Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MEN DE SAA (men-day-sah'), Brazilian governor, born in Portugal early in the 16th century ; died in Bahia in 1572. In his youth he was an officer in the Portuguese army. In 1558 he was appointed governor of Brazil, and during his administration of fifteen years he pacified several tribes of Indians by his prudent measures. Since 1555 the French had occupied a large tract of land along the coast of Brazil, and had built a fort in the place where the city of Rio Janeiro now stands. The government of Portugal gave orders to Men in 1560 to expel the French from this territory, and with only 120 soldiers and 140 Indian allies he attacked and defeated them. The war continued till 1566, when Men received re-enforcements from Portugal, and conquered the whole territory. In his despatch to Queen Catharine announcing this event occurs the celebrated expression: "Eu me puz, logo prestei o melhor que pude, que foi o peior que um goberna-dot podia." (" I set immediately about doing" the best I might, which was the worst a governor could do.") Ite afterward founded the city cf Rio Janeito, and others in that province. In 1572 he left the government of Brazil to his successor, and retired to private life in Bahia.
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