views updated May 14 2018


Salvador, capital of Bahia State, Brazil, with an estimated population of 2.65 million in 2006. Located on a hilly promontory overlooking the large Bay of All Saints, the city of Salvador (also known during much of its history as Bahia) was founded in 1549 by Tomé de Sousa, the first governor-general of Brazil, near the site of an earlier Portuguese settlement destroyed by Indian attacks in 1545. Serving from its foundation as the seat of royal government in Brazil, the city housed, after 1609, the colony's first high court. After the 1763 transfer of the viceregal government to Rio De Janeiro, the city remained the capital of the captaincy (later province and, after 1889, state) of Bahia. Made the seat of Brazil's first bishopric in 1551, the city became an archepiscopal see in 1676.

Salvador ranked, throughout the colonial period, as one of the wealthiest and largest cities in Brazil, claiming perhaps 15,000 inhabitants by the 1680s and more than 50,000 by the start of the nineteenth century. Visitors were impressed not only by its spectacular location straddling a high bluff along the bay, but also by its dozens of churches and chapels, several convents and monasteries, and public buildings. Although it lost its Jesuit college after 1759, the city gained a public library in 1811, a theater in 1812, and Brazil's second medical school in 1813.

Salvador owed its colonial prosperity to the rich slave-based agricultural export economy of the Recôncavo, the city's immediate hinterland, which early on had emerged as a major sugar-producing region and, from the start of the seventeenth century, also as the chief center of tobacco production in colonial Brazil. The demand for slave labor in sugar and tobacco production in turn made Salvador a principal port in the transatlantic slave trade and helped establish strong and lasting cultural links between the city and West Africa. Moreover, throughout Salvador's history, the population of African descent has always outnumbered by a wide margin its white inhabitants. Even in the early nineteenth century, slaves made up somewhere between one-third and two-fifths of the city's population.

Social and political turmoil, beginning with the Inconfidência Dos Alfaiates (1798), an early and quickly crushed independence movement, characterized Salvador's history in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Held by forces loyal to the Portuguese crown, the city suffered a nine-month siege in 1822–1823 during Brazil's brief war for independence. After 1823 Salvador witnessed revolts, numerous anti-Portuguese riots, and barracks uprisings, culminating in 1837–1838 in the Sabinada, a federalist rebellion, during which the city again was besieged. The city and the neighboring Recôncavo also experienced a spectacular series of slave revolts between 1809 and 1835, including the 1835 Malê revolt, led by Muslim urban slaves and freed slaves of West African origin, which was perhaps the best-planned slave rising in Brazilian history.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Salvador continued to grow (reaching a population of 283,422 by 1920) but suffered with the decline in sugar production in the Recôncavo and the stagnation of the Bahian export economy. Petroleum production in the city's hinterland and the later development of a petrochemical industry gave the city new dynamism from the 1960s onward. Today, Salvador ranks as a major industrial and commercial center and also carries enormous weight in cultural matters—contributing disproportionately to innovative trends in popular music and serving as the country's principal center of Afro-Brazilian culture. It is home to the highest proportion of people of African descent in Brazil. In 1985 UNESCO declared the historical center of Salvador, also known as the Pelourinho, a World Heritage Site.

See alsoBrazil, Geography .


Butler, Kim D. Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition São Paulo and Salvador. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998.

De Azevedo, Thales. Povoamento da cidade do Salvador (1969).

De Queirós Mattoso, Katia M. Bahia: A cidade do Salvador e seu mercado (1978).

Reis, João José. Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (1993).

Reis, João José. Death Is a Festival: Funeral Rites and Rebellion in Nineteenth-Century Brazil. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Schwartz, Stuart B. Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550–1835 (1985), and Bahia, século XIX: Uma provincia no Império (1992).

Vainfas, Ronaldo. Confissões da Bahia: Santo Ofício da Inquisição de Lisboa. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1997.

Verger, Pierre. Flux et reflux de la traite des nègres entre le Golfe de Bénin et Bahia de Todos os Santos, du dix-septième au dix-neuvième siècle (1968).

                                             B. J. Barickman


views updated Jun 08 2018


SALVADOR , Sephardi London family that settled in colonial America. joseph (1716–1786) was a wealthy London merchant who immigrated to America. Known in the Sephardi community of London as Joseph Jessurun Rodrigues, he was born into a wealthy family which had gone to England from Holland in the early 17th century. In 1738 he married Rachel, daughter of Isaac Lopes, third Baron Suasso. Salvador enhanced his wealth between 1738 and 1749 in the Spanish and Portuguese trade, working with his father, Francis. He also served as a liaison for the English merchants of Cadiz. Later he imported and exported coral and gems from India. Salvador was the first Jew to be made a director of the Dutch East India Company. He also was a financial adviser to the British government. Active in synagogue and philanthropic affairs, Salvador served as parnas of the Bevis Marks Spanish and Portuguese congregation in London. In his later years, Salvador suffered financial setbacks, notably with the failure of the Dutch East India Company. He sold part of a 100,000-acre holding in South Carolina's backcountry to his nephew and son-in-law, Francis (see below), who set up an indigo plantation in an effort to recoup the family losses. Later, Salvador sold most of his land, and in 1784 emigrated to South Carolina, presumably to support himself from remaining lands. He died in Charleston. FRANCIS (1747–1776), Revolutionary patriot; first Jew to serve in a legislative body in America. Francis was born in London and traveled extensively. When the family wealth was lost, young Salvador purchased some 7,000 acres of South Carolina land from Joseph. He emigrated there in 1773, on the eve of the American Revolution. Salvador early identified himself with the Colonial cause, and Carolina leaders, impressed with his education and ability, took him into their councils, despite his being a Jew. He was made a delegate to the Revolutionary Provincial Congresses of South Carolina (1775–76), which rejected British rule and constituted itself as the legislature of the newly independent state of South Carolina. Salvador thus became the first Jew to represent the people in a legislative body in America, and possibly the first Jew in the modern world to hold such public office. When the British attacked Charleston in 1776, Salvador quickly joined the patriot forces defending the frontier where his plantation lay. His detachment was ambushed by Indians near Keowee, s.c., and Salvador was shot and scalped. He was the first Jew to give his life in the struggle for American independence.


J. Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (1956), 109–12, 114–5, 153–6, and passim; B.A. Elzas, Jews of South Carolina (1905), 68–77, 108–18; L. Huehner, Francis Salvador, in: The Jewish Experience in America (ed. Karp) 11 (1969), 276–91; C. Reznikoff, Jews of Charleston (1950), 34–40; Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict; 151; M. Woolf, in: jhset, 21 (1962–67), 104–37.

[Thomas J. Tobias]


views updated Jun 27 2018

Salvador ★★★½ 1986 (R)

Photo journalist Richard Boyle's unflinching and sordid adventures in wartorn El Salvador. Boyle (Woods) must face the realities of social injustice. Belushi and Woods are hard to like, but excellent. Early critical success for director Stone. 123m/C VHS, DVD . James Woods, James Belushi, John Savage, Michael Murphy, Elpidia Carrillo, Cynthia Gibb, Tony Plana, Colby Chester, Will MacMillan, Jose Carlos Ruiz, Jorge Luke, Juan Fernandez, Valerie Wildman; D: Oliver Stone; W: Oliver Stone, Richard Boyle; C: Robert Richardson; M: Georges Delerue. Ind. Spirit '87: Actor (Woods).


views updated May 23 2018

Salvador (Bahia) Seaport city in e central Brazil; capital of Bahia state. Founded by the Portuguese in 1549, it was the capital of Brazil until 1763. Portuguese colonizers built vast sugar plantations using slave labour, and the city is noted for its African culture. Industries: oil refining, petrochemicals, tobacco, sugar, coffee, industrial diamonds. Pop. (2000) 3,021,572.