José Miguel Carrera Verdugo

José Miguel Carrera Verdugo, one of the founders of the nation of Chile, was born on October 15, 1785, in Santiago, Chile.  A charismatic man from a wealthy family, Carrera was of Spanish Basque descent, as were several South American revolutionary leaders.  Carrera had fought with the Spanish Army in Europe, and joined the independence movement when he returned home in 1810.  His political and military career was controversial: he overthrew a conservative military party and dissolved congress, and established a new government, with himself as military dictator. One of his accomplishments during his brief rule from 1811 to 1813 was the abolition of slavery.  Fighting with Spain continued in 1814, and Carrera fled to Argentina.  After quarreling with his fellow revolutionary leaders and attempting to plot against them, Carrera was executed in 1821.