Patrocínio, José do (1853–1905)

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Patrocínio, José do (1853–1905)

José do Patrocínio (b. 8 October 1853; d. 1 February 1905), Brazilian abolitionist, journalist, orator, and poet. The son of a Catholic priest and planter in Rio de Janeiro Province and a black fruit vendor, Patrocínio was brought up in the vicarage of Campos and on a nearby estate, where he acquired an intimate knowledge of slavery. After serving an apprenticeship at Misericórdia Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, he completed the pharmacy course at the Faculty of Medicine. However, lacking funds to establish himself in his profession, he joined the staff of the capital's daily, Gazeta de Notícias, and soon gained prominence as an opponent of slavery. In 1881, aided by his wealthy father-in-law, he acquired the Gazeta de Tarde, which under his leadership became the principal antislavery journal in Brazil until it was replaced by his equally effective A Cidade do Rio in 1887. Patrocínio advanced the antislavery cause as a powerful orator, as author of fiery articles and editorials, as organizer of antislavery groups, as an abolitionist emissary to Europe, and as an effective promoter of regional movements (Ceará in 1882, his native Campos in 1885, and the port of Santos in 1886). With the end of slavery in 1888, he organized the Guarda Negra (Black Guard), an association of black militants dedicated to protecting Princess Isabel, whose succession to the throne was threatened by a growing republican movement. After the military revolt of 1889 and the beginning of the federal republic, Patrocínio suffered persecution from President Floriano Peixoto's government, including exile in 1892 to the state of Amazonas and suspension of his newspaper, A Cidade do Rio. He was again active as a journalist at the time of his death.

See alsoAmazonas; Brazil: 1808–1889; Slavery: Abolition.


Raymundo Magalhães, A vida turbulenta de José do Patrocínio (1969).

Robert Brent Toplin, The Abolition of Slavery in Brazil (1972).

Robert Edgar Conrad, Children of God's Fire: A Documentary History of Black Slavery in Brazil (1983) and The Destruction of Brazilian Slavery, 1850–1888, 2d ed., rev. (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Daibert Junior, Robert. Isabel, a "redentora" dos escravos: Uma historia da princesa entre olhares negros e brancos, 1846–1988. Bauru, Brazil: FAPESP, EDUSC, 2004.

Fernandes, Maria Fernanda Lombardi, and Eduardo Kugelmas. A esperança e o desencanto: Silva Jardim e a república. São Paulo: s.n., 2004.

                           Robert Edgar Conrad