Luís Gama

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Luiz Gama
Luiz Gama.jpg
A photograph of Luís Gama
Born Luís Gonzaga Pinto da Gama
(1830-06-21)21 June 1830
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Died 24 August 1882(1882-08-24) (aged 52)
São Paulo City, São Paulo, Brazil
Pen name Getulino
Occupation Lawyer, poet, journalist, republican and abolitionist
Nationality Brazil Brazilian
Alma mater University of São Paulo
Notable works Primeiras Trovas Burlescas de Getulino

Luiz Gonzaga Pinto da Gama (June 21, 1830 – August 24, 1882) was a Brazilian Romantic poet, journalist, lawyer, Republican and a prominent abolitionist.


Gama was born in 1830, to a Portuguese fidalgo who lost all his fortune with gambling, and Luísa Mahin (also spelled Maheu), a free African woman of "Mina" nation. According to Gama, she was involved in a rebellions that may have been the 1835 Malê Revolt.[1]

In 1840, when Gama was 10 years old, his father sold him illegally, allegedly because of debts. Gama was bought by an alférez named Antônio Pereira Cardoso. Cardoso would try to sell him, but no one would buy Gama, since he was originally from Bahia, and Bahian slaves had the fame of being runaways. Cardoso then decided to use Gama as a housekeeper in his farm in the city of Lorena.

In 1847, a student named Antônio Rodrigues de Araújo stayed in Cardoso's house. He and Gama developed a strong friendship, and Araújo taught Gama how to read and write. Thus learning about the illegality of his condition, Gama fled to São Paulo, and studied Law at the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de São Paulo, but did not finish the course. In later life, he would work as a rábula, that is, a non-graduated lawyer with permission of the government to follow that career.

During the 1860s he became a journalist, collaborating with Angelo Agostini in Ipiranga, Coroaci and O Polichileno. He founded the journal Radical Paulistano in 1869 alongside Rui Barbosa. An active opponent of Brazilian Monarchy, He also helped to create the Republican Party of São Paulo in 1873.

Gama freed more than one thousand slaves in São Paulo. He died in 1882 of diabetes.


Gama would publish a poetry book, Primeiras Trovas Burlescas de Getulino (Getulino's First Burlesque Ballads), under the pen name "Getulino", in 1859. Most of the poems are satires about the customs of the 19th-century Brazilian Monarchist aristocracy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elciene Azevedo, Orfeu de carapinha: a trajetória de Luiz Gama na imperial cidade de São Paulo (Campinas: Editora da Universidade de Campinas, 1999), 68.


  • Azevedo, Elcinene. Orfeu de carapinha: a trajetória de Luiz Gama na imperial cidade de São Paulo.Campinas: Editora da Universidade de Campinas, 1999.
  • Azevedo, Elciene. O direito dos escravos: lutas jurídicas e abolicionismo na província de São Paulo. Campinas, SP, Brasil: Editora Unicamp, 2010.
  • Braga-Pinto, César,"The Honor of the Abolitionist and the Shamefulness of Slavery: Raul Pompeia, Luís Gama and Joaquim Nabuco." Luso-Brazilian Review. 51(2), Dec. 2014. 170-199.
  • GAMA, Luís. Primeiras Trovas Burlescas de Getulino e Outros Poemas (edited by Lígia Ferreira). São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2000.
  • SILVA, J. Romão. Luís Gama e Suas Poesias Satíricas. Rio de Janeiro: Casa do Estudante.

External links[edit]