4th governor-general of Brazil.
António Salema taught at the University of Coimbra. After that he took the position of High Court judge. He had been holding office in the captaincy of Pernambuco since 7 October, 1570, when he was appointed governor-general of Brazil.
After Mem de Sá?s death, Brazil was split into two sections, each with its governor: the Northern territory was under the command of Counsellor Luís Brito de Almeida, and the region south of Porto Seguro was entrusted to António Salema, who ruled over it from 1574 to 1577.
Before leaving for Rio de Janeiro, António Salema met with Luís Brito de Almeida in Salvador. They decided to change the law with regard to the enslavement of the natives, upon advice received from Judge Fernão da Silva and the Jesuits. The law of those times favoured abusive behaviour on the part of the settlers and acted as an obstacle on the natives? freedom, as opposed to what had been intended by Mem de Sá.
One of the main difficulties he had to face was the hostility of the natives who were contrary to Portuguese settlements. Besides posing a threat of rebellion, they often formed alliances with representatives of foreign powers who happened to be around the coast. In Cape Cold the French kept a trading post where they engaged in commercial activities with the Tamoio Indians, namely trading Brazilwood. The governor joined settlers and natives into a group, and managed to besiege the enemy. In his history of Brazil, Varnhagen says that António Salema wrote a book about this event, but that it got lost.
CAMPO BELO, Conde de, Governadores Gerais e Vice-Reis do Brasil, Lisboa, Agência Geral das Colónias, 1935. Nova história da expansão portuguesa, dir. Joel Serrão e A. H. Oliveira Marques; vol.VI, O império luso-brasileiro: 1520-1620, coord. Harold Jonhson e Maria Beatriz Nizza da Silva, Lisboa, Estampa, 1992. VARNHAGEN, Francisco Adolfo de, História Geral do Brasil: antes da sua separação e independência de Portugal, São Paulo, Ed. Melhoramentos, 4ªed., 1948.
Author: Rita Domingues
Translated by: Leonor Sampaio da Silva