Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ELIAS, Domingo (aylee'as), Peruvian statesman, born in Ica, Peru, in 1805; died in Lima in 1867. He was educated in Spain and France, returned to Peru in 1825, and from the beginning took great interest in the new republic. He was the first in Peru to turn his attention to the planting of cotton on a large scale, and to the elaboration of wines, and the first that introduced there Chinese laborers. He founded in Lima the College of Nuestra Sefiora de Guadalupe. When General Vivanco headed the revolution of Arequipa, Elias was the first to lend him a helping hand. Elias was then temporarily in charge of the government at Lima, and he was asked to exert his influence with the opposing armies, in order to avoid war, and to appeal to the country for a decision. But Vivanco and Castilla preferred to settle the matter by arms, and Vivanco was defeated at the battle of Carmen Alto in 1844. Elias surrendered the command to the one designated by law, elections were held, and Casfilla was chosen 1, April 1845. E
lias was then appointed councilor of state and elected to congress. At the expiration of his term of office, he was a popular candidate for the presidency, and it was the first time that serious efforts were made to elect a candidate from civil life; but the military candidate, General Echenique, was proclaimed constitutional president in 1851. In 1854 Elias proclaimed a revolution at Ica, and at his own expense organized a division, with which he offered battle to the government forces at Saraja, and was defeated. He then marched southward, to confer with General Castilla, who had proclaimed a revolution at Arequipa. Castilla advanced upon Cuzco to organize his army, and Elias remained in the department of Moquegua, as chief commander of the south. Elias suddenly attacked the City of Arequipa, 1 December 1854, and the government forces were defeated. A few days afterward the liberating army approached the capital, and General Castilla won the victory of Pahna, 5 January 1855. This revolution was of great benefit to Peru, as it freed the slaves, and abolished the Indian taxes. General Castilla, as provisional president, organized his cabinet, and appointed Elias secretary of the treasury, who soon afterward was sent to France as minister. In 1858 he was nominated for president of the republic, but was not elected.
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