Pedro Felix Vicuna
Members of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile
Chilean deputies Forum
Pedro Felix Vicuna Aguirre was a Chilean journalist and one of the founders in 1827 of the newspaper El Mercurio de Valparaiso, the oldest existing newspaper in Spanish language. He was also a liberal writer and politician.
Vicuna was born in Santiago, the son of Francisco Ramon Vicuna and of Mariana de Aguirre y Boza. Vicuna's father served two brief terms as acting president of Chile in 1829, and was widely considered as the head of the Liberal party. Pedro Felix Vicuna received an excellent education, studying humanities and commerce. From a young age he showed an interest in letters, and particularly in journalism. In 1825, at the age of 20, he moved from Santiago to Valparaiso, where he bought a printing press and began publishing El Telegrafo Mercantil y Politico. This periodical was founded October 3, 1826, and 89 issues were published. In 1826, he married Carmen Mackenna, daughter of Brigadier Juan Mackenna, and they had thirteen children.
In 1827, at the age of 21, he founded the newspaper El Mercurio de Valparaiso, together with typographers Thomas Wells and Ignacio Silva. The first issue appeared September 12, 1827. Initially it was published only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but in 1829 it became a daily. That same year, Vicuna sold his interest in the newspaper and moved back to Santiago (this was also the year that his father happened to serve as president of Chile.)
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