Deodoro da Fonseca

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Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca
1st President of Brazil
In office
November 15, 1889 – November 23, 1891
Vice President Floriano Peixoto
Preceded by Dom Pedro II
Succeeded by Floriano Peixoto
Personal details
Born August 5, 1827(1827-08-05)
Alagoas (now Marechal Deodoro), Alagoas
Died August 23, 1892(1892-08-23) (aged 65)
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Nationality Brazilian
Political party None
Spouse(s) Mariana da Fonseca
Profession Soldier
Military service
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1843-1892
Rank Marshal
Commands Voluntários da Pátria 2nd Battalion
Battles/wars Paraguay War
Awards Order of the Southern Cross

Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca (Alagoas City, August 5, 1827 - Rio de Janeiro, August 23, 1892) was the first president of the Republic of Brazil and he reached this position after a military strategy that put down the Emperor Pedro II.

Biography[change | edit source]

Family[change | edit source]

Son of Manuel Mendes da Fonseca (1785-1859) and Rosa Maria Paulina da Fonseca (1802-1873). His father was also a soldier and belonged to the Conservative Party. He had two sisters and seven brothers and three of them died in the Paraguay War: Afonso Aurélio da Fonseca (the youngest), ensign of the 34º Voluntários da Pátria Battalion; captain Hipólito Mendes da Fonseca, dead in the Battle of Curupaity; and major Eduardo Emiliano da Fonseca, dead in the Battle of Itororó.

His elder brother, Hermes Ernesto da Fonseca, father of Hermes da Fonseca, was a marshal in the Brazilian Army, president of Mato Grosso province, governor of Bahia province and commander-in-chief in Bahia and Pará provinces.

Two other brothers also had brilliant military and political careers: Severiano Martins da Fonseca, who reached the rank of field marshal, received the noble title of Barão de Alagoas (Baron of Alagoas) and was the director of the Military School of Porto Alegre; and Pedro Paulino da Fonseca, who was an honorary colonel of the Brazilian Army, head of government of Alagoas and Senator of the Republic for the same Brazilian state.

Youth[change | edit source]

In 1843, at the age of sixteen, Deodoro enrolled himself in the Rio de Janeiro Military Academy and finished the artillery course in 1847. In 1845, he was already a 1st class cadet. In 1848, he took part in his first military action, helping to repress the Praieira Revolt, an insurrection promoted by the Liberal Party of Pernambuco.

He got married when he was 33 years old, on April 6, 1860, to Mariana Cecília de Sousa Meireles, who was considered by biographers a very well educated woman, religious, modest and full of domestic attributes. They did not have any children. His nephew Hermes da Fonseca, who also reached the Brazilian presidency, was treated like a son by Deodoro.