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Ramon Freire

Ramon Freire Serrano was a Chilean political figure. He was head of state on several occasions, and enjoyed a numerous following until the War of the Confederation.

He was born in Santiago on November 29, 1787, the son of Francisco Antonio Freire and Gertrudis Serrano y Arrechea. An orphan from early age, he was raised in a hacienda by his maternal uncles near the town of Colina. He became an orphan again at age 16, and moved to the city of Concepcion where he worked as a clerk in a store, and later as an apprentice in a merchant ship.

Since the Chilean treasury was exhausted by the independence wars, and heavily mortgaged by the first foreign loan, contracted with British banks, Freire created a government monopoly (estanco) over tobacco, alcohols, cards and tax paper, same that was assigned to Portales, Cea and Co. and turned in a huge fiasco. This affair marked the first involvement in public government of the future universal minister, Diego Portales.

Related websites

Origins: History of immigration from Chile - Immigration Museum, Melbourne Australia

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