O'HIGGINS, BERNARDO (1776-1842), soldier and statesman, head of the first permanent national Government of Chile, was born at Chinn on Aug. 20, 1776, the natural son of the Irishman Ambrosio O'Higgins, governor of Chile (1778-95), and viceroy of Peru (1795-1801). Educated in England and Spain, he returned to Chile in 1802, and on the outbreak of the national ist revolution in 1810 joined the party of Martinez de Rozas and distinguished himself in the early fighting against the royalists. In Nov. 1813, he was appointed to supersede J. M. Carrera in com mand of the patriot forces, and the rivalry of Carrera eventually resulted in the defeat of the national troops at Rancagua, in Oct. 1814. O'Higgins fled with most of the patriots across the Andes to Mendoza, where Jose de San Martin (q.v.) was preparing a force for the liberation of Chile and Peru. San Martin espoused O'Higgins's part against Carrera, and O'Higgins readily con sented to serve under San Martin. His loyalty and energy were an important factor in the success of the campaign, especially in the decisive victories of Chacabuco (Feb. 1817) where O'Hig
gins's cavalry charge carried the day, and of Mail:6 (April 1818). After the battle of Chacabuco O'Higgins was entrusted with the administration of Chile; he kept order in the country and co operated loyally with San Martin in his preparation for the invasion of Peru. But once the overthrow of the Spanish supremacy in Peru had freed Chile from fear of attack, agitation broke out for constitutional government. O'Higgins called a con gress which adopted a Constitution (1822) giving him dictatorial powers. The discontent, however, continued ; risings occurred in Concepcion and Coquimbo, and on January 28, 1823, O'Higgins gave up his post of director-general. He retired to Peru where he was granted an estate, and lived quietly until his death on Oct. 24, 1842. In 1839 the Chilean senate had restored him to his honours and his military rank.