Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GUEMES Y HORCASITAS, Juan Francisco (guay'-meth), Cuban statesman, born in Oviedo, Spain, in 1682; died in 1768. He took part in the wars of the beginning of the 18th century, and from 1784 to 1746 was governor of Cuba. He organized the judicial system of the island, founded hospitals, established "a general post office, caused the construction of several first-class men-of-war, fortified Havana, and in 1739 sent a successful expedition to the relief of St. Augustine, Florida, besieged by the English. In 1742 he sent another expedition to South Carolina. In 1746 he was appointed viceroy of Mexico, and there also he introduced many reforms. In 1755 he returned to Spain, and was brevetted captain-general, and created count of Revilla Gigedo.--His son, Juan Vicente, count of Revilla Gigedo, viceroy of Mexico, born in Havana, Cuba, about 1734; died in Madrid, Spain, 2 May, 1799, was educated in Spain, entered the army, took part in the siege of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1783, was promoted lieutenant-general, and in 1789 appointed viceroy of Mexico. He immediately began one of the most beneficial administrations that Mexico ever had under Spanish rule. He reformed the financial management, finished the paving of the principal streets of the capital, had the open sewers and canals filled up and subterranean sewers provided, cleaned the principal square, established free primary schools, and began a carriage-road to Vera Cruz. He also established the botanical garden in Mexico, and sent scientific expeditions to Bering strait and the strait of Juan de Fuca. But he was calumniated at court, was relieved of the government, 12 July, 1794, and spent his, last days in Spain.
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