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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ROBERTSON, John Parish, Scottish author, born in Kelso or Edinburgh, Scotland, about 1793; died in Calais, France, 1 November, 1843. He accompanied his father on a commercial voyage to La Plata, and soon returned alone to South America and became a clerk at Rio Janeiro when he was only fourteen years old. At twenty-one he was sent as a mercantile agent to Asuncion. In 1815 Dr. Jose Francia (q. v.) ordered him and his brother, William P., who had joined him, to leave Paraguay. He remained more than a year at Corrientes, and, with the help of an Irish lieutenant of Artigas, named Campbell, established a large trade in hides, and was thus instrumental in reviving the prosperity of the province. From 1817 till 1820 he was engaged in Great Britain in enlarging his commercial connections. He purchased a large tract near Buenos Ayres, and settled on it a colony of Scotch agriculturists. When his political friends had conquered the independence of Peru and Chili, he was the first to open those countries to commerce. He went to England in 1824 in the capacity of a political agent for several of the republics. His large possessions were swept away in the financial crisis of 1826, and after spending four years in South America in the endeavor to recover some part of his fortune, he entered Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, and passed through the university course. He devoted himself for most of his remaining years to literary labor. He published, jointly with his brother, "Letters on Paraguay" (London, 1838); a continuation entitled "Francia's Reign of Terror" (1839); and" Letters on South America" (1843). "Solomon Seesaw "(1839) appeared under his name only.--His brother, William Parish, born about 1795, was the author of another book of travel entitled "Visit to Mexico" (London, 1853).
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