André Rebouças

André Pinto Rebouças (13 January 1838 – 9 April 1898) was a Brazilian military engineer, abolitionist and inventor, son of Antônio Pereira Rebouças (1798–1880) and Carolina Pinto Rebouças. Lawyer, member of Parliament (representing the Brazilian state of Bahia) and an adviser to Pedro II of Brazil, his father was the son of a manumitted slave and a Portuguese tailor. His brothers Antônio Pereira Rebouças Filho and José Rebouças were also engineers.

André Pinto Rebouças
Andre rebouças 00.JPG
André Rebouças, c.1862
Born13 January 1838
Died9 April 1898(1898-04-09) (aged 60)
Engineering career

Despite racial prejudice, his father, a mulatto, was an important and prestigious man at the time. Self-taught to read and write, he had been granted the right to practice law throughout the country, represented Bahia in the Chamber of Deputies on a range of legislatures, was secretary of the Provincial Governorship of Sergipe, advisor to the emperor, and had received the title of Knight of the Imperial Order of the Southern Cross in 1823.

Rebouças became famous in Rio de Janeiro, at the time capital of the Empire of Brazil, solving the trouble of water supply, bringing it from fountain-heads outside the town.

Serving as a military engineer during the Paraguayan War in Paraguay, Rebouças successfully developed a torpedo.[1][2]

Alongside Machado de Assis and Olavo Bilac, Rebouças was a very important middle class representative with African descent, he also was one of the most important voices for the abolition of slavery in Brazil.

He encouraged the career of Antônio Carlos Gomes, author of the opera O Guarani.

In the 1880s, Rebouças began to participate actively in the abolitionist cause, he helped to create the Brazilian Anti-Slavery Society, alongside Joaquim Nabuco, José do Patrocínio and others.

After the Republican coup d'État, Rebouças went into exile with Pedro II to Europe. For two years he stayed exiled in Lisbon, as a correspondent for The Times of London.

In 1892, facing financial problems, Rebouças went to Luanda and after that, Funchal, in Madeira. In 1898 his body was found at the shoreline at the base of a 60-meter-high cliff near the hotel where he lived.[clarification needed] He supposedly committed suicide.


  1. ^ C. R. Gibbs (1995). "Black inventors: from Africa to America : two million years of invention and innovation". Three Dimensional Pub. p. 89.
  2. ^ Carl W. Hall (2008). "A Biographical Dictionary of People in Engineering: From the Earliest Records Until 2000". Purdue University Press. p. 181.
  • Gaspar, Lúcia. André Rebouças. Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife.
  • Joseph A. Page (1995), The Brazilians. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-201-44191-8.

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