Vicente Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde de Gálvezton and Conde de Gálvez
(July 23, 1746 C.E.-November 30, 1786 C.E.) and Post-American Revolutionary War
Much is owed to the Internet researchers who
provide a wealth of information included here.
It was the spring of 1783 C.E. and an exhausted Bernardo
de Gálvez would begin preparation to return to España with his wife
and two infant children for a brief rest. It would be after helping to draft the
terms of the Paris Peace Accords in April 1783 C.E. that Mariscal
del campo de Gálvez accompanied by his wife, the former Marie Felicité de
Saint Maxênt d’Estrehan of New Orleans, and two infant children, Matilde
and Miguel, for that rest. On May 17,
1783 C.E., de Gálvez left Florida and returned to Cuba. By
May 28, 1783 C.E., King Carlos III of España by Royal Decree
created the title for Don Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid and awarded him
with Conde de Gálvez the Vizconde de Gálveztown (Tejas).
This was done in appreciation for his heroic military merits at the Battle of Pensacola.
In recognition of his work and help to the American cause, George Washington
took de Gálvez to his right in the American Victory Parade of July 4,
1783 C.E. in Philadelphia.
He left the Peace of Versailles behind in which Britain recognized the
independence of the United States. France was to get Tobago, St. Lucia, and
recovered Menorca, East and West Florida,
and some areas in Honduras. However,
she did not get the return of Gibraltar.
After making certain provisions concerning the
Government of Luisiana, on July 16, 1783 C.E., de Gálvez embarked
for Cádiz. In September of 1783 C.E., de Galvez went to Madrid.
The son of Matías and nephew to José,
Bernardo de Gálvez arrived back in España a famous and
celebrated man for much needed rest. While there, he began to advise the
Government on matters Norteaméricanos. As de Gálvez saw it, it
was convenient for España and France to advance the cause of the
On September 3, 1783 C.E.,
representatives of King George III of Great Britain signed a
treaty in Paris with representatives of the United States of
America known as the Treaty of Paris and two treaties at Versailles with
representatives of King Louis XVI of France and King Carlos
III of España.
In spite of his age and ill health, Matías
de Gálvez was rewarded for his service in Guatemala.
King Carlos III of España named him virrey
of Nueva España. De Gálvez traveled overland to the capital, passing through Oaxaca
and Puebla. Matías was the
last virrey to make his formal entry
into the city of Méjico on horseback,
which he did on April 28, 1783 C.E.
It is important to stop and recognize that Bernardo
de Gálvez received many honors from España for his military
victories against the British, including promotion to General de Teniente
and Mariscal del campo. He was also made Gobernador and Capitán
General of Luisiana and Florida which was by then separated
from Cuba. His promotion had included being placed in the command of the
Spanish expeditionary army in América. After the signature of peace at
Versailles, on September 3, 1783 C.E., Bernardo
de Gálvez was rewarded by the title of Conde,
the rank of General de Teniente, and
was appointed Capitán General of Cuba. On the world stage, the Treaty of Paris would establish peace
between Great Britain and the allied nations of España, France, and the
Still the soldado,
Bernardo de Gálvez was not finished. After returning to España,
he would fight in a campaign in the Netherlands against the British.
Earlier, both España and the Netherlands (1780 C.E.) had joined as
allies of France against the British.
Later, Bernardo de Gálvez while in España on his free time during
his stay in Madrid became interested in genealogy and the aerostatica (a
branch of statics that deals with the equilibrium of gaseous fluids). He proved
a steering system for balloons on the Río Real de Manzanares or Manzanares
River which runs through the heart of Madrid.
That same year, of 1783
C.E., Bernardo’s uncle, António, became a coronel.
He was the youngest of the brothers (Joséf, Matiás, Miguel) of
the important de Gálvez y Gallardo family. He was born at Macharaviaya
on September 29, 1728 C.E. António is considered by many to be the least
important member, as he followed mainly a military career. Others have offered
that António was the least gifted and less corrupt than his brothers who
supposedly used their power for their own benefit.
married Mariana Ramírez de Velasco in 1750 C.E., with which he had no
children. They adopted a girl, María Rosa Antónia, who some say
was possibly his natural daughter. She was to become an author of some note and
a remarkable success at the Corte real
española of Carlos IV.
He was named general manager of the income for
tobacco in the Islas Canarias through the influence of his brother, Joséf
de Gálvez. After June 1787 C.E., when Joséf died, the Corona
Española ordered an investigation of António’s work. The
resulting facts did not lead to his conviction, thus leaving the family
influence intact at the Corte Real Española. He was later relieved of
his position with a pension.
During António's stay in Cádiz, he
managed to amass a considerable fortune. Unfortunately, economic troubles and
waste left his widow in debt at his death in Madrid on December 29, 1792
C.E. In contrast to the rest of brothers, António asked that he be
interred in the Royal convent of San Luís and not in the Pantheon
that the family had in their hometown.
On November 13, 1783 C.E., Matías de Gálvez granted
permission to Manuel António Valdés
Murguía y Saldaña to restart the national newspaper the Gaceta
de Méjico which had first been started in 1722 C.E. by Juan
Ignacio María de Castorena Ursúa y Goyeneche. It had later been revived by Juan
Francisco Sahagún de Arévalo y
Ladrón de Guevara in 1728 C.E., but then suspended since 1742 C.E. Valdés
Murguía y Saldaña had not been allowed to publish news not
originating from the government.
De Gálvez took a census of coaches in Méjico City. At the time, there were 637. He also established
mutual aid societies for the indigenous population. Matías
also ordered the collection and preservation documents relevant to the history
of Nueva España. The Virrey
had intended these to be used as reference material for the proposed project, Historia
General de las Indias, which he had been working on earlier in Madrid and Sevilla.
In India, the signing of the Treaty of Paris of
1784 C.E. would also change things. It made Nagapatnam or Negapatam a British
colony. The island of Ceylon, which had been taken, was nominally returned.
Further, the British gained the right of free trade with part of the Dutch East
Also, by 1784 C.E., José de Gálvez y Gallardo
Marqués de Sonora implemented a uniform excise tax on the importation of
African slaves into the Indias.
In 1784 C.E., Padre
Serra, made one last tour of all the California misiónes. After that, he died and was buried at his request at the Misión
in the Sanctuary of the San Carlos
Church, next to his co-worker, Padre Juan
Crespí who had passed the previous year. Serra
was buried with full military honors.
lifelong dream was to do misiónero work.
At the age of 36, he joined a company of Franciscan monks headed to the Nuevo Mundo. The ship landed at the port city of Villa
Rica de la Vera Cruz. Serra then
walked from Veracruz to Méjico City.
When he was 54 years of age, he was appointed head
of the misiónes to be established in
Northern California. Reports by those
who knew Padre Serra, described him as
even-tempered, humble, kind, quiet, and temperate. Some say the Padre
had no enemies. He was also patiently devoted to the care of the Natives. It has
been said that this devotion that often put him at odds with some in the Spanish
government. Serra was to establish misiónes
in California and introduce Christianity to the Natives, baptizing some
6,000, about ten percent of the native population during his misiónero
Historians have estimated that Padre
Serra travels from misión
to misión amounted to more than 5,500
miles by foot. Initially, the Natives helped run the misiónes. The proposed plan was to have the Natives take over the misiónes
after ten years. During the last three years of his life, Serra
walked from San Diego to San
Francisco some 600 miles. He made this trek to visit the nine established misiónes.
He suffered intensely from the crippled leg and pains in his chest, but refused
The April 6, 1784 C.E. Indian Treaty of Mangalore
would restore Indian matters to the state they in which they existed before the
The formal ceremony transferring control of Florida
to the Españoles occurred July 12, 1784 C.E.
By October 1784 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez
was recalled from España to América to serve as Capitán
General and Gobernador of Cuba, Luisiana, and the Floridas.
This was just before Bernardo’s father’s death. Upon de Gálvez’s
return to Habana, he found Oliver Pollock had been imprisoned. De Gálvez
freed Pollock and ordered his property returned to him. As a further gesture to
promote good relations with the newly formed United States, de Gálvez
released all Américano sailors who had been imprisoned as smugglers.
The complexity in the governance of Cuba, Luisiana,
and the Floridas was no easy matter. Once in position, Bernardo de Gálvez
launched an investigation into the actions of Teniente Coronel Francisco
Bouligny, Acting Comandante Militar of the Provincia, and Alférez Real, Mario de
Reggio in the matter of the San Malo Trial which had been
conducted earlier under Acting Gobernador Estéban Rodríguez Miro
and Capitán General de Gálvez in Cuba.
Teniente Coronel Francisco Bouligny had pursued those responsible for the atrocities committed by the
savage Negroes (Runaway Slaves). Bouligny, also addressed their forming
large bands, found that they had founded a village which they called Gaillard,
and murdered five white men in an American launch who were residents of Bay St.
Louis. This was all conducted under orders of their savage chief “Señor
Malo” or Bad Man and his Teniente “El Caballero de la Hacha”
or Knight of the Hatchet. Additionally, the Negroes fired upon a detachment of
twenty creoles ordered by the Government to pursue them.
As a result, Señor Malo or Jean Saint Malo
was condemned to death by hanging, on charges of murder. Alcalde Mario de
Reggio carried out the execution on June 19, 1784 C.E., in front of St.
Louis Cathedral at what is now present-day Jackson Square, New Orleans.
ruled that Alférez Real, Mario de Reggio’s court was not
inferior to Acting Gobernador Miro’s. Alférez Real De Reggio
was found to have acted properly.
also told Acting Gobernador Estéban Rodríguez Miro that the Cabildo
had acted improperly toward the Reverend Fray Cirilo de Barcelona
over the church slave, Baptiste.
The Reverend Fray Cirilo de Barcelona had
earlier addressed a letter to the Cabildo protesting the arrest of one of
his servants, Baptiste, for being present at a crime committed by the Negroes
during the quelling of the aforementioned uprising of Savage Negroes. A heated
controversy later ensued resulting in the accusation that the priests had
refused spiritual consolation to the condemned men.
It was José
de Gálvez y Gallardo who had appointed Padre
Junípero Serra "Church President." When he died peacefully in
Carmel, California on August 28, 1784
C.E., España lost a great man and a
saint of the Church.
October 20, 1784 C.E., a very ill Matías
de Gálvez turned government functions over to the Audiència.
A month after Bernardo’s arrival at Cuba,
smallpox ravaged the Méjico City region. Matías de Gálvez y
Gallardo, Bernardo’s father, died in the City of Méjico, on
November 3, 1784 C.E. He had been active in mitigating the sufferings of the
poorer class. This was a great blow to the de Gálvez family. He left no
sealed instructions to be opened on the event of his death. Therefore, the Audiència turned over the administration of the Virreinato
to Vicente Herrera until the arrival of a new virrey.
As provided in his will, de Gálvez
wished for his funeral services be a simple affair. His remains were interred in
the church of the Apostolic College of San
Fernando. This was done with due regard for his rank and the services Matías had rendered Nueva
España. His son, Bernardo,
the Spanish gobernador of Luisiana was to succeed him as virrey.
Early in 1785 C.E., on the death of his father, Bernardo
was appointed Virrey of Nueva España.
That same year of 1785 C.E., George Washington,
recently "retired to the country life," wrote a friendly letter to
King Carlos III thanking him for a
recent gift. Washington knew that the King had been generous in his support of
the birth of the fledgling United States during its War for Independence. For at
least five years, España had sent
more supplies and money than had been requested to help the American Rebels
succeed in what must have appeared to be an impossible dream. Españoles,
men from the Ibéria Peninsula and
throughout the Américas fought and
died in that conflict.
As for Bernardo
de Gálvez, in 1785 C.E., that same year, he received another more,
well-known honor to Tejanos. A group
of Españoles, surveyors, landed on a Tejas
Island inhabited by the Karankawa Natives and named the bay and the island for de Gálvez.
In 1785 C.E., the American Congress cited Bernardo
de Gálvez for his aid during the Revolution.
In 1785 C.E., Oliver Pollock was released on
parole for debts he was unable to pay and returned to Philadelphia. There he met
a sympathetic Robert Morris, another financier of the war who had also incurred
debts as a result. Morris collected a sum of money to buy Pollock time from his
January 24, 1785 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez
was named interim Virrey of Nueva España, due to the diseases
suffered by father, Matiás.
February 4, 1785, Bernardo de Gálvez
arrived in Cuba and took office as Gobernador and Capitán General.
In this position as he had done in Luisiana, de Gálvez relied on
the local oligarchy. He then embarked on a ship bound for Veracruz.
By May 26, 1785 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez
arrived in Veracruz. Succeeding his father, Matías, Bernardo
officially took charge of the government on June 17th. De
Gálvez and his family moved to Méjico
City, which was still in the throes of famine and disease. The famine desolated
the province and an epidemic broke out in the following year. Like his father, Bernardo
became endeared to the people of Méjico
City by opening up not only the resources of the government but also his
personal fortune to help the populace through the difficult times. The Conde
did all in his power to alleviate the public sufferings, giving large
contributions from his private purse for the relief of the poor.
de Gálvez improved the working of the mines and augmenting the Corona
Española’s revenue from them. At the same time, he protected their owners
from the unjust exactions by the revenue officers. He also rebuilt the old
theatre and repaired the causeways of the Piedad
and Tlalpam. His two greatest achievements as virrey
were the start of the reconstruction of the Castle of Chapultepec, today a showplace for the Méjicano nation, and the completion of the Cathedral of Méjico,
the largest cathedral in the western hemisphere.
Bernardo de Gálvez made his formal entry into Méjico City in June 17, 1785 C.E.
was active in civic improvements. He immediately began the installation of
street lights in Méjico City, and the construction of the towers of the
cathedral. Don Bernardo continued work on the highway to Acapulco
and he took measures to reduce the abuse of Indian labor on the project. He also
dedicated 16% of the income from the lottery and other games of chance to
charity. Additionally, he promoted science in the area by sponsoring the
expedition of Martín Sessé y Lacasta. This expedition eventually sent
to España a comprehensive catalog of the diverse species of plants,
birds and fish found in Nueva España.
By 1785 C.E., José de Evia y Sus completed
a survey of the Gulf Coast later called the Reconocimientos Del Golfo De Méjico
1783 C.E.-1796 C.E. This was completed for the Gobernador of Nueva
España, Bernardo de Gálvez. It resulted in more accurate maps of
the region. The information was not published until 1799 C.E. as the Carta
Esferica que comprehende las costas del Seno Méjicano by the Deposito
Hidrografico de Marina of the Spanish Admiralty but was still a vast
improvement over previous maps.
At the expense of over $300,000, he also
constructed a palace for himself and his successors. It was on the site of the
ancient summer palace of the Moctezuma
II's, Chapultepec. He built it like a
strong fortress with bastions and heavy artillery. De Gálvez began
reconstruction Chapultepec Castle, which had been unoccupied. Virrey
Bernardo’s stately home was at the highest point of Chapultepec
Hill. Francisco Bambitelli, Teniente Coronel of the Spanish Army and
engineer drew up the blueprint and began the construction on August 16, 1785 C.E.
departure to La Habana, Cuba, Capitán Manuel Agustín Mascaró
took over the leadership of the project. During his tenure the works proceeded
at a rapid pace. Interestingly, Mascaró would later be accused of
building as a fortress-like structure with the intent of it being used for
rebellion against the Corona Española.
During Bernardo de Gálvez’s
administration two great calamities occurred. Firstly, there was the freeze of
August 27, 1785 C.E. This led to famine and the plague of 1786 C.E. During the
famine, he raised funds to buy maíz or maize and beans for the populace.
Don Bernardo also took measures to increase agricultural production in
the future. He introduced actions to reduce the abuse of Indian labor on various
Bernardo de Galvez also became concerned about popular reaction to the ideas found in
public entertainment. In 1786 C.E., he ordered the drafting of a regulation on
the theater which established censorship and banned all matters which could
cause scandals. The regulation remained valid until 1894 C.E.
In 1786 C.E., José de Gálvez y Gallardo Marqués
de Sonora instituted another major reorganization of the Spanish colonial
administration which introduced the Intendencias or intendancies
throughout most of the Américas.
Spanish Intendencias, as an institution were borrowed from France. They were
first introduced by the Secretarío del
Estado del Despacho Universal de Indias José de Gálvez, in the 1770s on a large scale in Nueva
España. He envisioned that they would completely
replace the Virreinato
system. They had broad powers over tax
collection and the public treasury and with a mandate to help foster economic
growth within their districts. Those in charge of a public administrative
office, intendente or intendants,
encroached on the traditional powers of virreyes,
gobernadores and local officials, such
as the corregidores. These were phased
out as Intendencias were established.
Also by 1786 C.E., José de Gálvez y Gallardo
Marqués de Sonora introduced the position of quartermaster, a methodology
of administrative employed in France. The position mitigated the interference of
Virreinatos and Audièncias in the areas of taxation and by
passing this responsibility from the hands of mayors and other officials
to professionals appointed directly by the Corona Española.
By 1786 C.E., a calamity of famine occurred in the
Méjico area due to poor harvests of maíz. There was also a
plague and epidemics which killed about three hundred thousand people. These
supposedly were the result of the freeze of August 27, 1785 C.E. During the
famine, Bernardo de Gálvez launched various measures to relieve the
hardship. He donated 12,000 pesos of his inheritance and raised 100,000 pesos
from other sources to buy maíz and beans for the populace.
That series of strange natural phenomena which
ruined the harvests, beginning what was called “the year of hunger,” left
the region pained and broken. De Gálvez used all the resources of the
colonial administration at his disposal to feed to the most populous Virreinato
of the Américas. Unfortunately, he did not hesitate to confront the
powerful landowners that they speculated on food prices and cornered the market
on foodstuffs. Bernardo had reminded them, in an order of October 11, 1785
C.E.: “These unhappy people, although poor, are that fattening the rich giving
with one hand what they receive with another, and are those that enrich the
realms with their people for the war, and with the contributions in their
had taken measures to increase agricultural production, however, the situation
only improved at the end of 1786 C.E., with the new harvest.
On one occasion, when the virrey was going
on horseback to meet with the Real Audiència (according to his
own report), he encountered a party of soldados escorting three criminals
to the gallows. He suspended the hanging, and later had the criminals freed.
The period during which de Gálvez was virrey
brought about notable changes. Some evolved from previous governmental measures.
During his tenure French cultural influence expanded as did and illumination
philosophical ideas. There was more interaction between the privileged social
classes and the commoner. He employed bullfights for entertainment, made
unprecedented walks through towns, held dances, and mingle personally with the
population. All of these earn him the favor of the masses. It was because of
these gestures toward the common people that he enjoyed great prestige among the
inhabitants of the Virreinato.
Bernardo de Gálvez’s military reputation, youth, charm, the beauty of his wife Felicité (Feliciana)
de Saint-Maxênt d'Estrehan y de Gálvez made him popular. According to
legend, he was simple, amiable, gallant, and frank. He traveled about the city
in an open, two-horse carriage, attended pilgrimages and public fiestas and was
generally greeted with applause. Their presence in the streets, at bullfights,
and at the theatre made him a very popular figure with the commoners. This was
not the case with the powerful landowners and the Audiència. Neither
group had a favorable view of the Virrey, de Gálvez.
The Audiència were deeply suspicious of de
Gálvez’s popularity. They feared that he would follow the American
Colonist’s freedom loving example. It was their belief that he would declare Nueva
España’s independence from España. The Audiència
shared their suspicions with those at the Corte Real Española in Madrid.
Those who shared these perceptions in Madrid were convinced of de Gálvez’s
disloyalty due to his good opinion of the Américano leadership. As a
result of these suspicions and accusations, the Corona Española severely
rebuked de Gálvez. Afterwards, he was said to have become melancholy and
In September 1786 C.E., Bernardo Vicente
Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde de Gálvezton and Conde de Gálvez
and hero of the American Revolutionary War fell ill. He was soon confined
to his bed. Bernardo’s performed his last official act on October 13th.
Dressed in full uniform, he gathered enough strength to receive religious
communion sacraments while standing.
Manuel Agustín Mascaró who had begun construction of a stately home for
Bernardo at the highest point of Chapultepec Hill, died suddenly
on November 8, 1786 C.E. The fact that Mascaró had been accused of
building the fortress-like home on Chapultepec Hill with the intent of it
being used for rebellion against the Corona Española caused some
suspicions to be circulated about his death. It fueled speculation that he was
poisoned. No evidence has yet been found which supports this claim.
Later, lacking a head engineer, the Corona Española
would order that the building be auctioned at a price equivalent to one-fifth of
the expenditures made thus far on the construction of the structure. After
finding no buyers, the Virrey Juan Vicente de Güemes Pachéco de
Padilla y Horcasitas (La Habana, 1740 C.E.-Madrid 1799 C.E.),
II Conde de Revilla Gigedo decided that the building should house the
General Archive of the Kingdom of the Nueva España. The idea didn’t
take hold, despite already having had the blueprints adapted for this purpose.
Later in 1803 C.E., Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich
Alexander von Humboldt (September 14, 1769 C.E.-May 6, 1859 C.E.) the famed
Prussian geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic
philosophy and science would visit the site. He was the younger brother of the
Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767 C.E.-1835
C.E.). During his visit, von Humboldt condemned the proposed sale of the
palace’s beautiful windows by the Royal Treasury. He felt that this was an
inappropriate way to raise funds for the Corona Española. The
building was finally purchased in 1806 C.E. by the municipal government of Méjico
On that same day, November 8, 1786 C.E., Bernardo
Vicente Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, the great Mariscal del campo and
Virrey transferred all of his governmental duties except that of the
captain generalship to the Audiència. There is some suspicion that his
fate was sealed, as had been Mascaró’s.
A short time later, after issuing a Testament, Bernardo
said goodbye to his family and died at 4:20 a.m. on the morning of November
30, 1786 C.E. He passed at the age 40 in Tacubaya or Tacubaza,
which is now a part of present-day Méjico City. His body was interred in
the cemetery of San Fernando, in the city proper. Rumor had it that Bernardo
was poisoned by his enemies with the approval of the Corte Real Española.
The Virrey left some writings, including Ordenanzas
para el Teatro de Comedias de Méjico and Instrución para el Buen Gobierno de
las Provincias Internas de la Nueva España.
and his wife, Feliciana had three children together. One was and Guadalupe
born at Méjico City, Nueva España on December 12, 1786 C.E. Guadalupe
de Gálvez did not reach adulthood. After Bernardo’s death, his
wife and children moved to Europe and lived out their lives in España
At this juncture, it is important to recap who
this remarkable man was. It is said that without his successes against the
British the American Revolutionary War may have been lost. As one can see by
reading the preceding chapters, the years before, during, and after his birth
were filled with global war and destruction.
Bernardo de Gálvez was
born in small village in Málaga, España
in 1746 C.E. He was called to Corte real
española at the age of 16 years (1762 C.E.) by his uncle José
de Gálvez y Gallardo, the minister while he was studying military sciences
at the Academia de Ávila. Still 16
years old, Bernardo participated in
the Spanish invasion of Portugal,
which stalled after the Españoles had
captured Almeida. During the conflict
he was promoted to teniente.
Sometime before the end of they year, Bernardo
first arrived at the Nuevo Mundo
in Nueva España (Méjico) in
1762 C.E. as a part of the entourage of his uncle, José, who was undertaking an inspection tour of the Virreinato.
De Gálvez was soon a capitán
fighting the Apaches with his Opata
By 1769 C.E., at 23 years of age Bernardo
had been commissioned to go to the northern frontier of Nueva
España, where he soon became comandante
militar in Nueva Vizcaya and Sonora.
He led several major expeditions against Apaches,
whose depredations seriously crippled the economy of the region.
During campaigns along the Pecos and Gila rivers in
1770 C.E.-1771 C.E., at the age of 26, he was wounded twice on October 11, 1771 C.E., while Bernardo
de Gálvez was in pursuit of a band of Apache.
He and his outnumbered 14 soldados
were defeated. He was gravely wounded, by an arrow in the left arm and spear in
The military experience he gained would prove
invaluable a few years later. The name Paso
de Gálvez was given to a crossing on the Pecos River where de Gálvez
led his troops to victory in a fight with the Apaches.
He would enter the regiment of Walloon Guards as cadete.
Wishing to perfect his capabilities in military science, at the age of 27, he
obtained leave of absence in 1772 C.E. and went to Pau, France. There he served
three years in the regiment of Cantabria
and was promoted Teniente.
In 1775 C.E., when King Carlos III declared war against Algiers, Bernardo returned to España
and served as Capitán in the
expedition of General O'Reilly. He
distinguished himself in several encounters with the Moros.
At 30 years of age, while fighting on the beaches de Galvez was wounded in a leg. Though injured, he resisted being
removed. After the unsuccessful expedition quickly failed, Bernardo returned to Cádiz. He rose to the rank of coronel,
and on his return in the same year was given the rank of General de brigada. In recompense Teniente Coronel de Gálvez
was attached to la Real Escuela Militar de
Ávila where he became a professor.
In 1776 C.E., he was transferred to
the faraway province of Spanish Luisiana
and promoted to Coronel of the Luisiana
Regiment. By 1777 C.E., he was Coronel
and Interim Gobernador of the Luisiana
province. At age 32, on January 1, 1777 C.E.,
he succeeded Luís de
Unzaga as Gobernador
From 1777 C.E.-1779 C.E., de Gálvez
supported the American cause for freedom by allowing the smuggling of
desperately needs arms, material, and money to the American Patriots.
During 1779 C.E., de Gálvez carried out a military campaign and defeated the British
colonial forces at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. He then was promoted to General
de. He also founded Gálvezton
that year. In addition, de Gálvez
promoted colonization of Nueva Ibéria. By
In 1780 C.E., de
Gálvez recaptured Mobile from the British at the Battle of Fort Charlotte.
On April 12, 1781 C.E. at age 36, de
Gálvez was wounded while on
reconnaissance of the British fortifications of Pensacola.
Battlefield command was formally transferred to Coronel
José de Ezpeleta, a personal friend of de
May 8, 1781 C.E. or May 9, 1781 C.E. a Spanish howitzer
shell aimed from information given by an American loyalist deserter
struck and blew up the powder magazine of the British Queen's Redoubt. The
battle had finally turned in Bernardo’s favor. The shelling had destroyed the position and
killed nearly a hundred British soldiers.
De Ezpeleta moved quickly to lead the light infantry in a charge to take the
devastated Fort. Spanish soldados
began to quickly occupy the wrecked Fort and the Españoles moved forward to take possession of the position. The
howitzers and cannons into it and soon had cannon in position to fire on
Fort George from short range. The Españoles
then began the heavy bombardment of Fort George. Later they opened
fire on another British fort. Pensacola's
defenders returned fired from Fort George, but were overwhelmed by the superior
Spanish firepower. In the fierce fighting that followed, de
Gálvez was wounded in the hand and stomach. Soon after being bandaged by
his surgeon he returned to the battle to rally his troops to victory.
Also in 1783 C.E., after returning to España,
Bernardo de Gálvez fought in the campaign in the Netherlands against the
British. Earlier, both España and the Netherlands (1780 C.E.) had joined
as allies of France against the British.
As one can easily see, Bernardo was a brave
and capable soldado.
By 1786 C.E., España
in particular, watched nervously as the other European powers eyed her North
American possessions. Minister of Interior, José
de Gálvez y Gallardo, was one of those high Spanish officials who
understood the threat. Bernardo’s
uncle, José, made sweeping changes in
colonial administration and set up a system of Intendencias modeled on the French governmental system. He was rewarded for his
services with the title Marqués de Sonora.
Additionally, in an effort to deal with the ongoing threats from Britain,
France, and Russia the entire Nueva España
northern frontier and bordering provinces were unified into a military command
under a Commandante General reporting directly to the King.
In the North American Continent’s northwestern
realm of Nueva España, unidentified borders with Britain became of great concern
to the Españoles. As a result, José
ordered the reorganization of military forces. José
also ordered the de Anza Expedition to
José additionally directed his
nephew, Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez
of Luisiana, to begin clandestine
assistance to the American Colonists.
Unfortunately, even with all of his power and
influence, José couldn’t help his
nephew, Bernardo. The de
Gálvez family had been too successful. Matías
now dead, was no longer a threat. José
was at the height of his power and perhaps untouchable. However, Bernardo was vulnerable. Earlier, Cristóbal Colón the "Admiral of the High Seas" had been
vulnerable. He had been stripped of his title of Virrey of the Indias based
upon allegations of his inability to properly administer the Nueva
España’s territories. Later, Hernán
Cortés, the conqueror of Méjico,
had also been brought down by the Corona
Española. Fearing it was losing its sovereignty over Nueva
España, it revoked Cortés’
title of gobernador in 1527 C.E. Cortés
was then replaced with a five person ruling council. So too, would Bernardo’s
enemies betray him at the Corte Real Española,
insinuating that he intended to declare himself independent of España.
It has been said that as the Corte Real Española and government began to manifest distrust, de
Gálvez became melancholy, arid, and reserved. He sought distraction in the
chase. As a consequence of violent overexertion he fell ill. He died after a few
days in the archiepiscopal palace of Tacubaya,
in the City of Méjico, on November
30, 1786 C.E. Only two years after his father’s untimely death, España had lost one of its great heroes. On December 12th, eight
days after his funeral, his widow gave birth to their third child, Guadalupe.
His body was buried next to his father's crypt in the wall of the Church of San Fernando. His heart was placed in an urn and reposed in the
Cathedral of Méjico.
There are some who believe that he was poisoned.
This they say was done to ensure that the hero and beloved Virrey of Nueva España
would not attempt to take the prize of España’s
Nuevo Mundo. After all, he had
powerful friends among the French Bourbon aristocracy. Bernardo was admired and respected by the Américanos who could easily become competitors for North America.
His soldados would follow him
anywhere. The ciudadanos of Nueva
España trusted and loved him. De Gálvez
was also feared for his genius and unquestioned military ability. No one will
ever know for certain. What is certain, his remains rest in the Church of San
Fernando, in the city of Méjico,
next to his father's ashes.
Here it should be said that Bernardo de Gálvez and
the government of España played an
important role in the independence of the United States. The Congress of the
United States of America has recognized this and has officially gave de
Gálvez, by unanimous vote, American citizenship on December 5, 2014 C.E.
The appointment of Bernardo de Gálvez as “Citizen Honorario” is one of the most
important titles of the country. It boast only seven other people. Thus, we add
his name to that of Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa of Calcutta or the General
La Fayette. Recognition, promoted for years by the city of Pensacola, and various associations, came just four days before the
portrait of the Spanish hero was hung at the Capitol. Finally, the agreed upon
Congressional resolution of 1783 C.E. was accomplished.
On Wednesday, September 9, 2015 C.E., his Majesty
the King Felipe VI received a
delegation of the Association Bernardo de
Gálvez y Gallardo, Conde de Gálvez.
His Majesty the King Felipe VI
received the delegation of that organization devoted to promotion of that
enigmatic figure of the 18th-Century C.E. He was a Spanish military officer of
great distinction renowned in the United States as a hero of that country’s
Independence. In fact, President Obama recently granted him honorary
citizenship, an honor which has only been bestowed on seven other people.
Both the president of the Association, Miguel
Ángel Gálvez, and Eva García
highlighted the support they have received from the Army and the Navy and the
importance of the exhibition organized by the Institute of Military History and
Culture which opened in December at Casa
de América, in Madrid. Mr. Gálvez referred to that support during this speech.
For his part, the King expressed his appreciation
for the work carried out by the Association, which was set up in 2008 C.E. He
also offered a brief overview of the figure of Teniente General Bernardo de Gálvez
and highlighted his importance at a time when he was preparing an official visit
to the United States which was to commemorate another milestone in the
Spanish-American relationship. This was the establishment by España
of the oldest inhabited town in the country, San
Agustín, over 450 years ago.
Most certainly after his Bernardo’s death, España’s
decline increased rapidly. In the end, the greater Spanish strategic vision of
regaining Florida and challenging the
British on all fronts was accomplished. The European threat was countered.
However, the challenge of unifying the northwestern frontier from the
Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean proved too great. The Native populations could
not be absorbed rapidly enough and be made to accept España’s culture. The result was a frontier largely uncontrolled
which demanded the continuing services of soldados
like my progenitors, the de Riberas. Nueva
España’s Northern reaches would eventually be taken by internal
revolution and later by outside conquest.
As for Oliver Pollock that great American patriot,
both Congress and the state of Virginia had continually refused to clear his
debts from the Revolutionary War, until 1791 C.E. when Congress passed an act
discharging them, but in the same year he would return in poverty to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
As for the British, they held world power for a
time. Everywhere the world was changing and it would eventually impact
Britain’s power and wealth.
The Haitian Revolution was an insurrection which
took place from 1791 C.E. until 1804 C.E. in the former French colony of Saint
Domingue. It had an impact on the institution of slavery throughout the
Americas. Slaves in collaboration with mulattoes freed themselves, fought to
keep their freedom, and founded the state of Haiti. The tenacity of the rebels
became a source of stories that shocked and frightened slave owners. Haiti would
be ruled by non-whites and former captives.
As a result, other rebellions broke out all over
Jamaica. It took months for peace to be restored. More than 60 Whites lost their
lives. Additionally, approximately 400 Black slaves died. This number included
two ring leaders who were burned alive. Two others were hung in iron cages at
the Kingston Parade, until they starved to death.
The Rebellion, like many other Atlantic slave
revolts was put down mercilessly. The Planters severely punished rebel slaves.
When other slaves learned of the revolt, it inspired unrest and disorder
throughout the island. It took local forces many years to reestablish order.
In April 1791 C.E., a large Black insurrection
against the plantation system turned violent. In cooperation with their former
mulatto rivals, blacks ended the Revolution in November 1803 C.E. when they
decidedly defeated the French army at the Battle of Vertières.
The Haitian Revolution is not known as a single
event. It is suggested that it was a number of conflicts that ended in a fragile
truce between mulattoes and blacks. Haiti became an independent country on
January 1, 1804 C.E. This occurred when the council of generals chose
Jean-Jacques Dessalines to assume the office of governor-general.
The new nation's objective was the permanent abolition of slavery in
To bring the point home about the British and
their lust for power and world domination, they continued their aggression well
after the American Revolutionary War was lost by them. On February 17, 1797
C.E., the Gobernador of Puerto
Rico, General de Brigada, Ramón
de Castro, learned that Britain had invaded the island of Trinidad. He
placed the local miquelets on alert to prepare the island's forts against any
military action. It was de Castro
belief that Puerto Rico was the next
British invasion objective. By April 17, 1797 C.E., British ships under the
command of Sir Ralph Abercromby approached the coastal town of Loíza,
which is east of San Juan.
On April 18, 1797 C.E., British soldiers
and German mercenaries or Hessians landed on the beach at Loíza.
The British ships were attacked with artillery and mortar fire from both El
Morro and the San Gerónimo
fortresses then under the command of Ramon
de Castro. The British twice tried to take a key passage to the San
Juan Islet, the Martín Peña Bridge. The fighting was fierce. The Spanish forces of
16,000 Puertorriqueño Spanish troops,
volunteers, and local miquelets
defeated the British during both attempts. The British had also attacked Aguadilla
and Punta Salinas. There, they were also defeated and the British troops
that landed on the island were taken prisoner. The invasion finally failed and
the British retreated back onto their ships on April 30th. By May 2nd, they
set sail northward. Gobernador Ramon de
Castro was promoted to Mariscal del
campo and several others promoted and given pay raises by King Carlos
IV as recognition for their victories.
By 1800 C.E., Oliver Pollack again found himself
in debt, but within a few years had accumulated property. Little is recorded of
the last twenty years of Oliver Pollack’s life, from 1803 C.E to 1823 C.E. He
ran for Congress in the district of his family home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
but was defeated. Pollock ran for Congress three times, but was never
elected, despite garnering the popular vote.
Oliver Pollock remarried in 1805 C.E., to Winifred
Deady; they had no children.
Oliver Pollack’s last petition to the
Legislature of Virginia drew the comment: “He is a public servant, whose
services, age, infirmities and misfortunes might be offered as sufficient causes
to ask even more than this…though not more meritorious ground of right.” He
spent the last nine years of his life, from 1814 C.E to 1823 C.E., in
Pinckneyville, Mississippi just over the state line from his Tunica Plantation
in Louisiana which he had been able to recoup from the possession of his
creditor Charles Trudeau. He was living with his daughter and son-in-law,
Dr. Samuel Robinson.
Oliver Pollack’s home at Tunica Plantation can
be found today at the intersection of the Old Tunica Road and the Angola Road
(now the Tunica Trace) rotting into the ground from neglect of a State and
Nation which have little regard for the contribution that this patriot made to
Oliver Pollock finally retired in 1819 C.E. to
Mississippi, where he stayed until his death.
It is this writer’s opinion that no one knew Bernardo
Vicente Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde or Viscount of Gálvezton and
Conde de Gálvez better than Oliver Pollock. Pollock had also been de
Gálvez’s Aide-de-Camp during many battles. He had been a close friend and
confidant of de Gálvez’s brother-in
law, Luís de
Unzaga when Gobernador of Luisiana, who Bernardo
replaced. Oliver also knew and worked closely with his life-long mentor,
Mariscal del campo Alejandro
O'Reilly, Gobernador and Capitán
General of Spanish Luisiana.
Here, I will only briefly deal with Méjico,
officially the United Mexican States. She was birthed in 1821 C.E. in
central Méjico, essentially Méjico City.
The new nation quickly moved to absorb the northern regions of what had been
parts of España’s Nueva España.
These were, to name a few areas Las California,
Tejas, Arizona, Colorado, and Nuevo Méjico.
These outlying areas were quite different from Méjico proper both culturally and governmentally. Families in these
areas had fought and died, explored and settled various regions of Nueva
España on their own. This was quite apart from those residents of Méjico
City proper. None the less, the United Mexican States forced its rule upon
the northern reaches of Nueva España and its peoples.
Méjico did little for these areas other than to expand
the existing Land Grant structure to the detriment of the local Criollos
in North America. The status of the Natives was changed on paper, but
remained almost unchanged. Land Grants were for the enrichment for those
favorites of the new state and their relatives coming from Méjico
proper. They were to be given the spoils of an easy conquest. The Criollos or Hispanos in
the outlying areas had little say in the matter. This love fest lasted only
until 1846 C.E., a mere twenty-five years, until the Américanos arrived.
Oliver Pollack died two years after the United
Mexican States seized control of these areas of Nueva España in 1823 C.E. His
grave is in the long lost Pinckneyville Episcopal Church cemetery. The
simple marker of the American Veteran can be found just over the state line on
the right-hand side of the road from his Tunica Plantation house in Mississippi.
After the American Revolution, Pollock wrote to
Congress: “It has not been my fortune to move on a splendid theatre where
the weary actor frequently finds in the applause of his audience new motives for
exertion. I dwelt in an obscure corner of the universe, alone and
unsupported. I have labored without ceasing; I have neglected the road to
affluence, I have exhausted my all and plunged myself deeply into debt to
support the cause of America in the hours of her distress and when those who
call themselves friends were daily deserting her. But these things I do not
boast of… What I do boast of is that I have a heart still ready to bear new
sufferings and to make new sacrifices…” As with de Gálvez, he was an enigma.
In 1846 C.E., the United States forced the lands
from Méjico. Once in control, they
evicted the Natives from their lands. The Américanos
then forced them onto reservations and incarcerated them there, thereby
excluding them from American society. If they chose to leave their areas of
enslavement, the Natives were simply hunted down and butchered by Américano
troops upholding Américano law.
As for the Criollos
or Hispanos, their lands were either
taken legally by laws meant to fleece them, or stolen by illegal means. Their
sin was to be Españoles, now
considered Méjicanos. Even worse,
they had lost the war. Criollos were
inconvenient political luggage which had to be hidden away. Their lot in life
was to become non-persons, living ghosts. Their European Spanish culture and
religion (Catholicism) were despised and treated as such. Without land or
wealth, they became the uncomfortable slave-class for the “Great Unwashed”
of America who ventured “West” to make a new life for themselves at the
expense of the non-persons, the Méjicanos.
Further, 20th Century C.E. English-speaking cinema
has played a great part in this deception. British and Anglo-American Anglophile
film actors, directors, producers, and writers have since the industry’s
inception been active participants in the creation of the negative image which
portrays España and her Españoles
as the killers of the Noble Savage and guilty of the Black Legend and its
excesses. In contrast, Britain is always portrayed as good, noble, and caring.
Yet the facts are clear. Britain was anything but noble. She was intent upon
taking what she wanted by hook or by crook. Her worldwide strategy was to use
any means possible for accomplishing the goal of world domination. Frankly, she
had no qualms about the race, ethnicity, religion, or nation status of her
victims. Any and all potential victims were welcomed to the fold and then
fleeced. These words may seem harsh, as they should. Unfortunately, this appears
to be the reality of man.
Evil wasn’t practiced only by these monarchies,
empires, and nation-states. It is a fact of life. Many have written that the
Greatest Ape, Man, takes what he wants, when he wants it. He does so no matter
the cost or the suffering of others. The reality of this view is that many times
for humans there is no moral right and wrong. Life and its consequences are just
what they are, outcomes. There is only the right of conquest and the plight of
conquered peoples. The cynics see laws as pretend things put in place by the
victors to make their actions less of a sin and more of a codified salve
to sooth the victor’s conscience. After all, it’s all legal, it
wasn’t theft or subjugation. It’s the old, “We won and the other fellow
And now a bit more background on Bernardo
de Gálvez’s progenitors, his immediate family, and Bernardo’s
family after his death.
Bernardo Vicente Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde or Viscount of
Gálvezton and Conde de Gálvez was born at Macharaviaya
Málaga, España on July 23, 1746
C.E. He died on November 30, 1786 C.E. He was the son of Matías and María Joséfa de
Madrid y Gallardo de Gálvez. Macharaviaya
is a small mountain village perched on the side of a low ridge whose period of
splendor came in the 18th and 19th-centuries C.E. as a result of the de
Gálvez family, who set up the Royal Playing Card Factory and an
agricultural bank (Banco Agrícola) in
Macharaviaya. During his lifetime his
family was one of the most distinguished in the royal service of España.
Following family tradition, Bernardo
chose a military career.
Bernardo was a distinguished Spanish military leader and
territorial administrator who served as gobernador
of Luisiana and Cuba, and later as Virrey
of Nueva España. De Gálvez also aided the Thirteen American Colonies in their quest
for independence by leading Spanish forces against Britain in that Revolutionary
War. He defeated the British at the Siege of Pensacola (1781 C.E.) and reconquering Florida for España. He
spent the last two years of his life as Virrey
of Nueva España, succeeding his
father Matías de Gálvez y Gallardo.
The city of Galveston, Tejas, was
named for him.
The name "Gálvez" has been viewed as having been derived from a
patronymic surname of Basque origin. Patronym, or patronymic, is a component of
a personal name based on the given name of one's father, grandfather, or an
even-earlier male ancestor. It is also a means of conveying lineage. In such
instances, a person is usually referred to by their given name, rather than
Gálvez is actually a contraction of the names Gonzálvez,
Gonzálvo which in turn is derived from the Germanic-derived Gundisalvo
which means “the spirit of combat.” What an appropriate name for the history
of the de Gálvez. They lived up to
In the 14th-Century C.E. it is mentioned that the
town where persons with the name Gálvez
resided was a place of hunting of bears and wild boars.
In a document from the end of the 15th-Century C.E.,
it indicates that the name was previously referred to as "Toledillo"
and only later Galbes or Gálvez. Gálvez is a
Spanish town in the province of Toledo,
in the autonomous community of Castilla-La
Mancha. This may be the result of towns with persons with the name Gálvez
having repopulated the area from Toledo
after the Reconquista of España.
Also, in the 15th-Century C.E., the name belonged
to don Pedro Suárez de Toledo,
founder of the mayorazgo de Gálvez,
passing into the hands of the House of Montalbán
in the 16th-Century C.E. What we know with greater certainty is the 17th-and
18th-Century C.E. de Gálvez
Don António Gálvez y
García (1690 C.E./1691 C.E.-1728 C.E.) was born on March
12, 1691 C.E. and was baptized in Macharaviaya
on March 17, 1691 C.E. He married Doña
Ana de Madrid de Cabrera y Gallardo on June 1, 1716 C.E. She was born June
6, 1699 C.E. and was baptized in Macharaviaya
on July 11, 1699 C.E. Don António
died on August 9, 1728 C.E. and Doña Ana
February 24, 1749 C.E. They had the following children:
1st child: Don Matías de Gálvez (1717 C.E.-1784
C.E.), was born July 24, 1717 C.E., and was baptized in the parish church of Macharaviaya
on July 29, 1717 C.E. On October 2, 1785 C.E. he married Doña Josefa de
Madrid (1724 C.E.-1750 C.E.), and they had son Don Bernardo de Gálvez
(1746 C.E.-1786 C.E.). He died on November 30, 1786, being virrey of the Nueva
2nd child: Don José de Gálvez (1720 C.E.-1787
C.E.) was born January 2, 1720 C.E. and was baptized on January 7, 1720 C.E. In
1765 C.E., he was appointed Visitador General of Nueva España.
In 1780 C.E., he was appointed Minister of State, and Secretary of State and the
Office Universal de Indias. He married
Doña María de la Concepción Valenzuela (sister of María de
el Carmen Valenzuela and sources, Condesa de la Puebla of the valleys).
In 1785 C.E., he received the title of Castilla de Marqués de Sonora which
his daughter Josefa María (1776 C.E.-1817 C.E.) inherited. He was also
appointed regidor perpetuo of Málaga. He died at the Royal Site
of Aranjuez on June 17, 1787 C.E.
His godfather, a neighbor, was José Gallardo,
perhaps a relative of the family. His initial interests, under the influence of
the bishop of Málaga, led José
to the seminary, but he soon eschewed a priestly calling. After completing a
degree in law, José gained
recognition as a successful attorney in Madrid.
On August 2, 1750 C.E., he married a French woman, Lucía Romet y Pichelin, his
first wife having died without issue.
José de Gálvez's legal
accomplishments won him a royal appointment on November 25, 1764 C.E., as a
civil and criminal justice (alcalde de
casa y corte) of Castilla. In that
capacity, he came to know the influential Conde
de Aranda and Conde de Campomanes.
After the Visitador General designate
of Nueva España died unexpectedly, in February 1765 C.E. José de Gálvez received that post as well as honorary membership
in the Council of the Indias. José
also became the Visitador General of
public finance in Nueva España.
General of public finance, José de Gálvez
spent six years in Nueva España (1765 C.E.-1771 C.E.). His
overarching powers were such that he could make recommendations on general
colonial policy and its reform-recommendations that could not be contravened
even by the virrey. Initially, de
Gálvez found himself at loggerheads with the Marqués
de Cruillas, who delayed reform for a time. But the recalcitrant virrey was replaced in 1766 C.E.by the more cooperative Marqués
de Croix. In the second half of his six-year sojourn, de
Gálvez turned his attention to the northern frontier of Nueva España.
His specific reform programs included overhauling revenue collection,
strengthening crown monopolies, and expelling the Jesuits from the Virreinato.
The Visitador General also initiated the permanent settlement of Alta
de Gálvez returned to España in 1772 C.E., he assumed various
responsibilities as an honorary member of the Council of the Indias
and performed special services for King Carlos
III. In 1776 C.E., Don José assumed
the prestigious post of Secretarío del
Estado del Despacho Universal de Indias, from which he could direct the Borbón reforms that affected the Spanish Empire from Argentina
to Tejas. Changes in Nueva España included establishment
of the Provincias Internas (1776 C.E.),
a huge, shifting governmental unit that included Tejas for the remainder of the Colonial Period. In the previous
year, de Gálvez married María
de la Concepción Valenzuela and from that union had had a sole heir, María
Throughout much of his adult life, it is believed
that José de Gálvez suffered from
serious mental illnesses. One attack supposedly left him incapacitated during
his visitation in Sonora (1769 C.E.-1770
C.E.). He died on June 17, 1787 C.E., of accidente, a term in that time for
self-destructive insanity. His distinguished family included an older brother, Matías
de Gálvez, who served as virrey
of Nueva España. There was also his famous nephew, Bernardo
de Gálvez, who was a military officer in Tejas, Gobernador of
Spanish Luisiana, and who succeeded
his father as virrey of Nueva España
in 1785 C.E.
3rd child: Don António de Gálvez was born
March 27, 1724 C.E. and died while a child.
4th child: Don Andrés Luís de Gálvez,
known as Miguel, was born November 30, 1725 C.E. and was christened on
December 1, 1725 C.E. He was Ambassador to Prussia, Minister of the Royal Board
of Post Office, Counsel General of the troop of the Royal House and Artillery,
General Superintendent of Penalties of Chamber of the Royal Treasury of war,
Knight of the Royal order of Carlos III, Regidor Perpetuo de Málaga,
and on the Supreme Council of War and Marina.
5th child: Don Miguel Joaquín de Gálvez
(1728 C.E.), also known as António, was born September 29, 1728 C.E. as
a posthumous son, born after the death of his father. He was baptized on October
5, 1728 C.E. The date and location of his death are unknown. He was Mariscal
del Campo of the Royal armies, and became Teniente Coronel and Comendador
of the Guard (stewardship) of the Bay of Cádiz. He married Mariana
de Velasco and had no offspring. But he was the father to an adopted
daughter, Rosalia de Gálvez.
In 1771 C.E., Don
Miguel de Gálvez, then being a candidate for royal favors, presented to the
King a certificate of genealogy over the signature of Ramón Zozo, King-At-Arms and Chronicler of Carlos III. This certificate, accompanied by eighty-nine
instruments, such as titles, decrees, royal orders, certificates of marriage,
and baptism purported to prove that Miguel
was sprung from four male lines of descent or Varonías, namely, those of Gálvez,
García, Madrid, and Cabreras. The
arms of the de Gálvez family at Macharaviaya
were reported to date from the historically unverified Battle of Clavijo,
in the year 834 C.E., when members of the family were reputed to have won a new
quartering for conspicuous bravery. It
was reported that the night before the battle, San Santiago appeared in a dream to the leader of the Spanish
forces, King Ramírez of Castilla,
and promised him a victory over the Moros
in the fields of Clavijo.
His were the parents of Don Gálvez and Doña
Ana de Madrid: or Don Francisco Gálvez y Rueda (1647
C.E.): Varonía Gálvez;
or Doña Elena García and Carbajal
(1652 C.E.): Varonía of García;
or Don Matías Gallardo Madrid (1665 C.E.):
Varonía of Madrid;
or Doña Catalina de Cabrera and jury (1667
C.E.): Varonía of Carbajal.
Each one of these is from a male line. It starts
four series of ancestors dating back several centuries:
or La Varonía of Gálvez: 7
generations, until the middle of the 15th-Century C.E.;
or García's Varonía: 8
generations, until the beginning of the 15th-Century C.E.;
or the Varonía of Madrid: 8
generations, until the beginning of the 15th-Century C.E.;
or La Varonía of Cabrera: 32
generations, until the end of the 7th-Century C.E.
1st) Don Antón de Gálvez (ca. 1470 C.E.),
was born in the villa of Santaella. It is a village located in the
province of Córdoba, España. He was one of the conquistadores
of the Moro Kingdom of Granada. He married Doña Luísa Gómez
Postigo (ca. 1475 C.E.). This was the branch of the de
Gálvez family which conquered the Moro
villa and castle at Santaella in 1240 C.E. The Reyes Católicos made this the family seat. In memory of this action
their apelli-daron is Gálvez del Postigo. From this marriage was born:
2nd) Don Alonso de Gálvez (ca. 1500 C.E.),
he was (natural) in the area of Santaella, where he was a Knight of
preeminence and Mayor by the noble status of the villa in 1572 C.E.
Alonso de Gálvez married Doña Leonor López (ca. 1505 C.E.). She
was a daughter of one of the noble families who settled in the Andalucía
after the conquista of Sevilla
3rd) Don Juan Gálvez el Bermejo (1526 C.E.),
was the son of a 3rd marriage. He was baptized in the villa
of Santaella on May 13, 1526 C.E. He married Doña García Rodríguez
(ca. 1528 C.E.), a descendant of the conquistadores
of Sevilla, and Baeza.
4th) Don Alonso de Gálvez (1542 C.E.) was
called el Bermejo, or the blonde one, by his father. He was
baptized in Santaella on December 15,
1542 C.E. Alonso was twenty-four years
of age (1566 C.E.) when he left home and went to war against the Moros
who rebelled in the Alpujarra, and other places of the Kingdom of Granada.
The Alpujarra is a natural and historical region in Andalucía, España,
on the south slopes of the Sierra Nevada and the adjacent valley. The Moro
inhabitants led successive revolts, in particular that which began in 1568 C.E.
It was a fierce struggle. The Españoles deployed large forces. The
revolts ended with the death of the last Moro leader in March 1571 C.E.
He and the other caballeros of Santaella left their homeland and went on to
serve under the orders of the Marqués de Vélez, Capitanía General of
the army of the King. Alonso inherited some houses along with and several
vineyards and fruit trees in the villa of Benaque. He was also
given estates in the end of the villa and Macharaviaya. Alonso was
awarded these for designated services. Possession of these was given by the
administrator of the Royal Treasury Diego Rabz on January 21, 1566 C.E.
He was resident of Macharaviaya in 1572 C.E. and alderman of Benaque
in 1582 C.E. Alonso married Doña Ana Fernández de Carbajal (ca.
1544 C.E.), daughter of the illustrious branch of that family, established in Úbeda,
when he was twenty-four. Son of Alonso
and Ana was:
5th) Don Diego de Gálvez (1571 C.E.) was
born in the expresada villa of Santaella. He was baptized on April
30, 1571 C.E. Don Diego later went to Macharaviaya and married his
cousin Doña María de Gálvez (ca. 1573 C.E.). She was the daughter of Francisco
de Gálvez e Inés de Flores and granddaughter of Antón de Gálvez
(natural) of Santaella, cousin of Don Alonso. Don Diego
became Mayor of Macharaviaya in 1612 C.E. He died in Macharaviaya
of the plague that took place at the beginning of the 17th-Century C.E. Most of
his family papers were lost when his home burned and his archives were
destroyed. From this marriage was born:
6th) Don Miguel de Gálvez (ca. 1610 C.E.)
married Doña Ana de Rueda Carbajal (ca. 1620 C.E.) in Macharaviaya
on January 5, 1642 C.E. She was the daughter of Mateo de Carbajal y Andrea
Pareja, who was a descendant of Rueda García, one of the
ganadores or winners of Vélez-Málaga.
7th) Don Francisco de Gálvez was born in
1647 C.E. and was baptized in the parish on May 5, 1647 C.E. He married Doña
Elena García de Carbajal (Born 1652 C.E.) on February 4, 1665 C.E. She was
the daughter of Inés de Carbajal, the daughter of Mateo de Carbajal
y Andrea Pareja. She was baptized in Benaque on May 5, 1652
C.E. The son of Don Francisco and Doña Elena was:
António de Gálvez, born 1691 C.E. He married Doña Ana Madrid y
Cabrera (1699 C.E.), they had a son Don Matías de Gálvez.
There are three de Gálvez that stand out
as having the most distinguished careers. The first who is considered the most
distinguished bearer of the de Gálvez name was Antón de Gálvez,
the second was Don José de Gálvez (1720 C.E.-1787 C.E.). The third and
perhaps the most well known of the three is Don Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid,
Vizconde de Gálvezton, and Conde de Gálvez (Macharaviaya, Málaga,
España July 23, 1746 C.E.-November
30, 1786 C.E.).
Antón de Gálvez had a notable part in the wars against the Moros which resulted
in the surrender of Granada in 1492 C.E. As stated earlier, their
Catholic Majesties granted to Antón the privilege of sepulture and a
permanent sitting in his parochial church, which are still conserved as the
right of the family. Antón was the common ancestor of various branches
of the de Gálvez family which became established in Andalucía.
From early times they were registered as hijosdalgo or nobleman and
occupied official positions fitting their stations.
Interestingly, the Holy Office of the Catholic
Church of España indentified the names of Gálvez and Gálves
as being Sephardic (Jewish) surnames.
(*) Name for which a coat of arms, crest or
history has been found.
Judia" ("Jewish Blood") by Pere Bonnin. A list of 3,500 names
used by Jews, or assigned to Jews by the Holy Office (la
Santo Oficio) of España. The list is a result of a census of Jewish
communities of España by the Catholic Church and as found in inquisition
Surnames were drawn from lists at a given point in
time by the Holy Office. These were from the censuses of the Jewish quarters and
other sources that indicate clearly that the person bearer of the surname was
Jewish or judeoconversa.
Sefaradi De Sobrenomes" or "Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames"
is a reference which provides thousand of Sephardic names of immigrants to
After Bernardo de Gálvez’s death:
death, his wife, Felicité (Feliciana),
moved to Europe and lived out her life in España and Italy.
Bernardo de Gálvez’s children with Felicité, Guadalupe de Gálvez, was born December 12, 1786 at Méjico
City, Nueva España. She did not reach adulthood.
Two of Bernardo
de Gálvez’s children with Felicité reached adulthood:
Doña María Matilde Galvez y Saint-Maxênt
(b. January 9, 1777), III Condesa de Gálvez and III Marquesa
Don Miguel Galvez y Saint-Maxênt (b. 1782), II Conde de Gálvez
Detail of the 1790 C.E. engraving:
Miguel de Gálvez y Saint-Maxênt
Adelaide d´Estrehan y Saint-Maxênt (half-sister): As stated earlier, she was
the child of Felicité’s first marriage.
Matilda de Gálvez y Saint-Maxênt
It has been said that Don Miguel, II Conde of Gálvez
considered himself to be French rather than Spanish. He had followed the flags
of King José (Joseph)
Bonaparte was born Giuseppe Buonaparte on January 7, 1768 C.E. He died on July
28, 1844 C.E. He was a French diplomat and nobleman, the elder brother of
Napoléon Bonaparte. Joseph was made him King of Naples and Sicily (1806 C.E.1808 C.E.),
and later King of España (1808 C.E.-1813
C.E.) as José I by Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (Emperor on May 18, 1804). After
the fall of Napoléon, Joseph styled himself Comte de Survilliers.
Miguel de Gálvez
was born in 1782 C.E. He inherited his
father’s title, Conde de
Gálvez and was a Knight of the order
of Calatrava. Miguel
became close to the Count of Cabarrus and French industry. Under the
influence of Count of Cabarrus, the Conde
de Gálvez put money in a
project to restore Carlos IV to the
throne of España which was then occupied by his son Fernando VII. He participated in this conspiracy while in previous
exile along with Godoy and the Conde
de Toreno. The conspiracy
was eventually foiled and Miguel was
subsequently forced to flee España.
Miguel’s farmhouse at Torremolinos
in the municipality on the Costa del
Sol on the Mediterranean, immediately to the west of the city of Málaga,
was seized by the Government. Doña de
Matilde, III Marquésa de la Sonora,
appeared in July 1817 C.E., calling for the administration of her assets and
those of her brother.
Don Miguel was exiled to Paris. Upon his arrival, he was
arrested. Miguel was finally pardoned.
He then returned to España from exile. As multiple trips had caused huge
losses, Don Miguel was forced to sell
his goods and properties out of sheer necessity. In 1821 C.E., the partitioning
of the inheritance of these two siblings was made through proxies. In one
correspondence to Lord Don António de Gálvez,
his uncle, Don Miguel warned him that
his goods and properties could be disposed of by his heirs in need, as stated in
a writing of 1822 C.E. Miguel de Gálvez then died childless in 1825 C.E. This left only
his aunts María Joséfa de Gálvez
and María Rosa de Gálvez as heirs,
both already dead.
His aunt, María
Joséfa de Gálvez y Valenzuela
was the daughter of Miguel’s uncle,
the Minister José de Gálvez, II Marqués
of Sonora and Lady of the order of Queen María Luísa. She was born in Madrid
in 1776 C.E., and died in the same city, in 1817 C.E. Her widower, the Conde
of Castro Area later
contracted a second marriage.
His other aunt, María Rosa de Gálvez y
Ramírez de Velasco was the adopted daughter (Supposedly his natural
daughter) of his other uncle, António de
Gálvez. She was born in Málaga
in 1768 C.E. She married her cousin José
Cabrera y Ramírez, and they had only one daughter, Mariana
de Cabrera y Gálvez, who died as
a child. María Rosa became a famous
playwright and poet. She died in Madrid
in 1806 C.E.
At the death of Miguel, his sister María Matilde
Gálvez y Saint-Maxênt, the Marquisate
of Sonora was made III Condesa Gálvez.
Doña Matilda was born in 1778 C.E. in
New Orleans. She married an Italian, Raimundo Capece Minutolo, the son of the
Prince of Canosa in 1795 C.E. He served in Madrid
in the Flamenco Company of the
King’s bodyguards and he would achieve the military officer level of Mariscal
From 1805 C.E., she and her husband, Raimundo left
to live in Naples after his resignation from his post in the Spanish army. His
reason given for leaving the post was to further his interests in Italy. Doña
Matilde died in 1839 C.E., during a trip to Málaga,
España. She had gone there to most probably stop the auction of
family assets which had been announced by a Spanish Corte real española, a year earlier in 1838 C.E.
The sale of a number of properties that belonged
to the de Gálvez family became
effective on December 2, 1838 C.E. A Madrid
newspaper published an auction order by the judge, Don Miguel María Durán, of goods for payment of creditors:
property named lagar de Linares or the
party of bells, at the end of the village of Almogía,
retasado was sold for 153,530 reales.
farmhouse named pillar, a property in Arraijanal,
a district of the City of Málaga,
España, near Torremolinos,
a municipality on the Costa del Sol on
the Mediterranean. It is immediately to the west of the City of Málaga,
in the province of Málaga. It was
valued at 76,350 reales.
farmhouse named cortijo de Gálvez in Rosas-Vélez,
near the village of Periana which is
located in the beautiful La Axarquía
region of Málaga, just a 40 minute
drive from the City of Málaga. The
farmhouse is also located close to La Viñuela
a municipality in the province of Málaga
in the autonomous community of Andalucía in
southern España, which is part of the
comarca of La Axarquía. It was valued at 69,930 reales.
garden named Los Ángeles or Don Matías, in the vicinity of Macharaviaya
and close to the Iberian Brook. It was valued at the amount of 34,187 reales.
House with an accessory portal sita on
the street of the wall of Santa Ana,
or alley in the irrigation channel of the City of Málaga,
number 33 of the 83, retasada Apple
Doña Matilde and Raimundo had three daughters Paulina,
Adelaide, and Clotilde. They all resided in Naples. The daughters sometimes used
the surname Capece Minutolo dalla Sonora
which combined one of the titles which their mother held (Marquisate of Sonora). The three daughters are remembered in Italy
for their extraordinary love of music.
Of the three daughters, Paulina, Adelaide, and
Clotilde only one married. This was Paulina Capece Minutolo, IV Marquis of Sonora
and Countess of Gálvez. She was born
in Vienna in 1803 C.E. Paulina married Francesco del Balzo, son of the Duke of
Caprigliano, who died in Naples in 1871 C.E.
Paulina’s marriage produced four children, only
two, Adelaide and Ernesto, reached adulthood.
His sister, Adelaida de el Balzo, Princesa de
Strongoli de iure VI Marquesa de la Sonora
y Condesa de Gálvez, was born in
Naples in 1843 C.E. She became a Lady of the Queen Margarita of Italy. She
married Ignacio Pignatelli, Prince of Strongli and Earl of Melissa a writer and
translator. The couple was considered very cultivated. Once widowed, Adelaida
devoted all her energy to the struggle for women’s education and equality. To
this end, she founded the Faculty of Education at a convent which later became
an innovative female secular school. The school’s objective was to train young
women to compete for parity with men and obtain full intellectual emancipation.
With the death of the Princess Adelaide in Naples 1932 C.E., the last known
descendant of the famous Bernardo Vicente
Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde or Viscount of Gálvezton and Conde de Gálvez
de Macharaviaya disappeared.
Life, history, and the story of a family have many
twists and turns. A family which won glory and honor soon after the founding of España
in 1492 C.E., held a title and privileges by virtue of loyal service to the Corona Española. By 1786 C.E., with the death of Bernardo
de Gálvez, the great soldado,
hero of the American Revolution, and administrator, the title, “Conde
de Gálvez,” passed to his son, Miguel.
Later, the title would be passed down within the extended family until 1932 C.E.,
when there were no more heirs to receive it. This remained so until, 1955 C.E.
Luís Alarcón de la Lastra,
Marquis of Rende and Conde
de Gálvez (November 24, 1891 C.E.-November 19, 1971 C.E., Sevilla)
was a soldado, businessman and Spanish
politician, General of the artillery
Division, Member of the Republican courts, Minister of industry and Commerce
during the second Government of Franco,
and Procurator of the Francoist Cortés.
Luís requested the title of Conde
Gálvez’s rehabilitation as stated in the official bulletin of the State
no. 48 of February 17, 1950 C.E. He finally obtained the title of Conde
de Gálvez five years later, rehabilitation as stated. Luís Alarcón de la Lastra
Marquis de Rende became the 7th Earl of Gálvez.
The life of Bernardo
Vicente Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde de Gálvezton and Conde de Gálvez’s
had meaning. A person’s life is more than a title or many titles. The sum of
it cannot be judged by battles won or raises in military rank. The true measure
of a man’s life is that which is left behind. It is those things which he
demonstrated loyalty, honor, valor, and courage that contributed to the
well-being of so many others. These had true meaning.
España, the Nuevo
Mundo, Nueva España, and the United States of American and its people are better
off as a result of this man and his family. His life was what dreams are made
of. Position, power, and prestige, earned and given, changed him little. Bernardo
de Gálvez wore them well. At each juncture which he came to in life, these
were only accoutrements. From cadete
to Mariscal del Campo, these
were only military ranks. From lowest to highest, he mastered them. As Gobernador
of Spanish Luisiana or Virrey of Nueva España,
Bernardo remembered his duty to king and country and the responsibility to
care for the ciudadanos.
Timendi causa est nescire,
should always be remembered when attempting to understand that it was the
ignorance of the Corte real española that
caused fear of him. In Bernardo’s
case, Forest fortuna adiuvat did not apply. No matter how brave, he most
probably died by the hands of cowards. If so, fortune did not smile upon this
great hero, though history has.
03/25/2017 01:39 PM