Without José Bonifácio’s de Andrada e Silva influence on
Brazilian history, we would have instead
four or five independent
countries in South America where Brazil is located. Without José
Brazil in its current form would simply not exist.
My grandmother, my father’s mother, was an unusual person in many ways. She had a unique family background.
She was a descendant of many illustrious people on both sides of her family. Both of her grandfathers were senators.
Her grandfather, her father’s father was Francisco Antonio de Souza Queiroz, the Barão de Souza Queiroz, (Baron of
Souza Queiroz) who holds the record for being a senator for the longest time in Brazilian history. He still was a senator when he
died in 1891, after being senator for 42 years (from 1849 to 1891.) He became a
deputado (House Representative) for the
Province of São Paulo in 1845, and a senator in 1849. He was one of the richest men in Brazil.
Besides being senator, the Barão of Souza Queiroz became Vice-President of the Province of São Paulo on May 18,
1885. The Souza Queiroz family was the most influential family in São Paulo politics from the 1840’s until 1930.
The archives of the Portuguese Empire show that the title and the coat-of-arms was transferred to the new Barão of
Souza Queiroz, the Brigadier Luiz Antonio de Souza, on February 5, 1818, as shown in the registry of the Cartório da Nobreza,
in Portugal, in book l, page 80. In 1874, when D. Pedro II transferred the title of baron to my great/great grandfather
Francisco Antonio de Souza Queiroz, the documentation refers in detail to the information of the title transfer of 1818.
His title included the word "com Grandeza" (with greatness). In heraldry that means that the title carried the right to
transfer to their descendants, and also indicated that they were descendants of old nobility. The coat-of-arms of the Barão de
Souza Queiroz was subdivided in four parts, each part showing the coat-of-arms of each of his grandparents, because each one
of them was part of the old nobility; they also had their own family coat-of-arms.
The Brigadier Luiz Antonio de Souza, born in Portugal, was an officer in D. João IV’s army. The Brigadier had a vast
family fortune; he was a very wealthy man.
He went to Brazil a little before the Portuguese Royal family also had to go to Brazil, because Napoleon Bonaparte
had invaded Portugal in 1808. He married in Brazil, Dona Genebra de Barros Leite, and his oldest son Francisco Antonio de
Souza Queiroz, the future Barão de Souza Queiroz was sent to Portugal to study to became a lawyer at the Coimbra University.
The Brigadier died, and his oldest son, Francisco Antonio de Souza Queiroz at the age of 18 years old, had to take
control of the family’s fortune. He turned out to be a great businessman, and a man of vision.
Francisco Antonio de Souza Queiroz married Antonia Eufrosina Campos Vergueiro de Souza Queiroz, a daughter of
Nicolau Pereira de Campos Vergueiro, a Senator, and D. Maria Angelica de Vasconcelos de Campos Vergueiro (following is
some information about Senador Vergueiro, one of my grandmother’s great/grandfathers).
In 1778, Nicolau Pereira de Campos Vergueiro was born in Portugal, in Val-da-Porca, Província de Tráz-os-Montes.
When he was 25 years old he decided to try his luck in Brazil. He arrived in São Paulo in 1803, and started practicing law with
the Arouche brothers, Manuel Joaquim Ornellas, and Manuel Eufrásio de Azevedo Marques. These five lawyers were the
only lawyers practicing in this small city of 20 thousand people, including 6 thousand slaves.
Vergueiro adapted very well to the way of life of the São Paulo society. It did not take long before he met Maria
Angélica de Vasconcelos. She was a beautiful woman and he was also impressed by her culture. Her family also had prestige,
influence and a major fortune. After a short courting period of a few months, he married her.
His law practice prospered and he was well respected in the community. He had a reputation of being competent, and
of having good character and integrity. He also started accepting government positions such as: prosecutor (1806), judge
of the province (1811), and congressman (1813). In 1807, he bought a farm in the area of the Piracicaba River to produce
He also was the judge in that area, which gave him knowledge and experience in the area of agriculture issues. In
1814, he bought another farm in São Carlos for cattle raising. His agriculture/cattle raising business was doing very well and
started growing into a large enterprise. These businesses started becoming his favorite activities.
In 1816 he met a very wealthy man to help him with the financethe Brigadier Luiz Antonio de Souza who was a
pioneer in the development of the São Paulo economy. The Brigadier had introduced to the province a new system of banking
credit. They became partners in a company called Vergueiro & Souza; Vergueiro contributed his two farms, and the Brigadier
contributed the financing.
In April 23, 1821, when the new provisory government of the São Paulo province was formed, Vergueiro was chosen
as Minister of Agriculture of the new government. He also was elected a
deputado to represent the Province of São Paulo
at the Courts in Lisbon, Portugal. He was second in the number of votes in that election; only Antonio Carlos de Andrada
e Silva received more votes than he.
In that same election José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva was elected Vice-President, and his younger brother Martim
Francisco Ribeiro de Andrada was elected Finance Minister.
The new deputados arrived in Lisbon on February 5, 1822, after a trip that took 84 daysthat was how long it took
to cross the Atlantic ocean in 1821. Two
deputados distinguished themselves at the Portuguese Courts; Antonio Carlos de
Andrada e Silva and Nicolau Pereira de Campos Vergueiro. The Portuguese gave Vergueiro a real hard time; they even called him
a traitor, because he was a Portuguese citizen and was fighting for the Brazilian cause.
When he was in Portugal representing Brazil, D. Pedro I proclaimed Brazilian independence. He did not go back to
Brazil immediately. He went to the North of Portugal to visit his father and family. He arrived back in Rio de Janeiro on July 27, 1823.
When Emperor D. Pedro I gave the order for the Constituent Assembly dissolution on November 12, 1823, various
deputados ended up in prison including José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, his brothers Antonio Carlos and Martim Francisco, and
Nicolau Vergueiro. The Andrada brothers were sent to exile in France, but Vergueiro was allowed to stay in Brazil and continue
his career as a deputado.
Vergueiro had such a great reputation that finally in 1828 he became a senator representing the State of Minas
Gerais. In 1828, he was the politician with the most prestige in Brazil.
When Dom Pedro I abdicated the Brazilian crown on April 7, 1831, in favor of his five year old son, the future Dom
Pedro II, based on the 1824 Constitution, congress had to elect three people to the provisory regency. The
deputados and senators chose the following people to be regents: the Brigadier Francisco de Lima e Silva (to represent the armed forces), José
Joaquim Carneiro de CamposMarquês de Caravelas (to represent the aristocracy), and Senador Nicolau Pereira de Campos
Vergueiro (because of his prestige as a senator).
When congress elected the permanent regents in 1832, he asked congress to not include him as one of the regents.
He still was a senator and a minister of the empire. He also accumulated a number of government positions during this period.
He was elected deputado for São Paulo in 1835, and president of the assembly of
deputados (1835-1837). He was Vice-President of the São Paulo province (1835-1836), and director of the Faculdade de Direito do Largo de São Francisco
(1837-1842). He finally left the assembly of
deputados in 1847, when he was 69 years old.
In 1842 when a liberal revolution in São Paulo and Minas Gerais was crushed by the troops of the Barão de Caxias,
Vergueiro ended up in prison for two years, because he was one of the people who inspired the movement.
Vergueiro was against slavery, and he was the first farmer in Brazil, starting in 1840, to bring over three thousand
immigrants from Germany to work as farm hands in the country. After a very distinguished career, Vergueiro died in Rio de Janeiro,
on September 18, 1859.
Barão de Souza Queiroz
Francisco Antonio de Souza Queiroz (Barão de Souza Queiroz) was born in São Paulo on December 8, 1807. He died
in São Paulo on July 4, 1891, in his dear Chácara Velha, which was located in the center of São Paulo, in the Avenida São
Luiz, facing the Consolação Street. His house was in the same location where today we have the Municipal Library Mário Andrade.
The Barão of Souza Queiroz was one of the richest men in Brazil during his lifetime. He had vast land holdings in the
Province of São Paulo including farmland in the following areas: Campinas, Limeira, Leme, Belém do Descalvado, and São Manoel.
Most of his farmlands were located along the way of one of his companies; the Companhia Paulista de Vias Férreas e Fluviais.
In 1834, he married Antonia Eufrosina de Campos Vergueiro, Senador Vergueiro’s daughter. He had 12 children with
his wife. The majority of his children, when they reached 14 years old, were sent to Germany to further their studies. Before
they left Brazil they knew which school they were to be enrolled in Germany. Only two of his sons decided to stay in Brazil to
study at the Faculdade de Direito de São Paulo.
As soon as his children returned from studying in Europe, or graduated from the Faculdade de Direito de São Paulo,
they were sent to the Fazenda Quilombo in Campinas. This is where his children got their training in farm management, and
learned how to administer with competence a sugar cane or coffee plantation.
They learned everything necessary to manage a farm, including how to handle the slaves and later the immigrant
labor. As soon as they were ready, each child of the Barão de Souza Queiroz, received as a gift a farmland, money, slaves and
other farm help to get them started in their new coffee plantation. Only one son of the Barão did not receive his share of the
wealth, because he died in the ship when he was returning to Brazil after finishing his studies in Europe.
In descending order by age, the Barão of Souza Queiroz distributed farmland to his children as follows:
Francisco Antonio, married to Francisca Miquelina de Paula de Souza Queiroz, daughter of the Barão de Limeira,
received the fazenda Araquá, in São Manoel.
Luiz Antonio, married to Antonia Pompeu de Camargo, the fazenda Ibijuba, in Belém do Descalvado.
Carolina, married to Manuel Batista da Cruz Tamandaré, the fazenda Tamandaré, also in Belém do Descalvado.
Nicolau, married to Isabel Dabney de Abelar Brather, the fazenda Bela Aliança, also in Belém do Descalvado.
Maria Angélica, married to Francisco Aguiar de Barros, the fazenda Santa Maria, also in Belém do Descalvado.
Antonio, married to Vitalina Pompeu de Camargo, the fazenda Tabajara, in Limeira.
Augusto, married first Antonia de Barros Freire, and later he had a second wife Gessy Pompeu do Amaral, the
fazenda Sete Quedas, in Campinas.
Helena, married to Manuel Joaquim de Albuquerque Lins (he was governor of the State of São Paulo), the fazenda
São Gerônimo, in Limeira.
Frederico, married to Augusta de Pádua Fleury, the fazenda Jaguaquara, in Tietê.
José, married to Gisela Brauer, the fazenda Cressiumal, in Leme.
Carlos, married to Maria Flora de Andrada e Silva, the fazenda Ibicatu, in Leme.
My grandmother’s father was Carlos, the youngest son of the Barão of Souza Queiroz. Carlos was married to Maria
Flora de Andrada e Silva a daughter of José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Younger).
My grandmother’s mother’s side of her family was even more influential in Brazilian history, because that side of the
family included the following people:
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Younger) who was a son of Martim Francisco Ribeiro de Andrada and his
wife Gabriela Frederica Ribeiro de Andrada (she was a daughter of José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, The Patriarch of
Brazilian Independence.) Martim Francisco was 12 years younger than his brother José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The
Patriarch), and he married his niece.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Younger) was my grandmother’s grandfather. Martim Francisco Ribeiro de
Andrada was her great/grandfather. And finally, José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Patriarch) was her
great/great/grandfather. I will return to the Andrada side of the family later.
A Man of Vision
After distributing so much land to his children, the Barão still had his own farmland to grow coffee, since coffee was
one of the main commodities in Brazil, and helped to make many people very wealthy.
The Barão himself enjoyed the life in the city; he was not a farm person. He became one of the major real estate
developers in São Paulo. Everything that he received as rent of his properties he reinvested in the center of São Paulo, buying new
land and building new properties.
He had properties in Rua Direita, Rua José Bonifácio, and his Chácara Velha had about 6 alqueires, and went from
Rua Consolação to where Praça da República is located today, and to Rua 7 de Abril. The Barão built the Avenida São Luiz
on his property, in the center of São Paulo. He gave each one of his children a piece of land along Avenida São Luiz for
them to build their homes.
The Souza Queiroz family also had a parcel of land going all the way to Praça João Mendes. This is why the two
viadutos (bridges) that go to Praça João Mendes (one called Dona Paulina, and the other Maria Paula), were named in honor to
the two sisters of the Barão of Souza Queiroz. Avenida Brigadeiro Luiz Antonio was named in honor of the Barão’s father.
The Barão also owned a large section of Rua Florêncio de Abreu, around the train station of São Paulo, Estação da
Luz. This area was an important commercial center at that time. They had many warehouses that served as the distribution
center of goods to the port of Santos, and received foreign goods from Santos to be distributed in the interior of São Paulo.
The Barão had many of these warehouses. He built his buildings with 2 to 3 floors.
On the first floor, they stored the goods and commodities. On the upper floors he had rooms to be rented to people
traveling, and to businessmen. Some of the buildings had a restaurant area for dining. Just a reminder: at that time São Paulo had
Based on the testament of the Baroness de Souza Queiroz, dated December 4, 1891, the Baroness listed the
ownership of over 100 properties, and an extensive stock portfolio including a number of railroads and bank stocks. The Barão was
one of the major shareholders of the Banco Comércio e Indústria de São Paulo. He was also a major shareholder of among
other companiesthe Companhia Ituana, and the Companhia Paulista Vias Férreas e Fluviais.
When the Barão turned 65 years old, he resigned of most of his corporate positions, and from then on he spent his
time doing philanthropy. He founded in November 1874 a philanthropic organization named Associação Barão de Souza
Queiroz de Proteção à Infâcia e à Juventude-Instituto Dona Ana Rosa. He set up this organization in such way that the
organization was financially independent.
The greater part of the funding made available for the organization was invested in the purchase of real estate in
central São Paulo. The income from the rental of these properties has supported the institute for the last 127 years. Throughout
all this time, the association has been maintained by the Barão’s descendants, now in the sixth generation. All members of
the Board of Trustees of this organization always have been descendants of the Barão.
Over the years the organization took care of more than 2,000 children per year. But lately the organization has been
able to help about 1,200 children; they have a crèche for children up to seven, and a center for children age 7 to 14, and
provide ten courses in jobs skills such as carpentry, cooking, printing and computing, among others.
Our family never liked any publicity about this organization, but The Institute Dona Ana Rosa came into the
spotlight in 1999, when the organization received a cash prize and was ranked number 8 in the ranking of the 100 Best Run
Charities of Latin America and the Emerging Countries.
Today, my cousin Maria Nazareth Soares de Camargo Meira de Castro is the elected President of this outstanding
organization, and she can be reached at the following number in São Paulo, Brazil: telephone 55-11-37446747.
Her organization also has all the information about the Barão de Souza Queiroz, in Portuguese. The information
includes not only the biography of the Barão, but also all kinds of copies of other documentation such as the transfer of the title
and coat-of-arms, copy of the testament of the Baroness made soon after the Barão died in 1891, and copies of pictures
and correspondence that the family exchanged with various members of the Royal Family after the Republic was proclaimed
in Brazil in 1889 and the Royal Family had moved to Paris, France.
When historians refer to The Andrada Brothers they are referring to the three brothers, as follows: A) José
Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva ( B 1763 – D 1838),
B) Martim Francisco Ribeiro de Andrada e Silva ( B 1775 – D 1844), and
C) Antônio Carlos Ribeiro de Andrada Machado e Silva ( B 1773 – D 1845).
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva is one of the greatest statesmen in world history, but he is unknown to the
American public. In terms of Brazil, he is Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and George Washington embodied
in one person.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva was the architect of Brazilian independence; that is why he is known as The
Patriarch of Independence. He guided Brazil through its independence process from 1821 to 1823. During this period José
Bonifácio was the Prime Minister and his brother Martim Francisco was the Finance Minister of Brazil.
We can summarize José Bonifácio’s importance to Brazilian history as follows: Without José Bonifácio’s influence
on Brazilian history, we would have instead four or five independent countries in South America where Brazil is located.
Without José Bonifácio in its history, the country Brazil in its current form would not exist today. The major reason to honor José
Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva is the fact that Brazilians owe him the country which we call Brazil today. The country itself was José
Bonifácio’s legacy to future Brazilian generations.
Martim Francisco Ribeiro de Andrada
There is a sharp contrast between the United States and Brazil in the recognition that they give to the respective
authors of their Declaration of Independence documents. In the United States, Thomas Jefferson is held in the highest esteem
by its citizens. However, in Brazil, Martim Francisco Ribeiro de Andrada is not as widely known by the Brazilian population
as the author of the document The Declaration of Independence of Brazil.
The Andrada Brothers Expelled from the Constituent Assembly
The Andrada Brothers with their leadership, had a major impact on the Constituent Assembly and also guided the
proceedings of the process of framing the first Brazilian Constitution . This Constitution was effective December 13, 1823.
The fight got so heated that the members of the Constituent Assembly were worried that their existence was in
jeopardy. The Emperor was so angry with the Andradas that he decided to dissolve the Constituent Assembly or to expel the
Andradas from the Constituent Assembly.
The Emperor watched the three Andrada brothers continue to dominate the situation. Finally he got his horse and,
followed by a group of horseman, went to the Constituent Assembly. The forces surrounded the Constituent Assembly building
and pointed their artillery at the door of the building, and Brigadier Moraes passed on to the Constituent Assembly the
Emperors’ order for their dissolution. Antônio Carlos and Martim Francisco were held prisoners as soon as they left the building.
On November 13, 1823 a new group started deliberating the Constitution; at that point most of the articles of the
Constitution had been decided and they were in the process of being submitted to the Municipal Chambers of the States for
review. Dom Pedro told them to finalize the Constitution by December 13, 1823. This Constitution was to be effective as of
December 13, 1823 and the swearing ceremony would be done on March 25, 1824.
The port of Rio de Janeiro was reopened on November 24, 1823 as soon as the ship Lucônia left Brazil with the
prisoners. When José Bonifácio, Martim Francisco, and Antônio Carlos went down in the ship, they had a nice surprise. Their
families were waiting for them to go with them into exile in France.
In the beginning of 1828, Martim Francisco and Antônio Carlos returned to Brazil with their families. They returned
to defend themselves, including José Bonifácio, against all of the charges brought forth by the government. José Bonifácio
stayed in France with his wife.
As soon as they arrived in Rio de Janeiro they presented themselves to the authorities who imprisoned them
immediately in the prison in the Ilha das Cobras. They prepared their defense and they destroyed their adversaries in court. They got
a unanimous absolution on September 6, 1828. Their names were cleared and vindicated.
The Andradas Continue Their Political Careers
When Martim Francisco was in prison he was invited to take a position as a government Minister. He did not accept
the offer and told them that first he had to get justice and prove his innocence. Also, when he was in prison in 1828 he was
elected deputado for the Minas Gerais province. Later in 1838, Martim Francisco was elected
deputado for the São Paulo province. Antônio Carlos also was elected
deputado when he returned from exile in 1828 and resumed his political career in Brazil.
After the Andradas had been vindicated in Brazil, José Bonifácio stayed one more year in France before he returned
to Brazil. José Bonifácio left Bordeaux at the end of May 1829 to return to Rio de Janeiro. He arrived in Brazil on July 23,
1829. When José Bonifácio was in exile, the Province of Bahia elected him
deputado to represent them in Congress. José
Bonifácio returned to Congress as a Bahia representative only on June 22, 1831.
Martim Francisco and Antônio Carlos Appointed Ministers in 1840
After José Bonifácio’s death in 1838, his brothers Martim Francisco and Antônio Carlos continued their political
careers. The political situation was a mess in Brazil in April 1840. The Andrada brothers and other liberal leaders organized a
secret club to promote the emancipation of Dom Pedro II.
The Andradas began to organize public demonstrations in support of the emancipation of Dom Pedro II, and
engaged in debate using the press to get further public support. Disregarding the pleas from the leader of the government for
postponement, a joint session of Congress invested Dom Pedro with imperial authority on July 23, 1840. The young Prince
was fourteen years old. He took the oath to uphold the Constitution and from then on he was Emperor Pedro II.
Unlike his father, Dom Pedro II had been born and educated in Brazil. His tutors, starting with José Bonifácio,
exposed him to heavy doses of Enlightenment thought. During his later years in power some political commentators referred to
Dom Pedro II’s government as the best republican government in the Americas.
When the Emperor Dom Pedro II formed his first cabinet of ministers in 1840, he rewarded the Andrada brothers by
appointing Antônio Carlos as the Prime Minister, and Martim Francisco as the Finance Minister.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva’s Noble Ancestry
According to historian Afrânio Peixoto (1876-1947) in his study of José Bonifácio’s genealogical family tree, he
found out that José Bonifácio’s great-grandfather was a younger brother of Dom Joäo IV, O Restaurador (The Restorer). Dom
Joäo IV was the King of Portugal from 1640 to 1656 and he was credited with restoring the liberty of the Portuguese people
from Spanish rule.
It was during the reign of Dom João l that the Portuguese aristocracy began to be officially ranked by the categories
and titles typical of the French and English nobility. João l was fortunate in possessing the qualities of a successful prince
and in having ministers and a family of the highest quality. He was himself a cultured and learned man, prudent almost to a
fault, and astute in his political dealings.
João I’s English queen, Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John the Gaunt, was a most exemplary princess, both as a
wife and a queen. Their five sons were the most talented and imaginative generation of heirs in Portuguese history.
The Bragança Dynasty
The first dukedom in Portuguese aristocratic history had been created by the crown during the reign of D. João I
(1384-1433), and given to his son Afonso who became the first Duke of Bragança.
In 1578, the young ruler of Portugal Sebastião I died in battle creating a crisis of succession for the Portuguese
crown. The late king’s sixty-six year old great-uncle Cardinal D. Henrique, was left regent but lived only a year and a half,
ending the rule of the Aviz dynasty. The strongest claimant to the throne was Felipe II of Spain, for he was the uncle of
Sebastião and his first wife had been a Portuguese princess.
Then for a period of 60 years, Portugal was ruled from Spain by the Hapsburg dynasty from 1580 to 1640.
In 1637 an economic crisis was under way in Portugal, followed by a revolt in 1640. At that time, the leading
descendant of the Portuguese royal family, Dom João, eighth Duke of Bragança, was acclaimed as a national leader. Grandson of a
daughter of Dom João III (1521-1557), and the greatest landholder in Portugal, with 80,000 peasants on his Alentejo estates, João
of Bragança was the natural leader of Portuguese society. He was born on March 19, 1604 in Portugal, and he died on
November 6, 1656.
On December 1, 1640 Dom João of Bragança was acclaimed king of Portugal as Dom João IV, and he restored the
Portuguese monarchy. This is why he is also named Dom João IV, The Restorer, and he ruled Portugal from 1640 to 1656.
He was the first king of the Bragança dynasty, a dynasty which ruled Portugal until 1910, and also ruled Brazil from
1822 to 1889.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva and his
Aviz, Bragança and Lancaster Dynasty Ancestry
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva was a great/great-grandson of the 7th Duke of Bragança, and his
great-grandfather was a younger brother of the 8th Duke of Bragança who became in 1640, Dom João IV king of Portugal.
José Bonifácio’s great-grandfather also was a great-grandson of Dom João III (1521-1557), a Portuguese king from the Aviz dynasty. Dom João III ruled Portugal at the height of Portuguese power.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva and his brothers Martim Francisco and Antonio Carlos were descendants of the
Aviz Dynasty. The Andrada brothers were the 6th generation direct descendants of Dom João III.
On the Bragança side they were direct descendants of the 7th Duke of Bragança, and going back many generations
they also were descendants of D. João I of the Aviz Dynasty, and of his British queen of the Lancaster Dynasty.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Younger)
My grandmother’s grandfather was a son of Martim Francisco, and grandson of José Bonifácio, The Patriarch. He
also was a nephew of The Patriarch, because his father Martim Francisco had married his niece, a daughter of The Patriarch.
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Younger) was born on November 8, 1827, in France during exile. He was
named José Bonifácio in honor of his famous grandfather.
José Bonifácio (The Younger) had such prestige in literary circles that critics compared him with the best writers of
the time. The highest literary honor in Brazil is to become a member of the Brazilian Academy of letters. The Academy has
only 40 chairs and when a member is elected to one of these chairs he holds that honor to the end of his life. Each chair has a
patron and the chair is named in his honor. The patron of chair number 22 at the Brazilian Academy of Letters is my
great/great grandfather: José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (The Younger).
José Bonifácio was elected deputado on June 14, 1861. He was appointed Minister of the Navy on June 29, 1862. He
stayed in that position until a new Ministry was formed by the government on May 12, 1865. Later he spent another period as a
government Minister. After that on December 9, 1878 he was elected Senator representing the State of São Paulo. When he died of a
heart attack on October 25, 1886 he was still a Senator.
My grandmother’s maiden name was Sylvia Andrada de Souza Queiroz. When I was young, I used to spend my
weekends in my grandmother’s house, and sometimes stayed with her on my vacation for weeks at a time. My grandmother
reminds me of a sophisticated French or Italian baroness. She was very proper all the time, and she did not like jokes or language
which was not proper for a lady.
She always wore gray, navy blue or black skirts, and white, black or lilac color silk and linen blouses. First thing in
the morning and she was completely dressed up and her hair was done. She always looked like she was going out to some
special function. It did not matter the time of day or day of the week, my grandmother was always impeccably dressed. Since I
was a little kid, I never even once saw my grandmother casually dressed. She died at age 95, she had a very nice life since
she was very wealthy and never had to work for a living her entire life. She was the last link to an age long gone.
The Andrada brothers have streets, avenues, squares, and monuments named in their honor all over Brazil. The
Andrada family became very influential in Brazilian politics since 1821. Even after the three brothers’ death, over 22 of their
descendants had illustrious political careers and became
deputados, senators and ministers in Brazil.
Ricardo C. Amaral is an author and economist and can be reached at