Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HUNNEUS, George, Chilian statesman, born in Santiago, 30 August, 1831. He was graduated at the university of his native city in 1855, and in 1856 was appointed professor of jurisprudence and political science. In 1858 he was elected to congress for the province of Cauquenes, and was known as one of the most elegant orators in defence of liberal principles. Next year he was elected president of the lower house, and became prominent as a leader of the opposition against the conservative government, for which reason he was banished by President Montt. He came to the United States, together with his companion in exile, Vicuna Mackenna, and studied the institutions of the republic. At the close of Montt's presidential term, in 1861, Hunneus returned to Chili, was elected to congress, and became speaker. The new president, Jose Joaquin Perez, desiring to form an independent ministry from moderate members of both political parties, called Hunndus as secretary of public instruction and justice, and as such he introduced great improvements in both branches, and greatly augmented the number of public schools. In 1865 he was elected to the senate, and contributed to the termination of the war between Spain and the Pacific republics. In 1870 he was secretary of the interior, and was specially commissioned by the government to sign a treaty of friendship and commerce with the Austro-Hungarian envoy, Rear-Admiral Baron A. de Petz. In 1872 he was president of the senate, and in 1873 was given by President Errazuriz the portfolio of the treasury, and in 1874 he became secretary of foreign affairs, at the same time occupying professorships in the university. Since the resignation of President Errazuriz in 1876, Hunneus has continued to take an active part in polities as senator, and during the war against Peru and Bolivia he was a member of the government council for the direction of the war. He was also appointed rector of the University of Santiago in the place of the famous scientist Domeyko. Hunndus, besides numerous educational works and political pamphlets, has written "Historia politica de Chile" (Santiago, 1862); "La administracion Montt" (1863); "Historia de la guerra con Espana" (1866); and "Historia de la guerra del Pacifico" (1883).
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