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Juan Egaña

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

Biographical details

He was born in Lima in 1768, his father was Chilean.

He presented a Plan de Gobierno for Chile in 1810. He edited Cartas Pehuenches in 1819, a paper that discussed indigenous issues. There were 12 editions. He also edited El Telégrafo (75 editions from 4 May 1819). During this time there was a three-part article discussing divorce, "Bello sexo". Fray Tadeo Silva denounced this article in the senate and called for a censorship judgement. O'Higgins sent the article to the censors, their judgement is not known. (Silva Castro, 8, 65-66)

He participated in the 1823 Chilean Constitution. There was a rift between him and Andrés Bello in 1825.

A literary tertulia was founded in Lima by don José Rossi y Rubi with Dr. Juan Egaña, Demetrio Guasque and Hipólito Unanue. They decided to reform as “Amantes del País” imitating Vascongada and others in Spain. (Romero de Valle, 10)

He is described by Wood as a "leading conservative intellectual" who was chosen to lead a new constitutional committee. He introduced the Código Moral, a moral code. (Wood, 6-8)

His daughter, Dolores Egaña Fabres, was the first woman to be admitted to a Chilean university. She studied philosophy but was not awarded a degree. (Weeks, 174.) He wrote to her about the case of Candalaria Soto. (Grez, 97-100.)

He is described by Lynch as "a Peruvian by birth, a Chilean by choice"; "an eccentric conservative" and writer who drafted the 1823 "unworkable" Chilean Constitution. (Lynch, xv-xvi)

A "prominent intellectual" he wrote a Plan of Government in 1810, followed by a Declaration of the Rights of the People of Chile that proposed a federation of autonomous American kingdoms that recognised Fernando VII as head of Spain. (Rodríguez, 142)

He was editor of the weekly newspaper, Aurora de Chile from 1812-1814. He read Rousseau and Voltaire and his first play, Camila o la patriota de Sur América, was inspired by Rousseau. (Goic, 195)

He died in 1836.

Life Events

Born 1768He was born in Lima.
Other 1812He edited Aurora de Chile from 1812-1814.
Other 1823He participated in the 1823 Constitution.
Other 1825He argued with Andrés Bello.
Died 1836


Romero de Valle, Emilia, (1966), Diccionario manual de literatura peruana y materias afines

Wood, James A., (2000), The Masculine Republic: Gender, Class and Citizenship in Santiago de Chile

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

Weeks, Elsie, (1940), Great Chilean Women

Silva Castro, Raul, (1958), Prensa y periodismo en Chile (1812-1956)

Lynch, John, (1986), The Spanish American Revolutions 1808-1826

Rodríguez O., Jaime E., (1998), The Independence of Spanish America

Smith, Verity, (1997), Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature


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