Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dona Maria de Jesus of Brazil

Journal of a Voyage to Brazil and Resident there during the years 1821, 2, 3 ; By Maria Graham.
p 228 (on-line publication)

"...Our last quotation relates to a military heroine the author says...

" To-day I received a visit from Dona Maria de Jesus, the young woman who has lately distinguished herself in the War of the Reconcave. Her dress is that of a soldier of one of the Emperor's battalion:, with the addition of a tartan kilt, which she told me she had adopted from a picture representing a highlander, as the most feminine military dress. What would the Gordons and Mac Donalds say to this ? The " garb of old Gaul," chosen as a womanish attire !Her father is a Portuguese, named Gonsalvez de Almeida, and possesses a farm on the Rio do Pex, in the parish of San Jose, in the Certao, about forty leagues in-hard from Cachoeira. Her mother was also a Portuguese; yet the young woman's features, especially her eyes and forehead, have the strongest characteristics of the Indians. Her father has another daughter by the same wife; since whose death he has married again, and the new wife and the young children have made home not very comfortable to Dona Maria de Jesus..."

 Tinted and plain prints by Augustus Earl  1824

"Text describes Dona Maria de Jesus, a "young woman who has lately distinguished herself in the war of the Reconcave" (p. 292). Maria Quitéria de Jesus who fought during the Bahian Recôncavo in 1822, ran away from home to join the rebellion against the Portuguese and became the first woman in Brazil's army. Earle, a watercolorist, accepted a position as artist in April 1832 with Charles Darwin's expedition on the Beagle, but increasing ill-health forced him to give up the position at Rio de Janeiro at the last moment. Date on item is: 25, March, 1824"

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