Luis Brión

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Luis Brión
Luis Brión 2012 000.jpg
Born July 6, 1782
Plantage Rozentak, Curaçao
Died September 27, 1821
Scharloo, Curaçao

Pedro Luis Brión (July 6, 1782, Curaçao—September 27, 1821, Curaçao) was a military officer who fought in the Venezuelan War of Independence.[1] He rose to the rank of admiral in the navies of Venezuela and the old Republic of Colombia.

Early career[edit]

He was baptized as Phillipus Ludovicus Brion, son of the merchant Pierre Louis Brion and Marie Detrox, both from what is now Belgium. They arrived in Curaçao in 1777. In 1794 they sent their son to the Netherlands to complete his education. While he was there, he enlisted in the forces of the Batavian Republic to fight the British invasion of the northern Netherlands. He participated in the battles of Bergen (September 19, 1799) and Castricum (October 16, 1799). He was taken prisoner by the British but freed after a short time in the prisoner exchange under the Convention of Alkmaar.

On his return to Curaçao he took an active part in the revolutionary movement on the island, in September 1800. Shortly after his return the island was occupied by the British. He escaped from the British authorities, fleeing to the United States. There he studied naval science and business.

He returned to his native island in 1803 (since recovered by the Batavian Republic), dedicating himself to business. From 1803 to 1806 he led various actions to prevent the British reoccupation of the island. Nevertheless, the British occupied the island again in 1807, and Brión went into exile on the Danish island of Saint Thomas. From here he continued to run his business and maritime interests.

In the war for Venezuelan independence[edit]

Portrait of Luis Brión, in Papel Periódico Ilustrado (1885).

In 1813 he took up the cause of Venezuelan independence and a year later Simón Bolívar made him captain of a frigate. In 1815 he went to England, where he acquired the 24-gun corvet Dardo, with which he intended to aid the rebels of Cartagena de Indias. He rejoined Bolívar in Haiti. He was promoted to captain, and organized a squadron for expeditions to the coast of Venezuela. On May 2, 1816 he won his first victory over Spanish warships, in the Battle of Los Frailes. On the day of the victory, he was named admiral by Bolívar. Once the rebels were in control of the island of Margarita, the campaign was extended to Guayana (Venezuela).

In January 1817 Brión established the Admiralty and the Marine Corps. On August 3, 1817 he sailed up the Orinoco River with a squadron, fighting the Battle of Cabrián. In this battle he captured 14 of the 28 Spanish ships and took 1,500 prisoners. He liberated Guayana on November 5, 1817, and was named president of the Council of Government.

In 1819 he was again at Margarita, where he organized an expedition of 22 ships to attack the coast of New Granada, together with the land forces of colonel Mariano Montilla. They captured ports and the mouths of the Magdalena River, as well as the cities of Barranquilla and Santa Marta. However, differences with Montilla over how to conduct the operation led Brión to withdraw the fleet to Maracaibo in May 1821.

Death[edit]

Brión suffered from tuberculosis, and because of the progression of the disease, he decided to return to his native island. He died there in 1821, the day after his arrival. He was buried in the family estate with honors appropriate to his rank. Later his remains were reinterred in the National Pantheon of Venezuela on April 10, 1882.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daniel Florencio O'Leary (19 February 2014). Bolívar and the War of Independence: Memorias del General Daniel Florencio O’Leary, Narración. University of Texas Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-292-76165-0. 

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