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Fray Camilo Henríquez

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

Biographical details

Born in Valdivia, Chile, on 20 July 1769. He studied in Lima and became a monk there. He was an orthodox Catholic who fervently supported the independence cause. By around 1809 he had been charged three times by the Inquisition of possessing prohibited books, and of reading French philosophers. In 1803 it was proven that he'd read Rousseau's Social Contract and was a supporter of Voltaire. He fled to Quito. He died in 1825. (Silva Castro, 15-28) He read Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu. (Montes, Orlandi, 44)

He founded the newspaper Aurora de Chile in 1812, it was supported by the junta of the day, José Miguel Carrera, Cerda and Manso. The paper ended without warning on 1 April 1813. 5 days later, another publication from the same press with the name El Monitor Auraucano appeared. (Silva Castro, 19-20)

Grez claims that through the Aurora de Chile he was a great influence on women during the independence struggles. His writings were published in London in June 1811. He attended Luisa Recabarren's tertulias, where Grez claims he was a dominant figure. His animated, fertile conversation pleased everyone. (Grez, 51, 63)

He is listed among the exiles in Cuyo. (Guerrero Lira, 297-299)

In July 1814 a junta took power, led by José Miguel Carrera, Urivi and Muñoz Urzúa. Fray Camilo Hernández took refuge in the Convent of the Recolección Dominicana. He was replaced as editor of El Monitor Araucano. (Silva Castro, 37) He went into exile in Buenos Aires where he studied mathematics and medicine. He edited La Gaceta de Buenos Aires from April to November 1815, and then El Censor (Buenos Aires) until July 1818. He also wrote 2 dramas as he believed that the theatre must be a school of politics, and the voice of philosophy. He wrote Camila o la patriota de Sud América, which was published in Buenos Aires in 1817 and La Inocencia en el asilo de las virtudes. (Silva Castro, 20 -23.)

His work reveals evidence of enlightenment ideas. (Griffin, 248)

He justified independence in a sermon made in Peru on 4 July 1811. He went to Buenos Aires after the defeat of Rancagua. (Coester, 50-52)

He was among the 28 members of La Sociedad de Buen Gusto, Buenos Aires, that had its first meeting in July 1817. It was founded to perform dramas. His play Camila o la patriota de Sud América was performed by the group. It is the story of Camila whose family were captured by an Indian chief after the patriots´ defeat in Quito. The chief insists that she marry his prime minister. Camila refuses out of respect for the memory of her husband Diego, who was killed by the Spaniards. The chief insists on the marriage and when the prime minister appears he is no other than Diego. Coester states the play reveals much about Henríquez's religious tolerance and his ideas of education. (Coester, 58-59)

Life Events

Born 1769He was born on 20 July 1769.
Other 1784He was sent to Lima to study and entered a monastery.
Other 1809He fled to Quito after being charged with possessing prohibited books by the Inquisition.
Other 1811On 4 July 1811, he preached a sermon in Peru that justified independence.
Other 1812He founded the newspaper Aurora de Chile, in Santiago.
Other 1814He went into exile in Buenos Aires following the battle of Rancagua.
Other 1817He was a member of the Sociedad de Buen Gusto, Buenos Aires.
Died 1825He died on 16 March 1825.


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

Guerrero Lira, Cristian, (2002), La contrarevolución de la independencia en Chile

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

Lynch, John, (1994), Latin American Revolutions

Montes, Hugo and Orlandi, Julio, (1969), Historia y antología de la literatura chilena

Coester, Alfred, (1919), The Literary History of Spanish America


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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