Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FERNANDES PINHEIRO, Jose Feliciano (fernan'dez), Viscount of Sao Leopoldo, Brazilian statesman, born in Santos. 9 May 1774; died in Porto Alegre, 6 June 1847. He began his studies in his native country, and completed them at Coimbra, Portugal, where, in 1798, he was graduated as bachelor in canonical laws, but abandoned his ecclesiastical functions and entered the magistracy. He assisted Velloso in establishing the literary institution "Arco do bego," wrote most of the scientitle work "Fora Iluminense," and compiled the " Historia Nova e Completa da America." In 1800 he returned to Brazil, and was appointed judge of excise duties of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1802 he was given charge of the organization of a flotilla for coast defense. He was made colonel in 1810, and in 1812 accompanied the army to Montevideo.
In 1816 he was chosen a member of a jury for the trial of numerous criminals in Rio Grande do Sul. In 1821 he was elected a member of the Portuguese legislature for the province of Sao Paulo, but left Portugal when he heard of the independence of Brazil. On his return he was again elected for Sao Paulo to the constituent assembly of Brazil. He was appointed president of Rio Grande do Sul. 25 November 1823, and founded the first typographical establishment there, the colony of Sao Leopoldo, and the charity hospital. On 13 October 1825, he was made counsellor of state, and on 21 November accepted the portfolio of minister of the empire. He exerted his influence for the improvement of public instruction, reorganized the school of medicine, founded a literary academy in the capital, and established chairs of law in Sao Leopoldo and Olinda. On 20 November 1827, soon after negotiating a treaty of peace with the Argentine republic and a commercial treaty with England, he resigned his office. In 1830 he retired temporarily from the senate, and went for his health to Sao Pedro, where he was at the time of the revolution of 1831. In 1837 he again took his seat in the senate, and was entrusted with important commissions. In 1838 he founded the Geographical and historical institute, Dora Pedro II conferred many honors on Fernandes. He was a member of many European scientific societies, and was the author of several works, the most important of which are " Vida e feitos de Alexandre de Gusmao 6 de Bartholomeu Lourenco de Gusmao"; " Resposta as Breves Annotacoes que sobre a memoria Gusmao, escrevera o conselheiro Manoel J. M. da Costa 6 SA."
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