Bernardo O'Higgins

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Bernardo O'Higgins
2nd Supreme Director of Chile
In office
17 February 1817 28 January 1823
Preceded by José Miguel Carrera
Succeeded by Ramón Freire
Personal details
Born(1778-08-20)20 August 1778
Chillán, Chile
Died24 October 1842(1842-10-24) (aged 64)
Lima, Peru
OccupationHead of State, Military
Signature Firma B.Ohiggins.svg

Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme (Spanish pronunciation:  [beɾˈnaɾðo oˈ(x)iɣins] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); 1778–1842) was a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. He was a wealthy landowner of Spanish and Irish ancestry. [1] Although he was the second Supreme Director of Chile (1817–1823), he is considered one of Chile's founding fathers, as he was the first holder of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state.

Chilean War of Independence conflict

The Chilean War of Independence was a war between pro-independence Chilean criollos seeking political and economic independence from Spain and royalist criollos supporting continued allegiance to the Captaincy General of Chile and membership of the Spanish Empire.


Early life

Ambrosio O'Higgins, Bernardo's father, whom he never met. Portrait of Ambrosio O'Higgins (18th-19th century).jpg
Ambrosio O'Higgins, Bernardo's father, whom he never met.

Bernardo O'Higgins, a member of the O'Higgins family, was born in the Chilean city of Chillán in 1778, the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O'Higgins, 1st Marquis of Osorno, [2] a Spanish officer born in County Sligo, Ireland, who became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru. His mother was Isabel Riquelme, a prominent local; [2] the daughter of Don Simón Riquelme y Goycolea, a member of the Chillán Cabildo , or council. [3]

OHiggins family

O'Higgins is an Irish noble family. Its Ballynary line is descended from Shean Duff O'Higgins, Gaelic Baron of Ballynary, who was married to a daughter of the royal family of O'Conor at Ballintuber Castle in Connacht. Shean Duff O'Higgins himself claimed descent from King Niall of Tara. Historically, many of their ancestors were poets and scholars who enjoyed the patronage of several chiefly families including O'Conor Don, MacDermott, O'Doherty, O'Gara, and MacDonagh.

Chillán City and Commune in Ñuble, Chile

Chillán It is the capital city of the Ñuble Region in the Diguillín Province of Chile located about 400 km (249 mi) south of the country's capital, Santiago, near the geographical center of the country. It is the capital of the new Ñuble Region since 6 September 2015. Within the city are a railway station, an inter-city bus terminal, an agricultural extension of the University of Concepción, and a regimental military base. The city includes a modern-style enclosed shopping mall in addition to the multi-block open-air street market where fruits, vegetables, crafts and clothing are sold. The nearby mountains are a popular skiing destination.

County Sligo County in the Republic of Ireland

County Sligo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the Border Region and is part of the province of Connacht. Sligo is the administrative capital and largest town in the county. Sligo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 65,535 according to the 2016 census, making it the 3rd most populated county in the province, and 26th in the country. It is noted for Benbulben Mountain, one of Ireland’s most distinctive natural landmarks.

O'Higgins spent his early years with his mother's family in central-southern Chile and was never openly acknowledged by his father, [4] and later he lived with the Albano family, who were his father's commercial partners, in Talca. At age 15, O'Higgins was sent to Lima by his father. He had a distant relationship with Ambrosio, who supported him financially and was concerned with his education, but the two never met in person. At the time of his son's birth, Ambrosio was only a junior military officer. Two years later, Isabel married Don Félix Rodríguez, a friend of her father. [3] O'Higgins used his mother's surname until the death of his father in 1801. [2]

Talca City and Commune in Talca Province, Maule Region

Talca is a city and commune in Chile located about 255 km (158 mi) south of Santiago, and is the capital of both Talca Province and Maule Region. As of the 2012 census, the city had a population of 201,142.

Lima Capital city in Peru

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas, behind São Paulo and Mexico City.

Bernardo's father continued his professional rise and became Viceroy of Peru; at seventeen Bernardo O'Higgins was sent to London to complete his studies. [5] There, studying history and the arts, O'Higgins became acquainted with American ideas of independence and developed a sense of nationalist pride. [2] He met Francisco de Miranda, a Venezuelan idealist and believer in independence, [6] and joined a Masonic Lodge established by Miranda, dedicated to achieving the independence of Latin America. [2]

Viceroyalty of Peru Spanish Imperial colony

The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Francisco de Miranda Venezuelan revolutionary

Sebastián Francisco de Miranda y Rodríguez de Espinoza, commonly known as Francisco de Miranda, was a Venezuelan military leader and revolutionary. Although his own plans for the independence of the Spanish American colonies failed, he is regarded as a forerunner of Simón Bolívar, who during the Spanish American wars of independence successfully liberated much of South America. He was known as "The First Universal Venezuelan" and "The Great Universal American". In the National Archive of Venezuela can be found the statute of the blood purity of the father of Francisco de Miranda.

In 1798 O'Higgins went to Spain from Great Britain, his return to the Americas delayed by the French Revolutionary Wars. His father died in 1801, leaving O'Higgins a large piece of land, the Hacienda Las Canteras, near the Chilean city of Los Ángeles. O'Higgins returned to Chile in 1802, adopted his biological father's surname, and began life as a gentleman farmer. [7] In 1806, he was appointed to the cabildo as the representative of Laja. [2] In 1808 Napoleon took control of Spain, triggering a sequence of events in South America. In Chile, the commercial and political elite decided to form an autonomous government to rule in the name of the imprisoned king Ferdinand VII; this was to be one of the first in a number of steps toward national independence, in which O'Higgins would play a leading role. [2]

Kingdom of Great Britain Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707 and 1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Since its inception the kingdom was in legislative and personal union with Ireland and after the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

<i>Cabildo</i> (council) Spanish colonial, and early post-colonial, administrative council which governed a municipality

A cabildo or ayuntamiento was a Spanish colonial, and early post-colonial, administrative council which governed a municipality. Cabildos were sometimes appointed, sometimes elected; but they were considered to be representative of all land-owning heads of household (vecinos). The colonial cabildo was essentially the same as the one developed in medieval Castile.

Role in Chilean independence movement

Portrait of O'Higgins in the National Congress Library of Chile. Bernardo ohiggins.png
Portrait of O'Higgins in the National Congress Library of Chile.

On 18 September 1810, O'Higgins joined the revolt against the now French dominated Spanish government. The criollo leaders in Chile did not support Joseph Bonaparte's rule in Spain, and a limited self-government under the Government Junta of Chile was created, with the aim of restoring the legitimate Spanish throne. [7] This date is now recognized as Chile's Independence Day. [7] O'Higgins was a close friend of Juan Martínez de Rozas, an old friend of his father, and one of the more radical leaders. [8] O'Higgins strongly recommended that a national congress be created, and was elected a deputy to the first National Congress of Chile in 1811 as a representative of the Laja district. Tensions between the royalist and increasingly pro-independence factions, to which O'Higgins remained attached as a junior member, [9] continued to grow.

The Criollo are Latin Americans who are of full or near full Spanish descent, distinguishing them from both multi-racial Latin Americans and Latin Americans of post-colonial European immigrant origin.

Joseph Bonaparte elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte

Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte, born Giuseppe di Buonaparte, was a French lawyer and diplomat, the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily, and later King of Spain. After the fall of Napoleon, Joseph styled himself Comte de Survilliers.

Government Junta of Chile (1810)

Government Assembly of the Kingdom of Chile, also known as the First Government Junta, was the organization established to rule Chile following the deposition and imprisonment of King Ferdinand VII by Napoleon Bonaparte. It was the earliest step in the Chilean struggle for independence, and the anniversary of its establishment is celebrated as the national day of Chile.

Jose Miguel Carrera, with whom O'Higgins had an ongoing feud General Jose Miguel Carrera MC0005611.jpg
José Miguel Carrera, with whom O'Higgins had an ongoing feud

The anti-Royalist camp in Chile was deeply split along lines of patronage and personality, by political beliefs, and by geography (between the rival regional groupings of Santiago and Concepción). The Carrera family had already seized power several times in different coups, and supported a specifically Chilean nationalism, as opposed to the broader Latin American focus of the Lautaro Lodge grouping, [10] which included O'Higgins and the Argentine José de San Martín. [11] José Miguel Carrera, the most prominent member of the Carrera family, enjoyed a power base in Santiago; that of de Rozas, and later O'Higgins, lay in Concepción.

As a result, O'Higgins was to find himself increasingly in political and military competition with Carrera—although early on, O'Higgins was nowhere near as prominent as his later rival. De Rozas initially appointed O'Higgins to a minor military position in 1812, possibly because of his illegitimate origins, poor health, or lack of military training.[ citation needed ] Much of O'Higgins' early military knowledge stemmed from Juan Mackenna, an immigrant of Irish descent and a former client of Ambrosio's, [12] whose advice centered mainly on the use of cavalry. [9] In 1813, when the Spanish government made its first attempt to reconquer Chile—sending an expedition led by Brigadier Antonio Pareja—Carrera, as a former national leader and now Commander in Chief of the Army, was by far the more prominent figure of the two, and a natural choice to lead the military resistance.

O'Higgins was back on his estates in Laja, having retired from the Army the previous year due to poor health, when news came of the invasion. O'Higgins mobilised his local militia and marched to Concepcion, [13] before moving on to Talca, meeting up with Carrera, who was to take command of the new army. [14] Carrera sent O'Higgins to cut the Spanish off at Linares; O'Higgins' victory there resulted in his promotion to colonel. The unsuccessful Siege of Chillan followed, where O'Higgins produced a brave, but unspectacular, performance; however, as commander, Carrera took most of the blame for the defeat, weakening his prestige with the Junta back in Santiago. O'Higgins continued to campaign against the royalists, fighting with a reckless courage that would make him famous.[ citation needed ] In October, fighting at the Battle of El Roble under Carrera, O'Higgins took effective command at a crucial moment and gave one of his more famous orders:

Lads! Live with honor, or die with glory! He who is brave, follow me! [15]

Bust of Bernardo O' Higgins, Merrion Square Park, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Bust of Bernardo O' Higgins, Merrion Square Park, Dublin, Republic of Ireland..JPG
Bust of Bernardo O' Higgins, Merrion Square Park, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Despite being injured, O'Higgins went on to pursue the royalist forces from the field. The Junta in Santiago reassigned command of the army from Carrera, who had retreated during the battle, to O'Higgins, who then appointed Juan Mackenna as commandant-general. Carrera was subsequently captured and imprisoned by the royalist forces; in his absence, in May 1814 O'Higgins supported the Treaty of Lircay, which promised a halt to the fighting. Once released, however, Carrera violently opposed both O'Higgins' new role and the treaty, overthrowing the Junta in a coup in July 1814 and immediately exiling Mackenna.

O'Higgins' breakout charge at the Battle of Rancagua Carga de O'Higgins.jpg
O'Higgins' breakout charge at the Battle of Rancagua
O'Higgins meets Jose San Martin at the Battle of Maipu 1818 Abrazo de Maipu.jpg
O'Higgins meets Jose San Martin at the Battle of Maipu 1818

O'Higgins turned to focus on Carrera, and their forces met at the battle of Las Tres Acequias, where Carrera's brother Luis inflicted a modest defeat on O'Higgins. Further conflict was postponed by news that the royalists had decided to ignore the recent treaty, and were threatening Concepción under the leadership of General Mariano Osorio. Carrera and O'Higgins decided to reunite the army and face the common threat. [16] Carrera's plan was to draw the Spaniards to the Angostura del Paine, while O'Higgins preferred the town of Rancagua. They decided to make a stand at the Angostura de Paine, a gorge that formed an easily defended bottleneck. At the last hour, however, O'Higgins instead garrisoned the nationalist forces at the main square of Rancagua. Carrera did not arrive with reinforcements, and O'Higgins and his forces were promptly surrounded in October. After an entire day of fighting at the battle of Rancagua, the Spanish commander, Mariano Osorio, was victorious—but O'Higgins managed to break out with a few of his men, issuing the command:

Those who can ride, ride! We will break through the enemy! [17]

Like Carrera and other nationalists, O'Higgins retreated to Argentina with the survivors, and remained there for three years while the royalists were in control. Mackenna, still a key supporter, was killed by Luis Carrera in a duel in 1818, deepening the ongoing feud. [18]

O'Higgins as Supreme Director

Bernardo O'Higgins, erroneously depicted attending the declaration of Chilean independence. JuraIndependencia.jpg
Bernardo O'Higgins, erroneously depicted attending the declaration of Chilean independence.

While in exile, O'Higgins met the Argentine General José de San Martín, a fellow member of the Lautaro Lodge, and together the men returned to Chile in 1817 to defeat the royalists. Initially the campaign went well, with the two commanders achieving a victory at the battle of Chacabuco. San Martín sent his troops down the mountain starting at midnight of 11 February to prepare for an attack at dawn. As the attack commenced, his troops were much closer to the Spanish than anticipated, and they fought hard and heroically. Soler's troops had to go down a tiny path that proved long and arduous, and took longer than expected. General O'Higgins—supposedly seeing his homeland and overcome with passion—defied the plan of attack and charged along with his 1,500 troops. What happened during this theater of the battle is fiercely debated. O'Higgins claimed that the Spanish stopped their retreat and started advancing towards his troops. He said that, if he were to lead his men back up the narrow path and retreat, they would have been massacred one by one. San Martín saw O'Higgins' early advancement, and ordered Soler to charge the Spanish flank, which took the pressure off O'Higgins and allowed his troops to stand their ground. [ citation needed ]

The ensuing firefight continued into the afternoon, and the tides turned for the Patriots as Soler captured a key Spanish artillery point. At this point, the Spanish set up a defensive square around the Chacabuco Ranch. O'Higgins charged the center of the Spanish position, and Soler got into place behind the Spanish forces, effectively cutting off any chance of retreat. O'Higgins and his men overwhelmed the Spanish troops, who attempted to retreat, but Soler's men cut off their retreat and pushed towards the ranch. Hand-to-hand combat ensued in and around the ranch, until every Spanish soldier was dead or taken captive. Five hundred Spanish soldiers were killed, and 600 were taken captive. The Patriot forces lost 12 men in the battle, but an additional 120 died of their wounds. [20]

The Second Battle of Cancha Rayada in 1818, however, was a victory for the Royalists, and it was not until the Battle of Maipú that ultimate victory was assured. San Martín was initially offered the position of power in the newly-free Chile, but he declined, in order to continue the fight for independence in the rest of South America. O'Higgins accepted the position instead, and became the leader of an independent Chile. He was granted dictatorial powers as Supreme Director on 16 February 1817. On 12 February 1818, Chile proclaimed itself an independent republic.[ citation needed ]

Throughout the war with the royalists, O'Higgins had engaged in an ongoing feud with José Miguel Carrera. After their retreat in 1814, O'Higgins had fared much better than Carrera, who found little support forthcoming from San Martín, O'Higgins' political ally. Carrera was imprisoned to prevent his involvement in Chilean affairs; after his escape, he ended up taking the winning side in the Argentine Federalist war, helping to defeat the pro-San Martin government in 1820. [ citation needed ]

Marching south to attack O'Higgins, now ruler of Chile, Carrera was arrested by supporters of O'Higgins and executed under questionable circumstances in 1821; his two brothers had already been killed by royalist forces in the preceding years, bringing the long-running feud to an end. The argument as to the relative contribution of these two great Chilean independence leaders, however, has continued up to the modern day, and O'Higgins' decision not to intervene to prevent the execution coloured many Chileans' views of his reign. [16]

Ramon Freire, Bernardo O'Higgins's closest ally, who was ultimately to depose him. RamonFreire.jpg
Ramon Freire, Bernardo O'Higgins's closest ally, who was ultimately to depose him.

For six years, O'Higgins was a largely successful leader, and his government initially functioned well. Within Chile, O'Higgins established markets, courts, colleges, libraries, hospitals, and cemeteries, [7] and began important improvements in agriculture. [16] He undertook various military reforms. He founded the Chilean Military Academy in 1817, aiming to professionalise the officer corps. O'Higgins remained concerned about the threat of invasion, and had declared after the battle of Chacabuco that "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea". Alongside the Military Academy, he founded the modern Chilean Navy under the command of the Scottish officer Lord Cochrane, establishing the First Chilean Navy Squadron, the Academy for Young Midshipmen (the predecessor of the current Naval Academy), and the Chilean Marine Corps. O'Higgins continued in his desire to see independence across Latin America, utilising his new forces to support San Martín, sending the Liberating expedition to Perú. [2]

In time, however, O'Higgins began to alienate important political groupings within the still-fragile Chilean nation. O'Higgins' proposed radical and liberal reforms, such as the establishment of democracy and abolition of titles of nobility, were resisted by the powerful large landowners. He offended the church in Chile early on—in particular, the Bishop of Santiago, Jose Rodriguez Zorrilla. Having offended the aristocracy and the church, he also lost the support of the businesspeople, his last semi-powerful ally within the country. The government became bankrupt, forcing O'Higgins to send Antonio José de Irisarri to the United Kingdom to negotiate a £1 million loan—Chile's first foreign debt—whilst a massive earthquake in central Chile added more difficulty for the ruler. [ citation needed ]

In 1822, O'Higgins established a new "controversial" [16] constitution, which many regarded as a desperate attempt to hang on to power. The deaths of his political enemies, including Carrera and Manuel Rodríguez, returned to haunt him, with some accusing him of abusing state power. The provinces increasingly viewed him as centralising power to an excessive degree.[ citation needed ]

O'Higgins was deposed by a conservative coup on 28 January 1823. Chile's new dictator, Ramón Freire, formerly O'Higgins' "closest ally", [16] had slowly turned against O'Higgins in the preceding years. Freire had fought under O'Higgins at the Battle of Maipú, was promoted to colonel for his services to the independence, and finally named Intendant of Concepción. His friendship with O'Higgins started to crack by degrees, however, until in 1822 he resigned his position in disagreement. His name became a rallying point for those discontented with O'Higgins, but the two of them never came to an armed conflict. O'Higgins' abdication was typically dramatic: baring his chest, he offered up his life should his accusers demand it of him. In return, the junta declared they held nothing against O'Higgins, and saluted him. [21] O'Higgins was made governor of Concepción, an appointment which did not last long: it was time for him to leave Chile. [2]

Peruvian independence and O'Higgins' final years

After being deposed, O'Higgins embarked from the port of Valparaiso in July 1823, in the British corvette Fly, never to see Chile again. Originally destined for Ireland, while he was passing through Peru he was strongly encouraged by Simón Bolívar to join the nationalist effort there. [22] Bolívar's government granted O'Higgins the Hacienda de Cuiva and the Hacienda Montalván in San Vicente de Cañete, near Lima. O'Higgins lived in exile for the rest of his life accompanied by his illegitimate son, Pedro Demetrio O'Higgins (1817–1868), [2] his mother, and his half-sister, Rosa Rodríguez Riquelme (1781–1850). [7] According to a 2001 documentary, [23] O'Higgins also had a daughter, Petronila (born circa 1809) by Patricia Rodríguez. [ citation needed ]

O'Higgins traveled to join Bolívar's army in its final liberation of Peru, but upon arrival, he found that Bolívar did not intend to give him a command—instead appointing him a general of Gran Colombia and making him a special court-martial judge for Chilean volunteers. [24] Making his way back to Lima, O'Higgins heard of Sucre's victory at the Battle of Ayacucho. He returned to Bolívar for the victory celebrations, but as a civilian. "Señor", he toasted, addressing Bolívar, "America is free. From now on General O'Higgins does not exist; I am only Bernardo O'Higgins, a private citizen. After Ayacucho, my American mission is over." [25]

When Andrés de Santa Cruz became head of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation in 1836, O'Higgins endorsed his integrationist policies, and wrote a letter of support to him the following year when the Confederation came under attack from the Chilean forces of Diego Portales — ultimately offering to act as a mediator in the conflict. With the rise of Agustín Gamarra, O'Higgins found himself out of favour in Peru. Meanwhile, the Chilean government had begun to rehabilitate O'Higgins, reappointing him to his old rank of captain-general in the Chilean Army. [2]

In 1842, the National Congress of Chile finally voted to allow O'Higgins to return to Chile. After travelling to Callao to embark for Chile, however, O'Higgins began to succumb to cardiac problems and was too weak to travel. His doctor ordered him to return to Lima, where on 24 October 1842, aged 64, O'Higgins died. [2]


After his death, his remains were first buried in Peru, before being repatriated to Chile in 1869. O'Higgins had wished to be buried in the city of Concepción, but this was never to be. For a long time they remained in a marble coffin in the Cementerio General de Santiago, and in 1979 his remains were transferred by Augusto Pinochet to the Altar de la Patria, in front of the Palacio de La Moneda. In 2004, his body was temporarily stored at the Chilean Military School during the building of the Plaza de la Ciudadanía, before being finally laid to rest in the new underground Crypt of the Liberator.[ citation needed ]

Bust of O'Higgins in Bogota. 2016 busto Bernardo O'Higgins Bogota.jpg
Bust of O'Higgins in Bogotá.

O'Higgins is widely commemorated today, both in Chile and beyond. One of the administrative regions of Chile was named Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region in his honour, as were other placenames such as the village of Villa O'Higgins. The main thoroughfare of the Chilean capital, Santiago, is Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins. There is also the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park. [26] In the town of San Vicente de Cañete, situated in the Lima Region, in Peru, there's a park and street named after him. A statue of O'Higgins is located in a park in Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala.

Mausoleum of O'Higgins in Cementerio General de Santiago, pictured by Recaredo Santos Tornero in Chile Ilustrado, in 1872 Santiago - Mausoleo de O'Higgins (1872).jpg
Mausoleum of O'Higgins in Cementerio General de Santiago, pictured by Recaredo Santos Tornero in Chile Ilustrado, in 1872

There is a bust of O'Higgins in O'Higgins Square by the bridge in Richmond, south-west London. Each year the borough's mayor is joined by members of the Chilean Embassy for a ceremony, and a wreath is placed there. A blue plaque was erected in his honor at Clarence House in Richmond, where he lived while studying in London. [27]

There is also a plaque in his honor in Merrion Square in Dublin and in the Garavogue River Walkway in Sligo, Ireland, and a sculpture near Central Railway Station in Plaza Iberoamericana, near 58 Chalmers St, Sydney. In Buenos Aires, there is a large statue of him in the center of the Plaza República de Chile, and several localities in Argentina are named after him. A plaque has also been erected in Cadiz, Spain, in the Plaza de Candelaria, where he resided for four years. In 2005, a bust was erected "To the Liberator of Chile" by the Chilean Embassy in the Parque Morazan in San José, Costa Rica. A statue of Bernardo O'Higgins in the city of Concepción was destroyed during the 2010 earthquake in Chile. [28]

In 1949, American composer Henry Cowell composed an opera on the life of O'Higgins titled O'Higgins of Chile. The libretto was written by Elizabeth Harald, but the work was never orchestrated nor staged. [29]

In 1955, the football team O'Higgins F.C. was founded, named after him.

Chile's highest award for a foreign citizen is named in honour of O'Higgins, whilst the Chilean Navy has named several ships in his honour, including an armored cruiser (1897–1946), a World War II–era light cruiser (the former USS Brooklyn, CL-40) (1951–1992), and a French-built Scorpene class submarine (2003–present). The Chilean Base General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme research station in Antarctica is named in his honor. It is located on the northernmost part of the continent. In addition, one of the standard class Liberty Ships (#2168) was named after him. The SS Bernardo O'Higgins was laid down on September 23, 1943 and launched on October 13, 1943 (the ship was scrapped in 1959).

On 28 October 2010, An Post (the Irish Post Office) and CorreosChile (the Chilean Post Office) issued 82c and $500 se-tenant stamps to commemorate the bicentenary of the beginning of the struggle for Chilean Independence. The stamps honor two men with Irish backgrounds, who played a crucial role in the quest for Chile's liberation, Bernardo O'Higgins and John MacKenna. [30] [31]

See also

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Patria Nueva

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  1. Julia Ortiz Griffin and William D. Griffin, Spain and Portugal: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 288
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "O'Higgins, Bernardo". Encyclopædia Britannica . 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  3. 1 2 "Biography of Bernardo O'Higgins of Chile". Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2017.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. Stephen Clissold, Bernardo O'Higgins and the Independence of Chile (1969).
  5. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ambrose Bernard O'Higgins"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  6. Vicuña Mackenna, pp. 46–53.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Hamre, Bonnie. "Bernardo O'Higgins" (2008) at; accessed 20 October 2008.
  8. Archivo de don Bernardo O'Higgins, vol. I, p.114-119.
  9. 1 2 "Sepulveda, Alfredo >"Bernardo O'Higgins: The Rebel Son of a Viceroy"". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  10. GENERAL FRANCISCO DE MIRANDA FATHER OF REVOLUTIONARY MASONRY IN LATIN AMERICA Archived 23 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine by Carlos Antonio Martinez, Northern California Research Lodge
  11. San Martín, José de: Liberator of Argentina by Jason A. Vandiver
  12. Murray, Edmundo. "Juan Mackenna". Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
  13. Amunátegui, p.93.
  14. Barros Arana, tomo IX, p.46-50.
  15. Barros Arana, tomo IX, p.188.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 Sepúlveda, Alfredo. Bernardo O'Higgins: The Rebel Son of a Victory, 1 October 2006. Society for Irish Latin American Studies (2006); accessed 24 October 2008.
  17. Archivo de Don Bernardo O'Higgins, vol. II, pp. 420–27.
  18. Ruiz, p. 228.
  19. Bernardo O'Higgins erroneously appears in this recreation, as he was actually in Talca on that day.
  20. Harvey 2000 , pp. 346–349.
  21. Amunátegui, p. 448.
  22. See letter from Bolívar, Valencia, p. 420.
  23. Pamela Pequeño, La hija de O'Higgins (2001)
  24. "Sepulveda, Alfredo >"Bernardo O'Higgins: The Rebel Son of a Viceroy"". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  25. Valencia, p. 430.
  26. "Bernardo o'Higgins National Park". Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  27. "Clarence House, Richmond". Daily Telegraph.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  28. "Chile, three days later".Cite web requires |website= (help)
  29. "Henry Cowell Web Site".Cite web requires |website= (help)
  30. "The Irish role in Chilean Independence".Cite web requires |website= (help)
  31. CorreosChile: Rol Irlandés en la Independencia de Chile

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Member of Government Junta
Succeeded by
Preceded by
José Miguel Carrera
Supreme Director of Chile
Succeeded by
Ramón Freire
Military offices
Preceded by
José de San Martín
Army Commander-in-chief
Succeeded by
Ramón Freire
Preceded by
José Miguel Carrera
Army Commander-in-chief
Succeeded by
José Miguel Carrera