Territorial losses of Pernambuco

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1534: According to the Carta de Doação which passed through D. João III, the captaincy of Pernambuco would extend between the São Francisco and the Iguaraçu rivers, covering the entire current state of Alagoas until the border with the current state of Minas Gerais.

1817: The Revolution that exploded on March 6, 1817, lasted 70 days. The punishment given out by the king to those revolting included the mutilation of the province’s territory. Pernambuco lost (the County of) Alagoas.

1824: The loss of the County of São Francisco occurred as punishment for the triggering of the separatist movement knows as the Confederation of Ecuador. Dom Pedro I annexed it “provisionally” to Minas Gerais and, in 1827, to the state of Bahia “provisionally” as well.


Tucked into a tiny write-up on a Brazilian Unicef-related site, there was this map and a reference to where I could find the original, at Revista Continente (pg 67). The map is part of an article titled “A vingança do príncipe D. João contra um bando de inconfidentes” (Prince D. João’s revenge against a group of conspirators).

While it’s is interesting to note how big Pernambuco would have been (2.5x bigger), had it not revolted, I’m doing this post to also shine light on the often unmentioned County of São Francisco, which, like Alagoas, might have also been a state in its own right.

The County of São Francisco was instituted in 1820, stemming from a division of the County of the Sertão de Pernambuco (1810). After four years under Pernambuco, it was given to MG for three years, then to BA in 1827.

In recent years, there have been several attempts to make the County into a Brazilian state, but without success.

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