Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NIET0, Jose Apolinario (nyay'-to), Mexican naturalist, born in San Miguel, Hiloxochitlan, in 1810; died in Cordova, 21 December, 1873. At the age of nine years he lost his father, and, being left in great poverty, he learned the trade of a tailor. He obtained the protection of a gentleman of Orizaba, Jose Maria Aguilar, who employed him in his house and gave him opportunity to continue his studies. At that time the French naturalist, Alexandre Leseur, arrived in Orizaba, commissioned to form a Mexican entomological collection. Nieto aided Leseur in his work, and very soon acquired a knowledge of the French language. After several years he obtained the whole confidence of his protector, who at his death confided to Nieto the administration of his property. In 1838 Nieto moved his residence to Cordova, where he bought a country-seat, tried to acclimatize the silk-worm, and fostered the cultivation of mulberry-trees. In 1845 he returned to Orizaba and there propagated the cinchona-tree, which has since become common in the republic. He contributed to the establishment of the railroad and the telegraph lines that unite the state of Vera Cruz with the capital. Notwithstanding that he was deprived by an accident in 1850 of part of his physical faculties, he continued his scientific work, and contributed to " La Naturaleza," the paper of the Mexican society of natural history. He was an honorary member of many scientific societies in Europe and America.
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