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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NENGITIRU, or LANGUIRU, Nicolao, better known as NICOLAO I., born in Paraguay about 1720; died in the mission of Conceicao in 1773. He was a half-breed, and held the office of magistrate of Conceiggo in 1754, when the Jesuits refused to surrender the missions that had been ceded by the treaty of Madrid to Portugal, and, arming the Guarani Indians, appointed Nicolao nominal commander, in order to hide their disobedience to the royal order. The enemies of the Jesuits in Europe took advantage of this action to destroy their influence with King Ferdinand VI., and asserted, according to Robert Southey in his "History of Brazil," that the Jesuits, renouncing their allegiance to Spain, had set up an empire of their own under the rule of King Nieolgo I. This story was spread with much zeal, and even money, struck in the new king's name, was circulated in Europe, while Martin Dobrizhoffer asserts that at that time no money was in use in the missions, that there was no mint in Paraguay, and that the coins were struck in Quito by order of the Spanish authorities. Nicolao was a humble, inoffensive person, desirous to avoid the notoriety that attached to his office, for which he was totally unfit, and his name appears only once in the history of the war of the missions, in 1755, when he interfered in behalf of a poor Jesuit at Yapeya. When the Guaranis made their submission to Freire de Andrada in 1756, Nicolgo presented himself to the Spanish authorities at Andaonegui, and, his innocence being proved, was restored to his former post in Conceicao, and the whole story of King Nicolao was officially declared to be a fiction in the " Gazeta de Madrid" (1768). Nevertheless the romantic history of the fictitious king came to be popularly believed through a French work entitled "Histoire de Nicolas I., roi de Paraguay et empereur des Marnelucs," purporting to be issued in Sao Paulo in 1756, but probably printed in Germany. In this book he is called Nicolas Robiouni, of Spanish birth, and his career is described as full of crimes, but Southey declares it to be a tissue of falsehoods and the fabrication of some ignorant impostor.
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