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Blanco, José Félix (1782–1872)

Blanco, José Félix (1782–1872)

José Félix Blanco (b. 24 September 1782; d. 18 March 1872), officer in the Venezuelan Emancipating Army, politician, and historian. Blanco studied in the seminary of Caracas and was ordained a priest in 1809. At the beginning of the movement for independence in 1810, he joined the patriotic forces as an army chaplain. He participated in numerous campaigns from 1812 to 1817, when Simón Bolívar assigned him to the administration of the missions of Caroní. Blanco attended the Congress of Cúcuta in 1821. Political and military activities distanced him from his priestly duties and, in 1833, he requested (of Rome) and was granted secularization. Over the next two decades, Blanco was commandant of Maracaibo, secretary of war and the navy, a candidate for vice president and president of the Republic, and secretary of finance and foreign affairs.

After leaving public life in 1854, Blanco repeatedly sought reordination, which was finally granted in 1863. From 1855 until his death, he dedicated himself to the compilation and organization, with Ramón Azpurua, of the documents and testimonies relative to the history of the emancipation. The voluminous collection was published after his death under the title Documentos para la historia de la vida pública del Libertador (1875–1877). Its fourteen volumes constitute, even today, one of the most important collections of documents on Latin American emancipation.

See alsoVenezuela: The Colonial Period .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lino Iribarren Celis, El padre Blanco, ilustre prócer de la independencia (1961).

Carole Leal Curiel, Convicciones y conversiones de un republicano: El expediente de José Félix Blanco (1985).

                                        InÉs Quintero

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