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Biographies: Q‑S

This webpage reproduces part of
History of Chile

Luis Galdames

translated and edited by Isaac Joslin Cox
Russell & Russell
New York 1964

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Bibliographical Notes

p523 Biographical Notes
(end: T‑Z)

Francisco de Paula Taforó Zamora (1816‑1889) was born in Valparaiso and completed his studies in the Conciliar Seminary of Santiago. p524He early attracted attention through his ability as a preacher. Because of his close relationship with Archbishop Manuel Vicuña he became vicar and curate at Copiapó, where he interested himself in education and in doing away with parochial fees for baptisms, marriages, and funerals. He was favorably known for his liberal attitude in politics and for his moral writings and sermons, and served the university as a member of the faculty of theology and sacred science. During the stormy decade of Manuel Montt, he spent some years in Peru, where he gained reputation because of his sermons and his efforts in behalf of peace among contending political factions. After his return he served the cathedral at Santiago in minor offices, finally reaching that of archdeacon — a position which he held when refused confirmation as archbishop. Nevertheless, he sought to avoid the break between the government and the papal legate (see p339). He served as senator and councilor of state, helped organize the first company of firemen, assisted personally in epidemics of smallpox, and willed his private property to establish an asylum for poor priests. — FV, 875.

Indalicio Téllez Cárcamo (18 ?‑ ) graduated from the Military School in 1894 and served three years in the German army, and then in Spain. In addition to his services in the army and his historical and military narratives, he studied law and became an advocate in 1918. He also contributed military articles to the press and acted as professor of military tactics and law in the Military School and the War Academy. He was a general in division when he left the latter institution and served for a year as intendant at Tacna. He retired in 1929. His Historia de Chile, historia militar (1520‑1885), Vols. IIII, appeared in 1925. — FV, 884.

Manuel Antonio Tocornal Grez (1817‑1867), son of Joaquín Tocornal (see below), was born in Santiago and received in his native city an education much above the average. Completing his law case at the age of twenty-two, in 1846 he became a member of the chamber of deputies. He was encouraged by Bello to produce, in 1847, a memoir upon the first national government, which did much to clarify the order of events after 1810. He acquired a reputation both in law and in oratory. His mouth," states his biographer, "never pronounced and his hand never wrote a slovenly word." He succeeded Bello as rector of the University of Chile. — ELXII, 328; FV, 893. See also M. L. Amunátegui, Ensayos biográficos, III, 5‑107.

Joaquín Tocornal Jiménez (1788‑1865) was born in Santiago and served his native city in numerous municipal offices, both before and after the universal flight to Argentina in 1814. He was one of the youngest present at the assemblage in the consulado (see p156), at which the p525first step toward independence was taken, and was a member and presiding officer of the chamber of deputies when called to a ministerial post. He also presided over the convention that prepared the constitution of 1833 (see p240). After 1831 he served in both the ministry of the interior and the ministry of foreign relations and, at the time of the assassination of Portales, temporarily filled all the cabinet offices. In 1841 he was a candidate for the presidency and shortly afterward became superintendent of the Casa de Moneda (mint). — FV, 892; ELXII, 327. Of Tocornal a contemporary publication states, "He was probity, information, devotion to public welfare, firmness of character, good judgment, and good friend, and throughout his whole life there has not fallen on his reputation a spot which might tarnish so many and such precious qualities." — Sotomayor Valdés, Historia de Chile, I, 179‑180.

Mateo de Toro Zambrano (1727‑1810) was a native of Santiago. A man of considerable fortune and character, he had held commercial and political offices of high trust, including those of alcalde and corregidor of Santiago and governor ad interim, when he received on March 6, 1771, the title of Conde de la Conquista. During the same year he bought at public sale one of the largest of the confiscated Jesuit estates and thus set up a valuable entail. In 1809 when the French invaded Spain, the central junta at Seville made him brigadier — a promotion that had earlier been denied him — and in 1810 he was given command of Chile (see p150). He was the first president of the first junta de gobierno in Chile. — BVIII, 168; ELXII, 1159; M., pp869‑870.

José Antonio Torres Arce (1828‑1864) was born in Valdivia. His mother was the niece of Camilo Henríquez (see p160); his father, a physician of Portuguese descent. Educated at the National Institute, he began his journalistic work on El mercurio of Valparaiso. He early showed a gift for humorous and satirical verse, which displayed itself so strongly in opposition to the government of Montt as to force the poet into a brief exile. He wrote upon educational topics, to part in current religious controversies, and even prepared a study on the perennial boundary question with Bolivia. Popular culture was his ideal. — FV, 913.

Manuel Trucco Franzani (1874‑ ) was born in Cauquenes and educated there and at the National Institute in Santiago. He received the degree of civil engineer in 1899 and for a time taught mathematics in the institute. From 1901 to 1911 he was connected with the state railway and at the same time continued to teach mathematics. He founded the Institute of Engineers for Chile. From 1911 to 1918 he p526was dean of the mathematical faculty of the University of Chile and director of the school of engineering. He organized the first national railroad congress (1921) and was active in the electrification of the railway from Valparaiso to Santiago. He retired from his railroad activities in 1924 and in 1926 became senator and later vice-president under Montero. He was ambassador to the United States from 1933 to 1939. — FV, 917.

Antonio de Ulloa (1716‑1795) was a native of Seville. After preliminary instruction in his native city and a cruise at his own expense to the West Indies and the Spanish Main, he joined the Guarda marina (Marine Guard) in 1733 and in the following year, at the age of nineteen, entered upon the task which gave him his best claim to fame, the survey of a segment of the earth's circumference, undertaken by a company of French scientists with the permission of the Spanish government. Ulloa and Jorge Juan were the Spanish representatives, chosen through special favor to accompany this expedition, take part in its operations, and record carefully all sorts of administrative and scientific data concerning the regions and peoples that they might visit. Their main work was carried on in the vicinity of Quito and there they labored from 1735 to 1741, being called off twice to assist in repelling threatened British attacks and to visit Juan Fernández Island and the coast of Chile in a futile pursuit of Anson (see p94). They were also involved in a serious quarrel over a point of etiquette with the president of the audiencia at Quito, but were saved from the consequences of this quarrel through the viceroy of Peru. Their stay in South America gave them a chance to make a careful study of the Peruvian viceroyalty and of Chile, to which region Ulloa made two voyages. They both proved to be keen and accurate observers and supplemented their own observations by data from official channels. On the return voyage to Spain the two scientists separated. Ulloa was captured by the British and detained for some time in London. His experiences brought him into intimate contact with local scientists and an election to the Royal Society. Moreover, he was permitted to retain the scientific data captured with him and to return to Spain in 1746. These unusual courtesies enabled him and his associate to prepare for publication the five volumes of his Relación histórica (see note on Jorge Juan), which appeared in 1748. The four volumes of the narrative are the work of Ulloa, and drew favorable comment for the author from scientific bodies throughout all Europe — a result equally flattering to national pride and to his own reputation. He and his associate also prepared the manuscript report, which was finally published as Noticias secretas de América (London, 1826) and is an important source for contemporary conditions p527in Spanish colonial administration. In 1757 Ulloa was made governor of Huancavelica, Peru — perhaps to correct in a key position the abuses he had so ably described. If so, the fight against corruption and inefficiency proved too much for him. Relieved from an impossible situation he was next sent with an inadequate force in 1765 to take over the province of Louisiana from the French. Again he failed but was not held responsible for the result.a Resuming his career in the navy in 1778, he brought back from Vera Cruz the last of the Spanish treasure fleets. In the following year, during the war with Great Britain, he tried without success to capture a fleet of the enemy merchantmen, but his ships were in no conditioned for the task. In 1772 appeared his Noticias americanas in which he summed up much of the information appearing in his earlier work and supplemented his résumé with data acquired during his later colonial experience. In the second part of his Relación histórica del viaje a la América meridional (5 Vols. Madrid, 1748), Bk. VIII, chaps. iv‑xi, one finds some description of Chile — BVI, 122‑125; ELXV, 921. For recent studies of Ulloa see A. P. Whitaker, "Antonio de Ulloa," in Hisp. Amer. Hist. Rev., XV (May, 1935), 155‑194; and Lewis Hanke, "Dos Palabras on Antonio Ulloa," in ibid., XVI (November, 1936), 479‑514.

Luis Uribe Orrego (1848‑1914) was born in Copiapó. His mother was a noted poet and with the coöperation of her son founded in 1873 La revista de Valparaíso. Uribe was educated in the Naval School of that city, along with Arturo Prat, both under the personal direction of Juan Williams Rebolledo. In the sea fight before Iquique, he preferred to sink his ship rather than surrender to the enemy, as he might have done. Later in Los combates navales del Pacífico, he modestly described the combat in which he participated, wrote much on naval topics, served on commissions to Europe, and gained the title of vice-admiral. — P. P. Figueroa, Diccionario biográfico de Chile, III, 340.

Pedro Alcántara Urriola Balbontín (1797‑1851) was born in Santiago. He spent his youth in a period of warfare and naturally took to a career of arms. Playing his part in the events that preceded Rancagua, he remained in Chile to fight with Manuel Rodríguez (see p190) and to be taken prisoner by the royalists. After independence he retired to his farm but resumed his military career in 1828 and, after participating in the war against Peru and performing other routine service, became colonel of the Chacabuco Regiment in 1849. Mixing in the political disturbances of 1850, he headed the revolt of the following year and became its most conspicuous victim. — FV, 939‑940.

Gregorio Urrutia Venegas (1830‑1897) was born in San Carlos. Entering the army in 1856, he supported the government of Montt in p5281859 and was later active in campaigns against the Araucanians, against the Spanish intervention of 1865, and in the struggle before Lima in 1881. He commanded the congressional forces against Balmaceda in 1891 and held important staff appointments. — FV, 946.

Luis de Valdivia (1560‑1642) was born in Granada and entered the Jesuit order in 1581. Shortly afterwards he went to Peru and then came to Chile in 1593 with the first Jesuits to arrive there. While serving as rector of the college in Santiago, he prepared a grammar of the ordinary language spoken in the colony by the Indians and the children of the Spaniards. This was published in 1606. Believing that much of the difficulty with the Indians arose from the ill-treatment they received, he strove earnestly, as related in the text, to suppress the system of personal service to which they were subjected. In order to enforce the king's orders given him, he was given the spiritual government of the diocese of Imperial, where most of the Indians lived. His well-planned efforts were neutralized by the death of his fellow Jesuits at the hands of the Indians (see p89) and by continual petty opposition on the part of local officials, civil, military, and ecclesiastical. This opposition forced his return to Spain after eight years, but he did not lose royal favor because of his lack of success in Chile. He was offered a post as counselor of the Indies, but preferred to serve his order as teacher and writer and as general adviser on difficult questions of conscience and on Indian affairs. He thus acquired wide fame for his learning and piety. — BIII, 445, n. 2; ELXVI, 530; M, pp895‑904.

Pedro de Valdivia (ca. 1500‑1554) was born at La Serena, Estremadura, and had already fought in Flanders and at Pavia and had taken part in the conquest of Venezuela when in 1532 he joined Pizarro in Peru. Two years later he started on the conquest of Chile as detailed in this volume. A true colonial pioneer, he showed both the cruelty of the worst and the constructive ability of the best of his contemporaries. Further characterization and a discussion of the sources of information concerning him, see BI, 206‑209, 438‑443. Chapters iv‑xi of the same volume are devoted to Valdivia's career as conqueror and founder of Chile. See also ELXVI, 530‑532, and Graham, Pedro de Valdivia.

[image ALT: A photograph of a statue of a man in 16c military armor on a tall stone pedestal in a lush semi-tropical park. It is the statue of Pedro de Valdivia, the conqueror of Chile.]

Pedro de Valdivia, conqueror of Chile, founder of Santiago.

Courtesy Instituto de Cinematografía Educativa, Universidad de Chile.

Rafael Valentín Valdivieso y Zañartu (1804‑1878), son of a subordinate magistrate of Santiago, received his early instruction under a private tutor and in the convent of Santo Domingo. Later he studied at the National Institute, where he pursued law courses under Mariano Egaña (see p467) and José Santiago Iñiguez, an eminent churchman. Receiving his degree in 1825, he practiced law for eight years, serving during this period as defender of minors before the court of appeals, as regidor in the city council of Santiago, and as a member of the chamber p529of deputies, and gained respect in all these activities because of his industry, ability, and independence. In 1834 he was ordained priest, but continued to act as deputy in congress. A few years in mission work both in southern and in northern Chile established his reputation as an orator, as a warm defender of the Church, and as a ready friend of the poor. He was offered the rectorship of the National Institute, but declined to accept the office and for ten years directed the charity hospital. He was one of the founders of La revista católica, and in 1842 became a member of the theological faculty of the new University of Chile. In 1848 he was consecrated archbishop of Santiago — a position that enabled him to found still other educational and charitable institutions. He was an illustrious prelate, but his preliminary work was in law and his continual efforts in behalf of charity did not prevent his banishment under Montt. — ELXVI, 534; FV, 980‑981.

José Joaquín Vallejo Borkoski (1811‑1858) was born at Vallenar, near Copiapó. Left an orphan, he carried on his early studies at La Serena. Later the authorities of that municipality sent him to Santiago to complete his education, first at the liceo of Mora (see p250) and later in the National Institute. Engaging at first in commerce, he received a minor political appointment in 1835 and three years later began to publish articles in El mercurio of Valparaiso. He wielded a caustic pen which he did not hesitate to turn against those in authority or the too-critical foreigner. He signed certain articles satirizing Sarmiento, Mitre, and other Argentines with the pseudonym "Jotabeche," the initial letters of the witty Argentine writer, Juan Bautista Chenao, thus apparently meeting the gibes of critical guests with their own weapons, and thereafter adopted that pen name as his own. Besides contributing to various papers in Santiago and Valparaiso, he founded El copiapino in his native province. In this appeared his best productions, called by some critics imitations of the Spaniard Larra, but based on careful studies of the customs and manners of his fellow countrymen. They appeared in book form as Colección de artículos de Jotabeche . . . (Santiago, 1847). In 1849 he entered congress from his native Vallenar, where he distinguished himself for his graceful diction. For a brief period before his death he also filled the post of chargé in Bolivia. His fellow countrymen have acclaimed him their most talented exponent of Chilean customs, while the Colombian writer José María Torres y Calcedo pays him merited respect in his Ensayos biográficos y de crítica literaria . . . (3 vols. Paris, 1863‑1868). — FV, 995.

George Vancouver (1758‑1798) had been sent by his government to repossess the British establishments at Nootka Sound and to explore the northwest coast of North America. He reached Valparaiso on March p53025, 1795, on his return voyage, was cordially received there as a representative of an allied power, and was permitted to journey to Santiago. His narrative describes these two cities, but he indulged in no mapping because unwilling to arouse Spanish sensibilities. The results of his voyage are recorded in A Voyage of Discovery to the Pacific Ocean and round the World (London, 1798). — BVII, 153‑156.

Antonio Varas de la Barra (1817‑1886) was born in Cauquenes. Trained as both surveyor and lawyer, he distinguished himself as instructor and rector of the National Institute. Elected to the chamber of deputies in 1845, he continued in that body almost uninterruptedly until his death, varying the first sixteen years of his congressional career, however, by service in ministerial posts. He was also first president of the Caja del crédito hipotecario (Mortgage Loan Bank). Intelligent, disinterested, and active, he was an orator of rare persuasive power. — ELXVI, 1498; FV, 996‑999.

Bernardo Vera Pintado (1780‑1827), an inhabitant of Santa Fé, was born in Mexico, brought up in the Platine provinces, and came to Chile in 1799, with the captain general. He received his early training in the universities of Córdova and Santiago and then entered upon the practice of law. A cousin of the Argentine patriot, Rivadavia, he maintained a close correspondence with prospective insurgents there that led him to favor similar activities in Santiago. His leadership in congress under the "old country" forced him into exile after Rancagua. In Mendoza he joined the Army of the Andes under San Martín, as auditor-general, took part in the battle of Chacabuco, and two years later composed the early national hymn. He took little part in the political events that followed independence but did much to stimulate early literary expression in Chile. — M. L. Amunátegui, Ensayos biográficos, IV, 333‑362; FV, 1018.

Rodolfo Vergara Antúñez (1847‑1914) was born in Talca, became presbyter in 1871, and continued as professor in the seminary of Santiago until 1875. After filling minor posts in the archbishopric, he became rector of the seminary in 1896 and two years later rector of the Catholic University. Distinguished as an educator, he became renowned chiefly for his writings for the religious press. — FV, 1019.

Claudio Vicuña Guerrero (1833‑1908) was born in Santiago. Left an orphan in his early years, he was brought up by an uncle and studied at the National Institute. He soon devoted himself to agriculture, by which he acquired the means for foreign travel. He became deputy in 1873 and senator in 1879 and contended for public rights and popular suffrage. In the revolt of congress against President Balmaceda, he loyally supported the president and during that conflict was nominated p531and elected to the presidency to succeed his chief but was deprived of office by Balmaceda's defeat. He spent several years in exile, during which he wrote a defense of his superior, and on his return received a widespread ovation. He headed the liberal-democratic party, founded a newspaper in support of its principles, and in 1901 was the choice of the liberal alliance (see p366) for the presidency but led his followers to the support of Don Germán Riesco. — FV, 1043.

Joaquín Vicuña Larraín (d. 1857) belonged to a prominent Coquimbo family. He had held minor military offices before achieving temporary fame in this election. He was founder of the city which bears the family name. He is not to be confused with his brother, Francisco Ramón Vicuña, who was then temporarily acting as chief executive of Chile. — FV, 1047.

Manuel Vicuña Larraín (1777‑1843) was born in Santiago. He was descended from a distinguished Navarrese family that was intimately connected with other wealthy Chilean families of the colonial period, although his own parents were in reduced circumstances. His education was obtained in the Convictorio de San Carlos (see p122) and in the University of San Felipe (see p110). Ordained as a priest in 1803, he promptly gained a reputation for eloquence and administrative ability. In 1830 he was elevated to the bishopric of Santiago and exerted himself to aid those who suffered from the political persecutions of the period. Having inherited a large fortune, he was able to undertake many works of charity. He became the first archbishop of Chile in 1840. As head of the Church he was distinguished for his mild rule over subordinates. He also served as senator and counselor of state. A statue in his honor erected in 1877 stands in the park of Santa Lucía. — FV, 1049‑1050.

Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna (1831‑1886) was born at Santiago. Among his progenitors he counted members of the leading families of Chile, but none gave more honor to the known than Don Benjamín himself. After preliminary instruction in the Colegio of Cueto, where he displayed more fondness for general literature than for the prescribed Latin and arithmetic, he spent a year in the National Institute where he received the degree of bachelor at the age of eighteen. Eight years passed, however, before he received his diploma as counselor at law. His life as a student was varied by clerical tasks and by opportunities to share the social life of Santiago's leading public characters. His first literary article appeared in 1849 and immediately attracted the attention of Andrés Bello. In the following year he joined the Sociedad de la Igualdad, which brought him into intimate contact with Bilbao and into the prevailing current of opposition (see p487) and ultimately to p532prison. Condemned to death, he managed to escape, fled to California, and then spent the next few years in leisure travel in Mexico, the United States, and Europe, where he unearthed much manuscript material relating to early Chile. Incidentally, during these years of turmoil and exile he laid the foundation of his reputation as a historian and publicist. Returning in 1856, he began to publish the results of his studies and travels in contemporary newspapers, especially in El ferrocarril, and also lent a pen to opposition sheets. This latter practice forced him once more into exile. In 1863 he became editor of El mercurio of Valparaiso, entered congress, and served as special envoy to the United States in 1865, and to Europe in 1870. As a diplomat, he proved a collector of historical documents. As a historian, he is credited with ample imagination, and ability to link documents together and thus to fill innumerable volumes — more than one hundred — but little else. Later critics speak of his vivacity, his infantile ingenuity, and his frivolity. All agree that he was untiring in investigation and in compiling facts, but deny that he made progress in literary art or that he cared to make progress. He produced what the people wanted, when they wanted it, and in terms that they comprehend. He was a man of astonishing activity, of great personal charm, and of assured social position. His most enduring monument is the famous Cerro de Santa Lucía, a favorite playground of his childhood, transformed during his administration as intendant of Santiago into an attractive park. In settling the accounts incurred in its construction he was forced to part with most of his property and that of his wife. Too independent and outspoken to attain the presidency of the republic, he led an enthusiastic following as a third candidate for that office in 1876, and loyally supported and recorded the cause of Chile in the War of the Pacific, of which he was a voluminous chronicler. His premature death called forth expressions of grief throughout the entire country. — Rev. chil. de hist. y geog., LXX (July‑Dec., 1931), 5‑177; Ricardo Donoso, Don Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, su vida, sus escritos y su tiempo, 1831‑1886 (Santiago, 1925); ELXVIII, 647; FV, 1050‑1053. For a less favorable sketch see Cruz, Estudios sobre la literatura chilena, I, 373‑391.

[image ALT: A woodcut, very likely from a photograph, of a balding man in his late middle age, with a large handlebar moustache. It is the Chilean historian Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna.]

Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, orator, administrator, prolific annalist.

Courtesy Instituto de Cinematografía Educativa, Universidad de Chile.

Thayer's Note: In the print edition, this photo accompanies those of Diego Barros Arana, José Toribio Medina, and a statue of the Amunátegui brothers; together the four photos are additionally captioned

Chilean historians.

Francisco Vidal Górmaz (1837‑ ) studied in the Military School and in 1854 joined the navy where he attracted attention because of his explorations in Chiloé and Magallanes. In 1862 he took charge of the nautical school at Ancud. He took part in military expeditions against Spain in 1865 and proposed in 1874 the creation of a hydrographic office of which he became first director. In that same year he began the publication of the Anuario hidrográfico. He did important work in this office during the war with Bolivia. In addition he was the author of numerous p533other hydrographic works, the result largely of his own personal surveys. An Andean peak bears his name. — FV, 1057.

José Antonio Vidaurre Garretón (1798‑1837), native of Concepción, belonged to a good family but one of reduced fortune. He began his military career in 1818 but was distinguished for intrigue during the period of political anarchy. In 1829 he organized the battalion of infantry known as the Cazadores de Maipú. His services at Lircay won for him the commission of colonel; and his battalion became noted for its discipline and devotion to its commander. Apparently, while enjoying the confidence of Portales, he was suspected of conspiring with Freire. As a result of complicity in the death of Portales, Vidaurre was executed on July 4, 1837, and his head was exposed in the principal plaza of Quillota, near which place Portales was assassinated. His action has given rise to much controversy, but evidently he did not intend the death of Portales. — FV, 1058; Sotomayor Valdés, Historia de Chile, II, 385, et seq.

Francisco de Villagra (ca. 1511‑1563) was born in Astorga, and arrived in America in 1537. He may have taken part in the campaign against Almagro. Soon after, he came to Chile, where he distinguished himself in minor offices, including that of corregidor of Santiago. He hoped to succeed Valdivia after the latter's death but did not receive the coveted appointment until 1561. A man of abounding energy, he wore himself out through excessive campaigning. — BII, 297‑330.

Gaspar de Villarroel (1587‑1665) was born at Quito in an impoverished but noble family. His father was a native of Guatemala and his mother of Venezuela. Educated at Lima, he entered the Augustinian order in 1607 and acquired fame as a pulpit orator. In 1622 he visited Spain where, in the course of the next ten years, he published numerous theological works and commentaries. Called to preach before the king and the Council of the Indies by his patron, García de Haro, he received royal appointment as bishop of Santiago in 1637 and took possession of his see a year later. He was injured in the earthquake of May 13, 1647, but continued to minister to those stricken in that terrible catastrophe. He rebuilt the cathedral at Santiago with his own funds. Modest and sincere in manner, he sought to avoid all appearances of rivalry but showed himself a forceful and notable writer. His works form twelve folio volumes. His most famous work, Gobierno eclesiástico pacífico, published about 1656, is a vast arsenal of legal knowledge of the colonial period. In 1635 he was transferred to the see of Arequipa and later to Chuquisaca, where he died in poverty. — BIV, 427; ELXVIII, 1511; M., pp968‑973.

Carlos Walker Martínez (1842‑1905) was born in Vallenar, the p534son of an English industrialist. His early studies took place in the Colegio of San Ignacio, and the influence of his early Jesuit instructors doubtless determined his later conservatism. He received his degree in law from the national university in 1866. A few months earlier he had produced in the municipal theater his first, and for a long time his most significant, literary work, the historic drama, Manuel Rodríguez. Precocious rather than productive both as poet and politician, he early identified himself with the Sociedad de amigos del País (Society of the Friends of the Country), an organization formed to fight liberalism, and continued this fight to the end of his life. He held minor posts in the ministry of the interior and the ministry of foreign affairs, visited the United States and Europe, held the post of minister to Bolivia, was elected deputy to congress and to the senate, and in 1891 took part secretly in the opposition to Balmaceda and helped punish the latter's followers. His most distinguishing characteristic was impetuosity. In addition to his ardent Catholicism, he sought, as president of the Sociedad protectora, an institution founded by Vicuña Mackenna, to support the widows and orphans created by the War of the Pacific. As minister of foreign relations in 1899, he defended his country with vigor against the claims of Argentina. — FV, 1080‑1082; Justo and Domingo Arteaga Alemparte, op. cit., pp328‑331.

William Wheelwright (1798‑1873) was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He early engaged in trade with South America, was shipwrecked at Buenos Aires in 1822, and came to Chile in 1824. He served as consul of the United States at Guayaquil, Ecuador, from 1824 to 1829, when he removed to Valparaiso and, encouraged by Portales, established a line of passenger vessels in 1840 to serve the west coast of South America. In addition to his interest in steam navigation, he promoted railroads, telegraph lines, coal mines, and general public utilities, largely with the aid of British capital. He was a true poet of business who conceived great projects and had the energy to carry them out. — New International Encyclopedia, XXIII, 587.

Juan Williams Rebolledo (1826‑1910), son of John Williams, companion of Lord Cochrane, was born in the province of Valparaiso. Entering the naval service in 1844, he took part in numerous explorations especially in the southern part of Chile, and carried out many naval improvements. With the Esmeralda he performed notable exploits against the Spanish fleet during the intervention of Spain on the west coast of South America, gained the victory of Papudo (see p308), and commanded the combined Peruvian and Chilean fleets. To him was due the efficiency of the Chilean navy at the outbreak of the War of the Pacific. Because of earlier reverses suffered by Chile, he resigned his p535high command but later published a defense of his course, attributing his lack of success to government orders that hampered his movements. He continued in naval administration after the war and also took part in politics. — FV, 1095‑1096.

Luis de Zañartu (d. 1782), a native of Vizcaya, held many minor offices in Chile. While corregidor he constructed other notable public works, aside from the prison, and also patronized the nunnery of the Carmelites at San Rafael, of which his two daughters became members. Although a conscientious and efficient public servant, he was detested and feared by the populace. — M, p995.

José Ignacio Zenteno del Pozo y Silva (1786‑1847) was born in Santiago. He entered the college of San Carlos at an early age, and in 1813 began to serve the patriot government as military secretary. After the battle of Rancagua, he emigrated to Mendoza where he soon became secretary to San Martín. Under O'Higgins he assumed charge of the war office and, among other notable services, designed the Chilean flag. He also devoted attention to the navy, a trust that he continued to exercise after he became military and political governor of Valparaiso in 1821. After five years of service in that office he retired from public life, but in 1831 he resumed his military activities, represented the departments of Santiago and La Victoria in congress, and became vice-president of the chamber of deputies. He was the founder and first director of El mercurio of Valparaiso. His son Ignacio was also a journalist and collaborated on El ferrocarril. — ELXX, 1180; FV, 1131.

Thayer's Note:

a Ulloa's travails in Louisiana are covered in great detail by Gayarré, History of Louisiana, Vol. II, Chapters 3‑7; they include an expanded biographical sketch of him, pp141‑148.

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Page updated: 7 Nov 09