Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HILBERNAZ, Francisco de Faria (eel-ber-hath'), Brazilian philanthropist, born in Sao Paulo in 1669; died there in 1731, He was a mining engineer, and discovered in 1720 the rich gold-mines at the foot of the rock called "Itabira " (shining stone). After the mine had proved successful he built a town near it on the banks of the river, with a church, city-hall, and court house, and the place soon became one of the foremost of the province of Minas Germs. Afterward Hilbernaz sold his claims to the land and the mine, and returned to his native place, where he devoted his riches to the benefit of the people. He founded a botanical garden, a museum of natural history in Sao Paulo, and otherwise contributed his great wealth to the improvement of his birthplace. Auguste de Saint Hilaire, in his "Voyage dans les provinces de Rio de Janeiro et de Minas Geraes," asserts that Hilbernaz intended to establish a university in Sao Paulo, and bequeathed in his will a large sum for that purpose; but for some reason, although the city received the money, it never fulfilled the intention of the testator.
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