1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Weyler y Nicolau, Valeriano

WEYLER Y NICOLAU, VALERIANO. Marquess of Tenerife (1839–), Spanish soldier, was born at Palma de Majorca. His family were originally Prussians, and served in the Spanish army for several generations. He entered at sixteen the military college of infantry at Toledo, and, when he attained the rank of lieutenant, passed into the staff college, from which he came out as the head of his class. Two years afterwards he became captain, and was sent to Cuba at his own request He distinguished himself in the expedition to Santo Domingo in many fights, and especially in a daring reconnaissance with few men into the heart of the enemy’s lines, for which he got the cross with laurels of San Fernando. From 1868 to 1872 he served also brilliantly against the Cuban rebels, and commanded a corps of volunteers specially raised for him in Havana. He returned to Spain in 1873 as brigadier-general, and took an active part against the Carlists in the eastern provinces of the Peninsula in 1875 and 1876, for which he was raised to the rank of general of division. Then he was elected senator and given the title of marquess of Tenerife. He held the post of captain general in the Canary Isles from 1878 to 1883, and in the Balearic Isles afterwards. In 18S8 he was sent out as captain-general to the Philippines, where he dealt very sternly with the native rebels of the Carolines, of Mindanao and other provinces. On his return to Spain in 1892 he was appointed to the command first of the 6th Army Corps in the Basque Provinces and Navarre, where he soon quelled agitations, and then as captain-general at Barcelona, where he remained until January 1896. In Catalonia, with a state of siege, he made himself the terror of the anarchists and socialists. After Marsha! Campos had failed to pacify Cuba, the Conservative government of Canovas del Castillo sent out Weyler, and this selection met the approval of most Spaniards, who thought him the proper man to crush the rebellion. Weyler attempted to do this by a policy of inexorable repression, which raised a storm of indignation, and led to a demand from America for his recall. This recall was granted by the Liberal government of Sagasta, but Weyler afterwards asserted that, had he been left alone, he would have stamped out the rebellion in six months. After his return to Spain his reputation as a strong and ambitious soldier made him one of those who in case of any constitutional disturbance might be expected to play an important role, and his political position was nationally affected by this consideration, his appointment in 1900 as captain-general of Madrid resulted indeed in more than one ministerial crisis. He was minister of war for a short time at the end of 1901, and again in 1905. At the end of October 1909 he was appointed captain-general at Barcelona, where the disturbances connected with the execution of Francisco Ferrer were quelled by him without bloodshed.