Biography of Antonio Quintanilla (1789-1863)

Military Spanish, born in Santander on November 14, 1789 and died in Madrid in 1863, which was the last Spanish Governor of Chiloé and the ultimate authority Spanish who ruled over part of the Chilean territory.


He was born in the midst of a modest Santander family, forcing him to emigrate to America. He/She arrived in Chile in 1813 and settled in the town of Concepcion, where was employed as a dependent in a store and came into contact with a lot of Chilean independence politicians. He/She enlisted in the Royalist army commanded by Antonio pareja, which had as its mission to reconquer Chile to the Spanish Crown. Thanks to its brava participation in military actions against the Chilean Patriots most was climbing gradually until reaching the rank of Colonel. After the battle of Chacabuco, he/she was appointed by the viceroy of Peru, Governor of the isla Grande de Chiloé, where an important contingent of realistic forces deployed. Shortly after his arrival he/she received general gallons.

In 1817 it resisted all attacks of the Chilean troops, Chiloé was the only territory of Chile that remained under the sovereignty of the Crown of Spain. He/She refused the men of Colonel Beauchef and twice the troops of general Freire. All of the Chilean military commanders tried to negotiate several treaties of capitulation, but all were rejected by Quintanilla. General Freire, who at that time was President of the Republic, organized a powerful army in 1825 that was launched on the last province that Chileans were considered national territory that was controlled by the Spanish troops. Quintanilla men suffered two heavy defeats at the battles of Pudeto and Bellavista, which took place at the beginning of January 1826.

The Governor of Chiloé sent Antonio Manuel de Garay, with full powers to negotiate a peace treaty with Freire. Both came to an agreement that stipulated the withdrawal of the Spanish troops and the surrender of the sovereignty of Chiloé to Chile. Quintanilla said subsequently accepted for strategic reasons and for avoiding a war that tinted blood region. Garay returned to Tantauco, where was the headquarters of the Spanish general, with a personal letter from Freire to Quintanilla, who reminded their old friendship, offered him his services and inviting him to settle permanently in the country. The Treaty of Tantauco was signed on 19 January 1826, Freire did in his headquarters of San Carlos and Quintanilla in the own Tantauco.

January 22 took place in San Carlos the solemn ceremony in which occurred the surrender of the Spanish Governor and Chiloé was put under the sovereignty of Chile. The Spanish general refused an offer to remain in Chile, and chose to return to Spain in the company of his wife, Antonia Álvarez Garay. In 1830 he/she received the degree of field marshal. One of his sons, Antonio de Quintanilla y Álvarez, became mired in 1860 in a revolutionary movement against the Queen Isabel II, so it was prosecuted and convicted. But the Queen pardoned him in honour of the services provided by his father to the homeland.


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