From the Thames to the Amazon: The Idea of Emancipation in Two (Almost) Contemporaneous Luso-Brazilian Periodicals

Friday, January 4, 2013: 9:10 AM
Preservation Hall, Studio 8 (New Orleans Marriott)
Neil F. Safier, University of British Columbia
The arrival of a printing press in the Estado do Grão-Pará in 1820 represented an important moment in the history of emancipation in Brazil. Felipe Patroni, a native of Belém, had become influenced by liberal ideas during his studies at Coimbra and returned to his native Pará to found and disseminate a newspaper that would convey those perspectives to a wider audience. One scholar has called Patroni’s O Paraense “the focal point for debate and dissemination of news from the rest of Brazil,” and it undoubtedly played an important role in discussions of political emancipation and other topics in the years following its establishment. While in Portugal, Patroni would have likely become familiar with the rhetoric of another newspaper with abolitionist leanings, edited by another Luso-Brazilian: Hipólito da Costa’s Correio Braziliense, which treated many similar themes (and which ended its print run the very year that O Paraense got its start in Belém). My paper will examine the discourse of emancipation in both of these two newspapers – the Correio Braziliense (published in London by Hipólito da Costa) and O Paraense (published in Belém by Patroni and later Batista Campos) — and will attempt to reveal the rhetorical similarities and differences in two periodicals whose socio-cultural circumstances and respective origins were quite distinctive, but which nonetheless ended up with rather similar arguments in favor of the abolition of the slave trade in Brazil and beyond.