Biography of Rafael María Baralt (1819-1860)

Historian and Venezuelan writer, born in Maracaibo, Zulia State, on 3 July 1810, and died in Madrid on 4 January 1860.

She spent her childhood and adolescence outside Venezuela, who at that time was in the middle of war of independence. His family first settled in Santo Domingo and later in Bogotá. In this city he/she graduated Bachelor in 1826.

Two years later, he/she returned to Maracaibo and enters the army. In 1830 he/she accompanied general Mariño on West campaign as official of the largest State, and serves for the first time as a historian, ordering such campaign documents.

At the time of the Páez Government, he/she settled in Caracas. In the military sphere Gets the post of surveyor. However, life in the capital allows you to mingle in the intellectual world.

Around 1837, moments which recognized him as a writer, by some newspaper articles published in previous years, he/she began the compilation of materials that, in future, become an important researcher of national history.

Codazzi invites you to participate in the proposed Edition of overview of the geography of Venezuela. In 1841 he/she designates it to investigate issues surrounding the British Guiana; to fulfill this mission, he/she travels to Europe. He/She lived in London and later in Spain. He/She visited the archives of Seville and Madrid.

In the literary field, he/she rubbed shoulders with Spanish creators and is interfered with in the political life of the country. Wrote, between 1843-1844, goodbye to the homeland. In 1848, he/she published poetry and in 1849, together with Nemesio Fernández Cuesta, the volumes of political programs, history of the courts, the last and the present, freedom of the press.

Also bent by the study of the Spanish language. Two works reflected his work matrix 1850 Spanish language dictionary and dictionary of Gallicisms in 1855. In 1853 the Royal Spanish Academy elected it as one of its members.

Prestige collected for his work led him to important public positions in Spain. In 1854, the Dominican Republic appoints him as Minister Plenipotentiary to discuss before the Spain its recognition as an independent nation. In 1857, his official correspondence was raped, and by political problems was prosecuted, it was ignored him as Ambassador and banned from exercising public office, but was restored shortly before dying.


CARLO, AGUSTÍN MILLARES. Rafael María Baralt (1810-1860). Biographical, bibliographical, and critical study. Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela. 1969.