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Handwritten letter from André Rebouças (1874)

Handwritten letter from André Rebouças (1874)

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In 1874, engineer Rebouças wrote a long letter to a colleague about the railways being built in the Empire.

  • Handwritten letter from André Rebouças to an unidentified colleague.
  • One sheet, three pages.
  • In Portuguese.
  • 20 cm x 26 cm.
  • Good state.
  • Unique piece.

Rio de Janeiro, November 27, 1874

(...) Senator Sinimbú, who wrote this Law, had in mind the miserable examples of the Bahia and Pernambuco Railways, which have been operating for 20 years, with the full weight of 7% on the National Treasury!

(...) The Ministry of Agriculture is, therefore, entirely outside the Law when, giving in to political pressure, it wants sea stations with 10 meters or 33 feet of draft when the Paranaguá basin only has 4 meters! He has no right to want anything more than an economic railway in Paraná, which can live on its own, and not be an eternal burden for the national treasury.

(...) All these stories about railways to Bolivia, about transcontinental railways, are idealisms, which only serve to deceive papalvos!

(...) The reality is that the Bahia and Pernambuco railway has been waiting for 20 years for its extension, and Rio de Janeiro for 4 years for a credit for its water supply.

André Rebouças (1838-1898) was a great figure in 19th century Brazil, leaving a lasting legacy in both the field of engineering and social activism. He is remembered as one of the most brilliant and progressive minds of his time in Brazil. He was one of the representatives of the small black middle class on the rise in the Second Reign. As an engineer, he was responsible for important infrastructure projects in Brazil, including the construction of roads, railways and port improvements. Politically, Rebouças was a fervent supporter of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, working alongside figures such as Joaquim Nabuco and José do Patrocínio and actively participating in abolitionist campaigns.

In 1871, André and his brother Antônio, also an engineer, presented the railway project connecting the city of Curitiba to the coast of Paraná, in the city of Antonina, to Emperor D. Pedro II. During the execution of the project, the route was changed to the port of Paranaguá. To this day, this railway project stands out for the boldness of its conception. This extensive letter is a unique testimony to his involvement in the planning and construction of the railways, which were of fundamental importance for the economic development and territorial integration of the country. Letters by André Rebouças appear very rarely on the market.

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