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MIRANDA, Francisco (me-ran'-dah), Venezuelan soldier, born in Caracas, 9 June, 1756" died in Cadiz, Spain, 14 July, 1816. He entered the Spanish military service as a cadet at the age of seventeen years, and, after attaining the rank of captain, served in the United States in 1779 and 1781. He was then sent to Cuba, where Manuel Cajigal, the captain-general, became his firm friend, but, on account of trading illegally, he was forced to fly to Europe, where he travelled through England, Turkey, Germany, and Russia. Iie served in the French revolution, and reached the rank of major-general. In the campaign of 1793 he was taken prisoner at Neerwinden, and brought to trial for mismanagement, but was acquitted. The name of Miranda is on the "arc de triomphe" in Paris among those of the great captains that fought in the revolution. In 1797 he was condemned by the Directory, and escaped to England, where in 1803 he vainly endeavored to prevail on William Pitt to aid him. He then went to the United States, where he found means to fit out two vessels and about 200 volunteers, with whom he sailed for Venezuela, with the object of securing the independence of that country. At Ocumare, 25 March, 1806, he was attacked, and lost a great number of his men, and the captain-general caused him to be burned in effigy, offering $50,000 for his head. Between 4 and 8 August of the same year Miranda took the town of Coro, but, seeing that the people did not take an active part in his favor, he left for Europe, where, with Simon Bolivar, he sought aid for his enterprise. They returned together on 5 December, 1810, to Caracas, where Miranda organized the government that had its origin in the revolution of 19 April, became vice-president of con-tress, and signed the constitution of 21 December and the act of independence of 5 July, 1811. He took the command-in-chief of the army, forced the surrender of Valencia, 13 August, 1811, and made his triumphant entry into Caracas. 26 April, 1812. By the treachery of Pedro Ponce, he lost the battle of Valencia, 14 May, 1812, and retreated to Cabrera, laying siege to Maracay and Victoria, instead of giving the necessary aid to Puerto Cabello. This caused discontent among his companions of the junta. He was finally forced to capitulate in Victoria, 25 July, 1812, and, accused of being a traitor, he was taken prisoner on 30 July, by the revolutionary authorities in Laguayra. He afterward fell into the hands of the Spanish authorities, and was sent in 1813 to Cadiz, where he died in the dungeons of the Inquisition with a chain around his neck.
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