History of the Foundation of Paraíba and João Pessoa

Entry of the Paraíba River into Brazil in 1671
This is the entrance of the Paraíba River in Brazil with a beautiful view of Margareta Castle on the Brazilian coast.

ABefore Cabral's arrival in Brazil, the coast of Paraíba was populated by the Tabajaras and Potiguaras Indians.

Most of the territory of present-day Paraíba was part of the Captaincy of Itamaracá, donated to Pero Lopes de Sousa in 1534.

But effective colonization began in 1581, during the Iberian Union, with a village on Camboa Island, on the banks of the Paraíba River, which was destroyed by French pirates. At that time, the pau-brasil trade in the region was already intense.

In 1585, aiming to combat pirates, the Portuguese João Tavares built, at the mouth of the Paraíba River, the Fort San Felipe, honoring King Felipe II of Spain, who also ruled Portugal and its domains, as Felipe I.

Further into Rio, the city of Filipéia (currently João Pessoa). 

Albernaz called Forte do Cabedelo and recorded that there was a city in 1640 (currently João Pessoa).

The city was renamed Paraíba, after the expulsion of the Dutch in 1654. The region developed at the end of the 16th century with the cultivation of sugar cane.

In 1634, the current territory of Paraíba, as well as much of the Northeast, was conquered by the Dutch.

In 1638, a Portuguese-Spanish fleet left Lisbon, heading for Brazil. An epidemic, which wiped out about a third of the crew, forced the fleet to stay in Cape Verde for a few months.

Entry of the Paraíba River into Brazil in 1671
Montanus' work was perhaps the greatest illustrated book on the New World produced in the XNUMXth century. It contained over a hundred beautifully engraved plaques, views, and maps of North and South America. The plaques vividly depict forts, festivals, occupations, Dutch fleets, battles, religious rites and customs of the native inhabitants. This important work has been translated into German by Olivier Dapper and into English by John Ogilby. Several of the plates were later acquired by Pierre Vander Aa. This is the entrance to the Paraíba River in Brazil with a beautiful view of Margareta Castle on the Brazilian coast. The bustling scene is filled with fishermen, herdsmen and traders loading their carts.

in January 1640, the naval battle of Paraíba took place, between the Dutch and the Portuguese-Spanish fleet, which was not decisive. In 1654, the Dutch were expelled by Portuguese forces commanded by André Vidal de Negreiros.

In 1684, Paraíba was elevated to the category of captaincy.

In 1753, returned to be subordinated to the Captaincy of Pernambuco, becoming separated again, in 1799.

Paraíba actively participated in the Pernambuco RevolutionOf 1817.

In 1821, with Brazil under the Portuguese Parliamentary Monarchy, commanded by the Constituent Courts of Lisbon, Paraíba elected a Provisional Government Board, on October 25, presided over by the Portuguese João de Araújo da Cruz. On July 18, 1822, Father Galdino da Costa Vilar assumed the presidency of the Government Board.

On October 8, 1822, the people of Paraíba declared themselves disconnected from Portugal and, on November 28, they acclaimed the Prince Regent.

The option of the Paraíba people for the central government of Rio de Janeiro was not without resistance.

As an example, Lieutenant Colonel de Cavalaria Antonio José Gomes Loureiro, did not adhere to the cause of Independence and was expelled from his post in Paraíba.

Loureiro went to Salvador and wanted to embark for Portugal, but was forbidden by General Madeira. He managed to board, as a passenger, the merchant schooner Marianna, but was captured in Caravelas, by Brazilian troops and five crew members of the Schooner were killed in the clash.

In 1824, Paraíba participated in the Confederation of Ecuador. With the Proclamation of the Republic, it became a State.

In 1930, the president of the state, João Pessoa, was assassinated. He was a candidate for Vice President of the Republic, on the ticket with Getúlio Vargas.

This fact was one of the reasons for the movement of 1930, which resulted in the Getúlio Vargas' coup d'état. That year, the capital of Paraíba was renamed João Pessoa.

Background of the Conquest of Paraíba

It took some time for Portugal to begin to economically explore Brazil, since the Lusitanian interests were focused on the spice trade in the Indies, and besides, there was no wealth on the Brazilian coast that attracted as much attention as the gold, found in the Spanish colonies, ore that had made a very powerful nation at the time.

Due to Portuguese lack of interest, pirates and corsairs began to extract pau-brasil, a wood widely found in colonial Brazil, and especially due to the extraction of a pigment, used to dye fabrics in Europe.

These invaders were mostly French, and as soon as they arrived in Brazil, they made friendships with the Indians, enabling a commercial relationship known as “barter” between them, in which indigenous labor was exchanged for some worthless manufacture.

The Portuguese, concerned with the increase in the trade of the colony invaders, began to send expeditions to prevent the smuggling of pau-brasil, however, when arriving in Brazil these expeditions were always repelled by the French supported by the Indians.

With the failure of the expeditions, the King of Portugal decided to create the system of hereditary captaincies. In order to populate it, the Portuguese colony was divided into 15 captaincies, for twelve grantees.

Recens Elaborata Mappa Geographica Regni Brasiliae in America Meridionali, Maxime Celebris Accuratae Delineata, Seutter, Matthias - 1730
Recens Elaborata Mappa Geographica Regni Brasiliae in America Meridionali, Maxime Celebris Accuratae Delineata, Seutter, Matthias – 1730

Among them, we highlight the Itamaracá Captaincy, which extended from the Santa Cruz River to the Baía da Traição.

Captaincy of Itamaracá, Brazil - Horatius - Andreas Antonius - 1698
This wonderful map of the Brazilian province of Itamaraca, with part of Paraíba, was one of 23 maps in this rare account of the Portuguese-Dutch colonial war. Written by João José de Santa Teresa, and known among bibliophiles as Santa Teresa, it is considered one of the most sumptuous works of the XNUMXth century on Brazil. Saint Teresa, a Portuguese Carmelite, spent twelve years in the Jesuit missions in South America and then returned to Europe, where she became librarian at the Jesuit College in Rome. His account was heavily subsidized by Pedro II of Portugal, and some of the leading artists and engravers of the period, including Antonio Horacio Andreas, were hired to work on the project. It was published by Giacomo Giovanni Rossi. The map itself is beautifully drawn and offers an excellent overview of the region with carefully delineated rivers and streams, the location of villages, missions and forts recorded, roads and trails shown and even navigational hazards shown along the coast. The elaborate sea ornaments flank the beautiful compass rose and are among the most decorative elements found in the cartography. A pair of water sprites hold the Portuguese coat of arms aloft and sea monsters support the distance scale card.

Initially this captaincy was donated to Pedro Lopes de Souza, who could not take over, coming in his place the administrator Francisco Braga, who due to a rivalry with Duarte Coelho, left the captaincy in bankruptcy, giving way to João Gonçalves, who carried out some improvements in the captaincy as the foundation of Vila da Conceição and the construction of mills.

After the death of João Gonçalves, the captaincy went into decline, being at the mercy of malefactors and providing the continuity of wood smuggling.

With the tragedy of Tacunhaém, in 1534 the king of Portugal dismembered Itamaracá, giving formation to the Captaincy of the River Paraíba.

Tacunhaém tragedy

It was a tragedy in which Indians killed all the residents of a mill.

There was a great concern on the part of the Lusitanians to conquer the captaincy that is currently Paraíba, as there was a guarantee of the progress of the Pernambuco captaincy, the broken alliance between Potiguaras and the French, and also, to extend their colonization to the north. 

History of the Conquest and Foundation of Paraíba

1. Expeditions for Conquest

When the Governor General (D. Luís de Brito) received the order to separate Itamaracá, he also received from the King of Portugal the order to punish the Indians responsible for the massacre, expel the French and found a city.

Thus began the five expeditions for the conquest of Paraíba. For this, King D. Sebastião first sent the General Ombudsman D. Fernão da Silva.

I Expedition (1574)

The commander of this expedition was the General Ombudsman D. Fernão da Silva. Upon arriving in Brazil, Fernão took possession of the lands in the name of the king without any resistance, but this was just a trap.

His troops were surprised by indigenous people and had to retreat to Pernambuco.

II Expedition (1575) 

Who commanded the second expedition was the Governor General, D. Luís de Brito. Their expedition was hampered by unfavorable winds and they did not even reach the lands of Paraíba.

Three years later another Governor General (Lourenço Veiga), tries to conquer the Paraíba River, without success.

III Expedition (1579)

Frutuoso Barbosa imposed the condition that if he conquered Paraíba, he would rule it for ten years.

This idea only brought him losses, since when he was coming to Paraíba, a strong storm fell on his fleet and in addition to having to retreat to Portugal, he lost his wife.

IV Expedition (1582)

With the same proposal imposed by him on the previous expedition, Frutuoso Barbosa returns determined to conquer Paraíba, but falls into the trap of the Indians and the French.

Barbosa gives up after losing a son in combat.

V Expedition (1584)

This one had the presence of Flores Valdez, Felipe de Moura and the insistent Frutuoso Barbosa, who finally managed to expel the French and conquer Paraíba.

After the conquest, they built the forts of São Tiago and São Felipe.

2. Conquest of Paraíba

For the days, the General Ombudsman Martim Leitão formed a troop consisting of whites, Indians, slaves and even religious. When they arrived here, they encountered Indians who, without defense, flee and are imprisoned.

Capitaniarum de Phernambuca, Itamaraca, Paraiba, et Rio Grande Nova Delineatio, 1650
Capitaniarum de Phernambuca, Itamaraca, Paraiba, et Rio Grande Nova Delineatio, 1650

Upon learning that they were Tabajaras Indians, Martim Leitão orders them to be released, stating that his fight was against the Potiguaras (rivals of the Tabajaras).

After the incident, Leitão sought to form an alliance with the Tabajaras, who, fearing another betrayal, rejected her.

After some time Leitão and his troops finally arrived at the forts (São Felipe and São Tiago), both in decay and misery due to intrigues between the Spanish and Portuguese.

With that, Martim Leitão appointed another Portuguese, known as Castrejon, to the position of Frutuoso Barbosa, an exchange only made the situation worse.

Upon learning that Castrejon had abandoned, destroyed the Fort and thrown all his artillery overboard, Leitão arrested him and sent him back to Spain.

When no one expected it, the Portuguese joined the Tabajaras, causing the Potiguaras to retreat. This was in early August 1585.

The conquest of Paraíba took place at the end of it all through the union of a Portuguese and an indigenous chief called Piragibe, a word that means Arm of Fish.

Map Province of Paraiba - 1698 - Horatius - Andreas Antonius
This impressive map covers the province of Paraíba and illustrates its important rivers and thriving sugar plantations. It was one of 23 maps in this rare account of the Portuguese-Dutch colonial war. Written by João José de Santa Teresa, and known among bibliophiles as Santa Teresa, it is considered one of the most sumptuous works of the XNUMXth century on Brazil, in part for its incredible maps. Saint Teresa, a Portuguese Carmelite, spent twelve years in the Jesuit missions in South America and then returned to Europe, where she became librarian at the Jesuit College in Rome. His account was heavily subsidized by Pedro II of Portugal, and some of the leading artists and engravers of the period, including Antonio Horacio Andreas, were hired to work on the project. It was published by Giacomo Giovanni Rossi. The map itself is beautifully drawn and offers an excellent view of the region with carefully delineated bays, rivers and streams. There are numerous settlements and churches located, as well as a network of early roads. A large compass rose orients the map with north on the right. The map is elaborately adorned with putti supporting the ribbon-style title card and royal coat of arms, and sea monsters supporting the shell-shaped distance scale card.

3. History of the Foundation of Paraíba

Martim Leitão brought bricklayers, carpenters, engineers and others to build the City of Our Lady of the Snows. With the beginning of the works, Leitão went to Baía da Traição to expel the rest of the French who remained in Paraíba.

Praefecturae of Paraiba et Rio Grande - Blaeu Johannes - 1662
Magnificent map of the Brazilian coast, including the captaincies of Paraíba and Rio Grande. The map was drawn after actual surveys by Georg Markgraf, Elias Herckmanns and others, and was among the first maps of Brazil based on non-Portuguese data. The map is richly engraved with a huge scene of a procession of Tupinambá Indians carrying a Dutch flag, part of a sugar mill and three great sea battles depicted at sea. Also adorned with coats of arms, a compass rose and a card of titles in strips. The series of maps of the captaincies of Brazil is unlike any other map in Blaeu's atlas. Blaeu first issued this and its accompanying maps in 1647 for Gaspar Barleus's Rerum per octênio in Brasília.

Leitão appointed João Tavares to be the captain of the Fort. Paraíba was the third city to be founded in Brazil and the last of the XNUMXth century.

4. History of the Foundation of João Pessoa

Paraíba means bad river, bad port, or corrupted sea. Varnhagen also indicates the translation of rio mau and Teodoro Sampaio, that of rio impracticável.

The exact meaning would be an arm of the sea, as the first geographers who studied the river took it for an arm of the sea, and it is likely that the Indians would have considered it that way.

The entire region of São Domingos (first name given to Paraíba) was inhabited by Tabajara Indians, courted by the French who explored the brazilwood and tried to keep them hostile to explorers of other nationalities. 

In 1574, the Indians participated in the attack on the Diogo Dias mill, in the Captaincy of Itamaracá.

Portugal feared that the French would settle there permanently and ordered the construction of forts at the mouth of the river, by the Portuguese who suffered several defeats.

In early 1585, Martim Leitão, Ouvidor Geral da Bahia, arrived in the region, leading an expedition that was supposed to restore the forts on the bar and dislodge the French from various positions.

That same year, the Portuguese created the Fort of Varadouro, on the banks of the Sanhauá River, a small tributary of the Paraíba River, and founded the village.

In honor of the saint of the day, the place received the name of Nossa Senhora das Neves, until today the patron saint of the city.

In honor of the King of Spain, who dominated Portugal, the city was named Felipéia. Several families arrived, led by the General Auditor Martim Leitão, who arranged for the construction of forts, churches and houses.

Fights with the Indians continued for years, sometimes against the Tapuias, who lived in the interior, sometimes against the Potiguares, who inhabited the north.

The city developed slowly and Duarte Gomes da Silveira – companion of Martim Leitão, on one of his expeditions, would settle there.

In order to encourage the city's progress, Silveira instituted prizes to reward inhabitants who built houses and founded, in 1639, Morgado Salvador do Mundo, as part of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia da Paraíba heritage.

In the 1630s, it had about 1.500 inhabitants and 18 sugar mills operated in its vicinity.

With the approach of the Dutch forces, the people abandoned the city after setting fire to the most important buildings.

The village was occupied by the Dutch, after attacks on the barracks forts, defended by troops stationed in Cabedelo.

Commanded by the Dutch colonel Segismund Von Schkoppe, 2.500 men invaded the city that received the name of Frederikstadt (Fredericia). The people of Paraiba resisted, commanded by André Vidal de Negreiros, organizer of the reaction movement and, in 1654, the Dutch were expelled.

In the XNUMXth century, new churches marked the expansion of the village, among them the majestic baroque complex formed by the church of São Francisco and the Convent of Santo Antônio.

The capital was called Paraíba do Norte until 1930, when it changed its name to João Pessoa, in homage to the President of the State, assassinated in Recife, during a political campaign.

His death was one of the immediate causes of the 1930 Revolution. João Pessoa's urban modernization began in the mid-1920th century and reached its peak in the 1970th century, from XNUMX to XNUMX, with urban alterations and road works that changed the face of the city. initial core of the city. 

João Pessoa was founded by Portuguese settlers under the name of Royal City of Our Lady of the Snows, on August 5, 1585.

Foundation of the Capital of Paraíba - João Pessoa

started to be called Filipeia of Our Lady of the Snows, in 1588, in honor of King Philip of Spain and Portugal. During the Dutch invasion in 1634, it became Frederickstad or Frederick.

From 1654, its name has been changed to North Parahyba

the denomination of João Pessoa was approved in September 1930 (Correio da Manhã, September 7, 1930, in the sixth column, under the title “…e do Senado“) as a tribute to the homonymous politician from Paraíba, murdered on July 26, 1930, at Confeitaria Glória, in Recife, by João Duarte Dantas (1888). – 1930), when he was governor of Paraíba and candidate for vice president on the ticket of Getúlio Vargas. 

The assassination of João Pessoa (1878 – 1930) caused great popular commotion and was considered the trigger for the Revolution of 30, which deposed President Washington Luís and brought Getúlio Vargas to power.

5. First Villages of Paraíba in the Colonial Period

With colonization, villages appeared in Paraíba. Below we have some information about the first villages in Paraíba.

- Cornerstone

The beginning of its settlement took place at the end of the 5th century, when cattle ranches were found by the Dutch. Today a city without much prominence in Paraíba, it was elevated to the village on January 1765, XNUMX.

Pilar originated from the Mission of Father Martim Nantes in that region.

Pilar was elevated to municipality in 1985, when sugarcane cultivation became the main activity in the region.

– Sousa

Today the sixth most populous city in the state and owner of one of the most important archaeological sites in the country (Vale dos Dinossauros), Sousa was a village known as “Jardim do Rio do Peixe”.

The land in the region was very fertile, which quickly accelerated the process of settlement and progress of the place. In 1730, approximately 1468 people lived in the valley.

Sousa was elevated to the village with its current name in honor of its benefactor, Bento Freire de Sousa, on July 22, 1766.

His political emancipation took place on July 10, 1854.

– Campina Grande

Its colonization began in 1697. Captain-General Teodósio de Oliveira Ledo installed a village in the region.

The indigenous people formed a village. Around this village a fair appeared in the streets where peasants passed. It can be seen then that the commercial characteristics of Campina Grande were born from its origin. Campina was elevated to a parish in 1769, under the invocation of Nossa Senhora da Conceição.

Its elevation to the village with the name of Vila Nova da Rainha took place on April 20, 1790.

Today Campina Grande It is the largest city in the interior of the Northeast.

– Sao Joao do Cariri

Having been inhabited in the mid-22th century by the huge Cariri family that inhabited the São João site, among others, this city, which currently does not stand out much at the state level, was elevated to a village on March 1800, XNUMX.

São João do Cariri had its political emancipation dated November 15, 1831.

– Dovecote

At the end of the XNUMXth century, Teodósio de Oliveira Ledo made an entrance through the Piranhas River. In this he won the confrontation with the Pegas Indians and founded a village there that was initially named after the river (Piranhas). Due to its access entrance, it didn't take long until they started to call the place Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso, in honor of a saint.

In 1721, the Igreja do Rosário was built on the site, in honor of the patron saint of the city, considered a relic of history today.

Under a Royal Charter dated June 22, 1766, the municipality was renamed Pombal, in honor of the famous Marquis of Pombal.

It was raised to the status of village on May 3/4, 1772, the date today considered to be also the date of the creation of the municipality.

- Sand

Formerly known by the name of Bruxaxá, Areia was elevated to the parish with the name of Nossa Senhora da Conceição by the Royal Charter of May 18, 1815.

This date is also considered as the date of his elevation to the village. His political emancipation took place on May 18, 1846, by creation law number 2.

Today, Areia stands out as one of the main cities in the interior of Paraíba, mainly because it has a very attractive historical past.

6. First Capitães-Mores of Paraíba

– Joao Tavares

João Tavares was the first captain-major, who ruled the Captaincy of Paraíba from 1585 to 1588. João Tavares was commissioned by the General Ombudsman, Martim Leitão, to build a new city.

For the construction of this city, 25 knights came, in addition to masons and carpenters, among other workers of the genre.

Jesuits and other people also arrived to reside in the city.

The first mill was founded by João Tavares, d'El-Rei, in Tibiri, and the fort of São Sebastião, built by Martim Leitão to protect the mill.

The Jesuits were responsible for the catechization of the Indians. They also founded a Catechesis Center and in Passeio Geral they built the chapel of São Gonçalo.

The government of João Tavares was greatly helped by Duarte Gomes da Silveira, a native of Olinda.

Silveira was a plantation owner and a major figure in the Captaincy of Paraíba for over 50 years. Rich, he helped financially in the rise of the city. In his residence is currently located the Colégio Nossa Senhora das Neves.

Despite having worked hard for the progress of the captaincy, João Tavares was expelled in 1588, due to the King's policy.

– Frutuoso Barbosa

Due to great insistence before the court and for defending some rights, Frutuoso Barbosa was, in 1588, appointed the new captain-major of the Captaincy of Paraíba, aided by D. Pedro Cueva, who was in charge of controlling the military part of the captaincy.

In this same period, some Franciscan Friars arrived, who founded several villages and because they were not as rigorous in religious teaching as the Jesuits, they had a disagreement with the latter.

This misunderstanding harmed the government of Barbosa, because taking advantage of some carelessness, the Potiguara Indians invaded properties. The captain-major of Itamaracá came to Barbosa's aid, with João Tavares, Piragibe and their Indians.

On the way, João Tavares died of a sudden illness. When the rest of the group arrived in Paraíba, he dislodged and arrested the Potiguaras.

In order to prevent the entry of the French, Barbosa ordered the construction of a fortress in Cabedelo.

Piragibe started the construction of the fort with the Tabajaras, however, due to interference from the Jesuits, the works were completed by the Franciscans and their men.

In honor of Felipe II of Spain, Barbosa changed the name of the city from Nossa Senhora das Neves to Felipéia de Nossa Senhora das Neves.

Due to the endless struggles between Captain Pedro Cueva and the Potiguaras and the disagreements with the Jesuits, Cueva left and Barbosa decided to end his government in 1591.

– André de Albuquerque Maranhão

André de Albuquerque ruled for only one year. In it, he expelled the Potiguaras and carried out some fortifications. Among them, the construction of the Inhobin Fort to defend some mills near this river.

Still in that government, the Potiguaras burned the Cabedelo Fort. Albuquerque's government ended in 1592.

– Feliciano Coelho de Carvalho

During his government, he fought in Capaoba, there was peace with the Indians, he expanded roads and expelled the Franciscans. He ended his rule in 1600.

Religious Orders of the Captaincy of Paraíba and Its Monasteries

1. Jesuits

The Jesuits were the first missionaries who arrived at the Captaincy of Paraíba, following all its colonization struggles.

At the behest of Frutuoso Barbosa, the Jesuits set about building a college in Felipéia. However, due to disagreements with the Franciscans, who did not use such strict methods of education as the Jesuits, the idea was stopped.

Taking advantage of these disagreements, the king, who was unhappy with the Jesuits for not allowing the enslavement of the Indians, blamed the Jesuits for their rivalry with the Franciscans and expelled them from the captaincy.

One hundred and fifteen years later, the Jesuits returned to Paraíba, founding a college where they taught Latin, philosophy and letters.

After some time, they founded a Seminary next to the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Currently, this area corresponds to the Palácio do Governo garden. In 1728, the Jesuits were again expelled.

In 1773, the General Ombudsman took up residence in the seminary where the Jesuits lived, with the permission of Pope Clementine XIV.

The Franciscans In response to Frutuoso Barbosa, the Franciscan priests arrived, with the aim of catechizing the Indians.

Frei Antônio do Campo Maior arrived with the aim of founding the captaincy's first convent. His work was concentrated in several villages, which made him important.

During the government of Feliciano Coelho, some disagreements began, as the Franciscans, as well as the Jesuits, did not enslave the Indians. It happened that after some disagreements between the Franciscans, Feliciano and the governor general, Feliciano ended up settling with the friars.

The Franciscans' church and convent were built on a very large site, where São Francisco Square is currently located.

2. Benedictines

The superior general of the Benedictines was interested in founding a convent in the Captaincy of Paraíba.

The governor of the captaincy received the abbot and talked with him about the foundation. He decided to donate a site, which would be the order of the superior general of the Benedictines. The condition imposed by the governor was that the convent be built within 2 years.

The monastery was not built in two years, even so, Feliciano kept the donation of the site.

The church of São Bento is currently located on Rua Ninth, where there is still a blade weathervane, built in 1753.

The Carmelite Missionaries The Carmelites came to Paraíba at the request of Cardinal Henrique, in 1580.

But due to an incident on arrival that took the missionaries in different directions, the arrival of the Carmelites took eight years. The Carmelites arrived in Paraíba when Brazil was under Spanish rule.

The Carmelites arrived, founded a convent and began missionary work. The history of the Carmelites here is incomplete, as several historical documents were lost in the Dutch invasions.

Friar Manuel de Santa Teresa restored the convent after the French revolution, but soon after it was demolished to serve as a residence for the first bishop of Paraíba, D. Adauto de Miranda Henriques. The Carmelite Church was founded by the Carmelites.

Indigenous People of Paraíba

In Paraíba there were two races of Indians, the Tupis and the Cariris (also called Tapuias).

The Tupis were divided into Tabajaras and Potiguaras, who were enemies.

At the time of the foundation of Paraíba, the Tabajaras formed a group of approximately 5 thousand people. They were peaceful and occupied the coast, where they founded the villages of Alhanda and Taquara.

The Potiguaras were more numerous than the Tabajaras and occupied a small region between the Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba. These Indians moved constantly, leaving villages behind and forming new ones. With this constant locomotion, the Indians occupied previously uninhabited areas.

The Cariris Indians were in greater numbers than the Tupis and occupied an area that extended from the Borborema Plateau to the limits of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco.

The Cariris were Indians who were said to have come from a large lake. Scholars believe they came from the Amazon or Lagoa Maracaibo, Venezuela.

The old Kariri, who would have been civilized before the new Kariri, were divided into many tribes; anaconda, icós, ariu and magpies, and paiacú. Of these, the Tapuias Pegas became known in the fights against the bandeirantes.

The level of civilization of the Indian from Paraíba was considerable. Many could read and knew trades such as carpentry. These Indians treated the Jesuits and missionaries who paid attention to them well.

Most of the Indians were passing from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic period. The language they spoke was Tupi-Guarani, which was also used by the settlers to communicate with the Indians.

The Tupiguarani even deserved the creation of a grammar, prepared by Father José de Anchieta. Piragibe, who gave us peace in the conquest of Paraíba; Tabira, who fought against the French and Poti, who fought against the Dutch and was a hero in the battle of the Guararapes, are examples of Indians who stood out in Paraíba.

Even today, there are Potiguara indigenous tribes located in Baía da Traição, but in only one village, São Francisco, where there are no mixed race people, because the tribe does not accept the presence of caboclos, a term they used for people who did not belong to the tribe.

The chief of this village is called Djalma Domingos, who is also the mayor of Baía da Traição. Little by little, the village becomes civilized; an example of this is a telephone post installed in it a month ago. In these villages there are about 7.000 Potiguara Indians, who maintain their ancient cultures.

They have about 1.800 students from 7 to 14 years old in lower primary. In Brazil, there are only three Potiguara tribes, and in the Northeast the only one is that of Baía da Traição. On April 19th they celebrated their day by doing body paintings and bringing together the local villages in the village of S. Chico and performing dances such as the Toré.

The main economic activity of these Indians is fishing and, to a lesser extent, agriculture.

Dutch Invasions in Brazil

In 1578 the young king of Portugal, D. Sebastião, was killed in the battle of Alcácer-Quibir, in Africa, leaving the Portuguese throne to his uncle, Cardinal D. Henrique, who, due to his advanced age, died in 1579, leaving no heirs.

Illustration of the city and fortress of Paraíba in the landscape of Brazil - 1730
A splendid map of the Paraíba region and the strong defenders at the mouth of the Paraíba River. The map illustrates the Dutch incursion into Portuguese territory and shows the Dutch fleet filling the river and the defending armies marching along the roads. A large and very decorative inset depicts the entire coast from R. Peguihuga to Bahia de Todos Santos.

The King of Spain, Felipe II, who claimed to be a cousin of the Portuguese kings, with the collaboration of the Portuguese nobility and his army, achieved the Portuguese throne in 1580.

The passage of the Portuguese throne to the Spanish crown harmed Dutch interests, as they were fighting a fight against Spain for their independence and Holland was responsible for the sugar trade in the Portuguese colonies, which guaranteed them high profits.

In this way, rivals of the Spaniards, the Dutch were forbidden to dock in Portuguese lands, which brought them great harm.

Interested in recovering their lucrative business with the Portuguese colonies, the Dutch government and private companies formed the West India Company to invade the colonies.

The first invasion attempt Dutch took place in 1624, in Salvador.

The governor of Bahia, Diogo de Mendonça Furtado, had prepared for combat, but with the delay of the Dutch squadron, the Brazilians no longer believed in the invasion when they were taken by surprise.

During the attack the governor was arrested. Under the guidance of Marcos Teixeira, Brazilian forces killed several Batavian chiefs, weakening the Dutch troops.

In May 1625, they were expelled from Bahia by the squadron of D. Fradique de Toledo Osório. Upon withdrawing from Salvador, the Dutch, commanded by Hendrikordoon, proceeded to Baía da Traição, where they disembarked and fortified themselves.

Troops from Paraíba, Pernambuco and Indians joined together at the behest of Governor Antônio de Albuquerque and Francisco Carvalho to expel the Dutch.

The Batavian defeat came in August 1625. After this conflict the Dutch went to Pernambuco, where the governor Matias de Albuquerque, aiming to leave them without supplies, set fire to the port warehouses and entrenched himself.

In Paraíba, for having helped the Dutch, the Potiguaras were expelled by Francisco Coelho.

During this period, the great defense of the land can be seen. Fearing new attacks, the Fortress of Santa Catarina, in Cabedelo, was rebuilt and garrisoned and in front of it, on the opposite bank of the Paraíba River, the Santo Antônio Fort was built.

Santa Catarina Fortress, in Cabedelo PB
Santa Catarina Fortress, in Cabedelo PB

On the fifth day of December 1632, commanded by Callenfels, 1600 Batavians landed in Paraíba.

A firefight took place, the Dutch built a trench in front of the Santa Catarina fortress, but were defeated with the arrival of 600 men from Felipéia de Nossa Senhora das Neves at the behest of the governor.

After this event, the Brazilians try to build a trench in front of the fortress. The Dutch try to stop it, but the fort resists. Unable to win, the Batavians retreat to Pernambuco.

The Dutch decide to attack Rio Grande do Norte, but Matias de Albuquerque, 200 Indians and 3 companies from Paraíba prevented them from disembarking.

The Dutch return to Paraíba to attack the fort of san antonio, but when they disembark, they notice the trench raised by the Paraíba people, causing them to give up the invasion and return to the Cape St. Augustine.

After a while, the Dutch decided to try to invade Paraíba again, as it represented a door for the invasion of Pernambuco. Thus, on November 25, 1634, a squadron of 29 ships left for Paraíba.

On the fourth day of December 1634, well prepared, the Dutch soldiers arrived at the North of Jaguaribe, where they disembarked and imprisoned three Brazilians, among them the governor, who managed to escape.

The next day the rest of the Dutch troops landed, taking more people. On the way overland to Cabedelo, the Batavians received more reinforcements. Antônio de Albuquerque Maranhão sent to Paraíba all that was needed to fight with the Dutch chiefs in the region of the fort.

Meanwhile, Callabar stole the properties. Reinforcements came from Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco. Captain Francisco Peres Souto took command of the Cabedelo fortress.

It was only on November 15 that Count Bagnuolo arrived in Paraíba to help the people of Paraíba. As the people of Paraíba were already in an irremediable situation, they decided to hand over the Fort of Cabedelo and, soon after, the Fort of Santo Antônio.

The Count of Bagnuolo went to Pernambuco; Antônio de Albuquerque and the rest of the troop, along with the rest of the people, tried to found the Arraial do Engenho Velho.

The Dutch arrived with their armies at Felipeia de Nossa Senhora das Neves in 1634, and found it empty. They then went looking for Antônio de Albuquerque in Engenho Velho, but they did not find him.

The commander of the Dutch troops came to an understanding with Duarte Gomes, who sought out Antônio de Albuquerque, who arrested him and sent him to Arraial do Bom Jesus.

Afterwards, the Dutch ordered Duarte Gomes to be released. At Engenho Espírito Santo, our warriors defeated the invaders, who were led by André Vidal de Negreiros.

The people of Paraíba continued with the idea of ​​wanting to expel the Dutch. They sought strength to do so: they found men at Engenho São João and had the support of André V. de Negreiros.

When the Dutch discovered it, they also prepared for combat.

The people from Paraíba gathered in Timbiri, and then proceeded to Engenho Santo André, where they were attacked by Paulo Linge and his troops. After several fights, eighty Dutch died and Paraíba lost captain Francisco Leitão.

The fighters, who were gathered in the Santo André sugar mill, continued to provoke the Dutch, thus making the situation in Pernambuco more complicated.

The Pernambuco fortress was handed over to the prisoners released by Hautyn. Francisco Figueroa arrived to govern the captaincy for a certain time.

In 1655, João Fernandes Vieira arrived to assume the Captaincy of Paraíba. Jerônimo de Albuquerque conquered Maranhão with the help of his son Antônio de Albuquerque Maranhão.

In 1618, he inherited the government of Maranhão, which would have the advice of two people chosen by the people. Antônio did not like his assistants very much and dismissed them.

Following his own path, Antônio de Albuquerque abandoned the government of Maranhão and married in Lisbon, having two children from this marriage.

Antônio returned to Brazil in 1627, with the appointment of Captain-Major of Paraíba.

Captaincy of Paraíba at the time of the Dutch invasion

At the time of the Dutch invasion, the population was divided into two groups: free men (Dutch, Portuguese and Brazilians) and slaves (of Brazilian or African origin).

During a long time of Dutch rule in Brazil, there was no mixing of races.

Dutch administrative policy in Paraíba

For a decade, the captaincy of Paraíba had as administrators some Dutch governors:

Servais Carpentier

He also ruled Rio Grande do Norte, and his official residence was at the São Francisco Convent.

Ippo Elyssens

He was a violent and dishonest administrator. He took over the best mills in the captaincy. Elias Herckmans: Important Dutch governor, who ruled for five years.

Sebastian Von Hogoveen

He would rule in Elias H.'s place, but died before taking office. Daniel Aberti: Substitute for the previous one.

Gisberk de With

He was the best Dutch governor, as he was honest, hardworking and human.

Paulo de Lynx

He was defeated by the “Libertadores da Insurreição”, and withdrew to Cabedelo.

Conquest for the Interior of Paraíba

Through entrances, Catechesis Missions and flags, the interior of Paraíba was conquered, mainly after the Dutch invasions.

The missionaries preached Christianity in their Missions, taught literacy and skills to the Indians and built schools for the settlers.

The missionaries found a plateau with a green meadow and pleasant weather.

a village of cariri indians who organized themselves in the region called it Campina Grande. Among the missionaries, Father Martim Nantes stood out, whose mission gave rise to the village of Pilar.

The Catechesis Missions were the first forms of conquest of the interior of Paraíba.

After them, flags were executed with the purpose of capturing Indians.

Captain-General Teodósio de Oliveira Ledo was the man who commanded the first flag in Paraíba.

This flag took place across the Paraíba River and was highlighted by the foundation of a village called Boqueirão. This first flag, despite being in turmoil, was successful, as Theodosius imprisoned several Indians.

Teodósio is considered to be largely responsible for the colonization of the interior of Paraíba. He settled in the interior and brought families and Indians to settle there.

The steps of Teodósio were followed by the captain-major Luís Soares, who also stood out for his penetrations into the interior. A man named Elias Herckman searched for mines and arrived at Serra da Borborama.

His attitude (that of looking for mines) was followed by Manuel Rodrigues. The founder of Casa da Torre, Francisco Dias D'ávila, was another pioneer who stood out in the colonization of Paraíba.

Among the various tribes (caicós, icós, janduis, etc.) that stood out in the conflict against the conquest of the interior of Paraíba, the best known are the anacondas, who inhabited Alagoas de Monteiro.

Political, economic and social analysis of the flagship in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries

Political Analysis

In the colonial administration of Brazil, three modalities of political statutes were configured: that of the hereditary captaincies, that of the general government and that of the Viceroyalty.

In Paraíba, we had the creation of the Royal Captaincy in 1574. In 1694, after more than ninety years of foundation, this captaincy became independent.

However, after more than sixty years, the captaincy of Paraíba was annexed to that of Pernambuco on January 1, 1756.

There was a loss in this merger for the captaincy of Paraíba, in addition to harming the Royal Service, due to the complications of the General of Pernambuco, the governor of Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte.

For this reason, in 1797, the governor of the captaincy, Fernando Castilho, gave a statement, describing the situation of the Royal Captaincy of Paraíba to the Queen of Portugal. On January 11, 1799, by Royal Charter, the Captaincy of Paraíba separated from that of Pernambuco.

The interior of the captaincy was devastated by pioneers, who penetrated as far as Piauí.

However, the conquest of the Sertão was carried out by the Oliveira Ledo family. Another political fact was the constant French invasions at the behest of the French crown.

The Dutch invasion and the War of the Peddlers, in which Paraíba was always present with the heroism of its children, had their political consequences, as they stimulated the nationalist feeling of Paraíba.

Economic analysis

In the colonial period, Paraíba offered an economic aspect worthy of note. Among the main products and sources of wealth, pau-brasil, sugar cane, cotton and the black trade stood out.

The pau-brasil, from Asia, was known as ibira-pitanga by the Indians. Its value as a raw material for dyeing has been attested in Europe and Asia.

Hence its economic importance. Pernambuco and Paraíba were among the points in Brazil where the ibira-pitanga was most commonly found.

The sugar cane, which was the main wealth of Paraíba with its mills, came from Cape Verde. It was initially planted in the Captaincy of Ilhéus. Sugarcane has not acclimatized in Europe.

In the Middle Ages, sugar was a rare commodity with an exorbitant price.

It appeared in a will among the jewels. This proved the importance of sugar, which resulted in the development and progress of the Brazilian colonies.

In the first decade of the foundation of Paraíba, ten mills were already assembled.

Since 1532, this product entered the captaincy, stored in the granaries, in the factories of Iguarassú.

The French already traded in cotton. However, the “white gold” economy only developed in the XNUMXth century.

Here in the captaincy, cotton was of paramount importance in the balance of the economy.

In Paraíba, the herd of cattle also had economic importance. It was not only used as a source of subsistence among us. He entered the mills as a mill driver.

Cattle had their heyday during the “leather age”, when everything was made with leather for commercial purposes; furniture, doors, chests, etc.

Slave Traffic

At the beginning of colonization, slaves began to be introduced in Brazil.

The date is not mentioned, but it is assumed that they came first with Martim Afonso de Souza to the Captaincy of São Vicente.

In Paraíba, the enterprise of the black trade began shortly after the Royal Decree of 1559, by Regent Catarina, allowing the mills to buy twelve (12) slaves each.

The slave was an expensive commodity. Its average value oscillated between 20 and 30 pounds sterling.

Social Analysis


Duarte Coelho Pereira founded a new Lusitânia, composed only of nobles. Some nobles from Pernambuco took refuge in Paraíba, before any Dutch invasion took place.

When they arrived, they made their own plantations, where they lived in luxury, enjoying everything. It so happens that not the entire population lived as well as the nobility, since there were illiterate women and girls, who only did household chores.

There were also other social classes, composed of merchants and adventurers, who became rich quickly, were part of the bourgeoisie, wanting to become part of the nobility.

The members of the administrative machine constituted another class. They were considered the good men, they lived in uniform.

The most important factor for society was the Church, due to its way of catechizing the people.

Main churches that accompanied Paraíba in colonial times were:
  1. The Mother of Our Lady of the Snows
  2. Church of the Misericordia
  3. Church of Merces
  4. Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks
  5. Chapel of Our Lady of the Mother of Men
  6. Church of Bom Jesus dos Martírios

Revolts in which Paraíba Participated

1. War of the Peddlers

The War of the Mascates was a civil war, which took place in Pernambuco, in the XNUMXth century, more specifically in Olinda, seat of the Pernambuco government at the time.

It happened that there was indignation against the elevation of Recife to the category of village, at the request of the population of Recife, composed of Portuguese traders called Mascates who aspired for greater autonomy.

At this time, the Northeastern economy was in decline, as sugar prices were falling on the world market and Minas Gerais had been discovered. Many planters owed money to peddlers.

In 1707 the town of Recife was elevated to a village, which provoked a revolt in Olinda.

Some Olindenses occupied Recife and elected a new governor in their favor; Olinda occupied Recife for three months.

João da Mata, a peddler, acquired the support of the governor of Paraíba, João da Maia Gama, to get even with the planters. In this way, the peddlers imprisoned the Pernambuco governor.

After this fact, a new governor entered power (Félix José Machado de Mendonça), who at first was impartial, but who later sided with the peddlers, who emerged victorious from this conflict.

2. Liberal Revolutions

The transition from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century was marked by the emergence of revolutionary ideas.

The literary style known as Realism/Naturalism appeared in the world, which sought to describe the lower classes and show the most degrading and cruel aspects of society.

In Paraíba, the revolutionary ideas were stimulated by the marchanaria. The whole world was based on the scientific point of view. We have as an example Father Manoel Arruda, who began to research the Northeastern fauna and flora.

All these liberal ideas provoked a revolutionary surge, in which we can mention the revolutions of 1817, 1824 and 1848, all with republican, federalist and democratic tendencies.

3. Revolution of 1817

This republican and separatist movement emerged in the Province of Pernambuco and soon spread to the provinces of Alagoas, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará. Influenced by the French Revolution and by the example of the North American Republic, the insurgents wanted to emancipate Brazil.

When the revolt broke out, the rebels installed a provisional republican government.

But the General Government wasted no time. Four months later the leaders of the revolt were sentenced to death and the revolution contained. As leaders of the revolution we can mention Domingos José da Silva (merchant) and the military from Paraíba Peregrino de Carvalho and Amaro Gomes.

4. Praia revolution

This revolt lasted only five months and took place in the province of Pernambuco between 1848/49.

She was influenced by the spirit of 1848 that dominated Europe. This revolt consists not only of a protest movement against Imperial policy, but a social movement that intended to establish reforms.

Among other demands made by the rebels, we can mention:

  1. the division of the large estates
  2. the freedom of the press
  3. democracia
  4. end of import of textile industries
  5. end of Portuguese rule over Recife's trade
  6. end of the political oligarchy, among others

The rebels were the oppositional liberals of the conservatives (large landowners and Portuguese merchants).

The main liberal newspaper in Recife was located on Rua da Praia. Because of this, liberals became known as praieiros.

The revolution began with clashes between liberals and conservatives in Olinda, on the seventh day of November 1848.

In 1849 the insurgents attacked Recife, but failed. After being defeated by Brigadeiro Coelho's troops in Pernambuco, Borges da Fonseca continued to fight in Paraíba. Other leaders were tortured or murdered.

This was the last revolutionary movement of the Empire.

5. Confederation of Ecuador

This revolt arose from the authoritarian attitude of D. Pedro I, who dissolved the Constituent Assembly.

This situation worsened when D. Pedro I wanted to replace Manoel Pais de Andrade, governor of the province, ex-revolutionary, who enjoyed great popularity among Pernambuco, with one of his patrons (Francisco Reis Barreto).

In this way, the municipal councils of Olinda and Recife declared themselves against the government of Barreto.

On July 2, 1824, Pais de Andrade engaged in the revolt, asking for support from the other northeastern provinces.

Its objective was to unite the provinces of the Northeast into a republic, called the Confederation of Ecuador. Emissaries were sent to the provinces of Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará.

However, the repression on this revolt was intense. D. Pedro I sent warships to defeat it. After the defeat of the republican troops of Pernambuco, the other provinces weakened and were defeated.

Its leaders were all executed, among them Frei Caneca, who was shot to death, because no one had the courage to hang him.

6. Revolt of the Kilobreakers

Occurred in 1874, it became known for the modification it caused in the system of weights and measures, a fact that caused a great revolution in Paraíba. This revolt caused many arrests, including that of the priest from Campina Grande (Calisto Correia Nóbrega).

7. Bee's Snoring

The bee snoring revolt took place in the backlands of Pernambuco, Alagoas, Ceará and Paraíba, in 1851, with the aim of controlling the workers, since, with the fall of the slave trade, free men went to work.

8. Princess Isabel

Opposition front to President João Pessoa, in the city of Princesa Isabel, Paraíba. Its leader was José Pereira, who had influential friendships in the state.

9. Prestes Column

It was a movement started by some politicians who were unhappy with the government of the president of Rio Grande do Sul, and old participants in the Federalist Revolt of 1893.

Its main leaders were: Luís Carlos Prestes, Miguel Costa and Juarez Távola. The members of the Column, despite all the difficulties, managed to break through the barriers in the south. In the end, the Column withdrew to Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.

10. Revolution of 30

It represented the most important event in the entire history of Paraíba. The leadership of Paraíba moved forward from the moment João Pessoa refused to accept the candidacy of Júlio Prestes for the presidency of the republic.

Everything got worse with the Princess uprising, which had the support of all the sugar and cotton colonels, among other factors that contributed to the worsening of the situation.

Soon after this event, the president of Paraíba, João Pessoa, died. The revolution spread to several places (Northeast from Maranhão to Bahia).

History of the Foundation of Paraíba and João Pessoa

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