Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Latin American mss. Brazil, 1639-1871, consist of various documents including correspondence, description and travel books, maps, an architectural plan, Franciscan and Jesuit writings, as well as manuscripts and printed material relating to the capitulation of French Guiana and the Portuguese and Brazilian royal families.

Among the three documents of the l7th century is found a bound copy of the Jesuit Cristóbal de Acuña's Nuevo Descubrimiento del gran Rio de Las Amazonas (1639), published in Madrid in 1641 (Lilly F2546 A.182 Meldel vault).

The 18th century material includes three letters from Pedro II, king of Portugal, to José Vaz Pinto, a bound draft of the Franciscan Bernardino de Castelo de Vide's work on his order's missions in Brazil, a map of the Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay Rivers, a sewn copy of the works of Alexandre de Gusmão, 1695-1753, based on the edition published in 1841 entitled Colleccão de varios escritos ineditos politicos e litterarios. Another bound copy pertaining to João António Salter de Mendonca contains copies of letters and orders from João V and José I, kings of Portugal, along with other miscellaneous information concerning Brazil.

The Pre-Independence 19th century documents include a bound volume of ten letters about the taking of French Guiana, one of which was signed by José Narciso de Magalhães de Menezes. Also in this volume is the printed capitulation proposed by Victor Hugues. Related to this is a separate document signed by Menezes with additions to the capitulation. Another bound volume of this period consists of material relating to the claims of Carlota Joaquina de Borbón and Pedro Carlos de Borbón y Braganza, infante of Spain. There is a draft of a manifesto made by João VI (May 1, 1808) announcing the severing of relations with France, a letter written in code by José Marí a de Salazar to Luis María de Salazar (for deciphering see José María de Salazar, Modo en que me entenderé ..., Nov. 27, 1814. Latin American mss. Argentina), and a plan for the veranda of João VI's palace in Rio de Janeiro.

For 1821 and the Independence period there is an autograph letter by Pedro I, emperor of Brazil, (Jan. 28, 1821), as well as a draft of a letter sent by João VI, king of Portugal, to his son Pedro I concerning the future relations between Portugal and Brazil (June 12, 1823). Related to the year of 1821 is a military investigation conducted in Lisbon in 1824 involving the actions of several army officers in Rio de Janeiro. Among those being investigated figure Francisco Joaquim Carreti and the future visconde de Tavira, António de Pádua da Costa e Almeida. There are two works that deal with Germans in Brazil, one a bound journal written by Wilhelm Hartleben with his observations in Minas Gerais, including pencil drawings of people, plants and other subjects. There is also a 19th century draft of a letter addressed to an editor mentioning the complaints of some Germans in Brazil. Regarding the British, there is a document about Edward Gibbon Swann and his imprisonment in Brazil after sailing with a British flag. The Brazilian military promotion dated Aug. 30, 1871, was signed by Isabel, the imperial princess of Brazil.

The correspondents in the collection include: Aires de Saldanha de Albuquerque; Martinho de Melo e Castro; João VI, king of Portugal; Pedro I, emperor of Brazil; Pedro II, king of Portugal; José María de Salazar; Rui Vaz de Sequeira; Salvador Pereira da Silva; and João Fernandes Vieira.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Purchase. Bernardo Mendel, New York, New York, and Lathrop C. Harper, New York, New York. 1967, 1968

Collection size: 48 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.