Online Encyclopedia

GUGLIELMO PEPE (1783-1855)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 127 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
GUGLIELMO PEPE (1783-1855), Neapolitan general, was born at Squillace in Calabria. He entered the army at an early age, but in 1799 he took part in the republican movement at Naples inspired by the French Revolution; he fought against the Bourbon troops under Cardinal Ruffo, was captured and exiled to France. He entered Napoleon's army and served with distinction in several campaigns, including those in the Neapolitan kingdom, first under Joseph Bonaparte and later under Joachim Murat. After commanding a Neapolitan brigade in the Peninsular campaign, Pepe returned to Italy in 1813, with the rank of general, to help to reorganize the Neapolitan army. When the news of the fall of Napoleon (1814) reached Italy Pepe and several other generals tried without success to force Murat to grant a constitution as the only means of saving the kingdom from foreign invasion and the return of the Bourbons. On Napoleon's escape from Elba (1815) Murat, after some hesitation, placed himself on the emperor's side and waged war against the Austrians, with Pepe on his staff. After several engagements the Neapolitans were forced to retire, and eventually agreed to the treaty of Casalanza by which Murat was to abandon the kingdom; but the Neapolitan officers retained their rank under Ferdinand IV. who now regained the throne of Naples. While engaged in suppressing brigandage in the Capitanata, Pepe organized the carbonari (q.v.) into a national militia, and was preparing to use them for political purposes. He had hoped that the king would end by granting a constitution, but when that hope failed he meditated seizing Ferdinand, the emperor of Austria, and Metternich, who were expected at Avellino, and thus compelling them to liberate Italy (1819). The scheme broke down through an accident, but in the following year a military rising broke out, the mutineers cheering for the king and the constitution. Pepe himself was sent against them, but while he was hesitating as to what course he should follow Ferdinand promised a constitution (July 182o). A revolt in Sicily having been repressed, Pepe was appointed inspector-general of the army. In the meanwhile the king, who had no intention of respecting the constitution, went to Laibach to confer. with the sovereigns of the holy alliance assembled there, leaving his son as regent. He obtained the loan of an Austrian army with which to restore absolute power, while the regent dallied with the Liberals. Pepe, who in parliament had declared in favour of deposing the king, now took command of the army and marched against the Austrians. He attacked them at Rieti (March 7, Lake Peoria, and the business streets lie on the plain between these elevations and the water front. The park system includes more than 400 acres; Bradley Park (140 acres), the largest, was given to the city by Mrs Lydia Moss Bradley (1816-1908) and was named in her honour. On a bluff north-east of the city is Glen Oak Park (103 acres), modelled after Forest Park, St Louis, Missouri; in the south-western part of the city is Madison Park (88 acres); and in the lower part of the city is South Park (10 acres). In the Court House Square there are two monuments in honour of the Federal soldiers and sailors of Peoria county who perished in the Civil War; in Springdale Cemetery there are two similar memorials, one of which (a large granite boulder) is in memory of the unknown dead; and in the same cemetery there is a monument erected by the state (Igo6) to mark the grave of Thomas Fold (d. 1851), governor of Illinois in 1842-1846. Among the principal public buildings and institutions are the Peoria Public Library founded in 18J5, the City Hall, the Court House, the Federal building, St Mary's Cathedral, the Bradley Polytechnic Institute (affiliated with the university of Chicago), founded in 1896 by Mrs Lydia Moss Bradley, who gave it an endowment of $2,000,000; Spalding Institute, founded through the efforts of John L. Spalding (b. 1840), who was Bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Peoria in 1877-1908; an Evangelical Lutheran Orphans' Home (1902), an Industrial School for girls (1892), Cottage Hospital (1876), St Francis Hospital (1875), a Florence Crittenton Home (1902), a Home for the Friendless (1876), and a House of the Good Shepherd (1891), and the Guyer Memorial (1889), St Joseph's (1892), and John C. Proctor homes for the aged and infirm (1907). At Bartonville, a suburb, there is a state hospital for the incurable insane. In 1900 and in 1905 Peoria ranked second among the cities of Illinois in the value of its manufactures. The invested capital amounted in 1905 to $22,243,821, and the factory products were valued at $60,920,411. The principal industry is the manufacture of distilled liquors, which were valued in 1905 at $42,170,815. Other important manufactures are agricultural implements ($2,309,962), slaughter-house and meat-packing products ($1,480,398), glucose, cooperage ($1,287,742), malt liquors ($887,570), foundry and machine-shop products, strawboard, automobiles, brick and stone, and flour and grist mill products. Peoria is also an important shipping point for grain and coal. Peoria was named from one of the five tribes of the Illinois Indians. In 168o La Salle, the explorer, built Fort Crevecceur, on the lake shore bluffs, opposite the present city; this fort, however, was destroyed and deserted in the same year by La Salle's followers after he had set out to return to Fort Frontenac. There is evidence that a French mission was established on or near the site of Peoria as early as 1711; and certainly by 1725 a settlement, known as Peoria, and composed of French and 1821), but his raw levies were repulsed. The army was gradually disbanded, and Pepe spent several years in England, France and other countries, publishing a number of books and pamphlets of a political character and keeping up his connexion with the Carbonari. When in 1848 revolution and war broke out all over Italy, Pepe returned to Naples, where a constitution had again been proclaimed. He was given command of the Neapolitan army which was to co-operate with Piedmont against the Austrians, but when he reached Bologna the king, who had already changed his mind, recalled him and his troops. Pepe, after hesitating between his desire to fight for Italy, and his oath to the king, resigned his commission in the Neapolitan service and crossed the Po with 2000 volunteers to take part in the campaign. After a good deal of fighting in Venetia, he joined Manin in Venice and took command of the defending army. When the city was forced by hunger to surrender to the Austrians, Pepe and Manin were among those excluded from the amnesty; he again went into exile and died in Turin in 1855• The story of Pepe's life down to 1846 is told in his own interesting Memorie (Lugano, 1847), and his Narrative of the Events... at Naples in 1820 and 1821 (London, 1821); for the later period of his life see the general histories of the Risorgimento, and the biographical sketch in vol. ii. of L. Carpi's Risorgimento (Milan, 1886).
End of Article: GUGLIELMO PEPE (1783-1855)

Additional information and Comments

What is all this about Peioria? And what of Pepe's duel with Lamartine?
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.