The story

Borba Gato

Paulista Bandeirante (1628? -1718). Participates in expeditions in search of ores, which give rise to the gold and diamond cycle in seventeenth-century Brazil.

Manuel de Borba Gato (1628? -1718) is born in São Paulo and, in his youth, is dedicated to hunting Indians for enslavement. In 1674 he joined the most important expedition of Fernão Dias Pais Leme, his father-in-law, known as an emerald hunter. The flag, which goes in search of gold and precious stones, goes through the Paraíba river valley, in São Paulo, to Taubaté. From there it goes to the north of Minas Gerais, exploring the Minas Gerais backlands to the Jequitinhonha valley. In 1682 is blamed for the assassination of the general manager of the mines, Rodrigo de Castel Blanco. Decide to become a fugitive from the law, plunge into the backlands, where the search for minerals continues. It finds gold in the Sabará region and in the Sapucaí and Grande River valleys in 1695. The discovery drives mining in Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Bahia and Goiás and gives rise to the 40-year period known as the gold cycle. As a reward for the discoveries, Borba Gato obtains the royal pardon in 1700 and is appointed ward guard of the Rio das Velhas district. The following year, it receives land between the Paraopeba and Velhas rivers, and founds the Sabará village. He is appointed superintendent of mines in 1702, a position he holds several times. Dies in Sabará.