The Pernambuco politician Herculano Bandeira de Mello, son of Colonel Herculano Bandeira de Mello and Ana Joaquina Cavalcanti Bandeira de Mello, was born on the Tamataupe plantation in the town of Nazaré da Mataon 23 March 1850. Herculano Bandeira lost his father in early childhood. His mother, who was responsible for his schooling, sent him to the college preparatory course in Recife, which he completed in 1866 at the age of 16.
In 1870, he graduated in Law and Social Sciences from the Recife Faculty of Law and soon after joined political life: he was a council man in Nazaré da Mata (1872-1881), provincial representative (1876-1887), deputy judge for Nazaré da Mata county (1888); was part of there publican constituent (1891) appointed by Rosa e Silva;state senator (1895); congressman for three terms (1895-1902); senator (1901-1908) and Pernambuco Governor (1908-1911).
Herculano Bandeira was the 15th governor of Pernambuco after the Proclamation of the Republic. It can be said that the transition from Empire to Republic brought instability to national and state level because, from then on, there was a natural need to modify the legal structures of the country’sprovinces and to transform the Monarchy into a Republic, which only was legally consolidated with the Constitution of 24 February 1891. Thus, the governors of Pernambuco in the period 1889 to 1890 exercised their activities for short periods only, and the situation only returned to normal after the promulgation of the state constitution of 17 June 1891. This Constitution changed the administrative operations, but contrary to what was expected, did not bring significant changes in economic and political relations. Politically, these changes gave more power to the local oligarchy which, by nominating and electing the governor, used to ask him for favours and concessions.
The entire administrative and political context of that time in Pernambuco was continued for a long time, and even allowed the establishing of an oligarchy headed by Counsellor Rosa e Silva, who set up a pattern of domination in Pernambuco for fifteen years (1896 to 1911), which had cost him a strong opposition from the time of Barbosa Lima. It was Rosa e Silva who sponsored the succession of Herculano Bandeira de Mello, the fourth ‘rosista’ (followers of Rosa e Silva) governor, after Sigismundo Gonçalves (1904-1908).
Herculano Bandeira took office in 1908. However, in 1910, with the victory of Marshal Hermes da Fonseca as President of the Republic (1910-1914), the Pernambuco opposition chose General Dantas Barreto to run for governor of the state. Counsellor Rosa e Silva decided to run against the General. Herculano Bandeira resigned to facilitate the nomination of Rosa e Silva and the direction the government was temporarily with Estácio Coimbra, president of the Assembly. The elections were held on 5 November 1911, and were won by Councillor Rosa e Silva. However, there was military intervention in order to rig the outcome of the elections and give the power to Dantas Barreto. Estácio Coimbra withdrew to Tamandaré, and the government command was given to Father João da Costa Bezerra Carvalho, who led the Board for the recounting of votes. There was military pressure during the “recount” of votes,and “rosistas” members weren’t allowed to participate, givingthe victory to GeneralDantasBarreto.
Under the circumstances,HerculanoBandeira retired from political life and died four years later, in Recife, on 19 March 1916.
Although Herculano Bandeira’sterm was very tumultuous, his concern with modernising Recife is recognised. Together with the engineer Francisco Saturnino Rodrigues de Brito,he planned and implemented a new sewerage system and built avenues that facilitated the flow of goods coming from the Port of Recife, which had its expansion guaranteed through a contract signed during his administration. His modernising concern would be continued by his successors despite the partisanship that marked these administrations.
Recife, 31 october 2006.
(Updated on 14 september 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.
ANDRADE, Manuel Correia de. Uma forte oposição aos rosistas. Pernambuco Imortal: o império sofre e agoniza. Recife: Jornal do Commercio, 1995. fascículo 9. p. 11-12.
HERCULANO Bandeira de Mello. Almanach de Pernambuco, Recife, ano 11, p. 1-3, 1909.
HERCULANO Bandeira de Mello. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 2 out. 2006.
HERCULANO Bandeira de Mello. Disponível em:. Acesso em: 2 out. 2006.
HERCULANO Bandeira de Mello. Disponível em:http://alepe.pe.gov.br/perfil/links/HerculanoBandeira.html>. Acesso em: 2 out. 2006.
SILVA, Jorge Fernandes da. Herculano Bandeira de Mello. In: ______. Vidas que não morrem. Recife: Departamento de Cultura do Estado, 1982. p. 229-231.
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Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Herculano Bandeira de Mello. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009