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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PEREZ, Jose Joaquin, Chilian statesman, born in Santiago in 1801. He studied in the university of his native city, and soon after graduation was appointed secretary of legation at Washington, and then at Paris, where from 1829 till 1831 he was minister plenipotentiary. Soon afterward he was sent to London to negotiate a loan, and in 1836 he was minister at Buenos Ayres. On his return he was elected to congress, entered the cabinet of General Bulnes in 1845 as secretary of the treasury, and in 1849 took the portfolio of foreign relations. In 1852 he was again a member of congress, and later he became president of the chamber of deputies, and was elected to the senate. He was then appointed councillor of state, and in 1861 he was elected president of the republic, forming a coalition of the moderate wings of both parties, which produced the happiest results. In 1863 he opened the railroads from Santiago to Valparaiso and to Curico, initiated many other lines, and spread telegraphic communication throughout the country. The war with Spain in 1864--'6 led to no consequences of note except an offensive and defensive alliance with Peru. In 1866 he was reelected for five years, and began a successful war against the Araucanians. During Errazuriz's administration, which lasted from 1871 till 1876, Perez was elected senator and councillor of state. In 1876 he became president of the senate, but he has lived in retirement for several years.
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