Blanco Encalada, Manuel (1790–1876)

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Blanco Encalada, Manuel (1790–1876)

Manuel Blanco Encalada (b. 21 April 1790; d. 5 September 1876), first president of Chile, first commander of the Chilean navy, and longest-surviving hero of Chile's Wars of Independence. Born in Buenos Aires, he served in the Spanish navy before returning to South America to play his part in the struggle for independence, during which he fought in numerous actions in Chile. In June 1818 he was named commander of the newly formed Chilean navy, handing it over to Lord Thomas Alexander Cochrane at the end of that year; but when Cochrane left Chile in January 1823, Blanco Encalada resumed command.

As president of Chile from July to September 1826, he was the first Chilean head of state to be called President rather than Supreme Director. In 1837 he was given command of the first Chilean offensive against the Peru-Bolivia Confederation. His assent to the Treaty of Paucarpata (17 November 1837), entailing Chilean withdrawal from Peru, was repudiated by the government and led to his court-martial, but he was acquitted. He was later intendant of Valparaíso (1847–1852) and minister to France (1852–1858).

See alsoChile: Foundations Through Independence .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Benjamin V. MacKenna, El teniente general don Manuel Blanco Encalada (1917).

                                        Simon Collier