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María de Rosario Melchora Puga y Vidaurre

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

Biographical details

Born in Chile in 1796, she became Bernardo O'Higgins's lover and the mother of Demetrio O'Higgins. She died in 1858. (Knaster, 15)

Demetrio was born in 1818, Bernardo O'Higgins took Demetrio with him into exile in 1823. After Bernardo's death in 1846, she made contact with Demetrio, writing letters for seven years. In June 1847 and in January 1851 she wrote of her love for her son, asking if he had forgotten her. (Vergara Quiroz, 224-225, 231)

Clissold describes her as "a flighty red-haired woman" and a "light-of-love" who left O'Higgins for a lover from the Carrera faction (unspecified) after their brief affair. Her nickname was "punta de diamante" and that the inexperienced O'Higgins "fell under her spell". She accompanied O'Higgins when he left Concepción in 1818. (Clissold, 154-155, 200)

Life Events

Born 1796
Other 1818She gave birth to her son, Demetrio.
Other 1823Bernardo O'Higgins took their son with him into exile in Peru.
Died 1858


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

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

Clissold, Stephen, (1968), Bernardo O'Higgins and the Independence of Chile


Letter: Carta

Letter: Carta


Resource id #31 (8)

Resource id #35 (46)

Resource id #39 (112)

Gendering Latin American Independence

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