Lima, Manuel de Oliveira

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Brazilian diplomat and historian; b. Recife, Dec. 25, 1867; d. Washington, D.C., March 24, 1928. Oliveira Lima came from a rich family and received all his education in Lisbon, where he graduated in 1888 in diplomacy, law, and philosophy. In 1890 he was named second secretary to the Brazilian legation in Lisbon and in 1892 was transferred to Berlin. Back in Brazil in 1896, he worked as a journalist for a short time. From 1896 to 1900 he was first secretary of the Brazilian Embassy in the United States; in 1900 he was in London and was then named minister to Japan. In 1903 he was appointed minister to Peru, but did not serve in that office, being almost immediately appointed chief of the Brazilian commission to carry on boundary negotiations with Venezuela. Later he served as minister to Sweden and Belgium. Oliveira Lima became, in fact, the intellectual ambassador of Brazil, in Europe, Japan, the United States, and Spanish America. He became famous as a public speaker and a conversationalist, giving conferences and courses in every country he visited. He was the first Brazilian to be professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. A dozen of the most important universities of the United States invited him to lecture or teach. A lover of books and a serious historian, he searched for rare and precious volumes everywhere and built up one of the most valuable collections of books and documents on Brazilian and Portuguese history. He did much to make his country known in foreign lands. He tried to strengthen cultural links between the Americas and Europe and Japan. He was an admirer of German culture and of monarchy and a pacifist who received a great shock with the outbreak of World War I. Professor at The Catholic University of America in his last years, he donated his library to that university and endowed a chair for Portuguese and Brazilian language and culture. He was an advocate of Pan Americanism and hoped that this would help to unite the Americas and to make The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., an international center of learning.

Among his best scholarly historical works are D. João VI no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro 1919), O Imperio Brasileiro (São Paulo 1928), and Historia da Civilização (São Paulo 1921).

Bibliography: m. de oliveira lima, Memórias (Rio de Janeiro 1937).

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