Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BENE, Antonio Pires da Silva Pontes (lay'-meh), Brazilian scholar, born in Minas-Geraes, Brazil, about 1756; died there in 1807. He studied at the University of Coimbra, was graduated in 1777, and went to the East Indies, whence he returned to Lisbon, and in 1780 accompanied Dr. Lacerda, who was sent to Brazil by the government of Portugal to study the question of boundaries with the Spanish colonies. In 1781 Berne explored Paraguay and the territories of Cazalvasco and Barbados, meanwhile making copious notes on the geography of the country that were afterward published by the government of Brazil (1841). The commission finished its work in 1783, and returned to Portugal. Leme now drew a complete map of Brazil and a maritime guide of its coasts, for which, in addition to his other services, he was given a medal by the government of Portugal. In 1798 he was appointed by the king professor in the Academy of Lisbon. and on 29 March, 1800, he was appointed governor of the province of Espirito Santo, where he gave much attention to the civilization of the Indians, establishing for them a college and an industrial school. He retired from his office in 1804, and devoted himself to the completion of his works, but was obliged to abandon them on account of illness. He published a work entitled "Construccao e Analyse das proposicoes geometricas a experiencias practicas que serven de fundamento a architectura naval" (1799).
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