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Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora

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José Basílio da Gama. Quitubia. Lisbon: Antonio Rodrigues Galhardo, 1791.

The Brazilian-born poet Basílio da Gama (1740-1795), who was a member of the Society of Jesuits for several years, is best known for his epic O Uraguai (1769), about the Sete Povos de Missões battle that pitted Portuguese Jesuits and their indigenous converts against official Portuguese and Spanish forces sent to carry out the seizure of mission lands under the Treaty of Madrid. Gama’s little-known poem, Quitúbia, is in praise of an Angolan captain named Domingos Ferreira Assunção, who fought and died in the Guerra Preta (Black War) in Africa. It is considered to be the first poem written in Portuguese in which an African figure is a hero-protagonist.


On loan from the library of Professor Emeritus Heitor Martins.