Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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NEYRA, Domingo (ni-rah), clergyman, born in Banda Oriental, Spanish America, about 1689; died in Buenos Ayres after 1748. He studied in the Dominican convent of Cordova, entered the order, and was sent to Santiago, Chili, where he was ordained priest in 1713. He was professor in the Dominican colleges of Cordova and Buenos Ayres from that year till 1722. The Dominicans of Banda Oriental complained of unfair treatment on the part of the provincials of Chili, under whose jurisdiction they were, and had several times demanded without success that a new Dominican province should be formed east of the Cordilleras. On 15 May, 1722, Neyra escaped secretly from Buenos Ayres, and went to Europe to plead their cause. After meeting with much opposition, he obtained, on 24 March, 1724, a papal decree, by which the Dominicans of Banda Oriental were formed into a new province. He returned to Buenos Ayres in 1729, and was appointed regent of studies in the convent of San Elmo. It was expected that he would be made provincial on his return, but the majority favored the election of Father Juan Garay (q. v.), who became his bitter enemy, and, notwithstanding his services, ordered him to quit Buenos Ayres. After a visit to Rome, he returned in December, 1733, and learned that a new provincial, friendly to him, had been elected. Neyra was chosen prior of the convent of Buenos Ayres, elected provincial, 9 November, 1737, and established a great seminary in that city. He went abroad in 1739 to obtain teachers, but the ship that contained his valuable library was captured in the war with England, and he was obliged to remain in Spain till the conclusion of peace in 1748. On his return to Buenos Ayres he found a new provincial had been elected in his place. He wrote "Ordenanzas de la moderna provincia de San Agostin de Buenos Ayres, por el Padre Domingo Neyra, de la orden de los predicadores," published in Buenos Ayres which contains a description of his first journey to Rome. His remarks on European society are charming for their mixture of shrewdness and simplicity.
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