José de la Carrera y Verdugo

José Miguel de la Carrera y Verdugo (1785 - 1821)

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José Miguel de la Carrera y Verdugo aka Carrera
Born in Santiago, Chilemap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 20 Aug 1814 [location unknown]
Died in Mendoza, Argentinamap
Profile last modified 8 May 2019 | Created 8 Mar 2016
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José Miguel Carrera Verdugo (1785-1821), Chilean general, dictator, commander of the patriot armies during Chile's War for Independence from Spain (1810-1826), fought the Spanish for years and served as head of the government, when lack of fighting allowed. "He was a charismatic leader but a shortsighted administrator and a military leader of average skills."[1]

José Miguel Carrera, son of Ignacio de la Carrera Cuevas and Francisca de Paula Verdugo Fernández de Valdivieso y Herrera was born on October 15, 1785, in Santiago, Chile.[2] His family was wealthy and influential, and could trace their lineage all the way to the Spanish conquest of Chile. He had siblings, Juan José, Luís and a sister Javiera. After he finished school in Chile, he was sent to Spain.[1]

In April 1808, Napoleon deposed the Spanish monarch and placed his brother Joseph on the throne. José was caught up in the ensuing chaos. He fought against the army of Napoleon and was promoted to Sergeant Major.[1]

Meanwhile, at home, Chile proclaimed a provisional independence and José returned home. His father and other of leading citizens, were slowly working towards independence, but still at least nominally loyal to the deposed King of Spain.[1]

Through a couple of coups, José Manuel, succeeded in becoming the dictator of Chile. Of course, not all of Chile was happy with this arrangement, the southern city of Concepción, preferred the easier rule of Juan Martínez de Rozas. Carrera, stalled the inevitable civial war until his army became strong enough to overcome the armies of his oppostion. In March 1812, Carrera was able to capture the city of Valdivia, the leaders of the military in Concepción, overthrew the existing government and gave their support to Carrera.[1]

Spain was planning a counterattack, during this time. "The Viceroy of Peru sent Marine Brigadier Antonio Pareja to Chile with only 50 men and 50,000 pesos and told him to do away with the rebels: by March, Pareja's army had swollen to some 2,000 men and he was able to capture Concepción."[1] Opposing rebel leaders such as Bernard O'Higgins joined with Carrera to defeat their common enemy.[1]

July 1813: Carrera cut the supply lines and trapped Pareja's army in the city of Chillán. Pareja had died in May 1813. His successor Juan Francisco Sánchez had 4000 troops in the well fortified city. As Carrera laid siege to the city, desertions and deaths decreased his army. An attempt by royalists to break through the patriot lines was foiled by O'Higgins. Capture of part of the city by Carrera's troops led to looting and rape, angering the citizens of Chillán, and swinging there support to the royalists. Carrera retreated, with his tattered and decimated army.[1]

17 October 1813: At El Roble, Carrera planned another attack on the city of Chillán, but the Spanish troops had their own plans. While the rebels slept, royalists snuck in and stabbed sentries. One sentry managed to fire an alert with his rifle. Carrera believed all was lost and deserted the battle. O'Higgins saved the day, despite a bullet in his leg, rallied the troops and turned the potential disaster into a victory.[1]

The ruling hunta, in Santiago, replaced Carrera with O'Higgins as commander of the army. Carrera was sent to Argentina as ambassador. He and his brother were captured by the Spanish 4 March 1814, and released later that month. Carerra believing that O'Higgins planned to execute him, did not join in the defense of Santiago.[1]

During the following years, Carrera married. He was in Argentina and the United States of America, and tried to return to Chile and after "he and his men fought the Argentine in a series or armed confrontations and battles some of which were particularly cruel and bloody. Notable in his Argentine campaign was the Battle of Rio Cuarto. In all, Carrera participated in combat in some 40 separate occasions."[2]

In an attempt to retake Chile, he was captured, tried and executed for conspiring against O'Higgins and Argentine liberator José de San Martín, on 4 September 1821.[2][1]

Despite, his failings, Carrera is called one of Chile's Padres de la Patria (Fathers of the Nation). He shares this title with Bernardo O'Higgins.[2]

Carrera ended slavery in Chile. On the other end of the spectrum he abolished the titled nobility and ended their legal prerogatives and privileges. He founded the first free newspaper "La Aurora de Chile", instituted the first national flag and national seal, and began the first free secular school, which became known as the Instituto Nacional, short for it's full name, Instituto Nacional General José Miguel Carrera.[2]

José Miguel Carrera Verdugo and María Mercedes Fontecilla y Fernández de Valdivieso (June 18, 1799 – May 5, 1853) were married 20 August 1814. The daughter of Diego Antonio Fontecilla Palacios and of Rosa Fernández de Valdivieso y Portusagasti, she was born in Santiago, Chile and died there at the age of 54. She married (2) Diego José Benavente Bustamante. She and Diego had four children: Benjamín, Mercedes, Mariana and Carolina.[3]

Children of José Miguel Carrera Verdugo and María Mercedes Fontecilla y Fernández de Valdivieso:[3]

  1. Francisca Javiera,
  2. Roberta,
  3. Rosa,
  4. Josefa
  5. José Miguel

José Miguel de la Carrera y Verdugo fue un político y militar chileno. Prócer de la emancipación de Chile y destacado participante en las guerras de independencia, es considerado uno de los Padres de la Patria de Chile, jefe de gobierno, el primer general en jefe del Ejército y el primer caudillo en la historia republicana de dicho país, y uno de los primeros de América.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Minster, Christopher. Biography of Jose Miguel Carrera: A Chilean Hero of Independence
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Wikipedia article José Miguel Carrera
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wikipedia Article Mercedes Fontecilla


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Familia de los Carrera
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On 22 Feb 2017 at 20:49 GMT Mariana Romo Carmona wrote:

D  >  de la Carrera y Verdugo  >  José Miguel de la Carrera y Verdugo

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