Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LISBOA, Jose da Silva, Brazilian scholar, born in Bahia, 16 July, 1756; died in Rio Janeiro, 20 August, 1835. He went to Portugal in 1772, and was graduated in philosophy at Coimbra in 1779. He was made assistant teacher of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew in Coimbra before his graduation, and on his return to his native country was appointed professor of languages and natural philosophy in the College of Bahia. After twenty years of teaching he was pensioned, on his return to Portugal in 1797, by the prince regent, and later appointed to a government office at Bahia, where he employed his leisure time in writing works on political economy. The regent, John VI., after the arrival of the royal family in Brazil, called Lisboa to Rio Janeiro, and there appointed him professor of political economy. To his efforts was due the royal decree of 21 January, 1808, opening the ports of Brazil to all nations, which was strongly opposed by the merchants of Portugal. In defence of this measure Lisboa published his most notable work "Observacoes sobre o commercio franco" (Rio Janeiro, 1808). When the "Tribunal da junta do commercio, agricultura, fabricas e navegacao do Brazil" was created, Lisboa was appointed a member, organized the first tribunal of commerce, and formed the commercial code of laws. In 1821 he was appointed inspector of the literary establishments of Brazil, and in that year began to take part in politics, publishing the journal "O Conciliador do Reino Unido," which favored the continued union of Brazil and Portugal; but when Prince Pedro declared the separation of Brazil from the mother country, Lisboa adhered to the cause of independence, and published his work "Reclamacoes do Brasil" (Rio de Janeiro, 1822). He was elected from his province to the constituent assembly of Brazil, in 1826 appointed senator, and in 1831 Viscount de Cayrd. From that year till his death he was contributor to the official paper, "Diario do Rio de Janeiro." Besides the works mentioned above he published "Principios de Dereito Mercantile" (Lisbon, 1801); "Principios de Economia Politica," in part a translation of the work of Adam Smith (1804); and twenty-three others, nearly all relating to political economy and the politics and history of Brazil.--His brother, Balthazar, born in Bahia, 6 January, 1761; died in Rio Janeiro, 14 August, 1840, studied in Coimbra after 1775, and was admitted to the bar in 1784. He was appointed judge of the city of Rio de Janeiro and a member of the tribunal of forestry in 1797, and in his leisure hours composed several of his works. He was also appointed in 1812 to study and report on the mines of Bendego and Cotegipe. He resigned from the tribunal of forestry in 1817, went to Lisbon in 1818 for his health, and on his return retired to his estate on the river Das Contas. In 1823 he was accused by calumniators of being an enemy of independence and was imprisoned; but he proved his innocence, and was appointed by Pedro I. to the council of state, employing his leisure in writing. In 1838 he was one of the founders of the "Instituto Historico e Geographico Brasileiro." He published "Phisica dos Bosques dos Ilheos" and "Descripcao do comarca de Ilheos" (Lisbon, 1803); "Annales da provincia da Ba hia" (Bahia, 1820); "Bosquejo Historico da Litteratura portugueza" (Rio Janeiro, 1838); and contributions to scientific, literary, and political journals.--Jose's son, Bento da Silva, born in Bahia, 4 February, 1793; died in Rio Janeiro, 26 December, 1864, was liberally educated, and in 1816 entered politics. In 1821-'3 he took an active part in the movement for independence. During the government of Pedro I. he held several offices in the administration and represented his province in the assembly. At the dissolution of that body he continued to be a friend of the government. During the regency of Father Feijo and the government of Pedro II. he was twice secretary of state and special envoy to Portugal, England and Germany, and was also commissioned to Italy in 1843 to settle the marriage of Pedro II. In his leisure hours he composed several works, and also wrote biographies of his father and his uncle Balthazar (1841). He took an active part in the foundation of the "Instituto Geographico Brasileiro," wrote several years for its journal, and was a member of several scientific and literary societies in Europe and America. He died poor, and the government made an appropriation for the support of his family.
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