In April 1838, João Francisco Cabuçú, a retired army lieutenant, found himself in jail (along with nearly three thousand others) for complicity in the Sabinada rebellion. Rebels—radical liberals and army and militia officers—in the city of Salvador, Bahia, had mobilized several thousand people and had survived a four-month siege (November 1837 to March 1838) before being overwhelmed by an equally large government army that took the city by storm. Cabuçú petitioned a senator to speed his release. He glossed over his failure to leave the city, as the government had ordered all officers and civil servants to do (“fate,” he wrote, caused him to stay), but he distanced himself from those he considered the principal supporters of the revolt, explaining: “Truly the revolution was not initiated by the rabble, but in the end the canaille dictated the law and the blacks with their battalions terrified all.”1

Cabuçú’s linkage of Salvador’s overwhelmingly colored population with their military organizations suggests the lines of inquiry that I will pursue here. As he explained, the original political leadership of the Sabinada lost control of events. Indeed, from the outbreak of the revolt, these radical liberals shared the Sabinada’s leadership with army officers who resented the military reforms of the 1830s and, for a time, found allies in the numerous colored militia officers and men whose venerable organizations had been abolished in 1831. Together, they systematically undid those reforms.

But as army and militia officers redressed their grievances and radical liberals struggled to implement their ideals, all three groups faced challenges from Salvador’s free colored masses and the city’s slave population. Slavery broke down during the rebellion, despite the strenuous efforts of the movement’s socially conservative leaders to maintain it, because Brazilian-born slaves left their masters in large numbers to enlist in the Sabinada’s armies. Salvador’s free colored population solidly hacked the revolt, seeing in it an opportunity to avenge some of the discrimination they had suffered. The brutal repression that followed—in just three days in March 1838, victorious government troops massacred at least a thousand people, most of whom were colored—further underscores the social and racial composition of the uprising. The minister of justice, departing from the dry bureaucratic prose usually found in his annual reports, called the Sabinada “a revolt as terrifying as unexpected.”2 The race and class conflicts that the Sabinada unleashed vividly demonstrated the social tensions that strained Brazilian society. In exposing those tensions, the Sabinada, along with the three other major contemporaneous revolts in north and northeast Brazil, contributed massively to the Regresso, the conservative reaction to the liberalizing political experiments of the 1830s.

Modern scholarship has increasingly come to see these revolts—the Cabanos War in Pernambuco (1832-1835), the Cabanagem in Pará (1835-1840), and the Balaiada in Maranhão (1838–1841)—as more than political struggles between regional elites and Rio de Janeiro or squabbles among the local factions themselves. Although such conflicts contributed to the outbreak of these rebellions, the historians who have recently reexamined the major uprisings emphasize their social aspects, especially the active participation of the lower classes, free people of color, Indians, and slaves.3 What emerges from this literature is a Brazil most unlike the old textbook interpretation, in which a peaceful transition to independence was marred only by “lamentable disturbances.”4 Rather, the achievement of independence in 1822 marked the beginning of two decades in which the elite project for the new state was vigorously contested by excluded groups. Their ultimate failure in no way diminishes the significance of these decades, which, in Bahia, culminated in the Sabinada.5

Bahia: Economic Decline, Social Unrest, and Radical Liberals

By 1837, Salvador, though still the empire’s second city after Rio de Janeiro, had fallen on hard times. The economic boom of the late colonial period and early 1820s had given way to a deep recession, fueled by several factors. Competition from Cuban sugar undercut the province’s principal export, while British restrictions on the slave trade damaged the tobacco industry, whose product had found an important market in West Africa. The Independence Wars of 1822 and 1823 and the subsequent flight of Portuguese capital intensified the crisis. Price levels rose rapidly during the 1830s, particularly hurting urban wage earners.6 An uncontrollable flood of false copper coins, widely produced in Brazil and even abroad, compounded the inflation and caused one provincial president to speculate as early as 1833 that it “could lead this province into violent disorder because of the desperation of citizens of all classes who cannot count on [obtaining] necessary food in spite of having money.”7

Economic decline exacerbated social and racial unrest. Salvador’s population, according to an estimate for 1835, consisted of 17,325 African-born slaves, 4,615 African freedmen, 10,175 Brazilian-born bondsmen, 14,885 free colored, and only 18,500 Brazilian and Portuguese whites.8 The tensions between masters and slaves exploded into an unprecedented wave of slave revolts between 1798 and 1835, a veritable “war to end Bahian slavery,” culminating in the 1835 African Muslim revolt, during which rebel Africans controlled parts of the city for several hours.9 Brazilian-born slaves and freedmen, many of whom had fought for independence, now demanded for themselves the “liberty” Brazil had won from Portugal and full citizenship in the new state.10 Lower-class Brazilians regularly lashed out against the Portuguese in nationalistic frenzies, whose principal victims were the recent Portuguese immigrants who controlled Salvador’s retail trade. Radical liberals and republicans fanned the flames of lusophobia: the proclamations of the republican-federalist revolts of 1832 and 1833 included clauses calling for the expulsion of Portuguese nationals.11

These revolts and the Sabinada have been interpreted as the reaction to the 1822 “conservative revolution of independence,” in which rural planters (senhores de engenho) successfully maintained their social and political dominance over Bahian society against the challenge from slaves and urban groups. Unable to make headway within the relatively closed political system, radical liberals resorted to violence, seeking allies among disgruntled military officers and sometimes appealing to urban masses for support.12 This small but vocal group of radicals advocated greater autonomy for Bahia in the Brazilian empire; condemned the aristocratic domination of Brazilian society; called for liberal reforms in the legal system; railed against high taxes, which, they argued, only served to enrich the court and Rio de Janeiro; and used the Portuguese as convenient scapegoats. The 1831 abdication of the Portuguese-born emperor, Pedro I, the subsequent departure of many Portuguese, and the promulgation of the 1830 criminal code, which established trial by jury, answered some of their demands. The 1834 Ato Adicional devolved significant powers from Rio de Janeiro to the provinces, while the 1835 election of Padre Diego Antônio Feijó as regent to rule on behalf of the child emperor, Pedro II, placed the central government in the hands of a strong advocate of federalism.13

Feijó’s election even seemed to move Brazil closer to the republican system of government held as an ideal by Salvador’s Novo Diário da Bahia, the mouthpiece of the Bahian radicals.14 By 1837, however, the government’s inability to delineate responsibilities between its own levels brought the federal experiment to collapse. Radical liberals advocated greater decentralization and an end to the monarchy; but in Rio de Janeiro, Feijó’s resignation (in September 1837—conventionally considered the beginning of the Regresso) cleared the way for a conservative, centralizing ministry under the sugar planter Pedro de Araújo Lima.

According to a document found afterward in the home of Francisco Sabino Alvares da Rocha Vieira, the radicals believed that Feijó’s resignation justified the rebellion.15 A doctor and substitute teacher at Bahia’s medical school, Sabino was also Novo Diário’s editor and therefore one of the best known of the radical liberals. He became the dominant political leader of the rebellion and thereby gave his name to the movement.16 He was present in the early hours of November 7 at Fort São Pedro when the Third Artillery Battalion, quartered there, revolted, led by its majors and junior officers, to be joined before dawn by the Third Infantry Battalion and even the city’s police force.17

Once they had taken control of the city, the rebels convened an extraordinary session of the city council in which they declared Bahia to be “entirely and perfectly detached from the so-called central government of Rio de Janeiro.” The first article of this first act, signed by 105 men, also promised elections and a constituent assembly. Because of the absence of the man elected to the presidency, Inocêncio da Rocha Galvão, Sabino’s nominee for the vice presidency, João Carneiro da Silva Rego, an elderly rancher and small-time politician, served as the Sabinada’s head of state. Four days later, Carneiro submitted a petition to the council requesting it to limit the declaration of independence to the duration of Pedro II’s minority, which would end in 1844. The council quickly agreed to rectify this “slip of the pen,” hoping its acquiescence would free “the state from the scourge that ordinarily occurs when political changes of government are not unanimously embraced.”18 Only 29 men took the trouble to sign this second act.

While the rebels wrestled with the political definition of their revolt, the provincial government mobilized its resources in the sugar-growing Recôncavo, calling up the region’s prominent senhores de engenho and the National Guard. As early as November 8, Police Chief Francisco Gonçalves Martins, riding inland from Salvador to rally support, reported “all the proprietors ready to take part in the struggle in favor of the government.”19 The Viscondes da Torre de Garcia d’Avila and Pirajá quickly activated their guard units (virtually private armies) and occupied the strategic heights of Pirajá, just outside the city. Proclamations issued from the government camp ordered provincial employees to leave the city and promised amnesty to rebel soldiers who deserted.20 By early January, reinforcements from Pernambuco and Sergipe had helped raise the “Restoration Army’s” strength to four thousand. Short of weapons—for all the provincial arsenals had fallen into rebel hands—and determined to contain the rebellion, Provincial President Antônio Pereira Barreto Pedroso and his commanders adopted the cautious policy of besieging and starving Salvador despite pressure from Rio de Janeiro to assault the city at once.21

As the reaction gathered strength, the rebels revealed their cautious conservatism; the historian Paulo Souza notes that they talked much and acted little.22 Carneiro’s first statement repeated Bahian grievances against the political domination exercised by Rio de Janeiro and sought to capitalize on anti-Portuguese sentiment, but also stressed the rebels’ “love of order.” His government pledged to preserve private property, slavery, the law, the monarchy, and the altar. A typical proclamation ended with “vivas” to the church, to young Pedro II, to independence during his minority, to an abstract “liberty,” to freedom for Bahia, and to the heroic troops.23 The rebels followed their recognition of Pedro with strenuous efforts to appropriate the emperor’s powerful symbolism. On December 2, the city celebrated the emperor’s birthday, amid what the Novo Diário described as “public rejoicing.”24 Rebel leaders and spokesmen took great pride in their government’s ability to maintain order in Salvador.25 A British navy officer who closely watched the events in Salvador concurred, praising the “Inside Party” for preserving “the tranquility of the Town considerably more than the legal government ever attempted.”26 His assessment probably owed much to the rebel government’s efforts to protect the English merchant community and ensure its food supply. The Portuguese were not so fortunate.

Almost at once, the rebel leaders began beating the drum of lusophobia, accusing the Portuguese of enriching themselves at the expense of Brazilians and conspiring against the rebellion.27 Many Portuguese fled the city and, in early January, their consul advised those remaining that he could no longer offer protection. Though two shiploads of Portuguese left on January 5, many were still in the city in mid-February, when Carneiro ordered the arrest “of all Portuguese found in this capital beginning with those who, according to public opinion, are considered [opposed to our] cause, among them preferably the richest.”28 Even this dramatic step did not satisfy radical lusophobes, who continued to demand action against “the devils and rogues [marotos]” accused of hoarding food. Some took the law into their own hands, “attacking the Portuguese, taking money, food, and drink.”29 In this as in other matters, control over the events in Salvador escaped the grasp of the Sabinada’s political leadership; increasingly, they and their military allies were forced to react to events.

Army and Militia Officers in the Rebel Ranks

Army and militia officers, furthermore, had their own agenda. A closer examination of the events of November 7 reveals the military’s central role. Although an anonymous chronicler asserts that all who signed the act proclaiming the independence of Bahia did so voluntarily, his description of the scene reveals an important element of military coercion: rebel troops occupied the four corners of the square and kept close watch over the signing of the act, which had been prepared in the fort and brought to the town hall for ratification.30 Indeed, the act would have been signed in the fort itself had not “a young fellow [moço]” reminded the officers that the council chambers were a more appropriate forum for political statements.31 Fully six of its seven articles addressed the military’s concerns— perhaps not surprisingly, considering both the need to defend the revolt and the large group of signatories who were army and militia officers (Table 1).

What motivated such a large portion of the city’s infantry and artillery officers to play a prominent role in this revolt? Joining F. W. O. Morton, Paulo Souza concludes that cadets and former cadets (assumed to be white and of aristocratic origin) opposed the Sabinada, while its supporters were the officers who had risen through the ranks (more likely to be colored, of lower-class origin, and therefore victims of discrimination).32 Such a clear-cut division, however, did not manifest itself among Salvador’s army officers. Seven of the Third Artillery’s 15 cadets joined the revolt, and 12 of 20 rebel officers had begun their careers as cadets. A comparable ratio prevailed among the legalistas (those loyal to the imperial government): 21 of 40 had held cadet commissions.33 By this time, aristocratic parentage actually had ceased to be a requirement for cadetship, as the Portuguese crown had intended when it created the rank in 1757; for, in 1820, João VI had extended the privilege to the sons of all commissioned army officers, militia officers, and civil servants.34 Nor can the Sabinada be characterized as simply a junior officers rebellion. Senior officers, including a retired brigadier, held important posts in the rebel regime. The figures presented in Table 2 almost certainly understate the number of rebels. No record of court proceedings against members of the Third Infantry (where the majority of Salvador’s cadets served) has as yet surfaced in the archives, and there is no way to know how many rebel officers died in the fighting. But it is clear that Bahian officers of all ranks were present in both armies.

An explanation for the officers’ actions can be found in their common opposition to the Brazilian military reforms of the 1830s. The first liberal governments of the regency, suspicious of the army, cut its strength by more than half and replaced the army-controlled militias with the civilian National Guard in 1831. Between 1831 and 1834, two Bahian infantry battalions and one cavalry squadron were disbanded, leaving the province with only two units, both of which rebelled in 1837.35

As early as May 1835, army officers in Bahia had had enough, and 124 of them (70 percent of Salvador’s officers) submitted a bold statement of their grievances to the provincial legislature.36 Future rebels and legalistas alike signed the document, which displays their strong corporate identity. Judging by this petition, officers perceived themselves as a unique “class” in society with its own distinct interests. Their horizons did not extend far beyond their home province: the petition reveals their attachment to Bahia, the birthplace of 59, or 88 percent, of the 67 whose birthplace is known. Service records reveal that only a handful of them had seen peacetime service outside their home province; when they did leave Bahia on campaigns, they invariably fought in Bahian units. Thus, to the extent that the Sabinada was a regional rebellion, it could appeal to these officers’ local loyalties.

But the Sabinada did much more than that. It systematically addressed the officers’ principal grievances. In their 1835 petition, the officers grumbled that Bahians had not received promotions since 1824, and they were almost right.37 By 1837, the typical officer on active duty had held the same rank for more than ten years. By contrast, he had spent less than four years in his previous rank. The military career, sometimes seen as a road of limited upward social mobility, had instead become a cul-de-sac.38 The November 7 act of Salvador’s city council set matters straight. Three of its articles bestowed generous promotions on the principal leaders of the revolt, while a fourth promoted all other officers by two ranks, making up in one fell swoop the advancements they felt they had missed since 1831.39

The regency’s reductions in troop strength left numerous unemployed officers, known as avulsos (literally, loose or detached ones), which the petitioners called an “affront” to their “class.”40 Despite constant efforts to find work for Bahian avulsos, they remained the most discontented group of officers, judging by their high rate of participation in the Sabinada (Table 2).41

Officers’ chronic complaints about low salaries gained a new dimension in 1832. Soldiers had traditionally performed many police functions in Brazilian cities, alongside municipal police forces. In late 1831, the regency authorized provincial governments to create “Permanent Municipal Guards,” elite, militarized police forces whose pay scale exceeded that of the army.42 The 1835 petition twice criticized this new force, which army officers came to perceive as an enemy.43 In the days just preceding the revolt, Police Chief Gonçalves Martins stationed his men around Fort São Pedro, “which much offended the officers.”44 Although the police corps did join the rebel troops on November 7, they were not welcome: the lone police lieutenant who signed the city council’s act that day found himself and his unit accused of being Portuguese.45 The final article of this act eliminated the pay differential between the police and the army, raising the enlisted man’s salary to 600 réis per day.46 On November 13, the police, having lost their privileges, turned against the Sabinada. They attempted a countercoup and forced the rebel troops to barricade themselves inside Fort São Pedro. Unwilling to risk an assault on the fort, however, the police corps retreated and joined the legalista forces gathering at Pirajá.47

The 1835 petition reserved its strongest language to condemn “the successive and mortal blows” suffered by the militia, abolished in 1831. Without mentioning the National Guard by name, the officers lambasted it as a “monstrous organization, useless for its purposes, from which no good has come to us!”48 The Sabinada’s act of November 7 declared that the new government would organize its defense by calling up officers of the disbanded militias. On November 15, Carneiro formally proclaimed the reestablishment of the city’s militia corps, abolished “by the iniquitous plans of the provinces’ enslavers.”49 After briefly attempting to incorporate some National Guard units into its forces, the Sabinada completely abolished it.50 By January 1838, National Guard officers were fleeing the city.51

Although the National Guard has been the subject of several studies, little is known of the militias that preceded it.52 In the late eighteenth century, Salvador had four militia regiments: one composed of leading merchants; another of poorer free whites; a third, the “Henriques” (named after Henrique Dias, a black hero of the seventeenth-century wars against the Dutch), enlisting free blacks; and a fourth enrolling mulattos. Luiz dos Santos Vilhena, writing in 1798, praised the mulatto regiment, although he noted its discontent at being commanded by a white major while the Henriques served under an underpaid black colonel. Vilhena also reported that both colored regiments were much closer to full strength than the white troops, suggesting that free blacks and mulattos eagerly served in this venerable institution of Bahian society.53 Successive reorganizations of the militia in the 1810s and 1820s left this basic racial and class structure intact. Travelers who observed the militia in Salvador during the 1820s remarked that the Henriques stood out for their skill and discipline. One even reported “the most perfect union . . . between soldiers and officers” in the all-black units.54 Militia service provided a means of limited social mobility even as it co-opted men of color into the establishment; during the military and slave revolts of the 1820s, the Henriques remained firmly loyal to the government.55

Their loyalty was sorely tested by the regency, which replaced this occupationally and racially based force with the parish-based National Guard, in which only eligible voters could serve. While the relatively low income restrictions for voting (two hundred milréis in major cities like Salvador) would have excluded few former militiamen, their sudden integration into the National Guard meant that colored militiamen faced more discrimination than previously.56 Evidence from Rio de Janeiro confirms this hypothesis. In 1833, O Homem de Cor, one of Brazil’s first black newspapers, devoted the better part of its inaugural issue to the difficulties of the National Guard. It advised the government once again to “create battalions according to color,” with colored officers.57

Whatever their race, militia officers could not carry their commissions into the National Guard, for they were explicitly excluded from guard service. Pedro Jozé dos Santos, a militia major, petitioned to have his commission transferred to the army, explaining “that having served for almost 36 years, he now finds himself reduced to having no consideration in his military career, neither for his long service, nor for his seniority among his fellow officers, even those with fewer years of service.” Although dos Santos obtained his transfer in 1833, he later joined the Sabinada nevertheless.58 Not all discontented militia officers limited their protest to peaceful petitions. In the same year that dos Santos sought his transfer, Alexandre Ferreira do Carmo Sicupira, a lieutenant in the mulatto regiment (and another future rebel), led an attack by 60 men on the elite of the regency’s other innovation, the Municipal Guard cavalry.59

The Sabinada, then, could draw on a large pool of discontented Bahians with some military training. The reconstituted Henriques took their place among the first line of Sabinada troops, and the mulatto regiment received a new life as the Second Battalion of the Second Line, the “Homeland’s Loyal Volunteers.”60 For these men, the revolt meant the restoration of a former privileged position.

With the retreat of the police force on November 13, the military lines had been drawn. The police and the National Guard, creations of the previous six years, would face army units and Salvador’s old militia across the trenches. This analysis of the forces in the Sabinada confirms much of Nelson Werneck Sodré’s thesis about the class origins of the army and the National Guard. He argues that the seigneurial class created the latter to defend their interests against the mercantile class, the petty bourgeoisie, and the free laborers, all three tied to the army.61 Although large merchants who had close ties to planters fled Salvador, the other two groups (with the exception of Portuguese shopkeepers) gave strong support to the Sabinada. Indeed, Salvador’s colored lower and middle classes bore deep hostility toward the “horde of despicable and puffed-up [fofos] aristocrats” of the Recôncavo, a hostility regularly and virulently expressed in the Novo Diário and the other rebel newspapers.62

Civilian Participants: Race, Class, and Slavery

As Souza has noted, most civilian support for the Sabinada came from the urban groups adversely affected by the economic crisis of the 1830s.63 While the signatories of the Sabinada’s two acts (Table 1) are not a representative sample of its backers, they do give some indication of its literate supporters. The occupations of the 12 men who left Salvador in the early days of the revolt suggest that the Sabinada quickly lost whatever tenuous support it had among members of the elite. Four of the five council members who signed both acts (two lawyers, a doctor, and a merchant) abandoned Salvador on November 13 with the police force, as did the police lieutenant, a teacher, the coppersmith, and one man who lived off his property (he was also a National Guard lieutenant-colonel).

The presence of salaried government employees, including teachers, is clear evidence of the difficulties faced by this occupational group during the economic crisis of the 1830s. The low literacy rate among artisans— more than half of those (12 of 23) tried for serving in the Artisans’ Battalion (composed of workers in the army and navy arsenals) could not sign their confessions—explains the small number of their signatures in the council’s minute book.64 Other evidence, however, suggests that they gave strong support to the rebellion. One list of 27 prisoners taken after the Sabinada includes 8 carpenters and 12 other artisans.65 In 1838, Salvador’s Correio Mercantil advised the government that instead of deporting “all those masons, caulkers, [and] carpenters” then imprisoned, they he put to work cleaning up the debris left by the battle.66

Determining the race of individuals active in the Sabinada is virtually impossible, for the Code of Criminal Procedure did not require the accused to state their race during interrogations.67 But there is overwhelming impressionistic evidence of support for the Sabinada among Salvador’s colored population. The flight of the lighter-skinned upper classes had, by January 1838, left the capital’s population, according to the British vice consul, entirely colored, with the exception of the foreigners.” Indeed, he explained, appearances are materially changed since the commencement of the insurrection and . . . are at present more those of a war of color than anything else.”68 In early March, Barreto Pedroso estimated that two-thirds of the rebel force consisted of blacks.69 Of a group of two hundred rebels and suspects deported to the prison island of Fernando de Noronha in late June 1838, ten died en route, and the ship’s captain meticulously recorded their race before jettisoning their bodies. Six were crioulos (Brazilian-born blacks), three were pardos (mulattos), and one was a cabra (Indian-black ancestry).70 Twenty-one of the 27 prisoners noted above were described as either crioulos or pardos.71 In a bitter editorial decrying the arrival off Salvador of the largest Brazilian warship, the Novo Diário declared of its enemies that “they are warring against us, because they are whites, and in Bahia there must be no blacks and mulattos, especially in office, unless they are very rich and change their liberal opinions.” The writer went on to condemn Antônio Pereira Rebouças, a prominent mulatto lawyer who had sided with the government.72

This recognition of the racial dimension of the conflict did not turn the Sabinada’s leadership into abolitionists.73 Indeed, the emphasis on office holding reflects the frustrated social and political ambitions of a colored elite that did not necessarily seek a radical restructuring of society, an interpretation that Morton suggests for the Sabinada.74 On November 14, 1837, João Carneiro emphatically reassured all who would listen that abolition was “supine stupidity” and that his government had no intention of taking such a step.75 In January 1838, the rebel government permitted women, children, and the elderly to leave the city, but expressly prohibited the departure of slaves, who would be drafted for use as porters.76 Nevertheless, some slaves identified with the revolt, fled their masters, and enlisted in the army, where a few officers welcomed them. But their presence awakened latent race and status divisions among the troops; many soldiers refused outright to serve beside slaves and requested transfers to other units.77

To resolve this serious crisis, on January 3 Carneiro decreed the creation of a new battalion, the Freedmen of the Homeland, in which any Brazilian-born slave could enlist, and ordered all other units to discharge slaves. Slaveowners were to be compensated by the payment of one-half of the freed soldier’s salary, up to a price set by the Treasury.78 Already a magnet for runaway slaves, the Sabinada’s army now even attracted volunteers from outside the city. The runaway crioulo Manoel Jacinto arrived at a forward post in late January carrying 15 bundles of cartridges and announced to the officer in charge that he wanted to enlist.79 Needless to say, these developments accelerated the exodus of whites from the city and caused deep concern in the diplomatic and merchant communities, not to mention the already worried provincial government.80 Slave flight into the army continued in spite of Carneiro’s efforts to restrict it; finally, on February 19, 1838, he recognized the inevitable and decreed the freedom of all Brazilian-born slaves.81

The creation of the Freedmen of the Homeland—which Souza calls a government-run emancipation program financed by former slaves—and the emancipation decree intentionally excluded nearly two-thirds of the city’s slave population—the African-born.82 Perceived as dangerous aliens, Africans could not be included in the Sabinada.83 Prison records reflect their exclusion; only 4 of one group of 27 slaves later arrested for taking up arms were Africans; 25 of 77 others were foreign-born.84

Tensions between white and colored Brazilians also divided the rebels, as can be seen in the anonymous chronicler’s account of Sabino’s attempt to depose Carneiro late in the revolt. He approached senior military officers who “not only approved but made plans for a counterrevolution” to replace Carneiro with Sabino. When the conspirators consulted the black militia major José de Santa Eufrásia, however, he refused to support the coup, declaring “that he was [all too] used to being ruled by whites and that it should not be them but that it should be blacks who govern the Republic.”85 Santa Eufrásia evidently fought for reasons quite different from those of his fellow officers. Unlike most of them, however, his participation in the Sabinada would cost him his life.

The rebels’ attempt to break out of their surrounded position in mid-February proved to be their last major initiative. When it failed, discipline in the army broke down and, in Salvador, the precarious order maintained by Carneiro’s government gave way to anarchy.86 On February 17, Carneiro admitted to the British consul that he had “no more control” over the soldiers and the crowd.87 The “infuriated black and mulatto mob” that so terrified foreigners such as Robert Dundas, an English doctor who remained in Salvador, directed most of its wrath toward its perceived enemies, Brazilian and Portuguese whites (and their property), as well as traitors to the Sabinada.88 The population of the lower city, already “so very suspicious of the white people,” became increasingly hostile toward foreigners, who had been required, since Sabino’s order in late January, to identify themselves by wearing colored cockades on their hats.89 Attacks on the remaining Portuguese became more violent. The Conde de Suzannet, who visited Bahia in 1843, heard reports of cold-blooded murder.90 The rebel finance minister attempted to resign his post in early March, but on hearing that a “club” planned to assassinate him, fled to his home without tarrying for the formalities.91 After a rebel schooner defected to the government side in mid-February, a mob immediately sought to set fire to the captain’s house. The war minister managed to protect the turncoat’s house from the “plebe’s decision,” but the arsonists instead ignited a row of houses belonging to the captain’s brothers.92 Many, perhaps most, of the 60 or 70 properties burned during the final battle over Salvador belonged to the enemies of the Sabinada.93 Twenty soldiers tried to burn a building belonging to the Visconde da Torre, according to the testimony of two Frenchmen who had rented it; a council member who left the city with the police force lost his house, as did a legalista army commander.94 It was a last, desperate protest from a rebellion that, although it began as a politicized barracks revolt, ended in a brutal racial massacre.

Aftermath: Repression and Reprisal

On March 13 the rebel lines broke, and the government forces, at times still facing strong resistance but at other times accepting mass surrenders, spent three days mopping up the city. The tone for the repression that now began had already been set by Antônio Gomes d’Argollo Ferrão and Gonçalves Martins in a letter written to the president three days after he fled Salvador. The planter-soldier and the police chief urged him to “have no consideration for more or less legal means, for the primary law is to save the throne, the nation, and the lives and property of its subjects.”95

But the victors made no effort to save the lives of the vanquished. Marshal João Chrisostomo Callado estimated the rebel dead at 1,091, a number more than 27 times greater than the 40 government soldiers who died during the final assault.96 One eyewitness described these three days as a “hunt,” which the soldiers “immediately began by shooting many of the rebels [even] after they laid down [their] arms,” while “captives were secretly shot before arriving at the jails or even inside the prisons.”97 Rightly fearing the worst, black military leaders fought until the bitter end. The “black major, Espírito Santo . . . was killed at point-blank range,” and the wounded Santa Eufrásia, who eluded his pursuers until April 14, committed suicide after his arrest.98

Large-scale arrests followed the massacre. By March 24, Salvador’s 14 prisons housed 2,989 new inmates.99 During the next few months a steady stream of captives trudged into Salvador. Many of them had escaped the city during the Sabinada’s death throes.100 Most of these prisoners would never face trial. In November 1837, the War Ministry had resolved to deport all the rebel soldiers to Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. By the end of March 1838, preparations were well under way to ship to Rio de Janeiro 1,000 former rebels as new recruits for the national army; fully 1,520 eventually made the journey.101 The prospect of exile and impressment into the imperial army terrified prisoners and their families, who desperately petitioned the president for freedom, exemptions from recruitment, or speedy trials.102 African-born freedmen who had supported the rebellion faced a longer trip. Under the terms of a law enacted after the 1835 slave revolt, all free Africans were subject to deportation. The victorious government quickly readied the 7 de Novembro, a former rebel corvette, renamed it the 16 de Março in honor of the victory, and began to sort black prisoners for the voyage east. Although the law only prescribed deportation for African-born blacks, special instructions from Barreto Pedroso reserved passage on the 16 de Março for a crioulo and a pardo slave whose master had died. Both had served in a rebel battalion.103 The authorities, however, returned most slaves as soon as the owners requested the return of their property.104

Slaves and soldiers were not the only victims of summary deportation. Six weeks after the recapture of Salvador, a newly enacted provincial law gave legal sanction to arbitrary practices by suspending portions of the constitution, giving the police wide powers of search and arrest without warrant, and authorizing the deportation to any other province of the empire of “individuals suspect to public security.”105 In late June, the provincial government shipped 200 prisoners, some of whom had little to do with the rebellion, to the island of Fernando de Noronha. The reluctant host of the 190 survivors of the voyage, the commander of the island’s fort, grumbled that his new charges had arrived “in the most deplorable state of sickness, hunger, and nudity,” and marveled that “such folk could have caused the slightest fear.”106 At least 20 more of these deportees would die before 1840, while their relatives frantically petitioned for their return.107 After a two-year campaign, Maria Mathias de Santa Anna obtained freedom for her sexagenarian crioulo brother, Pedro Martiri de Jezus, wrongly arrested, as she explained, at a time when the victors could not (or would not) distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.108

Other groups in Bahian society who had directly or indirectly participated in the rebellion received less severe punishment than the colored lower classes. Government employees who failed to respond to the decree requiring them to leave the capital lost their jobs. The documentation left by the authorities includes long lists of teachers, clerks, postal employees, and other civil servants summarily dismissed in April and May 1838.109 Some of the innocent victims of these mass firings regained their positions during the next few years, but this demonstration of the government’s power to inflict hardship upon large sectors of Salvador’s middle class served as a powerful deterrent to their involvement in future rebellions.110

Only a small minority of the participants in the rebellion ever faced a trial. By mid-June, 13 of the principal military rebels’ prosecutions were ready, but 79 more officers of all ranks awaited courts-martial.111 Little is known about the course of these prosecutions. The Supreme Court in Rio de Janeiro upheld 12 officers’ death sentences in January 1840, but the executions were evidently not carried out: several of the condemned were specifically mentioned in the amnesty of August 22, 1840.112 Only a handful of the hundreds of civilians tried were convicted by the notoriously lenient jury system. Even men such as João Pereira Carrapicho, who unrepentantly told the jury that he “accepted the commission of alferes from the rebel government, served [in the army], received his salary, and stood ready to go into battle if ordered, [even though] he knew that the intruding government was illegal,” were found innocent.113 The mild treatment meted out to those civilians who were tried prompted grumbling among the officers who had fought to put down the rebellion, and sparked a campaign by Salvador’s conservative Correio Mercantil against the jury system.114 The handful of prison sentences (along with Sabino’s and Carneiro’s death sentences for inciting slaves to rebellion and homicide) were under appeal in the Supreme Court when the prematurely crowned Pedro II proclaimed amnesty for all rebels against his government who would surrender within 60 days. Fifteen of the Sabinada’s leaders, including Sabino and Carneiro, received conditional amnesties, provided they left Salvador.115

The Sabinada Legacy: Politics and Historiography

Various scholars have pointed out that the Sabinada closed a long period of social and political unrest in Bahia.116 The carefully designed repression—unsparingly brutal toward slaves and free blacks, more restrained toward the middle classes—clearly showed the government’s resolve to tolerate no further challenges. The authorities restricted expressions of black popular culture. A “rigorous” search of a chapel belonging to the black Brotherhood of the Rosary, under suspicion because of the large number of former militiamen among its members, turned up nothing in criminating but certainly helped intimidate the black community.117 The Visconde de Pirajá happily explained that the Bahian independence festival of July 2, 1838, which “would some day have caused an annoyance, because of the scenes of blacks killing whites,” would be “reduced to a solemn Te Deum to the Almighty, . . . putting an end to the diversions.”118

Not only the church but also veneration of the emperor would play an important role in the reestablishment of social order. Daniel Kidder, who witnessed the celebration of Pedro II’s birthday in 1839, described an elaborate spectacle staged to “demonstrate their [Bahians’] fidelity to the throne” and outdo Rio de Janeiro in this respect. Before the Te Deum, the archbishop made an energetic speech that referred to many other nations “except the heretical and republican United States.” Twenty-five hundred troops (probably national guardsmen) paraded through a Salvador bedecked with yellow and green banners in a visible demonstration of the government’s coercive power—virtually a symbolic reenactment of the capture of the city—while the archbishop and the provincial president unveiled a prominent display of Pedro’s portrait.119 Veneration of the throne and the altar, backed by armed force, and condemnation of heretical and disorderly republicanism were the unmistakable messages of this ceremony.

If the Sabinada had been a terrifying and unexpected revolt, its defeat appeared to herald a turning of the tide of anarchy and republicanism in Brazil.120 In his May 1838 throne speech, Regent Araújo Lima described Brazil’s internal condition in encouraging terms, even though rebellions still wracked two provinces.121 Gonçalves Martins’ response in the Chamber of Deputies (and the enthusiastic applause it received) reveals the ruling class’s perception of the Sabinada: he lauded the government’s “victory over barbarous customs, over the decline of civilization, over an imminent danger that threatened all Brazil.. . . It was a victory won over men who threatened the political existence of the Empire, who armed slaves in a country in which there are more slaves than free. They did not just try to change the form of government, [they] wanted to destroy everything.”122 Time after time, the government held up the Sabinada as an example. Barreto Pedroso called it a “terrible lesson” for the “incautious people,” which he hoped would teach them what “the ambitious, with their seductive promises of liberty, prepare for them, and . . . that only under the Constitution and the Throne will we have security and happiness.”123 The justice minister’s 1840 report hoped for Bahia that “the memories of the past would always warn those incautious few who may exist of the dangers of agitation!”124 The fear of the social unrest that radical republican revolts could unleash hastened the conservative Regresso and ended the decade of liberal reforms.125

As the turbulence of the 1830s and 1840s gave way to the “golden age” of imperial political stability at midcentury, the Sabinada was quietly (and deliberately) forgotten.126 Not until the 1880s, when republicanism and federalism again became the rallying cry for the enemies of the empire, did the Sabinada attract new attention. The Bahian bibliographer Augusto Victorino Alves do Sacramento Blake sought to rehabilitate Sabino and the rebellion in the prestigious Revista do Instituto Historico e Geographico Brasileiro, arguing that “people of the first order” in Bahia supported the Sabinada.127 At about the same time, Henrique Praguer compared Sabino to Tiradentes (Joaquim José da Silva Xavier), the martyr of the 1789 republican and anti-Portuguese conspiracy in Minas Gerais who became a national hero. Praguer speculated that “the eminent and unfortunate Bahian patriot, Dr. Sabino, martyr for federalist and republican ideas,” would meet the same historical fate.128 In 1896, when a republic had finally been established in Brazil, the Instituto Geographico e Historico da Bahia brought Sabino’s remains back to Salvador with the expectation that the memory of this “so poorly appreciated notable Bahian” would “certainly be rehabilitated.”129

Sabino and the Sabinada, however, would not enjoy the same renaissance as had Tiradentes and his innocuous Inconfidência. Too radical a revolt, with too many overtones of racial and social protest, the Sabinada could not appeal to the conservative oligarchy that soon came to dominate Brazil’s Old Republic (1889–1930). The Bahian historian Braz do Amaral lamented in 1909 the “deplorable error” that Bahia, in the republican enthusiasm of the early 1890s, had proclaimed November 7 a holiday, and called such a commemoration “an immense disgrace.”130

The centenary of the Sabinada sparked a new surge of interest in the rebellion, but these latter-day scholars carefully avoided discussing its social aspects except to lament or condemn the “excesses.” In his preface to the fifth volume of documents on the Sabinada, the director of Bahia’s archive describes the revolt as a “tragic and disconcerting” event, a theme that echoes throughout the historical literature of the 1930s.131 Brazil’s political liberalization in the 1980s (and the concurrent historiographical interest in resistance) finally made possible a reexamination of the Sabinada. For example, Paulo Souza points to the participation of the lower classes and juxtaposes the liberalism of the leaders with Brazil’s transition to democracy.132

In retrospect, the Sabinada defies easy characterization. Radical liberals and republicans provided the discourse for a separatist rebellion that nevertheless recognized the Brazilian emperor’s ultimate authority. Bahia’s army and militia officers used the revolt to redress their grievances and undo the military reforms of the 1830s. Many slaves fought in the rebel army, while others took advantage of the conflict to seek what turned out to be a precarious and short-lived freedom. For them, this rebellion formed part of the “war to end Bahian slavery,” even if they were not welcomed by its leadership. The violence of the free colored lower classes against their perceived enemies—the “puffed-up aristocrats”—reflects the frustrations of this group and indicates an incipient race and class consciousness; their opposition to slave enlistment reveals their fear of downward social mobility.

The distinct motives of the several groups involved in the Sabinada make it clear that the rebellion became something altogether different from what its leaders had intended. Being socially conservative, they lost control of what they had unleashed. Standing front and center on the Brazilian political stage, Salvador’s slaves and lower classes repudiated the course the Brazilian state had taken in the previous 15 years. And for Brazil’s ruling classes, the event was certainly terrifying but could hardly have been unexpected. Little wonder that such brutal repression followed.

The author gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the University of Texas at Austin. He would also like to thank João Reis, Sandra Lauderdale Graham, and two anonymous HAHR readers for their comments on earlier versions of this paper, and Richard Graham for his constant help and encouragement during the preparation of this article.

Research material was drawn from the following archives: Arquivo Histórieo do Exército, Rio de Janeiro (AHEx); Arquivo Nacional, Rio de Janeiro (ANRJ); Arquivo do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro (AIHGB); Biblioteca Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Seção de Manuscritos (BNRJ/SM); Arquivo Público do Estado da Bahia, Salvador (APEBa); Great Britain, Public Record Office, Foreign Office, “General Correspondence Before 1906: Brazil” (FO); and the Publicações do Arquivo do Estado da Bahia: a Revolucão de 7 de Novembro de 1837 (Sabinada), 5 vols. (Salvador: Escola Typographica Salesiana, 1937-48), cited as PAEBa.


João Francisco Cabuçú to José Martiniano de Alencar, Salvador, Apr. 11, 1838, “Correspondência passiva do Senador José Martiniano de Alencar,” Anais da Biblioteca Nacional 86 (1966), 332.


Brazil, Minister of Justice, Relatório, 1838, p. 3.


Marcus Joaquim Maciel de Carvalho, “Hegemony and Rebellion in Pernambuco (Brazil), 1821–1835 (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1989), 251–83; Décio Freitas, Cabanos: os guerrilheiros do imperador (Rio de Janeiro: Graal, 1978); Dirceu Lindoso, A utópia armada: rebeliões de pobres nas matas do Tombo Real (1832-1850) (Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1983); Robin L. Anderson, The Caboclo as Revolutionary: The Cabanagem Revolt of 1835–1836,” in The Amazon Caboclo: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Eugene Philip Parker (Williamsburg: Department of Anthropology, College of William and Mary, 1985), 51-87; Júlio José Chiavenato, Cabanagem: o povo no poder (São Paulo: Editora Brasiliense, 1984); Pasquale di Paolo, Cabanagem: a revolução popular da Amazônia (Belém: Centro de Estudos Jurídicos do Pará, 1986); Maria de Lourdes Mônaco Janotti, A Balaiada (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987); Maria Januária Vilela Santos, A Balaiada e a insurreição de escravos no Maranhão (São Paulo: Editora Atica, 1983).


Rocha Pombo, História do Brasil, 14th ed. (São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1967), 360.


The three modern studies of the Sabinada recognize its race and class aspects but do not explore the links between military reform and revolt. Furthermore, I diverge from these scholars in my emphasis on the active role of slaves and the free lower classes in shaping the revolt. See Norman Holub, “The Brazilian Sabinada (1837-38): Revolt of the Negro Masses,” Journal of Negro History 54:3 (Summer 1969), 275–83; F. W. O. Morton, “The Conservative Revolution of Independence: Economy, Society, and Politics in Bahia, 1790-1840” (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford Univ., 1974), 340-75; Paulo Cesar Souza, A Sabinada: a revolta separatista da Bahia, 1837 (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987).


Kátia M. de Queirós Mattoso’s wage and price series contain large gaps for the 1830s. See Bahia: a cidade de Salvador e seu mercado no século XIX (São Paulo: Editora Hucitec, 1978), 293–373.·In contrast, on the basis of petitions for wage increases from government-employed artisans, João José Reis has concluded that the 1830s marked a particularly difficult period for Salvador’s free lower classes. “A elite baiana face os movimentos sociais: Bahia, 1824-1840,” Revista de História 54:108 (Oct.–Dec. 1976), 373–74.


President of Bahia to Minister of Interior, Salvador, Jan. 19, 1833, BNRJ/SM, II-34, 5, 79, no. 1, fol. 3r.


João José Reis, Rebelião escrava no Brasil: a história do levante dos malês, 2d ed. (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987), 16.


Stuart B. Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550–1835 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985), 468; Reis, Rebelião escrava, passim.


João José Reis and Eduardo Silva, Negociação e conflito: a resistência negra no Brasil escravista (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1989), 79–98.


Braz do Amaral, “O federalismo na Bahia, 1833–1889,” Anais do Primeiro Congresso da História da Bahia, 5 vols. (Salvador: Tipografia Benedetina, 1950), 3:380–82, 392–96. Contemporary observers often commented on the Brazilians’ hatred for the Portuguese. See James Wetherell, Brazil: Stray Notes from Bahia, Being Extracts from Letters, &c., during a Residence of Fifteen Years, ed. William Hadfield (Liverpool: Webb and Hunt, 1860), 75; U.S. Consul to Secretary of State, Salvador, Apr. 19, 1831, United States, National Archives and Records Service, “Despatches from United States Consuls in St. Salvador,” Microcopy T-432.


Morton, “Conservative Revolution,” 305–13, 321–23; Reis, Rebelião escrava, 37–63; Souza, Sabinada, 19–23, 165–68.


Roderick Barman, Brazil: The Forging of a Nation, 1798–1852 (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1988), 177–78, 183–85.


Novo Diário da Bahia, Aug. 9, 1837, PAEBa 4:396–99; Aug. 11, 1837, PAEBa 4: 401–3.


“Plano e fim revolucionário,” PAEBa 1:125. Political histories see the Sabinada as a direct reaction to Feijó’s resignation. Wanderley [de Araújo] Pinho, “A Bahia—1808–1856,” in História geral da civilisação brasileira (hereafter cited as HGCB), ed. Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, tomo 2, vol. 2 (São Paulo: Difusão Européia do Livro, 1964), 282–84; Barman, Brazil, 195–96.


Leslie Bethell and José Murilo de Carvalho incorrectly identify him as Sabino Barroso in “1822–1850,” chap. 2 in Brazil: Empire and Republic, 1822–1930, ed. Bethell (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989), 72.


The police force did not wholeheartedly support the Sabinada, and deserted six days later.


“Atas da Camara Municipal extraídas do Livro dos Anos de 1835 a 1838” (hereafter cited as “ACM”), PAEBa 5: 113–16.


Francisco Gonçalves Martins to President of Bahia, Engenho de Baixo, Nov. 8, 1837, PAEBa 2:399; Francisco Gonçalves Martins, “Breve e simples expozição dos acontecimentos do dia 7 de Novembro . . .,” PAEBa 5:11–14. Both Morton, “Conservative Revolution,” 351–59, and Souza, Sabinacla, 25–42, 52–106, discuss the course of the war.


Proclamation of President of Bahia, Nov. 9, 1837, on board the brig Vinte e Nove de Agosto, PAEBa 2:60–61; Proclamation of Antônio Pereira Barreto Pedroso, Cachoeira, Nov. 20, 1837, PAEBa 2:75–76; Proclamation of João Chrisostomo Callado, Pirajá, Feb. 26, 1838, PAEBa 4: 334–35.


Barreto Pedroso to Antônio Pereira Rebouças, n.p., Jan. 18, [1838], “A Sabinada nas cartas de Barreto Pedroso a Rebouças,” Anais da Biblioteca Nacional 88 (1968), 213–14.


Souza, Sabinada, 11–12. His careful discussion of the Sabinada leaders ideology should not be missed. Ibid., 158–91.


Manifesto of João Carneiro da Silva Rego, Salvador, Nov. 7, 1837, PAEBa 2:59–60; Proclamation of Carneiro, Salvador, Nov. 30, 1837, PAEBa 2:79.


Novo Diário da Bahia, Dec. 6, 1837, p. 1. On the strength of the emperor as a focus for political loyalties, see Barman, Brazil, 195; and Souza, Sabinada, 169–70, 176.


Proclamation of Carneiro, Nov. 15, 1837, O Sete de Novembro (Salvador), Nov. 23, 1837, p.·10; “Communicado,” ibid., Dec. 5, 1837, p. 46; “Interior,” O Novo Sete de Novembro (Salvador), Dec. 18, 1837, pp. 1–2; Proclamation of Alexandre Ferreira do Carmo Sicupira, ibid., Jan. 5, 1838, p. 4.


William Broughton to Graham Eden Hamond, on board HMS Samarang, Rio de Janeiro, Mar. 4, 1838, FO 13, vol. 143, fols. 260r–260v.


For example, Carneiro to Portuguese Consul, Salvador, Jan. 2, 1838, Diario da Bahia, Jan. 3, 1838, reprinted in the Jornal do Commercio (Rio de Janeiro), Jan. 12, 1838, p. 2; [João da Veiga Murici], “Esento de Philopatro,” n.d., PAEBa 1:181. Bethell and Carvalho, “1822–1850,” p. 73, apparently following Pinho, “Bahia,” 284, incorrectly note that anti-Portuguese sentiment was absent from the Sabinada.


Carneiro to Police Chief, Salvador, Jan. 15, 1838, BNRJ/SM, 1–31, 12, 1, fol. 77v. See also letter from “trustworthy person,” Salvador, Jan. 5, 1838, Jornal do Commercio, Jan. 15, 1838, p. 1; William Broughton to Minister to Brazil, on board HMS Samarang, Salvador, Jan. 14, 1838, FO 13, vol. 150, fol. 103v; “Letter from Bahia,” Feb. 19, 1838, Jornal do Commercio, Mar. 6, 1838, pp. 1–2; Vice Consul to Chargé d’Affaires, Bahia, Feb. 24, 1838, FO 13, vol. 143, fol. 255r.


Letter to Carneiro, c. Feb. 1838, BNRJ/SM, 1–31, 12, 4; Ofício of Police Chief, Salvador, Jan. 15, 1838, ibid.


Anonymous, “Narrativa dos successos da Sabinada . . . escripta por um rebelde ou sympathico . . .,” PAEBa 1:338; Interrogation of Antonio Gomes Villaça, n.p., n.d., PAEBa 1:134.


Testimony of José Balthazar da Silveira, Salvador, May 15, 1838, “Processo crime contra (hereafter PCC) os vereadores da Cama Municipal da Bahia,” APEBa, maço 2835, fol. 54v.


Souza, Sabinada, 135–38; F. W. O. Morton, “The Military and Society in Bahia, 1800–1821,” Journal of Latin American Studies 7:2 (Nov. 1975), 262–63.


This and subsequent data on officers’ careers arc based on 71 service records (fés de ofício) in AHEx. These records represent 40 percent of the 179 commissioned officers and cadets (excluding surgeons and chaplains) present in Salvador in the mid-1830s who can be accounted for by name, based on three lists: Bahian Officers to Legislative Assembly, Salvador, c. May 1835, ANRJ, IG1, maço 116, fols. 384r–386r; “Rellação nominal das praças que compôem o 3° de Ces. de 1a Linha do Exercito,” July 1, 1837, ibid., fols. 540r–548r; “Relação nominal do 3° Corpo de Artilharia de 1a Linha em 1° de Julho de 1837,” ibid., fols. 528r–538r.


Francisco de Paula Cidade, Cadetes e alunos militares através dos tempos (Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca do Exército, 1961), 20–29.


Nilo Val, Formação do exercito brasileiro e sua evolução no século XIX,” Congresso lnternacional de História da América (1922), 9 vols. (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasiliero, 1929), 7: 643–45; Eurípides Simões de Paula, “A organização do exército brasileiro,” HGCB, tomo 2, vol. 2, pp. 275–76. Although several modern studies of the Brazilian army cover parts of the nineteenth century, the Regency remains unexamined. See Michael C. McBeth, The Politicians vs. the Generals: The Decline of the Brazilian Army During the First Empire, 1822–1831” (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Washington, 1972); John Henry Schulz, “The Brazilian Army and Politics, 1850–1894” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton Univ., 1973); Robert Ames Hayes, The Armed Nation: The Brazilian Corporate Mystique (Tempe: Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State Univ., 1989); Nelson Werneck Sodré, História militar do Brasil, 3d ed. (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1979).


Officers to Assembly, Salvador, c. May 1835, ANRJ, IG1, maço 116, fols. 379r–386r.


Ibid., fol. 380v.


McBeth, “Politicians vs. Generals,” 54–55; Morton, “Military and Society,” 251. Using published biographical information on generals and brigadiers, McBeth also found a lack of promotions in the 1830s. “Brazilian Generals, 1822–1865: A Statistical Survey of Their Careers,” The Americas 44:2 (Oct. 1987), 129–31.


“ACM,” PAEBa 5:113.


Officers to Assembly, Salvador, c. May 1835, ANRJ, IG1, maço 116, fol. 381r.


Ordem do Dia, Salvador, Sept. 2, 1831, reprinted in Gazeta da Bahia, Sept. 3, 1831, ANRJ, IG1, maço 115, fol. 104r; Commander of Arms to Minister of War, Salvador, Dec. 22, 1832, ANRJ, IG1, maço 115, fol. 290v; President of Bahia to Minister of War, Salvador, May 29, 1833, ANRJ, IG1, maço 115, fol. 303v.


Gizlene Neder, Nancy Naro, and José Luiz. Werneck da Silva, A polícia na corte e no Distrito Federal, 1831–1930 (Rio de Janeiro: Pontífica Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, 1981), 89–96; Augusto de Lima Júnior, Crônica militar (Belo Horizonte: Estabelecimentos Gráficos Santa Maria, 1960), 117–55; Alcides Passos Palma, ed., História da polícia civil da Bahia (Salvador: Governo do Estado da Bahia, 1979), 85–90, 105–8.


Officers to Assembly, Salvador, c. May 1835, ANRJ, IG1, maço 116, fols. 380r, 383r.


Francisco Gonçalves Martins, “Supplemento á minha exposição dos acontecimentos do dia 7 de novembro . . .,” PAEBa 2: 275.


Interrogation of Jacome de Mattos Telles de Menezes, Salvador, May 24, 1838 BNRJ/SM, 1–31, 12, 4.


“ACM,” PAEBa 5:113. Three weeks later the Recôncavo government followed suit, proudly presenting the salary increase as a generous gift from President Barreto Pedroso. Ordem do Dia no. 3, Pirajá, Nov. 28, 1838, PAEBa 3: 333.


Broughton to Minister to Brazil, on board HMS Samarang, Jan. 14, 1838, FO 13, vol. 150, fol. 101r; “Para o Relatório,” Nov. 16, 1837, ANRJ, Coleção Caxias, caixa 810; Francisco Ramiro de Assis Coelho to Regent, Bahia, Dec. 11, 1837, AIHGB, lata 213, doc. 11, fol. 1v.


Officers to Assembly, Salvador, c. May 1835, ANRJ, IG1, maço 116, fols. 379r, 382r.


Bando of Carneiro, Nov. 15, 1837, Jornal do Commercio, Nov. 27, 1838, p. 1; “ACM,” PAEBa 5:113.


Ordem do Dia no. 676, Salvador, Nov. 23, 1837, O Sete de Novembro, Dec. 5, 1837, p. 48; “Communicado,” Novo Diário da Bahia, Jan. 16, 1838, p. 4. Although Morton notes the restoration of the militia (“Conservative Revolution,” 354), Souza argues that the Sabinada maintained the National Guard. Sabinada, 70–71.


Pedro Victor d’Alcantara to (?), Bonfim, Feb. 2, 1838, “PCC José Xavier Pitanga, e outros . . .,” APEBa, maço 2838, fol. 31r.


Jeanne Berrance de Castro, A milicia cidadã: a Guarda Nacional de 1831 a 1850 (São Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1977); Maria Auxiliadora Faria, “A Guarda Nacional em Minas Gerais (1831–1873),” Revista Brasileira de Estudos Políticos 49 (July 1979), 145–99; Antônio Edmilson Martins Rodrigues, Francisco José Calazans Falcon, and Margarida de Souza Neves, A Guarda Nacional no Rio de Janeiro, 1831–1918 (Rio de Janeiro: Pontífica Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, 1981); Fernando Uricoechea, The Patrimonial Foundations of the Brazilian Bureaucratic State (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1980). On the militia, see Morton, “Military and Society,” 263–68; Glacyra Lazzari Leite, Pernambuco 1817: estrutura e comportamentos sociais (Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco/Editora Massangana, 1988), 145–74; A. J. R. Russell-Wood, The Black Man in Slavery and Freedom in Colonial Brazil (London: MacMillan, 1982), 84–93.


Luiz dos Santos Vilhena, Recopilação de notícias soteropolitanas e brasilicas . . ., ed. Braz do Amaral, 2 vols. (Salvador: Imprensa Official do Estado, 1921), 1: 252–54, 260, 267. In 1808, the colored regiments were still closer to full strength than their white counterparts. “Mappa dos 4 regimentos de milícias desta eidade,” Salvador, Feb. 20, 1808, BNRJ/ SM, 11–33, 22, 62. The black colonel earned 5 milréis monthly in 1803, while the white major earned 26 milréis. “Lista dos soldos,” Salvador, Mar. 8, 1803, BNRJ/SM, 11–33, 28, 10, fol. 276r. On the Portuguese crown’s attempts to satisfy the mulatto regiment, see Bussell-Wood, Black Man, 90–93.


João Maurício Rugendas, Viagem pituresca através do Brasil, 8th ed., trails. Sérgio Milliet (Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, 1979), 277. See also Maria Dundas Graham, Journal of a Voyage to Brazil and Residence There during Part of the Years 1821, 1822, 1823 (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, 1824; reprint, New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), 141.


Morton, “Conservative Revolution,” 297.


Castro, Milíca cidadã, 108, 126, 128, 155–57.


O Homem de Cor (Rio de Janeiro), Sept. 14, 1833, p. 2. From a juridical perspective, Castro considers the integration of all races into a single National Guard to have been a progressive step. Milícia cidadã, 6, 77, 135–45, 239–40.


Petition of Pedro Jozé dos Santos to Emperor, n.p., n.d. [c. 1833], AHEx, VI-9-120. See also Rodrigues et al., Guarda Nacional, 82.


President of Bahia to Minister of Interior, Salvador, Mar. 15, 1833, BNRJ/SM, II-33, 32, 43; Commander of Arms to Minister of War, Salvador, Mar. 21, 1833, ANRJ, IG1, maço 252, fol. 344r.


Anonymous, “Narrativa,” PAEBa 1:339; Interrogation of José d’Araujo Tavares, Salvador, Feb. 5, 1839, “PCC o 2° Batalhão de 2a Linha dos Voluntarios Leais a Patria,” APEBa, maço 2839, fol. 76v.


Sodré, História militar, 105–35.


Proclamation of Carneiro, Nov. 21, 1837, PAEBa 2:77; Novo Diário da Bahia, Dec. 7, 1837, p. 2; “Oh torpeza inaudita,” ibid., Dec. 14, 1837, pp. 1–2; “As armas!!! As armas!!!,” ibid., Dec. 18, 1837, pp. 1–4; O Novo Sete de Novembro, Dec. 31, 1837, p. 2.


Souza, Sabinada, 129–41.


Calculated from “PCC Manoel de Sá Boaventura Ferraz . . . e outros, que forão do de Artifices,” APEBa, maço 2839.


“Lista do Dr. Simões, sobre os presos sahidos para diversos pontos,” PAEBa 4:265–66.


Correio Mercantil (Salvador), Apr. 6, 1838, reprinted in Jornal do Commercio, Apr. 30, 1838, p. 1.


Lei de 29 de Novembro de 1832, “Codigo do Processo Criminal de Primeira Instancia,” Art. 98, Collecção das leis do Império do Brazil de 1832 (Rio de Janeiro: Typographia Nacional, 1874), 203.


Vice Consul, Memorandum, Jan. 15, 1838, FO 13, vol. 150, fols. 108r, 109r; Vice Consul to Minister to Brazil, Salvador, Jan. 13, 1838, FO 13, vol. 143, fol. 187v.


Barreto Pedroso to President of Pernambuco, on board the frigate Principe Imperial, Mar. 1, 1838, PAEBa 4:459.


Appendix 2 to Francisco José Martins to President of Bahia, Fernando de Noronha, Aug. 18, 1838, PAEBa 3:422.


“Lista do Dr. Simões,” PAEBa 4:265–66.


Novo Diário da Bahia, Dec. 26, 1837, p. 2. On Rebouças’ equivocal relations with mulatto politics, see Thomas Flory, “Race and Social Control in Independent Brazil,” Journal of Latin American Studies 9:2 (Nov. 1977), 213–14.


The most detailed treatment of the Sabinada’s policy toward slavery is Souza, Sabinada, 146–57.


Morton, “Conservative Revolution,” 363, 368, 373.


Proclamation of Carneiro, Nov. 14, 1837, Jornal do Commercio, Nov. 27, 1837, p. 1.


Decree of Carneiro, Jan. 12, 1838, PAEBa 2:74; Broughton to Minister to Brazil, on board HMS Samarang, Salvador, Jan. 14, 1838, FO 13, voi. 150, fols. 103v–104r.


Daniel Gomes de Freitas, “Narrativa dos successos da Sabinada,” PAEBa 1:267–68, 276–77, 281.


Proclamation of Carneiro, Jan. 3, 1838, PAEBa 2:83; Carneiro to Sr. General em Chefe do Exército, Salvador, Jan. 8, 1838, O Novo Sete de Novembro, Jan. 13, 1838, p. 4.


José Xavier Pitanga to Sr. Tene Comme Bam de 2a La Leaes a Patria, Itapagipe, Jan. 24, 1838, “PCC José Xavier Pitanga,” APEBa, maço 2838, fol. 25r.


Vice Consul to Committee of Merchants, Salvador, Jan. 10, 1838, FO 13, vol. 143, fol 132r; Broughton to Minister to Brazil, on hoard HMS Samarang, Salvador, Jan. 14, 1838, FO 13, vol. 150, fol. 103v; Vice Consul, Memorandum, Jan. 15, 1838, ibid., fol 107v; Vice Consul to Minister to Brazil, Salvador, Jan. 13, 1838, FO 13, vol. 143, fols. 186v–187r; Barreto Pedroso to Minister of Justice, Pirajá, Nov. 19, 1837, PAEBa 4:436.


“Avisos,” Novo Diário da Bahia, Jan. 16, 1838, p. 8; Decree of Carneiro and Freitas, Salvador, Feb. 19, 1838, BNBJ/SM I-31, 12, 1, fols. 404v–405r; Freitas, “Narrativa,” PAEBa 1:300-301; “Letter from Bahia,” Feb. 24, 1838, Jornal do Commercio, Mar. 6, 1838, p. 2.


Souza, Sabinada, 148.


On the Airican-Brazilian divisions in Salvador’s slave population and elite perceptions of Africans, see Reis, Rebelião escrava, 174–79; and Reis and Silva, Negociação e conflito, 44–47.


Certidões, Antônio Peixoto de Miranda, Carceiro do Aljube, Apr. 25, 1838, and Antônio Pereira de Almeida, Cadeias da Rellação, Apr. 14, 1838, BNRJ/SM I-31, 12, 1, fols. 48r–51v.


Anonymous, “Narrativa,” PAEBa 1:341.


Freitas, “Narrativa,” PAEBa 1:298–99.


“Extract of a Letter from Mr. Vice Consul Whately dated Bahia Feby. 17 1838” [sic], FO 13, vol. 143, fol. 206r.


Robert Dundas, Sketches of Brazil: Including New Views on Tropical and European Fever with Remarks on a Premature Decay of the System Incident to Europeans on Their Return from Hot Climates (London: John Churchill, 1852), 395.


Broughton to Minister to Brazil, on board HMS Samarang, Salvador, Jan. 14, 1838, FO 13, vol. 150, fol. 104v; Sabino to English Consul [sic], Salvador, Jan. 24, 1838, PAEBa 5:399.


Conde de Suzannet, O Brasil em 1845 (semelhanças e diferenças após um século), trans. Marcia de Moura Castro (Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Editora da Casa do Estudante do Brasil, 1957), 188–89.


Interrogation of Joaquim da Silva Freire, São Francisco, Nov. 12, 1838, PAEBa 3:29·


Freitas, “Narrativa,” PAEBa 1:290; “Extract of a Letter from Vice Consul Whately,” fol. 205v.


Freitas, “Narrativa,” PAEBa 1:291, 321–22; Callado to Minister of War [Salvador], Mar. 17, 1838, PAEBa 2:96; John Shepherd to Hamond, on hoard HMS Sparrowhawk, Salvador, Mar. 17, 1838, FO 13, vol. 144, fol. 9v; “Letter from Bahia,” Feb. 19, 1838, Jornal do Commercio, Mar. 6, 1838, p. 2.


Declaration of A. Bonjour and G. May, Salvador, June 9, 1838, “PCC Manoel de Sá Boaventura Ferraz,” APEBa, maço 2839, fol. 81r; Interrogation of João Antunes de Azevedo Chaves, Salvador, May 22, 1838, “PCC os vereadores,” APEBa, maço 2835, fol. 57v; Luiz da França Pinto Garcez, “Certidão passada a requerimento do Alferes Rodrigo Chavier de Figueredo Ardignac,” Salvador, June 5, 1838, ANRJ, IJ1, maço 708 (1840), fol. 43r.


Antônio Gomes d’Argollo Ferrão and Gonçalves Martins to President of Bahia, Engenho da Cajahiba, Nov. 10, 1837, PAEBa 4:327. A close precedent for the repression after the Sabinada can be found in the crackdown on the city’s African population after the 1835 slave revolt. See Reis, Rebelião escrava, 235–81.


João Chrisostomo Callado, “Relatório dos acontecimentos dos dias 13, 14, 15 e 16 de Março de 1838,” PAEBa 2:205.


L.P.A.B. [sic] to Regent, Salvador, May 20, 1838, AIHGB, lata 214, doc. 43, fol. iv.


Ferrão to Callado, Salvador, Mar. 20, 1838, PAEBa 4:343; “Alleluia bahianos,” Correia Mercantil, Apr. 18, 1838, p. 2.


Callado, “Relatório,” PAEBa 2:204.


See, for example, the report of João Baptista Pereira Guimarães to Barreto Pedroso, Apr. 2, 1838, Maragogipe, PAEBa 4:388–89.


Minister of War to President of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 17, 1837, PAEBa 5:328; Mar. 23, 1838, PAEBa 5:340; Barreto Pedroso to Minister of War, Salvador, Mar. 24, 1838, PAEBa 2:106; “Rellação numerica dos presos rebeldes que desta Provincia sahirão para a Corte do Rio de Janeiro . . .,” Salvador, Nov. 13, 1838, PAEBa 4:266.


See the petitions in APEBa, maço 2834.


Barreto Pedroso to Police Chief, Salvador, Mar. 31 and Apr. 3, 1838, PAEBa 5:266, 269. On the 1835 deportations, see Reis, Rebelião escrava, 257, 274–75.


See, for example, President of Bahia to Police Chief, Salvador, Apr. 19, 1838, PAEBa 5:281.


Lei [provincial] de 30 de Abril de 1838, no. 65, PAEBa 4:481.


F. J. Martins to President of Bahia, Fernando de Noronha, Aug. 18, 1838, PAEBa 3:418.


Calculated from F. J. Martins’ reports to presidents of Pernambuco, 1838–1840, Arquivo Público do Estado de Pernambuco, Recife, FN, vol. 2, fols. 354r–461r.


See the documents relating to this case in ANRJ, IJ1, maço 708(1840), fols. 1r–16r.


For example, “Rellação dos Empregados do Arsenal da Marinha . . . demittidos em virtude do Avizo datado de hoje,” May 18, 1838, PAEBa 5:311; President of Bahia to Postmaster, Salvador, Apr. 10, 1838, PAEBa 5:275; Barreto Pedroso to Director of Lyceum, Salvador, Mar. 24, 1838, PAEBa 5:248.


For an example of a successful attempt to return to a job, see Petition of Feliciano Luiz de Almeida to Emperor, n.p. [c. 1840], PAEBa 5:317.


President of Bahia to Minister of War, Salvador, Tune 16, 1838, ANRJ, IG1, maço 116, fol. 831r.


“Accordão em Rellação . . .,” Rio de Janeiro, Jan. 14, 1840, PAEBa 5:384; “Quadro dos réos comprehendidos na rebellião . . . da Bahia . . . amnistiados pelo Decreto de 22 de Agosto de 1840 . . .,” in Brazil, Minister of Justice, Relatório, 1841.


Interrogation of João Pereira Carrapicho, Salvador, Aug. 18, 1840, “PCC José Francisco de Paula Tourinho e outros da ‘Cavalharia’ de Linha dos rebeldes,” APEBa, maço 2836, fol. 86r.


José de Sá Bethencourt e Camara to President of Bahia, Salvador, Mar. 7, 1839, BNRJ/SM, I-31, 14, 54, doc. 11; Thomas Flory, Judge and Jury in Imperial Brazil, 1808–1871: Social Control and Political Stability in the New State (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1981), 140–41, 143–44; Patricia Ann Aufderheide, “Order and Violence: Social Deviance and Social Control in Brazil, 1780–1840” (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Minnesota, 1976), 280–82.


“Quadro dos réos comprehendidos na rebellião . . .,” in Brazil, Minister of Justice, Relatório, 1841. On Sabino’s trial, see Souza, Sabinada, 116–26.


See esp. Morton, “Conservative Revolution,” 340, 374–75.


Ferrão to Police Chief, Salvador, Apr. 18, 1838, PAEBa 4:366; President of Bahia to Police Chief, Salvador, Apr. 18, 1838, PAEBa 5:281. On the participation of colored soldiers in Salvador’s confraternities, see Patricia A. Mulvey, “Black Brothers and Sisters: Membership in the Black Lay Brotherhoods of Colonial Brazil,” Luso-Brazilian Review 17:2 (Winter 1980), 264.


Visconde de Pirajá to Regent, Salvador, June 28, 1838, PAEBa 4:372–73. “Blacks killing whites” refers to the commemoration of the militia’s participation in the independence war.


Daniel P. Kidder, Sketches of Residence and Travels in Brazil, Embracing Historical and Geographical Notices of the Empire and Its Several Provinces, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Sorin and Ball, 1845), 2:55–58, 61, 64–65.


João Chrisostomo Callado, “Exposição dos successos . . .,” PAEBa 5:63–64; Jornal do Gommercio, Mar. 31, 1838, p. 1; Chargé d’Affaires to Foreign Secretary, Rio de Janeiro, Apr. 5, 1838, FO 13, vol. 143, fol. 4v.


Brazil, Secretaria da Câmara dos Deputados, Falas do trono desde o ano de 1823 ate o ano de 1889 . . . (Brasília: Instituto Nacional do Livro, 1977), 187.


Speech of Gonçalves Martins, May 18, 1838, Brazil, Anais da Camara dus Deputados, 1838, 2:139.


Barreto Pedroso to President of Pernambuco, on board the frigate Principe Imperial, Mar. 1, 1838, PAEBa 4:460.


Brazil, Minister of Justice, Relatório, 1840, p. 6.


In his classic history of the Empire, Joaquim Nabuco argues that “the agitation of those 10 years produced the peace of the 50 that followed.” Um estadista do império (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Aguilar, 1975), 63. For recent views of the Regresso, see Flory, Judge and Jury, 131–56: Barman, Brazil, 189–216; and Ilmar Rohloff de Mattos, O tempo saquarema (São Paulo: Hucitec, 1987).


In 1844, the emperor permitted officers to remove material referring to Sabinada courts-martial from their service records. See the service record of Ignacio Joaquim Pitombo, Mar. 27, 1852, AHEx, XIX-3-186; and compare Innocencio Eustaquio Ferreira de Araujo’s service records of Mar. 15, 1844, and Apr. 4, 1850, AHEx, IV-16-32.


Augusto Victorino Alves do Sacramento Blake, “A Revolução de 7 de Novembro e o Dr. Francisco Alves [sic] da Rocha Vieira,” Revista do Instituto Historico e Geographico Brasileiro 50:4 (1887), 187.


Henrique Praguer, “A Sabinada: história da revolta da Bahia em 1837,” PAEBa 1:104. See also Francisco Vicente Vianna, “A Sabinada: história da révolta da Cidade da Bahia em 1837” PAEBa 1:105.


Thomas Garcês Paranhos Montenegro et al. to Instituto Geographico e Historico da Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, July 10, 1896, PAEBa 4:418–19; “Auto de exhumação dos ossos do Dr. Francisco Sabino Alvares da Rocha Vieira,” PAEBa 4:191–97.


Braz do Amaral, “A Sabinada,” PAEBa 2:23, 51. On the holiday, see “Movimentos sediciosos, a Sabinada, Bento Gonçalves da Silva,” Annaes do Archivo Público e do Museu do Estado da Bahia 2 (1918), 125.


PAEBa 5:iii; Edith Mendes da Gama Abreu, “Ambiente social da Bahia da Independencia á Sabinada, PAEBa 4:136; Octávio Moniz Barretto, “Discurso . . . pronunciado na sessão de encerramento das conferencias sobre a Sabinada,” PAEBa 4:157; Luiz Vianna Filho, A Sabinada (a república bahiana de 1837) (Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1938); Deolindo Amorim, “A Sabinada e a sua grande significação historica,” Revista do Instituto Geographico e Historico da Bahia 63 (1937), 233–70.


Souza, Sabinada, 9–10, 18, 190–91.