Jose Miguel Infante, a Chilian statesman, born in Santiago in 1778, died April 9, 1844. He was one of the earliest leaders of the revolution of 1810, which ended in the independence of Chili; contributed to organize the junta gubernativa in the same year, and the first congress, which assembled on July 4,1811; and was a member of the new junta of 1813. In 1818 he became minister of finance under O'Higgins, against whom on Jan. 2, 1823, he delivered a noted speech. O'Higgins shortly afterward resigned, and the country was then governed by a junta, of which Infante was the first member, until the election of President Freire, by whom Infante was called to organize a senate. During the first session of that body, his bill for the abolition of slavery was enacted, June 24, 1823. Freire being absent in 1825, the government was reposed in a dictatorial council with Infante at its head. He advocated the formation of Chili as a federal republic, and founded a newspaper, the Valdi-viano Federal, which he published from Jan. 1, 1827, till near his death.
In 1831 he was appointed member of the congress of plenipotentiaries, and in 1843 chief judge of the supreme court of justice, and member of the faculty of law of the university of Chili. He was influential in establishing primary schools, and has been called the "father of his country."