Born in Recife, on March 25, 1862, son of judge Joaquim Barbosa Lima and D. Rita de Cássia.
He attended primary school in Alto Tocantins, completed secondary school in Minas Gerais and enrolled at the Escola Politécnica do Rio de Janeiro in 1879.
At the age of 20, he transferred to the Escola Militar da Praia Vermelha, in Rio de Janeiro, concluding, in 1887, the course of Military Engineering.
He was appointed professor of Analytical Geometry at the Military School of Fortaleza, Ceará, where he began his political activism.
He was Secretary of Justice of the first republican government of Ceará, being elected to the National Constituent Assembly of 1890.
Abolitionist and republican, he was notable for his easy and objective oratory, being against Marshal Deodoro and in favor of Floriano Peixoto.
On April 7, 1892, he was elected as the constitutional governor of Pernambuco for four years. During his government he paid special attention to health and education.
He created the State Hygiene Inspectorate and, faced with the precariousness of Lazareto do Pina, the only isolation in Recife, he chartered a ship, where people with infectious diseases were collected and treated.
He increased the sewerage and storm sewer networks, handing over the service to the Recife Drainage Company, expanded the telegraph network and encouraged coastal and river navigation.
In the area of education, he built schools in most cities, created the School of Engineering, helped the Frei Caneca industrial school, aimed at teaching orphans and the needy, hiring specialists in Belgium and Germany.
In the field of railways, a means of transport widely used in the early 20th century, he created the Recife-Olinda-Igarassu-Goiana-Itambé line, started the line from Garanhuns to Bom Conselho and had the Recife-Caruaru-Pesqueira railway continued.
When he left the government, poor as he had entered, his name was already known throughout Brazil. His enemies, referring to his dry and energetic manner, called him Barbosa Fera.
He represented several states of Brazil, in several legislatures of the Federal Chamber: Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul, Amazonas and the Federal District.
In the government of Prudente de Morais, Barbosa Lima stood out as a member of the opposition, being accused as the author of the attempt against the President, which took place on November 5, 1897. He was arrested and sent to the island of Fernando de Noronha with other people involved, on January 29, 1898. Thanks to a habeas corpus filed by Rui Barbosa, he was released along with his friends.
He died on January 9, 1931.
Recife, July 15, 2003.
BARBOSA Lima [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: <
CENTENÁRIO de nascimento de Alexandre José Barbosa Lima. Brasília: Câmara dos Deputados, 1962.
SILVA, Jorge Fernandes da. Vidas que não morrem. Recife: Secretaria de Educação, Departamento de Cultura, 1982. p. 89-92.
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GASPAR, Lúcia. Barbosa Lima (Alexandre José). In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2003. Available from: https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/pt-br/artigo/barbosa-lima-alexandre-jose/. Access on: Month. day, year. (Ex.: Aug. 6, 2021.)