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Paula Jara Quemada (Jaraquemada)

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

After he had been defeated at the Battle of Cancha Rayada in 1818, San Martín was met by a strange group of horsemen led by Jara mounted on an energetic horse. She had heard of the patriots' defeat and rounded up all the tenants and neighbours of her Hacienda del Paine and, with her children beside her, led them to meet the defeated troops. She gave them food and lodging at her hacienda, and provided them with horses. They regrouped to form a new army.

Years later, a persecuted patriot, one of her oldest and most estimated friends, arrived at her house seeking refuge. With him was a 6 year old boy (Manuel Montt). She let them in without considering the danger to herself. The next morning a group of Spanish soldiers arrived seeking provisions. She refused to allow them in. The commander then ordered his troops to fire. She stood firm, with their bayonets almost touching her, and the troops refused to shoot her. The commander then ordered them to set fire to her house. Seeing the flames in the brazier, she said, there, the flames are ready for you. The commander and his troops retired. After the war Jara was dedicated exclusively to charitable works, trying to liberate the oppressed from misery. (Weeks, 178-179; Grez, 85-87.)

In 1826, Adriana Montt wrote to her son reminding him of this story. (Vergara Quiroz, 161)

A Chilean aristocrat who was an active participant in the Independence struggles and took part in "philanthropic activities" after Independence was achieved. (Knaster, 18, 503)

A street in Temuco bears her name.

Life Events

Other 1818She sustained San Martín's troops after their defeat at Cancha Rayada.


Knaster, Meri, (1977), Women in Spanish America: An Annotated Bibliography from Pre-Conquest to Contemporary Times

Weeks, Elsie, (1940), Great Chilean Women

Grez, Vicente, (1966), Las mujeres de la independencia

Vergara Quiroz, Sergio, (1987), Cartas de mujeres en Chile, 1630-1885


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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Gendering Latin American Independence

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