The Count of Boa Vista (Francisco do Rego Barros)
Last update: 27/09/2013
Francisco do Rego Barros, Baron, Viscountandlater Countof Boa Vista, was born on 3 February 1802, in the town of Cabo, on the Trapiche Sugarcane Plantation owned by his parents, Francisco do Rego Barros, Colonel in the Militias,and Mariana Francisca de Paula do Rego Barros.
He studied with private teachers at the plantation where he was born, and from a very early age was interested in pursuing a military career. In 1817, aged only fifteen, he enlisted in the Recife Artillery Regiment.
In 1821, already an Army cadet in the same Battalion, he participated in the movement known as the Revolution of Goiana, which was settled by the Beberibe Conventionin October that year. He was arrested and sent to Fort São João da Barra, in Lisbon, Portugal, where he remained until 1823.
Once released, he travelled to Paris, graduating with a degree in Mathematics.
On his return to Pernambuco, he dedicated himself to politics. At only the age of 35, in 1837, he was appointed Provincial President of Pernambuco, remaining in the post until 1844.
Having been educated in Paris, he was determined to modernise and sanitise Recife. His government brought important material and cultural transformations to the Province.
Life in the city became more exciting and had progress that has never been seen since. Francisco do Rego Barros sought out renowned French engineers and encouraged the arts and science, bringing to Recife the concept of the great modern cities of the age.
Roads were built that connected the capital with the sugar-producing areas of the countryside, as were the Caxangá suspension bridge, over the Capibaribe River; Santa Isabel Theatre; the buidlings of the Penitenciária Nova (New Penitentiary), later called the Casa de Detenção do Recife (Recife Detention House), which today is the Casa da Cultura (Culture House); the Customs building; canals; urban roads; a reservoir system of potable water for Recife; and reconstruction of the Santa Isabel, Maurício de Nassau and Boa Vista bridges. He ordered the construction of embankments for the city’s expansion, with the most important being that of Boa Vista which stated at Aurora Stand went in the direction of Várzea, called Rua Formosa, which was continued by the Caminho Novo (New Way)and which, from 1870, was renamed Av. Conde da Boa Vista (Count of Boa Vista Ave).
In 1842, he was granted the title of Baron, promotedto Viscountin 1860, and elevated to Countof Boa Vistain 1866. He was elected senator in 1850 and, in 1865, appointed Provincial President of Rio Grande do Sul, accumulating the duties of Commandant of Arms, as that province was already involved in the Paraguayan War.
Feeling ill and suffering from hepatic problems, he returned to Recife in the beginning of 1870, where he died on 4 October in his home, located at number 405 Aurora St, where today is the Pernambuco Secretary of Public Safety.
Recife, 22july 2003
(Updated on 25 august 2009)
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.
GUERRA, Flávio. O Conde da Boa Vista e o Recife. Recife: Fundação Guararapes, 1973.
SILVA, Jorge Fernandes da. Vidas que não morrem. Recife: Secretaria de Educação, Departamento de Cultura, 1982. p. 201-205.
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Source: GASPAR, Lúcia.The Count of Boa Vista (Francisco do Rego Barros). Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009