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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Francisco Adolpho de Varnhagen

VARNHAGEN, Francisco Adolpho de, Brazilian historian, born in San Jogo de Ypanema in 1816. He acquired his primary education in Rio Janeiro and went to Portugal to study in the University of Coimbra. When the ex-emperor of Brazil, Pedro I., was trying to re-establish the government of his daughter, Maria da Gloria, in 1834, Varnhagen enlisted in the constitutional army, and afterward re-entered college and completed his ca-reef as a military engineer in 1840, when he devoted himself to poetry and literature. He was appointed secretary of legation in Madrid, with the commission to revise the documents in the government archives concerning the boundaries of the empire of Brazil. In 1859 he returned to South America and was appointed minister-resident to the republic of Paraguay; but, on account of the despotic government of the dictator Lopez, he resigned his post and was commissioned to travel through Venezuela, New Granada, Ecuador, and the Antilles, and report on the agricultural progress of those countries. He executed this commission satisfactorily, presenting reports on coffee, sugar, and tobacco. Soon afterward, as minister of Brazil to Chili and Peru, he protested against the hostile attitude of the Spanish government toward the republics of the Pacific. While in Lima he began to investigate documents about Amerigo Vespucci, among which there is a letter from Peter Martyr to Columbus, in which he says that the Bay of Honduras had been visited before by others, thereby confirming Oviedo's assertion in his " Historia de las Indias." He was sent to Vienna in 1868 as minister-resident, promoted plenipotentiary in 1871, and created in 1874 Viscount of Porto Seguro and member of the imperial council, continuing in Vienna till 1878, when he returned to Brazil. He writes equally well in French, German, and Italian as in his own language, and is the author of "Noticias do Brazil," printed by the Royal academy of science of Lisbon (1852);" Trovas e Cantares" (Lisbon, 1853) ; " Historia germ do Brazil," to the revolution against Portugal (2 vols., 1854-'8) ; " Os Indios bravos e o Sr. Lisboa" (Lima., 1867) ; "Le premier voyage de Amerigo Vespucci, definitivement explique dans ses details" (Vienna, 1869);" Das wahre Guanahani des Columbus " (1869); " Sull' importanza d'un manoscritto inedito della Biblioteca imperiale di Vienna per verificare, quale fu la prima isola scoperta del Colombo, ed anche altri punti della Storia della America" (1869); " Nouvelles Recherches sur les derniers voyages du navigateur Florentin, et le reste des documents et eclaireissements sur lui, avec les textes dans les langues originelles," with a facsimile of Ptolemy's chart of 1513 (1871); and "L'origine Touranienne des Americains Tupis-Caribes, et des anciens Egyptiens, indiqude principalement par la philologie comparee" traces d'une ancienne migration en Amerique, invasion du Bresil par les Tupis, etc." (1876).

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