The story

Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva

Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva

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Paulista Bandeirante (1672-1740). One of the main pathfinders of the gold cycle in Minas Gerais and Goiás.

Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva (1672-1740) is born in Parnaíba. He inherits from his father the name and surname Anhanguera (Old Devil), given by the indigenous people. According to some historians, his father allegedly deceived the Indians by setting fire to a certain amount of alcohol and threatening to burn down the rivers. At only 12 years old, Bartolomeu accompanies his father on an expedition to Goian territory. At the time the legend spreads about the supposed existence of gold mines and precious stones in the Serra dos Martírios. In 1701 settles in Sabará, Minas Gerais, going later to São José do Pará and Pintangui, attracted by the discovery of gold in the region. He is appointed district attorney, but the Emboabas War forces him to return to Parnaiba. In 1722 he left São Paulo on another expedition and, for three years, explored the sertões of Goiás. He is accompanied by two Benedictine religious and a Franciscan, 20 Indians, 39 horses and 152 guns, besides carrying ammunition and food. Find some gold deposits in the Pilões River and small samples in the Claro River. In search situations where they found nothing, Bartholomew would say "either find out what you were looking for or die in the company." Finally it finds abundant gold in the Red River and returns to the region in 1726, already as chief captain of the mines. It gains sesmarias from the Portuguese king Dom João V, as well as the right to charge passage on the rivers that lead to the Goiás mines. It loses power as the colonial administration is organized in the region. Dies poor in the village of Goiás.


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