Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright, famous for his abolitionist and republican poems. One of the most famous poets of the "Condorism", he won the epithet of "O Poeta dos Escravos" ("Slaves' Poet"). He is the patron of the 7th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Alves was born in the town of Curralinho (rechristened "Castro Alves" in his honor in 1900), in the Brazilian State of Bahia, to Antônio José Alves, a medician, and Clélia Brasília da Silva Castro, one of the daughters of José Antônio da Silva Castro (a.k.a. "Periquitão", Portuguese for "Big Parakeet"), a proeminent fighter in the 1821–23 Siege of Salvador. In 1853, he was sent to study in the Colégio Sebrão, run by Abílio César Borges, the Baron of Macaúbas. There, he would meet and befriend Ruy Barbosa. In 1862, he moved to Recife in order to study at the Faculdade de Direito do Recife, but he was disapproved twice. He only was able to enter the college in 1864, where he met Tobias Barreto and José Bonifácio the Young, step-grandson of famous statesman José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva. They would heavily influence Alves' writing style, and in turn, Alves also influenced them both. His father would die in 1866, and short after, he would start dating the Portuguese actress Eugênia Câmara. In 1867, Alves returns to Bahia alongside Câmara, and there he writes his drama Gonzaga, ou A Revolução de Minas, based..