Francisco de Sales Torres Homem

Portrait of 
Francisco de Sales Torres Homem

Francisco de Sales Torres Homem was a Brazilian physician, lawyer, journalist and Romantic writer. He was born on 29th January 1812 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and died on 3rd June 1876 in Paris, France aged 64. 

Major Works

“Resumo da História da Literatura, das Ciências e das Artes no Brasil por três Brasileiros, Membros do Instituto Histórico” (Brief Resume on the History of Literature, Sciences and Arts in Brazil by three Brazilians, members of the Historical Institute) (1834)
“Libelo do Povo” (People’s Libel) (1849)

Biography Timeline

Francisco de Sales Torres Homem was born on 29th January 1812 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His father was Apolinário Torres Homem a minor businessman and his mother was a mixed race indigenous and European woman called María Patrícia who worked on a traveling market. He was educated at local schools.

1832: He graduates from the Medical-Surgical Academy at Rio de Janeiro. He is asked to join the Society for the Defense of Freedom and National Independence by Evaristo Ferreira da Veiga and writes political articles for journals. He is reluctant at first as he says he knows nothing of politics, however his first article in the journal “Aurora Fluminense” is praised by Ferreira da Veiga and he continues.

1834: His friend since childhood, Goncalves de Magalhaes, encourages him to travel to Paris and along with the poet Manuel de Araujo Porto-Alegre they write a dissertation on the state of sciences in Brazil called “Resumo da História da Literatura, das Ciências e das Artes no Brasil por três brasileiros, membros do Instituto Histórico (Brief Resume on the History of Literature, Sciences and Arts in Brazil by three Brazilians, members of the Historical Institute) for the Historical Institute of Paris.

1836: He founds the journal “Niteroi” along with de Magalhães, Porto-Alegre and Joao Manuel Pereira da Silva which becomes known as a landmark beginning in the literary romantic movement of Brazil.

1837: He returns to Brazil and writes for the “Jornal dos Debates Políticos e Literários” (Journal of Political and Literary Debates. It covers liberal thought and is opposed to regent Diogo Antonnio Feijo’s government.

1838: He writes for the journals “Despertador” (Alarm Clock) and “Maiorista” (Majorist) until 1841.

1842: He joins the Society of Invisible Patriarchs, a secret organisation that takes up arms against the monarchy. He is sent into exile by the authorities and goes to Portugal for several months. On his return he is elected as a Deputy for the Ceara region in the Brazilian parliament.

1843: He creates the magazine “Minerva Brasiliense” with Gonçalves de Magalhães and Manuel de Araujo Porto-Alegre.

1845: He becomes a Deputy for Minas Gerais. 

1848: He becomes a Deputy for Rio de Janeiro. He is also appointed as editor of the newspaper “Correio Mercantil” (Mercantile Post).

1849: He publishes in the “Correio Mercantil” his famous “Libelo do Povo” (People’s Libel) which criticises the Imperial House of Braganza for their poor management of Brazil and the harsh measures used by the crown to suppress the liberal revolt of 1848 in Pernambuco. The piece is heavily attacked by loyal monarchists. 

1852: A Conciliation Ministry is created by the government but this doesn’t stop him being an opponent of the regime.

1858: From 12th December to 10th October 1859, he is appointed Minister of Treasury. He becomes a firm advocate of monetary restriction and a currency backed by gold. 

1870: He is appointed to the Senate where he defends freedom for all children of slaves.

1871: He is honoured with the Order of Christ and later becomes Viscount of Inhomirim.

1876: His severe asthma forces him to travel abroad to seek help without a license from the state. He returns to Brazil but then his condition gets worse and he travels to Paris, France seeking a cure.

Francisco de Sales Torres Homem died on 3rd June 1876 in Paris, France and was buried there. 

Further Information

List of official positions held by Homem.

“Libelo de Povo” on Google Books.