil, the caramurus. or,
as they were commonly referred to in Pernambuco, colunas.5 More fundamental,
however, was an earnest commitment to institutional change based on localism as the
(...continued)
Exaltados sought federalism and, in many cases, a republic. Unlike most other
politically-active groups, they often resorted to action in the streets. Exaltados published
many newspapers, normally employing fiery language, that often lasted only short runs.
Their nativism appealed especially to artisans. Antonio Borges da Fonseca was a leading
exaltado in Pernambuco. On exaltado publications, see Luís do Nascimento, Historia da
Imprensade Pernambuco. 1821-1954 (Recife: Imprensa Universitária Federal de
Pernambuco, 1968), vol. 2, Diarios do Recife. 1828-1900 and vol. 4, Periódicos do
Recife. 1821-1850: Helio Vianna, Contribuiqao á Historia da Imprensa Brasileira (1812-
1869) (Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1945); Nelson Wemeck Sodré, Historia da
Imprensa no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Civilizado Brasileira, 1966).
4 Nabuco, commenting on the disillusionment of the radicals, notes Theóphilo Ottoni's
characterization of their experience as a iournée des dupes. Nabuco, Estadista. 27-28
See Theópilo Ottoni, Circular dedicada aos Srs. Eleitores pela Provincia de Minas Gerais
(Sao Paulo: Establecimento Graphico Irmaos Ferraz, 1930), 19; Pereira de Castro, "A
Experiencia Republicana," 11-13; Barman, Brazil. 160-162.
5 Ottoni asserted that without fear of restoration the key liberal reform, the Additional
Act, would not have passed. Ottoni. Circular. 40-41. Nabuco. Estadista. 31. and
Barman. Brazil. 176-178, agree. Thomas Florv. Judge and Jury in Imperial Brazil. 1808-
1871: Social Control and Political Stability in the New State (Austin: Univ. of Texas
Press), 66, makes the same argument for the passage of the 1832 Criminal and Procedural
Code.

25
means of securing a stable, progressive nation in which individuals could freely pursue
their own goals.6
Portugal had exercised colonial rule in large part through its legal system, with
judges defending the interests of the Crown throughout the realm. Criticism of this
system, which the new country inherited with independence, and which now served the
emperor in Rio de Janeiro, was widespread. Routine complaints included its cost,
inefficiency, and delays. Many voices denounced corruption and corporate spirit among
the magistracy. It was this system to which reformers first turned their attention 7
The 1832 Criminal and Procedural Code was based on the notion that localism
would facilitate a more democratic and responsive system. Elections at the county level
would bring to office men who enjoyed local support, who had an interest in local
stability and who would not be agents of the central government in Rio de Janeiro.
Judicial independence would strike the sharpest blow against the legal system founded on
colonial rule A new judicial organization based on local participation displaced the
professional magistracy and jury trials were instituted.8
6 For a comparative perspective on federalism and utilitarianism in Latin America, see
David Bushnell, The Santander Regime in Gran Colombia (Newark: Univ. of Delaware
Press, 1954); Simon Collier, Ideas and Politics of Chilean Independence. 1808-1833
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1967); Charles Hale, Mexican Liberalism in the
Age of Mora, 1821-1853 (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1968); Paul Gootenberg,
Between Silver and Guano: Commercial Policy and the State in Post-Independence Peru
(Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989); Frank Safford, "Bases of Political Alignment in
Early Republican Spanish America," in Richard Graham and Peter H. Smith, eds., New
Approaches to Latin American History (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1974).
7 Flory, Judge and Jury. 31-43.
8 Raymundo Faoro, Os Donos do Poder: Formayao do Patronato Politico Brasileiro
(Rio de Janeiro: Globo, 1987). 305-307; Flory, Judge and Jury. 33-34 on localism and the
contrast to the Portuguese colonial system's attempts to isolate judges from local
influences. On this latter subject, see Stuart Schwartz, Sovereignty and Society in
(continued...)

26
The 1832 Code established elected justices of the peace as the linchpin of the
criminal justice system. This position, which did not require a law degree, combined
judicial and police functions. A justice of the peace could arrest subjects in any
jurisdiction, assemble evidence and bring charges in all court proceedings, and try lesser
crimes. The justice of the peace also exerted great influence over local elections. He
served with the parish priest and president of the county council on the electoral boards
that judged credentials to vote, and counted the votes. He could also influence voters
directly through his right to authorize conscription and his ability to dispense favors.9
Localism also informed other judicial reforms. County councils presented triplicate
lists of nominees for the new position of county judge and for district attorneys to the
provincial president. The former did not need law degrees, and were, to a large extent,
assistants to the district judges.
The 1832 Criminal Code also instituted citizen juries. From the lists of electors,
sixty jurors were randomly chosen.10 Twice a year, or up to six times in large cities such
as Recife, grand juries and juries to judge guilt were assembled. Professional district
judges were thus reduced to presiding over trials and deciding only the punishments for
those found guilty by the juries. Individual rights were further protected by the right of
habeas corpus.11
(...continued)
Colonial Brazil: The High Court of Bahia and Its Judges. 1609-1751 (Berkeley: Univ. of
Calif. Press, 1971).
9 Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 64; Flory, Judge and Jury. 49-68; Faoro, Os
Donos do Poder. 306-307.
10 The basic qualification was an annual income of 200 milreis.
11 Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 64; Florv. Judge and Jury. 112, 115-119; Faoro,
(continued. .)

27
Reform of the 1824 Constitution provided the arena for the most important of
liberal reforms. The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies battled for three years, as
fundamental reforms to overhaul the political system were debated. Moderado (moderate
liberal) proponents of far-reaching reforms to reduce the Emperor's prerogatives,
eliminate the Senate, or at least its life-time appointments, and shift power to the
provinces were consistently blocked by the Senate. In July of 1832 the frustrated
minister of justice, Diego Antonio Feijó, led a coup attempt with the support of the
regents, the ministry and the majority of the Chamber. The minister planned that, with
the armed backing of the National Guard, the Chamber would declare itself a National
Convention and pass sweeping reforms, codified in a new constitution. A dramatic and
powerful appeal to constitutional process by mineiro representative Honorio Hermeto
Cameiro Leáo on the floor of the Chamber, however, weakened the plotters' will. The
coup attempt failed, with significant long-term consequences. Feijó's willingness to
dismiss legality raised an ugly specter for men who prized order. It encouraged the drift
of many moderados towards more conservative stances. It also increased personal
bitterness and animosity towards Feijó, a fact that later weakened him when he served as
Regent.12
In the short run, however, even a failed coup attempt revealed the depth of desire
for reform. The following day, the Senate approved a measure to allow the next
(...continued)
Os Donos. do Poder. 306.
12 Aurelino Leal, Do Ato Adicional a Maioridade (Brasilia: Senado Federal, 1978),
16-23; Faoro, Os Donos do Poder. 304-305; Barman, Brazil. 172-175; Octávio Tarquinio
de Sousa wrote the classic account of the attempted coup in Historia de Dois Golpes de
Estado (Rio de Janerio: José Olympio, 1939). The new constitution was referred to as
the "Pouso Alegre Constitution."

28
legislature to reform the Constitution. Within several months the Criminal and
Procedural Code was passed. In 1834, Dom Pedro triumphed in securing the Portuguese
crown for his daughter, increasing expectation of a restorationist attempt in Brazil. This
strengthened the hand of those who sought to decentralize power, as doing so would
avoid the possibility of a coup in Rio de Janeiro that could seize the locus of institutional
power. With this added threat, compromise was reached and the Additional Act of 1834
passed.13
Liberals struggling against the legacy of absolutism failed in attempts to abolish the
Senate, a bulwark of absolutism, or its life-time appointments, and provincial presidents
continued to be appointed from Rio de Janeiro. Nor did the reformers manage to
eliminate the Emperor's extensive prerogatives under the constitution's "moderating
power," which Frei Caneca, the eloquent leader shot for his role in Pernambuco's
separatist rebellion in 1824, had termed the "master key for oppression of the Brazilian
nation and the strongest garrote of peoples' liberty."14 In the Additional Act, they did,
however, manage to suspend this power during the Regency. Liberals also succeeded in
abolishing the Council of State, an influential policy-making group and advisory body
that assisted the Emperor, and was a bastion of support for the absolutist tradition.15
13 Barman, Brazil. 175-177; Faoro, Os Donos do Poder. 22-23.
14 Cited in Faoro, Os Donos do Poder. 305.
15 Following the French publicist BenjamjruConstant, the Constitution of 1824
invested the Emperor not only with executive authority, but also with the "moderating
powers' a fourth branch of government. This power enabled the Emperor to oversee the
other branches of government and, for example, dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and
make appointments to the Senate. On the Council, see José Murilo de Carvalho, Teatro
de Sombras: A Política Imperial (Sao Paulo: Vértice and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto
Universitário de Pesquisa do Rio de Janeiro, 1988), 107-138; José Honorio Rodrigues, O
Conselho do Estado, o Quinto Poder? (Brasilia: Centro Gráfico do Senado Federal, 1978)
(continued...)

29
Liberals firmed up the position of regent, replacing the three-man regency with a single
regent, now chosen by the provincial electors. The moderado leader Antonio Diego Feijó
was elected to the post in 1835. The decisive victory, however, was obtained in
delegating considerable powers to the provincial assemblies that replaced the weak
provincial general councils.16
Provincial assemblies were authorized to legislate concerning the civil, judicial, and
ecclesiastical structure of the provinces; public education, expropriations for the public
good; municipal police; county and provincial taxes and expenditures; the creation and
elimination of, and appointment to, provincial and county posts; public works; charitable
organizations; and the provincial president's authority to appoint and dismiss provincial
employees. The Additional Act at the same time established limits to the province's
broad powers. Provincial and county taxes were not to be prejudicial to national taxes,
nor were import taxes allowed Provinces could not legislate to the detriment of the
interests of their provinces. Provincial presidents continued to be named from the
Court.17
(...continued)
and Lydia Magalhaes Nunes, "In Pursuit of Order: A Study in Brazilian Centralization, ] fa
the Section of the Empire of the Council of State, 1842-1889" (Ph D. diss., Johns
Hopkins Univ., 1988).
16 Paulino José Soares de Sousa, Estudos práticos sobre a administracao das provincias
no Brasil, pelo Visconde do Uruguay. Primeira parte. Ato Adicional. (Rio de Janeiro: B
L. Gamier, 1865); Aurelino Leal provides a detailed study of the Additional Act in part
one, "Historia Constitucional," of Do Ato Adicional a Maioridade. 23-40; Barman,
Brazil. 177-178: Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 64-65; Faoro, Os Donos do Poder.
306-310; Flory, Judge and Jury. 90, 158-159; Jeffrey Needell, "Brasilien 1830-1889";
Joáo Camillo de Oliveira Torres, A Democracia Coroada: Teoría Política do Império do
Brasil (Petrópolis: Editora Vozes Limitada, 1964), 435-440.
nFor the text of the Additional Act, see José Antonio Pimenta Bueno's classic
commentary on the constitution, Direito Publico Brasileiro e Análise da Constituicao do
(continued ..)

30
Liberal reforms succeeded in undermining rule from Rio de Janeiro, rule associated
with absolutism and colonial subjugation. The dependent magistracy that Portuguese
rulers, and subsequently Dom Pedro, had relied on saw its power significantly weakened
as elected judicial officials gained new powers. The locus of state power shifted
decisively towards the provinces, where provincial assemblies exercised broad authority.
Yet would localism and increased citizen participation succeed in Brazil? There were
high expectations that such liberal institutions from Europe and especially the United
States would bring about progressive changes. Popular handbooks and newspaper
articles explained the new institutions and suggested paths to responsible citizenship
Optimistic images of Brazil, emphasizing its vast potential and common interests in
progress, offered an intellectual foundation for liberal reforms. Yet there were doubters
from the start. Those who dissented tended not to see harmony in Brazilian social
relations, but diversity, conflict, and danger.18
Disorder and conflict marked the Regency from its inception. After all, it was the
sight of several thousand people gathered in the national capital, including most of the
military units there, and the prospect of violence, that had prompted Dom Pedro to
abdicate. When word of events in the Court reached the provinces, uprisings erupted in
(...continued)
Imperio (Rio de Janeiro: Ministro da Justina e Negocios Interiores, 1958), 506-512, esp.
507-509. Oliveria Torres also makes it available in A Democracia Coroada. 497-501,
esp. pp. 498-499; Barman, Brazil. 177-178. Thomas Flory argues that since some of thd^
powers granted to the Provincial Assemblies had previously been located not in the
Court, but in municipalities, the Act was actually the first hesitant step away from
decentralization. Flory. Judge and Jury. 158-159.
18 Flory, Judge and Jury. 17-30, on the importance of the liberals' optimism over the
country's common interests and potential for the intellectual foundation of the reforms.

31
various locales.19 Our concern here, of course, is what transpired in Pernambuco. News
of the abdication reached Recife on May 4, where it was greeted with celebrations,
fireworks and frequent vivas. Seizing the opportunity, Captain Francisco Ignacio Roma
led forty to fifty military men to Olinda, where they were joined by other soldiers and
officers, as well as Law School students. They sent a petition requesting the dismissal of
fourteen army officers and public employees "well known for their anti-national and
openly absolutist behavior and opinions."20 The list of Portuguese and their Brazilian- PXpP'Hyp
I
bom absolutist allies to be dismissed included the commander of arms, Bento José
Lamenha Lins; the military commander, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco José Martins; and
Captain Major Domingo Louren?o Torres Galindo, all of whom had played prominent
roles in putting down the 1824 Confederation of the Equator, as well as two magistrates
on the High Court of Appeals and commanders of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Army
Battalions.21 Two days of riots in Recife strengthened the bargaining position of those
making demands in Olinda. The General Council acted with urgency, accepting the
bWtlc ,
19 Silverio Candido Faria, "Breve Noticia dos felizes acontecimentos políticos no Rio
de Janeiro nos dias 6 e 7 de abril de 1831," BNRJ/SM, 32, 6, 24, fol. 26-79; Macaulay,
Dorn Pedro. 250-251; Bethell and Murilo de Carvalho, "1822-1850," pp. 58-59.
20 BNRJ/SM, II 32,44,47 for the petition demanding dismissal of Portuguese-born and
names of those to be dismissed.
21 The Confederation of the Equator was a short-lived attempt at creating an
independent republic.

32
demands, and thus defusing the tense situation.22 Far more dramatic, however, would be
events in September of 1831.
Military troops provided the most significant armed force in the province.
Paradoxically, however, these forces, crucial for social control, were also a source of
considerable turmoil. Forcibly recruited for lengthy terms of service, poorly paid, and
subject to harsh discipline, soldiers were quick to desert or rebel. It was the most
vulnerable among the generally Afro-Brazilian poor, those without powerful patrons to
protect them, who were arrested, in order to recruit them for military service. Lack of
discipline thus reflected not only problems specific to service in the military, but
discontent among the poor generally.23
Brigadier General Francisco de Paula Vasconcellos, the commander of arms in
it-'-*"
(bo,1''*
5olcí-i
Pernambuco, was keenly aware of the unreliability of the troops. Salaries were a
particularly sore point with the soldiers. Not only was the salary quite small at 126
milreis a day, but it was routinely late, often many months in arrears.24 Compounding
matters was the widespread counterfeiting of copper coins, the currency in which soldiers
22 "Acta da Sessao extraordinaria do Conselho Geral do Governo de 6 de Maio de
1831. presidida pelo Exmo Sr. Presidente Joaquim José Pinheiro de Vasconcellos":
Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos: 1824-1833, Vol. 9 (Recife:
FUNDARPE, 1983), 392; BNRJ/SM, II 32, 44, 47; Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," 192-194; Manuel Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas em
Pernambuco: Setembrizada e Novembrada (Recife: Universidade Federal de
Pernambuco, 1971), 54-60.
23 Graham, Patronage and Politics. 27-31; Michael Me Beth, "The Brazilian Recruit
during the First Empire: Slave or Soldier?" in Essays Concerning the Socioeconomic
History of Brazil and Portuguese India (Gainesville: Florida International University,
1977) ed. Dauril Alden, 71-86; Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas. 75-77.
24 Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas. 77. Official correspondence of the
period is full of requests to pay back salaries.

33
were paid, that led many merchants to refuse payment in coin.25 The commander of arms
pushed for prompt payment of salaries, but the issue was outside his control He also
tried to reduce wasteful use of military funds, terminating contracts of suppliers who
failed to adequately meet their obligations and eliminating payments to officers no longer
on active duty.26
At the same time, Vasconcellos insisted on strict discipline, and was not averse to
the common practice of corporal punishment to enforce it. It was the commander of
arms' efforts to impose discipline which sparked a military rebellion on the night of
September 14, 1831. Brigadier General Vasconcellos' recent order to lock the gates to
the barracks and carry out inspection of the troops at eight o'clock PM, the same time as a
curfew imposed on slaves a month before, was deeply resented, and, combined with b
indignation over the corporal punishments inflicted on several soldiers that afternoon,
proved unbearable.27
At nine o'clock, soldiers of the Fourteenth Battalion from Rio de Janeiro, stationed
in Santo Antonio, began shouting against the commander of arms. Notified, he quickly
arrived at the barracks, only to be met with gunshots. Brigadier General Vasconcellos
immediately sent his adjunct to the Thirteenth Battalion barracks to summon help, and set
25 In September alone, the government discovered two counterfeiting operations. In
an attempt to limit access to necessary materials, the government prohibited the sale of
sheets of copper Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas. 77.
26 "Correspondencia," signed Caheté, Diario de Pernambuco. October 4, 1831, pp.
854-855; Mário Márcio de Almeida Santos, "A Septembrizada," Clio: Revista do Curso
de mestrado em Historia 5 (1982) p. 177.
27 "Comunicado: Nota sobre a rebeliáo do 14 do corrente," signed D. M., Diario de
Pernambuco. September 30, 1831, pp. 841-842; On corporal punishment, see "Narrado
Official dos Acontecimentos da Provincia de Pernambuco nos Dias 14, 15, e 16 de
Setembro," Revista do Instituto Arqueológico e Geográfico de Pernambuco 10, no. 56 .
(1902), 79; On the slave curfew, see Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 204-205.

34
off himself for the Presidential Palace. The rebellion, however, spread too quickly to be
contained. Some rebels immediately went to the Campo de Erário, where artillery troops
needed little convincing to join the revolt. When they rose up, they brought artillery
pieces with them. Troops broke into the Laboratorio, an arms deposit, and seized more
weapons and ammunition, setting fire to the building afterwards. Soon troops throughout
Recife had defied their superiors and were running rampant. Rebellious soldiers were
- r>o+ oS
shooting wildly, looting stores and taverns, calling for death to the commander of arms,
an end to corporal punishment and crying out against the Portuguese. Prisoners were
freed from jails. Some slaves and some of the urban poor joined in the looting. By
eleven o'clock, another arms deposit, the Trem, was broken into and its arms distributed
The ever present fear of anarchy, so often a subtext in the political discourse of the
period, was being realized.28
That evening, the commander of arms went to the Cinco Pontas fort to gather troops
and exhort civilians to arm themselves and help regain control of the city. With only
twenty policemen and civilians at his command, however, he opted to withdraw to
Afogados district on the city's outskirts to gather forces, mobilizing a military unit there,
as well as alerting nearby militia units and sending a justice of the peace to gather
civilians. The next day Commander Vasconcelos returned with these forces, augmented
S
28 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Empire, Recife, Sept. 20, 1831, BNRJ/SM,
11-32,34,51, no.l, fol. 1-6; Commander of Arms to President of Pernambuco, Recife,
Sept. 20, 1831, printed in the Diario de Pernambuco. Sept. 23, 1831, 821-823;
Commander of the 13th Battalion to Commander of Arms, Sept. 23, 1831 printed in
Diario de Pernambuco. Oct. 12, 1831, pp. 881-882; Captain in Charge (capitao
mandante) of the 4th Artillery Corps to Commander of Arms, Sept. 22, 1831 printed in
Diario de Pernambuco Oct. 1, 1831, pp. 845-848 and Oct. 3, 1831, pp. 849-851; Bússola
da Liberdade. Sept. 21, 1831, pp. 127-129 provides a narrative that follows closely the
Sept. 20 report of the Commander of Arms to the President of the Province; "Narraqao
Official," p. 80 refers to "scum and slaves" joining in the looting.

35
by soldiers who claimed to be opposed to the rebellion, to the Cinco Pontas fort. There,
soldiers left the fort and fraternized with Vasconcellos' men. With cries of "traitors," and
"death to the colimas." the soldiers turned on Vasconcellos and the other officers and
civilians there, firing on them. After being chased to Afogados, the commander of arms
retreated from the city entirely, marching to the district of Boa Viagem. From there he
sent messengers to gather militia troops in the interior of the province and collect gun
powder and lead. Francisco Ignacio Ribeiro Roma was sent to Cabo and his brother Joáo
Ignacio Ribeiro Roma to Casa Forte to gather army battalions. By mid day on September
16, the commander of arms, with 100 cavalry, 200 infantry and additional civilian
volunteers was ready to enter the fray again.29
, *
The intendant of the Navy, Lieutenant Captain Antonio Pedro de Carvalho, f\ (T< 7
j (fiiel.t
attempted to impede the spread of the rebellion to the Bairro do Recife. When the
rebellion broke out in Bairro do Santo Antonio, Carvalho was worried by the large crowd
that gathered at the Arco da Conceigao, by the bridge linking the Bairro do Recife with
Santo Antonio. He went to the Arsenal, gathered a few troops and had the justice of the
peace gather civilians. He sought to cut off contact with the disorder by using axes to
make unpassable the bridge linking Santo Antonio with the Arco da Conceiqao in the
Bairro do Recife. The civilians strongly opposed this, however, and prevailed by
claiming the disturbances were simply arguments among soldiers and were not serious.
Despite the intendant's requests, they simply dispersed.30
few*
29 Commander of Arms to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1831, Diario de
Pernambuco. Nov. 8, 1831, pp. 965-967.
30 Intendant of Navy to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1835, printed in Diario de
Pernambuco. Sept. 28, 1831, 838-839.

36
On the fifteenth, when looting spread to the Bairro do Recife, the intendant
managed to gather civilians from Fora de Portas. Seventy volunteers from Olinda,
including fifty students from the Law Faculty there, added to the police and Arsenal
Guard at his command. After setting out to impede further looting, however, about forty
of the police and Arsenal Guard rebelled, turning on the intendant. The remainder of his
force quickly dispersed under fire. The law students regrouped and went to the Fortaleza
do Brum, only to discover that the soldiers there had rebelled when their officers began
firing on rioters on the bridge to the Bairro do Recife. Led by the intendant, however, the
law students managed to take back the fort when the rebellious soldiers abandoned it to
join the assault on the Armazem de Intendencia and seize more artillery pieces. On the
sixteenth, the intendant ordered the war schooner Rio da Prata to fire on the barricades in
the Arco da Conceigao. Once they were demolished, order was soon reestablished in the
Bairro de Recife.31
By the afternoon of the sixteenth, the bulk of the rebels were concentrated, along
with their artillery pieces, in the Bairro de Santo Antonio, near the Palácio Velho. The
groups attempting to reestablish order converged there. Joao Ignacio Ribeiro Roma
brought eighty to a hundred men gathered in Casa Forte. Militia Colonel Francisco
Jacinto Pereira, who had entered Santo Antonio the night before but had been expelled
when some of the soldiers he brought turned on him, brought his force of three to four
hundred men from Olinda. The students and other civilians in the Fortaleza do Brum
joined in, as did various civilians from the Bairro do Recife, who had gathered on the
31 Intendant of the Navy to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1831, printed in Diario
de Pernambuco. Sept. 28, 1831, pp. 838-839; President of Pernambuco to Minister of
Empire, Recife, Sept. 20, 1831, BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51,no. 1, fol. 1-6; Captain in Charge
of the 4th Artillery Corps to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 22, 1831, printed in Diario
de Pernambuco. Oct. 1, 1831, pp. 845-848 and Oct. 3, 1831, pp. 849-851.

bridge linking the bairro to Santo Antonio. When the rebels opened fire at two o'clock,
Colonel Francisco Jacinto's men and the civilians from Recife led the attack and the
rebels were soon defeated. The revolt was over.32
This series of events, called the Setembrizada, demonstrated the precarious nature
of social and political order. Even the most important repressive force, the military, was
itself a source of instability. Contemporary observers were quick to point out the
inherent risks in forced recruiting of the poor. The Sociedade Harmonizadora, a
moderate liberal group, noted the dangers of relying on "those cohorts of mercenaries
often pulled from prisons to which they had been sent for their immoral acts."33 A letter
to a newspaper characterized forced recruits as "[extracted from the most vile and most
corrupt class of society . . . (with) all the attendant vices and crimes of an entirely brutal
education and without the slightest honor or virtue."34 Forcibly seized, poorly fed and
clothed, paid little and late, and punished severely, the armed men of the marginal poor
had proven their unreliability.
In the aftermath of the rebellion, Pernambucan authorities briefly relied on troops
from other provinces to guard prisoners and law students consented to man forts for
32 President of Pernambuco to Minister of the Empire, Recife, Sept. 20, 1831,
BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51, no.l, fols. 1-6; "Narrapao Official," pp. 80; Olindense. Sept. 20,
1831, lengthy excerpts of which appear in Helio Vianna, Contribuipao á Historia da
Imprensa. p. 52.
33 Sociedade Patriótica Harmonizadora to President of Pernambuco, Sept .22, 1831,
printed in Diario de Pernambuco. Oct. 5, 1831, p. 855. This organization, like the
Sociedade Defensora da Liberdade e Independencia Nacional in other provinces, was an
instrument of moderate liberals, opposed to both restorationism and radicalism, and
supportive of constitutional legality as the surest means to maintain order.
34 "Coumunicado: nota sobre a rebeliao de 14 do corrente," signed D. M., Diario de
Pernambuco. Sept. 30, 1831, pp. 840-840 (mislabeled in the original, should read 841 -
843).

38
several months.35 The ranks of the Municipal Guards were raised to five hundred 36 The
measures taken by the justice of the peace of Santo Antonio reveal great anxiety. He
prohibited dancing in the streets by slaves during the festival of Our Lady of the Rosary.
He further instructed police to prohibit gatherings of any kind, shouting in the streets,
batuques of Afro-Brazilians, and any incidents in which individuals incited others to
anger, whether by showing a lack of respect, by drunken behavior or by throwing
stones.37 Efforts to retrieve the arms stolen or distributed to civilians putting down the
rebellion met with little success.38 The Diario de Pernambuco suggested diminishing the
size of the army, dispersing soldiers in the countryside to perform agricultural labor, and
replacing it with a small, well-paid army composed of property-owning citizens.39 The
paper thus anticipated reforms recently passed in the Court (but news of which had
apparently not yet arrived in Pernambuco) which reduced the size of the army and
created a citizens' militia. This liberal institution, the National Guard, was composed of
35 José Octávio, "Septembrizada e Novembrada - Fontes de Irradiado Nordestina," in
Movimentos Populares no Nordeste no Periodo Regencial (Recife: Massangana, 1989)
ed. Manoel Correia de Andrade, 54, on troops from Ceará manning prisons in Recife.
See the letter of Sept. 19, 1831 signed by 193 law students, offering to serve to help keep
order, Diario de Pernambuco. Sept. 26, 1831.
36 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 213.
37 Edital from the Justice of the Peace of Santo Antonio, Oct. 1, 1831, printed in Diario
de Pernambuco. Oct. 3, 1831, p. 851; "Circular. Instrucfoes para os Delegados do Bairro
de S. Antonio do Recife," Oct. 1,1831, printed in Ibid., pp.851-852. Batuque refers to a
gathering in which Afro-Brazilians, especially slaves, drank and danced, accompanied by
percussion instruments.
38 Edital from the President of Pernambuco Oct.3, 1831, printed in Diario de
Pernambuco. Oct.5, 1831, p.856.
39 "Comunicado," Diario de Pernambuco. Sept.26, 1831, pp. 829-831.

propertied citizens, and was designed to maintain order and carry out various police
functions.40
The reports of the provincial president, commander of arms, and several military
leaders, as well as journalistic accounts, emphasized the spontaneous nature of the
uprising, denying any political connotation.41 The provincial president declared to the
minister of the empire that it had "no political character." He reported that "[i]t was not
possible to deal with rebels, who, armed, and spread across the entire city in groups,
demanded nothing and did not have a leader." He also noted that there was no attempt to
seize the Presidential Palace, nor any attempt on his life.42 There seems to have been
little effort to organize an effective rebel defense.43 Indeed, many of the rioters
abandoned themselves to drinking and the pleasures of houses of prostitution. Many of
the stolen goods were subsequently found in brothels.44 Nor were any officers inciting
40 On the National Guard, see Jeanne Berrance de Castro, A milicia cidada. a Guarda
Nacional de 1831 a 1850 (Sao Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1977) and Fernando
Uricoechea, Patrimonial Foundations of the Brazilian Bureaucratic State (Berkeley:
Univ. of California Press, 1980).
41 The United States Consul dissented from this view, reporting that the insurrection
was premeditated, but that its goals were unknown. Consul John Mansfield to Secretary
of State, Oct.2, 1831. Despatches from the United States Consuls in Pernambuco. 1817-
1906. T-344 roll 1 (hereafter consul reports are cited as Consul (name) to Secretary of
State, date, index number, and roll).
42 President of Pernambuco to Minister of the Empire, Recife, Sept . 20, 1831,
BNRJ/SM II 32, 34, 51, no. 1, fols. 1-6; Commander of 13th Battalion to Commander of
Arms, Sept. 23, 1831, printed in Diario de Pernambuco. Oct. 12, 1831, pp. 881-882;
"Narra^ao Official," p. 79; Commander of Arms to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20,
1831.
43 Almeida Santos, "A Septembrizada," Clio: Revista do Curso de mestrado em
Historia 5 (1982), 170, 183.
44 "Olindense," Sept.26, 1831 [published in Olinda] in Vianna, Contribuidlo á Historia
da Imprensa. 52.

40
the men to riot. Numerous reports had soldiers consistently expelling officers from their
midst. The commander of the 13th Battalion, for example, reported that his troops were
furious in their insistence that they would not accept orders from him, nor any other
officers.45 Áfífr
Harsh discipline was generally invoked as the cause. The major exception was the- -
p I a v r
half-hearted suggestion by the Diario de Pernambuco two weeks afterwards, that it,may
have been the result of a restorationist conspiracy. The paper noted that a few people
asserted that fireworks had gone off just before the outburst, possibly as a signal to begin
the rebellion. The paper asked rhetorically why the restorationists would not sow
disorder to open the way for Pedro's return. The Diario de Pernambuco also suggested
that troop disorders in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Bahia may have been similarly
motivated.46 By the journalistic standards offhe day, however, such an effort lacked
conviction. Nor was any evidence presented. Nor did leading officials and military
officers, including the commander of arms, a noted sympathizer of the extreme liberals
and a proponent of federalism, report evidence, or make charges, of such a conspiracy.
Moreover, the greatest losses were suffered by the small businesses dominated by the
Portuguese—the thirty-three stores and twenty-one taverns looted in Santo Antonio, the
45 Commander of the 13th Battalion to Commander of Arms, Sept.23, 1831, printed in
Diario de Pernambuco. Oct . 12, 1831, pp. 881-882; President of Pernambuco to Minister
of the Empire, Sept .20, 1831 BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51 no. 1, fols. 1-6, Commander of
Arms to President of Pernambuco, Sept. 20, 1831, printed in Diario de Pernambuco.
Sept.23, 1831, pp. 821-823; Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 205
46 Diario de Pernambuco. Sept.28, 1831, p. 839-840. Also, "Correspondencia," signed
Caheté, Diario de Pernambuco. Oct.4, 1831, pp. 854-855 and "Correspondencia," signed
Chanchan, Diario de Pernambuco. Oct. 17, 1831, pp. 897-898 for similar charges.

41
nine stores and four taverns in the Bairro de Recife, and the three taverns in Boa Vista.47
The Diario de Pernambuco's suggestion seems to have been part of the jostling for
partisan advantage—this newspaper and the Bússola da Liberdade disputed who deserved
more credit in putting down the rebellion. Restorationists maneuvered for political
advantage as well, making an appeal to people of color, trying to drive a wedge between
them and the restorationists' political opponents.48
The anarchy that gripped Recife was clearly not in the interests of any of the
politically active groups of propertied men. Faced with the breakdown of order, the elites
of the region, of all political colors, came together—militia units, civilian volunteers
rounded up by the Justices of the Peace, and law students from Olinda were crucial in
restoring order.49 Assistance from the interior of the province, after a delay in its
arriving, was crucial. Regaining control of the city was achieved at no small cost;
contemporary estimates placed the number of rebels killed between one and three
47 BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,51 no. 1, fols. 1-6, President of Pernambuco to Minister of the
Empire, Sept. 20, 1831. Also, see below the section on the shouts of the rebels, which
contradicts the notion of the rebellion being the works of restorationists.
48 On this so-called intriga de cores, see correspondence critical of it in Bússola da
Liberdade [(trans.) Compass of Liberty] Oct. 9, 1831; "Correspondencia," signed Fonseca
Capibaribe; Diario de Pernambuco. Oct. 13, 1831, pp. 887-888 disputes the praise offered
by the Echo d'Olinda of some of their partisans' roles in the repression. The Bússola da
Liberdade complained on Sept. 21 that liberals did much to restore order, but now others
tried to deny this.
49 This included the extreme liberals. Note, for example, the editor of the Bússola da
Liberdade. an exaltado newspaper, volunteering to assist in putting down the rebellion.
See Coronel Comandante Militar de Olinda to Interim Director of Law Faculty, Sept. 17,
1831, and Sept. 19 letter signed by 193 law students assuring their continued willingness
to help maintain order, printed in the Diario de Pernambuco. Sept. 26, 1831; Intendant of
the Navy to President of Pernambuco Sept. 20, 1831, printed in Diario de Pernambuco.
Sept 28, 1831, pp. 838-839. Students continued to help man forts for some time
afterwards. In mid-October there were fifty students helping at the Brum fort and twenty
at the Buraco fort. Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos 9. 432.

hundred, with about thirty deaths among their opponents. About one thousand rebels
were arrested, including over eight hundred soldiers. Most of these were immediately
sent to ships in the harbor, and many were subsequently banished to the distant island of
Fernando de Noronha for imprisonment.50
A reference in the official narration of the events to abuses during the
reestablishment of order, as well as a proclamation circulated by the provincial president
and conselho warning against excesses in searches for, and arrests of, criminals, raises
the issue of how serious acts of vengeance were. Given the low number of casualties
among those repressing the rebellion, it seems possible that many of the deaths of the
defeated may have come not in pitched battles, but from retaliatory acts. Mário Márcio
de Almeida Santos has gone so far as to argue that most of the rebels, whose number
killed he gives as five hundred, were massacred, as those repressing the rebellion
responded to their terror of anarchy with acts of utter savagery. Almeida Santos judges
the repression as thoroughly excessive, noting that there was a lack of any sadistic desire
to kill among the rebels, that there were no rapes reported and that only one house was
burned down.51
Statements and testimony of the rebels have not survived, but the attitudes of the
rebels can be inferred. There were various reports of shouts against the commander of
50 José Ignácio Abreu e Lima, a contemporary of the events, states that 300 rebels
were killed, according to Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Anais Pemambucanos 9. p
428. Presumably the figure comes from Abreu e Lima, Synopsis ou Deducqao
Chronológica dos Factos mais Notáveis da Historia do Brasil (Recife: M. F. de Faria,
1845). See Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 206.
51 Mário Márcio de Almeida Santos, "A Setembrizada," Clio 5 (1982), 185 For the
figure of 500 he cites Milton Mello A Setembrizada (Recife: Directoría de Documentado
e Cultura, 1951); "Narradáo Official" p. 80-81; "Bando" Sept. 17, 1831, reprinted in the
collection of documents entitled "A Sedi^ao Militar de Setembro de 1831" in Revista do
Instituto Arqueológico e Geográfico de Pernambuco 10, no. 56, 1902, p. 81.

43
arms, corporal punishment, and the Portuguese. One shout, sounded repeatedly during
wild shooting of firearms, summed up the complaint, "Out with the colunas
(restorationists)! Out with the castigo de espada (being struck with the flat of the sword)!
Out with the Brigadier (Commander of Arms Vasconcellos)! Out with the marinheiros
(sailors, i.e., Portuguese)! Long live Dorn Pedro II, Long live Brazilians!"52 A revealing
point is the fusion of the outrage against the commander of arms and the Portuguese.
There were many cries against Brigadier General Vasconcellos, some of them
denouncing him as a restorationist. "Out with Vasconellos, who's a coluna. death to the
colunas!"53 The commander's political orientation was far different, however. He had
played a key role in providing military pressure against Dom Pedro, helping to force his
abdication.54 He was sympathetic to the radical liberals and was elected the first vice-
president of the Federalist Society which formed in October.55 In the course of military
reforms he had angered various restorationists when he terminated their contracts as
suppliers to the military.56 Yet in the minds on many of the aggrieved soldiers, the
commander, hated for his efforts to impose discipline, was equated with the evils of the
Portuguese and their restorationist Brazilian allies.
52 Captain of Fourth Artillery Corp to Commander of Arms, Diario de Pernambuco.
Oct. 1, 1831, p. 845.
53 Bússola da Liberdade. Sept. 21, 1831, p 128 Another was "death to the
Commander of Arms and long live our liberty!" Thirteenth Battalion Commander to
Commander of Arms, Diario de Pernambuco. Sept. 23, 1831.
54 Bússola da Liberdade. on Nov. 2, 1831, p. 175 referred to Vasconcellos as "the
hero of April 7 (whose only crime in this province was to join the Pemambucan liberals)"
55 Bússola da Liberdade. Oct. 19, 1831, p. 159.
56 "Correspondencia," Diario de Pernambuco. Oct. 4, 1831.

44
The Septembrizada demonstrated that the doubts about social stability, the ever¬
present fear of anarchy, were indeed well founded. Just two months after the violent
eruption of poor, forcibly conscripted soldiers in September, a different type of challenge
arose. Exaltados, or extreme liberals, took control of the Cinco Pontas fort, the principal
one in the city. The Novembrada, as the revolt came to be known, contrasted sharply
with events in September. The second revolt was staged by officers and propertied
citizens, with clear leadership and well-defined political goals. There were no rampages
of destruction and looting; indeed, no one was killed at all.
The exaltados' demands centered upon displacing the Portuguese and their Brazilian
allies from their government posts. A list was prepared of thirty-three people who were
to be dismissed from judicial, military, and other posts and deported, including prominent
restorationists such as Manuel Pedro de Moraes Mayer, Domingo Lourengo Torres
Galindo, Colonel Bento José Lamenha Lins, and even the Marques of Recife, Francisco
Paes Barreto. Another list named eight others who were to simply be dismissed from
their posts. All adoptivos. Portuguese-born individuals who had become naturalized
Brazilians, were to be fired from public posts as well, except those who had distinguished
themselves in service to Brazil.57
All Portuguese with less than two million reis (the large majority of Portuguese
residents) were to be deported, as well as those who were single or "enemies of liberty."
No more Portuguese with less than two million rejs were to be allowed to enter
Pernambuco. Public weapons which had been distributed to the Portuguese, including
militia members, were to be confiscated. Finally, the ban on foreign societies, or political
groups, was to be enforced. The rebels' petition also railed against the restorationist
57 BNRJ/SM, 11-32,34,4, "Representa^ao da gente reunida em Cinco Pontas."

45
political society Coluna do Throno e Altar and warned against an attempted military
invasion by the "despot" Dorn Pedro.58
The revolt seems to have been set off by the dismissal of Commander of Arms
Vasconcellos. In the first days of November, word reached Pernambuco that the minister
of war had replaced Vasconcellos, upon receiving news of the Septembrizada.59 Both
radical liberal organs, such as the Bússola da Liberdade. and more moderate papers, such
as the Diario de Pernambuco, criticized the move.60 A petition to rescind the measure
was circulated by the extreme liberals.61 Apparently, the loss of a powerful supporter
may have prompted the exaltados to resort to violent means to press their nativist
agenda.62
The events of the revolt itself are suggestive. On the night of November 15, a
group overpowered those guarding the Cinco Pontas fort. Provincial President Francisco
de Carvalho Paes de Andrade immediately sent the justice of the peace of Santo Antonio
to disperse those occupying the fort, but they refused to leave. The rebels argued that
they did not comprise an illegal gathering of armed men; rather, they were citizens
58 BNRJ/SM, 11-32, 34, 4 "Representa^ao da gente reunida em Cinco Pontas"; Diario
de Pernambuco. Nov. 25, 1831, pp. 1017-1018.
59 Minister of War to the President of Pernambuco, Oct. 20, 1831, informed that the
Commander of Arms was being dismissed for having allowed the Septembrizada,
reprinted in Diario de Pernambuco. Nov.4, 1831, pp. 953-954.
60 "Comunicado," Diario de Pernambuco. Nov. 14, 1831, pp 989-990; Bússola da
Liberdade. Nov. 2, 1831, pp. 175-176.
61 Diario de Pernambuco. Nov. 5, 1831, p. 958 prints the petition
62 The absence of a demand for the reinstatement of the Commander of Arms leaves a
degree of ambiguity on the point. Marcos Carvalho has argued for this link, asserting
that those who signed the petition were the same people who staged the revolt. The
newspaper transcription he cites to support this, however, does not present the names of
those who signed. At any rate, it is a plausible position.

46
peaceably gathered insisting on their constitutional right to petition the government.63
Without sufficient force to overwhelm the fort, the provincial government bided its time.
On the sixteenth, emissaries from the government were told to wait, that a petition would
be issued. The rebels were gaining strength as people entered the fort to join them. Even
some of the soldiers instructed to impede such actions went over to the rebel side.
Meanwhile, some inhabitants of the city, with memories of the Septembrizada still fresh
in their minds, abandoned Recife for the safety of ships in the harbor, carrying what
possessions they could. Francisco de Carvalho Paes de Andrade left the Presidential
Palace for the Brum fort.64
The government, deprived of its normal allotment of military troops, many of
whom were incarcerated or dismissed after the Septembrizada, amassed some eight
hundred people, between militia and civilians gathered by the justices of the peace.65 Yet
the efforts to apply force were undermined by the refusal of citizens to fire on the rebels.
After all, unlike the lower-class soldiers of the Septembrizada, these rebels were of
similar background to the propertied militiamen and citizens. The Olindense reported
that they argued that "Those in the fort are Brazilians . . . they have not yet acted
63 Diario de Pernambuco. Nov. 29, 1831, pp. 1029 for the Nov. 16 message from the
rebels to the Provincial President.
64 OUndense, Nov. 28, 1831, reprinted in Vianna, Contribuicao á Historia da Imprensa
59-61.
65 Olindense, Nov. 28, 1831, in Vianna, Contribuicao á Historia da Imprensa. 61.

47
aggressively, is there any need to spill blood?"66 The Diario de Pernambuco later
criticized the insistent claim that "We will not fire on our countrymen."67
On November 17, the rebels finally issued their petition, which was promptly
rejected.68 The provincial president, who had consistently tried to avoid bloodshed,
instructing troops not to fire unless fired on first, allowed the Federalist Society to send a
commission to the fort to convince the rebels to put down their arms.69 The Federalist
Society shared many of the rebels' goals and the commission was met enthusiastically. It
failed, however, to convince the rebels to abandon the fort. The Society sent a second
commission the following day, which was joined by several members of the Law Faculty,
including future statesmen Joáo Lins Vieira da Canfa^ao and José Tomás Nabuco de
Araújo, as well as Francisco Cameiro Machado Rios. The rebels issued to the
commission a reduced, though still considerable, list of demands—that the Portuguese be
disarmed, that Portuguese without two million reis be deported and that the government
not treat the rebels as engaged in a criminal act70
66 Ibid.
67 Diario de Pernambuco. Dec. 7, 1831, pp. 1055-1056.
68 BNRJ/SM, 11-32, 34, 4, no. 3, fol. 5-7.
69 Examples of the president's emphasis on avoiding bloodshed are numerous. On
Nov. 19 he instructed the commander of arms to seize the fort "with all prudence and
moderation, avoiding insults, and demonstrations of enthusiasm for the triumph . . .
(proceed) vigilantly and carefully, so that not even one drop of blood is spilled, it that is
possible." printed in the Diario de Pernambuco. Dec. 1, 1831, p. 1034. Also see the Nov.
16 instructions of the president to the commander of arms and intendant of the Navy in
Diario de Pernambuco. Nov. 29, 1831, pp. 1029-1030 and p. 1030 respectively and the
President's Nov. 18 instructions to each of these men, as well as to various Commanders
of troops, printed in the Diario de Pernambuco. Dec 1, 1831, p. 1033.
70 Nov. 18, 1831 statement form the Federal Society Commission to the Provincial
President, printed in Diario de Pernambuco. Dec. 1, 1831, pp. 1033-1034.

48
Though the government had by this time assembled more forces, it did not attack.
One historian has seen this as evidence of the provincial president's indecisiveness, yet it
was consistent with his manifest desire to avoid bloodshed, and it was tactically sound, as
the rebels would only weaken over time, they were trapped in the fort, without supplies,
while the government accumulated forces from the interior of the province 71 Indeed, the
weakness of their position was becoming clear and on the eighteenth some rebels
abandoned the fort. The next morning, nearly all the rebels left the fort and it was taken
without resistance.72
The Novembrada demonstrated Pernambuco's rough and tumble political struggle
in a period of fluidity. After Dom Pedro's abdication, there was no charismatic force
symbolizing the unity of Brazil and the stability of its institutions. The Regency which
ruled in place of Dom Pedro's son could not embody authority and stability as fully as an
Emperor exercising his powers. Political institutions and practice were open to
challenge. In Pernambuco extreme liberals resorted to violence to pressure the
government to carry out their favored policies. The government's tenuous control of
armed force made such a tactic feasible. The government possessed no monopoly over
the instruments of coercion. Various groups could mobilize armed men.
In this particular instance, the exaltados' armed efforts were not effective Some
restorationist army officers were dismissed, but otherwise the demands for action against
the Portuguese and their allies went unsatisfied. Indeed, Colonel Pereira dos Santos, an
ally of the dismissed commander of arms, was briefly jailed, and the two exaltado
71 Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas. 122-123.
72 Olindense. Nov. 28, 1831, reprinted in Vianna, Contribuido á Historia da Imprensa.
64.

49
officers who led the rebellion were jailed for several months.73 Moreover, the rift
between the moderates and the extreme liberals, allies during the struggle against Dorn
Pedro, was significantly exacerbated 74 Nonetheless, the government's conciliatory
efforts and pursuit of a peaceful resolution, as well as the refusal of the militia and
citizenry to fire on the rebellious officers and citizens, made it clear that the resort to
/
arms could be a viable tactic in political struggle.
In December of 1831, a restorationist rebellion led by Joaquim Pinto Madeira
erupted in the sertoes and agreste of Ceará and quickly spread to the backlands of nearby
provinces.75 Fearful of a broader conspiracy to facilitate Dom Pedro's return to the
Brazilian throne, and worried by rumors of an uprising in Pernambuco to support Pinto
Madeira, security measures were tightened. Influential restorationists Domingos
Lourengo Torres Galindo and Bento José Lamenha Lins were ordered to appear in Recife
for questioning and many Portuguese houses were searched for arms. The effect,
however, was to prompt, earlier than planned, the rebellion known as the Abrilada.76
The conspirators were mainly restorationists—both Portuguese-born adoptivos and
their Brazilian-born allies. In a period of ferment of liberal ideas from abroad,
consequent institutional reform, and turbulent challenges to traditional authority,
73 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 234-235.
74 Correia de Andrade, Movimentos Nativistas. 124-125; Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," 235.
75 Justice of the Peace of Flores to President of Pernambuco, Flores, Feb 8, 1836,
BNRJ/SM, 11-33, 6, 41, and accompanying documents; Sócrates Quintino da Fonseca e
Brito, "A Rebeliao de Joaquim Pinto Madeira: Fatores Politicos e Sociaes,"(M.A. thesis,
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 1979).
76 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 32-34; Diario de Pernambuco. April 28,
1832, pp. 1441-1442; "Correspondencia," signed Feliciano Joaquim dos Santos, May 4,
1832, pp. 1453-1454.

50
restorationists sought a retreat from unsettling change. The return of Dom Pedro, they
hoped, would also allow them to recover positions and privilege lost or threatened in
recent years. Portuguese-born military officers, for example, were deeply resented by
Brazilian-born officers. At independence the small number of Brazilian-born officers
made it imperative to allow many Portuguese-born officers to remain in the Brazilian
army.77 In Pernambuco, many had been expelled, or threatened with expulsion, after the
riots in May of 1831 when news arrived of Dom Pedro's abdication and after the
Novembrada.78 Such officers played a prominent role in the Abrilada. Likewise,
absolutist senhores de engenho in the interior who had lost their positions as colonial
militia officers when that militia was eliminated, fearful of persecution by their local
enemies, conspired with restorationists in Recife to open a second front in the interior of
the province. Portuguese shopowners, clerks, and artisans in Recife, victims of the
heightening nativism of the times, and no doubt resentful of calls for their expulsion,
were active in the 53rd Militia Battalion that was central to the rebellion. In addition,
wealthy Portuguese merchants were significant in the restorationist milieu. With large
loans extended to Brazilian landowners, and valuable merchandise warehoused in Recife,
they potentially had much to lose if nativism spread dramatically.79
77 At the time of the abdication over half the brigadier generals and generals were
Portuguese-born. Décio Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros do Imperador (Rio de Janeiro: Graal,
1978), 79.
78 Compare the names of men implicated in the Abrilada, "Relajo dos cumplices na
revolta apparecida nesta Provincia na noite de 14 do corrente," BNRJ/SM, 11-33,6,33,
with names of individuals whose dismissal was demanded in May of 1831, BNRJ/SM, II-
32, 34, 47, and with a similar list prepared during the Novembrada, "Rela9ao para fora da
Provincia," BNRJ/SM-II, 32,34,4 no. 3, fols. 6-7.
79 Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros. 77-81 on restorationism; Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," 239-247.

51
A different source of support came from leaders of the prominent Cavalcanti
family, on whose properties some of the conspirators met. The Cavalcantis, along with
Francisco Paes Barreto (the Viscount, and future Marquis, of Recife), were definitively
not interested in restoration. They did, however, see a chance to topple the provincial
government of Francisco de Carvalho, so that one of their own, provincial Vice-President
Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, could assume the presidency. When the
urban rebellion failed, however, they quickly withdrew their support.80
The conspirators counted on the relative weakness of the government's armed
support. In the aftermath of the Septembrizada many of the military troops had been
imprisoned or dismissed, while the Novembrada had opened a rift between the
government and the radical liberals, whose combativeness made them especially
valuable, beyond their numerical importance and significant presence in the army. With
the government relying on the volunteer Municipal Guard and the militia, many of whom
were Portuguese and favorable to their cause, the conspirators' plan to launch a
simultaneous rebellion in Recife and in the countryside was a threat of formidable
potential.81
On the night of April 14, 1832, the 53rd Militia Battalion, composed largely of
Portuguese-born men and stationed in the Bairro do Recife, the commercial district with
a heavy Portuguese presence, rose in rebellion. Some militia men in Santo Antonio,
mainly Portuguese, crossed over to the Bairro do Recife in support of the movement.
The rebels damaged the bridge linking the Bairro do Recife with Santo Antonio, built
barricades from the Customs Building to the Arco da Concei<;ao next to the bridge
80 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 238-239.
81 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 31-32.

52
barricades from the Customs Building to the Arco da Conce^áo next to the bridge
connecting the Bairro do Recife with Santo Antonio, and placed an artillery piece there
as well. Through the Brum and Buraco forts, whose lack of resistance indicated
connivance on the part of their commanders, they commanded control of the isthmus to
Olinda that provided the only other access to the peninsula on which the Bairro de Recife
is built. The Bairro secure, they planned to await news of the uprisings in the interior.82
Deprived of significant military troops, the government relied on the 54th Militia
Battalion, the Permanent Municipal Guards, the National Guard of nearby towns, Olinda
law students, and volunteers. Colonel José Joaquim Coelho led these forces.83 On the
fifteenth, with the schooner Rio da Prata firing on the Arco da Concei^ao, four hundred
to four hundred and fifty men attempted to enter the Bairro do Recife, but failed as they
could not cross the damaged bridge and artillery fire forced the ship to withdraw. In the
meantime, the students from Olinda, led by the commander of arms, Major Joaquim Jose
da Silva Santiago, crossed the isthmus from Olinda, took the Buraco fort, and fired
artillery shots at the Brum fort for the rest of the day. On the sixteenth, the fort fell to the
82 President of Pernambuco to President of Paraiba, April 15, 1832 in Diario de
Pernambuco. April 26, 1832, p. 1434; Bússola da Liberdade. April 14, 1832; Commander
of Arms to President of Pernambuco, "Exposigao dos acontecimentos, que tiverao lugar
nesta Provincia nos dias 14, 15, e 16 d"Abril do corrente anno," April 17, 1832 in Diario
de Pernambuco. April 26, pp. 1434-1436 and April 27, 1832, pp. 1437-1438; "Circular da
Sociedade Patriótica Harmonizadora," May 6, 1832 in Pereira da Costa, Anais
Pernambucanos 9. pp. 484-486; M. Lopes Machado, "O 14 de Abril de 1832, em
Pernambuco," Revista do Instituto Archeológico e Geográphico Pemambucano 6 no. 38
(1890), 55; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 34-35, Felix Fernandes Portella,
"A Setembrisada, a Abrilada, e a Guerra dos Cabanos: Apontametos para a Historia
Patria," Revista do Instituto Archeológico e Geográphico Pemambucano 10 no.58
(1903), 429.
83 Portella, "A Setembrizada," 430; Lopes Machado, "O 14 de Abril," 57; Correia de
Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 35. Coelho years later would lead the military forces that
put down the Praieira Revolution.

53
students. On the sixteenth, Coelho's forces from Santo Antonio, carrying large wooden
boards to pass over the damaged areas of the bridge, successfully passed into the Bairro
do Recife.84
The rebels, already in flight, put up no resistance to the forces from Santo Antonio.
Casualties up until this point were relatively low; one source cites sixteen dead, but now
the killing began in earnest. An eyewitness subsequently wrote of massacre. Rebels who
surrendered were murdered, some were marched off the damaged bridge to drown.
Others were shot on janeadas as they tried to reach ships in the harbor. Some sought
refuge in churches, but those in the Madre de Deus Convent found no succor. Amidst
angry screams and the echo of repeated gunfire, rebels were systematically killed, a
contemporary reported. Others escaped the Bairro do Recife, however, including the
leaders of the rebellion Colonel Francisco José Martins and Sergeant Major Jose Gabriel
de Moráis Maier.85
In the meantime, the rural uprising that became known as the Guerra dos Cabanos
erupted.86 Men who had participated in the repression of the 1824 Confederation of the
Equator, and had benefitted in the provincial administrations that followed until Dom
Pedro's abdication in 1831, planned and led the insurrection. Captain Major Domingo
Louren<;o Torres Galindo, a cotton planter in Vitoria, dismissed after the events of May,
84 Portella, "A Setembrizada," 430-431, Lopes Machado, "O 14 de Abril," 56-58;
Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 34-36; Commander of Arms to President of
Pernambuco, April 17, 1832 in Diario de Pernambuco. April 26, 1832, pp. 1434-1436
and April 27, 1832, pp. 1437-1438; Bússola da Liberdade. April 19, 1832.
85 Portella, "A Setembrizada," 431-432; Lopes Machado, "0 14 de Abril," 58-59. Both
sources note that cadavers were dragged to the cemetery of the convent. Lopes Machado
gives sixty as the number of bodies brought there.
86 Cabano means a dwelling for the rural poor, a shanty. In this case, cabano refers to
the inhabitants of such dwellings that fought in this rural rebellion

54
1831, was active not only in plotting against Francisco de Carvalho's government in
Pernambuco, but also in aiding Pinto Madeira's restorationist rebellion with men and
supplies.87 Supporters in the south of the province were led by Sergeant Major Manuel
AfFonso de Mello. From Barra Grande, Lieutenant Colonel Joáo Batista de Araujo
mobilized support, including financial support from the Portuguese community in Barra
Grande. There was considerable support for the rebellion in the south of the province,
where the government had rewarded landowners for their support against the 1824
Confederation of the Equator. Across the province, former captain majors and sergeant
majors of the extinguished colonial militias played leading roles in the rebellion.88
The rural rebellion proved far more long lasting than the barracks uprising in
Recife. Forests and mountains impeded rapid movement of forces and facilitated
ambushes by the rebels. The government's shortage of arms and ammunition, as well as
the habitually late payment of salaries, damaged morale and effectiveness. The rebel
forces were substantially enlarged when Antonio Timoteo, a small property owner in
Panellas de Miranda, mobilized hundreds of Indians from Jacuipe for the struggles. The
rebels then numbered over one thousand. Abuses by soldiers, such as theft and rape,
helped alienate the rural population, many of whom were already sympathetic to the rebel
cause. Nevertheless, over the course of 1832, local opponents of the rebels, armed by the
provincial government and aided by the five- hundred-member Municipal Guard of the
capital and by newly organized National Guard of various towns, managed some
87 Note that Torres Galindo was also on the Novembrada rebels' list of people to be
expelled from the province. "Rela fols. 6-7.
88 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 243-248; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos
Cabanos. 38-39.

55
victories. Torres Galindo fled the province in September. Manuel Affonso de Mello and
Joáo Batista de Araujo were arrested in October. The following month in Ceará, the
militia and army troops sent from Rio de Janeiro succeeded in capturing Pinto Madeira.
The leadership of the restorationist rebellion had been eliminated.89
The conspirators behind the Abrilada and the rural rebellion in support of it had
expected a quick victory. With the failure of the urban rebellion, they shifted to a
guerrilla strategy. In light of the considerable elite preoccupations with social control,
this was a dramatic decision; mobilizing the lower classes for intra-elite conflict and
engaging in prolonged violence was fraught with risks. Indeed, when the bulk of the
restorationist leadership fled, was captured, or simply abandoned arms, the rebellion did
not end. Rather, the character of the struggle changed as it was transformed into the first
major peasant rebellion in Brazil.
Absolutist senhores de engenho had, in time-tested fashion, mobilized their
retainers to supply the bulk of their forces. In the south of the province, especially in the
Jacuipe Valley and in Panella, this involved mobilizing Indians. There was nothing new
about this. As early as the seventeenth century, Indians had fought against the Dutch and
against the maroons of the quilombo at Palmares. Indians had fought in the
independence struggles. Although in some cases, when they lived in their own
communities and possessed land grants, they had a greater degree of independence than
personal retainers on landed estates, their leaders were still subordinate to the locally
89 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 249-251; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos
Cabanos. 51-55, 59.

56
powerful and were incorporated into clientelisic networks. Exercise of their rights may
have depended, de facto, on understandings with the locally powerful.911
If many were mobilized through clientelistic ties, others joined the rebel cause due
to the hardship that was imposed on them during the rebellion. The government
authorized large-scale forced recruitment in the areas of the struggle. In Panellas,
attempts to draft all men between eighteen and twenty-five years of age set off a
rebellion, and brought large numbers of Indians into the battle against the government.
Many of the Indians and other rural poor who joined the rebels continued the struggle for
three years because they had been evicted from their lands. While it seems there had
been encroachment on lands for some time, there is little doubt that this accelerated in the
course of the war. Area landlords who sided with the government seized the opportunity
to expel Indians from their lands. This was doubtless crucial in the mobilization of the
Jacuipe Valley, a key area of Indian support for the rebellion, because it was the only
area of the province with significant amounts of fertile, legally unclaimed land 91
By the end of 1832, when the upper-class leaders of the rebellion had been
eliminated, Vicente de Paula emerged as the undisputed leader of the movement. This
former army sergeant and deserter, son of a priest from Goiana, proved to be a
charismatic figure who effectively led the cabanos throughout the rest of the war He
preoccupied political leaders afterwards, as well, with raids by his armed bands in the
90 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 261-264. Marcus Carvalho places great
emphasis on the significance of clientelism in mobilizing the Indians of Jacuipe. The
rural poor generally often gained access to land, of course, through clientelism. On
clientelism, patronage and access to land see Graham, Patronage and Politics. 20-23;
Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros. 37-39. For a study of the war focussing on the Indian
communities in the south of the province, see Dirceu Lindoso, A Utopia Armada:
Rebelioes de Pobres nas Matas do Tombo Real (Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1983).
91 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 262-270; Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros. 94-95.

57
1830s and 1840s. In the 1840s, various Conservative and Liberal leaders attempted to
attract him to their side in armed struggles. He molded a fighting force from Indians,
others of the rural poor, and runaway slaves that used guerilla tactics to stymie the
government for three years. Vicente de Paula organized his forces in accord with his
military experience, and took the title of General of the Royalist Force.92
Vicente de Paula's calls for restoration of Dorn Pedro responded to the upheaval of
hti
recent years. He crystallized the discontent of the rural poor, blaming the various crises
that buffeted them on the liberals who had overthrown the emperor. Liberal reforms, in
shifting the locus of political power to provinces and municipios, had made the locally
prominent even more powerful, diminishing what mediating role the state had previously
played. Creation of the National Guard had led to drafting the rural poor to serve in it \y V'Y
With the opening of the ports to international trade in 1808, significant inflation began
By the early 1830s, counterfeit copper coins were increasingly common, and merchants'
frequent refusals to accept copper coins at all presented difficulties for the poor. Land
encroachment increased. Even the law protecting the forests as a monopoly of the
government was repealed after the abdication, facilitating the seizure of lands by
powerful landowners. Vicente articulated a belief that the litany of problems affecting ? the rural poor were the handiwork of irreligious jacobins, liberals who respected neither
property, tradition, nor God. His proclamations and letters urged the return of an
absolutist regime, in which Dorn Pedro would not be restrained by a constitution.93
92 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 63, 205-209; Freitas, Os Guerrilheiros.
106-109, 116. The name was later changed to Restorationist Forces.
93 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 255-259, 266-270, 277-279; Freitas, Os
Guerrilheiros. 53-63; Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 205-209; Nov. 16, 1833
proclamation by Vicente de Paula, reprinted in Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos 9.
(continued...)

Under Vicente de Paula's leadership, the cabanos were composed almost entirely of
the rural poor. Yet they attracted the support of restorationists elsewhere. They
periodically received aid from Recife. Ammunition was occasionally supplied from
Maceió, the capital of Alagoas. Operating in that province, they benefitted from such
indecision on the part of the provincial president and Army that one historian has
speculated that they may have been sympathizers.94 Even prominent Pernambuco
restorationists in Rio de Janeiro maintained hopes for their cause. General Abreu e Lima
wrote from the Court to his brothers Luis and Joáo, both of whom were also involved in
the restorationist cause, urging Luis to go to the battlefield in Jacuipe and assume
leadership of the movement. "Do not delay one moment, apart from the cabanos. I do not
see any solution for Brazil." He assured his brother that with a prominent victory, and
his own subsequent public incorporation into the movement, a wide-spread restorationist
movement would erupt.95
(...continued)
pp. 535-536. The rural poor making common cause with conservatives was not
unprecedented at this time in Latin America. On such support for Rafael Carrera, see
Ralph Lee Woodward, Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala.
1821-1871 (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1993) and Miles Wortman, Government and
Society in Central America. 1680-1840 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982),
261-268. For Venezuela, see Germán Carrera Damas, Boves: aspectos socioeconómicos
de la guerra de independencia (Caracas: Ediciones de la Biblioteca, Universdad Central
de Venezuela, 1972). For a later period in Brazil, see Euclides da Cunha, Os Sertoes
(Campanha do Canudos! (Rio de Janeiro: F. Alves, 1914) and Robert Levine, Vale of
Tears: Revisiting the Canudos Massacre in Northeastern Brazil. 1893-1897 (Berkeley:
Univ. of California Press, 1992).
94 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 211.
95 Quote from a Nov. 29, 1833 letter printed in Diario de Pernambuco. Jan. 12, 1834,
reprinted in Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 227-229; Correia de Andrade,
Guerra dos Cabanos. 209-213.

59
Outside support, however, was never enough to greatly aid the cabanos. Still, the
provincial government, with its limited resources, was unable to easily impose itself in
the countryside against an often hostile population. In 1834, it adopted a scorched-earth
policy that finally proved decisive. Everyone in the theater of operations was warned to
leave the area or be treated as cabanos. A fierce campaign by the government followed.
Offers of amnesty then separated many rebels from the cause. In 1835, the Bishop of
Pernambuco toured the region, preaching among the rebels and convincing most to lay
down their arms. Vicente de Paula and a small number of followers, mostly escaped
slaves who feared bondage and punishment, refused. They founded a community,
Riacho do Mato, of difficult access in mountainous forests, and were not captured.
However, the Guerra dos Cabanos was over.96
Nonetheless, the weakness of the government had been seen by all. Undermined by
conflict among its supporters, lack of supplies for its troops, inability to control the
excesses of its soldiers or avoid their desertion, the government needed three years to win
the war. Much of the fighting had been carried out by local senhores de engenho and
their retainers, supplied and funded from Recife, with the aid of government troops.97
The government's authority in the countryside was still, to a considerable degree,
delegated to the locally powerful. All of this pointed to a significant political reality:
preservation and retention of power depended upon local elites' social control; conflict
among the elite could threaten social stability. If powerful senhores de engenho had been
96 Correia de Andrade, Guerra dos Cabanos. 127-154, 175-185; Freitas, Os
Guerrilheiros. 151-155.
97 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 265-266.

60
accustomed to thinking of the poor as resources to be mobilized for their own purposes,
the Guerra dos Cabanos showed another possibility. The rural poor, led by a shrewd and
charismatic leader, carried on their own struggle long after the absolutist senhores had
abandoned the battle field. Actively intervening in politics in the most direct of ways,
waging war, they stymied the government for several years. In demonstrating the
possibility of independent action on their part, they added a new element into future
calculations of political struggle.

CHAPTER 2
REACTION, 1836-1841
Brazilian elites were deeply concerned with maintaining order. They were keenly
aware of the profound divisions of class and race which structured their society, a society
in which slavery played so prominent a role. Thus, restructuring political institutions
offered not only promise, but risks as well. The crucial test of any reform effort would be
if the promised improvements could be attained without upsetting social and political
stability. We have seen the danger to order posed by armed revolts. In this chapter, we
will continue examining the problem of order, focusing on the formal institutions of
social control and the routine challenges they faced, particularly the pervasiveness of
crime. Much of the discussion will draw on material from the Court, but evidence from
Pernambuco will also appear. We will see how difficulties in maintaining order, both in
terms of revolts and in terms of crime, facilitated the success of a conservative critique of
liberalism that would have a profound and enduring impact.
For Joaquim Nabuco (1849-1910), a deputy from Pernambuco, a noted abolitionist,
a diplomat, and the Monarchy's historian, Dom Pedro's shocking abdication on April 7,
1831 ushered in, de facto, a decade-long republic and with it, a threat to the nation's
integrity and order.1 Bereft of the stabilizing influence of the monarchy, fundamental
fear of disorder and anarchy increased. Order was tenuously maintained in the best of
1 Nabuco, Estadista. 33.
íolrf
61

62
circumstances. A subjugated slave population, many of whom were African-born, large
numbers of the oppressed rural poor, often mixed-race white and Indian caboclos. and
urban poor, often Afro-Brazilian, might rise up at a given provocation. Juxtaposed to a
fragile state presence, whether in the form of administrative agents or a repressive force,
social control was a constant concern. With the abdication, and especially with the
liberal reforms that shifted the locus of state power from the Court to the provincial
capitals and counties, political struggle was unleashed. Long standing elite fear of the
breakdown of hierarchy and order was confirmed, as intra-elite struggles spilled over to
the lower classes, largely people of color, providing openings for contests that challenged
the social order.
In Recife, the abdication ushered in an era that saw the provincial government
forced to dismiss many Portuguese-born military officers and office holders. The
Novembrada demonstrated the willingness of urban radicals, especially those in the
military, to resort to armed force to realize nativist goals. The Abrilada of 1832 and the
Guerra dos Cabanos, in turn, showed the restorationists willing to attempt an armed
uprising in Recife and rural guerrilla war in pursuit of their aims. When the restorationist
!
leaders lost the appetite for rural warfare, they discovered that they could not control
what they had begun. A rural insurgency of the poor, led by individuals from their own
ranks and marked by scenes of great violence and destruction ravaged the south of the
province until 1835. If the Septembrizada had exposed the fragility of the repressive ¡Y f ;t //
Ot.j
apparatus in the capital, where forced conscripts from the poor had thrown off the
f&rpfts
command of their superiors, looting, drinking, whoring, seizing artillery pieces and
battling the ad hoc forces gathered to repress them, the Guerra dos Cabanos revealed the
inadequacy of the state's capacity to marshal efficient repression in the countryside.

63
Nor was Pernambuco unique by any means. Revolts rocked various provinces. An
elite-led separatist struggle brought civil war to Rio Grande do Sul from 1835 to 1845. A
rebellion by Muslim slaves in Salvador, Bahia, brief in duration, but powerful in the fear
of "Haitianismo" it enflamed, gripped the consciousness of elites across Brazil. Even
four decades after the Haitian Revolution, that Caribbean uprising and slaughter of white
elites continued to provoke anxiety among Brazilian upper classes. In Pará, fierce
struggles among the elites led to civil war in January of 1835; by August, a general
conflagration had erupted in which Indians and caboclos slaughtered the wealthy. Not
until 1840 was the Cabanagem, as this rebellion was called, repressed, and the cost was
startling; a fifth of the population, about 30,000 people, perished. In Salvador, resistance
to perceived efforts to "recolonize" Bahia, this time in subservience to the Court at Rio de
Janeiro, led to the Sabinada. Intra-elite conflict quickly spilled over to a mass movement.
Rebels seized Salvador and only after four months and at a cost of 1,800 lives did
government troops defeat them. Maranhao likewise saw elite conflict spread to a mass
movement, the Balaiada (1838-1841). Thus, across Brazil, time and again, violent,
frightening upheavals erupted as slaves, Indians, and the urban and rural poor, largely
people of color, in different combinations at different times and places, seized the
opportunities presented by intra-elite conflicts.2
2 Bethell and Carvalho, "1822-1850," 68-75; Barman, Forging of a Nation, p. 170
presents maps that locate the revolts and chapter 6 includes summaries of them; Thomas
Flory, "Race and Social Control in Independent Brazil," Journal of Latin American
Studies 9:2 (Nov., 1977). On individual revolts, see Moacyr Flores, A Revolugao
Farroupilha (Porto Alegre: Univ. Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 1990); Walter Spalding,
A Revolucao Farroupilha (Porto Alegre: Petroquímica Triunfo, 1987); Joao José Reis,
Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins Univ. Press, 1993); Julio José Chiavento, Cabanagem: o povo no poder (Sao
Paulo: Brasiliense, 1984); Pasquale di Paulo, Cabanagem: A Revolucao Popular da
Amazonia (Belem: Centro de Estudos Jurídicos do Pará, 1986); Hendrik Kraay, "‘As
(continued...)

64
Maintaining order had always been a fundamental concern of the upper classes and
the government in Pernambuco. There were vast stretches of thinly populated lands,
difficult to police and in which people could easily hide. In the more populated zona da
mata, there were concentrations of slaves and free poor on plantations. With very limited
government presence, slow communications, and widespread ownership of guns, many
regions, though long settled, bore a certain resemblance to a frontier zone.3
The provincial government and representatives of the imperial government in
Recife found considerable obstacles in working their will throughout the province.
Bureaucratic capacity was sharply limited. Indeed, one provincial president, Francisco
do Regó Barros, once explained to the Provincial Assembly that he was unable even to
report crime statistics, or the number of National Guardsmen in the province, as the
district judges (iuizes de direito! and National Guard leaders had failed to provide such
information, despite requests to do so.4 A similar situation prevailed in other provinces,
(...continued)
Terrifying as Unexpected’: The Bahian Sabinada, 1837-1838," Hispanic American
Historical Review. 72:4 (Nov., 1992); Paulo César Souza, A Sabinada: a revolta
separatista da Bahia. 1837 (Sao Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987); Maria de Lourdes Monaco
Janotti, A Balaiada (Sao Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987); Maria Januária Vilelea Santos, A
Balaiada e a insurreipao de escravos no Maranhao (Sao Paulo: Ática, 1983).
3 Relatório que á Assembleia Legislativa de Peranmbuco apresentou na Sessao
Ordinaria de 1839 o Exmo. Presidente da mesma Provinica Francisco do Reeo Barros, p.
15 on widespread use of arms. Hereafter cited as Relatorio . , . 1839 . . . Presidente ide
Pernambuco V
4 Falla que, na occaziáo da abertura da Assembleia Legislativa Provincial de
Pernambuco no 1° de Margo de 1838 recitou o Exm, Snr. Francisco do Reeo Barros.
Presidente da mesma Provincia, pp. 16, 21. Hereafter cited as Falla . . . 1838
Presidente (de PemambucoY

65
as the minister of justice indicated in 1838 when he reported the same inability to present
crime statistics, as many provincial presidents could not supply the relevant information.5
Across Brazil the police suffered poor organization, and Pernambuco was no
exception.6 In 1842, discipline difficulties were so pervasive that most police units
employed National Guardsmen to supplement their numbers. This presented problems as
well, as using Guards from the same region was unsatisfactory, presumably because they
were subject to local influences, prompting the use of National Guards from other
regions.7 The police cavalry was so ineffective, due to the poor condition of its horses,
that the provincial president recommended that if new horses were not purchased that the
cavalry be disbanded. More generally, effective police work depended on diligent and
competent work by the justice of the peace, who exercised key police functions.8 Unpaid
police officials, subprefeitos and commissarios de policia created in 1836, generally did
not devote sufficient time to their official duties, a complaint that continued even after
the reorganization of 1841 that reduced the functions of the justice of the peace and
5 Relatório da Reparticao dos Negocios da Justica Apresentado á Assembleia Geral
Legislativa na Sessao Ordinaria de 1838 pelo Respectivo Ministro e secretario de Estado
Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos. p. 8. Hereafter cited as Relatório . , , Negocios da
Justica . . . 1838.
6 Ibid., pp. 10-12. The Minister of Justice lamented that "It is not possible, senhores.
for the police, as it is currently organized, to carry out the important functions of this
ministry." p. 11. On the police in the Court, see Thomas Holloway, Policing Rio de
Janeiro: Repression and Resistance in a 19th-Century City (Stanford: Stanford University
Press, 1993) and Bernice Cavalcanti Brandáo, limar Rohlof de Mattos, and Maria Alice
Rezende de Carvalho, A policia e a forca policial no Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro:
PUC/RJ, Série Estudos, no. 4, 1981)
7 Relatório , , , 1843 , , , Presidente fde Pernambuco). 5.
8 Relatório , , , Negocios da Justica . . . 1838. p. 11; Relatório Apresentado á
Assembleia Geral Legislativa na Sessao Ordinaria de 1840, pelo Ministro e Secretario de
Estado dos Negocios da Justiya. p. 22. Hereafter cited as Relatório , , , 1840 . . .
Negocios da Justica.

66
created unpaid delegados (police commissioners) and subdelegados (deputy police
commissioners).9
The National Guard was the largest force in the province.10 In theory it numbered
about 19,000 members, but the number actually available, trained, and armed was far
less.11 As in other provinces, Pernambuco's National Guard was poorly organized and
generally poorly led, though the problems were less severe in Recife and Olinda 12 There
were insufficient arms, as the frequent, almost routine, requests for weapons demonstrate.
Many of the arms available were defective, being leftovers from the extinct colonial
militias.13 Training and discipline were poor. Many of the leaders had no knowledge of
military organization and tactics. Leaders often resided far from their units, there being
no requirement that the officer live in the same district or county. Consequently, rapid
mobilization was undermined.14 Men often sought positions as officers only for the
9 See Falla . . 1838 . , , Presidente (de Pernambuco!, pp. 18-19, which contains a call
for salaries under the earlier system, and ANRJ IJ'322, President of Pernambuco to
Minister of Justice, Recife, April 8, 1843, for a suggestion that delegados and
subdelegados earn a salary, to allow them to devote more time and vigor to their duties.
10 On the National Guard, see Jeanne Berrance de Castro, A milicia cidadá. a Guarda
Nacional de 1831 a 1850 (Sao Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1977) and Fernando
Uricochea, The Patrimonial Foundations of the Brazilan Bureaucratic State (Berkeley:
Univ. of Calif. Press, 1980).
11 Falla ... 1838 . . , Presidente ide Pernambuco!, p. 21.
12 Relatório da Reparticao dos Negocios da Justica Apresentado á Assembleia Geral
Legislativa na Sessao Ordinaria de 1841 pelo respecitvo Ministro e Secretario de Estado
Paulino Soares de Sousa, p. 30, hereafter cited as Relatório ... 1841 , , Negocios da
Justiya; Falla 1838 , , . Presidente (de Pernambuco!, p. 22. On Recife and Olinda,
see Relatório ... 1839 . . Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 20.
13 Relatório , . . 1841 , , , Negocios da Justiya. p. 30.
14 Falla ... 1838 , , Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 22: Relatório ... 1843 . .
Presidente (de PernambucoV pp. 5-6.

67
associated honors and then evaded the responsibilities. A common tactic was to resign,
on the pretext of illness, immediately following appointment; the law allowed one to
continue to enjoy the honors.15 As there was rapid turnover among officers, there was
little incentive for improvement; the fruits of one's efforts might be enjoyed by someone
else.16 Registration boards, composed of the justice of the peace and the electors,
determined the eligibility of men to serve in the Guard. They often became embroiled in
disputes, due to their considerable partiality, providing troops for units led by allies and
impeding the filling of position in units commanded by rivals.17 Yet, despite all the
problems, the National Guard was crucial. In areas with little military presence, the ftú■ ^
iff/e
Guard was the only significant force available to repress political disputes that erupted
into violence, to capture criminals, and to guard prisoners.18
The military provided the most reliable troops, though troop riots in the 1830s, and
desertion throughout the period under study, caution against overestimating their
reliability. Soldiers were forcibly recruited for extended military duty, with meager (and
often late) salaries and harsh discipline. Recruitment was a common tactic to deal with
troublemakers, vagrants, and, in general, those among the poor who lacked the protection
of a powerful patron.19 Along with the National Guard, they were the linchpin of
repressive strategies in the event of major disturbances.
15 Falla . . . 1838 , , , Presidente fde PernambucoV p. 22.
16Relatório ... 1841 , , , Negocios da Justipa. p. 31.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid., p. 30.
19 Graham, Patronage and Politics, pp 27-31.

68
The police, National Guard, and Army could put down major disorders, but were
not capable of assuring order on a daily basis. In the countryside, this depended largely
on the efforts of planters, whose groups of armed retainers provided the force to impose
their wills. A senhor de engenho's power depended in part on his ability to mobilize
armed followers to defend his interests.20 Planters allowed various free poor people to
squat on their land in exchange for labor and loyalty, including armed service when
needed. There were limits to the effectiveness of such a system, for while planters
controlled their own lands, conflicts with other planters could arise, pitting one armed
group against another. There were also bands of outlaws that roamed the countryside,
and whose mobility allowed them to escape the forces of the senhores, as well as those of
the government. Such bands often made use of provincial borders, crossing form one
province to another to elude capture.21
In 1843, the minister of justice, Paulino José Soares de Sousa, one of the chief
spokesmen for the Conservative Party, explained the rise of powerful bosses, surrounded
by numerous armed retainers, as a consequence of the backwardness of the interior.
There, he reported, the inhabitants lived in isolation, out of the reach of governmental
authorities, without morality, religion or the benefits of civilization. They were
20 Ibid., 20-23.
21 Relatório da Repartiqao dos Negocios da Justipa Apresentado á Assembleia Geral
Legislativa na Primeira Sessao da 5a Legislatura pelo respectivo Ministro e Secretario de
Estado Paulino José Soares de Sousa (1843), p. 26, hereafter cited as Relatório ... Ia
Sessao . . TI843J
. . . Negocios da Justina, on the armed bands operating on the Pernambuco / Alagoas
border.

69
characterized by barbarous customs, ferocious behavior and horrible crimes, constituting
a distinct society from that of the littoral.22
Interestingly, the minister of justice explained the predominance of powerful
senhores, protecting large groups of men in exchange for their loyalty, in terms of an
adaptation to these severe conditions in the interior, which he conceived of as outside the
littoral society.
[EJven the notables that inhabit those places are forced, in self defense, to oppress
in order not to be oppressed themselves; they create small centers of power, to
which the persecuted agglomerate.. . [E]ach one attempting to achieve greater
preponderance and become feared in order to be respected seeks to protect the
largest number of villanous criminals and turbulent individuals.23
This description could also apply to senhores de engenho in the zona da mata (though
perhaps to a lesser degree), yet the minister invokes the barbarous condition of the
interior as his explanation. Perhaps to recognize openly the predominance of such a
22 The minister clearly differentiated himself and his audience from this culture and
people by referring to the contrast with "our littoral." Sarmiento advanced a similar
argument for Argentina, although his argument is ambiguous about how much weight is
assigned to the isolation of the interior and how much to the influence of what he saw as
the backward civilization of Spain, symbolized by Córdoba, in explaining the barbarous
backlands of Argentina. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Facundo: Civilización v barbarie
(Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1975). Incidents like the human sacrifices that had occurred
in Pernambuco's sertao may well have been on the minister's mind as he spoke of
barbarous customs and behavior. In 1838, a woman by the name of Pedra Bonita
convinced her neighbors that an enchanted kingdom existed, but was about to lose its
enchantment. A follower of hers preached that human sacrifice was needed to restore the
enchanted kingdom and that people should be burned and the soil irrigated with their
blood. All the victims would be resuscitated rich, powerful, and happy. The Provincial
President reported that fathers, ignorant and superstitious, handed over their children in
good faith. In all, forty-two people were sacrificed. The nearest police unit attacked,
killing twenty-nine, arresting others and losing five of their own forces. See Relatório , ,
1839 Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 3-4. For a twentieth-century novel revolving
around this incident, see José Lins do Rego, Pedra Bonita, published along with two
other of the author's works, Pureza: Pedra Bonita: Riacho Doce (Rio de Janeiro:
JoséOlympio, 1961).
23 Relatório , , Negocios da Justica ... 1841, p. 19.

70
system across the entire province might have admitted too great a contradiction between
the ideals of a constitutional system, in which free citizens respect the rule of law, and the
every day reality.24
Government leaders were greatly distressed by the high incidence of crime. In
1841, the same minister, Paulino José Soares de Sousa, blamed Brazil's "state of
civilization," its sparsely populated large territory, and the government's lack of
resources; in 1843 he lamented the spread of immorality.25 In a similar vein, Provincial
President Francisco do Regó Barros blamed backwardness in customs and civilization, as
well as the apathy of eyewitnesses, for the increasing numbers of crimes, their gravity
and the boldness of criminals.26 Even in the provincial capital, in plain day, people were
not safe—on June 28, 1841 a man was murdered and witnesses were too fearful to point
out the perpetrator. Likewise, at midday on January 25, 1842, two men, described as
blacks dressed in mourning, knifed a man to death on the Rua da Cadeia, "the busiest
street" in the center of Recife. Again, witnesses failed to intervene, or even to shout to
alert the police. Subsequent investigation revealed it was an act of vengeance of which
24 Relatório . . 1839 , , , Presidente ide Pernambuco), p. 15, Provincial President
Francisco do Regó Barros expressed his frustration with "professional criminals" who
worsened the effects of impunity. He suggested adopting a law similar to one passed in
Maranháo in 1830 that punished property owners who allowed people without honest
occupation to reside on their lands as agregados or for other specious reasons. This
seems as unrealistic as the Minister of Justice's 1841 comments, in that the practice was
so widespread.
25 Relatório 1841 , , Negocios da Justiga. pp. 18-19; Relatório ... 1 a Sessao
1843 , , , Negocios da Justiga. p. 4.
26 Relatório , , 1842 , , . Presidente fde PernambucoV p. 4.

71
the victim had been warned, but he failed to believe he was in danger in the capital.
Again, no witnesses identified the guilty.27
Nor were the victims of crime restricted to the poor. In July of 1842 the interim
delegado of Rio Formoso, Pedro Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Uchoa, was murdered near
the engenho Genipapo. In response, a group of armed men surrounded the engenho and
killed a man they thought to be the murderer. On October 19, 1842, a group again
surrounded the engenho and proceeded to kill two individuals. On January 6, 1843,
Antonio Francisco do Regó Barros, the owner of the engenho, arrived from Ceará, to
which he had earlier fled to protect his life. Though he returned backed up by armed
men, a local police official convinced him to disband the armed men. Once disarmed,
however, Antonio Francisco was murdered, just as he had feared.28
This general reality of unpunished criminality was exacerbated by the violence and
terror associated with slavery. Slaveowners inherently ran risks in employing coerced
labor. Antonio Rabello da Silva Pereira, for example, long feared an attempt on his life
by his enemies. When he was murdered on the evening on March 27, 1843, suspicion
27 Ibid., pp. 3-4; President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Recife, Feb. 12, 1842
and the appended letters, Prefeito of Recife to President of Pernambuco, Feb. 5, 1842 and
Juiz de Direito Primeira Vara do Crime to President of Pernambuco, Feb. 11, 1842,
ANRJ/SM, IJ‘322.
28 Relatório que á Assembleia Legislativa de Pernambuco Apresentou na Sessao
Ordinaria de 1843 o Excellentissimo Barao da Boa Vista Presidente da Mesma Provinica.
pp. 4-6, hereafter cited as Relatório , , , 1843 , , , Presidente (de Pemambucol: Relatório
Apresentado á Assembleia Geral Legislativa na 2a Sessao da 5aa Legislativa de 1843.
pelo Ministro e Secretario de Estado dos Negocios da Justiqa. p. 6, hereafter cited as
Relatório ... 2a Sessao . 1843 , , , Negocios da Justina: on Antonio Francisco's murder,
see Diario Novo Jan. 13, 1843 and that issue's reprinting of Chief of Police to President
of Pernambuco, Jan. 8, 1843 and First Police Commander to President of Pernambuco,
Jan. 8, 1843; Diario Novo Jan. 18, 1843 and Jan.27, 1843. On the absolving of the police
officials involved, see the various documents in President of Pernambuco to Minister of
Justice, May 10, 1843 and Oct. 27, 1843, ANRJ/SM, IJ1322.

72
immediately fell on one of his slaves. The police speculated that the slave may have been
hired by an enemy of Antonio's.29 In another case, Manuel Xavier de Vasconcellos went
to sleep drunk, only to be shot at midnight by his slave Isabel, who had been aided and
taught to use the gun by another slave, José.30
Conservatives endlessly denounced liberal reforms for exacerbating the difficulties
of maintaining order in such a society. Depicted as theoretical, uninformed by Brazilian
realities, the result of an excessive reaction against Portuguese colonial rule and as based
on doctrines of exaggerated and impractical liberty, Conservatives blamed liberal reforms
for undermining what little security there was. In particular, the jury system and the
extensive powers of the justice of the peace were routinely attacked. Indeed, reports of
Conservative ministers of justice can be read as salvos in the intellectual assault on the
liberal reforms. Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos, chief architect of the Conservative
Party in 1837, and Paulino José Soares de Sousa, the prominent Conservative spokesman,
whose ministerial reports of 1838 and 1841 are cited above, were the principal authors of
the laws that would overturn the liberal reforms.31
Central to the Conservatives' attack were repeated denunciations of the alleged
impunity that criminals enjoyed. The term implied not only high frequency of crime with
little chance of being punished, but an upsetting of the moral order. The ill-disposed,
disorderly, criminal elements brazenly attacked, offended and disrupted decent, law-
29 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Recife, April 8,1843, ANRJ/SM,
IJ‘322.
30 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, July 11, 1843, ANRJ/SM, IJ‘322.
Isabel was subsequently executed and the slave José who assisted her was condemned to
life in prison.
31 Relatório , , , Negocios da Justiya ... 1838. pp. 10-18, esp. 12-13; Relatório , ,
1841 . . , Negocios da Justiqa. p. 18-30, esp. 18-19.

73
abiding society. In 1841, Paulino José Soares de Sousa noted that nearly all provincial
presidents complained that impunity prevailed.32 A number of causes were cited, chief
among them, the organization of the judiciary that placed excessive power in ill-prepared,
elected Justices of the Peace and the jury system.
Poor judicial organization, specifically the liberal reforms that assigned extensive
responsibilities to Justices of the Peace, who were not required to have legal training,
were blamed for undermining the capture and conviction of criminals. District judges,
the nominal police chiefs, were unable to achieve much if the justice of the peace, who
actually wielded considerable police powers, was not effective. Earlier, Minister of
Justice Bernardo de Vasconcellos had lamented the impossibility of the police carrying
out their functions when power rested with inexperienced Justices of the Peace and
County Judges elected by the Camaras; in such circumstances, the police chiefs authority
was "to not say ridiculous, nominal and illusory."33 He called for police authorities with
wider jurisdiction and nominations by the government, in order to assure the selection of
competent individuals.34
When criminals were arrested and charged, the Justices of the Peace were entrusted
with the formacao da culpa—gathering the facts of the case, explaining the circumstances,
citing which laws were broken, and justifying charges with statements and evidence.
Conservative ministers of justice denounced the inadequacy of incompetent, ignorant,
sometimes dishonest, justices of the peace These men were criticized as unprepared
32 Relatório ... 1841 , , , Negocios da Justipa. p. 20; Relatório , , , Negocios da Justiya
1838. p. 8.
33 Relatório , , . Negocios da Justica ... 1838. pp. 10-11.
34 Ibid., pp. 10-18.

74
professionally for their responsibilities and for routinely failing to successfully prosecute U O"
individuals of whose guilt there was little doubt.
Conservatives were scathing in their denunciation of another liberal reform—the
jury system. Above all, the institution was attacked for routinely absolving individuals
despite considerable proof of guilt. Selection of inappropriate members, who would be
subject to the influence of the locally powerful, was criticized, as was the failure to
convene juries at appropriate intervals.36 In decrying the low rate of convictions,
Pemambucan Provincial President Francisco do Regó Barros noted that only three of the
twenty-six individuals brought before juries in the district of Santo Amaro in 1837 were
convicted, sarcastically suggesting that this may have been due to the bonhomie of the
jury. He went on to lament the demoralization that resulted from juries absolving
criminals and the resulting atmosphere of impunity.37 Several years later he addressed
the same issue, blaming it for the spread of immorality in Brazil38
Increasing the difficulties of arresting and convicting criminals was the
unwillingness of witnesses to testify. Impunity assured that powerful figures were likely
to escape punishment, making witnesses fearful of retaliatory acts by the accused. The
mayor of Recife complained of the apathy of the witnesses to a murder who failed to
help, or even alert the police. In frustration, he declared that if only witnesses would
35 Relatório ... 1840 , , , Negocios da Justica. p. 14; Relatório . . . Negocios da Justina
. . . 1838. pp. 14-15.
36 Relatório Negocios da Justica . , . 1838. p. 15; Relatório . . . 1839 . . . Presidente
(de Pernambuco!, p. 14; Relatório ... 1841 . . . Negocios da Justica. pp. 22-23; President
of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, June 10, 1843 and the appended Chief of Police to
President of Pernambuco, May 11, 1843, ANRJ/SM, 0*322.
37 Falla . . , 1838 , , , Presidente (de Pernambuco!, p. 14.
38 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, April 8, 1843, ANRJ/SM, 0*322.

75
testify it would be easy to get convictions, or at least to publicly accuse the guilty.39 In
1841 Paulino José Soares de Sousa insisted on the necessity of surrounding those making
accusations with sufficient force to protect them. In 1843 this same minister of justice
reported the comments of a police chief regarding the intimidation of witnesses, who
observed that his jurisdiction did not seem to be part of a constitutional empire of free
citizens, but a complex of fiefs with lords and vassals, on which the police authorities
and criminals were completely dependent .40 Even in the case of the different murders at
the Genipapo estate noted earlier, of which there had been various witnesses and a
lengthy investigation, no one could be found willing to testify.41
If arrest and conviction were demanding tasks, the inability to keep prisoners jailed
made for more complications. Police records are full of reports of jailbreaks. Prisons
were often in woeful condition, leading provincial presidents to call repeatedly for
improved penitentiaries. Moreover, there was a shortage of guards, and those that were
available were sometimes bribed.42
39 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Feb. 12, 1842 and the appended
Prefeito interino to President of Pernambuco, Feb. 5, 1842, ANRJ/SM, IJ'322.
40 Relatório . . Ia Sessáo . . . 1843 , , . Negocios da Justipa. p. 25.
41 Relatório ... 2a Sessao . . . 1843 , , , Negocios da Justica. p. 6.
42 See any Falla or Relatório of the President of Pernambuco to the Provincial
Assembly in this period. Also see "Ouvidor da Comarca do Sertao to President of
Pernambuco," Aug. 22, 1831, reprinted in Diario de Pernambuco. Sept. 26, 1831, who
communicated complaints that prisoners were being kept in jails for too long, leading to
escapes. After the Septembrizada, prisoners were kept on ships in the harbor, because
the prisons were under repair. See President of Pernambuco to Minister of the Empire,
Sept. 20, 1831, BNRJ/SM, 11-32, 34, 51, no. 1, fol. 1-6. In 1841, the Minister of Justice
also asserted the need to build better prisons to reduce the likelihood of escape. Relatório
. . . 1841 , , , Negocios da Justiya. p.24.

76
By the latter 1830s, the Conservative critique found much resonance in public
opinion. The optimistic images of Brazil that liberals had earlier favored, emphasizing
common interests and the possibility of significant improvement through institutional
reforms, seemed out of touch with the disorder and violence that marked the Regency.
Elected Justices of the Peace seemed not to offer improved justice administered by
people who were intimately familiar with local conditions, but incompetent judicial
practice that undermined effective police work, by people chosen through coercion of the
electorate. Citizen juries, susceptible to intimidation by those they judged, seemed to
assure impunity by lawbreakers. Even the most prominent of liberals, statesmen like
Antonio Diego Feijó and the influential editor of the Aurora Fluminense. Evaristo da
Veiga, were conceding the failures with the reforms.43
For many people, a pessimistic interpretation of Brazil had displaced the seemingly
ill-founded optimism of First Reign and Regency liberalism. Brazilian civilization was
depicted as in an early state of development. Brazilians, especially the masses, were seen
as not yet possessing sufficient "civilization" to participate in modem liberal institutions
of Europe and North America. Foreign models , many now thought, might work in their
lands of origin, but only impractical theorists, out of touch with local realities, could still
have hopes for them in Brazil.44
43 Flory, Judge and Jury. 134-139, 142-144 and especially Feijó's article in the Aurora
Fluminense on Jan. 26, 1835.
44 See the quotations from Ministers of Justice Vasconcellos, in 1838, and Paulino
Soares de Sousa, in 1841, four paragraphs below; Flory, Judge and Jury. 144-148; This
argument provided an important foundation for Brazilian conservative thought; its
influence continues to this day. Oliveira Viana, a particularly influential conservative
thinker in this century, explicitly used the experience of the First Reign and Regency as
evidence for his reactionary critique of democracy in Brazil. He also made a parallel
argument against the "liberal" restructuring of power in the Old Republic. See Viana,
(continued...)

77
Leading the reevaluation was a group of politicians opposed to the liberal leader
Regent Antonio Diogo Feijó. All of them had figured among the moderado leadership.
Honorio Hermeto Cameiro Leáo, and Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos, two Coimbra
trained magistrates well-versed in liberal constitutionalism, who had earlier broken with
file or
Dorn Pedro I over his absolutist tendencies, were the key figures of the Regresso, or o I7 ?- «5
Reaction. Supporting them were three astute politicians known as the saquaremas.
Paulino José Soares de Sousa, Eusébio de Queirós Coutinho Matoso Camara, and
Joaquim José Rodrigues Torres, whose estate near Saquarema supplied the nickname for
the three. These men, the core of what would become the leadership of the Conservative
Party, marshaled the opposition to Feijó from 1835 to 1837.45
The bitter experience of the Regency prompted many to abandon liberalism and to
embrace the Regresso. Vasconcellos epitomized this shift in attitude. On the floor of the
Camara he declared that in the First Reign
I was a liberal. Then liberty was new in the country; it was in everyone's
aspirations, but not in the laws, not in practical ideas. [State] power was
everything; I was a liberal. Now, however, society has changed. Democratic
principles have prevailed everywhere and have proved prejudicial. Society, which
was then threatened by [state] power, is now threatened by disorganization and
anarchy. Today, I want, as I wanted then, to serve society, and save it, and
therefore I am a regressista. I am not a turncoat. I do not abandon the cause I
(...continued) '•
Populacoes Meridionais do Brasil. On Viana, see Jeffrey D. Needell, "History, Race, and
the State, in the Thought of Oliveira Viana," Hispanic American Historical Review 75:1
(Feb., 1995), 1-30. Similar critiques of liberalism could also be found elsewhere in Latin
America at this time. See, for example, Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, Cesarismo
Democrático; estudios sobre las bases sociológicas da la Constitución effectiva de
Venezuela (Caracas: Empresa El Cojo, 1919).
45 Jeffrey D. Needell, "Brasilien, 1830 - 1889," chapter in Raymond Buve and John
Fisher, eds., Handbuch der Geschichte Lateinamerikas. 3 vols. (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta,
Oct., 1992), 2: 441-97.1 have used the unpublished, English-language version of this
piece, provided to me by Jeffrey Needell. Page numbers refer to the English language
version. See pp. 13-14, 26-27. Also see Rohloff de Mattos, O Tempo Saquarema.

78
defend in its time of peril and weakness. I abandon it when it is so secure in its
triumph that its excesses damage it.46
Like Vasconcellos, many other moderates split from their allies. This was made
much easier by Dom Pedro's death in 1834, which ended any chance of restoration.
Former restorationists, no longer discredited by association with the cause of restoring a
Portuguese-born monarch, joined former moderate liberals in a formidable parliamentary
majority in opposition to Regent Feijó. Utterly blocked in the Chamber, Feijó resigned in
1837. Under the new Regent, the Pernambucan conservative, Pedro de Araujo Lima,
Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcellos and other regressistas took office and began the
struggle to dismantle the liberal reforms.47
In 1838, Minister of Justice Vasconcellos asserted that "Unhappiness will always be
excited, clamor will always be produced, grave inconveniences will always follow
legislative changes which are rapidly introduced, when they are not in complete harmony
with the country's habits and customs. "48 The fundamental regressista verdict on the
liberal reforms was thus declared. Liberal reforms inspired by European and North
American success were not always attacked frontally as inherently mistaken; rather, they
were judged inapplicable to the particular circumstances of Brazil. In 1841, Minister of
Justice Paulino José Soares de Sousa declared that "[hjaving recently left the colonial
46 Nabuco, Estadista, p.41; For an analysis of Vasconcellos' shift, see Leal, Do Ato
Adicional. 77-82.
47 Leal, Do Ato Adicional. 72-76; Needell, "Brasilien," 19-20; Flory, Judge and Jury.
132. The first regresso cabinet included, along with its leader Vasconcellos, who served
as both minister of justice and minister of the empire, two Pemambucans, Antonio
Peregrino Maciel Monterio and Sebastiao do Regó Barros, a brother of the Pernambucan
Provincial President Francisco do Regó Barros; a saquarema. Joaquim José Rodrigues
Torres; and Miguel Calmon do Pin e Almeida, the Marquis of Abrantes.
48 Relatório . . . Negocios da Justica . . . 1838. p. 12.

79
regime, too mistrustful and fearful of arbitrariness, we avidly embraced vague doctrines
of exaggerated liberty, putting aside ... the facts, whose observation, analysis and study,
pours immense light on the applicability of legislative, political and moral questions of a
country.49
Radical innovations had resulted in "calamity," "anarchy," and "sad lessons."50
Paulino, as minister of justice in 1843, affirmed that "Nothing is more fatal and
demoralizing for a country than weak (government) power."51 Regressistas thus sought a
return to strong centralized rule. Above all, by insulating power from local influences
and by making government officials in the provinces dependent on, and agents of, the
central government, firm rule could be reestablished and crime and political instability
reduced. Much of the struggle to shift power from the provinces to the Court would be
fought in the Chamber, with key battles over undoing the localism of liberal judicial
reforms.
Reestablishing the prestige and authority of the monarch was an essential element
of strong central rule. In part this involved such institutional issues as recreating the
Council of State, which offered advice on the exercise of the moderating power,
extending to influence on the cabinet, including legislative opinions and programs. Yet
an effective centralized monarchy required more than a particular machinery of
government and corresponding legislation. It required integrating the institution in to the
traditions and habits of society, to create what Walter Bagehot later described as the
British monarchy's "dignified" aspect, in contrast to its efficient aspect (the actual making
49 Relatório ... 1841 , , , Negocios da Justiqa. pp. 18-19.
50 Ibid., p. 18; Relatório...Ia Sessao... 1843...Negocios da Justiqa. p. 18.
51 Ibid., p. 1.

80
and implementing of public policy). To achieve this "dignified" element, a theatrical
show of prominent persons identified with the government that reinforced public
acceptance and the colonial traditions of the monarchy was needed.52 Even in 1843, the
leading Conservative journalist in Brazil, Justiano José da Rocha, wrote that "Public
spirit is clearly tending towards monarchy, yet that tendency, bom of reason, inspired by
love of order, is not aided by our laws, nor by our customs, nor by our habits: the throne
does not have a foundation."53
Establishing the dignified aspect of the monarchy, to help strengthen an emotional,
intuitive embrace of the monarchy, was an important aspect of creating a strong, stable
centralized monarchy generally overlooked by the historiography. Yet one notes that to
this end, the trappings of the monarchy were refurbished by the Conservatives quite
carefully. Traditional rituals of court ceremony were reintroduced. In 1837, the new
regent, Pedro de Araujo Lima, complemented the legislative battle for reeresso by
kneeling before the eleven-year old emperor in a public street, and humbly kissing the
child's hand. This ritual, revived by the regent, with its emphasis on hierarchy and
obedience, was known as the beiia mao (hand kiss). Portraits of the emperor were
distributed to bring his image to presidential palaces, provincial assemblies and town
halls in all the provinces. In Recife's presidential palace, on the emperor's birthday in
1840, a three-hour ceremony, also referred to as a beiia mao, was held. Prominent
52 See Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (Ithica: Cornell University Press,
1986). It is worth noting that Bagehot saw an evolution, from a time when the dignified
and efficient elements were united in an absolute monarch to a period (Bagehot published
his work in 1867) in which the efficient aspect of government was directed by the cabinet
in parliament. In the Brazilian constitution the monarch possessed a significant portion of
the efficient aspect of government.
53 Cited by José Murilo de Carvalho in Teatro de Sombras: A Política Imperial (Sao
Paulo: Vértice and Rio de Janeiro: IUPERJ, 1988), 16.

81
individuals of the province, elegantly dressed, filed one by one in front of a large portrait
of the emperor that was flanked by the Provincial President and the Bishop.
Pernambuco's leading citizens each bowed to the portrait, flanked by Church and State,
Atkb ?
and paid their respects.54
The Regresso. although it found broad support, was most closely associated with
one province, Rio de Janeiro. In the 1830s coffee had overtaken sugar as Brazil's leading
export. Coffee exports initially came almost entirely from Rio de Janeiro's Paraiba
Valley, and subsequently spread to the provinces of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. The
tremendous boom in coffee exports, and the revenues that taxes on increased imports and
exports allowed the state, facilitated a mutually beneficial relationship between a strong
monarchy and wealthy fluminense planters and merchants.55 ^ ! ^
Coffee planters needed a stable government with considerable authority Slaves,
the majority of whom were African-born and potentially more likely to rebel, provided
the bulk of the labor pool. The fear of rebellion, even the dreaded possibility of race war
as in the Haitian Revolution, was ever present. Particularly worrisome were unstable
political conditions, in which upheavals of any nature might create divisions and
openings which slaves could seize. A strong and stable government, with an effective
Army and National Guard, was the surest guarantee. Stability was important as well to
assure the credit worthiness of Brazil in foreign financial markets where long-term loans
54 Barman, Brazil. 197, 202, 296 (note 64); Louis Léger Vauthier, Diário íntimo de
Louis Léger Vauthier. reprinted in its entirety in Gilberto Freyre, Um Eneenheiro Francés
no Brasil 2° Tomo (Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1960), 646-647.
55 Needell, "Brasilien," 16-17; Barman, Brazil. 196-197; Flory, Judge and Jury. 133.
For a broad ranging, yet detailed, local study of fluminense coffee, see Stanley
Stein, Vassouras: A Brazilian Coffee Countv. 1850-1900 (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1957).

82
were sought. A strong national government also had a role to play in providing basic
infrastructure for a an expanding export economy.56
Conservative fluminense planters and merchants shared this interest in a strong
state with large-scale exporters elsewhere, particularly in the sugar, tobacco, and cotton
areas of Pernambuco and Bahia, but with an important distinction. Rooted in the port and
province of Rio de Janeiro, they were best positioned to establish connections at the
Court and influence politics there. The prominent politicians that led the regresso were
/if i/V
well-connected with the closely inter-knit Portuguese and fluminense merchant and
planter elite of the Court and its hinterland. Consider, for example, the saquaremas.
Paulino José Soares de Sousa, from a prominent family in Minas Gerais which married
into various fluminense families, himself married a woman from a prominent planter clan
of the province, whose sister married Joaquim José Rodrigues Torres. Rodrigues Torres,
born in Itaborai to a prominent local Portuguese and his fluminense wife, himself headed
an extended family of planters with relations throughout the old plantation region of the
baixada fluminense (Rio de Janeiro's provincial lowlands). Eusébio de Queirós, a
Portuguese born in Angola, son of a prominent crown magistrate who had set down
Brazilian roots, himself married into a prominent Portuguese merchant family in Rio de
Janeiro; his mother-in-law, after the death of her husband, remarried to José Clemente
Pereira, a key Portuguese-born statesmen of the First Reign and former restorationist.
Likewise, an important ally, the strong-willed Conservative leader Honorio Hermeto
Cameiro Leao, with roots in Minas Gerais, married a cousin, the daughter of a prominent
Rio merchant, and became a fluminense planter in time. Thus, this elite, with interests
ranging from Crown magistracy through Portuguese commerce and provincial planting,
56
Needell, "Brasilien," 17-18; Flory, Judge and Jury. 134; Barman, Brazil. 192.

83
had especially strong reason to see its future and fortune identified with the monarchy,
and provided it with solid political support and, via taxes on its exports and imports, a
strong revenue base for the state.57
As we have seen, the tumultuous years of the Regency discredited political
innovation. After Dom Pedro's abdication removed the key symbol of authority and
legitimacy, resorting to force to achieve political goals became widespread. The reader
may recall that decentralizing reforms only increased local struggle, as the stakes were
that much higher. Liberal judicial reforms, although crucial to restructuring political
power, seemed to unleash waves of crime, summed up in the complaint of impunity.
With authority and order undermined, increasing numbers of politically active Brazilians
accepted the conservative critique of liberal reformism. As this chapter has shown, it was
the regressista triumph, intimately associated with the fluminense elite, that ultimately
gave significance to the Regency, by drawing the conclusions that led to the strengthened
state that emerged in the 1840s. For this reason, Nabuco would later describe the
interregnum as "The agitation of. . . ten years [that] produced the peace of the fifty years
that followed."58
57Needell, "Brasilien," 17-19.
58 Nabuco, Estadista. 32.

CHAPTER 3
CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS, 1837-1847
If Joaquim Nabuco looked upon the instability of the 1830s as the key to
understanding the Empire, it was the following decade in which the implications of the
Regency were worked out. Making sense of political competition in the period requires
attention to competing groups of elite families, although individuals of any position
might participate in political struggle. In the dramas played out, the question of order
was never far from center stage. Criminal violence, armed political struggle, the
possibility of violent upheaval of the lower classes, and how the newly emerging
institutions of the state could impose the law in distant and often unruly reaches of the
Empire were crucial to political discourse. Nonetheless, the dynamics of local and
provincial competition, with intimate links to the "high politics" of the Court, led to
intense polarization that made appeals to the lower, and potentially "dangerous," classes
attractive.
Much of Pernambuco's rich littoral was covered by great estates. There, relatively
small numbers of men exercised control over vast dependent populations. Large-scale
commercial activity in Recife revolved around export of the estates' production,
especially sugar, and the import of a wide variety of goods that such exports made
possible. Not surprisingly, wealthy landowning families possessed considerable political
influence.
hurffiMi
84

85
The most powerful of all were the Cavalcanti de Albuquerques. Joaquim Nabuco
noted that the so-called Cavalcanti family was not, strictly speaking, one family, but
"diverse circles, formed by the old families," which controlled a large portion of the land
in the province.1 Captain-Major Francisco de Paula de Holanda Cavalcanti de
Albuquerque, an organizer of turn of the century conspiracies against Portuguese rule and
a significant figure in the failed struggle for an independent Pemambucan republic in
1817, was descended from four powerful families that settled in early Brazil, three of
them in the sixteenth century—the Coelhos, Cavalcantis, Albuquerques, and Holandas.
He in turn fathered four sons who were ennobled, three of whom became significant
political leaders in their own right—the Liberal leader, Antonio Francisco de Paula
Holanda Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the Viscount of Albuquerque) and the
Conservatives Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the Viscount of Suassuna)
and Pedro Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the Viscount of Camaragibe).
Manuel Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti (the Baron of Moribeca) served only one term as a
provincial deputy, and did not pursue politics further. Over the course of the Monarchy,
the Cavalcanti de Albuquerques and their cousins received fifteen titles, more than any
other family in Brazil.2
1 Nabuco, Estadista. 37. The statement on diverse circles parallels a comment in a
newspaper edited by the subject of the biography, his father, José Tomás Nabuco de
Araujo, from which Joaquim Nabuco quotes. It was presumably in response to
denunciations of "the Cavalcantis," whose target was really a broader group of families
allied with the Cavalcantis. Joaquim Nabuco was himself quite familiar with the
Pemambucan elite. His mother, a niece of Francisco Paes Barreto (the Marquis of Recife
and a leader of the 1817 bid for regional independence), belonged to a prominent family.
See Nabuco, Estadista. 46-47.
2 Eul-Soo Pang, In Pursuit of Honor and Power: Noblemen of the Southern Cross in
Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1988), 78-80.
Basic biographical information and brief narratives on prominent Pemambucans are
(continued...)

86
Elite families were closely inter-knit. The four ennobled Cavalcanti de
Albuquerques were cousins of Francisco do Regó Barros, the Baron of Boa Vista (the
Provincial President from 1837 to 1844 and leader of the Regó Barros family), by virtue
of marriage between a paternal aunt and the Baron of Boa Vista's father. One of the four
Cavalcanti brothers, Manuel Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti (Moribeca), was also son-in-
law to Francisco do Regó Barros.3 The allied Regó Barros and Cavalcanti de
Albuquerque families played the leading role in provincial politics in the 1830s and
1840s. Antonio Francisco (Viscount of Albuquerque) was son-in-law to an imperial
senator from Pernambuco, Manuel Caetano de Almeida e Albuquerque. The Viscount of
Albuquerque thus served in the imperial Senate with both his brother, the Viscount of
Suassuna, and his father-in-law. Along with a handful of other families, such as the Sá
Albuquerques and the Paes Barretos in Cabo, the Lins in Escada, the Sousa Léaos in
Jaboatao, and the Wanderleys, this relatively small elite occupied commanding
economic and political positions and enjoyed great prestige.4
José Tomás Nabuco de Araújo, a leading Conservative politician, defended the
Cavalcantis from charges of oligarchical domination by arguing that their influence was
natural and appropriate.5 He noted the many official positions the Cavalcantis had
(...continued)
available in Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Dicionário de Pernambucanos Célebres
(Recife: Funda?áo de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1981). On the 1817 Revolution, see
Carlos Guilherme Mota, Nordeste 1817: Estruturas e Argumentos (Sao Paulo:
Perspectiva, 1972) and Glacyra Lazzari Leite, Pernambuco 1817: estrutura e
comportamentos sociais (Recife: Massangana, 1988).
3 Naro, "Brazil's 1848," p.79. The Baron's brothers Sebastiáo and Joáo were also
active politically and, of course, related to the Cavalcantis.
4 Pang, In Pursuit of Honor. 76-80.
5 As alluded to earlier, Nabuco de Araújo is the subject of the magisterial biography
(continued...)

occupied prior to and after independence, and claimed they owned a third of the sugar
estates in the province. Yet he did not see this as evidence of oligarchy:
The influence of the Cavalcanti family is not a fact of 1835, but derives from
remote times; that influence is not the work of power or revolution, but proceeds
from the nature of things; it is the influence that an old, rich and numerous family
that has always occupied the most advantageous social positions has always and
will always have.6
Powerful as the Cavalcantis were, their predominance did not go uncontested.
Much of their opposition coalesced around elite families of the littoral north of Recife. In
broad terms, one can speak of an alliance of families of more recent origin, as the dry
mata north of Recife had only prospered beginning with the cotton boom of the latter
eighteenth-century.7 While some of these families gained their wealth through cotton,
others grew sugar cane, like their rivals to the south of Recife. When political parties
emerged late in the Regency the faction north of Recife tended to ally with the Liberal
Party and their opponents with the Conservative Party. This split in the Pernambucan JncP'^iP1
elites was far from clear cut. Some planters in the north supported the Cavalcantis and
vice versa. Indeed, a key leader of the faction challenging the Cavalcanti led group,
Gervásio Pires Ferreira, owned a sugar plantation south of Recife. Exceptions were not
unusual, as local rivals routinely joined opposing parties. Nonetheless, the usefulness of
viewing political divisions in terms of these factions is apparent when one observes the
continuity over time in the composition of the rival political groupings. Individuals
y/f^'
I rhfi * I
> /w*9l
(...continued)
Estadista do Imperio by Joaquim Nabuco.
6 José Thomaz Nabuco de Araújo, Justa Apreciacao do Predominio do Partido Praieiro
ou Historia da Dominacao da Praia (Recife: Uniao, 1847), 4. This piece was published
anonymously, but was the work of Nabuco.
7 On this cotton boom, see Dauril Alden, "Late Colonial Brazil, 1750-1808," esp. pp.
318-22, in Leslie Bethell, ed., Colonial Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1987).

88
associated with these two groups contested state power from the independence struggles
of 1821 and 1822 to the Praieira Revolution in 1848 and 1849.8
The Cavalcantis and their allies scored a significant victory when they placed one
of their own, Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the future Viscount of
Suassuna), into the provincial presidency in 1835. This they managed, ironically enough,
by supporting a radical liberal barracks revolt against Provincial President Manuel
Carvalho Paes de Andrade, a leader of the opposing faction.9 In 1837, their relative and
ally, the Conservative Francisco do Regó Barros, the future Baron of Boa Vista, replaced
Francisco Antonio. He served as provincial president, with some interruptions, for the
unusually long period of seven years. Under his leadership, the so-called Rego Barros-
Cavalcanti oligarchy became thoroughly entrenched in government positions. The Baron
was thus a central figure of the era.
Like many members of the elite, Francisco do Regó Barros had undertaken
university studies in Europe. Arriving in Paris in 1823, Regó Barros must have felt the
same admiration for European civilization that so many of his contemporaries did.
Behind they had left a society lacking, in a certain way, self-confidence. Across Latin
America, many of the educated in the newly independent countries felt a degree of
cultural inferiority in relation to Europe. It was a commonplace of the era that their
countries had suffered from colonial rule that had retarded their progress. In the eyes of
some, even the Iberian colonial powers that had bequeathed them many of the European
9>lUf€
I
Prpr'fy^
8 Carvalho, Hegemony and Rebellion. 32-34.
9 Manoel Carvalho had led the Confederation of the Equator, an 1824 attempt at
forming an independent republic, against which the Cavalcantis and their southern allies
had struggled. Army troops from Rio de Janeiro put down the secessionist attempt.

89
elements of their culture and population themselves lagged behind in the changes
associated with the Enlightenment.10
In Brazil, as elsewhere in Latin America, these feelings were compounded by the
contradictions of living in a society with profoundly racist assumptions, in the midst of a
population in which people of color predominated, and in which African-born slaves
were present in large numbers. Padre Lopes Gama summed up an attitude common
among the elite when he wrote that, "We, unfortunately bom in the midst of African
slaves, are mainly and almost inevitably, poorly raised. The crude and brutal ways, the
vices of that unfortunate race have been inoculated on our people, and that is the seed of
our general immorality."11 The view that Brazil possessed less "civilization" than the
more advanced countries of Europe was powerfully reinforced by the perceived failures
of the liberal reforms of the Regency.
If Brazil was lacking in civilization, Europe was the idealized model to which
many looked. French and British literati exerted considerable influence, and not only
among those who devoted serious attention to their works. Serialized versions appeared
in newspapers, making them available to the broad range of the politically active
population. Newspapers provided regular coverage of European politics. One
Pemambucan newspaper explicitly stated that it was reprinting an article on the July
. f
1
oj uftpC'tr
fit1 tufe
10 See Frank Safford, "Politics, Ideology, and Society," in Leslie Bethell, ed., Spanish
America After Independence, c. 1820-c. 1870" (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1987). In Argentina, for example, Sarmiento's depiction of New World barbarism is one
in which Córdoba, symbolizing retrograde Spanish influence, is partly responsible. See
note 22 of chapter 2.
11 "Carapuceiro. A má crea9áo.," Diario de Pernambuco. Feb. 21, 1840, p.2. Diario de
Pernambuco. Feb. 21, 1840.

90
Revolution of 1830 in France and its consequences because of the applicability of its
lessons to Brazil.12
It is easy to understand how Francisco de Regó Barros, upon arriving for his
studies of mathematics, was swept up in the culture and ambience of Paris. In
subsequent years, his opponents often noted the manners of a grand seigneur he had
acquired in Europe. Immersion in French culture had not simply spurred vanity,
however. After his experience in Paris, he was convinced that beautifying Recife and
enriching the cultural life of the capital could play an important role in avoiding the flight
of talented men and in advancing the province.13 He further decided on the necessity of
improving the economic infrastructure of the province. Public-works projects were
crucial to achieving these goals.
The president lamented the difficulty of implementing projects. He cited the
"lack of intelligent workers . . . (and) engineers to direct them" and deplored the absence
of people capable of making maps, establishing budgets, and directing the construction of
roads, bridges, sidewalks and public buildings.14 He wanted to establish a School of
Architecture to train people, but insisted on the need to hire competent professionals,
wherever they might be found. In 1838, the French engineer Boyer was hired to direct
port improvements and build the Quay do Colegio. Regó Barros relied mainly, however,
on another French engineer, Louis Léger Vauthier. Trained at the renowned École
12 "Diario de Pernambuco," Diario de Pernambuco. Nov. 17, 1842, p. 2. The same
paper later explained that many of the ideas and phrases in one of its articles were
derived from a recent article on events in France. See "COMMUNICADO. NOSSA
SITUAQÁO ACTUAL.," Diario de Pernambuco. Jan. 5, 1843.
13 Nabuco, Estadista. 48.
14 Falla. . .1838. . Presidente (de Pernambuco-) pp. 48-50, p. 49 for the quote.

91
Polytecnique in Paris, he had been hired in 1840, during Manuel de Sousa Teixeira's
brief term as provincial president, to supervise work on a hospital in the Convento do
Carmo and the building of a new government school. Regó Barros granted him
considerable authority to increase the scope of public works.15 Vauthier and his team of
foreign engineers subsequently oversaw all public works under Regó Barros.
The French engineer met resistance from various quarters. Regó Barros'
determination to see the plans through, however, led him to reorganize the Department of
Public Works, unifying its three branches. The president fired the head of one branch,
the Inspector General of Public Works, Firmino Herculano de Moráis Ancora, a
prominent opponent of Vauthier. The German engineer Agusto Kersting, the head of
another, was placed under Vauthier's command. The Department of Public Works was
placed directly under the orders of the provincial president, avoiding bureaucratic
entanglements which could delay projects. Vauthier was given complete responsibility
for the preparation and execution of all public works projects, including preparing their
technical and administrative aspects, acquiring materials, handling the accounting, and
supervising the work performed. The French engineer only needed to submit his plans to
Regó Barros and receive his approval. Vauthier's freedom of action was assured.16
In 1838 the provincial president moved to address the shortage of skilled labor by
recruiting artisans from Europe. The following year a Companhia de Operários brought
105 German artisans, masons, carpenters, and blacksmiths. They added considerably to
the skilled labor available in the province, working on the construction of roads, bridges,
CfvMh
15 Relatório, , 1841, . Presidente (de Pernambuco!, p. 9.
16 Freyre, Urn Eneenheiro Frances. 312-315; Relatório, , ,1841, . Presidente íde
Pemambucol. pp. 8-9.

92
wharves, and buildings until the company was disbanded in 1843. Their contribution
was notable in the two most dramatic architectural achievements of the period—the
Teatro de Santa Isabel and the Caxangá suspension bridge over the Capibaribe River.17
Seeking foreign technical experts was not a novelty. As early as 1825, Provincial
President Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque had written to Holland, seeking .
a hydraulic engineer to direct port improvements.18 In 1830 the County Council of
Recife hired the German engineer Joáo Bloem as Encarregado da Architectura da Cidade.
Bloem held various posts over the rest of the decade. He helped develop plans to
improve Recife along European lines. The narrow, twisting streets were to be replaced
with wider ones, straight, and of uniform sizes and division into blocks. Building codes
were to ensure greater uniformity. Contiguous buildings were to be of the same height.
The height of new homes, as well as the number and size of windows and doors were
regulated, cornices made mandatory and stone sidewalks of determined width were
specified.19
If acquiring access to foreign technical expertise was not new, the scale of the
reforms undertaken was indeed unprecedented. Under the provincial president's
leadership, old structures, such as the Customs building, were improved, and new ones
17 Flávio Guerra, O Conde da Boa Vista e o Recife (Recife: Fundado Guararapes,
1973), 87-88, 91-93; Freyre, Urn Engenheiro Francés. 291-293, 1839; Relatório , , ,
1840 . . Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 12; Guilherme Auler, A Companhia de
Operarios. 1839-1843: Subsidios para o Estudo da Emiaracao Germánica no Brasil
(Recife: Arquivo Público Estadual, 1959).
18 Freyre, Um Engenheiro Francés. 292.
19 Ibid., 285-290. Under Dom Joao VI (initially as Prince Regent and then as King of
Portugal), the prefect of Rio de Janeiro, Paulo Fernandes Viana, had undertaken similar
reforms. See Jeffrey D. Needell, A Tropical Belle Epoque : Elite culture and society in
tum-of-the-century Rio de Janeiro (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987), 24-25.

93
were constructed, including an impressive Presidential Palace. Most striking, however,
was the Theatro de Santa Isabel. Francisco de Regó Barros had been taken by French
theater, especially the classic works of Moliére, Racine, and Corneille. The years of his
residence in Paris, 1823-1825, had seen the openings of impressive theaters-the
Gvmnase. Gaíté and Porte Saint-Martin, as well as the rebuilding of the Odéon.20 As
president, Regó Barros sought a new theater which, with the "advantages that result for
civilization and morality," would play an important role in enriching the capital's cultural
life.21 The dilapidated old theater, popularly known disparagingly as the Teatro
Capoeira, or Bush Theater, was so rundown that few people attended its performances.22
Regó Barros rejected initial plans for a new building, drawn up by the French
engineer Boyer, as too modest. At his first meeting with the French engineer Vauthier he
discussed his own ideas for a new theater. Vauthier then drew up plans for an
appropriately sumptuous theater. The project was thoroughly foreign in inspiration and
architectural models. A Frenchman directed its construction, employing many foreign
artisans, using new construction techniques, and various materials imported from abroad-
-stone blocks from Lisbon, iron from France, copper nails from England, and cement
from Sweden.23
1 Y’Póft&
20 Guerra, O Conde. 78.
21 Relatório ... 1839 , , Presidente fde Pernambuco! p. 36.
22 Ibid.; Guerra, O Conde. 80.
23 Guerra, O Conde. 82; Francisco Augusto Pereira da Costa, Anais Pernambucanos
10 (Recife: FUND ARPE), 173-175; Freyre, Um Eneenheiro Francés on first meeting.
Funding cuts under the Liberals delayed its opening to 1850. It was named after the heir
to the Brazilian throne, Princess Isabel.

94
Beautification of the provincial capital was only part of Regó Barros' plans. His
immediate concern upon entering office was to improve the economic infra-structure of
the province. In his first report to the Provincial Assembly, in March of 1838, he said
that,
[l am] persuaded, Senhores. of how beneficial it would be for the province to
establish the means of easy transportation of goods to the market of this city, thus
shortening the distance between places, diminishing the risk of travellers and
avoiding the increase in costs of production, it was my first and principal care to
find out exact information on works in progress ... I arrived at the conclusion
that. .. very little has been done for the material improvement of our land ...24
Road construction figured prominently in the president's plans. During his
administration considerable progress was made on four trunk roads from Recife to
Goiana in the north, Limoeiro in the northwest, Vitoria de Santo Antao in the west, and
Escada in the southwest. Likewise, his annual reports to the Provincial Assembly were
filled with details on the progress of repairs to bridges and earthen embankments around
them. Citing the extraordinary costs of continual repair of wooden bridges, the Recife
and Boa Vista bridges were rebuilt with iron. Regó Barros also noted that new iron
bridges would beautify the city, as well as conserve labor. In 1843 work began on a
suspension bridge, a startling innovation in the province, over the Beberibe River near
Caxanga.25
prefer
24 Falla ... 1838 , , Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 35.
25 Freyre, Urn Engenheiro Francés. 307-310; Falla ... 1838 . . . Presidente (de
Pernambuco), pp. 33-53; Relatorio , , , 1839 . , , Presidente (de Pernambuco) pp. 28-36;
Relatorio , , , 1840 , , , Preidente fde Pernambuco), pp. 10-13; Relatorio , , .
Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 7-10; Relatorio ... 1842 . . . Presidente fde
Pernambuco), pp. 17-19; Relatorio , , , 1843 . . . Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 20-24;
Relatorio 1844 Presidente (de Pernambuco), pp. 14-17. For roads, see all the
presidential reports to the Provincial Assembly of the period, as well as Naro, "Brazil's
1848," pp. 88-92; for iron bridges, see Falla ... 1838 , . Presidente (de Pernambuco),
pp. 41-42; and Relatorio ... 1841 , , Presidente (de Pernambuco), p. 8. On the Caxangá
(continued...)

95
The historiography on the period has depicted a politically calm backdrop for the
Baron of Boa Vista in initiating his reform projects. He has been presented conciliating
his opponents and achieving a consensus in the early years of his administration. Barbosa
Lima Sobrinho, for example, wrote of the moderate policies of the provincial president
and understandings he arrived at with provincial liberals. Izabel Andrade Marson
considers the 1835-1842 period as one of moderation among the property-owning elite
and a period of tenuous party differences. Like Marson, Costa Porto noted what he
labeled a "harmony ticket" that prevailed in elections for the 1838 - 1841 Chamber, a
ticket that joined elements of the most diverse tendencies, among which were liberals
Nunes Machado and Sabino Urbano (sic).26 Indeed, the Diario Novo, the press organ of
the praieira opposition to Francisco do Regó Barros, stated that Regó Barros entered
office at a time of low political passions, when people were tired of battle.27
It is possible, however, to overstate the consensus or conciliation of 1837 to 1842
period. Partisan struggle certainly continued in some of the localities around the
province. The district of Limoeiro, fifty-four miles northwest of Recife, for example,
was the scene of frequent conflict. Groups led by Joáo Mauricio Cavalcanti da Rocha
Wanderley, a landowner and representative in the Provincial Assembly and National
(...continued)
suspension bridge see Relatorio . . . 1843 . . . Presidente fde Pernambuco!, p. 21 and
Guerra, O Conde. 90-93.
26 Costa Porto, "Prefácio," in Pessoa de Melo, Apreciayao. 10; Barbosa Lima
Sobrinho, "Urbano Sabino Pessóa de Melo," Revista do Instituto Arqueológico. Histórico
e Geográfico Pemambucano XLVII (1975), 330-331; Marson, Imperio do Progresso.
191-192. None of these authors cite documentation to support these points. Joaquim
Nunes Machado (1808-1848) and Urbano Sabino Pessoa de Mello (1811-1870) became
parliamentary leaders of the praia party. Nunes Machado, in particular, enjoyed
considerable prestige and popularity.
27 Diario Novo. Feb. 6, 1843.

96
Chamber aligned with the Baron of Boa Vista, and others directed by National Guard
Colonel Henrique Pereira de Lucena, a liberal leader and subsequent participant on the
rebel side in the Praieira Revolution, were engaged in seemingly endless hostilities
Official documents and newspapers were full of reports on the struggles.
In January of 1840, for example, Lucena complained that Joao Mauricio, then
mayor, was abusing his police powers. His agents were intimidating the local National
Guard, openly insulting its members in view of other authorities and threatening them
with beatings and murder if they followed their officers. These tactics prompted
insubordination among Guard members and unwillingness to carry out their duties.28
Later that month Joao Mauricio was brought up on libel charges for pamphlets he
had distributed denouncing Lucena.29 Even after being relieved as mayor, charges were
made that loyalists of his forcibly released two military recruits.30 In January of 1841
Joao Mauricio was named district judge, prompting a series of vehement protests of
people who feared a renewal of hostilities and abuse of power. 31 Likewise, in the sertao
district of Flores the partisans of Francisco Barbosa Nogueira Paz, aligned with the
Liberals in Recife, and Leonardo Bezerra da Siquiera Cavalcanti, with the Conservatives,
28 Coronel Chefe da Legiao to President of Pernambuco, Jan. 15,1840; Lieutenant
Colonel of the Second Battalion to Chefe da Legiao, Jan. 2, 1840; Major Comandante of
the Cavalry Squadron to the Coronel Chefe, Jan. 9, 1840; Lieutenant of the First
Company of the Cavalry Squadron to Chefe Coronel Jan. 4, 1840; Quarter Master to the
Chefe da Legiao, all printed in Diario de Pernambuco. Jan. 17, 1841.
29 "Correspondencias," signed Henrique Pereira Lucena, Diario de Pernambuco. Feb
1, 1840, p. 2.
30 "Noticias de Limoeiro," Diario de Pernambuco. July 14, 1840, p. 3.
31 President of Pernambuco to Minister of Justice, Jan. 20, 1841 and five appended
letters, ANRJ/SM, IJ'322.

97
were in frequent conflict. They too defended their actions with appeals to newspapers 1 t) 1
readers.32
Personal correspondence of Francisco Anselmo Peretti, a magistrate and
politician from Goiana, forty-five miles northwest of Recife, also reveals an agitated and
partisan political environment in the late 1830s. Felipe Lopes Neto, a political ally of
Peretti's and future Liberal participant in the Praieira Revolution, wrote in July of 1838
that Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the future Viscount of Suassuna)
had substituted the daggers of 1836 (when Francisco was provincial president) with
infernal criminal charges. "The intention of that infamous scum is to throw aside, by
means of just or unjust sentences, anyone with enough prestige and courage to face him
in the next elections."33 The previous month Lopes Neto had written of how Francisco de
Paula, José Tomás Nabuco de Araujo and Félix Peixoto Brito de Melo were working
together. Francisco de Paula criticized the liberal Antonio Joaquim de Melo; Nabuco, as
prosecutor, immediately charged him and Félix Peixoto, as judge, condemned him.34
The Cavalcantis were well established in the Provincial Assembly. In frustration,
Lopes Neto described this body as "stupid and detestable, (that) entirely ignores the
obligations that link it to our unhappy population, mocks morality and public opinion to
infamously bow down to an ignorant and presumptuous family, indecorously sanctioning
32 See "Publicaíao á pedido.," Diario de Pernambuco. July 15, 1842, p. 2 and
"Correspondencias," signed O Pajahuense Imparcial, Diario de Pernambuco. July 30,
1840, p. 3, alternately praising and criticizing the performance of Nogueira Paz as
Mayor.
33 Lopes Neto to Peretti, July 9, 1838, in "Noticia Breve do 2° Reinado NUMA
TROCA DE CORRESPONDENCIA," Revista do Instituto Arqueológico. Histórico e
Geográfico Pernambucano. XLIII (1950-1953), p. 32.
34 Lopes Neto to Peretti, June 18, 1838, Ibid., p. 31.

98
its brutal whims."35 Still, such men recognized that the struggle to gain seats in the
Assembly would be crucial in this era. Lopes Neto advised Peretti that, in light of the
grave criminal charges, they must pretend moderation, to arrive to the elections whole,
and only then wage a fierce war.36
Political conflict was not only drawn along lines of the nascent, far from fully
formed, Liberal and Conservative parties. Though the historiography has depicted the
, pM'7e.
I rOfy fij
early years of Francisco do Rego Barros's presidency as one of consensus, there was
tension and competition, even among the Conservatives. In February of 1839, Lopes
Neto wrote Peretti that their opponents were divided and that Francisco de Paula and the
provincial president would lead separate tickets in the election. News had spread of
Francisco de Paula promoting an obstinate opposition to the president in the next
assembly. Regó Barros responded to this threat by shuffling nominations to judicial
positions, placing key judges in Recife that he expected would be grateful for their
appointments and loyal to him.37 In the event, the Cavalcantis were divided from Rego
Barros and ran competing tickets, as did the Liberals and the extreme liberals.38 By 1844,
another Cavalcanti, Pedro Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (the future . j- ' / ^
V.
Viscount of Camaragibe), was emerging as the key Conservative leader, challenging
Rego Barros for leadership of the party.39
35 Lopes Neto to Peretti, August 14, 1838, Ibid., p 36.
36 Lopes Neto to Peretti, July, 9, 1838, Ibid., p. 32; 14 August, 1838, Ibid., p. 36.
37 Lopes Neto to Peretii, Feb. 29, 1839, Ibid., p. 46.
38 Herculano Alves da Silva to Peretti, May 11, 1839, Ibid., p. 78.
39 Joaquim Nabuco wrote that by 1844, Pedro was surpassing Rego Barros among
Conservatives. Nabuco, Estadista. 76; Naro, "Brazil’s 1848," p. 98, alludes to a split
(continued...)

99
In 1837, Antonio Francisco de Paula e Holanda Cavalcanti de Albuquerque
h'Uralto
(Holanda Cavalcanti) joined the nascent Liberal Party. As a prominent defender of
provincial autonomy, Holanda enjoyed prestige among Liberals. Yet, his position was
complex. His brother, Pedro Francisco, was a Conservative leader in Pernambuco.
While political differences existed among the Cavalcantis, there were limits to political
struggles among them. When the family faced serious threats, it united in self-defense.
Holanda Cavalcanti consistently used his influence in the Court to oppose nomination of
any Liberal who might aggressively battle his Conservative family members. He rejected
harsh opposition to Provincial President Regó Barros. Holanda was even on good terms
with fellow Pernambucan Pedro de Araujo Lima, a key Conservative at the Court.
Indeed, the latter, as regent, appointed him, his brother Francisco Antonio, and their
cousin Francisco de Paula Almeida e Albuquerque, to the Imperial Senate. Yet, in the -
Chamber in Rio de Janeiro, Holanda Cavalcanti opposed the centralization project of the
Regresso with which Araujo Lima was associated.
With the Cavalcantis in commanding positions in both the Liberal and
Conservative parties, and therefore able to promote their interests in the Court regardless
of which party was in power, those opposed to the Cavalcantis formed a separate party.
The Partido Nacional de Pernambuco was, like Holanda Cavalcanti, allied to the national
Liberal Party. Thus, throughout the 1840s, there were two adherents of the Liberal Party
in Pernambuco, though the Partido Nacional was by far the larger. The latter party
wt\
became known as the praieiro party, after the street, the Rua da Praia, where its party
organ, the Diario Novo, was printed.
(...continued)
among the Conservatives in 1842, due in part to rivalry between Pedro Francisco and the
Baron of Boa Vista, but does not document the point.

100
The praieiros were a diverse lot. Many well-off families whose opposition to the
Cavalcantis can be dated at least to the "Goverment of the Hicks" in 1822 were affiliated
with the party.40 The praia party also had success in appealing to individuals lower in the
social order. Considerable numbers of small merchants and artisans also supported the
party, particularly in the latter 1840s when the party at various times called for taxes on
commercial establishments that had more than one foreign clerk, nationalization of retail
commerce, and protectionist measures to ease the burden of foreign competition on
artisans. Many members of liberal professions supported it. With a broad appeal, the
party was vulnerable to attacks that labeled it as a party of the lower class.41 The
pejorative connotation of such a description was well understood—politically active
lower-class members were considered potentially disorderly, unreliable, ambitious in a
negative sense, seeking advancement over people more deserving than themselves, and,
above all, violent. Joaquim Nabuco described the party in similar terms, though his
general analysis is more subtle and sophisticated than the anti-praieira polemicists who
were their contemporaries. Nabuco saw "in the praieiro movement the force of a popular
whirlwind. Violent, indifferent to laws and principles . . . drunk in its excesses of
authority . . . But the truth is that the Praia was the majority, it was almost the entire
Pernambuco poyo. . . . [Mjore than a political movement, it was a social movement. . ,"42
40 Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 32-35, 39-40. The "Government of the
Hicks" (governo dos matutos) was dominated by conservative, southern planters and
came to power through a military coup supported by crown agents on September 17,
1822.
41 Pedro Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, the Viscount of Camaragibe,
claimed years later that nine tenths of the population supported the praieiros. Nabuco,
Estadista, note on p. 102.
42 Nabuco, Estadista. 102-103.

101
Descriptions that emphasize a lower-class nature of the praieira movement have
the drawback of diverting attention from its character as a coalition, a group that included
wealthy sugar planters as well as artisans and shop clerks. In the early 1840s the party
adopted doctrinaire Liberal positions such as calling for greater provincial autonomy.
Subsequently, the party adopted more radical positions, attacking land monopoly by
"Cavalcanti feudalism" and calling for nationalization of retail commerce. Yet even as
the party approached a violent break with constitutional norms, indeed, in the midst of an
armed revolt, some elements opposed the tendency towards radicalization.
In contrast to Holanda Cavalcanti's Liberal Party, the far larger Partido Nacional
de Pernambuco emphasized its combat with Provincial President Regó Barros and his
supporters. The praieiros' party organ, the Diario Novo, spearheaded opposition to Regos
+(xr
Barros. Many of the praieiro criticisms of the Conservatives revolved around the theme
of order—criminal violence run rampant in the province, politically motivated violence by 'rO
the governing party and its supporters, and the governing Conservatives' absence of
morality, with its baleful consequences on public order.
The Diario Novo often reported on the prevalence of crime and violence,
lamenting the impunity that reigned under the Conservative government. In its first
issue, the paper denounced the murder of a lawyer in Recife by a man mounted on a
horse. The Diario Novo made frequent reference to this and other well-known murders,
such as the murder of the planter and politician, Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Cavalcanti
Uchoa.43 The paper provided even more extensive coverage of the revenge murder in
January of 1843 of Antonio Francisco de Regó Barros, the man believed responsible for
the murder.
43 "REVISTA HEBDOMADARIA," Diario Novo. Aug. 1, 1842, pp. 1-2.

102
Antonio Francisco do Regó Barros had returned from hiding in Ceará backed by
armed men. In his absence his engenho had been overrun several times, his crops burned
and two of his nephews killed and another wounded. Antonio Francisco and his men
were surrounded for twelve hours, before the local police official convinced them to
accept an offer of reconciliation. When his armed men disbanded, Antonio Francisco's
house was broken into, he was chased out a window, shot on the roof and, after he fell to
the ground, repeatedly shot in the stomach. The attackers mutilated the ears and cut the
face of the corpse The victim left a widow and ten children, including a baby born only
two days before. The Diario Novo denounced the failure of the government to take
adequate and timely preventive measures against a predictable crime.44
The opposition paper periodically ran cumulative lists, naming each individual
murdered that year.45 The paper explicitly rejected the Conservative critique that blamed
the customs of the people, weak laws, and judicial organization for the homicides. It
countered with the argument that Brazil's population was increasing, its backlands
becoming more populated, and there were more frequent interactions and relations ¿ ,v. -
among people. Despite these conditions favorable to increasing "civilization," murders
increased.46 Nor, the opposition organ argued, was the problem elected judicial officials,
and proceeded to cite various cases in which government-appointed county judges and
44 "Horroroso assassinato," Diario Novo. Jan 13, 1843, p. 1; Chief of Police to the
President of Pernambuco, Jan. 8, 1843, in Diario Novo. Jan. 18, 1843; First Commander
to the President of Pernambuco, Jan. 8, 1843, in Diario Novo. Jan. 27, 1843.
45 "Os assassinatos em Pernambuco, E OS HOMENS DO PUNHAL E
B AC AMARTE," Diario Novo. Nov. 23, 1842, pp. 1-3 lists four residents of Recife and
thirteen of the interior.
46Ibid.

afe
her* *
103
district judges released criminals.47 Rather, the Diario Novo placed the blame for crime
and disorder squarely on the provincial government. The problem was the
administration's lack of moral authority, as well as its absence of will to confront the ^
problem.48
From the opposition's perspective, the administration undermined its moral
authority in various ways. Violence by the governing party and its allies was one and
provided a constant theme in the praieiro press. Typical of such attacks was the charge
that "a few assassins, skilled in wielding daggers and muskets, to attack certain
opposition members, who have dared denounce the monstrous crimes of Sr, Barao da
Boa-Vista and the infamous sycophants who surround him."49 Accusations were
particularly frequent at election time.
Violence by Conservatives in Pernambuco was depicted as a regional
manifestation of such acts by Conservatives across Brazil. "Do you want to create
victims in our province, as your fellow party members did in Minas, Parahiba, Ceará, Rio
Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo?! . . . "50 Various times the opposition denounced
Conservative repression of the 1842 rebellions in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais as
47 "Diario Novo," Diario Novo. Jan. 2, 1843, p. 1.
48 "Os assassinatos em Pernambuco, E OS HOMENS DO PUNHAL E
B AC AMARTE," Diario Novo. Nov. 23, 1842, pp. 1-3. The paper notes the contrast with
the abundance of government will at election time, when its agents can seemingly do
anything. In 1843, the Diario Novo charged that "the government is the primary cause"
of our problems, arguing that the murder of Antonio Francisco do Regó Barros was due
either to lack of government will to arrest and punish people or, even worse, because it
may have been committed by a government agent. "Horroroso assassinato," Diario
Novo. Jan. 13, 1843. For the common charge of a lack of moral authority, also see
"Diario Novo," Diario Novo. Jan. 2, 1843.
49 "Os assassinos inundao a capital!," Diario Novo. April 22, 1844, p. 2.
50Ibid.

104
excessive. Instead of employing means proportional to the needs, constitutional
guarantees were revoked, terror employed, people were dismissed from their jobs,
deported, arbitrarily imprisoned, property was confiscated and hundreds of widows and
orphans created.51 The paper charged that the repression was worse than the rebellions.52
Injudicious use of government power was complemented by selfishness and
immorality. Instead of providing positive examples, the Conservatives carried out illegal
contraband trade in. African slaves and counterfeit money.53 The administration misused
government funds.54 Its agents arrested people without legal cause.55 The Conservatives
engaged in widespread electoral fraud, intimidating voters, falsifying electoral
documents, and gerrymandering parishes.56 The opposition depicted the Conservatives'
motivations as purely self-interested, without any genuine principles. A willingness to
place opposition figures on the government electoral ticket when it suited its purposes
51 "Comunicado. A Camara de 1843.," Diario Novo. Oct. 27, 1842, pp. 1-2;
"Comunicado. Nisi utile est quod facimos stulta est gloria.," signed D. M., Diario Novo.
Oct. 31, 1842, p. 1, reprinted from Diario do Rio: "A Camara de 1843.," Diario Novo.
Nov. 11, 1842, pp. 1-2; "O Governo, o partido da opposi<;ao, e a Camara de 1843 .,"
Diario Novo. Nov. 28, 1842, pp. 1-2; "O velho diario," Diario Novo. Dec. 15, 1842, p. 2.
52 "O BRASIL," Diario Novo. May 31, 1844, pp. 1-2.
53 "O circulo baronista e os assassinatos.," Diario Novo. April 27, 1844, pp. 1-2;
"Diario Novo," Diario Novo. May 11, 1844, pp. 1-2; "Convencer o D V. é remar contra
o maré," p 1.
54 "Comunicado," Diario Novo. March 3, 1843, p. 2.
55 "CORRESPONDENCIA," signed O Inimieo dos Despotas. Diario Novo. Nov. 21,
1842, p. 2.
56 Among many examples, see "Elei^oes de Pernambuco.," Diario Novo. Dec. 10,
1842, pp. 1-2 and "As parochias em revoluto!," Diario Novo. April 17, 1844, p. 1. The
parish was the basic electoral unit.
$>'(*>
i/s yfid

105
was presented as one more example of the absence of principles.57 In consequence of
such behavior, the government suffered from an absence of prestige and support58
Unable to provide firm, respected rule, the province suffered from disorder. "(All the
problems) today are due to the provincial government and its lack of prestige. . . . Look
at all the districts, and there we will see disorder and intrigue, impunity, and /â– ,
¡Jljptrft)? (f‘-
consequently lack of respect for the law and authority.59
The opposition was not satisfied with criticizing the administration on the issue of
order; it also attacked the public works projects, programs that defenders of the
administration saw as some of its greatest accomplishments. Conservatives trumpeted
these projects as marking significant progress for the province and its capital. In contrast,
the opposition was harsh in its condemnation. A strong xenophobic element ran
throughout the attacks.
The Diario Novo lamented that foreign engineers, technicians, and artisans were
paid high wages, while Brazilians of equal capacities were without jobs. Padre Lopes
Gama attacked the provincial president for "extrangerismo." a preference for foreigners.
While foreigners received jobs, the lack of employment for Brazilians increased vice,
57 "O Diario de Pernambuco n. 239.," Diario Novo. Nov. 22, 1842, pp. 1-3; "Elei^óes
de Pernambuco.," Diario Novo. Dec. 10, 1842, pp. 1-2; "Ainda as Eleiqoes de
Pernambuco.," Diario Novo. Dec. 20, 1842, pp. 1-2; "Comunicado.," Diario Novo. Jan 5,
1843, p. 1.
58 On isolation and lack of support for the Provincial President, see "Ainda as Elei<;5es
de Pernambuco.," Dec. 20, 1842, Diario Novo, p. 2.
59 "COMMUNICADO.," Diario Novo. Jan. 3, 1843, p. 1. This piece develops the
theme extensively.

106
crime, hunger and prostitution.60 Arguments like these had a broad and powerful appeal
in the face of insufficient employment opportunities.
The supposed superior quality of the foreigners was doubted. Boyer, for example,
was mocked when wharves whose construction he had supervised collapsed after three
years.61 Sarcastic references to the superior knowledge of the foreign engineers were
frequent. A critic questioned why engineers and artisans of high quality would undertake
the rigors of ocean voyages and working in a foreign country, asserting that, of course, f flPfM
they would not and that only those with inferior skills and prospects came to Brazil. The
use of new techniques by foreigners spurred resentment. One critic noted that Brazilians
had long succeeded in constructing tall, straight buildings, even on marshy soils. Why
use new techniques and materials, such as those in the foundation of the Teatro Santa / f;^ , píese
pot*1'pH l
Isabel, when proven methods were already in use?62
The Diario Novo appealed to the resentments of Brazilians over having to accept
orders from foreigners. Much was made of the dismissal of the Inspector General
Firmino Herculano de Moraes Ancora. He was depicted as a venerable man of
intelligence, unquestioned honesty, and long service who was fired to free Vauthier from
any outside inspection. "It is unpardonable, the contempt that is shown to a deserving
man, only because it is suspected that he won't humble himself to the command of a
60 Freyre, Um Engenheiro Francés. 323-324, citing Sete de Setembro. Nov. 18, 1845.
61 Ibid., 293-295. Condemnations of the administration routinely cited this project as a
dismal failure, in an effort to undermine any sense of achievement on the part of Rego
Barros. See "Communicados.," signed Intrépido, Diario Novo. Feb. 6, 1843, p. 1.
62 Freyre, Engenheiro Francés. 305. Frevre cites Diario Novo. Nov. 16, 1841.

107
foreigner." Similarly, all public employees "were obligated to stoop down to receive
blindly the orders of that senhor (Vauthier) and his partners!!"63
The expenses of the public works projects were routinely attacked. The Diario
Novo accused the president of abusive uses of patronage through nepotism.
Conservatives and foreigners were enriching themselves while public finances suffered
One critic complained that "£r Vauthier, who knows so much about art, doesn't he know
that frugalness is also an art and very useful?"64 The Diario Novo lamented the priorities
of the president, complaining that huge sums of money were spent on superfluous
projects, while essential needs were ignored. Expensive, unproductive projects, such the
Presidential Palace, the "Boyer Quay (the failed Cais do Colegio)." and the Theatro
Santa Isabel made public works "one of the greatest whirlpools [of money lost] of the
withered Provincial Treasury."65 Yet essentials such as revenue collection, public
education, police, religious worship, and public relief were underfunded. Public
employees had not been paid in eight or nine months. The Diario Novo lamented that in
their suffering some of these employees might abuse their positions Consequently, "the
ties of subordination and obedience were relaxed."66
The Diario Novo stated that all public works projects and major expenditures of
public money that the president proposed would have constituencies that supported them.
Combined with the president's disregard of the government's fiscal possibilities and the
63 For both quotes, "COMMUNICADO," Diario Novo. Dec. 25, 1842.
64 Freyre, Um Engenheiro Francés. 304, citing Diario Novo April 27, 1844.
65 "COMMUNICADO," Diario Novo. Dec. 25, 1842. p. 1.
66 "DIARIO NOVO," Jan. 9, 1843 Diario Novo, p. 2 for the quote;
"COMMUNICADO," Diario Novo. Dec. 19, 1842, p. 1; "COMMUNICADO," Diario
Novo, Dec. 25, 1842, pp. 1-2; on wrong priorities, see Diario Novo. Jan. 9, 1843, pp. 1-3.

108
chaotic state of fiscal policy, deficits were assured Likely, recourse would be made to
the "monstrous" policy of printing paper money, or, faced with the necessity of providing
the truly necessary services that had not been budgeted for, taxes would have to be
raised. New taxes would slow capital formation and lower consumption, reducing public
revenues. The deficits might paralyze the very public works projects that caused them.67
The praieiro organ attacked the reorganization of the Public Works Department as
granting arbitrary power to the provincial president and undermining accounting and
control of expenditures. The reorganization eliminated the requirement to make public
all expenditures on specific projects so they could be voted on by the legislature. Even
under the old system, Boyer had been criticized for dictatorial ways in resisting
examination of his accounts.68 The new regulations allowed the president to appoint his
clientele to positions.69 Eased reimbursement requirements would allow false claims to
be made, allowing, for example, people to take vacations at public expense.70
The praia opposition also consistently leveled charges of despotism against the
administration of Francisco do Regó Barros. Many of these charges revolved around
accusations of specific abuses by the provincial administration, and its supporters or
agents, which, according to the praieiros. resulted from the institutional development of a
highly centralized national political system—a fundamental issue of the period.
67 "DIARIO NOVO," Diario Novo. Jan. 9, 1843, p. 3. For an attack on the fiscal
policies of the Conservatives' allies at the national level, see "A olygarchia e as
finanzas.," Diario Novo. April 20, 1844.
68 Freyre, Eneenheiro Francés. 298.
69 "DIARIO NOVO," Diario Novo. Jan. 9, 1843, pp. 1-2.
70 "COMMUNICADO," Diario Novo. Dec. 25, 1842, p. 2.

The Rearesso project centered on reversing the Regency experiments with
provincial autonomy and establishing firm rule from the Court. The struggle over
109
\
centralization marked a dividing line between Conservatives and Liberals, as the former
embraced the new laws and the latter denounced them as tending towards despotism.
The praia press, like Liberals elsewhere, objected to the concentration of power, as well
as the potential for abuse that a centralized system facilitated.
The Pemambucan opposition's situation was complex. In 1841 some deputies to
the Chamber who subsequently belonged to the praia party voted for the centralizing
laws of November 20 that restored the Council of State and December 3 that reformed
the Criminal Procedure Code. These laws laid the institutional basis for centralized
authoritarian rule.
Joaquim Nabuco's explanation for this contradictory position was that, being
interested primarily in ruling in Pernambuco, and willing to make deals in the Court to
increase their provincial power, the future praieira leaders of the Chamber traded support
for the centralizing laws in exchange for advantages in Pernambuco. Nabuco does not
specify what these advantages were.71 Closely following Nabuco's analysis, Paula
Beiguelman argued that Paulino José Soares de Sousa, the Conservative minister of
justice in the March 23, 1841 cabinet, made an alliance with the praieiros. even against
members of his own party, in order to remove obstacles to the passage of the regresso
laws.72 Nabuco notes the paradoxically close relationship between the praieiros and
Paulino José Soares de Souza, paradoxical in that a saquarema leader and the
P&?
/
71 Nabuco, Estadista. 49.
72 Paula Beiguelman, Formaqao Política do Brasil (Sao Paulo: Livraria Pioneira,
1976), 64-65. This author cites only Nabuco, not any primary material, for this argument.

110
Pernambuco Liberals, on the face of it, ought to be opponents. The fact that the March
23 ministry quickly replaced the Baron of Boa Vista with Manuel Sousa Teixeira, an
opponent of the Baronistas, as provincial president, yet returned the Baron on December
7, just days after the passage of the Reform of the Criminal Procedure Code, the last
major Reeresso law, supports this argument.73
To be sure, there was praieiro opposition to the laws. The Diario Novo, the
praieiro press organ that began publishing on August 1, 1842, criticized the Reform of
the Criminal Procedural Code.74 The paper noted, for example, that despite the new
Code, violence continued in the province.75 The new law was attacked as
unconstitutional, as violating the division of powers, and for nullifying juries, thereby
abolishing the last remaining bit of judicial independence. For the Liberal opposition of
the period, the charge of ending judicial independence meant excessively centralizing
power, making judges political agents of the ruling party in the Court, and creating the
conditions for wholesale violation of rights, thus leading to despotism. This imbalance in
the distribution of power, one that would facilitate abuse from the Court, contrasted with
the paper's proclamation in its inaugural edition that "our political dogma [is] that the
extensive territory of Brazil should always constitute a moderate and representative
monarchy. The ideas of order are based on this moderate approach to the
aggrandizement of all the provinces."76
73 Barbosa Lima Sobrinho, "Urbano Sabino Pessóa de Meló," Revista do Instituto
Arqueológico. Histórico e Geográfico Pernambucano vol. XLVII (1975).
74 "REVISTA HEBDOMADARIA," Diario Novo. Aug. 1, 1842, pp. 1-2.
75 "Correspondencias," signed Um Desengañado, Diario Novo. Sept. 12, 1842, p. 2;
Diario Novo. Dec. 10, 1842.
76 Diario Novo. Aug. 1, 1842.

Ill
Some praieiros were adamant in their opposition to the centralizing laws. Felipe
Lopes Netto, for example, introduced several petitions to the Provincial Assembly
rejecting the laws of November 20 and December 3, 1841 as unconstitutional.
Opponents of the Reform of the Criminal Procedure Law charged that the reform created
a dependent magistracy, for the purpose of repressing citizens. They further argued that
the reform, which they labeled "blood law," would end the inviolability of one's home.
They also claimed that the laws were passed in tumultuous sessions, without proper
discussion.77 Though Urbano Sabino Pessoa de Meló, a member of the liberal opposition
and future praia leader, voted against the proposal, thus demonstrating consistency with
his earlier vote in support of the November 20 and December 3 laws, other praieiros such
as Peixoto de Brito and Lourenco Bizzera voted with Lopes Netto. Creation of the
Council of State was the less controversial measure of the two. Many who opposed the
Reform of the Criminal Procedure Code did not vote against restoring the Council of
State. In any case, the proposals were both voted down in the Assembly—the objection to
the Reform of the Criminal Procedure Code by eighteen to thirteen and the objection to
the creation of the Council of State by twenty-four to seven.78
Voting with Lopes Netto in favor of the petitions were the Cavalcanti brothers,
Pedro Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque and Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti
de Albuquerque, both leading Conservatives. Likewise, their brother Holanda
77 "REFLEXÓES SOBRE A INDICACAO DO SNR DEPUTADO LOPES NETTO.,"
Diario de Pernambuco. March 14, 1842, pp. 1-2; "COMMUNICADO O Snr. Doutor
Netto, e a sua indicado na Assembleia Provincial.," Diario Novo. March 15, 1842, pp. 2-
3; "COMMUNICADO A LEI DA REFORMA DO CODIGO DO PROCESSO, E A
OPPOSICÁO.," Diario de Pernambuco. March 17, 1842.
78 "ASSEMBLEA PROVINCIAL ACTA DA 16a SESSÁO ORDINARIA DA
ASSEMBLEA LEGISLATIVA DE PERNAMBUCO EM 22 DE MARQO DE 1842,"
Diario de Pernambuco. April 1, 1842, p. 1.

112
Cavalcanti, the prominent Liberal leader, had opposed the 1840 Conservative measure,
the so-called Interpretation of the Additional Act, on the floor of the Imperial Senate.79
In opposing the centralizing laws, Holanda Cavalcanti was consistent with Liberals^
elsewhere in the Empire, for whom provincial autonomy was a key plank.
Holanda Cavalcanti's opposition in the Senate, along with Pedro Francisco and
Francisco de Paula's in the Provincial Assembly, was consistent with positions these
representatives of the Cavalcanti de Albuquerques had taken since independence.
The Cavalcantis were well ensconced in Pernambuco and exercised considerable
authority. They had little interest in seeing strong rule by a distant center of power.
Indeed, in 1801 Colonel Suassuna, the father of the Cavalcanti brothers referred to above,
led a conspiracy to achieve independence from Portugal, under the tutelage of
Napoleon.80 In 1817, along with much of the landholding elite of Pernambuco, they
supported the struggle for an independent republic.81 Yet in 1822, they supported a coup
against the provisional government established by Gervásio Pires and other provincial
rivals of the Cavalcantis, the administration that had declared independence from the
Portuguese crown. In doing so, the Cavalcantis established a leading role for their family
in the so-called Government of the Matutos. the "government of the hicks" controlled by
the Cavalcanti and their southern planter allies. In a choice between independence under
local rivals and loyalty to the emperor in Rio de Janeiro, this Cavalcanti-dominated
provincial government supported national unity under D. Pedro I In 1824, again, the
79 Jornal do Comercio. May 8, 1840, reporting on the session of May 7.
80 See Carlos Guilherme Mota, Idéia da Revoluqao no Brasil: Estudo das Formas do
Pensamento (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1979).
81 See note 2 of this chapter.

113
Cavalcantis opposed an attempted independent republic, the Confederation of the
Equator, led by the opposing faction of landowners. Throughout the latter 1820s, they
supported the local governments appointed by the emperor, and in so doing opposed the
faction of lesser families that had supported the Confederation, and their sometimes
allies, the radical liberals. Yet, at the same time, in Rio de Janeiro they joined the
opposition in the Chamber of Deputies that struggled to limit the emperor's power. In
1829, Holanda Cavalcanti prompted a government crisis when he objected to the
emperor's heavy-handed repression of a radical liberal coup attempt in Pernambuco,
demanding the resignation of the ministers of war and justice. In 1832 the Cavalcantis
initially supported the Abrilada restorationist coup, and in 1834 they supported an
exaltado coup.*2
Thus, this seemingly curious mixture of positions yields a clear pattern on
examination. The Cavalcantis, as extraordinarily powerful members of the local elite,
were ill-disposed to the crown increasing its authority in Pernambuco, particularly when
the Cavalcantis and their allies controlled the key posts of Provincial President and
Commander of Arms. Opposition to extension of imperial authority that would limit
their own power was attenuated, however, when the Cavalcantis' provincial influence
was threatened by local opposition. The 1822 provisional government of Gervásio Pires,
the 1824 Confederation of the Equator, the Francisco de Carvalho administration in 1832
and the Manuel Carvalho Paes de Andrade administration in 1834 all challenged
82 On the Government of the Matutos, see Carvalho, "Hegemony and Rebellion," pp
38-40. On the Confederation of the Equator, see Ulysses de Carvalho Soares Brandao,
Pernambuco de Out'ora: A Confederado do Equador (Recife: Officinas Graphicas da
Repart^ao de Publicacóes Officiais, 1924); Glacyra Lazzari Leite, Pernambuco 1824: a
Confederacao do Equador (Recife: Massangana, 1989); Carvalho, "Hegemony and
Rebellion," pp.50-74. For the events in 1829, Ibid., 152-153. For the 1832 Abrilada, see
chapter 2 of this work.

114
Cavalcanti supremacy in the province. In each case, the Cavalcantis sought to topple the
Pemambucan government. When they needed help against their opponents, they
appealed to the crown for assistance.83
On December 3, 1843, Dorn Pedro II turned eighteen, the constitutional age of
majority. For some time, tension between Conservative leaders and the emperor's
favorite, Aureliano de Sousa e Oliveira Coutinho (the Viscount of Sepetiba, commonly '
referred to as Aureliano), had been heightening. An earlier clash between the
saquaremas and Aureliano had precipitated the fall of the Conservative March 23, 1841
ministry in which Aureliano had served with Minister of Justice Paulino José Soares de
Sousa and other Conservatives. The subsequent January 20, 1843 Conservative ministry,
formed by Honorio Hermeto Carneiro Leao, excluded Aureliano. When Aureliano's
brother Saturnino de Souza e Oliveira opposed the Conservative leaders' ticket in
provincial elections in Rio de Janeiro to occupy a Senate seat, Honorio responded by
asking the emperor for Satumino's dismissal as Inspector of Customs in Rio de Janeiro.
The emperor refused, later noting that "I understood such a dismissal to be unjust, and by
the way in which Carneiro Leao insisted, I understood that if I yielded I would be thought
weak."84 Honório's unacceptable demanding manner in dealing with the emperor, and
Pedro's refusal to acquiesce, left Honorio little choice but to resign. The January 20,
1843 ministry he led immediately collapsed. The incident suggests an emperor, upon
83 See Marcus Carvalho's incisive discussion, "Hegemony and Rebellion," 151-155.
84 Tito Franco de Almeida, Francisco José Furtado: Biografía e Estudo de Historia
Política Contemporánea (Sao Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1944), for the quote,
p. 33 and pp. 32-33 on the change of ministry. This celebrated contemporary biography
had marginalia added to it by the emperor, which appeared in subsequent editions as
footnotes. This quote is from one such note.

115
reaching eighteen years of age, more determined to assert himself and defend his
prerogatives.85
Dom Pedro did not simply turn over power to leading Liberals. Rather, he first
offered a Conservative leader, José da Costa Carvalho, the Viscount of Monte Alegre, the
opportunity to form a ministry, with the understanding that the 1842 rebels of Sao Paulo
and Minas Gerais would be amnestied. When Monte Alegre declined, the emperor
turned to José Carlos Pereira de Almeida Torres, the Viscount of Macahé, a Bahian close
to the emperor and not clearly identified with either political party. Almeida Torres
formed the February 2, 1844 ministry amidst talk of conciliation. A conciliatory ministry
would reduce excessive partisanship and factionalism, especially in Bahia, Pernambuco,
and elsewhere in the North. The rebels of 1842 were to be amnestied. No longer would
there be what Liberal leader Paula Souza had denounced as party ministries, rather than
national ministries, in reference particularly to the January 20, 1843 cabinet.86
Implementing idea of conciliation in a highly partisan atmosphere proved
extremely difficult. Conservative opposition to the ministerial change and the notion of
conciliation was interpreted by the emperor as a continuation of the practice of the
previous ministry denounced by Paula Souza—that is, acting for the good of a political
party, instead of the nation. A liberal paper denounced the "declaration of war" on the
ftL-i ¡ají*
cf$h
85 Francisco José Furtado. 32-33; Paulo Pereira de Campos, "Política e
Administrado," 509-511, 517, 519-521; Helio Vianna, Da Maioridade á Conpiliapao:
Síntese de Historia. Política e Bibliografía do Período 1840-1857 (Rio de Janeiro:
Universidade do Brasil, 1945), 13-14, 16-20; Estadista. 57; Beiguelman, Formado
Política. 65, 70-71. The significance of the emperor's role in politics continues to be a
question of some dispute in the historiography. Compare Graham, Patronage and
Politics, and Costa, The Brazilian Empire with Barman, Brazil.
86 Paulo Pereira de Castro, "Política e administrado de 1840 a 1848," in Historia
Geral da Civilizacao Brasileira. Tomo II. 2° volume. (Sao Paulo: DIFEL, 1985), 522-523;
Vianna, Da Maioridade. 21: Nabuco. Estadista 75-76.

116
conciliation ministry by conservative newspapers Sentinella da Monarchia (directed by
Vasconcellos) and Echo and lauded the ministry's attempt to convince the opposition of
the need to "finish with the fatal designation of winners and losers."87 Amnesty of the
Paulista and Mineiro rebels was a sine qua non for reconciliation, yet when the emperor
decreed the amnesty on March 14, 1844, Conservatives in the Chamber and Senate were
adamant in criticizing it. The praia press reprinted Liberal journalism from the Court
attacking Conservative opposition to the amnesty, labeling the right to grant amnesty
"the most beautiful of royalty's prerogatives," implying that to criticize the amnesty was
tantamount to criticizing the emperor.88
Opposition to the amnesty contradicted the common practice of leniency once a
rebellion's leaders had been punished, the dangers passed and peace had been restored.89
The leading Pemambucan Conservative newspaper, rather than support conciliation,
argued for the record of achievement of the Conservative ministries since 1837, including
the suppression of the 1842 rebellions.90 The Conservative organ blamed Aureliano's
palace faction for the ministerial change, implying that it did not reflect the will of the
people. The Pemambucan Conservative Sebastiao do Regó Barros, brother of the
provincial president, turned down an offer of a ministerial post, opting for solidarity with
other Conservatives in opposition.91
87 "A Con reprint from the Farol Constitucional.
88 "O "Brasil" na oppsifao!," Diario Novo. May 8, 1844, pp. 1-2, reprinted from
Pharol Constitucional
89 Barman, Brazil. 220.
90 "Diario de Pernambuco," Diario de Pernambuco. March 7, 1844, p. 3.
91 Nabuco, Estadista. 76.

117
Many Liberals likewise sought not conciliation, but a complete reversal of l
&\Í-
political fortunes. Liberals had been through a period of ostracism in which
ó1'?,
centralization laws had undermined provincial rights the Liberals held dear. Many
Liberals that had participated in the 1842 rebellions in Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo
against the centralization measures still suffered from exile, arrest, and loss of political
rights.92 Moreover, the usual desire to seize patronage prompted many to shy away from
conciliation. Liberal party organs such as Novo Tempo argued that the March 23, 1841
Conservative ministry had dismissed office holders appointed by the Liberal majority
ministry, and had tried to annihilate the Liberal Party after the 1842 rebellions, and that it
was, in effect, now the Liberals' turn. The praieiro paper Diario Novo reprinted such
articles.93
Liberal papers also called for the dissolution of the Chamber elected under the
influence of the March 23, 1841 ministry. The Diario Novo argued that the violence and
fraud that marked the elections made for an unrepresentative Chamber, and reprinted
articles from Liberal papers elsewhere that made similar arguments.94 One paper argued
that the ostensible reason for the Conservatives' opposition to the current cabinet,
disagreement with the amnesty, was not the real source of their opposition. Rather, the
goal of the leaders of the "oligarchy" was to annul the emperor's liberty of action, and by
92 Barman, Brazil. 220.
93 "Os presidentes da provincia," Diario Novo. April 17, 1844, p. 1.
94 "A dissolu?áo da cámara," Diario Novo. 18 April, p.2-3, reprinted from Pharol
Constitucional: "A dissolu^ao da cámara dos deputados," Diario Novo. May 4, 1844, pp.
1-2, reprinted from O Nacional.
/

118
limiting his prerogatives, better maintain their own power.95 The Diario Novo also
continued its criticisms of Provincial President Regó Barros, airing the standard charges
of electoral abuse, such as falsifying the electoral list of Iguara<;u, to exclude Antonio
Joaquim de Melo from the Provincial Assembly, and violence by Conservative police or
their allied thugs.96 The paper charged, for example, that in the parish of Goitá alone,
five murders and six serious injuries occurred, yet the known perpetrators were not
arrested. The praieiro organ explained such impunity by charging that the provincial
president's nominations to police posts were motivated by electoral concerns, not justice
and the public interest.97 The paper also charged Conservative leadership in the Court
with ordering allies in the provinces to crack down on the Liberal press. It was in this
context that the paper explained charges against the publisher of the Diario Novo. Joao
Ignácio Ribeiro Roma, for slander and libel in defaming the Chamber.98
Support for the February 2, 1844 ministry initially came from some dissident
Conservatives in the north, such as Cansando de Sinimbu in Alagoas and Sousa Franco
in Para, from Pernambucan praieiros such as Urbano Sabino and Nunes Machado and
from various Bahian deputies. This so-called Northern League was insufficient to
95 "A dissohnjao da Camara dos Deputados," Diario Novo. April 30, 1844, p. 1,
reprinted from O Nacional. Note that Liberals labeled the Conservative leadership "the
oligarchy."
96 For charges of electoral abuse, "Dez mil reis para os deputados do Sr. Barao!,"
Diario Novo. April 19, 1844, p.2; "Comportamento honroso," Diario Novo. April 20,
1844, pp. 2-3; on the alleged falsification of electoral documents in Iguarassú, "A acta de
Iguarassú e o Diario v. n. 107," Diario Novo. May 13, 1844.
97 "Os assassinos e a policía," Diario Novo. April 27, 1994, pp. 2-3; "O circulo
baronista e os assassinatos," Diario Novo. April 27, 1994, pp. 1-2.
98 "A causa nacional em julgamento," Diario Novo. May 2, 1844, p.2 ; "Viva a
liberdade da Imprensa," Diario Novo. May 4, 1844, p.2 rejoices in Ribeiro Roma's being
absolved of all charges.

119
govern, however. Facing a larger Conservative opposition, the ministry tilted toward the
Liberals. An important step in this direction was taken on April 1, 1844 when Aureliano
de Sousa e Oliveira Coutinho was selected as provincial president of Rio de Janeiro "
Joaquim Nabuco considered Aureliano's influence in the 1840s to be an enigma of
Brazilian constitutional history.100 Nabuco wrote of him as an "erratic element outside of
party classification."101 Aureliano served in the Liberal Majority ministry of 1840, the
succeeding Conservative March 23, 1841 ministry, and provided crucial support for
various Liberal ministries from 1844 to 1848 as provincial president of Rio de Janeiro.
His independence from the political parties was noteworthy. In 1842, a French diplomat
reported to Paris that Aureliano had not acquired obligations to any political party, while
another reported in 1844 that ministers took no action without consulting him first.102 His
influence was based on his closeness to the emperor, and the widely-held belief that
Aureliano represented Dom Pedro's political preferences.103 Given the key role of the
emperor's moderating power, which, for practical purposes, enabled Dom Pedro to decide
when to alternate parties in power, as the electoral system ensured the ministry at the
time the elections were called sufficient influence to emerge victorious, those who
influenced Dom Pedro could themselves exert considerable influence.104 Aureliano's
" Pereira de Castro, "Política e administrado," 523-524.
100 Nabuco, Estadista. 56-57.
101 Nabuco, Estadista. 57.
102 Vianna, Da Maoridade. 24.
103 Nabuco wrote that "where he went he carried with him political fortune," Estadista
56.
104 The emperor's moderating power allowed him to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies
(continued...)

120
influence dated from the Regency. He shared it, to a lesser degree, with his ally Paulo
Barbosa da Silva, the palace chief of protocol, who in the 1830s had chosen the
individuals to educate the child prince. They led the informal political group nicknamed
the Joana Club, after the official residence of the chief of protocol. They were also
known the palacianos, or palace faction, and as áulicos.105
Though Aureliano had served as foreign affairs minister in the Conservative
March 23, 1841 ministry that passed crucial centralizing measures, the palacianos'
influence was deeply resented by Conservative leaders such as Rodrigues Torres, Paulino
José Soares de Sousa and Honorio Hermeto Cameiro Leao. Conflicts between Aureliano
and Minister of Justice Paulino José Soares de Sousa and Rodrigues Torres had led to the
fall of the March 23 ministry and, as noted, the January 20, 1843 ministry that replaced it
fell over a dispute involving Aureliano's brother Saturnino that forced Honório's
confrontation with the emperor. Conservative organs, such as the Sentinella da
Monarchia. led by Vasconcellos, and O Brasil, directed by the premier Conservative
journalist, Justiano José da Rocha, denounced the influence of the palace group. In
February 1844, the Sentinella da Monarchia complained that "now we do not have an
emperor; Aureliano, Paulo Barbosa and Saturnino give the orders."106 Likewise, the
Diario de Pernambuco blamed the Joana Club for the fall of the Conservative January 20,
(...continued)
and call for new elections at any time. As the emperor chose the individual who would
select a cabinet, and as the advantages of incumbency always allowed the ruling party to
prevail at the national level in general elections, the emperor's decisions were decisive.
See Bueno, Direito Publico Brasileiro: Nabuco, Estadista, and Graham, Patronage and
Politics. 97.
105 Nabuco, Estadista. 56-57; Pereira de Castro, "Política e administrado," 509-513,
517-522; Vianna, Da Maioridade. 11-28.
106 Vianna, Da Maioridade. 24, citing the Feb. 16, 1844 edition.

121
1843 ministry led by Honorio, lamenting that palace intrigues, not parliamentary
struggles, would determine the future. The paper saw the hidden maneuvers of an
"impure black trinity" of Aureliano, Saturnino and Paulo Barbosa behind the rise and
fall of political leaders and parties.107
Named provincial president of Rio de Janeiro by the February 2, 1844 ministry,
Aureliano decisively challenged the Conservative saquaremas in the very base of their
power, the fluminense bailiwicks of the coffee planters. There, he could undercut their
electoral support through patronage, fraud, and violence. Joaquim Nabuco considered
Aureliano's support of the Liberal ministries of 1844 to 1848 as their principal support,
because of Aureliano's alleged favor with the emperor. Thus, the praieiros were shrewd
enough to gain influence in the Court through an alliance with Aureliano.