Antonio de Ulloa

Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giralt, FRS, FRSA, KOS (12 January 1716 – 3 July 1795) was a Spanish naval officer, scientist, and administrator. At the age of nineteen, he joined the French Geodesic Mission to what is now the country of Ecuador. That mission took more than eight years to complete its work, during which time Ulloa made many astronomical, natural, and social observations in South America. The reports of Ulloa's findings earned him an international reputation as a leading savant. Those reports include the first published observations of the metal platinum, later identified as a new chemical element. Ulloa was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1746, and as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1751.


Antonio de Ulloa

Posthumous portrait by Andrés Cortés (1856)
Born
Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giralt

(1716-01-12)12 January 1716
Died3 July 1795(1795-07-03) (aged 79)
NationalitySpanish
Alma materReal Compañía de Guardias Marinas (Spanish Naval Academy)
Spouse(s)Francisca Ramírez de Laredo
Scientific career
FieldsAstronomy, metallurgy, natural history
1st Spanish Governor of Louisiana
In office
1763–1768
MonarchCharles III
Preceded byCharles Philippe Aubry
as French Colonial Governor
Succeeded byCharles Philippe Aubry (Acting)
Military service
Allegiance Viceroyalty of New Spain
 Kingdom of Spain
Branch/serviceSpanish Navy
RankVice-admiral

Ulloa served the Spanish Crown as governor of Huancavelica (1758–64), in Perú, and superintendent of the quicksilver mines in the region. Following the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War, Ulloa was appointed as the first Spanish governor of Louisiana in 1766. His rule was strongly resisted by the French Creole colonists in New Orleans, who expelled him from the city in the Louisiana Rebellion of 1768. Ulloa continued to serve in the Spanish Navy, achieving the rank of vice-admiral and becoming its chief of operations.