Taborga, Miguel de los Santos

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Archbishop of Sucre, polemicist, and historiographer; b. Sucre, July 5, 1833; d. there, Sept. 4, 1905. With Crecente Errázuris of Santiago, Chile, and Federico González Suárez of Quito, he completes the trio of prelates who figure among the most eminent historiographers of Hispanic America. Taborga, of a noble Creole family, studied at the San Cristóbal seminary and was ordained before reaching the minimum age required by Canon Law. He was a priest in a modest town parish and was known for his religious zeal, his indefatigable activity, and his strong personality. In his political career, his aims were always the highest, his conduct exemplary. He was a delegate to various legislatures and twice a senator for Chuquisaca. A brilliant preacher, he was equally forceful in political assemblies. At the end of the 19th century when antireligious liberalism became very strong in the university, the courts, and the press, Taborga became the champion of Catholicism. In El Cruzado, a Christian weekly published in Sucre, he fought against unbelief and against the secularization of Bolivian society and government. His polished polemics gained him a wide reputation, and the Spanish Royal Academy made him a corresponding member. To historical research, Taborga devoted his best efforts. After carefully studying source materials, he arrived at exact dates and facts for Bolivian history, writing ten monographs on the subject. He intended to write a comprehensive history of the country based on documentary evidence, but he was unable to complete it. Among his most important works are: Documentos para la historia de Bolivia, Aclaraciones sobre el 25 de Mayo, Crónicas de la catedral de Sucre, and Idea de una introducción a la historia de Bolivia. From his unpublished studies, the publicist Luis Paz wrote Estudios históricos de Monseñor Taborga (Sucre 1913). In 1898 Taborga was named archbishop of Sucre, where he remained until his death.

[h. sanabria fernÁndez]