José do Patrocínio

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José do Patrocínio (1854-1905) was a prominent Brazilian writer, abolitionist, and member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. Born to a White Brazilian man and a formerly enslaved Black woman from what is now Ghana, Patrocínio trained as a pharmacist and became known for his writing and his fierce support for the abolitionist cause. His efforts came to fruition when Brazil became the last nation in the Americas to outlaw Black slavery in 1888. After the overthrow of the empire the following year, he would run afoul of the country’s new republican government when he supported a military revolt against president Floriano Peixoto, which got him banished to a small town in the Amazon. He returned to Rio de Janeiro a few years later and is said to have died following a tribute to Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1905.

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