People that made our history


Get to know more about the people that made Bahia’s history, such as Antônio Conselheiro, Castro Alves,  Coronel Horácio de Matos, Cuíca de Santo Amaro, Joana Angélica, Lampião and Maria Bonita, Maria Quitéria, Padre Antônio Vieira and Ruy Barbosa.


Castro Alves


Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves was born on March 14th, 1847, in Curralinho, Bahia. In 1862 he went to Recife to study law. There, besides starting his affair with the Portuguese actress Eugênia Câmara, he also noticed the first symptoms of the tuberculosis that would eventually kill him. In 1864, he entered Law School but dedicated more time to poetry than to his studies.

During this period he met Tobias Barreto, who he admired and whose liberal ideas he started to follow. In 1867, he left Recife for good and went back to Salvador, where his play “Gonzaga” was staged. In 1868 he went to São Paulo with Eugênia Câmara and his friend Ruy Barbosa, with whom he founded an abolitionist society, and enrolled in Largo do São Francisco Law School, where he read his poem Navio Negreiro  for the first time. After been abandoned by his lover, he accidentally shot his foot and suffered an amputation. After that his tuberculosis got worse and he went back to Bahia, where he died on July 6th, 1871. 

The work of Castro Alves, the poet of the slaves, was strongly influenced by Victor Hugo’s political-social literature. The poet cultivated the egocentrism, but differently from the traditional romantic poet, he was also interested in the world around him and defended the republic, freedom and social equality. According to Jorge Amado, Castro Alves had many loves but the greatest one of all was freedom. His work is basically composed by Espumas Flutuantes (1870); Gonzaga or Revolução de Minas (1875); A Cachoeira de Paulo Afonso (1876); Vozes d’África and Navio Negreiro (1880) and Os Escravos (1883).

Joana Angélica


Hero of Bahia’s Independence, Joana Angélica was born in Salvador. She’s considered Brazil’s first martyr as she sacrificed her own life to defend the cloister of Lapa Convent from the Portuguese army. Born to a wealthy family, Joana Angélica opted for the monastic life when she was 20 (1782). After being a novice she became abbess of Lapa Convent. With the rebellion of the Brazilian soldiers against the assignment of the Portuguese brigadier Madeira de Melo to be commander in chief of the province, Portuguese soldiers, under the pretext of having rebels hidden in the convent, knocked down the door with axes.

Joana Angélica stood up against the Portuguese soldiers and was shot. She became then the first martyr of the great fight that continued until the definitive independence of Bahia, in 1823.

Ruy Barbosa


Ruy Barbosa was an important Brazilian politician, diplomat and lawyer. He was born in Salvador, on November 5th, 1849. He supported the republican movement and had a big participation in the republic proclamation process, which occurred on November 15th, 1889. Ruy Barbosa became the first Minister of Finance of the Brazilian Republic.

He had a high level education and was an excellent public speaker. He was Brazil’s ambassador in Haia Conference (1907), representing Brazil with great merit. Due to this brilliant participation, he was nicknamed “The eagle of Haia”. Ruy Barbosa was also an outstanding writer. Among his most important works, we can mention: O Papa e o Concílio, Habeas Corpus and Cartas de Inglaterra.

He ran for president in 1910 and again in 1914, but was not elected. He died in Petrópolis, in Rio de Janeiro on March 1°, 1923
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