Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FONSECA, Mariano Jose Pereira da, Brazilian statesman, born in Rio Janeiro, 18 May 1773; died there, 16 September 1848. He was graduated at, the royal College of Mafra, Portugal, in 1793, and in 1794 matriculated at the recently founded scientific academy of Brazil. On 4 Dec. of the following year the viceroy caused the arrest and indictment of the principal members of that school for suspired conspiracy, and Fonseca remained in strict confinement in the Island of Das Cobras until released by a royal order in July 1797. He then went into business until 1802, when he was elected member of the council of agriculture and commerce, and censor of the press. He was elected to the provisional junta in 1821, was appointed minister of the treasury on 13 November 1823, and the same year became a member of the council of state, and was one of the authors of the imperial constitution of 25 March 1824. He was one of the first founders of the national bank, raised the credit of the country abroad, organized the customhouses, and cooperated in the rearrangement of the mail service and in the improvement of commerce and agriculture. He left the cabinet on 23 November 1825, and on 22 January 1826, was elected to the senate, where he distinguished himself more as a profound thinker than as an orator. He was created a viscount, and afterward became marquis of Marica. His philosophical works include "Las Maximas" and "Pensamentos."
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