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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.




Updated: 18 March 2008


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