Sotomayor Valdés, Ramón (1830–1903)

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Sotomayor Valdés, Ramón (1830–1903)

Ramón Sotomayor Valdés (April 3, 1830–July 14, 1903) was a highly regarded journalist, diplomat, and historian in nineteenth-century Chile. Sotomayor was born in the year Diego Portales established Chile's famous conservative republic, and his public life was heavily influenced by his country's early republican history. Like many of his generation of statesmen (often referred to as the Chilean Generation of 1842), and his was a graduate of both the Instituto Nacional (National Institute) and the Universidad de Chile (University of Chile). Unlike most of his generational peers, however, Sotomayor was a staunch conservative and defender of Portales.

In the 1850s he wrote for and edited several newspapers in Santiago and Valparaíso, including El Conservador, which in 1857 broke with fellow conservative President Manuel Montt over the question of church-state relations. During the 1859 civil war that followed, Sotomayor helped organize the montoneras (rural bands of mounted militia) that rose unsuccessfully against Montt's government. In the more relaxed political atmosphere of the 1860s Sotomayor was tapped for diplomatic service, serving as Chile's Ambassador to Mexico (1863–1866) and Bolivia (1867–1871). As a historian Sotomayor is best known for his Historia de Chile, bajo el gobierno del Jeneral Don Joaquín Prieto (Santiago de Chile: Imprenta Esmeralda, 1900–1903), which is recognized as a classic example of conservative historiography in Chile.

See alsoChile: The Nineteenth Century; Montt Torres, Manuel; Portales Palazuelos, Diego José Pedro Víctor.


Works by Ramón Sotomayor Valdés

Campaña del ejército chileno contra la Confederación Perú-Boliviana en 1837. Santiago de Chile: Imprenta Cervantes, 1896.

Estudio histórico de Bolivia bajo la administración del jeneral Don José María de Achá. Santiago de Chile: Imprenta Andrés Bello, 1874.

La legación de Chile en Bolivia desde septiembre de 1867 hasta principios de 1871, 2nd edition. Santiago de Chile: Imprenta de San José, 1912.

                                        James A. Wood