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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Hilarion Daza

DAZA, Hilarion (dah'thah), Bolivian statesman, born at Sucre, in 1840, of humble parentage, partly Indian. The name of his father, a Spaniard, was Grosoli, but the son adopted his maternal family name, Daza. When eighteen years of age he volunteered in the army of the liberals. Subsequent successful revolutions brought him into notice, and won him the patronage and confidence of Melgarejo. To explore the courses of the rivers Pileomayo and Bermejo, flowing into the Paraguay, numerous fruitless expeditions have been organized; and in one of these, during the brief lull in political strife that marked the dictatorship of Melgarejo, the year 1867 found young Daza second in command, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was conspicuous in January 1871, in league with his colonel, Juan Granier, against his former friend and patron. On the deposition of Melgarejo, Daza, at the head of his regiment of cuirassiers, held in cheek the turbulent factions at La Paz, for which services President Morales rewarded him with further promotion and the portfolio of war. As minister and general he succeeded in maintaining order after the death of Morales in 1872, and insured the peaceful accession of the constitutional successor. In the same year he supported the candidature of Bollivian, and on the death of the latter became himself a candidate for the presidency against Salinas (the civil candidate), Oblitas, and Vasquez (the representative of the Corral party). When the elections were over a dispute ensued as to the majority, and Daza, it is contended, seized the office as his right, and was inaugurated on 4 May 1876.

His government was popular, and troubled with as few revolutions as that of any of his predecessors. At the beginning of the war with Chili, 1 March 1879, he set out at the head of his troops, leaving the government in charge of Sefior Guerra, minister of foreign affairs. Of Daza's part in this war Markham says: "The Bolivian army under his command, 4,000 strong, arrived at Tacna, in Peru, on 30 April but in the short duration of his command Daza proved himself as incapable as cowardly. Two battalions were detached under Colonel Villamil's command to garrison Pisagua on 25 May and when, on 2 November the Chilean army invaded the province of Tarapaca, Daza's army, according to arrangements made with the commander-in-chief of the allied forces, was to advance from Arica to take the invaders in the rear while they were engaged with the army of Tarapaca. Daza began his march from Tacna with 3,000 men, loitered three days at Arica, started again on 11 November and on the 12th marched over fifteen miles of sandy desert to the little River Vitor. He advanced one more march to the defile of the River Camarones, but there stopped again, and on 16 November abandoned the work he had undertaken, leaving the army of Tarapaca to its fate, and returned to Tacna, his own soldiers threatening to shoot him as a coward." On 27 December having been called to Arica for a consultation by Admiral Montero, Daza received the news that during his absence his army had rebelled and deposed him, and on his return voyage to La Paz he heard at Arequipa, in January 1880, of a revolution at the capital, which proclaimed General Narciso Campero as his successor. He then went to Paris.

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