Discovery of Brazil
Brazil’s Discovery was the result of the European colonialist expansion. In 1500, in March, a Portuguese squadron led by Pedro Álvares Cabral, travelling to India, diverted from its original route. In the late afternoon of April 22nd, the squadron reached a point in the south seashore of what is today the state of Bahia. On April 24th, the squadrons led by Cabral sailed in search for a better port to anchor their vessels. They found a “very good and safe one” at the place that today is called Cabrália Bay.
The first mass was celebrated on April 26th, a Sunday, by Friar Henrique Soares Coimbra, a Franciscan that was going to India, at Coroa Vermelha. On the following day, the first tree was cut to make a cross for the celebration of the second mass, on May 1st. On the same day, Cabral left for India, while Gaspar de Lemos went to Lisbon to announce the discovery to the king of Portugal, Dom Manuel I. On the land, called Vera Cruz by Cabral, they left two men to contact the native people.
In 1501, the Portuguese organized a new expedition, this time to explore the land discovered in the previous year. Conducted by the navigator from Florence, Americo Vespúcio, the Portuguese squadron arrived on November 1st at a big gulf, All Saints’ Bay. Vespúcio only gave detailed news about this trip in 1504.