Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VELASCO, Juan de, South American historian, born in Riobamba, Ecuador, in 1727; died in Verona, Italy, in 1819. He was educated at Quito and Lima, entered the Jesuit order, and occupied for many years the chair of theology in the University of San Marcos in Lima. After the expulsion of the Jesuits front the Spanish dominions, Velasco went to Italy, where he settled in Faenza, and devoted his time to Poetry. He afterward went to Verona for the publication of his works, but died before concluding arrangements. His history, although defective on account of the author's excessive credulity, is valuable for the facts that it gives about the reign of the Shyris, before the first invasion by the incas of Peru. The work was often consulted by writers on American history, but was not generally known in Europe until its translation into French by Henri Ternaux-Compans, and shortly afterward it was published in the original language in Quito, with notes by Agustin Yerovi, who had obtained a copy of the manuscript. Velasco's works are "Colleccion de Poesias, hecha por un ocioso en la ciudad de Faenza," in five manuscript volumes ; a large map of the kingdom of Quito, remarkably correct for that epoch, the publication of which is shortly to be undertaken by the government of Ecuador" and " Historia del Reyno de Quito" (3 vols., Quito, 1841-'4; French translation, Paris, 1840).
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