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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LACUNZA, Jose Maria (lah-koon'-thah), Mexican statesman, born in the city of Mexico in 1809; died in Havana, Cuba, 19 June, 1869. He received an excellent education, studied law in the university of his native city, and in 1833 was admitted to the bar, where he soon attained reputation. At the same time he cultivated poetry, and many of his compositions appeared in the journals of the capital. In May, 1849, he was called by General Herrera to the portfolio of foreign relations, which he held till the end of Herrera's presidential term in January, 1851, showing himself to be well meaning and progressive, but weak. During Juarez's administration Lacunza was elected a member of the supreme court of justice; but on the arrival of Maximilian he recognized the imperial government. He was appointed, in April, 1866, secretary of the imperial treasury, which place he occupied till July, when Maximilian made him president of the council of state. As such he voted in the council of 25 November, 1866, against the abdication of Maximilian. Afterward Lacunza resigned the presidency of the council of state, and, on the departure of Maximilian to take command of the army at Queretaro, he was civil governor of the capital under General Marquez; but after the occupation of the city by the republican forces, 21 June, 1867, he was obliged to hide himself, and a few days later left secretly for Havana, where he died. He was the founder of the literary academy of Letran, and several editions of his poems have been published. --His brother, Juan N., Mexican poet, born in the city of Mexico, 22 November, 1812; died there, 13 July, 1843, was graduated in philosophy in the College of San Juan de Letran of his native city, and began to study civil and canonical law in the University of Mexico in 1833, being admitted to the bar in 1837. He soon obtained an extensive practice, but devoted his leisure to writing poetry, and some of his first compositions appeared in the "Ano nuevo," the official journal of the literary academy of Letran. The magazine "Recreo de las Familias" (1838) also published many of his best poems.
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