Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PINILLOS, Claudio M. de (pe-neel'-yos), Count of Villanueva, Cuban statesman, born in Havana in October, 1782; died there in ]853. When very young he went to Spain, entered the army, and took part in the war against the French in 1808. He was sent to Cuba in 1814, and in 1825 appointed general superintendent of the finances of the island, filling this office during twenty-five years. In 1825 the income of Cuba was only $2,000,000, but in 1837 it had risen to $37,000,000, which was due in great part to his wise measures. He built, many public schools, hospitals, and roads, and in 1834 contributed to the construction of the first railroad in a Spanish-speaking country. To his efforts was due the creation of a nautical college, an extensive chemical laboratory, an aqueduct, and many other public institutions, for the scientific, literary, and industrial development of Cuba. He is considered one of the greatest benefactors of the island.
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