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Vicente Rocafuerte

ROCAFUERTE, Vicente (ro-cah-foo-air'-tay), South American statesman, born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 3 May, 1783" died in Lima, Peru, 16 May, 1847. In 1812 he was elected deputy for his province to the Spanish cortes, where his opposition to the arbitrary government of Ferdinand VII. caused him to be persecuted, and he fled to France. In 1819 he went to Lima and the United States, where he published, by order of the Mexican patriots, a work advocating independence. In 1824 he went to, Mexico and became secretary of General Michelena on a diplomatic mission to England. In December of that year the British government recognized the independence of Mexico. Soon afterward Michelena returned, and Rocafuerte, remaining as charge d'affaires, concluded in 1826 a commercial treaty with Great Britain. In 1830 he resigned and returned to Mexico, where he was co-editor of the paper "Fenix de la Libertad," attacking the despotic administration of General Bustamante. For this he was persecuted, and he resolved to return to Guayaquil, where he arrived in 1833. Soon after his arrival he was appointed deputy to congress for the province of Pichineha, but he was exiled for his opposition to the administration. The province of Guayaquil now declared against the government of General Flores, and appointed Rocafuerte supreme chief. He was taken prisoner by Flores, but they were reconciled, and Rocafuerte promised to cooperate in the reorganization of the republic. He was appointed chief of the provinces of Guayaquil and Manabi, and in 1835 was elected constitutional president of the republic, he introduced many reforms, especially in the public treasury. In 1839 he was appointed governor of the province of Guay-aquil, and in 1843 he was a deputy to the convention that was held in Quito. The provisional government of 6 March, 1845, appointed him minister to Peru, whence he sent arms and other implements of war. In 1845 he was elected senator by four provinces, and in the congress of 1846 he became president of the senate. On account of the expedition that General Flores was preparing in Europe, Rocafuerte was appointed minister to Chili, Peru, and Bolivia, to arrange for means of defenee against that invasion. Although he was ill, he accepted this patriotic mission, but died soon after his arrival in Lima. The illustration represents his tomb in Lima. He wrote "Ideas necesarias a todo pueblo independiente, que quiere ser libre" (Philadelphia, 1820)" " Bosquejo ligerisimo de la revolucion de Mejico, desde el grito de guala hasta la proclamacion imperial" (1821)" "El sistema Colombiano popular, electivo y representativo, es el que rags conviene a la America independiente" (1823). "Cartas de un Americano sobre las ventajas de los gobiernos republicanos federat, ivos" (London, 1825) ; "Ensayo sobre egreeles" and "Ensayo sobre tolerancia religiosa, bajo el aspecto politico, y como medio de colonizacion y de progreso" (Mexico, 1831).

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