Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VELASCO, Jose Miguel de (vay-las'-co), Bolivian soldier, born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra about, 1790; died there in 1859. In early life he entered the military service and espoused the cause of independence, and after the battle of Ayacucho he was promoted colonel by Bolivar. After the mutiny of Chuquisaca in April, 1828, and by the treaty of Piquiza, Santa Cruz was elected provisional president and Velasco vice-president, the" latter taking charge of the executive on account of the former's absence. In December, General Blanco was elected constitutional president, but he was deposed and murdered by a revolt on 31 December, and Velasco took charge again, delivering the executive in 1829 to Santa Cruz on his arrival. He took part in the campaigns against Peru and the battles of Yanacocha and Socabaya, but when Santa Cruz marched against the Chilians in 1838, Velasco led a revolution against him in the south, and after the former's fall the latter was proclaimed president in 1839. His administration was a continuous struggle against the revolutions of Santa Cruz's followers, and in 1841 he was captured by the latter and banished, but soon afterward he returned and pronounced for Joss Ballivian, who was elected president. On the resignation of Ballivian in December, 1847, Velasco was proclaimed president, but, instead of re-establishing the constitution of 1839, according to his promise, he governed at his own discretion, discontent and revolutions following. Manuel Isidoro Belzu defeated him on 5 December, 1848, at Jamporaez, and was proclaimed president. Velasco then retired to his native city, where he died when he was preparing a new revolution against the government of Dr. Linares. He was a well-meaning man of undoubted bravery, but of little talent and feeble character, permitting his followers to commit many arbitrary acts in his name.
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