JOSE BONIFACIO DE ANDRADA E SILVA
Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e
Silva (June 13, 1763-April 6, 1838) was a Brazilian statesman,
professor and naturalist. He was born in Santos, Sao Paulo when it was
a part of the Portuguese Empire.
Jose Bonifacio is credited
with the discovery of four minerals, including petalite, from which
the element Lithium was first discovered. He traveled extensively
throughout Europe, studying chemistry and mineralogy with other
renowned scientists. He returned to Brazil in 1819 where he continued
to conduct scientific research. He was also a very important Brazilian
intellectual, participating actively in the movement toward
Independence. When Independence was declared from Portugal, Andrade
was made minister of the interior and foreign affairs. He was elected
to the Constituent Assembly shortly thereafter. He was also author of
the abolition project in Brazil, presented to the Constituent Assembly
in 1823. His belief in human rights and democratic principles resulted
in his dismissal from the Assembly.
When the Constituent
Assembly was dissolved in November 1823, he was arrested and banished
to France where he lived in exile near Bordeaux until 1829. He
returned again to Brazil, and was arrested again in 1833. He lived in
retirement until his death at Niteroi.