Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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EGANA, Juan (agan'ya), South American jurist, born in Lima, Peru, in 1769; died in Santiago, Chili, 13 April 1836. He entered the seminary of Santo Toribio in 1776, distinguishing himself as a Latin scholar. At the age of sixteen he was supernumerary professor of philosophy, and in the five subsequent years occupied the chairs of law and theology, and meantime practiced at the bar. In 1790 he started for Spain by way of Chili, but was persuaded to remain in the latter country by the regent of the Supreme Court, Francisco A. Moreno, who had been a judge in Lima, and held Egana in great estimation. When, in 1810, Chili threw off the Spanish yoke for the first time, the corporation of Santiago to aid in their work called Egana. He was elected a representative to the first congress, where he distinguished himself in debate, and afterward filled several commissions. After the victory of the royalists at Rancagua in October 1814, Egana was imprisoned in Santiago and afterward in the penitentiary of the Island of Juan Fernandez, remaining there until delivered by the victory of San Martin at Chacabuco, 12 February 1817. He then reappeared in active life, with greater prestige for the sufferings he had undergone, and was appointed representative from Santiago to the assembly of plenipotentiaries that fixed on the form of government, and in 1823 presided over congress and the committee in charge of the formation of a constitution, distinguishing himself by his knowledge of history and politics. He was afterward reelected to congress for several provinces. Egana was the promoter of a benevolent society in Santiago. He was for years a senator, and devoted the latter part of his life to literary pursuits, writing numerous historica1, geographical, and religious works.
His son, Mariano Egana, Chilean jurist, born in Santiago, Chili, 18 September 1793; died there, 24 June 1846, studied in Spain, and at the age of eighteen was graduated at law. In 1813 he was appointed secretary of the sovereign junta of Chili. After the defeat of the insurgents at Rancagua, Egana was exiled with his father, and on his return to Chili, in 1817, was appointed secretary of the general inspection of police, and afterward prosecutor of the court of appeals. In December of the same year he was given the secretary ship of the Economic junta. Egana was elected a member of the municipality of Santiago in 1820, and in 1822 was appointed legal adviser of the City government. In January of the following year he was made chief clerk of the treasury and of the department of disputed claims. He was soon afterward appointed secretary of the provisional government, and in April 1824, was made secretary of the treasury and of foreign relations. At the end of this year he was sent as minister to several European powers, and remained abroad till 1829.
In 1830 he was secretary of the interior, and prosecutor for the Supreme Court of justice. In 1831 he was elected to congress, and was president of the National convention. In 1836 he was sent as minister to Peru, and, after efforts to arrange existing difficulties amicably, declared war by order of his government. He was minister of justice, worship, and public instruction in 1839, and in the following year was again minister to Peru. After his return to Chili he was minister of justice up to 1841, and while in this office he revised the Chilean code of law.
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