Manuel António Martins

Manuel António Martins
Colonial governor of Cape Verde
In office
Preceded by D. José Coutinho de Lencastre
Succeeded by Joaquim Pereira Marinho
Personal details
Born 1772
Died 1845
Santa Maria, Portuguese Cape Verde
Nationality Portuguese

Manuel António Martins (1772 in Braga-1845) was a Portuguese administrator and colonial governor of Cape Verde and Guinea (Portuguese Guinea, now Guinea-Bissau) from 1833 to 1835. After moving to Cape Verde in 1792, Martins was said to be the richest man in the country and nicknamed the Napoleon of the Islands.[1]


After he moved, he brought slaves in 1799 to explore the saltpans of Pedra de Lume, late he had slaved to construct a tunnel which was completed in 1804, the first in Cape Verde to trasnfer its salt to its port, Turinvest named it the "P14".


In May 1819, Martins co-established a fishing company alongside the Governor of Cape Verde, António Pusich. Martins's partnership with Pusich weakened after Pusich accused Martin of allegedly trying to sell São Vicente and Sal to the British.[1] After the accusation, Martins instigated a Praia riot in May 1821 that led to the overthrow of Pusich.[1]


In 1819, Martins was nominated by Samuel Hodges, Jr. as a honorary vice-consul to the United States.[2] and the main responsible of a settlement on Sal Island.[1] In December 1833, Martins was appointed by Francisco Simões Margiochi to become the 71st colonial governor of Cape Verde and Guinea. His tenure lasted until between 1835.[1]


When he was governor in 1833, he moved the seat of the municipality of Santa Catarina from Cidade Velha to Picos, later he tried to move the colonial capital to Picos on February 14, 1834, the capital remained in Praia and this was the first attempt, [3] He was no longer governor in 1835 after the Fontean Rebellion


During his governance, Martins discontinued the usage of Cape Verde's military forces. On the other hand, Martins also stopped the usage of Guinea's military and merged the commanding forces of Bissau and Cacheu.[1]


In a message to Philadelphia on December 26, 1832, Martins was identified as the colonel of Cape Verde's military. In the message, Martins praised the United States for providing aid to the citizens of Cape Verde.[4]

Later life

After being governor, he continued to live in Santa Maria until his death, a settlement that he founded and is buried in Santa Maria's cemetery.

Personal life

In 1793, Martins married Maria Josefa Ferreira, daughter of Aniceto António Ferreira Álvares Mendes.[2]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Brooks, George E. Western Africa and Cabo Verde, 1790s-1830s: symbiosis of slave and legitimate trades. pp. 99–120. ISBN 9781452088709. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  2. 1 2 Brooks, G.E. (2008). "Samuel Hodges, Jr., and the Symbiosis of Slave and "Legitimate" Trades, 1810s-1820s". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. 41 (1): 101–116. JSTOR 40282458.
  3. "Discurso PM, Dr. José Maria Pereira Neves, na Cerimónia de Inauguração da Universidade de Santiago (Opening Ceremony of the University of Santiago), Assomada, February 16, 2009
  4. "Cape de Verds". The Evening Post (New York, New York). 19 April 1833. p. 2. Retrieved 31 October 2016.(subscription required)
Preceded by
D. José Coutinho de Lencastre
Colonial Governor of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Joaquim Pereira Marinho
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