Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FREIRE DE ANDRADA, Gomez (fray're), Portuguese soldier, born in Lisbon, 19 December 1636" died at Para, Brazil, 3 January 1702. He was a nephew of the famous historian Jacintho Freire de Andrada. He served in the artillery, and soon reached the highest grades as an officer. In May 1685, he was made captain general of Naranhao, and in June 1687, of Para. This important post he filled until his death, serving his country most efficiently, and doing for the north of Brazil what his cousin of the same name was doing for the south. Para and the other cities under his jurisdiction owed important improvements to him. He brought under cultivation immense stretches of hind hitherto unproductive, introduced the cultivation of rice, and encouraged that of cocoa and coffee. He took particular interest in the Indian question, subdued the ferocious tribe of Tayupes, and founded at Belem an ethnographic museum, which, though still incomplete, has been of great service to science. Under his administration the population of the province of Para increased threefold.
His life, written by Father Domingos de Teixeyra, contains much valuable information on the rebellion of Beckman against Freire de Andrada, which may be regarded as the first, attempt of the Brazilians to establish their independence. It also contains the only authentic documents relative to the first difficulties between France and Portugal concerning the regions about Cape North.His cousin, Gomez, count of Bobadella, Portuguese statesman, born in Coimbra in 1685; died in Rio Janeiro, 1 February 1763, studied at Coimbra, and entered the army at an early age. In 1707 he distinguished himself in the war between Portugal and Spain, in 1708 was promoted colonel, and in 1712 to general. On 8 May 1733, he was appointed governor of Rio Janeiro, and in 1735 was also given the administration of the rich province of Minas Geraes. He erected in Rio Janeiro many fine buildings and monuments, and made imporrant improvements in the bay. In 1744 the mines of the district of Paracatu were discovered, and Freire organized a scheme for working them, and published a description of his system, which is even today an authority on mining engineering. On 17 January 1752, he founded the first Brazilian academy, called Dos Selectos da Rio Janeiro, which association established in 1754 the first printing office in Portuguese America. In 1754 a boundary dispute led to war with Spain, and Freire marched against the territory of the seven missions, gaining the victory in four battles. As a reward for this service he was made count of Bobadella in 1757. The loss of the colony of Sacramento by Portugal in October 1762 was such a serious blow to Preire that he died in a few months.
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