Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VELAZQUEZ DE LA CADENA, Mariano, Mexican grammarian, born in the city of Mexico, 28 June, 1778; died in New York city, 19 February, 1860. He was sent at the age of seven years to Madrid, and there admitted into the Royal seminary of nobles, where he was graduated in philosophy and law in 1799. Although lacking the legal age, he was admitted in 1800, by special royal order, as notary of the council of the Indies, and appointed curator of the estates of minors and intestate estates for the viceroyalty of Mexico. During his administration he became intimately connected with Baron yon Humboldt, and in 1802 he was recalled to fill the post of private secretary to King Charles IV. As such he was sent in 1504 to represent the king at the coronation of Napoleon, and during the following year made a tour through western and central Europe. After t lie imprisonment of the king by Napoleon in 1809, Velazquez resigned his office, and was making arrangements for returning to Mexico, when news of the revolutionary movement of Hidalgo arrived. Unwilling to identify himself with either of the contending parties, Velazquez resolved to retire to the United States, and settled in New York, where he became a teacher of Spanish, and founded a collegiate institute, in which a great number of young men from the Latin-American countries were educated. From 1830 till his death he was professor of the Castilian language and literature in Columbia college. He was a member of learned societies in Europe and the United States. He was the author of Spanish school-books and a large "Pronouncing Dictionary of the Spanish and English Languages" (New York, 1852).
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