Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LAS0 DE LA VEGA, Jose Silvester (lah-so-deh-lah-vay'-gah), Chilian statesman, born in Santiago in June, 1779; died there in 1842. In 1805 he became counsel to the royal audiencia, and in 1811 he received the degree of doctor from the University of San Felipe. Toward the middle of 1809 he intended to go to Spain to claim the duchy of Alba, but, having enlisted in the party that worked for the independence of (', hill, he lost the fortune and honors that would have come to him with that title. He was one of the most active in calling the popular meeting of 18 September, 1810, and also formed the first governing junta. In 1811 he was elected a deputy to the congress that succeeded to that junta. He afterward took command of a division that was paid and maintained by himself, and going to the province of Aeoncagua, which had declared in favor of Spain, he pacified it. After the defeat of Rancagua he was obliged to emigrate to the Argentine Republic, where he engaged in commerce, and divided his scanty resources with his companions. In the republic of Uruguay he was secretary of General Artigas, in which post he greatly aided the expedition of San Martin to Chili. After the battle of Chacabuco he returned to Chili in 1818, and in that year was intrusted with the portfolio of justice, which was at that time the most influential post in the republic, and which he occupied till 1824. in 1820 he was sent as envoy to the Argentine Republic, where he worked for the independence of Peru. He was a member of congress in the years 1824-'6, and in 1827 was appointed a member of the supreme court. He died poor, having expended his fortune in the cause of his country's independence.
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