Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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TACON, Miguel (tah-cone'), Spanish soldier, born in Cartagena, Colombia, in 1777; died in Madrid, Spain, in 1855. He first served in the navy, but in 1806 he entered the army with the commission of lieutenant-colonel. He was appointed in 1809 governor of Popayan. When the Spanish possessions in South America began to rise against the home government, Tacon took the field against the patriots, and, having been defeated in Palace, 5 April, 1811, he fled to Peru, where he remained until 1819. He was then made brigadier and sent to Spain by the viceroy of Peru to inform the Madrid government of the bad condition of the struggle against the patriot forces. He was appointed governor of Malaga, and in 1834 was made lieutenant-general and appointed governor-general of Cuba. During his administration, from 7 June, 1834, to 23 April, 1838, he did much that was good together with many acts of despotism. He repressed the criminal classes, reformed the morals of the island greatly, and suppressed corruption among public officers and servants of the government. He caused the construction of sewers in Havana, paved the streets of the city, built a great prison, encouraged the construction of a theatre, which was named for him, established several public markets, lighted the streets, and erected many public buildings. But during his administration the slave-trade increased greatly, and more slaves were introduced into Cuba in the four years of his rule than in any other equal period. He afterward returned to Spain, and Was appointed senator for . Cadiz in 1852, but his failing health did not permit him to accept office.
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