The Aurora Pernambucana was the first newspaper in Pernambuco and the third published in Brazil. Its first edition was on 27 March 1821, in a 25 x 17cm format, with four pages, on flax paper and printed at the Pernambuco National Railway Maintenance Facility, in Recife. Before it came the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, in September 1808, and the Idade do Ouro no Brasil, of Bahia, on 14 May 1811.
Above the newspaper’s title was a small headpiece with a drawing of mountains, a stretch of beach and behind them, the rising sun. Directly below the title were four lines from Luís de Camões:
Depois de procellosa tempestade, (After the raging storm)
Nocturna sombra, e sibilante vento, (Dark night and whistling wind)
Tras a manhã serene claridade, (Comes the clear, serene morning)
Esperança de porto e salvamento. (Hope of port and salvation)
It was founded by the governor Luiz do Rego Barreto and its editor was his son-in-law and government secretary, Rodrigo da Fonseca Magalhães, both from Portugal.
Luiz do Rego Barreto was born in Viana do Castelo, in 1778. He pursued a military career and came to Brazil in 1816 to help Portugal in the fight against the French invasion. He married a Brazilian woman in Rio de Janeiro and was appointed commander and head of a military expedition whose objective was to combat the Pernambuco revolt, also having received the post of governor. He died in Minho, Portugal, on 7 September 1840.
Rodrigo da Fonseca Magalhães was born in Candeixa-a-Nova, in 1787. He studied at the University of Coimbra, and also pursued a military career, fighting under the command of Luiz do Rego Barreto. For participating in political plots, he was persecuted in Lisbon and fled to Brazil in 1819, coming again into contact with his former commander. He published some works and died in Lisbon on 11 May 1858.
The Aurora Pernambucana went out once or twice a week and its objective was for “the public good”. The money made from its sale was used to benefit “53 abandoned children”, who were taught arts and crafts at the Railway Maintenance Facility. It contained, mostly, news, facts and political events, but also reported correspondence, proclamations and official acts.
The newspaper basically sought to “restrain the nativism and republicanism of the Pernambucano people” and to serve the political interests of the governor, Luiz do Rego Barreto.
The final edition of the Aurora Pernambucana was its 30th, on 10 September 1821.
After the first Aurora Pernambucana, Pernambuco had three more newspapers with the same name: one published in November 1841, which folded in three weeks, after only two editions; one that was published regularly from 16 October 1858 to 17 December 1859; and another that began in 1971.
Examples of Aurora Pernambucana published in 1858/1859 can be viewed in the microfilm sector at the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation.
Recife, 23 April 2004.
(Updated on 20 August 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.
NASCIMENTO, Luiz do. História da imprensa de Pernambuco (1821-1954). Recife: Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 1969. v. 4, p. 19-24.
______. Sesquicentenário do primeiro jornal pernambucano. Recife: Associação da Imprensa de Pernambuco, 1971
how to quote this text
Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Aurora Pernambucana (Newspaper). Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.