The great interest in the trade from India did not
estimulate Portugal to economically exploit brazilian riches until
half of the century XVI. During this period, French pirates attended
the coast of Paraíba
were very well placed with the Indians Potiguaras: bringing
things without value and taking out the brazilwood, from wich
a red pigment widely used for coloring fabrics throughout Europe.
In 1574 the Kingdom of Portugal mobilized
for greater control of the region, aiming to extinguish
of French pirates on our coast and avoid, in future, any possibility
of indian attack on the village of Olinda and farms on the periphery.
short, it has become urgent to ensure the monopoly on sugar and
economic power of Capitainship of Pernambuco, but also start the
the land to the north. Thus, the same year of 1574, King Sebastian
decided to divide the Capitainship of Itamaracá creating
the Real Capitainship of Paraiba.
Meanwhile, much of this area was inhabited by Indians Potiguaras and
this was a complicating point that delayed in 11 years to conquer
1585-08-05: only after 5
military expeditions, and with support of Indians Tabajaras,
Portuguese managed to defeat the Potiguaras and found
the Royal City of Nossa Senhora das Neves on the
right bank of Sanhauá River,
a tributary of Paraíba River.
the brave Potiguaras continued to turn in hell the life
of the inhabitants of the city
until 1599 when, already without support from French pirates
(who used to get provisions before) and under a terrible
of smallpox brought by European settlers, they retreated to the
Cidade Real de Nossa Senhora das Neves, was
founded on August 5, on the right bank of the river Sanhauá,
by authorization of Royal Finance of the Portuguese Crown.
Filipéia de Nossa Senhora das Neves in
honor of King Filipe II of Spain, during the period in which the
was incorporated to the Spanish Crown.
Friederickstadt (City of Frederick)
in honor of the Prince of Orange, Frederick Henry of Nassau, during
the 20 years of Dutch occupation.
Cidade de Nossa Senhora das Neves after
the final expulsion of Dutch who dominated the entire
northeast of Brazil for 20 years.
Parahyba do Norte during the Pernambucan Revolution
against the absolutism of Portuguese. The provinces of Paraiba
and Rio Grande
do Norte joined the movement.
João Pessoa in a tribute to the political
João Pessoa de Albuquerque, then chairman
of the state of Paraiba, murdered in the city of Recife.
The Indians Potiguaras (potiguaras can
be translated as those who were fanatics for eating shrimps)
were the early inhabitants of the coast of Paraiba at the time
of Brazil. They lived in the delta of
Paraiba River and along until the Copaoba Hills. They were
fierce warriors who had the habit of, after the battles, roasting
and eating the enemies captured, which terrified particularly the
Portuguese. Faced for more than a decade to Portuguese forces
to the founding of the city. They were almost exterminated by
successive attacks of smallpox, from 1597, when, gradually, they
to the north. Today, in state of Paraiba, there
are 29 villages potiguaras, with population over 13,500
(2007) distributed in the municipalities of Baía da Traição,
Marcação and Rio Tinto. There are also groups remaining
in the state of Ceará.
The Indians Tabajaras arrived
in 1584 from the region of
Francisco River. They
were of great importance for the colonization of the captaincy,
as the agreement of Piragibe (Arm of Fish), head of
the tribe, with the Portuguese allowed the defeat of the Indians Potiguaras and
seizure of their territory. Today, in Paraiba State Province,
we can find descendants
in groups without any identity in the municipalities
Conde, Gramame and Santa Rita.
The Indians Tarairiús were
together in 22 major tribes in the interior of
Captainship of Paraíba. According to historian Jose Elias
Barbosa Borges, "...
for the conquest of the inner lands the Portuguese were invading
the territory occupied
The war against Tarairiús began in the years 1630
and would end 1730, a war of one hundred years. It was the biggest
indigenous in Brazil. As they were alongside the Dutch in the battles
against the Portuguese were virtually humiliated, considered wild
and were discarded. " Nowadays we know there are about
3,000 Indians Tarairiús in Pernambuco (in the hills
next to the city of Pesqueira, with the name of Sucurus.
They are remnants of the tribes of Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte.
The Jesuits were the first missionaries
who came to the Capitainship of Paraiba. In 1591 started the construction
of a convent and a church dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Nazareth
They didn't had good relations with the Portuguese Crown and were
in 1593. One hundred and fifteen years after the jesuits returned
to Paraiba founding a college and seminary where they taught Latin
In 1728 were driven out again. In 1773 the governor
of the captaincy took the Jesuit seminary as residence
with the permission of Pope Clement XIV. In the building, today,
works Faculty of Law of the Federal University of Paraíba.
The Franciscans came to convert the natives to
the Christian faith. They built the monastery of St. Anthony and
the church of San Francisco,
today called Cultural San Francisco,
considered a jewel of baroque architecture by the
National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage. During
domination the convent was used as residence of the governor and
support for the military high patents.
The Benedictine abbeys after setting up in Salvador
(1581), Rio de Janeiro (1586) and Olinda (1590) came to our city
in 1596 and began to the works of the
Monastery of St. Benedict. In 1721 started the construction of
the church that is beside the convent. The set is
simple, smooth and impressive style. The monastery had its
in 1921 and its building has then been leased for the operation
of educational institutions. The Joint Benedictine is on General
near the cathedral.
The Carmelite have settled in 1588, with Brazil
under the Spanish Crown because of the Iberian Union. Started
work, built a convent and a church forming "Conjunto Carmelita" in
baroque-rococo style, in the highest part of the city. On a promontory
near the mouth
of Paraiba River (today city of Lucena) built the church
of Nossa Senhora da Guia which
rank as some baroque-tropical because of its wonderful notches
in calcareous stone representing
the fruit and flora of the new land.
THE FORTRESS OF SANTA CATARINA
"It is the largest and most
respectable historic monument of Paraiba. It is the only place
still standing strong since the early days of colonization" as
said historian Humberto Nobrega.
In 1586 - the government of Frutuoso Barbosa decided
to build a fort for the defence of the city. They chose the land
on the edge of the right bank of the Rio Paraiba,
in the place called Cabedelo. The Fort had
walls of wood and clay in the most extreme of the cable, dominating
the mouth of the river which gives access to the city built
18 km upstream.
Current aerial views of the region : view
of the river from
of the sea
In 1592 - was rebuilt (had been destroyed by potiguaras in
the previous year) and called Fort of Santa Catarina. There is
a tribute to Duchess Catherine of Braganza, left aspiring on
the Portuguese throne, or perhaps for the saint of the day as
was customary. The reality is that its inner chapel is dedicated
In 1597 - had its first test of strength. A
French Armada (13 vessels) aiming for new bases along the Brazilian
coast landed 350 men and invested against the fort that
had just a group of 20 soldiers, a captain and only 5 cannons.
of the guards managed so fastly that the invaders
ran away to their ships, some in flames, and left without
knowing that the fort was virtually broken. That was the last French
attempt to get a piece of our territory. Varnhagen in his "General
History of Brazil" was the first historian to sharpen and
enhance this battle as a landmark in the maintenance of the lands
of northern Brazil.
In 1631 - the day 05, December a Dutch
armada launched a major attack on the fortress with 26 ships and
26 barges carrying 1,600 men.
The Fort of Cabedelo had about 700 men, among Brazilians, Portuguese
and Spanish, many more Indians. The siege to the fortress lasted
6 days, struggles with assault and body-to-body, after which the
invaders beat a retreat with
a balance of more than 200 men killed and wounded.
In 1634 - on December 4 the great Dutch invasion
on our territory took place when a boat-batter made the recognition
of the coast
between Cabo Branco (White Cape)
and inlet of Lucena without being bothered by the troops defenders
believed to be a local boat. On the same morning, General Van Schkoppe
commanded 2.300 armed men and 29 ships with 500 cannons;
600 men landed at the tip of Cabo Branco, which would scan across
the beach toward north to Cabedelo; 3 vessels sent to the inlet
of Lucena and launched a frontal attack on the fortress which,
along with St. Anthony and St. Benedict small
forts, formed the tripod of defenceof
- December 9 fell the Fort St. Benedict in which there
were only 2 cannons and 40 men. Eight of them escaped and "32
Spanish and Portuguese were killed at the tip of sword",
according to historian Petrus Marinus Netscher.
December 20 the Fortress of Santa Catarina capitulated
after 16 days of intense fighting, many wounded soldiers without
treatment and lack of food and ammunition.
In 1645 - the troops of the Captain Lopo Curado
Garro returned the city of Filipéia. The Dutch, meanwhile,
maintained under control the Fortress of Santa Catarina and stayed
during the next 9 years. The fortress, for
them, served only as a military support for maintaining the Capitania
which they would dominate until 1654.
It is important to understand the word "Royal" applied
to the captainship and the city meant administrative control,
military supplies and
all kind of investments were under direct responsibility of the Portuguese Crown,
unlike the other
whose governors themselves took investments and assumed the risks of the
contract. Until then, the only two other "royal cities" were Salvador
and Rio de
founded in 1565.
Those who usually read a little more on the history of Paraíba
note that the Potiguaras had always been friends
of French and Dutch
that came to our shores because these ones had only visions of
mercantilists: they had no interest in producing... they just looked
for buying and reselling. In contrast, hated the Portuguese because
in the northeast
(main economic source of the colony) required much human labour.
Then the Portuguese used to arrest indigenous to supply the lack
Apart from very prestigious, the church was the guardian of the
patriarchal society and religion practised at that time. The
religious orders had many properties, devices and slaves. From
century the most wealthy families and representatives of the dominant
class learned that having a "padre" in the family was
great importance in disputes under colonial power.
The background image is
a map of the Province of Paraiba edited in 1648. The image is public domain and
the original is filed in the National Library of Rio de Janeiro.