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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ARTIGAS, Jose (ar-tee'-gas), a South American soldier, born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1755 ; died in Paraguay in 1851. He was the son of a wealthy landed proprietor, and for a time led an adventurous life as a gaucho, and then served as captain in the light cavalry of the provinces, but on account of some difficulty with the governor passed in 1811 into the service of the junta of Buenos Ayres, then in insurrection against Spain. At the head of a band of gauchos he defeated the Spaniards in several encounters, and vigorously supported the republican army that besieged the Portuguese troops from Brazil, who then occupied Montevideo. But, being passionate and scheming, he soon acted independently, and finally detached his men from the besieging army, whereupon Posadas, director of the junta, outlawed him and set a price upon his head. But the gauchos flocked to his standard, and Artigas, having defeated the troops sent against him, obliged his enemies to cede to him the whole of Uruguay (1814). He then compelled the Portuguese to abandon their attempt to regain possession of Montevideo, which had surrendered. He now acted as dictator in Uruguay, and in 1815 made an unsuccessful attempt against Buenos Ayres. After various contests he was twice defeated, in 1819 and 1820, and fled to Paraguay, where Dr. Francia, the dictator, banished him to Candelaria. Here he devoted himself to husbandry and philanthropic work.
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