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HERRERA, Nicolas, Uruguayan statesman, born in Montevideo in 1780; died there, 4 March, 1832. He studied law, and at the age of twenty-six was sent to Madrid by the municipality of Montevideo as their attorney-general at the court. He was present at the abdication of Charles IV. in Aran-juez, 1808, and, after the imprisonment of the Spanish kings by Napoleon, he went, as a member of the Spanish junta, to Bayonne; but, seeing the uselessness of opposition, he returned to the river Plate, and took an enthusiastic part in the movement for independence in May, 1810. With Bernardino Rivadavia, he was appointed one of the secretaries of state, and in 1813 was sent on a mission to the director of the Paraguayan government junta. Dr. Francia, which he accomplished satisfactorily. In 1814 he followed General Carlos Maria Alyear in his campaign for the final overthrow of the Spanish dominion in Uruguay, happily finished in the capitulation of Montevideo, 20 June, and afterward sustained the policy of that general against Artigas; but, when the power of the director Alyear was overthrown by a revolution in April, 1815, Herrera fled to Brazil, where he was received with marked distinction at court. In the endeavor to liberate his country from the oppression of the dictator Artigas, and at the same time provide against a threatened re-conquest of Uruguay by Spain, Herrera favored the occupation of the province by the Portuguese forces, on condition of preserving the autonomy, in the mistaken hope that it would be easy, after finishing, with Artigas and the danger of a Spanish invasion, to liberate the Banda Oriental again. With this hope he accompanied the invading army in 1816 as political secretary of the general-in-chief, Baron de Laguna. After the occupation of Montevideo, 20 January, 1817, he was appointed chief judge, and exercised great political influence; but after the final overthrow of Artigas at Tacuarembo, 22 January, 1820, his hope of independence was defeated by the forced vote of annexation to Brazil, July, 1821, and he employed his official position, as far as possible, to the benefit of his oppressed countrymen. The independence of Brazil in 1822 did not change the situation, and insurrectionary movements were continued, until on 19 April, 1825, Colonel Lavalleja, with thirty-two Uruguayan refugees, landed near Soriano, and soon the whole province was in arms. On 25 August, independence from Brazil was declared, and the revolution continued, secretly assisted by the Argentine Republic. In consequence, Brazil declared war against the Argentine, 4 November, 1825, and Herrera sympathized with the movement for independence; especially after his former chief, Alyear, had been appointed general commander of the liberating army. On 20 February, 1827, the Brazilian army was defeated at Ituzainge, and the independence of Uruguay was recognized by the treaty of Rio de Janeiro, 28 August, 1828. Herrera was confirmed in his judicial functions, and afterward appointed diplomatical agent at the court of Brazil, where he obtained the recognition of the constitution of Uruguay. On his return he was elected to the senate, which office he held until his death.
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