Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WHITELOCKE, John, British soldier, born in England about 1757; died after 1808. He entered the army, and by promotions became colonel in 1793. When in that year the planters in the French part of Santo Domingo petitioned the British government for a protectorate, the governor of Jamaica received orders to occupy the island, and despatched, on 9 September, 1793, an expedition of 700 men under command of Colonel Whitelocke. He landed on 19 September at Jeremie, but was routed in an attack on Tiburon. After receiving re-enforcements, he took St. Marc, Logane, and Arcahay, and made a second attack on Tiburon, by which nearly the whole western coast, except Port au Prince, became subject to his control. Assisted by all auxiliary force from the Spanish part of the island, he besieged Port de Paix on the northern coast, and, after vainly trying to bribe the commander, General Lavaux, to surrender, retired" but, after the arrival of re-enforcements from Jamaica, he soon gained advantages, and on 14 June, 1794, occupied Port au Prince. He was afterward in India, Egypt, and the Cape of Good Hope, and, being promoted lieutenant-general, he was chosen commander-in-chief of the British army on the river Plate. General Beresford had capitulated in Buenos Ayres, 12 August, 1806, and the re-enforcements under Sir Samuel Auehmuty, arriving too late, had occupied Montevideo, 1 February, 1807. Whitelocke arrived in Montevideo in April, 1807, with 6,000 men, and, with the forces of Auchmuty and the remnants of Beresford's army, he soon halt a body of 12,000 disciplined men under his command. Leaving a garrison of 2,000 in Montevideo, he marched with the rest to Mahlonado, and, escorted by the fleet under Admiral Popham, landed on 28 June, 1807, in Ensenada, to the south of Buenos Ayres. On his march he was attacked in the Pass of Riachuelo, 1 July, by the Spanish army under Santiago De Liniers, and routing and outflanking the latter, he could have easily occupied the capital, but tarried on the battle-field. During the night the mayor of the city, Alzaga, intrenched the streets and gathered the routed troops, so that Liniers found the defence prepared and refused to surrender the city, when he was summoned by Whitelocke to do so on 3 July. The latter prepared everything for storming the city, and early on the 5th led his army in eight columns to the assault. The resistance was terrible in the barricaded streets and houses, and, after straggling the whole day, he retired with the loss of 1,100 killed and 1,500 prisoners. On 6 July the assault was renewed, but by noon the British forces were beaten and surrounded, with a loss of 2,000, and Whitelocke offered to capitulate. He was forced to submit to humiliating conditions, to evacuate the southern border of the river within forty-eight hours, and to return the city of Montevideo within two months in the state in which it was captured. The capitulation was ratified on 7 July, and complied with by the British commander, who left Montevideo on 1 September with the last of his forces. On his arrival in England he was court-martialed and sentenced to be severely censured, and retired from service. The "Proceedings of the General Court-Martial and Defence of General John Whitelocke" were published (2 vols., London, 1808.) See also "Narrative of the British Expedition to La Plata under Gem Crawford " (1808).
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