Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FREIRE, Rame, Spanish-American soldier, born in Santiago, Chili, 29 November 1787" died there, 9 December 1851. In 1811 he enlisted in the Chilean army, and within two years was promote4 to lieutenant, having taken part in several battles. With the grade of captain he served in the battle of Rancagua, where, under command of O'Higgins, he cut his way through the ranks" of the enemy. After this disastrous campaign he immigrated to the Argentine Republic. ]n 1815 he joined a company of privateers, commanded by H. Buchard, engaged in capturing Spanish vessels on the Pacific. In 1816 he joined the army of San Martin, and in December of the same year received from this general an order to penetrate into Chili by the southern Cordilleras and take Talca, which he accomplished, 11 February 1817, at the same time that San Martin routed the Spanish army in Chacabuco.
Afterward he destroyed the remainder of the Spanish army in several sharply contested battles. He was made a member of the Legion of Merit, which replaced the titles of nobility. On 27 November 1820. in command of a small regiment, he defeated an army of 2,000 men under command of Benavides. In 1823, on the abdication of General O'Higgins, Freire was elected dictator. Toward the close of 1825 he left Valparaiso with a force of 3,000 men and drove the Spaniards from the archipelago of Chiloe, and on his return from this expedition resigned the supreme magistracy and retired to private life. In 1827 he was again elected dictator, but resigned, and in 1830, when the Conservative party got possession of the supreme power, the Liberals rose in arms under General Freire, but, after several months of bloody struggle, they were defeated at Lircay. Freire was taken prisoner and banished to Peru. In 1836 he attempted another insurrectionary movement against the conservative government, hiring two vessels in Peru, and landing with an armed force at Chiloe; but the government at once arrested him, and he was banished again. In 1842 he once more returned to his native country.
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