Henrique Dias

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Portrait of Henrique Dias at the Museu do Estado de Pernambuco (Museum of the State of Pernambuco)

Henrique Dias (died 8 June 1662)[1] was a literate Afro-Brazilian soldier and militia leader born in the Portuguese colony of Brazil. There is no consensus among historians whether he was born free or captive.

Military Career[edit]

Dias led a military regiment composed of enslaved and free Afro-Brazilians and was known as "Governor of the Blacks" in 1636.[2] Dias defended Portuguese settlements from Dutch forces and played important roles in the First and Second Battles of Guararapes,[3][4] in the defense of Salvador, Bahia, and to restore Portuguese control over Pernambuco[2]. Dias' title was expanded to "Governor of All Creoles, Blacks, and Mulattoes,"[5][6] in 1639.[2]

It is debated whether Dias received nobility status within Brazil, some believe Dias was granted Knighthood in The Order of Christ,[7] while others debate Dias never received this title[8] and requested knighthood be granted to the men who marry his daughters.[9] Dias traveled to Portugal and petitioned the crown to grant his requests. Dias requested the enslaved blacks who served with him be freed should have "all the rights and privileges of white units."[10] Dias also requested to be compensated for his efforts and allowed to serve as long as he wished.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Judith L. Allen, "Henrique Dias" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 2, p. 375. Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.
  2. ^ a b c 1.     Mattos, Hebe. ""Black Troops" and Hierarchies of Color in the Portuguese Atlantic World: The Case of Henrique Dias and His Black Regiment." Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 8.
  3. ^ Mattos, Hebe Pretos and Pardos between the Cross and the Sword, 2006 Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe Online pdf.
  4. ^ Mattos, Hebe Da Guerra Preta as hierarquias de cor no Atlântico Português Online pdf.
  5. ^ José Antonio Gonsalves de Mello. Henrique Dias: Governador dos pretos, crioulos, e mulatos do estado do Brasil. 1954
  6. ^ Allen, "Henrique Dias" p. 375.
  7. ^ Mattos, Hebe. ""Black Troops" and Hierarchies of Color in the Portuguese Atlantic World: The Case of Henrique Dias and His Black Regiment." Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 7.
  8. ^ a b Mattos, Hebe. "'Pretos' and 'Pardos' between the Cross and the Sword: Racial Categories in Seventeenth Century Brazil." Revista Europea De Estudios Latinoamericanos Y Del Caribe / European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, no. 80 (2006): 46.
  9. ^ 1. Mattos, Hebe. "'Pretos' and 'Pardos' between the Cross and the Sword: Racial Categories in Seventeenth Century Brazil." Revista Europea De Estudios Latinoamericanos Y Del Caribe / European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, no. 80 (2006): 43-55.
  10. ^ Allen, "Henrique Dias", p. 375.

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Judith L. "Henrique Dias" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 2, p. 375. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.
  • Boxer, C.R., The Dutch in Brazil, 1624-1654. 1957.
  • Gonsalves de Mello, José Antonio. Henrique Dias: Governador dos pretos, crioulos, e mulatos do estado do Brasil. 1954
  • Mattos, Hebe. "Black Troops and Hierarchies of Color in the Portuguese Atlantic World: The Case of Henrique Dias and his Black Regiment," Luso-Brazilian Review Volume 45, Number 1, 2008
  • Pita, Sebastião da Rocha, História da América Portuguesa, Ed. Itatiaia, 1976
  • Russell-Wood, A.J.R. The Black Man in Slavery and Freedom in Colonial Brazil. 1982.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]