I got curious last night after writing the last post on the Brasilian town of Tiradentes, seemed like i should know why it was thus named, and it seemed like i would have asked at the time. Sometimes my memory is a little unreliable about stuff like that, so its lucky we have Wikipedia!
So, the town of Tiradentes is named after Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, also known as Tiradentes (tooth puller) due to his one time profession as an impromptu dentist. He was also a leading member of the Inconfidência Mineira, a revolutionary group formed in 1788 dedicated to the political independence of Brasil from Portuguese colonial rule.
The group, including Tiradentes was betrayed by one of their own members, and he was captured and eventually hanged in 1792 for treason, after a trial lasting nearly 3 years. Imagine 3 years in a Brasilian/Portuguese prison in the 18th Century, i think the eventual hanging would have been a relief. Read the rest of this entry »