Rio de Janeiro: Ca. 1813-1816. Folio (ca. 33x20 cm). 4 pp., with two integral blank leaves, tied with two pink ribbons. Brown ink on laid paper watermarked “1813”, legible text in Portuguese. Paper tag ("Avulços") glued to final leaf. Laid into later ruled paper folder (typed title as given above). Paper slightly age toned, mild fold marks, otherwise a near fine document.
Unpublished manuscript on church burials in Rio de Janeiro by one of the earliest Brazilian literary critics and an important figure in the independence movement.
An apparently unpublished work on the protocols and procedures for burials in churches of Rio de Janeiro, written at a time when such burials were becoming an important public health issue. Cunha Barbosa was appointed prégador for the royal chapel in Rio de Janeiro in 1808. There he became involved in deciding which tombs in the church could be opened when a member of a family or of a religious order died. Apparently Cunha Barbosa had been reprimanded for opening one tomb, and in this work he explains his decision at greater length than he had previously done. He also states the procedures for opening a tomb and notes which church officials had to authorize it. Cunha Barbosa refers to the addressee as "V.A. R." throughout, and once as "Principe." This suggests that the addressee was D. João VI during his tenure as Prince Regent (i.e., before 1816).
Two works dealing with burials as a public health matter were published by Brazilians before independence: Vicente Coelho de Seabra Silva e Telles' Memoria sobre os prejuizos causados pelas sepulturas dos cadaveres nos templos, e methodo de os prevenir (Lisbon, 1800), and José Correa Picanço's Ensaio sobre os perigos das sepulturas dentro das cidades, e nos seus contornos (Rio de Janeiro, 1812; See Guerra, Bibliografia medica brasileira 20.)
Januario da Cunha Barbosa took orders in 1803 and soon earned such a reputation as a religious orator that in 1808 he was named prégador for the royal chapel in Rio de Janeiro. One of the leading spirits in the Independence movement, he founded and edited (along with Joaquim Gonçalves Ledo) the periodical Reverbero Constitucional Fluminense from September 1821 to October 1822. At the end of 1822 his rival from the liberal party, José Bonifácio, had him deported without trial, but a year later - as Bonifácio himself was being deported - Cunha Barbosa returned to Brazil. There he was simultaneously elected deputy to the new legislature for Minas Geraes and for Rio de Janeiro. He later served as director of the Imprensa Nacional and the Biblioteca Nacional.
Cunha Barbosa published numerous sermons, some poetry, and articles on a wide range of subjects in the journals of various learned societies. His anthology Parnaso Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, 1829-30) is a major literary contribution. With its publication Cunha Barbosa became one of the earliest Brazilian literary critics and preserved much poetry of the colonial period which would doubtless otherwise have been lost. (See Verissimo, História da literatura brasileira  p. 119.) He also co-founded, with Raymundo José da Cunha Mattos, the Instituto Historico e Geographico Brazileiro in 1838. The Instituto had much wider interests than its name suggests, and came to serve as a forum for all Brazilian writers. Work done under its auspices set the direction for much of the historical, geographical and ethnological research later done in Brazil. (See Verissimo, p. 127).
On Cunha Barbosa, see Innocêncio III, 254; VI, 127; VII, 71; X, 117. See also Sacramento Blake III, 294-300. OCLC: No printed version or other manuscript version located. No printed or manuscript version located in Porbase, Copac, or OCLC.
Price: $750.00 USD