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Of Swiss origin.
In 1811 he discussed with Don Pedro Abadia and Don Jose Arismendi of Lima the possibility of using steam engines to drain the ancient silver mines in the Cerro de Pasco district of Peru, some 14, 000 feet above sea level.
He came to England and contacted Boulton and Watt but with no success as the engines would not work at that altitude. When in London in the window of William Rowley he saw a model of a steam engine that represented one made by Richard Trevithick. He purchased the model for 20 guineas and took it back to Pasco where it worked satisfactorily.
He returned to England, landing at Falmouth around the 10th May 1813.
He later brought Trevithick to Peru to erect his engines in the mines.