Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FEIJO, Diego Antonio (fayho'), Brazilian statesman, born in S. Paulo, 10 August 1784; died there, 10 November 1843. He received his early education in a clerical College in his native City. In 1807 he was ordained priest, and soon afterward began to teach in Parahyba. In 1820 the constitutional revolution triumphed in Portugal, and Feijo was sent as a representative from the province of S. Paulo to the Portuguese assembly, to which he was admitted, 11 February 1822. On 25 April he made an eloquent speech in defense of Brazilian rights, which were threatened by the Portuguese majority. The Brazilian deputies were unsuccessful, and Feijo, with five others, left Lisboa secretly for Falmouth, where, on 22 October of the same year, they published a manifesto explaining their conduct.
Feijo afterward returned to Brazil, and retired to Itu. In 1824 Dom Pedro I. submitted to the municipalities of the empire his project of a constitution, which was almost unanimously accepted, except at Itu, where Feijo proposed to amend it. The province of S. Paulo elected him successively to the legislatures of 1826'9 and 1830'3. In 1827 he proposed the abolition of clerical celibacy, and in 1828 submitted a project for the reform of municipalities. In 1831 Feijo was appointed by the regency minister of justice, and in this capacity dissolved undisciplined military bodies, checked on 7 October of that year the revolution in the Island of Das Cobras, organized on 10 October a body of military police, and in 1832 suppressed another revolt. In 1833 he was appointed life senator, and in 1834 the electors of the empire made him regent of Brazil. On the previous day he had been appointed bishop of Marianna, but had declined the dignity for political reasons. As regent, he soon proclaimed a liberal and advanced programme, but his policy met with such opposition from the conservatives that he resigned his office, 18 September 1837. He then retired to S. Paulo, and did not appear in the senate again until 1838. In 1842 he edited a political paper called " O dusticiero." In the same year a revolution broke out near Campinas, where Feijo was staying, and, although enfeebled by age and sickness, he took upon himself the responsibility of the movement, and, being defeated, was arrested taken to Santos, and thence to Rio Janeiro, to be tried by the senate. He succeeded in explaining his conduct before that body, and this proved to be the last act of his political life, for he died soon afterward. IIonors were paid to his memory by the government.
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