Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GAMARRA Y DAVALOS, Juan Benito (ga-mar'-rah), Mexican author, born in Zamora, Mexico, in 1745; died in the City of Mexico, 1 November, 1793. He studied in the College of San ildefonso in the City of Mexico, and in November, 1764, entered the congregation of San Pelipe Neri in the town of San Miguel. Here his superiors appointed him their attorney general, and sent him to Madrid and Rome to conclude arrangements for the final establishment and endowment of the congregation in Mexico. Pope Clement XIII. made him apostolic prothonotary, and he was given the degree of doctor of theology by the University of Pisa, and elected a member of the Academy of Bologna. On his return to Mexico he brought a collection of paintings, drawings, a large library, and a collection of physical instruments for his College. He reorganized the plan of studies of the College, and was also the first in Spanish America to introduce a course of lectures on modern philosophy. He took great interest in the advancement of instruction in New Spain, and was the founder of many new Colleges. The viceroy proposed him for several high offices, but Gamarra refused them all. At the time of his death he was preparing a plan for the organization of another University for the viceroyalty. He published "Musa Americana" (Cadix, 1769) : " Elementa recentioris Philosophize" (Mexico, 1774); "Acaddmias filosdfieas" (1774); "Las antiguedades de Xochicalco" (Bologna, 1774); " Errores del Intendimiento Humano" (Puebla, 1776) ; "MSximas de Education " (Mexico, 1780) ; "Reflexiones Criticas sobre las Historias Escojidas del Antiguo Testamento" (1781); and left others in manuscript, which are preserved in the National library of Mexico and by private collectors.
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