Sá e Benavides, Salvador Correia de (1602–1681)

views updated

Sá e Benavides, Salvador Correia de (1602–1681)

Salvador Correia de Sá e Benavides (b. 1602; d. 1 January 1681), one of the most important figures in the seventeenth-century Portuguese South Atlantic Empire. Born in Cádiz, Spain, Salvador Correia de Sá e Benavides was the son of Martim de Sá, governor of Rio de Janeiro in 1602–1608 and 1623–1632.

In 1615 Salvador sailed with his father to Brazil for the first time. Back in the Iberian Peninsula by early 1618, he was again in Brazil with his father by the end of the year, searching for minerals in Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. Salvador returned to Portugal about 1623 and sailed to Brazil for the third time in 1624 to help defend it against the Dutch in Espírito Santo and Bahia.

Sá returned to Europe and in 1627 received the title of Admiral of the Southern Coast and Rio de la Plata. He was back in Rio de Janeiro by 1628. In the early 1630s, Sá pacified Payaguá and Guaicurú Indians in the Paraguayan Chaco and Calchaquis Indians in Tucumán Province in Argentina. Sá returned to Portugal and in 1637 was appointed governor and capitão-mor of Rio de Janeiro, where he fought attempts by the colonists to expel the Jesuits. Two years later he succeeded his grandfather as administrator of the mines of São Paulo and Santos. Sá returned to Portugal in 1643 and the next year was appointed to the Overseas Council. In 1645 he began leading convoys to and from Portuguese America.

Named governor and captain-general of Angola in 1647, Sá was given the task of driving the Dutch from that captaincy. In November 1647 Sá sailed from Lisbon. After picking up additional men and supplies in Rio de Janeiro, he arrived off the coast of Angola in July 1648. Dutch authorities in Luanda surrendered to him on 21 August 1648 and Benguela fell soon after. To contemporaries, his successes in Angola were Sá's greatest achievements.

In 1652 Sá left Luanda for Brazil but soon returned to Portugal. He was put in charge of the defense of the port of Lisbon in 1654. In September 1658 he was named governor and captain general of the Repartição do Sul—Rio de Janeiro and the captaincies to the south plus Espírito Santo to the north. Sá put down a revolt in 1661 but was relieved of his governorship in 1662 for his harshness in doing so. Returning to Portugal, Sá fell in and out of favor with the crown between 1663 and 1669, until he finally was restored to the good graces of the court in the latter year.

See alsoExplorers and Exploration: Brazil .


The best biography to date in any language is Charles R. Boxer, Salvador de Sá and the Struggle for Brazil and Angola, 1602–1686 (1952). Also useful are Luis Ferrand De Almeida, "A data da morte de Salvador Correia de Sá," in Revista Portuguesa de História 8 (1959): 327-330; Charles R. Boxer, Dicionário de História de Portugal, vol. 3 (n.d.), pp. 702-703; Manoel Cardozo, "Notes for a Biography of Salvador Correia de Sá e Benavides, 1594–1688," in The Americas 7, no. 2 (1950): 135-170. Three useful Portuguese accounts, the latter two of which include a number of documents on Sá's life and career, are Clado Ribeiro De Lessa, Salvador Correia de Sá e Benavides: Vida e feitos, principalmente no Brasil (1940); Bertha Leite, "Salvador de Sá e Benavides," in Anais do IV Congresso de História Nacional, 1949, vol. 12 (1951), pp. 261-559; Luis Norton, A dinastia dos Sás no Brasil, 1558–1662, 2d ed. (1965).

Additional Bibliography

Monteiro, Rodrigo Bentes. O rei no espelho: A monarquia portuguesa e a colonizacão da América, 1640–1720. São Paulo: Editora Hucitec, 2002.

Vainfas, Ronaldo. Dicionário do Brasil colonial, 1500–1808. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2000.

                                       Francis A. Dutra