The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2011

Talk: “Father Alfredo Vieira de Freitas’ View of America in 1939”
by historian Duarte Barcelos Mendonça.

A Madeiran priest's view of the U.S. in 1939

April 21, 6:00-7:30 p.m
Prince Henry Society Reading Room at the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives (parking lot 13)

Event free and open to the public

Dr. Ramon Tasat
Father Alfredo Vieira de Freitas

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, and the Museum of Madeiran Heritage announce a talk, “Father Alfredo Vieira de Freitas’ View of America in 1939,” by historian Duarte Barcelos Mendonça.

The event—free and open to the public—will take place on Thursday, April 21, 6:00 - 7:30 P.M. in the Prince Henry Society Reading Room at the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, parking lot 13. A cocktail reception will follow.

In 1939, just before the beginning of World War II, Father Vieira, a young Madeiran priest, professor, journalist and poet, visited the United States for the first time, by invitation of his uncle Antonio Vieira de Freitas, a long-time immigrant in New Bedford and manager of the businesses of the well-known Guilherme Luís.

During his two-month stay in America, Father Vieira travelled extensively throughout the East Coast, visiting several cities and places. Apart from the Whaling City, he visited Cape Cod, Providence, Newport, New York City and the Niagara Falls, to name but a few of his destinations. Upon his return to Madeira, he published a series of 71 chronicles about his trip in a local newspaper. In these reports, he provided in-depth depictions of the places he visited, the people he met, and the events he witnessed. This set of texts constitute not only an important document of the history of the Portuguese presence in New Bedford and surrounding cities, but also an interesting account of America as seen through the eyes of this Madeiran priest back then. This talk, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation, focuses on the main aspects of his chronicles, which were published as an annotated anthology by Duarte Mendonça, in 2009.

A native of Funchal, Madeira, Duarte Mendonça holds a Master’s Degree in English and American Culture and Literature from the University of Madeira, Portugal. He has written extensively on the history and culture of Madeira and about the Madeiran diaspora. Among his many publications are the books: João de Lemos Gomes (1906-1996): Vida e Obra (2006), Da Madeira a New Bedford: um capítulo ignorado da emigração portuguesa na América (2007), and Impressões de uma viagem à América (2009). He is a regular contributor to the Portuguese Times, with a weekly column entitled “Fórum Madeirense.” He is also co-organizer of the CD editions of the historical recordings of Lomelino Silva (“The Portuguese Caruso”), and the Camacha Folklore Group.

The entrance to the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives is located on the campus side of the Claire T. Carney Library. For access during library construction as you approach from Lot 13, enter the library basement and proceed to the first floor, exit the building, and proceed to the right to the Archives entrance.

For further information, contact 508-999-8684 or email