Bernardina Barcelos de Almeida


Ethnic origen: White


1806  -  Pelotas  -  Not applicable  -  Born on 9 July
1824  -  Pelotas  -  Unknown  -  She married Domingos José de Almeida on 21 September 1824
1846  -  Pelotas  -  Unknown  -  She dies 17 May


Farroupilha War

Bernardina Barcelos de Almeida was born in 1806 in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, and died in 1846. She was the daughter of Bernardino Rodrigues Barcelos and Maria Francisca da Conceição, who were Azorean-descended “charqueadores” (meat salters). In 1824 she married Domingos José de Almeida (b. 1797) later to become a Republican general in the Farroupilha War of Rio Grande do Sul (1835-45). He was also subsequently a provincial deputy, journalist, minister and Vice President in the separatist government of the Rio Grande do Sul Republic. Her surviving correspondence with her husband during the Farroupilha war indicates that she became progressively more politicized throughout the course of the conflict and by 1842 was offering him advice and using their children to send him intelligence about his own safety and future movements. (Frigeri and Rüdiger, 172). Her eighth child had just been born when her husband was arrested and imprisoned in 1835, and Bernardina struggled to free him and smuggled liberal books such as Rousseau’s Social Contract to him in prison (Flores, 39).

Through the ten years of the war she managed and ran the family ranch in her husband’s absence. She is thought to have had thirteen children by the end of the Farroupilha War in 1845, and at one point schooled and educated them at home. Bernardina came from a wealthy background and her family owned a large estate in Pelotas. She and her husband sacrificed much of their personal property to support the Republican government and the exiled soldiers and civilians and experienced severe debt in later life. She became an important symbol among Farroupilha wives (Silveira, 70). She died in 1846 probably from a uterine haemorrhage giving birth to her fourteenth child (Flores, 42).


Flores, Hilda A. Hübner (1989) Sociedade, Preconceitos e Conquistas
Frigeri, Rosane and Rüdiger, Francisco Ricardo Silveira, Diva Ione (editor). (1985) Mulher e Sociedade à Época Farroupilha
Osório filho, Fernando (1935) Mulheres Farroupilhas
Silveira, Maria Dutra da Silveira, Diva Ione (editor). (1985) A Mulher na Revolução Farroupilha