Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CORTINA, Jose M. Justo Gomez de la (cor-tee'-nah), Count de la Cortina, Mexican scholar, born in the City of Mexico, 9 August, 1799; died there, 6 January, 1860. He was the son of noble parents, from whom he inherited his title. At the age of fifteen he was sent to Madrid to finish his education, afterward studied at the Academy of Alcala de He-nares, won in competition the professorship of military geography, and became an officer of engineers. Still later he entered the diplomatic service. The most distinguished scholars of Spain met at his house in Madrid, and he was in correspondence with philologists, historians, critics, and poets of France, Germany, and Austria. Cortina returned to his country in 1832, worked hard to promote literary education in Mexico, and soon, had great influence in politics; but this caused his expulsion from Mexico in June, 1833, and he was absent until General Santa Anna recalled him in the following year. He afterward filled many public offices, including those of minister of finance, president of the board of finance, colonel of the grenadiers corps, member of the board of notables that laid the bases for the organization of the republic, senator and chief officer of the war department, and governor of the district of Mexico. He established several periodicals, was a constant contributor to many others, published more than twenty works, and left fifty-four manuscripts on various subjects. Among his printed books are "Cartilla historial "; " Cartilla social " (1833); " Diccionario de sinSni-mos castellanos" (1845); "Leonor," a novel (1845); "Euclea 5 la Griega de Trieste," a novel (1845); "Diccionario manual de voces tecnicas castellahas, en bellas artes " (1848); "Los enviados diplomaticos ; sus atribuciones y derechos" (1854); and " Prontuario diplomatico y consular" (1856). Of his manuscripts, the " Diccionario diplomatico," "Gramatica castellana," " Diccionario de voces antiguas," " Uso de las preposiciones de la lengua castellana," "Nomenclatura cientifica de plantas y de animales de la Repdblica mejicana," " Tratado de la nobleza espanola, Dictionario militar antiguo," "Vocabulario de voces poeticas," " Diccionario seismolSgico," and the poems entitled "La Mariposa" and " E1 Clasico y el Romantico," deserve special mention. Cortina's library, which included many rare books and manuscripts, was sold in Paris. He also left a rich numismatic collection, which he presented to the National museum in the City of Mexico.
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