Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen

Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen

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Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, Viscount of Porto Seguro
Porto Seguro
Porto Seguro is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Bahia. It is the site where the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral first set foot on Brazilian soil on April 22, 1500...

(February 17, 1816 — June 26, 1878) was a Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

, diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

. He is the patron of the 39th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters
Academia Brasileira de Letras
Academia Brasileira de Letras is a Brazilian literary non-profit society established at the end of the 19th century by a group of 40 writers and poets inspired by the Académie Française. The first president, Machado de Assis, declared its foundation on December 15, 1896, with the statutes being...

.

Life


Varnhagen was born in 1816 in a settlement of São Joao do Ipanema (current Varnhagen) that was part of Sorocaba
Sorocaba
Sorocaba is a city in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Sorocaba is the fourth largest city in the state of São Paulo. Outside the Greater São Paulo region, it ranks behind only Campinas, Sao Jose dos Campos and Ribeirão Preto...

 and nowadays belongs to the city of Iperó
Iperó
Iperó is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. Its latitude is 23.35/23°28'14" S and the longitude is 46.69/47°44'05" W. The population in 2004 was 22,390 and the area is 171.44 km². The elevation is 590 m...

, Brazil. He was son of Maria Flávia de Sá Magalhães and Friedrich Ludwig Wilhelm Varnhagen, a German-born military engineer. He received his primary education in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

. At an early age, he was sent to Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, where he studied at the Colégio Militar
Colégio Militar
Colégio Militar is a military school in Lisbon, Portugal. It was founded by General António Teixeira Rebelo in 1803. Its initial location was S. Julião da Barra Fort, in Oeiras...

, and in the future, he would serve as a volunteer in the 1831-1834 Portuguese Liberal Wars
Liberal Wars
The Liberal Wars, also known as the Portuguese Civil War, the War of the Two Brothers, or Miguelite War, was a war between progressive constitutionalists and authoritarian absolutists in Portugal over royal succession that lasted from 1828 to 1834...

.

His first History
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 work would be Notícia do Brasil, written between 1835 and 1838. His research would lead him to find Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

's long-lost grave at the Igreja da Graça, in Santarém
Santarém
-In Portugal:* Santarém District, a district in Portugal* Santarém Municipality, a municipality in that district* Santarém, Portugal the seat of the above district* Roman Catholic Diocese of Santarém, Portugal-Other:* Santarém cheese, a Portuguese goat cheese...

. He was admitted at the Sciences Academy of Lisbon
Sciences Academy of Lisbon
The Sciences Academy of Lisbon ' was created in 1779 in Lisbon, Portugal, as an institution dedicated to the advancement of science and learning with the goal of promoting academic progress and prosperity to the country...

 and graduated in military engineering at the Academia Real de Fortificação, Artilharia e Desenho.

He returned to Brazil in 1840, entering at the Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute
Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute
The Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute , founded October 21, 1838, is the oldest and traditional authority to promote research and preservation of historical and geographical, cultural and social sciences in Brazil....

 in 1841. In 1844 he obtained Brazilian citizenship, and could apply to a diplomatic career. He would serve in Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, the Republic of New Granada
Republic of New Granada
The Republic of New Granada was a centralist republic consisting primarily of present-day Colombia and Panama with smaller portions of today's Ecuador, and Venezuela. It was created after the dissolution in 1830 of Gran Colombia. It was later abolished in 1858 when the Granadine Confederation was...

 (nowadays Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

), Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 (where he met his wife, Carmen Ovalle, marrying her in 1864), Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. He would publish his masterpiece
Masterpiece
Masterpiece in modern usage refers to a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship....

, História Geral do Brasil, in 1854. Its second volume was published in 1857.

In 1872, Emperor Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

 would give him the title of Baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

 of Porto Seguro
Porto Seguro
Porto Seguro is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Bahia. It is the site where the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral first set foot on Brazilian soil on April 22, 1500...

, being elevated to Viscount
Viscount
A viscount or viscountess is a member of the European nobility whose comital title ranks usually, as in the British peerage, above a baron, below an earl or a count .-Etymology:...

 two years later. His final diplomatic service was in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, where he was serving as a minister when he died in 1878.

His remains were transported to Santiago
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, but would be years later removed to a monument erected in honor of him at the city of Sorocaba
Sorocaba
Sorocaba is a city in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Sorocaba is the fourth largest city in the state of São Paulo. Outside the Greater São Paulo region, it ranks behind only Campinas, Sao Jose dos Campos and Ribeirão Preto...

. Part of his library was acquired by bibliophile José Mindlin
José Mindlin
José Ephim Mindlin was a Brazilian lawyer, businessperson and bibliophile, born to Ukrainian Jewish parents. He was the owner of the largest private library in Latin America, with more than 38,000 titles. A large number of the collection was donated to the University of São Paulo in May 2006,...

.

Works

  • Notícia do Brasil (1835–1838)
  • Épicos Brasileiros (1843)
  • Amador Bueno (1847)
  • Trovas e Cantares de um Códice do Século XVI (1849)
  • Florilégio da Poesia Brasileira (1850)
  • História Geral do Brasil (1854–1857)
  • Sumé (1855)

External links