About US





Contact US

Spanish Presence in the Americas' Roots
Co-chair: Judge Edward Butler and Mimi Lozano

SPAR is a collaborative effort to approach the goal of increased visibility for the Spanish Presence in Americas Roots. SPAR will develop, support, and encourage the efforts of many stand-alone, independent projects, and publicize any organizations and events which promotes and bring awareness of the historic Spanish presence in the United States. 
SPAR Vision Statement: Exclusion of the history of the Spanish presence has led to general public confusion.  Confusion leads to tension, which as an unresolved issue leads to bitterness and anger.  We cannot change history; however, we can learn from it.  We can acknowledge the benefits in social progress and scientific discoveries which diverse cultures have contributed to the United States. We can gratefully go forward, learning, sharing and growing in our humanity towards each other. 

SPAR Mission Statement:  Through the promotion, hosting, and participation in a variety of projects, will inform and educate the general public with fact-based history of the Spanish contributions to the development of the Americas. 

SPAR Values Statement: We intend to share the history of the Spanish presence in the Americas to increase national unity in the United States, and to increase international understanding of the valuable contributions of the Spanish in the Americas.  




Battle of the Bay of San Diego 

Letty and Ed's upcoming presentations

Heritage museum presentations

Joe Perez







The effort to recognize the Spanish presence in the development and growth of the United States is not new.  Many historians, educators, groups, events, books, and museums have contributed to include within the history of the United States, the complex story of the Spanish colonizers, who prepared the Americas for the many nations which followed them.   The clashes, collisions, and eventual assimilation of the Spanish with the varied racial and tribal groups created a people, struggling to identify, who they are.   

Unfortunately, the very accommodating nature that helped our ancestors, by marrying into and with other social groups, it has made the Hispanic/Mexican/Latino a difficult to a identify a unifying Spanish heritage.  Who are we?  We divide ourselves into regional groups by colonial history, such as New Mexicans, Californianos, Tejanos, etc. or by later history, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Chilean, etc. we look at differences among ourselves, instead of cultural similarities.  Those 500 years of our ancestral presence in the Americas, is further complicated with the more recent history of the last 100 years. 

The pervasive Black Legend against the Spanish is not a theory, it has been active since the 1500s,  intended to  demean the historic Spanish contributions, blaming most of the bad in the colonial period, and a huge proportion of current social ills to minorities, especially foreign-speaking Latinos. It is a situation which by excluding the earliest Spanish contributions, distorts the reason for the reality of the huge Spanish heritage growing population in the lands that their indigenous and Spanish ancestors together transformed. 






=========================================== =========================================
Casas de España

Casa de España, San Diego 
Maria Angelines O'Donnell Olson 

http://www.nonprofitfacts.com/CA/Casa-De-Espana-En- San-Diego.html
========================================= =========================================
Granaderos y Damas de San Antonio
Joe Perez
========================================= =========================================
Presidio San Agustin del Tucson
Monica Smith
196 N. Court Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701
========================================= =========================================
Rancho del Sueño 
Robin Collins 
========================================= =========================================
Society of Hispanic Historical & Ancestral Research   ~  Leticia Pena Rodella http://shhar.net/ 
========================================= =========================================
Chapters: of the 
Sons of the American Revolution, 
Judge Edward F, Butler  
San Antonio SAR: www.sarsat.org
National SAR: www.sar.org.
Texas Genealogicdal College:  www.texasgenealogicalcollege.com
========================================= =========================================
Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association, TCARA  
Jack Cowan 
========================================= =========================================
========================================= =========================================
========================================= =========================================
========================================= =========================================
========================================= =========================================
========================================= =========================================

 We welcome your involvement
God bless America

Mimi Lozano   P.O. Box 415   Midway City, CA    92655-0490
mimilozano@aol.com    714-894-8161




Societies sharing the Spanish culture and heritage hosts events  
with public participation. 






   Granaderos  http://www.granaderos.org/ 

 San Agustin 
del Tucson






Rancho Del Sueno
40222 Millstream Lane
Madera, CA 93636




Society  of Hispanic Historical & Ancestral Research   www.SHHAR.NET 
Leticia Pena Rodella







TACARA    http://www.tcara.net/ 



Through twelve collaborative projects, we will share the Spanish contributions in the development of the Americas to increase international understanding and national unity.

Please click for more information on any of the projects.

1) 250th Quarter-Millennial Anniversary of the American Revolutionary  War:
GOAL: prepare for and participate in a grand celebration of this pivotal historical event.
April 19, 2014 (Patriot's Day) will be the 250 anniversary of the founding of the United States. 

========================================= =========================================
2) Books and Research, factual data which reveals an honest assessment of the Spanish in the history of the United States and globally.

3) Website: educational and promotional of all activities by SPAR and other groups promoting the concept.

4) Speakers & Power Point Presentations: share SPAR mission in the community.

5) Exhibit: supplement and highlight Spanish contributions  
6) Classroom Lessons: integrative with and supportive of  Presentations and Exhibit.

7) Annual Student Contests: collaboration with the Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution  focused on the Spanish leadership supporting the American Revolution.  

8) Revolutionary War Commemorative Comic books: series regarding the Spanish
involvement in and contributions to the American Revolution.
9) Living History Museum: Rancho Sueno, promote the Heritage Discovery Center in Madera, a California mission period ranch, home to a herd with DNA traceable to the first Spanish horses in the Americas 

10) Documentary: 6-part series on the Spanish presence and contributions in America.
11) Galvez Opera:  based on the life of General Bernardo de Galvez
12) Galvez Movie: the life of General Bernardo de Galvez, based on the book and research of  Judge Edward Butler on the heroic contributions of  Spanish General Galvez to the American Revolution. 






in these boxed gray dividers

250th Quarter-Millennial Anniversary 
of the American Revolutionary  War

Ideas for Celebrating the 250th Quarter-Millennial Anniversary on April 19, 2024

Ideas for Celebrating 

The celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolutionary War should be well planned and orchestrated.  The following are just a few suggestions to prompt discussion:


ü  Work with the US Post Office to promote a series of Rev. War era commemorative stamps.

ü  Work with the US Mint to promote a series of Rev. War era commemorative coins and bills.

ü  Design a commemorative SAR medal for those who are members during the celebration, and a special medal for color guardsmen who participate.

ü  Ask radio stations, middle schools, and high schools to participate by playing “Keyholes to History” one day each week for a year

ü  Design a video version of “Keyholes to History”, and ask TV stations, movie theaters, cable TV, and hotel chains to participate.

ü  Ask the History Channel to create a new Rev. War television series, and seek PSAs from them

ü  Ask the France Society to schedule Congresses in France at the beginning and end of the celebration.  Ask Spanish Society to do the same.

ü  Create a line of commemorative gifts to sell online and in our gift shop.

ü  Promote NSSAR historical seminars in major cities around the country.  Have them videotaped, and sell the videos.

ü  Prepare a series of appropriate news releases and PSAs.

ü  Lobby Congress to establish a Commission for the celebration of the 250th anniversary, with appropriate representation by the NSSAR; ask for a budget for the operation of the commission; and ask Congress to pass a special Resolution for SAR’s celebration.

ü  Ask each state to pass a special Resolution.

ü  Create a special SAR logo for the celebration.

ü  Create a pictorial history of the American Rev. War coffee table book.

ü  Create a pictorial history of the SAR coffee table book.

ü  Obtain substantial grants to fund awards for “Best History Books” for each major battle, biographies of civic and military figures, French participants, Spanish participants, naval battles, Treaty of Paris, etc.

ü  Obtain substantial grants to fund awards for similar articles.

ü  Seek grants to sponsor cash awards for best oil paintings, water colors, etc. of Rev. War events.

ü  Buy paid advertising on radio, television, magazines and newspapers, and promote the celebration online.

ü  Publish a “SAR Concise History of the American Rev. War”.

ü  Devise a better way to obtain greater participation in our Youth Oration and Youth Essay Contests, e.g. cash awards to the teachers and principals of the winners.

ü  Recognize Congressional and state legislative leaders with a special SAR medal.

ü  Ask the DAR, other lineage groups; the American Legion, VFW, and other military groups to partner with us for advertising.

ü  Set up Special Web SAR 250th Web site

ü  SAR Museum Board to plan traveling exhibits

ü  Ask Smithsonian to plan traveling exhibits

ü  Ask National Archives to plan traveling exhibits

ü  Seek from Congress:

o   Budget through an appropriations bill
Advertising (TV, Radio, Newspaper)
Advertising – printing brochures, pamphlets & flyers
Postage and stationary
Rent, utilities and maintenance of office in DC
Staff Payroll & expenses
    §  Travel
    §  Telephone & office equipment

Award Money 
        ·         Best Novel, Non-fiction books
        ·         Best childrens’ book
        ·         Best Magazine Article
        ·         Best Movie
        ·         Best Documentary
        ·         Best new song
        ·         Best oil painting/water color/mixed media
        ·         250th logo

o   Proclamations
o   Official Calendar of Official Events
Use of Government Printing Office

ü  Seek official labels for all Government correspondence

ü  Ask Cities and States to 
make special 250th license plates
issue proclamations|
o   plan events – concerts, parades, fairs
promote literary & artistic contests

ü  Work with Army, Navy, AF, Marine Corp and Coast Guard 
Band concerts
Drill teams, tatoos
Blue Angles flyovers



Commission a special SAR medal to commemorate the celebration. 
Seek grants to print and distribute a concise Rev. War history pamphlet for schools.
Special SAR Congress in Washington , DC

Paid advertising in Souvenir Program
List of PGs with small photos.
List of Minutemen 
Presidents of the US members
Medal of Honor Members
Other Distinguished Members
Recipients of Gold Good Citizenship Medals
Recipients of the International Medal
Recipients of the Patriotic Leadership Award.
George Washington Ring Ceremony.
Info about tours including Post meeting cruise/tour

            Marine Corps Drill Ceremony at Marine Corps Barracks
Patriotic Concert by one of the military bands in DC
Fireworks display
Tours with SAR wreath laying/plaque ceremonies:    
Mt. Vernon |  White House  |  Capital  |  Jefferson Memorial  | Washington  Monument

            SAR Rev. War Display at Smithsonian Museum
Dedicate monument to King Carlos, III, & Gen. Bernardo Galvez (map of battles)
Congressional Reception – Award Medals to Congressmen
Tour of DAR HQ & Library & Banquet honoring DAR – Award Medals
Reception honoring our military leaders – Award Medals
Conference on the American Rev. War
Genealogy Seminar –  
Book Fair at which Awards will be presented to outstanding authors.
            Awards Banquet for Gold Good Citizenship, International Medal, M. Washington Medal, etc. –
                       Obtain famous key note speaker.

Post meeting historical cruise or tour.
Congress in Paris & Madrid
Ask Governors and Mayors to issue Proclamations

========================================= =========================================

Include George Washington’s 300th birthday on Feb. 22, 2032.

========================================= =========================================

Edward F, Butler , Sr., TXSSAR   Chairman
Hon, David Walker, CTSSAR    Vice Chairman
Larry McClanahan Senior Advisor

 Mike Jones, AZSSARJohn Wallace, ALSSAR
Larry Magerkurth, CASSAR
Steve Leishman, DESSAR
Tim Bennett, DCSSAR
Ralph Nelson, FLSSAR
Compte Jacques de Trentian, FRSSAR
Mike Tomme, GASSAR
Karl Reed, ILSSAR
Rex Legler, INSSAR
David Sympson, KYSSAR
CAPT Duane Tackitt, MDSSAR


Lou Hoos, MGSSAR
John Taylor, MSSSAR
Russ De Venney, MOSSAR
Rt. Rev. Lou Carlson, MXSSAR
Jack Manning, NHSSAR
Col. Peter Goebel, ESSSAR
Sam Powell, NCSSAR
Zach Hoon, OHSSAR
Peter Keltch, OKSSAR
Lanny Patten, PASSAR
Peter Baron, TXSSAR
Tom Lawrence, TXSSAR
Joe Dooley, VASSAR
Richard Brockway, WVSSAR


Promotion of all activities by SPAR 
and other groups promoting the concept. 





Speakers & Power Point Presentations
Share SPAR mission in the community.




Supplement and highlight the Spanish contributions




Classroom Lessons:  
integrative with and supportive of Presentations and Exhibit.





Annual Student Contests
Collaboration with the Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution
focused on the Spanish leadership supporting the American Revolution




Revolutionary War Commemorative Comic books
Series regarding the heroes in the Spanish involvement in the American Revolution.




Living History Museum: Rancho Sueño
promote the Heritage Discovery Center in Madera, a California mission period ranch, home to a herd with DNA traceable to the first Spanish horses in the Americas



6-part series on the Spanish presence & contributions in America.



Galvez Opera
Based on the life of General Bernardo de Galvez



Galvez Movie
Based on the life of General Bernardo de Galvez

Project Initiation White Paper for the Bernardo de Gálvez Film Project


Project Initiation White Paper for the Bernardo de Gálvez Film Project  


The purpose of this internal “Project Initiation White Paper” for the Bernardo de Gálvez and the American Revolutionary War Feature Film Project is to answer the all important question, why would anyone or any group initiate such a project? Why would someone produce a feature film on the life Bernardo De Gálvez and? Who would be the intended audiences for these and, why?  

Therefore, the starting point for the Project is the idea or reasoning behind why this Project should come into existence. To answer this, we must explore the major goal that has caused this project to commence. The reason for creating this committee is for the purpose of informing the world about the man, what it was he did, who he did it for, why what he did was important, and why it is important to us today.

 What it was he did  

Citizens of the United States of America and many in other countries have only just recently awoken to the contributions made by Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gálvez before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War for independence. His belief in the greater meaning of democracy and freedom joined him to the American cause against the British. Destiny had prepared him from an early age to lead, command, and inspire the many that shared his dream of a free America. Indeed de Gálvez was the right man, at the right place, at the right time to stand, fight for, and defend the emerging American nation against the most powerful empire of his time, Great Britain  

Those who fought alongside him on behalf of the American dream for freedom the Blacks, Native-Americans, Hispanics of the Western Hemisphere, non-British immigrants to North America, and those multi-ethnic army and navy members from the greater Spanish Empire gave their all to make America a reality. Then there were those allied nations France, Holland, Spain, Sweden, and others that fought or assisted in some way in this “world war” being waged against British tyranny. Without these countries and their commitment to the fledgling American nation there would be no America today.  

It is this man, Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, his army and naval forces comprised of multi-ethnic and multinational freedom fighters and those allied nations that fought against and overcame the tyranny of the British Empire, that inspire all freedom loving people today. Their honor, duty, courage, and patriotism ring as true in the 21st Century C.E. as they did when these men gave their blood, lives, and treasure for an America which was not yet realized.  

It is because of these men and nations and their support in that Revolutionary War that the Americans survived to create the greatest free nation the world has ever seen.  The Americans carried on these traditions of honor, duty, courage, and patriotism in defending their country.  And when called upon by other freedom loving men and women of the world, the Americans answered gladly giving their honor, blood, and lives in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and other wars.

This book, “Gálvez” by Judge Ed Butler offers the reader a passionate view of de Gálvez, a man of honor, and what his deeds meant to the American struggle. Judge Butler does so by placing de Gálvez within the context of a great world war, with all of its international intrigues and complexity. Within its tightly written narrative we find the courageous and wily Americans Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Deane, Pollock, and others plotting and planning with the representatives of the allied nations against their common enemy, the British. And when necessary the Americans are seen cajoling their way to independence against unimaginable odds. The story unfolds as a sweeping panorama of national struggles, historical events, and war with all of its glory and loss of life.  

Judge Butler then brings the reader to find a thankful, grateful American nation with its military leader, Washington, walking in a 4th of July 1783 C.E., Victory Parade at Philadelphia with de Gálvez honoring the Spanish General’s efforts on the part of American independence.  

The man  

De Gálvez was born into a most distinguished family of lower nobility on July 23, 1746 C.E., in the town of Macharaviaya, Málaga, España. The family’s wish was to serve España. Choosing a military career, he studied at the Academia de Ávila, España in the area of military sciences. In 1762 C.E., at the age of sixteen, Bernardo was made a cadet in the Walloon Guards, bodyguards of the Borbón or Bourbon kings of España. While still sixteen, De Gálvez enlisted as a volunteer in a war against Portugal commanded by the Conde de Aranda or Count of Aranda and became a lieutenant in the infantry. It resulted in Almeida a fortified village becoming a part of España.  The city was taken on August 25th. Today, Almeida is a municipality in the sub-region of Beira Interior Norte and the District of Guarda, Portugal. During the next three years (1763 C.E.-1765 C.E.), he served in France until he was nineteen as a subaltern in the Regiment of Cantabria.  Later, he was promoted to captain in the Regiment of La Coruña.  

In 1765 C.E., he travelled for the first time to Méjico (Mexico) City, the Viceroyalty of New Spain or Virreinato de Nueva España, as part of the entourage of his uncle, José de Gálvez, who was undertaking an inspection tour of Nueva España.  

In 1768 C.E., de Galvez travelled once again to Nueva España with his uncle, José de Gálvez.  

By 1769 C.E., he was commissioned by Viceroy or Virrey Teodoro de Croix to go to the northern frontier of Nueva España, where he soon became commandant of military forces in Nueva Vizcaya and Sonora. As a captain, he led several major expeditions against Apaches using his Opata Indian allies.  

During campaigns along the Pecos and Gila rivers in 1770 C.E.-1771 C.E., he was wounded twice but gained military experience that proved 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 battle with the Apaches.  

In 1771 C.E., de Gálvez returned to España and spent the next three years (1771 C.E.-1773 C.E.) in France where he enrolled in the Regiment of Cantabria to further perfect his knowledge of military science, learn the French language, and immerse himself in the culture.  

After his return to España, he was assigned to the Regiment of Sevilla.  

As captain of infantry under Alejandro 0'Reilly, he participated in a failed attack on the African port city of Algiers suffering another wound in 1775 C.E. After capturing the fortress that guarded the city, as a reward for service, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and attached to the Military School of Ávila as a professor.  

By 1776 C.E., he was transferred to the province of Spanish Luisiana or Louisiana at barely thirty years of age and was promoted to colonel of the Luisiana Regiment. On January 1, 1777 C.E., he succeeded Luís de Unzaga as Gobernador or Governor of Luisiana.  

While Gobernador of Luisiana, de Gálvez a single young man met and married María Feliciana de St. Maxent, a young widow.  Bernardo adopted the daughter of Feliciana, Adelaida, and within the next few years they had their own children, Matilde (1780 C.E.) and Miguel (1782 C.E.). Another child, Guadalupe, was born to them in Méjico City on December 12, 1786 C.E., twelve days after Bernardo’s death.  

Before España entered the American Revolutionary War on June 21, 1779 C.E., de Gálvez did much to aid the American patriots. He corresponded directly with Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Henry Lee helping to keep their hopes of freedom alive. De Gálvez also personally received their emissaries, Oliver Pollock and Captain George Gibson and responded to their requests by securing the port of New Orleans so that only American, Spanish, and French ships could move up and down the Mississippi River creating a lifeline for the Americans. His efforts supplied them with large amounts of arms, ammunition, military supplies, and money. These were delivered to the embattled George Washington and George Rogers Clark.  

Once España declared war against Great Britain, King Carlos III commissioned de Gálvez to raise a military force and conduct campaigns against the British along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. By the fall of 1779 C.E., de Gálvez took to the field with 1,400 men and defeated the British in battles at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. With a land force of more than 2,000 men and a strong sea force de Gálvez captured the British stronghold of Fort Charlotte at Mobile after a month-long siege, on March 14, 1780 C.E.  

The following year, brought the climax of the Gulf Coast campaign. This occurred when de Gálvez directed a joint land-sea attack on the British capital of West Florida at Pensacola. He commanded more than 7,000 troops during the engagement and two-month siege before the capture of Fort George at Pensacola on May 10, 1781 C.E. By May 8, 1782 C.E., de Gálvez’s Spanish forces captured the British naval base at New Providence in the Bahamas. It was while he was preparing for a grand campaign against Jamaica that peace negotiations ended the war. After fighting had ceased, de Gálvez assisted in the drafting of the terms of The Paris Peace Treaty that would end the war. The American Congress would soon cite him for his aid during the conflict.  

In April of 1783 C.E., after the peace accords had been concluded General de Gálvez accompanied by his wife and infant children on a return to España for a needed rest. The following year, in October 1784 C.E., he was recalled to America to serve as captain-general and gobernador of Cuba. By early 1785 C.E., he was appointed virrey of Nueva España to succeed his father, who had died on November 3, 1784 C.E. De Gálvez and his family moved to Méjico City, the region was then in the throes of both famine and epidemic. By bringing to bear Nueva España’s resources and his own personal fortune de Gálvez gave the exhausted populace hope through this difficult time. These acts of kindness and support endeared him to the people of Méjico City.  

There are two acknowledged major in achievements of his while virrey of Nueva España. These were the beginning of reconstruction on the Castle of Chapultepec and the completion of the Cathedral of Méjico, the largest cathedral in the western hemisphere.  

Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gálvez was a larger than life heroic figure. He was a husband and father, a patriot, a soldier, an officer, a professor, a diplomat, a gobernador, a Virrey, and friend of the American Revolution and the American people. He died of an illness on November 30, 1786 C.E., at the age of forty. 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. On December 12th, eight days after his funeral, his widow gave birth to their fourth child, Guadalupe.  

Above all of these things he was a man of honor. He served his king and country honorably, to the best of his ability, and with little concern for his own safety. While doing his duty, he came to understand and appreciate the importance of the American cause for freedom. Call him an adherent to the enlightenment movement if you wish, but he was also a lover of his fellow man and did what he could to help them. In the Americans, he saw something special, a light that shined from within.  To these revolutionaries freedom was more than a word it was a passion to be fought for and if necessary to die for.  

What it was he did 

Even before the Americans announced their independence, he worked with these Americans to provide the resources necessary for them to continue their fight. He allowed the revolutionists to use Spanish territory and waterways to supply and resupply their forces. This he did because he believed in their cause.  

Who he did it for 

Before and after the Americans announced their intent to become an independent nation, he worked diligently to support their war efforts. Through España, he provided these Americans with money, armaments, supplies, food, and credits on a continual basis. If that wasn’t enough, de Gálvez provided them valuable intelligence with which to defeat their enemy, the British. Finally, once España declared and entered the war on the side of the Americans he led army and naval elements of France, España, and the Americans in battle wining decisively against the British. His will, military ability, and daring in the southern portions of the North American Continent made American victory possible in the northern parts of the fledgling nation.  

Why what he did was important  

Bernardo de Gálvez was the right man, in the right place, at the right time which destiny had placed squarely on the side of the Americans. His support and efforts gave them hope and strength against the most powerful army and navy on the planet at that time, the British. The Americans had a dream of freedom and liberty of citizenship. The British crown saw them only as subjects, to be commanded. When their needs were the greatest and their cause seemed almost lost, he was there. When Washington had arrived at his moment of despair at Valley Forge, España, France, the Dutch, the other supportive nations involved in this world war did not waiver. Supplies, armaments, and money had continued to be provided to the Americans as agreed. And no one was more involved in these efforts than de Gálvez.  

To achieve those goals, firstly, we must ask ourselves what is the relevance of Bernardo de Gálvez in the 21st Century C.E. Next, how is he important to us, in this day and age? Thirdly, why would anyone care about this man or his historical significance? Finally, if he has relevance for us today, what is that relevance?  

To achieve those goals:  

How is he important to us, in this day and age?  

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2015 C.E. was 56.6 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 17.6 percent of the nation's total population. Recent projections estimate that by 2060 Hispanics will account for 31 percent of the total population.  

The Hispanic American past is as important to United States history, and as rich, as that of any group in American society. They carved out a community in St. Augustine, Florida in 1565 C.E., worked toward liberty during the 1890s C.E., and fought for civil rights through the courts in the 1940s C.E. Spanish-speaking peoples have made history within and beyond national borders.  

Hispanic Americans have important histories about Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Central Americans, Cuban Americans, and South Americans published every year. As those books and articles demonstrate, no brief summary can distill the diversity of this Hispanic population; the many ways in which these groups have shaped national institutions, American culture, or U.S. cities and towns; or the heterogeneity of their perspectives and experiences.  

From the arrival of the Hispanics in the 15th-Century C.E. into the early 21st-Century C.E., Hispanics built missions and presidios; developed ranching, agricultural, and high-tech industries; written poetry, novels, and songs; preached on street corners and from pulpits; raised families; built businesses and labor unions; and supported politicians and critical national and international initiatives. Some trace their residency to Spanish-speaking or indigenous forebears who arrived in Nueva España or elsewhere prior to the establishment of the United States. Others arrived more recently as immigrants or refugees in the 19th, 20th, or 21st centuries C.E. Hispanic Americans have been deeply embedded in the economic and political life of America across many decades. Hispanics have played instrumental roles in the development of the America. Public recognition of this Hispanic past is long overdue.  

Why would anyone care about this man or his historical significance?  

Bernardo de Gálvez led a 7,000 multi-racial, multi-ethnic man army in North America which defeated the British on behalf of the American Colonists, paving the way for the founding of this great nation. There is a Hispanic American cultural and historical awakening happening across this nation. Hispanics are finally beginning to understand their rich pre-United States heritage as well as the part their progenitors played in the founding of this nation.  

If he has relevance for us today, what is that relevance?  

Young Americans need heroes. Today, now, Hispanic Americans need heroes and Bernardo de Gálvez is that hero. Americans need to know the truth about Hispanics and the role they’ve played in the founding and success of this great nation.  

There are five important questions which must be answered before we actually do anything:  

Who are the key stakeholders?

Patriotic Americans and organizations (SAR, DAR, etc.) of all stripes, the American military, American states, counties, cities and areas where de Gálvez and his troops fought, American Hispanics, Native Americans, Blacks, Spain, South and Central America, Méjico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Sweden, and other nations.  

What should the stakeholders see as their role in the project?

Stakeholder roles should include planning, funding, and implementing the Bernardo de Gálvez Feature Film Project. Each group should become active participants offering their unique perspective on his contributions and theirs to the founding of the United States of America.  

What is their perspective of what the project is all about?

At this point in time, stakeholder knowledge of the Project is in its beginning stages. Therefore, their perspective of the Project would be one of “outsiders” looking in with a somewhat unclear understanding. The resulting stakeholder perspective regarding the Project’s value, potential, and outcomes remains limited. Their perspective is subject to change as the Project matures, public education expands, and media attention is brought to bear.  

Are they prepared to commit resources to the project? 

The Bernardo de Gálvez Feature Film Project leadership’s opinion is, yes. Stakeholders will be willing to invest as they begin to learn and understand the Project’s strategic scope, its programmatics, artistic and cinematic potential, and appropriately selected and integrated production, directing, and acting staffing and personnel.  

What are the expectations for the Bernardo de Galvez - Revolutionary War Feature Film Project outcomes? 


1. History. The Stakeholders and other interested parties will understand the impact of, and the significance of, national and international decisions and conflicts which took place during the American Revolutionary War.

2. Geography. The stakeholders and other interested parties will understand the impact of major events occurring during the American Revolutionary War in national and various international geographic locations.

3. Historical Accuracy. The Bernardo de Gálvez Feature Film Project’s leadership will apply critical-thinking skills and professional competence to research, collection, organizing, analyzing, and using factually correct historical information acquired from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology for the purpose of producing the Film.


1. The movie going audiences will appreciate and respect the sacrifices made by Bernardo de Gálvez, Patriotic Americans, the American military, American states, counties, cities and areas where de Gálvez and his troops fought, American Hispanics, Native Americans, Blacks, Spain, South and Central America, Méjico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Sweden, and other nations for love of country and the character it took to be a good citizen and successful soldier.

2. The movie going audiences will be able to gain greater appreciation and understanding of the contributions/roles of Hispanic Americans in formation of our nation.

3. The movie going audiences will be able to articulate the contributions of Bernardo de Gálvez and his army and navy during the Revolutionary War.





Where can you help? 

250th Anniversary of the American Revolutionary War Celebration Committee

The celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolutionary War should be well planned and orchestrated.  The following are just a few suggestions to prompt discussion:

ü  Work with the US Post Office to promote a series of Rev. War era commemorative stamps.

ü  Work with the US Mint to promote a series of Rev. War era commemorative coins and bills.

ü  Design a commemorative SAR medal for those who are members during the celebration, and a special medal for color guardsmen who participate.

ü  Ask radio stations, middle schools, and high schools to participate by playing “Keyholes to History” one day each week for a year

ü  Design a video version of “Keyholes to History”, and ask TV stations, movie theaters, cable TV, and hotel chains to participate.

ü  Ask the History Channel to create a new Rev. War television series, and seek PSAs from them

ü  Ask the France Society to schedule Congresses in France at the beginning and end of the celebration.  Ask Spanish Society to do the same.

ü  Create a line of commemorative gifts to sell online and in our gift shop.

ü  Promote NSSAR historical seminars in major cities around the country.  Have them videotaped, and sell the videos.

ü  Prepare a series of appropriate news releases and PSAs.

ü  Lobby Congress to establish a Commission for the celebration of the 250th anniversary, with appropriate representation by the NSSAR; ask for a budget for the operation of the commission; and ask Congress to pass a special Resolution for SAR’s celebration.

ü  Ask each state to pass a special Resolution.

ü  Create a special SAR logo for the celebration.

ü  Create a pictorial history of the American Rev. War coffee table book.

ü  Create a pictorial history of the SAR coffee table book.

ü  Obtain substantial grants to fund awards for “Best History Books” for each major battle, biographies of civic and military figures, French participants, Spanish participants, naval battles, Treaty of Paris, etc.

ü  Obtain substantial grants to fund awards for similar articles.

ü  Seek grants to sponsor cash awards for best oil paintings, water colors, etc. of Rev. War events.

ü  Buy paid advertising on radio, television, magazines and newspapers, and promote the celebration online.

ü  Publish a “SAR Concise History of the American Rev. War”.

ü  Devise a better way to obtain greater participation in our Youth Oration and Youth Essay Contests, e.g. cash awards to the teachers and principals of the winners.

ü  Recognize Congressional and state legislative leaders with a special SAR medal.

ü  Ask the DAR, other lineage groups; the American Legion, VFW, and other military groups to partner with us for advertising.

ü  Set up Special Web SAR 250th Web site

ü  SAR Museum Board to plan traveling exhibits

ü  Ask Smithsonian to plan traveling exhibits

ü  Ask National Archives to plan traveling exhibits

ü  Seek from Congress:

o   Budget through an appropriations bill
Advertising (TV, Radio, Newspaper)
Advertising – printing brochures, pamphlets & flyers
Postage and stationary
Rent, utilities and maintenance of office in DC
Staff Payroll & expenses
    §  Travel
    §  Telephone & office equipment

Award Money 
        ·         Best Novel, Non-fiction books
        ·         Best childrens’ book
        ·         Best Magazine Article
        ·         Best Movie
        ·         Best Documentary
        ·         Best new song
        ·         Best oil painting/water color/mixed media
        ·         250th logo

o   Proclamations
o   Official Calendar of Official Events
Use of Government Printing Office

ü  Seek official labels for all Government correspondence

ü  Ask Cities and States to 
make special 250th license plates
issue proclamations|
o   plan events – concerts, parades, fairs
promote literary & artistic contests

ü  Work with Army, Navy, AF, Marine Corp and Coast Guard 
Band concerts
Drill teams, tatoos
Blue Angles flyovers



Commission a special SAR medal to commemorate the celebration. 
Seek grants to print and distribute a concise Rev. War history pamphlet for schools.
Special SAR Congress in Washington , DC

Paid advertising in Souvenir Program
List of PGs with small photos.
List of Minutemen 
Presidents of the US members
Medal of Honor Members
Other Distinguished Members
Recipients of Gold Good Citizenship Medals
Recipients of the International Medal
Recipients of the Patriotic Leadership Award.
George Washington Ring Ceremony.
Info about tours including Post meeting cruise/tour

            Marine Corps Drill Ceremony at Marine Corps Barracks
Patriotic Concert by one of the military bands in DC
Fireworks display
Tours with SAR wreath laying/plaque ceremonies:    
Mt. Vernon |  White House  |  Capital  |  Jefferson Memorial  | Washington  Monument

            SAR Rev. War Display at Smithsonian Museum
Dedicate monument to King Carlos, III, & Gen. Bernardo Galvez (map of battles)
Congressional Reception – Award Medals to Congressmen
Tour of DAR HQ & Library & Banquet honoring DAR – Award Medals
Reception honoring our military leaders – Award Medals
Conference on the American Rev. War
Genealogy Seminar –  
Book Fair at which Awards will be presented to outstanding authors.
            Awards Banquet for Gold Good Citizenship, International Medal, M. Washington Medal, etc. –
                       Obtain famous key note speaker.

Post meeting historical cruise or tour.
Congress in Paris & Madrid
Ask Governors and Mayors to issue Proclamations

========================================= =========================================

Include George Washington’s 300th birthday on Feb. 22, 2032.

========================================= =========================================

Edward F, Butler , Sr., TXSSAR   Chairman
Hon, David Walker, CTSSAR    Vice Chairman
Larry McClanahan Senior Advisor

 Mike Jones, AZSSARJohn Wallace, ALSSAR
Larry Magerkurth, CASSAR
Steve Leishman, DESSAR
Tim Bennett, DCSSAR
Ralph Nelson, FLSSAR
Compte Jacques de Trentian, FRSSAR
Mike Tomme, GASSAR
Karl Reed, ILSSAR
Rex Legler, INSSAR
David Sympson, KYSSAR
CAPT Duane Tackitt, MDSSAR


Lou Hoos, MGSSAR
John Taylor, MSSSAR
Russ De Venney, MOSSAR
Rt. Rev. Lou Carlson, MXSSAR
Jack Manning, NHSSAR
Col. Peter Goebel, ESSSAR
Sam Powell, NCSSAR
Zach Hoon, OHSSAR
Peter Keltch, OKSSAR
Lanny Patten, PASSAR
Peter Baron, TXSSAR
Tom Lawrence, TXSSAR
Joe Dooley, VASSAR
Richard Brockway, WVSSAR




Books and Research by Judge Edward Butler
On the Spanish historic contributions to the United States. 

Galvez/Spain - Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War: A Concise Summary of Spain's Assistance by Judge Edward F. Butler, Jr.

Chronology of Events (High Points) Surrounding Spain's Participation the the American Revolutionary War by Judge Edward F. Butler, Jr.

  by Judge Edward Butler 
Galvez / Spain - Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War: 
A Concise Summary of Spain's Assistance, by Judge Edward
F. Butler , Jr.  


So far, this book has won five awards:  
1) The Texas Connection To The American Revolution presented the "
Best American History Book about the American Revolutionary War in 2014;
2)  Readers' Review gave it its "5 Star Award;"  
3)  The Sons of the Republic of Texas presented its "Presidio La Bahia Award; "
4)  Texas Hill Country Chapter of Colonial Dames - "Best History Book in 2015."
5)   International Latino Book Award for Best History Book in 2016,
plus an
6)   Honorable Mention in the 2016 North Texas Book Festival's Book Awards for 
      Adult  Non Fiction.  

Copies of Galvez book: $29.00 each   
Copies of Galvez book in Color
on Searchable CD: $15.00 each 


George Washington's Secret Ally, by Judge Edward F. Butler , Jr. 
 A perfect book for students   
Copies of George Washington book
: $7.50  
Copies of George Washington book on Searchable Color CD
: $5.00
Copies of both George Washington book and CD
: $11.00  
Copies of both books and both CDs $49.00    

Postage & Handling $6.50 per book order, add $1. for inclusion of a CD.       
Make Check Payable and Mail to: 

outhwest Historic Press 
PO Box 170    

24165 IH-10 West Suite 217-170                                                                                                                    San Antonio, TX 78257   





(Including dates of historical importance)


Judge Edward F. Butler, Sr. (as of 4/11/11)

Reprinted from SAR Magazine, Winter 2014-2015, Vol. 109, No. 3, pp. 16-18.



In May, 2010, my wife Robin and I led a large delegation of members of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) to Spain.  We went to charter a new SAR Spain Society in Madrid, and to lay a wreath on the tomb of King Carlos III in El Escorial.  We were invited to the Royal Palace for an audience with HRH Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon.  In a casual conversation with Prince Felipe, he thanked me for my articles that had been printed in the SAR Magazine[1] and the National Genealogical Society Newsletter.  He suggested to me that I should write a book about Spain’s Assistance to the colonists during the American Revolutionary War.  He said “[a]nd then, I would like for you to make a movie about Spain in the American Revolution, and I would like Antonio Banderas to play the part of Bernardo Galvez.”  This book complies with the first part of the Prince’s request.  I must leave it up to Hollywood moguls to make the movie.  

Many Americans are aware that the French assisted American colonists in their battle for freedom with men, money, credit, arms, ammunition and supplies.  They even gave our ship “Favorite Nation” status in their ports around the world.  Unfortunately, most Americans are not aware of the tremendous assistance rendered by Spain.  In the Summer, 2009, edition of the SAR Magazine, there was a summary by me of the assistance rendered up the Mississippi as far at Natchez and along the Gulf Coast.  Some historians have referred to this conflict as the first world-wide war.  

This book will cover some of Spain’s military and economic assistance to the colonies in what is now Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan as well as direct support of General George Rogers Clark at Ft. Nelson[2], which is now Louisville, home of the headquarters of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution.  

Important events unrelated to Spain are provided so that the reader can better understand what was happening in the colonies and around the world, and thereby recognize their assistance in context.  To have a better understanding of the extent of Spain’s involvement the following chronology of events is provided.   

Some scholars claim that Spain was not an ally of the colonists because it never had a treaty with them.  It did have a treaty with France – “The Bourbon Compact” which required Spain to join with France in any hostilities.  Spain both declared war on England and formally recognized the independence of the United States.  It provided large sums of money, credit, arms, ammunition and supplies to the American rebels.  Safe harbor was granted to our military and commercial vessels in Spanish ports.  Thousands of Spanish army and militia together with their Indian allies actually fought against the British, while the Spanish fleet and privateers attacked the British fleet and harassed its merchant ships.  Spanish merchants even outfitted the ships of Captain John Paul Jones, which enabled him to harras British port cities and its merchant fleet.  In determining if Spain was an “ally”, actions speak louder than words.  It is for the reader to decide if the actions reflected herein are those of an ally.


1492                            Columbus discovered the new world and laid claim to it for the benefit of Spain.  His voyage was subsidized by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, and his ships sailed under the flag of Spain.  So, why isn’t Spain given the credit for the discovery?  

1493                            Juan Ponce de León y Figueroa accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world.  Shortly after his arrival, he was named the first Governor of Puerto Rico by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

7 Jun 1494                               The Treaty of Tordesillas divided the non-European world between the Spanish and the Portuguese along a north-south line 270 leagues west of  Cape Verde.  

1493-1585                   Spain colonized South America, Central America and North America “to the Arctic snows”.


?????                           Spanish explorers ______Pizzaro,  ________Cortez, Hernando de Soto, and others traveled throughout the new world.  They were the first to bring pigs and horses to North America.  Upon their return to Spain, they introduced squash, tobacco and potatoes to Europe.


2 Apr. 1513                 Juan Ponce de León y Figueroa, after serving three years as Governor of Puerto Rico, obtained a charter from King Ferdinand to explore “the island of Bimini”, which he named “La Florida”, and which later became known as Florida.  He claimed Florida for King Ferdinand, II of Aragon (Spain).


1513                            Spanish explorer Vasco de Balboa discovered the west coast of North America.


1514                            King Ferdinand, II of Aragon appointed Juan Ponce de León as the Spanish Governor of Florida.


1515                            The first Royal land grants were issued by the King of Spain to land now located in south Texas.



1520                             Pedro de Quexoia leads a Spanish expedition from Santo Domingo that explores the coastal region.


1521                            Juan Ponce de León made a second voyage to Florida, bringing some 200 Spanish settlers.  De Leon died from an Indian arrow wound.

1524                             Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazano explores for France along what is now the North Carolina coast.

July: A Spanish colony directed by Luís Vasquez de Ayllón settles along the Cape Fear River. The colony has more than 500 men, women, and children, including African slaves. After more than 300 settlers die of starvation and disease, the survivors abandon the colony in October and return to Santo Domingo.


1539                            Pensacola was settled by Spain in 1539, when Tristan de Luna founded a colony there.  Two years later a hurricane sank his supply fleet, which caused all the colonists to leave.  It was not resettled until 1698. 

A Spanish expedition led by Hernando de Soto explores the western portions of present-day North Carolina, looking for gold. De Soto and his men visit Indian communities and probably introduce smallpox and other deadly European diseases to the native populations.


1541                            Hernando de Soto explored the Mississippi River area.  He became the first European to cross the Mississippi and enter into what later became Arkansas.

Spanish explorers establish a city and fortress in Saint Augustine in present-day Florida. This is the first permanent European settlement in America.

August 24: Spaniards looking for the Chesapeake Bay land on the coast of present-day Currituck County. Led by Pedro de Coronas, they explore for a few days without encountering any natives and eventually return to the West Indies.

Spanish explorer Juan Pardo, seeking gold, leads an expedition through what is now western North Carolina. Pardo visits the Catawba, Wateree, and Saxapahaw Indians.



1568                            The fleet of Francis Drake was damaged in a Caribbean hurricane.  They entered into San Juan de Alua, a port on the east coast of Mexico to make repairs.  The Spanish Viceroy arrived two days later destroying most of their fleet.


1572                            Francis Drake, with two ships sailed to Nombre de Dios on the northern coast of Panama.  He had discovered that mule trains delivered silver and gold to the port city of Nombre de Dios annually to be loaded aboard Spanish treasure ships for transit to Spain.  He intercepted the mule train and captured almost a year’s worth of Spanish silver and gold.  At this point in time, England was a very poor country, while Spain and Portugal ruled the seas.  Queen Elizabeth hated Philip, II, King of Spain.  English merchant marine captains were under instruction by the queen to disrupt Spanish shipping.  The crown received a percentage of all plunder.


Dec., 1576 -1579                    Francis Drake set out with five ships[3] on the flagship Pelican[4] (later renamed “The Golden Hind”).  His secret mission from the Queen was to locate the Pacific entrance to the “Northwest Passage”, that would allow England a short route to the orient.  He sailed around the Straits of Magellan and raided Spanish ports in Chile, Peru, and current day Ecuador.  Spain had no war ships in the South Pacific, so his plunder went unimpeded.  He was the first English captain to sail in the Pacific Ocean.  Sailing north of Peru, he seized the Spanish treasure ship CacaFuego – the largest treasure ship ever captured.  The silver weighed 28 tons, and filled the holds of his ship.  Drake acquired the nickname “El Dragon” (the dragon).  He later raided the port at Hualtulco, Mexico.  After exploring the coasts of current day California, Oregon , Washington, British Columbia and possibly Alaska;  and stopping at “New Albion” for repairs, he then sailed around Africa to return home.  Upon his arrival in England, Queen Elisabeth knighted him.  It had been a three year voyage.


1585                            Sir Walter Raleigh established the first English colony in North America at Roanoke, North Carolina.  The colony was later abandoned.


1585 – 1604                The Anglo – Spanish War was fought partly due to trade disputes in the new world and English piracy of Spanish ships bringing silver and gold from South and Central America across the Spanish Main to Spain.  El Dragon (Sir Francis Drake) continued to plunder as a privateer for the Queen in Cartejena, Santo Domingo, San Juan and St. Augustine.  He became very rich.  He has been called the “Hero of the Decade”.  Upon his retirement from the sea, he became the mayor of Plymouth, England.


1588                            The sinking of the Spanish Armada by Sir Francis Drake and Admiral Sir Robert Cross, was one of the main causes of Spanish hatred of the English.


1589                            The destruction of the remainder of the Spanish fleet and the capture of Cadiz by Admiral Sir Robert Cross, was the crowning blow of Spanish hatred of the English, which lasted well over 200 years.


1595                            While pursuing treasure on the Spanish Main, Sir Francis Drake died and was buried at sea.


1598                            Onate settlers from Spain were the first settlers of what is now New Mexico.[5]


1607                            The Jamestowne colony was established in Virginia.  Jamestowne was the first English colony to maintain operations up to and after the American Revolution.


1620                            English Pilgrims establish the Massachusetts Colony at Plymouth.


1655                            The island of Jamaica was taken over by England and its chief settlement of Port Royal became a new English haven for pirates in the midst of the Spanish Empire.  


1655-1692                   English sponsored privateers (pirates) from Port Royal, Jamaica preyed on Spanish treasure ships along the Spanish Main.  The primary target of these pirates were the Spanish treasure ships carrying gold and silver from the new world to Spain.  The English Crown received a percentage of pirate spoils from Spanish treasure ships.  Port Royal was the largest city in the new world, and much more important to the British than Boston.


18 Apr. 1657               The Spanish and British fleets fought a sea battle in the harbor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.


1689 – 1762                Spain and its traditionally ally, France, were intermittently at war with England:

                        1689-1697       The War of the League of Augsburg (known in the American Colonies as King William’s War);

                        1701-1713       The War of Spanish Succession (known in British America as Queen Anne’s War);

                        1733-1736       The War of Polish Succession.

                        1744-1748       The War of the Austrian Succession (known in North America as King George’s War and as the “War of Jenkin’s Ear”); and

                        1755-1762       The Seven Years’ War (which American historians refer to as the French and Indian War).



1698                            Spain resettled Pensacola in 1698 to secure more protection from the encroaching French.


1690                            San Francisco de los Tejas Mission was established on the El Camino Real – The Royal Road linking Mexico City and San Antonio, TX, and later in 1714 it was extended to Natchitoches, LA.


1692                            Port Royal, Jamaica was destroyed by earthquake.  A new town named Kingston was immediately established by pirates as a new port to continue plundering Spanish treasure ships.


1692 – 1720                English sponsored pirates continued to plunder Spanish ships from Kingston, Jamaica.


1701-1713       The War of Spanish Succession (known in British America as Queen Anne’s War).


5 May 1718                 King Philip V of Spain had previously ordered Don Martin de Alarcon, along with 50 soldiers to build a Spanish mission and presidio at the headwaters of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek (in present day San Antonio, TX).  Alarcon established the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar on this date to protect the newly established Mission San Antonio de Valero (later known as the “Alamo”).


1719                            The French took Pensacola, but immediately traded it back to Spain in exchange for New Orleans.  Spain owned West Florida as far west as Mobile. 


1720                            The Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the Spanish War of Succession (1713) gave England the right to transport African slaves to Spanish territories in the New World.  This encouraged a new wave of piracy of Spanish treasure ships by England.


1722                            The Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo, Governor of Coahuila and Tejas, abandoned the old Presidio and re-established it at its present site.


1733-1736                   In the War of Polish Succession Spain and France were pitted against Austria and its allies, which included England.  At the inception of this war in 1733, the Mutual Assistance Pact between the Bourbon kings of France and Spain was signed.


1738                            A new dispute between Spain and Great Britain arose over commerce between Europe and The Americas.  Initially, both sides intended to sign an agreement at the Spanish Royal Palace of El Pardo, but in January of the following year, the British Parliament rejected the advice of Foreign Minister Robert Walpole, a supporter of the agreement with Spain.  


23 October 1739         A short time later, the War of Jenkins' Ear began, and both countries declared war, each side drawing up plans to establish trenches near Gibraltar.  Seeing these first movements, Britain ordered Admiral Vernon to sail from Portobello and strengthen the squadron of Admiral Haddock who was already stationed in the Bay of Gibraltar.


1743                            Spain and France execute a second Bourbon family compact for mutual defense.


1744-1748       The War of the Austrian Succession (known in North America as King George’s War).  Britain sent a huge expeditionary force to sack Portobelo in Panama, and then attacked some Venezuelan ports.  They laid siege to Cartegena, but were repulsed by Spanish defenders.  Other British forces attached the Philippines and the western coast of North America.  Spain’s fortifications, its fleet, and merchant marine were able to repel the British offensive around the world.  The war ended in 1748 with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which left the Spanish empire intact, while England lost trading privileges in Spanish territory.[6]


1755-1762                   The Seven Years’ War (which American historians refer to as the French and Indian War) was fought in the northern colonies and Canada.


1760’s                         Visitor-General Joseph de Galvez wanted to protect Spain’s valuable trade routes with the Orient.  This trade had surpassed the gold and silver being mined in South America.  He also feared that unless the California coast was settled by Spain, some other European power would attempt to take it.  He was aware that in 1579 Sir Francis Drake had claimed California for England when repairing his ships at what he named as “Novo Albion”.  In the late 1760s he built a new sea port north of Acapulco, which he named San Blas.[7]


15 Aug 1761                The “Bourbon Family[8] Compact”, between France and Spain, provided that any nation which attacked one nation, attacked both; and that when one of the countries was at war, it could call upon the other for military or naval aid. 


1762                            During the Seven Years War England invaded and occupied both Manila, Philippines and Havana, Cuba.  At that time France was at war with Britain, so Britain responded by declaring war on Spain and capturing the Spanish colonial capitals of Manila and Havana.  Two years later, after cessation of hostilities, Spain recovered Manila and Havana in exchange for Spanish holdings in Florida as part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris.


1762                            Bernardo de Galvez became a military cadet.  Thereafter, he served as a Lieutenant in the Portuguese campaign.


1763                            At the end of the “Seven Years War” (which we call the French and Indian War) between England and the Spanish-French Alliance, Spain lost Havana and Manila to the English in the treaty.  To get these forts back, Spain traded East Florida and West Florida to England.  Spain received New Orleans from the French.  This treaty in effect removed France as a power in North America, if not the Western Hemisphere.  France was left with only a few small islands[9], or portions of islands in the Caribbean.  The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly when tropical diseases and climate killed all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers.  So, before the Revolutionary War, with the exception of Portugal’s holdings in what is now Brazil, Spain and England were the only European powers in the western hemisphere.  It should be noted that England immediately established forts on the Mississippi River at Natchez, Baton Rouge and Manchac (Louisiana), with smaller detachments at Thompson Barrack and Fort Amit (both in LA).  England also made numerous attempts to control the Ohio River.


New Spain occupied much of the new world, including all land in what is now the United States, west of the Mississippi and Canada “to the arctic snows”, plus Mexico, Central America (from the northern border of Panama), Hispanola, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.  All of New Spain was under the control of the Viceroy of New Spain.  TheViceroy served as the king’s personal representative.  The Viceroy of New Spain was assisted by two Captains General – one for Guatamala, that included Central America and Mexico; and the other in Havana, for the West Indies and Louisiana.[10] 


Central and South America, except for Brazil were part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.  At this time in addition to the 13 American colonies, Britain owned Canada (subject to the claims of Spain in the west), Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Florida and West Florida in the western hemisphere.  In the Mediterranean, England owned Minorca, Majorca and Gibraltar.


Spain’s reasons for establishing colonies in the new world were originally to exploit the mineral wealth and to spread Christianity.  New Spain was at first a great source of mineral wealth, but during the latter half of the 18th century, most of the easily mined minerals were exhausted.  Trade with the Orient through its possession in the Philippines[11] replaced the wealth lost by the diminishing value of minerals it could exploit.  Treasure galleons sailed from Manila with silks and spices from the Orient to Acapulco, Mexico, where the Oriental treasures were carried by mule train across the mountains to the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz.  From Veracruz the goods were shipped through the Spanish Main to Spain, sometime through Havana.  Silver, gold and other minerals which continued to be mined in New Spain were also transported to Veracruz for shipment.[12]


1763-1773                               Havana was viewed as the gateway to the “Spanish Sea”, which King Charles called the Gulf of Mexico.  Charles, III sought to reinforce and strengthen its presence in Cuba, now that it had been returned to Spain at the peace table.  Conde de Ricla, Antonio Maria Bucareli, the Marques de la Torre, and Diego Joseph Navarro each served in the important post of Captain General of Cuba.  Each obtained Spanish “observers” to monitor the English and to serve “as a network of contacts, agents, and operatives whose primary job was to collect news about those (English) colonies”.  Captains of Spanish navy ships were required to routinely report on the movement of British vessels.  These operatives also included sea captains from the Spanish commercial fleet and important merchants.  The latter initially served as spies and couriers, but later were directly involved in the transportation of money, arms, ammunition, and supplies to the rebelling British colonists.[13]


1763-1774                   During this period Indians frequently attacked settlers in the western portions of many of the colonies.  Benjamin Franklin was one of the organizers of a colonial militia in Pennsylvania, which King George stopped.  King George was afraid to allow the colonists to be armed.  Instead, he sent additional red coats to the colonies, but they were posted in coastal cities, which afforded no protection to those living near the frontier.[14]


Because of these Indian attacks and due to the passage of the “Intolerable Acts” by the English Parliament, the colonists felt they needed protection from the Crown.  The seeds if revolution had been sewn.  Throughout the colonies “Committees of Safety” grew up.  These committees of safety immediately began looking for suppliers of arms and ammunition.  For many years the New England fishermen had established strong commercial ties with businessmen in Spain, such as Joseph Gardoqui and Sons.  By 1774 Gardoqui and Sons was clandestinely providing arms, ammunition and military supplies to the colonists.  It was these arms the redcoats were sent to retrieve in 1775, when the “shot heard around the world” was fired on Lexington Green.  Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, on April 19, 1775, from New England to the Carolinas, the colonial Committees of Safety transformed into Minutemen.


1763 – 1782                Spain colonized California from the end of the Seven Years War until 1782.  Their first Pacific coast base was established at San Blas, then in New Galicia (in current day Nayarit, near Puerto Vallarta, MX).  In each base there were the religious missions, the military presidios and civilian pueblos.  Many soldiers retired there and became civilian leaders as well as remaining in the militia.  The Presidio of San Diego was established in 1769, followed by Monterrey in 1770; and missions were started in San Carlos (present day Carmel) in 1770, San Antonio in 1771, and San Luis Obispo in 1772. 


By 1776 Josef de Galvez was promoted to Minister of the Indies.  He proposed three changes in government to King Carlos, all of which were approved:

1.      Separating the military and civil functions by putting all military actions under a Commandante-General of the Provincias Internas;

2.      Realignment of the of the Presidios so they would become mutually supportive; and

3.      Moving the military command center to the north so it would remain focused on frontier problems.[15]


San Juan Capistrano and San Francisco were both established in 1776, followed by a new mission in Santa Clara and a pueblo in San Jose.  Some 240 people were transported to San Francisco, together with livestock and equipment.[16]  A pueblo was started in Los Angeles in 1781 and the fourth presidio was organized at Santa Barbara in 1782, together with the ninth mission at San Buenaventura that same year.[17]  The establishment of military posts along the California may have dissuaded Captain Cook from mischief during his Pacific voyage during the American Revolution.  Irrespective, the Spanish troops were ready for battle.



Apr. 21, 1764              King Louis XV by letter dated April 21, 1764 to the governor of Louisiana,  ceded Louisiana to Spain.  Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish Governor, was very ineffective in securing the loyalty of the mostly French inhabitants.  Ulloa was expelled in late 1768.  He was replaced by the infamous General Alexandro O’Reilly, who immediately reformed the government.  His cruel enforcement led to trials for treason, which resulted in the execution of five of the participants who led the uprising against Ulloa.  From that time forward, there was little problem in getting French settlers in Louisiana to take an oath to follow the king of Spain.[18]


1765                            Bernardo de Galvez traveled to Mexico with his uncle,  ______ Galvez as a Captain of infantry.


1767                            By 1767, San Antonio included the Presidio, Captain’s quarters, guard house, Plaza, several official buildings, the church and the Alamo Mission.[19]


1770                            Bernardo de Galvez fought Apaches in New Spain, receiving a wound from an arrow in the arm and two lance thrusts to the chest.


Jun. 1770                     Following incursions by England into the disputed claim to the Malvinas (referred to as the Falkand Islands by England), a military force was sent by the Spanish Governor in Buenas Aires.  The Spanish military forcibly evicted the British.[20]


1771                            Louisiana Governor Unzaga was ordered to form a militia of 12 companies in Louisiana.  New Orleans would retain three companies, with the remaining 9 to be distributed to the other districts.[21]


1772                            Bernardo de Galvez returned to Spain with his uncle.   He was appointed as military liaison to a French infantry unit.  It was at this time that he learned to speak French fluently.


1772                            Following a tour in 1763 by the Marquis de Rubi to inspect the Spanish frontier presidios to determine their continued use, King Carlos, III issued the Royal Regulations of 1772, which included an order that the capital of Spanish Texas should be moved from Los Adaes, near Nachitoches, in Louisiana, to the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar.  This precipitated a move by the Governor, to take command of the Presidio.


Jun. 9 –

Jul. 22, 1772                George Rogers Clark, as a young gentleman of 19 years of age, from Virginia, made his first exploration of the territory beyond Fort Pitt.[22]  At age 20 he moved to the Ohio River valley and built a cabin before January, 1773, in Grave Creek Township.  This was near the mouth of Fish Creek, about 25 miles downstream from Whelling Creek.  There he farmed, surveyed and interacted with his neighbors.  He was among the first Kentuckians to volunteer their services against the British following Lexington and Concord.[23]


In the Spring of 1775 Clark left Fish Creek to assume his duties as the newly appointed deputy surveyor for the Ohio Company, hoping in the process to become a member of the landed gentry.[24]


1773                            By 1773 San Antonio was not only the capital, but also the largest town in Texas, with five active missions, a pueblo and a Presidio.[25]


Dec. 16, 1773              The Boston Tea Party occurred in Boston Harbor.  This was the first open act of rebellion toward King George by his colonial subjects.


1774                            By 1774, the firm of Joseph Gardoqui and Sons of Bilbao, Spain, had a well established on ongoing shipping business with Marblehead, MA firm of Thomas Gerry (1702-1774).  Joseph Gardoqui had been doing business with the colonial fish merchants from Marblehead since 1741.[26]  In 1763 Thomas Lee of Marblehead named a 110 ton ship used for transporting dried cod to Bilbao, the Gardoqui, to honor his trading partners.[27]  Thomas Gerry was the father of signer of the Declaration of Independence, Elbridge Gerry.[28]  The Gerry firm had also established business contacts in England, Portugal, and the West Indies.  Their main commodity for export was dried, salted cod, which they exchanged for salt, wine, raisans, lemons, solid specie and lines of credit.[29]


The possession of Gun powder in the colonies became an issue in the early 1770s.  By the start of the American Revolution, gun powder was one of the most sought after commodities.  Both the Crown and the insurgents realized that armed resistance could not succeed without gun powder.  The English Parliament ordered General Thomas Gage to send his redcoats into the countryside around Boston to seek out and capture stores of gun powder.[30] British Vice Admiral Samuel Graves, was also directed to use the English navy to position itself off the coast of Massachusetts to stop vessels on the high seas and to seize gun powder to prevent it from getting to the colonists.[31]  As the British military clamped down on the import of gun powder, the colonists broadened their search for suppliers.


The records of the Gardoqui firm in March, 1774, reflect that it shipped to North America “blankets, gunpowder, quinine, bayonets and walking sticks, cordage rigging, muskets, cloth for tents, salt” and other goods by the ships Union, Joseph Lee, Rockingham, George, Tryall, and Two Brothers.  Upon their return these ships contained cargoes of cod, tobacco, rice, flour, turpentine, and indigo.   A separate record for the same month reflects that “blankets, canvas, anchors, cordage rigging, fabrics and salt” were shipped to North America on the Lydia, Neptuno, George and Nancy.  A third record of shipments that same month reflects shipments of “Blankets, canvas, quinine, cloth for uniforms, anchors and salt” to North America on the Lydia, Charlotte, Neptuno, Alexander, Success, Tabby, John Wennesly Deal, Scorpion, Lively, Hawk, and the La Estrella del Norte.[32]  It should be noted that the above shipments were all from March, 1777.    Where this support differs from that received by France is that the freight, prices and expenses of these shipments were paid for by the Spanish state.[33]


Dec. 1774                    By December, 1774, the Massachusetts Committee of Supplies was looking at Spain as a supplier of arms, military supplies and gun powder.  The most important Spanish trading company was that of Joseph Gardoqui and Sons, in Bilbao, Spain.  They had already enjoyed a long and successful trading experience with the Gerry family.[34]


On December 16, 1774, Jeremiah Lee, on behalf of the Massachusetts Committee of Supplies, wrote to the Gardoquis, asking for the help of Spanish merchants to obtain military arms, ammunition, and supplies from European sources.  They knew that if an open conflict arose between the colonists and England, they would need large supplies of cannon, small arms, gun powder, quinine, blankets, rigging for ships.  It was personally carried from Lee to Gardoqui by Michael Corbert, the Irish mariner, who acquired some notoriety when he resisted British naval impressments in 1769.  Lee had been made master of one of Lee’s transatlantic ships.


On February 15, 1775, Joseph Gardoqui responded to Jeremiah Lee and the Massachusetts Committee of Supplies request for assistance, and expressed his sympathy with and support for the colonists.  He informed Lee that he had obtained “300 muskets & Bayonets & and about double the number of Pair of Pistols.”   Shipping gun powder could not be done “unless we have timely advice, for whatever is made in this Kingdom is for the Government.”  In his letter he also informed the colonists that they were determined to support them in their goals:


We see with the utmost concern the difficulties You labor under by an unpolitical Minister’s wrong direction of Affairs, But hope the Present Parliament will look into them with clearer light, & will find proper means to accommodate Matters, without going any further, allowing you your just Rights & Liberties, which we do assure you we long to see it settled with all our hearts; but  should it be otherwise (God forbid) command freely and you will find us at your service. . . .  We hourly look out for the London Post, should it bring anything Worth our notice, you may depend on being advised.[35]


In July, 1775, Elbridge Gerry on behalf of the Massachusetts Committee of Supplies, wrote the following to Joseph Gardoqui, who had offered to provide military supplies to the colonists:


[T]he Ministry in Britain have been endeavoring to keep a supply of powder from the Colonies, well knowing that they cannot enslave them by any other Means.

. . .

The Friendship of foreign Factors in this Matter cannot fail of making them respectable & securing to themselves the Interest of these Colonies. … cheerfully allow such a Compensation for your Services as You shall think reasonable. [36]


Following Lee’s death in early 1775, Gerry and the Massachusetts Committee of Supplies dispatched Gerry’s vessel “the Rockingham”[37] with 1,000 Pounds Sterling and 650 Pounds in Bills of Exchange to Joseph Gardoqui and Sons with instructions that the money was to  be used “to be invested in good pistol & Cannon powder – half each.”[38]


Spanish merchants thus, had every reason to believe that lucrative war-time contracts would remain available during the conflict between England and its North American colonists.  Since there was no love lost with England, and since they had a long standing business relationship with the colonial merchants, Gardoqui was very sympathetic to their cause.


By letter dated February 2, 1777, Elbridge Gerry reported to the Continental Congress that Messers Joseph Gardoqui and Sons had been directed to invest half the proceeds of three cargoes of fish he recently sent them

with the effects that may be left on the Rockingham & cargo in 100,000 good musket flints, 20 tons Lead, 1000 soldier blankets, 5000 yards Ticklinburg suitable for Soliers Tents, & the Residue in good Muskets and Bayonets, to be procured in France if cheaper there that at Bilbao, & shipped to a port northward of Boston.


In addition to gun powder and military supplies, the Gardoqui firm was also able to supply the colonists with needed manufactured goods that England refused to ship to the colonies.  When the Massachuttes cod was delivered, Bills of Exchange were deposited in accounts with English merchants.  Then, the needed manufactured goods were purchased in England, then shipped to Spain and from there transported by ship to the colonies.[39]


In a very important historical message from Arthur Lee to Count Floridablanca, Lee related how Spain intended to assist the Americans until Spain entered the war.  He had just been informed of this assistance by the Marquis de Grimaldi, the Spanish Minister of State.  Grimaldi had informed Lee that King Carlos, III had


sincere desire to see their rights and liberties established, and of his assisting them as far as may be consistent with his own situation; that for this purpose the house of Gardoqui, at Bilbao, would 1) send them supplies for their army and navy from time to time; 2) that they would find some ammunition and clothing deposited for them at New Orleans, .  .  . 3) that their vessels should be received at the Havana upon the same terms with those of France; 4) that the ambassador at Paris should have directions immediately to furnish their commissioners with credit in Holland; . . . 5) that his majesty would do these things out of the graciousness of his royal disposition, without stipulating any return, and 6) that if upon inquiry any able veteran officers could be spared from his Irish brigade the States should have them.[40] [numbering added for emphasis].


The next day (March 18, 1777) Commissioner Arthur Lee reported to the Continental Congress Committee of Secret Correspondence on that he had visited with Joseph Gardoqui and negoitiated a ship to America ladened with salt, sail and tent cloth, cordage, blankets and “warlike stores”, and an assortment of drugs for the three prevailing camp diseases.  The captain had been instructed to head for Philadelphia and wait for orders.  He further reported that the Gardoquis had promised to secure the items on the colonial shopping list and have them ready for transport from Bilbao to America.  He noted that the Gardoquis were highly respectable businessmen, and praised their zeal in the American cause.  Of note was their connection with the Royal Court and their willingness to serve as interpreters in the conduct of American business in Spain.[41]


On September 1, 1777, Elbridge Gerry wrote to Joseph Gardoqui and Sons, advising that the ship Lydia had arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with its much needed supplies.  He warned that it would be difficult for this ship to return immediately due to the large number of British warships along the coast.[42]


In addition to serving as factors to provide supplies to the colonists, the Gardoqui firm also served as a bank.  It financed many of the shipments from Spain to the colonies – sometime with the help of King Carlos, III.[43]


Commercial business then was much similar to that of today as concerns “commercial information”.  The Gardoqui firm, and other Spanish merchants provided much needed information to the colonists regarding the prices of goods, consumer demand, and possibly trade secrets.  In addition to commercial espionage, Gardoqui provided much needed information about British troop movements to the colonists.[44]


Much of the supplies provided by Spain were secreted among the cargoes of merchant ships.  The records of the financial assistance was also hidden in private account books.  These are two of the reasons that Spain’s assistance has not been well known to historians before now.  Sometimes, the records are only available as a footnote in the Journals of Congress, such as the 95 bales shipped by Gardoqui and Sons on December 5, 1778 on the vessel North Star.[45]


Through 1780 Gardoqui had been provided with bills of exchange totaling at least 880,000 Spanish Reales, and for 1781 additional bills of exchange totaling 3,000,000 Spanish Reales.[46]


The assistance to the colonists by the Gardoqui firm did not go unnoticed by Britain.  Lord Grantham, the British Minister at Madrid stated that:


[T]he House of Gardoqui is very active.  They have long had connection with Great Britain and America, but in the present contest (the American Revolution), though they pretend to wish it was ended, they have adhered to the latter with great partiality.[47]


The Gardoqui firm was so well thought of by George Washington, that on both May 24, 1779 and June 6, 1779 the word “Bilbao” was the password, and the word “Gardoqui” was the countersign for his troops.[48]


Joseph Gardoqui also periodically inform the Continental Congress of the movement of troops.  By letter dated July 12, 1780 to William Livingston, he informed the Congress that 12 Spanish ships of the line and 130 transports (10 of which contained between 30-44 guns each) with 12,000 Spanish troops had sailed from Cadiz, Spain to America on June 23, 1780; and that another fleet with 8 ships of the line had departed from Brest, with an additional 6,000 troops headed toward America.[49]


Joseph Gardoqui’s son, Don Diego Maria de Gardoqui represented Spain’s interests in the peace negotiations during 1783.  He became Spain’s first Ambassador to the United States.  During his presidential inauguration in 1789, George Washington invited Diego Maria de Gardoqui, to stand with him at Federal Hall. The honor was payback for the wartime that Spain and de Gardoqui himself, a prosperous banker from Bilbao, had provided.


1775                            Bernardo de Galvez participated in the Spanish expedition to expel the Moors from Algeria, during which he received another severe wound.  He was promoted to Lt.Colonel and served for a short time as an instructor at a Spanish military school.


Apr. 19, 1775              The “shot heard around the world” was fired by British soldiers at colonists on Lexington Green, MA.  Later that day colonists defeated the British at the Battle of Concord.  Thereafter, committees of safety were formed in most of the colonies.  The seeds of revolution began to grow.


May – June 1775         The Siege of Boston


May 10, 1775              Battle of Ticonderoga


Jun 15, 1775                The Second Continental Congress appointed George Washington as Commander-in-chief of the Continental Congress.


Jun 17, 1775                Battle of Bunker Hill


1775                            The Gardoqui firm of Bilboa, Spain entered into an agreement with Elbridge Gerry to provide supplies to Massachusetts.[50]


Aug. 5, 1775                The Spanish ship San Carlos, enters San Francisco Bay.


Sep. 1775 – Jul. 1776  After discussion with the Canadian colony to join with the Americans in revolt, Montreal was taken by force on Nov. 2, 1775.  Americans took, and then lost Quebec.


Oct. 1775                    Two Spanish merchant ships which had sailed from Central America, in violation of the British blockade, called at the port of Charleston, SC.  They sold gunpowder and supplies to the local rebel commander.  As a result, the British Ambassador in Madrid filed a formal protest with the Crown.  To placate the British, the Marques de Grimaldi, Spain’s Minister of State ordered that one of the captains be tried for violating the commercial laws that prohibited trade outside Spain’s colonies.  A trial was held in Cadiz in June 1776, which resulted in the acquittal of the captain.[51]


Excerpts From Letter From Lord William Campbell Dated 19 Sept. 1775 To Secretary of State of the British Colonial Office in London -  From Onboard HMS Tamen Anchored in Charleston Harbor.[52]


Judge Edward F. Butler, Sr. (Copyrighted 2011)


“. . .

“Some time ago a Spanish (Ship?) from the Havannah bound to Cadiz arrived off this Bar dismasted and in great distress.  As the peoples from the Town would give no assistance,  Capt. Thornbrow sent at my desire the pilot of the King’s ship, who brought her safely in.  To prevent any imposition, I recommended proper people to refit her, but after the ship got up to Town, the Committee fixed on others of their own stamp.  I would have persuaded the master to have left his powder with Capt. Thornbrow till he returns, but the poor man was so afraid of being turned out of the port in the distressed situation he was in that I could not prevail upon him to do it voluntarily.  & as I wished to avoid even the appearance of harshness to a Spanish ship at this juncture, Capt. Thornborough[53] did not insist on it, especially as the small quantity he had on board, should the rebels seize it, was of no consequence to people who so amply supplied.


“Some days after another Spanish ship arrived, which was conducted safely into the Harbour in the same manner.  This (ship) was inbound from Honduras to Cadiz, & I noted is immensely rich.  He (the captain?) was sickly and wanted provisions, but the ship had received no damage; he has however thought proper to quit the protection of the men of war & has carried his ship to Town without the least necessity, & that I cannot be responsible for any consequences that may follow.  I thought it very necessary to acquaint your Lordship with these particulars & inclose (sic) the names of the ships & if your Lordship should think proper to acquaint the ambassador of Spain with the attention His Hajesty’s Officers in this  part of the world show to his Catholic Majesty’s subjects in distress, & the tenderness with which they are treated.”





Nov. 29, 1775             The Continental Congress established a Committee of Secret Correspondence, with the specific task of seeking foreign aid, primarily from France and Spain.


December 1775           The Committee of Secret Correspondence of Congress chose Arthur Lee as its European agent principally for the purpose of ascertaining the views of France, Spain, and other European countries regarding the war between the colonies and Great Britain.


Late 1775 –

Early 1776                   France and Spain as allies had very different views of the conflict between the British colonies and King George.  France had lost most of its territory in the Americas through its defeat in the French and Indian Wars. It had few possessions that needed protection. France felt that the creation of a new nation in North America would act as a counterbalance to English commercial domination in the western hemisphere, and allow France a greater share of world trade.  Spain, with extensive holdings in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America felt threatened by the American revolution.  Much of New Spain was contiguous with struggle.  Spain had much more to lose in the American Revolution.  Spain felt the need to reinforce its American territories from British encroachment.  In late 1775, Conde de Ricla, Spain’s minister off war sent additional troops to Cuba and Puerto Rico.  In early 1776 Grimaldi formally established the “observer” program to keep current about British plans and operations.[54]


1776-1779                   The third voyage of the famous British Captain James Cook through the Pacific Ocean worried Spanish officials.  They remembered that 200 years previously in 1579, Sir Francis Drake had called at New Albion on Drake’s Bay and claimed the land for England.  The feared that Captain Cook might attempt to reclaim that  Presidios along the Pacific coast (present day California and Mexico) were placed on alert to be prepared for an attack by Cook.  They wanted to protect their northwest frontier and facilitate trade with Manila, but giving its ships a safe harbor.  A Spanish expeditionary force was dispatched in 1779.  Ignacio Artega, commanding the Favorita, and Juan de la Bodega y Quadra, captaining the Princesa, were in charge.  They sailed along the California coast but were unable to find Cook, or vessels of any other country in the area.  By 1780 northbound expeditions ceased.[55]


1776                            Spain dispatched one of its largest fleets ever to the Americas, where it quashed British smuggling operations along the coast of Brazil.  It also retook Uruguay from the Portuguese, a British ally.  The conflict between England and the colonists was about to become a global struggle.[56] By evicting the British, Spain opened the River Platt for commerce and the exploitation of Andean silver mines and made Buenas Aires an important Viceroyal capital.  Before the Declaration of Independence the British fleet was already overextended.[57]


Jan 10, 1776                Thomas Paine published his treatise Common Sense.


Feb. 16, 1776              Following a discussion in the Continental Congress for three days, it agreed to allow shipment od [n] goods or commodities, except Slaves for sale, may be exported from the united colonies to any other part of the World, not subject to the Crown of G.B.”[58]


Mar. 17, 1776              After the cannon from Ticonderoga were placed on the Heights overlooking the British fleet in Boston Harbor, the British evacuate Boston and depart for Halifax (Nova Scotia).


May 1776                    At the instructions of their respective kings, Grimaldi and Vergennes set up the dummy corporation named Roderique (Rodriguez) and Hortalez et Cie.  Spain and France each contributed 1,000,000 livres to this corporation.  The “laundered” funds were to be transferred to the American colonists to assist them in the revolution.  Pierre Beaumarchais, the author of “The Barber of Seville” was appointed as the manager of the company.  Therefore, before the Declaration of Independence was signed, Spain was contributing to the revolution on two fronts:  through the dummy corporation and via New Orleans.[59]


22 May 1776               General Charles Lee, second in command to George Washington, and Commander of the forces in the south, at the behest of the Continental Congress’ Committee of Secret Correspondence, and with the approval of The [Virginia] Committee of Safety, sent Captain George Gibson and Lieutenant William Linn, with a platoon of colonial troops from Fort Pitt down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.  They brought with them a proposal from General Charles Lee, Washington’s subordinate, to Unzaga, the Governor of New Orleans.  The colonists were experiencing  problems securing supplies due to the British naval blockade.  Lee sought an agreement for commerce between Spain and the colonies up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Gibson then presented a proposal that the Americans wished to send a military expedition down the Mississippi River to capture the British settlements along the river and then to attack Pensacola, both of which would require Spanish cooperation and supplies.  Gibson conveyed General Lee’s offer, that if successful, West Florida would be ceded to Spain temporarily as a protectorate for the duration of the war, and that upon the conclusion of hostilities, that Spain would return this British province to American control.  Unzaga promised to present these proposals to Charles, III.  With the help of Robert Morris’ agent, Oliver Pollock, Captain Gibson secured over nine thousand pounds (100 quintals) of gunpowder from the Spanish royal stores.[60]  Note that Spain was providing supplies to the colonists two months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence![61]  Unzaga reported the transaction to J. Galvez on 7 Sep. 1776[62].  Linn left New Orleans with most of the gunpowder on Sep. 23, and spent the winter at Arkansas Post, a Spanish fortress at the confluence of the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers.  It took Linn until the Spring of 1777 to bring the bulk of the purchases back up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Wheeling in western Virginia . . . .”[63]  The 1789 affidavit of David Shepherd swore that Linn arrived at Wheeling in May, 1777, where the gunpowder was kept sometime before being shipped to Fort Pitt.[64]  The supplies from Spain were enough to save Fort Pitt and Willing from defeat.  Without those two key forts, General George Rogers Clark could not have succeded in his 1778 campaign in the Ohio valley.[65]


Late May 1776 Miguel Antonio Eduardo of Havana selected  by Bucareli as an undercover “observer” arrived in Philadelphia under the guise of being a Spanish merchant.  Eduardo was well financed and provided with the Santa Barbara, and a crew at his disposal.  He was well received by British officers, and had first hand opportunity to view the fleet in the harbor.  He even had an interview with Lord Dunmore after he had taken refuge on a British ship.[66]


26 Jun 1776                 Beaumarchais (under name of R. Hortalez & Co. ) to Arthur Lee (under name of Mary Johnston), sent the following letter encrypted in ciphers: 

The difficulties which I have met with in my negotiations with the ministry have made me take the resolution of forming a company, which shall send out the supplies of powder and stores to your friend (the colonies), depending, in the mean time, upon remittances in tobacco, at Cape François, and always under the name of your servant,

Roderique Hortalez & Co.  The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, Volume 2, p. 98.


Before Jul. 4, 1776       Spain and France entered into a secret agreement with the colonists to support them in their rebellion against England[67].  France would not commit to assist the colonists without Spain’s backing.[68]  Since supplies were being furnished in New Orleans by May, 1776, this agreement must have been around March or April.  Most of the early secret aid from Spain and France was shipped to Dutch or French ports in the West Indies, and from there, by American ships to the colonies.  Later that aid was shipped directly to New Orleans and from there up the Mississippi River to the colonists.  Many of the cannon and ammunition came directly from the mines and factories in New Spain.[69]


1776-1779                   Spain provided credit to the colonists totaling 8 million Reales, for military and medical supplies and food.  The mercantile business of "José de Gardoqui e Hijos" in Bilbao, Spain (of which Diego was one of three sons in a partnership with their father) supplied the patriots with 215 bronze cannon - 30,000 muskets - 30,000 bayonets - 51,314 musket balls - 300,000 pounds of powder - 12,868 grenades - 30,000 uniforms - and 4,000 field tents during the war.


May 10, 1776              The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia.


Jun 28, 1776                South Carolinean colonists defeat the British at the Battle of Sullivan Island, near Charleston.


Jul 4, 1776                   The Declaration of Independence is signed.


Aug. 1776                    Gen. Charles Henry Lee, second in command to Gen. George Washington, sent Capt. George Gibson, and Lt. William Linn with a group of 16 West Augusta militiamen, from Ft. Pitt to New Orleans, to obtain additional supplies from the Spanish governor, Luis de Unzaga.  OIliver Pollock, a patriotic financier in New Orleans, arranged for a covert shipment of gunpowder, which was approved by Unzaga.[70] By the fall Gibson was headed back upriver with 9,000 pounds of gunpowder.[71]It is interesting to note that the British were aware of the shipment.  A British veteran of the French and Indian Wars wrote to a British official that the barge had passed Manchak with 15,000 pounds of gun powder.[72]


Aug. 11, 1776              Beaumarchais, the French royal courtier, who established the dummy corporation Rodrigue et Hortalez, for the purpose of funneling money to the colonists, received 1,000,000 from the Spanish treasury on August 11, 1776.


Late 1776        Bernardo de Galvez was appointed as the King Colonel of the troops in New Orleans.  Within a short time after Galvez arrived, Governor Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga received orders to report to Caracas as the captain-general of Venezuela.  Galvez was sworn in at that time as the acting governor of Louisiana.  At the time of his appointment, Bernardo de Galvez was only 20 years old.  With his youth, he was bold and energetic.  He seemed fully capable of the job in front of him.  By his 25th birthday he had won three significant campaigns against the British.


Sep. 1776                    Spain sent 9,000 pounds of gun powder to the colonists up the Mississippi River, and an additional 1,000 pounds by ship to Philadelphia.  Part of this shipment was used by the colonists in their victory at Saratoga.[73]  This victory, together with Spain’s assurance of future financing of the colonists, caused the French to openly enter the conflict against England.[74]  This continuing “financial support from Spain throughout the war ensured continued French involvement.”[75]


October 1776              Captain Gibson sailed from New Orleans to Philadelphia aboard one of Robert Pollock’s ships and carried a letter from Pollock to Robert Morris offering his support to the revolution.  Thus Captain Gibson’s mission to New Orleans began Pollock’s official duties with the Continental Congress’ Commerce Committee, which secured New Orleans as a friendly hub for rebel troops operating in the Mississippi Valley for the duration of the war.[76]


23 Oct 1776                Arthur Lee was appointed as a “Commissioner[s] for negotiating a treaty of alliance, Amity and Commerce with the Court of France, and also for negotiating Treaties with other Nations agreeable to certain plans and instructions of Congress.”[77] 


Nov. 16, 1776             The Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean made history on November 16, 1776, when the governor responded to a canon salute from an American ship. This was the first time the independence of the United States was formally recognized.  The Dutch traders on St. Eustatius thrived by disregarding British colonial trade regulations.  In 1780, a month after warning these traders to stop dealing with the French and Spanish, England declared war of Holland.[78]


Nov. 25, 1776             Carlos, III approved the proposed agreement with the Americans proposed by General Charles Lee[79] and orderd Galvez to secretly collect intelligence about the British.  Every Spanish official  received instructions from the Crown to spy on England; to strengthen defenses; build up the Militia; to curtail British smuggling; and to secretly assist the rebels long before Saratoga (Oct. 1777).[80]  Later, Galvez was ordered to render secret help to the colonies.  


Nov. 26, 1776             Governor Bernardo Galvez received orders from his uncle, Josef de Galvez, the Minister of the West Indies, to start shipping gunpowder to the colonists.  By year’s end he had shipped $70,000 worth of gunpowder.  In that directive, he was also instructed to send secret commissioners to the English colonies.  These commissioners were to collect information.[81]


24 Dec. 1776               A Royal Order  issued by Minister of the Indies, Jose de Galvez, instructed all Spanish officials, including the Governors of Havana and Louisiana, “to quickly supply the ‘Americanos’ with what gunpowder, rifles or muskets, and ‘fusiles’ were available.  The governors were instructed to ship these war materials on free merchant ships.[82]  This latter instruction was because neither Spain nor France, as neutrals, could openly give aid to rebels in another country. Gunpowder produced in France and partially paid for by Spain, as well as that produced in Mexico, wholly at Spain’s expense was a major factor in the colonists’ success through 1776.[83]


Dec. 25, 1776 –

Mar. 30, 1778              For about 15 months between December 25, 1776 and the end of March, 1778, George Rogers Clark kept a diary.  The Indians west of the Allegheny Mountains were mostly allied with the British.  Typical of his diary entries are the following:


24 April 1777.  40 or 50 Indians attacked Boonesborough, killed and scalped Danl Goodman, wounded Capt Boone, Capt Todd, Mr. Hite and M. Stoner.




22 June 1777:  Ben. Linn & Saml Moore arr from Illenois (sic).  Barney Stagner senr killed & beheaded 2 mile from the Fort.  A few guns fired at Boons.[84]


Nov. 26, 1776             Josef de Galvez, Minister of the Indies, instructed his nephew, Louisiana Governor Bernardo de Galvez to send secret commissioners to the English colonies to collect information.  He also instructed his nephew to begin shipping gunpowder to the American rebels.  During the first year Bernardo de Galvez transported $70,000 worth of gunpowder in current dollars.  In addition to American soldiers, sailors and militiamen, America’s independence can in part be credited to Spanish militia, army and navy; French and Spanish; Spanish, French and American merchant mariners; Spanish, French and American privateers; private citizens and groups in France, Spain, and America; and the background planners in America, Cuba, Louisiana, Mexico, Spain and France who saw no combat, but whose roles were absolutely essential as government officials, bankers, financiers, shippers, warehousers; those who contributed financially and those who prayed for military success.[85]



30 Dec. 1776               The Continental Congress passed the following Resolution:

“Resolved, That Commissioners be forth with sent to the Courts of Vienna, Spain, Prussia and the grand Duke of Tuscany.” Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, p. 1054.


“That the Commissioners for the Court of France and Spain consult together, and prepare a treaty of commerce and alliance, as near as may be similar to the first proposed to the Court of France, not inconsistent therewith nor disagreeable to his most Christian Majesty, to be proposed to the Court of Spain adding thereto, ‘that if his Catholic Majesty will join with the United States in a war against Great Britain, they will assist in reducing to the possession of Spain the town and harbour of Pensacola, provided the citizens and inhabitants of the United States shall have the free and uninterrupted navigation of the Mississippi and use of the harbour of Pensacola, and will, provided it shall be true, that his Portuguese Majesty has insultingly expelled the vessels of these states from his ports, or hath confiscated any such vessels,1 declare war against the said king, if that measure shall be agreeable to and supported by the Courts of France and Spain.’" Id at p. 1057.

Jul 1776-

1780    The famous British Captain James Cook set forth on his third great voyage.  In command of the Resolution and the Discovery his voyage took him down the south Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope and through the Indian Ocean.  On this voyage, although Spain was not aware of his exact route, Spanish soldiers and militiamen at coastal settlements along the Pacific coast in California and in the Philippines were on alert of his possible attack.  Cook’s voyage took him along the coasts of present day Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska.


Jan. 1, 1777                 Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, Count of Galvez, was appointed Governor of New Orleans.  With Pollock, he continued and expanded the supply operations to the colonists.[86] Bernardo had received instructions from his uncle, Jose de Galvez, President of the Council of the Indies, on Nov. 25, 1776 that he was to inspect the frontier posts, strengthen defenses against the British; gather intelligence; to acquire charts of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico; to expand the Spanish militia; to welcome Catholic foreigners who would swear allegiance to Spain; to prevent illegal British smuggling; and to promote legitimate commerce; and to promote agriculture, especially tobacco.[87]  Soon after his arrival he established immigration schemes to attract Canary Islanders, Spanish, French and English Canadians.  His policies were designed to promote friendship for Spain and to alienate them against the English.  He was very pro French, working with fur traders to establish fur trading posts, and transacting business with French merchants.  He even married a French woman Felicite de St Maxant d’Estrehan.


Bernardo de Galvez was born on July 23, 1746, in Macharaviaya, a small village in Spain in the province of Malaga.  He was the first son of Matias de Galvez and Josefa Gallardo, both of whom were descended from ancient nobility.  His ancestors had been among those who evicted the Moors from Spain during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella in the late 15th century.  Matias served as Captain General of Guatemala, after which he was promoted to Viceroy of New Spain.

Bernardo’s uncle, Jose de Galvez, formerly a visitador to New Spain was appointed as the Minister of the Indies, exercising power second only to King Carlos, III himself.  Miguel de Galvez, another uncle, served sa a field marshall in the royal Spanish army, while a third uncle, Antonio de Galvez served as the Spanish Ambassador to the Czar of Russia.[88]


At age 16 Bernardo de Galvez found himself serving as a lieutenant in the war with Portugal in 1762.  He excelled in his duties and was promoted to Captain in the Regiment of Coruna.  His uncle Matias took Bernardo with him as part of the official Viceroyal[89] entourage to Mexico in 1765.  In 1769 Bernardo was commissioned by Viceroy Croiz to go to the northern frontier of Spain and become second in command under Lope de Cuellar, commandant of the army of Nueva Viscaya.[90] A short time later, he replaced Cuellar as Commandant.  In that post he led several expeditions against the Apaches.  As a result of his heroic exploits against the Apaches, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel.  During October, 1771, while alone, he was attacked by five Indians.  He single handedly dispatched them, but in the process was shot in the arm with an arrow, and received two lance thrusts in the chest.[91]


He returned to Spain with his uncle Matias.  In mid 1772 he received permission to enroll in the Regiment of Cantabria in France to study military science.  He was not allowed to take his Spanish rank with him.  After three years as a student, he was promoted to Lieutenant.   In the process, he became fluent in French.  Bernardo returned to Spain in 1775, enrolling in the Regiment of Seville as a Captain in artillery under the famous Alejandro O’Reilly.  During the attack on Algiers he was wounded again.  With a promotion to Lt. Colonel (for the second time), he was attached to the Spanish Military School of Avila.[92]


In 1776, he was promoted to Colonel and assigned to New Orleans as colonel of the Louisiana Regiment.  By Royal Order of September 9, 1776, he was ordered to succeed Luis de Unzaga as acting governor of the colony.  On January 1, 1777, he assumed the office of Governor of Louisiana.[93]


1777                In 1777, Virginia Governor Patrick Henry first suggested the establishment of an American fort near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  The purpose was to exert American influence upon the frontier and to facilitate trade with the Spanish in New Orleans.  In 1779, Henry was succeeded by Thomas Jefferson as Governor.  Jefferson ordered the construction of a fort as part of a chain of defense of America’s western frontier, which was later called Fort Jefferson.[94]  Jefferson instructed George Rogers Clark to pay great attention to this fort as the nearby settlement would probably become a town of importance.[95]


2 Jan. 1777                  The Continental Congress seeks open support from the king of Spain. Taken from the printed Secret Journals of the Continental Congress:

“The delegates of the United States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia--To all who shall see these presents, send greeting.
Whereas a friendly and commercial connexion between the subjects of his catholick majesty the king of Spain and the people of these states will be beneficial to both nations:--Know ye, therefore, that we, confiding in the prudence and integrity of Benjamin Franklin, one of the delegates in Congress from the state of Pennsylvania, and a commissioner from these United States to the court of France, have appointed and deputed, and by these presents do appoint and depute, him the said B. Franklin, our commissioner; giving and granting to him, the said Benjamin Franklin, full power to communicate, treat, and conclude with his catholick majesty the king of Spain, or with such person or persons as shall by him be for that purpose authorized, of and upon a true and sincere friendship, and a firm, inviolable and universal peace, for the defence, protection, and safety of the navigation and mutual commerce of the subjects of his catholick majesty and the people of the United States; and also to enter into, and agree upon. a treaty with his catholick majesty, or such person or persons as shall be by him authorized for such purpose, for assistance in carrying on the present war between Great Britain and these United States; and to do all other things which may conduce to those desirable ends; and promising in good faith to ratify whatsoever our said commissioner shall transact in the premises: Provided always, that the said Benjamin Franklin shall continue to be possessed of all the powers heretofore given him as a commissioner to the court of France from those states, so long as he shall remain and he present at the said court.”

“The delegates of the United State, of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia To all who shall see these presents, send greeting.
Whereas a friendly and commercial connexion between the subjects of his catholick majesty the king of Spain and the people of these states, will be beneficial to both nations:--Know ye, therefore, that we, confiding in the prudence and integrity of Arthur Lee, esquires, of Virginia, have appointed and deputed, and by these presents do appoint and depute him the said Arthur Lee, our commissioner, giving and granting to him, the said Arthur Lee, full power to communicate, treat, and conclude with his catholick majesty, the king of Spain, or with such person or persons as shall be by him for that purpose authorized, of and upon a true and sincere friendship, and a firm, inviolable, and universal peace, for the defence, protection and safety of the navigation and mutual commerce of the subjects of his catholick majesty and the people of the United States; and also, to enter into, and agree upon a treaty with his catholick majesty, or such person or persons as shall be by him authorized for that purpose, for assistance in carrying on the present war between Great Britain and the United States, and to do all other things which may conduce to those desirable ends; and promising in good faith to ratify whatsoever our said commissioner shall transact in the premises: Provided always, that the said Arthur Lee shall continue to be possessed of all the powers heretofore given him, as a commissioner at the court of France from these states, so long as he shall remain in, and be present at, the said court.”  Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, p.551.


Jan. 1777                     Jose de Galvez sent instructions to the Spanish naval commander at La Coruna that the supplies for Americans were to be included in the monthly mail packets bound for Havana, and from there they were to be shipped to New Orleans.  Also, Cadiz port officials were informed that similar supplies were to be carried aboard merchant ships bound for Cuba.  One of the Havana “observers” was to travel to New Orleans and deal directly with the rebels so that the deals would appear as a private transaction.[96]


By 1777 English loyaltist traders had ventured west of the Mississippi River by traveling up the Red River, and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  These traders were offering goods to the native Indians that competed with those offered by Spanish settlers.  Many of these Indians became allied with the English traders, which endangered the safety of Spaniards in what is now Texas.  Concern was so great that Governor Ripperda ordered 40 or more of the Bidais nation to come to San Antonio, using as a pretext the election of a new chief to replace the recently deceased chief.  While in San Antonio Rippereda entertained them lavishly.  During these festivities he warned them against allowing the British to land along the coast.  He asked them to notify Gil Ibarbo, the high justice of Bucareli, who also served as commander of a company of militia, if they saw any  British ships along the coast.[97]


Feb 6, 1777                 France and the United States enter into two treaties, one of which was a treaty of alliance.  Clause 13 of the latter permitted Spain to join the conflict with France as a full partner, which limited the ability of either France or the US to enter into a treaty without the assent of Spain.  Thus, Spain was now “officially” a silent partner in the conflict.[98]


Feb. – Mar. 1777                     Commissioner Arthur Lee caused a stir in Madrid with his announced intention of traveling from France to Madrid to present the American proposition directly to the court.  King Charles felt that deliberations with the American envoy on Spanish soil would strain Spain’s relationship with Britain.  They also did not want to offend the Americans.  To resolve this delima, the Marques de Grimaldi secured the services of Joseph Gardoqui of the prominent Bilbao firm of Joseph Gardoqui and Sons to intercede.  Gardoqui had for years successfully traded with the English, and since 1775, the firm had provided supplies to Massachusetts.  On Feb. 17, 1777, Gardoqui sent a letter to Lee asking that he stop his journey from France to Spain and meet with him in the village of Vitoria, where Grimaldi would meet with him.  Lee was located in the village of Burgos, where Grimaldi and Gardoqui meet with him.  Arthur Lee was unaware of the previous request of General Charles Lee sent by Captain Gibson to Governor Unzaga at New Orleans in Sep. 1776!  Grimaldi knew that King Charles had already approved the secret assistance proposed by General Charles Lee which was delivered by Capt. Gibson in New Orleans.  At this meeting on Mar. 4, 1777, Grimaldi agreed to provide most of the items on Commissioner Lee’s list.  Grimaldi promised that lines of credit would be opened for the colonists at European banks, with the secret backing of the Spanish court.  Gardoqui informed Lee that American ships would be allowed to secretly purchase war materials through the Gardoqui firm.  Poor Commissioner Lee left this meeting thinking that he was responsible for negotiating a great deal, when in fact, the agreement had been reached months before.[99]


Mar.  1777                   Benjamin Franklin reported from Paris to the Congressional Committee of Secret Correspondence that the Spanish court had quietly granted the rebels direct admission to the rich, previously restricted port of Havana under most favored nation status. Franklin also noted in the same report that three thousand barrels of gunpowder were waiting in New Orleans, and that the merchants in Bilbao, Spain "had orders to ship for us such necessaries as we might want.”[100]

Mar. 1777                    Spain’s new Prime Minister, Jose Monino y Redondo, Count of Floridablanca, wrote that “the fate of the colonies interests us very much, and we shall do for them everything that circumstances permit.”[101]

Mar. 14, 1777              Joseph Gardoqui caused blankets to be loaded onto two American ships in Bilbao, Spain harbor.[102]

Spring, 1777                As the snows thawed, much needed supplies started reaching the continental army.  Much of these supplies were provided by Spain.

Mar. 24, 1777              Conde de Floridablanca, the new Spanish minister of state, wrote to Don Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Conde de Aranda, the Spanish Ambassador to France, that the requested supplies were already on the move toward the American colonists.  He also reported that Spain had already issued secret letters of credit to several Dutch banks so that the Americans could purchase supplies through private merchants in Holland.

Apr. 13, 1777              Aranda wrote to Floridablanca on Apr. 13, 1777[103], advising that although the US was unaware at the time, the French and Spanish governments had agreed to come up with an additional 3,000,000 livres, in addition to the 2,000,000 livres they had already placed into Roderique Hortalez.  Thus, their direct cash outlays at this point was a minimum of 5,000,000 livres .

Apr. 17, 1777              In reaction to the seizure of several Spanish vessels bringing supplies from West Florida to Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez ordered eleven British vessels seized on the Mississippi River which were charged with illegal trading.

Spring 1777                 Commissioner Arthur Lee travels to Spain to seek further assistance.[104] 


May 1, 1777                The Spanish merchant ship San Joseph y las Animas sailed from Havana to New Orleans with a cargo of rifles, ammunition, gunpowder, clothing and medicine for the colonists.  Miguel Antonio Eduardo, who previously had spied in Philadelphia, met with Bernardo de Galvez.  He advised Galvez of the king’s decision to supply the rebels through New Orleans and delivered to him a packet of letters and royal orders.  Galvez faced two problems:  Eduardo was recognized as a Spanish official; and the plan had a flaw as all commercial goods had to be inspected and taxed indicating the British would easily uncover the scheme.  Galvez quickly modified the plan.  His friend Santiago Toutant Beauregard, a New Orleans merchant agreed to replace Eduardo.  Beauregard’s ships calling at Havana would transport the goods, which would go directly into his warehouse and avoid inspection.  The military supplies transported by Eduardo were declared surplus and sold at auction to Beauregard, who paid for them with the funds provided by Galvez.  Beauregard was to then arrange transfer to the Americans.[105] The Continental Congress had decided not to go forward with Gen. Lee’s proposal to send an American force to Mobile and Pensacola.  For reasons known only to the Continental Congress, no one was sent to pick up these much needed supplies until Capt. Willing arrived in Mar. 1778.[106]


May 2, 1777                On May 2, 1777, the frigate Amphitrite unloaded at Portsmouth 216 cannon, 209 gun carriages, 27 mortars, 29 fittings, 12,826 bombs, 51,134 bullets, 1,050 pounds of gun powder, 30,000 rifles with bayonets, 4,000 tents, 30,000 uniforms, and lead for making bullets.  The Journals of the Continental Congress incorrectly credits this shipment as coming from France as the shipment of goods belonging to Beaumarchais.  Subsequently, when Franklin and other colonial leaders complained that no help was being provided by Spain, Count Aranda, the Spanish Ambassador to France, asked if the Amphitrite had not yet arrived.  Since France claimed that the cargo was from France in its entirety, the colonists gave no credit to Spain for this shipment, although it had paid for one-half.  From that time on Spain decided that its support would be direct so that it could be properly credited.[107]


Before Jul. 1777           Spain sent another 2,000 barrels of gun powder, lead and clothing up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to assist the colonists.  Carlos, III made secret loans of 1,000,000 Livres.  Additional arms, ammunition and provisions were sent by the Spanish to Gen. George Rogers Clark’s posts along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers; and to George Washington’s Continental Army, through Fort Pitt.[108]


1777                            American Representative[109] in France, Benjamin Franklin, arranged for the secret transport from Spain to the colonies of 215 bronze cannon; 4,000 tents; 13,000 grenades; 30,000 muskets, bayonets and uniforms; 50,000 musket balls; and 300,000 pounds of gun powder.  Subsequently a letter of thanks was sent from Franklin to Count de Aranda for 12,000 muskets sent by Spain to Boston.  Between 1776 – 1779 Spain further provided a credit of about 8 million reales, which provided military and medical supplies and food.  During this time period England decided to attempt to cut off the supplies coming up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Their plan was to attack from Canada down the Mississippi River, and to reinforce their forts along the Mississippi.


Jun. 3, 1777                 Floridablanca wrote back to Aranda on Jun. 3, 1777.[110]  Therein he gave an accounting of the types of financial support from Spain to the colonies thus far.  He mentioned the direction from King Charles that trade with the colonies was to be supported to assist them in their cause.  He commented on the aid through Gardoqui y hijos in Bilbao totaled 70,000 pesos.  He reported that more aid was to come from Spain and that he was looking for assistance through Holland, which later happened.  He responded that the king would approve of the additional 3,000,000 Franco-Spanish contribution.


Jun. 11, 1777               A $5,000,000 loan from Spain enabled the Continental Congress to purchase supplies and arms[111].           


Jun. 12, 1777               The Commerce Committee of the United States Continental Congress wrote to General Bernardo de Galvez on June 12, 1777.[112]  This letter concerned four distinct matters:

1.      It informed Galvez that a US representative in Madrid recently met with “a person of consequence” who “assured him” that Spain would supply the colonists with blankets, clothes and military supplies; and further that the goods were to be shipped to New Orleans.

2.      Through the Commerce Department the US Government officially  thanked Galvez for the support he had provided by admitting American shipping in a Spanish port; and advising him that Oliver Pollock had spoken very highly of him and of Spain.

3.      It constituted an intelligence briefing of the current status of forces, including the fact that American troops were not disciplined, but were better marksmen.

4.      The most important part of the letter reported that it was their estimate that the British was planning to cut a swath down the Mississippi River, destroying all Spanish forts and settlements along the river, with New Orleans being the final prize.  This very optimistic plan, if successful, cut the continent into two pieces; remove Spain for the area; deny supplies to American settlements and forts up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers; provide a route to resupply British forces; provide a new western front to engage the colonists in a pincer movement.


Jun. 6, 1777                 British Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton received a copy of an order sent by General Carleton to Lord Germain, the British secretary of state for the American colonies which stated:

 “It is the King’s Command that you should direct Lieut. Governor Hamilton to assemble as many of the Indians of his District as he conveniently can, and placing proper persons at their Head . . . to conduct their Parties, and restrain them from committing violence on the well affected and inoffensive Inhabitants, employ them in making a Diversion and exciting an alarm upon the frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania”


A month later Hamilton reported that 15 Indian war parties had departed Detroit, each consisting of about 19 warriors and two whites each.[113]  These Indians continued to fight settlers long after the British defeat at Yorktown in 1781.  Britain continued to maintain their western forts for several years and persisted in supplying the Indians under their control with the means to conduct war against the settlers.  The British vowed in 1782 that they no longer were assisting the Indians in that regard, but their henchmen continued the nefarious endeavor.  The year 1782 became known as “The Year of Blood” in Kentucky.[114]


Jun. 12, 1777               Oliver Pollock was named as the agent for both the Continental Congress and the Commonwealth of Virginia in New Orleans.  When Unzaga had turned over his command in New Orleans to Bernardo de Galvez he wrote that Pollock was a “faithful and zealous American”, whom Galvez “might place implicit confidence”.[115]


Jul. 1777                      The Board of War of the Continental Congress debated sending a force of 1,000 men down the Mississippi River to seize the British outposts on the east side of the river and capture Mobile and Pensacola.  Opponents thought the plan was too bold and that the troops could be used better elsewhere.   


Sep. 1777                    By this time, Spain had already furnished 1,870,000 Livres Tournaises to the Americans.  Much of this was contributed through a dummy corporation[116], for which France erroneously received total credit, by some uninformed historians.


Oct. 1777                    Patrick Henry wrote two letters to General Galvez, thanking Spain for it’s help and requesting more supplies.  Henry suggested that the two Floridas that Spain lost to England, should revert back to Spain.[117]


Oct. 11, 1777              Spain and Portugal signed a new treaty in the town of San Lorezno del Escorial.  Upon the death of King Jose I of Portugal in Feb. 1777, he was succeded to the throne by Queen Maria Francisca, the niece of Carlos, III[118].  Now, Spain did not have to worry about Portugal becoming an ally with England.


Oct. 17 1777               As evidence of the large sum of silver Spanish coins that had already been provided to the Continental Congress, large sums of these Spanish coins were used by the Continental Congress to pay its debts:

“Ordered, That there be paid to Messrs. Price & Haywood the sum of 348 dollars, on account of a balance due them from the United States:

That four sets of exchange be drawn by the president on the Honble. Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee and Silas Deane, Esqrs. commissioners of the United States in France, and countersigned by the auditor or assistant auditor general; one set for 18,796 Spanish milled dollars, one set for 11,748 Spanish milled dollars; one set for 4,699 Spanish milled dollars, and one other set for 2,349 Spanish milled dollars, making, in the whole, the sum of 37,592 Spanish milled dollars, in favour of Messrs. James Price & William Haywood, in full payment of all demands which they or either of them have against the United States.”  Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, p. 812.

24 Oct. 1777               Robert Morris and William Smith responded to Galvez ‘ letter informing them that military supplies from Spain were waiting to be delivered.[119]Galvez was advised that Oliver Pollock had been appointed agent for the Continental Congress, and that he had been charged with the duty of chartering or purchasing ships to carry supplies  from Spain up the Atlantic coastine, wherever they could find a safe harbor.

11 Nov. 1777              Governor General Diego Joseph Navarro y Valladares of Havana informed Jose de Galvez of his selection of Don Juan de Miralles y Trajan as Spain’s unofficial liaison to Congress (“observer”). [120]


End of 1777                 $70,000 of supplies from Diego de Gardoqui’s company in Spain arrived in New Orleans and were shipped north.  Part of the shipment went up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Ft. Pitt.


3 Dec. 1777                 The Continental Congress passed the following resolution:

“Resolved, That the commissioners at the Courts of France and Spain, be directed to exert their utmost endeavours to obtain by means most effectual to the end, a loan of two millions sterling, on the faith of the thirteen United States, for a term not less than ten years.”  .”  Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, p. 989.


By the end of 1777                   Bernardo de Galvez during 1777 provided at least 74,000 Spanish Dollars (about $11,100,000 in 2009) in loans and 100,000 Spanish Dollars (about $15,000,000 in 2009) worth of gunpowder, blanket, rifles, quinine and ammunition to the Continentals.[121]


1778                            Diego de Gardoqui’s company in Spain sent 18,000 blankets, 11,000 pairs of shoes, 41,000 pairs of stockings, and unknown quantities of shirts and medical supplies to Baltimore.


In 1778, British refugees and American Loyalists fled the American settlement of Canewood and settled in Spanish territory with the permission of Count Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish Governor of Louisiana.  In his honor, the refugees named their settlement "Galveztown".  It was perched at the northeast corner of the Isle of Orleans, at the confluence of Bayou Manchac and the Amite River (present day Ascension Parish, Louisiana). 

Galvez sent immigrants from the Canary Islands, known as Isleños, to Galveztown in 1779, hoping to establish a military stronghold against the British in West Florida, who controlled nearby Baton Rouge at the time. The Spanish plans were for the town to be built with a military fort.  Some 700 Canary Island soldiers migrated to Louisiana along with 1600 family members.[122]

From the start, diseases spread in the area. Floods, hurricanes, and droughts destroyed crops year after year. Due to the somewhat remote location from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, supplies were expensive to ship in.  By the end of 1779, Galveztown lost much of its importance as military post after the British lost Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola to the Spanish; the town began to decline as disease, natural disaster, and sparcity of supplies took their toll.

The survivors of Galveztown eventually settled in Baton Rouge, in what is now known as the Spanishtown neighborhood. Although the Spanish fort, streets, and homes remained as ruins for well over a century, no efforts were made to preserve the site, and today only a state marker honoring the Canary Islander immigrants remains to mark the spot.

1778                            George Rogers Clark followed Daniel Boone from Fort Watauga (near present day Johnson City, TN), through the Cumberland Gap to the first settlement in what later became Kentucky.  His name is enscribed upon the stone monument in front of the fort, near Richmond, KY.

1778                            From 1775 to 1778 illicit roundups of Texas cattle and horses became a border industry by Indians, French traders, Spanish renegades and the English.  A British shipwreck was found on the south-east Texas coast in 1778.  This ship contained building materials, indicating British intentions to encroach on Spanish lands and build support facilities for their fleet.  Lieutenant Gil Ybarbo was dispatched to search out the British infiltrators.  He was not able to identify any activity, but the Spanish government remained on alert.[123]


1778-1779                   Virginia Governor Patrick Henry in Jan. 1778, authorized George Rogers Clark  at Fort Nelson (Louisville) to mount an expedition to capture the English fort at Vincennes (Indiana).  American Gen. George Rogers Clark at Ft. Nelson, obtained a considerable amount of his supplies from Gen. Galvez in New Orleans.  These supplies were used in his victories over the British at Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vicennes.[124]


Jan., 1778                    Captain Willing returned to New Orleans for the second time to negotiate with Oliver Pollock for more arms, ammunition and supplies for the American colonists.  Pollock was by now openly acting as agent for the Continental Congress, and was acting with the support of Governor Bernardo de Galvez.[125]


Jan. 14, 1778               Patrick Henry wrote another letter to General Galvez, thanking Spain for it’s help and requesting more supplies.[126] 


Jan. – Feb. 1778          Don Juan de Miralles y Trajan served as the Spanish “observer” in Philadelphia from 1778-1780.  He entered Charleston, SC under a feigned problem with the vessel in which he was a passenger.  He lent the state of South Carolina 20,000 Spanish milled dollars for public relief, food, and medicines following a tremendous dock fire that destroyed over 500 buildings.[127] This loan was repaid by the Continental Congress on behalf of South Carolina in early 1779.[128] On his way from Charleston to Philadelphia, Miralles stopped in Williamsburg, VA.  There, Gov. Patrick Henry entertained him with a formal dinner[129].  That evening Gov. Henry proposed a dramatic plan for taking Mobile and Pensacola, in which Americans would travel down the Mississippi, taking Natchez and joining forces with Galvez in New Orleans.[130]  Additionally, Governor Henry proposed that Spanish troops from Havana, together with Americans from Georgia and South Carolina could take Saint Augustine and Florida.[131]


Feb. 1778                    The “Treaty of Alliance” between France and The United States, obligated Spain to assist France against the English.  Gen. Galvez began to recruit an army, under the guise that it was for the defense of New Orleans.  France pressured Spain to openly join the conflict, but Floridablanca was concerned about the annual treasure fleet (“flota”) that transported the silver bouillon from Mexican mines across the Spanish Main to Spain.  If Spain joined France in a declaration of war at that time it would amount to giving England a hunting license to attack the flota, which would have ruined Spain’s economy for 1778-1789.[132] This reluctance to join the Franco-American alliance did not slow Galvez in his preparations for war.  During the January meeting of the Council of State, Galvez strongly recommended that the naval squadron at Havana should be reinforced with at least two ships of the line.  He called for a minimum of an additional two regiments for Cuba, plus an additional regiment from Puerto Rico and several other regiments to be positioned at the discretion of the viceroyalty of New Spain.[133] Galvez also noted that additional security must be provided for the treasure fleet’s passage.[134]


Spain had several other concerns that led to temporary restraint.  Spanish General Alejandro O’Reilly was involved in a major campaign in North Africa due to Morocco’s policy.  Spanish ministries were heavily involved in planning an attack in Algeria following O’Reilly’s significant defeat in July 1775, which resulted in heavy Spanish losses.  King Charles was also very concerned about going to war with Portugal, an ally of the British.  Spain and Portugal had territorial disputes along the Rio Plata.  If Spain declared war against England, Portugal was obligated by treaty to become a belligerent against Spain. 


France was even a bigger problem for Spain.  For some time the Spanish Council of Ministers had been advocating greater independence from France in the sphere of foreign affairs.  The Seven Years War had weakened the ties between the two countries.  One thorn in the paw of the Spanish lion was France’s refusal to support Spain in its diplomatic confrontation with Britain in 1770 over the Malvinas Islands.  A declaration of war against Britain would immediately result in a blockade of all Spanish ports around the world.  His advisors cautioned restraint until there was some advantage for Spain.  Another concern was that was advocated by Floridablanca and other ministers was that the US would replace Great Britain as a rival.  Nevertheless, Spain continued to prepare for a full confrontation with England.  Spain slowly built up its naval and military forces in New Spain and listened closely to frequent reports from its “observers”.  The pro-American reports it received from Mirales helped shape their ultimate decision to declare war on England.[135]


Feb 14. 1778               Patrick Henry wrote to Bernado de Galvez advising that Virginia and the “confederation of the states of America’ were very appreciative of Spain’s help.  He told Galvez that the colonists were having difficulties importing supplies and weapons.  He advised of their need for woolen blankets and tarps as well as munitions.  He inquired if Spain would object if the US built a fort on the Mississippi in Spanish territory.  He specifically requested that Spain provide Virginia 150,000 pistols as a loan.  This letter was given to Col. David Rogers.  The letter was not delivered until mid-October 1778.[136]


Feb. 23, 1778              Arthur Lee went to Aranda’s home to acknowledge that the US had received a shipment of money and supplies by way of Havana.  Both were unsure as to whether the shipment had been valued in reales or livres.  At the time 75 livres equaled 120 reales (5:8).  It later appeared that the shipment had been valued in livres, and that this was the first of three shipments scheduled.[137]


Mar. 1778                    U.S. Captain James Willing left Ft. Pitt with an expedition of 34 marines, bound for New Orleans to obtain more supplies for the war.  A large supply of Spanish rifles, ammunition, gunpowder, clothing and medicine for the colonists had been delivered to Galvez in May 1777[138].  Galvez had been forewarned by the Crown that war with Britain was coming.  Along the way, Willing recruited about 116 more recruits.  They plundered the British settlements along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  They captured boats, barges, an armed British ship and slaves.  Gen. Galvez welcomed them to New Orleans; provided them with living accommodations; and assisted them in auctioning off their British plunder.   With the proceeds of the auction Galvez sold them military arms and ammunition for their return trip to Ft. Pitt.   


Galvez allowed them to convert the seized armed British vessel  into an American gunboat.  Galvez refusal to honor British protests, which caused the British to reinforce its outposts along the Mississippi (Baton Rouge, Manchac, Natchez, etc.) with more troops and more modern ships that could otherwise have been deployed against the colonists.  Clearly, the Commerce Committee that had in July 1777, considered sending 1,000 men down the Mississippi, had miscalculated how much damage Willing and his marines could do.  While in New Orleans Willing told Galvez that the rebellion had spread into the Illinois country, and that he needed more supplies for Gen. George Rogers Clark at Fort Nelson.[139]


Mar. 9, 1778                Deputy Governor General Francisco Cruzat, commander at Fort Carlos in St. Louis on March 9. 1778, wrote to Bernardo de Galvez advising of British intentions to attack New Orleans from the north.  Later, his replacement Don Fernando de Leyba, who took over that month, also warned of Great Britain’s intentions.  Galvez thought the best way to defeat the British was to keep Fort Pitt, and one of the best ways to protect Fort Pitt was to support General George Rogers Clark at Ft. Nelson, in what is now Louisville, KY.  Willing had orders to escort the supplies upriver.[140]


Apr. 3, 1778                Robert Morris and William Smith wrote to Bernardo de Galvez at least three times to express their appreciation to him and to France for its assistance.[141]


Apr. 22, 1778              Captain John Paul Jones began his raid on English ports.  Jones was outfitted by Spaniard Diego Maria de Gardoqui Aniquibar of Bilboa, Spain.  Gardoqui, at the request of the Spanish crown outfitted many Spanish privateers, who disrupted British merchant shipping.  At the end of the war, Gardoqui became Spain’s first Ambassador to the United States[142].


May 2, 1778                Willing received the goods in New Orleans and headed upriver.  


May 6, 1778                Don Bernardo Galvez is laying the groundwork for the ultimate clash with British forces.  By letter dated May 6, 1778 to Don Josef Briones, he instructed him to cross Lake Pontchartrain to observe British shipping, and to provide Galvez with daily reports.  In his spare time he was ordered to take soundings in the lake.[143]


May 18, 1778              General Galvez informed Don Raymundo DuBreuil, Commandant of Fort San Gabriel,[144] that he had been informed by the Commandant at Bayou de San Juan that “3 balandras and 2 schooners carrying troops” were in route to Manchak.  He was ordered to be on alert and to prepare the militia and Indians for any emergency.[145]


May 28, 1778              British Governor Chester by letter warned Galvez that he would attack Louisiana if it continued to ignore its professed neutrality.  He further told Galvez that he had sent an additional detachment of troops to Manchak to protect that area.[146]During this time frame the British governor also added troops to other British fortifications along the Gulf and up the Mississippi, including Mobile, Baton Rouge and Natchez.[147] These troop movements kept the British from sending these troops to the conflict raging in the American colonies.


Jun., 1778                    Francisco de Leyba was appointed as the third Lt. Governor of Louisiana.  He reported to Ft. Carlos at present day St. Louis, where he became the commandant, with instructions to develop and maintain friendly relations with the nearby Indians;  to build good relationships with the nearby trappers and settlers, most of whom were French; to develop agriculture; and to recruit and train a militia.  He was provided with a small detachment of Spanish army troops.[148]


Jun. 9, 1778                 Galvez turned over 24,023 Pesos cash (about $75,000 in current money) to Pollock in two payments and supplies worth 26,990 to go upriver.  Pollock refitted the captured British ship Rebecca and sent it upriver as an escort.[149]


Jun. 13, 1778               By this time supplies (rifles, gunpowder, blankets, uniforms, and clothing)[150] were also being funneled to the colonists through New Orleans and Havana by government officials in Mexico City and Veracruz, Mexico.  France was also being supplied by Spain through Veracruz.[151]


Jun. 24, 1778               Lt. Colonel George Rogers Clark, with 175 men departed Corn Island (Louisville) bound for the British fortress at Kaskaskia, with its 1,000 inhabitants


July 4, 1778                 Lt. Colonel George Rogers Clark, supplied by de Leyba at Ft. Carlos, from supplies sent upriver by Galvez, attacked and conquered British forces at Kaskaskia.  This cut off one source of supplies to British forces based in Detroit; gave him control of river supply and communications, and helped to maintain his Spanish supply route.[152]  He and his 175 men had departed from the abandoned Fort Massac[153] six days before.  Within the next month Vincennes (Indiana) and Cahokia (Illinois) across the river from Ft. Carlos, came under control of Clark.  Seventy five of his men went home.  Clark was able to maintain his position only through recruitment of French settlers in the Illinois country and the support of the Spanish at Ft. Carlos and New Orleans.[154]


Soon after the conquest of Kaskaskia by Clark, Don Fernando de Leyba, began corresponding with Clark.  A bond of friendship developed between the two men.  About a month after the establishment of the new settlement at Clarksville at Fort Jefferson, Clark left for St. Louis,  to assist in the defense of Fort Carlos.


July 13, 1778               Francisco de Leyba wrote to his friend George Rogers Clark congratulating him upon his victory at Kaskaskia.  He informed him that additional supplies had arrived in New Orleans and invited him to visit Ft. Carlos.[155] Cahokia was only a few miles from Fort Carlos.


Late July, 1778 Clark spent two days as the house guest of de Leyba.  De Leyba was in possession of a shipment from Galvez, and there were discussions about whether the goods in question were paid for by congress or by Virginia.  If Virginia, Clark wanted to take delivery.  It appears that the shipment in question was the inventory amounting to 26,990 pesos fuertes delivered by Pollock to Willing in May, 1778.  Clark was the guest of honor.  Upon arrival, he was honored with an artillery salute.  He was toasted  many times by the 30 guests in attendance at formal dinners each evening.  A celebratory dance lasted into the early morning hours.  The celebration continued the following evening.[156]  The two men met again that year at least once, and continued their correspondence.[157]  Clark remained at Cahokia for five weeks, where he concluded treaties with 10 or more Indian tribes.  One scholar had this to say about Clark:

            “The Great achievement of Clark’s 1778 campaign was not the uncontested occupation of the Illinois, but his success in neutralizing so considerable a segment of the Indian military power upon which the English strategy had depended.”[158]


Lt. Governor de Leyba had an attractive single sister, Theresa, who lived at Fort Carlos.  In polite society, Clark would have danced with her.  Over the years there has been much speculation about a romance between Clark and Theresa.  A popular novel fanned the flames of this romance[159].  Although the current director of ______ in Louisville told this author in an interview in 2010 that there is nothing to indicate there ever was any romantic involvement between Dona Theresa de Leyba and Clark, one prominent author indicated that Clark had written her a letter proposing marriage.  She had become despondent upon her brother’s death and had traveled to New Orleans where she had already taken her vows before the proposal arrived.[160]  This unrequited love is also reputedly the basis for the poem Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Perhaps his affection for Thresa de Leyba was the reason he never married.


Aug 6, 1778                 Willing arrived at Fort Carlos in St. Louis with the supplies from Galvez.  Lt. Governor de Leyba wrote to Gen. George Rogers Clark that the supplies had arrived and would be held until Clark sent instructions.  Shortly thereafter a second shipment from Oliver Pollock in New Orleans arrived at Fort Carlos.  Clark was concerned that some of these supplies should be sent to Ft. Pitt, but he was assured by members of the Continental Congress that they were being supplied via a different route.[161] De Leyba extended credit to Clark, and the citizens of St. Louis to furnish additional credit to Clark.[162] Clark reported to Gov. Henry that Leyba “interests himself much in favor of the States”.  He was so involved that he personally raised supplies from the inhabitants of St. Louis, and personally guaranteed payment for supplies secured for Clark.[163]


Aug. 24, 1778              A devastating hurricane hit New Orleans and surrounding areas.  It destroyed many of the buildings in the city and outlying areas, and sank many vessels at anchor and in port.  This storm killed most of the livestock in the area, leaving the residents of New Orleans without fresh meat.[164]


Oct. 1778                    Pollock received an additional 15, 948 pesos fuertes in two payments from Spain for the Americans.[165]


Oct. 11, 1778              Bernardo de Galvez received a letter from Don Raymundo DeBreuil, dated October 11, 1778 in which he reported that three days earlier the British at Manchak received word from Pensacola that 2,000 men were being transferred to reinforce Fort Bute.  He also reported that the fort was being strengthened and that barracks and other structures were being built at Fort Bute.  The fort had recently received nine months supplies.[166]


Oct. 13, 1778              The British troops at Manchak had become unnerved and tensions were high.  Two canoes with 17 Indians paddled downstream near the British fort.  One of the canoes was flying the Spanish flag.  At least 60 shots were fired at them.[167]


Oct. 14, 1778              A British officer in disguise, with his company of British troops were stationed above Baton Rouge to look for Americans.  They came down the river to Baton Rouge to report to the English commander  that they had spotted two boats of armed troops near Ysla de Ybervil.  As a result the commandant was prepared for an attack.[168] 


Oct. 19, 1778              Bernardo de Galvez wrote to Patrick Henry that because of Captain Willing’s exploits down the Mississippi, England stationed two war ships off the port of New Orleans.[169]  This made Spain’s undercover assistance much more difficult.


Oct. 21, 1778              Spain’s plan to rid the English from the area was complicated by the arrival at New Orleans of two boat loads of American families from South Carolina.  They arrived in response to an offer of land from the Governor of West Florida at Pensacola.  They settled at Petit Goufre.[170]


Nov., 1778                  The first Canary Islanders (“Islenos”) arrived in New Orleans in November, 1778.  Bernardo de Galvez divided them into four groups, two of which were settled on bayous north of New Orleans, and two groups were established south of the city, on both banks of the Mississippi.  These new arrival were posted so as to give a warning in the event of attack.  Between 1776 – 1778, a group of Anglo-Americans seeking Spanish refuge from the American Revolutionary War, settled at the junction of the Amite River and Bayou Manchac.  They named their settlement “Galvestown”.[171]


Dec. 2, 1778                Raymundo DuBreul reported to Bernardo de Galvez that he had crossed the river from Galveztown to Fort Bute to request permission from the English commandant to pass supplies up river from New Orleans to the detachment at Galveztown.  He was well received and the officers toasted to the health of Galvez.  Yet a few moments later shots were fired at an Indian canoe.  Indians said that if one of them were injured, they would burn the English fort.  When he returned to the fort at Galveztown, English shots lodged into the door of the fort.[172]


Dec. 4, 1778                A ship arrives in New Orleans from Havana bringing passengers, mail and cargo, as well as 400 reinforcements for the Regiment.  He noted that two unidentified frigates, which were probably British, were at anchor off shore.[173]The next day Galvez was notified that the two English war ships had passed Ysla Real that afternoon without a flag.[174]


Dec. 13, 1778              Galvez gives DuBriel permission to continue to receive British deserters at Galveztown and to provide them with passage down the river to New Orleans.[175]


Dec. 13 & 15, 1778     Patrick Henry wrote two letters to Don Fernando de Leyba to express his gratitude for de Leyba’s assistance and willingness to help the American cause.[176]


Dec. 17, 1778              With a force of about 500, consisting mostly of Indians loyal to the British, British and members of the French militia,  Lt. Governor Hamilton retook Vincennes.  Following orders of the British crown to use Indians against the Americans, Hamilton became known as the “hair buyer”, since in effect, with his gifts to the Indians he was perceived as paying for the scalps that they took.  His forces traveled 600 miles from Detroit in 71 days.  When he arrived he learned that most of the French[177] garrison loyal to Clark had already abandoned Captain Helm and were surrendering their arms to Major Hay.  Not a shot was fired.  Two days later, many of the French militiamen who has sworn allegiance to the United States were required by Hamilton to renew their previous oath of allegiance to England. This expedition required that Hamilton postpone his plans to attack Fort Pitt.  His primary goal was to disrupt Clark’s line of communication with both Kentucky and Virginia.[178]


Dec. 23, 1778              Francis Vigo, a Spanish merchant from Fort Carlos (St Louis) arrived at Vincennes to deliver ammunition and supplies from de Leyba and to determine what supplies were needed for his next trip.  He was detained by Hamilton, questioned and released as a Spanish neutral, but only upon his solemn oath that on his return to Fort Carlos he would do nothing to harm the British cause.  True to his word, he traveled directly to Fort Carlos, and then without delay traveled to Kaskaskia to inform Clark of the turn of events.  He arrived in Kaskaskia on Jan. 29, 1779.


Dec. 31, 1778              Raymundo DuBriel reported to Bernardo Galvez that the governor of West Florida at Pensacola has received orders to build a chain of forts along the east side of the Mississippi River in English territory, and that Colonel Dickson expected to be named commander of those forts.  The English planned to soon start construction of two brick forts with barracks inside for 300 each at Manchak and Baton Rogue.  At that time there were 3,000 British soldiers stationed at Pensacola, many of whom arrived on one of five frigates which recently arrived there.   He noted rumors of 11,000 Russian volunteers landing in America, and of a possible alliance between England and Spain.[179]


1778 – 1780                Don Juan de Miralles, while serving as a Spanish “observer” in Philadelphia, established free trade and commerce between the merchants of Philadelphia and Havana, providing a much needed source of supplies to the residents of Philadelphia.  This commerce aided farmers and merchants by giving them a new market for rice, flour, dried beef and pork, lard, soap and fish.  The American ships on their return voyages imported sugar, rum, honey, tropical fruit and tobacco.  These shipments frequently included arms, ammunition and other military supplies.  Later, Miralles established trade between Philadelphia and Baltimore and Puerto Rico, Martinique, New Orleans and other Spanish ports.   This much need commerce help sustain the economy of the rebellion.  George Washington was a frequent guest of Miralles, and reciprocated by inviting Miralles to frequent dinners at the Washington home.  Gen. Washington treated him as if he were the official representative of Spain in the US.  One example would be an invitation to him and the French Ambassador to review continental headquarters at Morristown.  The troop’s guarding the compound signs and countersigns for the three day visit were “King Charles”, “Don Juan de Miralles”, “Navarro” and “Aranda”, thereby giving Spain the royal treatment.[180]


1779-1782                   Spanish Ranchers (which included the seven Missions)  along the San Antonio River between San Antonio and Goliad, Texas sent between 9,000 and 15,000 head of cattle, several hundred horses, mules, bulls and feed to Gen. Bernardo Galvez in New Orleans by way of El Camino Real.  The cattle were used to feed his troops and to provision George Washington’s Continental Army at Valley Forge.


Early  1779                  George Rogers Clark moved the Fort at the Falls of the Ohio from Corn Island to the south shore.  The new fort was called “Fort on Shore”.[181]  Subsequently, it was renamed Fort Nelson (present day Louisville).  It was his efforts that led the Virginia Assembly to establish Kentucky County, Virginia, which includes all of present day Kentucky.  It was his leadership that led to the initial political organization.[182]Creation of Kentucky County was in part to control the Illinois Indians.[183]


Jan 19, 1779                British Adm. George Rodney's squadron with 18 ships-of-the-line engaged Spanish Adm. Juan de Langera's squadron with 11 ships-of-the-line off Cape Vincent (on the southwestern coast of Portugal).  This is called the "Moonlight Battle" because, rather than breaking off at sunset (as was usual) the combatants continued until 2 AM. The Spanish lost seven of their ships-of-the-line.


Jan. 29 –

Feb. 27, 1779              It was on Jan. 29, 1779 that Clark learned from Spanish merchant Francis Vigo that Hamilton had retaken Vincennes.  Unknown to him was the fact that Hamilton had released his militia and most of his Indian allies for the duration of the winter.  Clark was of the opinion that Hamilton would not expect an attack in the middle of winter across 180 miles of flooded countryside, so he placed into motion his plan to attack and retake Fort Charlotte and Vincennes.  A messenger was sent to Cahokia for volunteers.  Within a few days a company of Cahokia volunteers arrived at Kaskaskia on Feb. 4, 1779.  Kaskaskia also raised a company of volunteers.  Clark purchased a large riverboat and outfitted as an armed galley.  It was armed with a nine pound cannon, two four pounders, and four swivils.  It carried supplies for the expedition, including sufficient ammunition for the task at hand.  John Rogers, a cousin of Clark, was selected as Captain of the ship, which was named the Willing, after _ Willing.  Forty men or more constituted the crew.  The plan was for the Willing to travel down the Mississippi River to its confluence with the Ohio, near Fort Jefferson, and then up the Ohio River to the Wabash River, about half-way to Fort Nelson (Louisville).  Then, it was to travel up the Wabash to a point just below Vincennes.  At that point Captain Rogers was to rendezvous with the land party to resupply it; and to prevent a river withdrawal by Hamilton’s forces.


The fully armed and loaded Willing, with its crew departed Kaskaskia on Feb. 5, 1779.  The land party left on Feb. 6th.  The land force consisted of 170 men, about half of whom were French.  They were confronted with swollen rivers and flooded fields, but through dogged determination they averaged 25 – 30 miles per day for the first six days.  As they neared the Wabash River on Feb. 13th, they were forced to abandon their pack horses, and carry what they could on their backs.  Until they neared Vincennes there was plenty of game to keep their stomach’s full.  Evening meals were festive and their spirits were high.  When they reached the Embarrass River on Feb. 17th, they could hear the cannon from Fort Sackville.  No hunting was allowed for fear the British would be alerted.  The Willing, with its food and supplies had not yet arrived.  By Feb. 19th they were starved.  On Feb. 20th two French hunters shared their venison with the troops and provided information about two canoes.  The following day Clark used the canoes to ferry his force to dry land.  Still no sign of the Willing.  The nights were bone chilling cold.  Ice was forming on the edge of the water.  The men suffered from hunger, cold and exposure.


On Feb. 22nd a British scouting party spotted Clark’s campfires about 12 miles downstream.  Hamilton put the fort on alert, alerted the militia and sent out a 20 man scouting party.  That evening 15 of Clark’s sharpshooters began firing into the fort with deadly accuracy.  Friendly Frenchmen in the fort took Clark’s men to a place where caches of ammunition had been stored underground and delivered it to Clark.  Most of the Frenchmen, who had recently sworn an oath to England abandoned the fort.  Many of them joined with Clark.  Hamilton was left with only 79 men.  On Feb. 25, 1779, Fort Sackville and the town of Vincennes were surrendered to Clark and the American flag was hoisted about the fort.  Many view this as the high point in Clark’s carrer.  The Willing did not arrive until Feb. 27th.  Shortly thereafter Clark was promoted to Colonel.[184]


1779 - 1782                 All males, including Indians, over 18 in New Spain were required to become a member of the Militia in their respective areas.  Matias de Galvez, father of Bernardo, drove the British occupiers out of Belize and Roatan.  Subsequently, English forces attacked the interior of what is now Nicaragua, and captured the stronghold at Omoa.  Frequent battles ensued between Britain and Spain in Central America.  By 1782 Matias Galvez had expelled the British from Central America.[185]


Feb. 16, 1779              Artillery and ammunition was received at Fort Bute in Manchak.[186]  The British are plagued with desertions by both English and German soldiers, some of whom are diverted to Galveztown, but most of whom are shipped down river to New Orleans.[187]


Mar. 4, 1779                Gen. George Washington wrote a letter of appreciation to Navarro in which Washington praised Spain for its assistance.[188]


Mar 5, 1779                 More reinforcements arrived at Fort Bute.  A detachment of 100 men were transferred to the fort at Natchez.  Colonel Dickson was placed in command of the British garrison until the new General arrived.[189]


12 Apr. 1779               A secret treaty was entered into between the French Ambassador in Madrid, and Count Floridablanca, Spanish Secretary of State, which drew Spain further into the conflict between the American Colonies and England.  In the treaty of Aranjuez they agreed to aid one another in recovering lost territory from Britain.  France and Spain sought to secure Gibraltar, which was a key link in Britain's control of the Mediterranean Sea, and expected its capture to be relatively quick—a precursor to a Franco-Spanish invasion of Great Britain.


Spring, 1779                For over a year there had been many discussions about sending a large Franco-Spanish fleet to raid Great Britain.  Finally, the plan came into fruition.  John Paul Jones and Benjamin Franklin’s navy of privateers were to attack Liverpool.  This attack was a mere diversion for the grand attack of a 64 ship armada, with a combination of French and Spanish ships and men.  These war ships carried 4,774 guns.  They moved up the English Channel to attack a British fleet half the size.  Sure victory was at hand, but just as the fateful day of the Spanish Armada of 1588, a tempestuous storm scattered the Franco-Spanish fleet and disrupted the attack.  At that very moment a smallpox epidemic struck the fleet, killing thousands and weakening the survivors.[190]  That day, Spain and France paid an additional price for American freedom in terms of ships lost and men killed.


May 8, 1779                Spain declared war on Great Britain.  The Royal Order reads as follows:

“The king . . . has decided to declare war on [the king] of Great Britain, and [has decreed] that upon receipt of this order, it is to be published by solemn bando throughout America” . . . I command the [provincial] governors quickly to have copies of the bando made, published and placed in the most public locations in the town, villa, and [other] places under [the jurisdiction of] their respective governments, that it may come to the attention of all.”[191]

Immediately, the British government issued “Letters of Marque”[192] against all ships and subjects of Spain, making them fair game for British war ships and privateers.


At the same time, Spain sent much of its fleet from San Blas and Acapulco to reinforce Manila, which England had captured during the Seven Years War.  Captain Cook began his three voyages in 1768, so the redeployment of ships of war to the Philippines was merited. 


June 16, 1779              According to English newspapers dated April 3, 1780, for some unknown reason, it was not until June 16, 1779 that the Spanish Ambassador to England delivered the declaration of war to the royal court in London.  This article recounted that it was only a few days later war with England was declared in Puerto Rico.  Clearly, the Spanish court had advised its leaders around the world of the forthcoming declaration of war well in advance of the formal notice to England.  In fact, Bernardo de Galvez in New Orleans, had been advised that war was imminent in August, 1778.  The independence of America from England had been publicly recognized from a drum beating ceremony in New Orleans on August 19, 1779.  Galvez was well prepared for war, and as soon as official word was received, acted quickly to attack British forces on the Mississippi.  He seized the kings’s sloop on the Mississippi on its way to reprovision Manchak, plus six other small vessels on the lakes and in the river Amit (sic).[193]


20 Jun. 1779                Francisco Garcia, an emissary from Bernardo de Galvez, arrived in San Antonio with a letter for Texas Governor Domingo Cabello, requesting and authorizing the first official cattle drive from Texas to Louisiana.  Following the August 1778 hurricane in Louisiana the cattle herds were decimated and his troops in Louisiana needed beef.  He also needed horses for his cavalry and to pull artillery pieces.  Galvez was very familiar with the Texas long horn cattle from his days in Chichuahua fighting Apaches.  Cabello immediately took steps to insure that the cattle and horses were gathered up for shipment by cattle drive.  He also recruited a few soldiers to fight with Galvez.  Many of the soldiers and militiamen stationed at the Texas presidios were assigned to guard the cattle shipments.  By August, 1779, the first shipment of 2,000 head of cattle was ready for shipment.  The shipment was divided into two separate drives to insure against the Comanches who had blocked the El Camino Real.  Through 1782, a minimum of 9,000 head of cattle were trailed to Galvez from the ranches between San Antonio and La Bahia.  The cattle, bulls, horses and feed were assembled at La Bahia and herded through Nacogdoches (TX), Natchitoches (LA) and Opelousas, where they were delivered to Spanish forces.  The trail herders were a mixed bag of vaqueros from the ranches, militiamen, and Spanish soldiers from Bexar, La Bahia and El Fuerte del Cibolo.[194]It should be noted that all of this activity was well before Bernardo Galvez received official notice on August 12, 1779, that Spain had declared war against England.  Cabello was under orders from Teodoro de Croix, the commandant-general of the interior provinces of New Spain, to refrain from trade with Louisiana without a royal license.  Cabello requested permission from Croix to comply with Galvez’ request.  By letter dated August 16, 1779, Croix gave his blessing on the cattle drives to Louisiana.[195]On September 20, 1779 Cabello advised Croix that he was preparing to export 2,000 head of cattle and a number of bulls to Louisiana.  Interestingly, three weeks earlier on August 30, 1779, Joseph Felix Menchaca arrived in Nacogdoches (TX) with the main herd of cattle.  By that date a herd of horses had already passed through Natchitoches (LA) and proceeded to New Orleans to make final arrangements for the arrival of the cattle.[196]Twenty-two privates from Cabello’s detachment at El Cibolo were assigned to the horse herd trailed to New Orleans by Lieutenant Menchaca.[197] Cabello did not receive the news that war had been declared until December 9, 1779.[198]  The Texas ranchers estimated that they had sent more than 13,000 head of cattle to Galvez.  Governor Cabello ran a tally of cattle exported which totaled 18,449 head of cattle.  A father Lopez estimated that the total cattle exported to Louisiana was 15,000 – 20,000 head “most of them  cows.”[199] Another researcher has estimated that the number of cattle sent to Galvez after 1780 totaled 15,000 to 20,000 head per year.[200] [emphasis added]  Since different fees attached to unbranded cattle there was little incentive for the ranchers to submit accurate reports on the number of head of cattle exported.  One researcher stated

that attempts to calculate the true number of cattle exported are little more than exercises in futility.  It is safe to assume that the actual exports exceeded the official figures, just as wild stock always exceeded the number the cattlemen managed to brand and talley.[201]


Providing these cattle to Galvez’ troops created a hardship to those living in Texas.  Governor Cabello predicted:   “that the year free trade was established  bovine and equine livestock would become so scarce in Texas that a horse would be worth 20 pesos and a cow twice as much.  He feared that the rush of cattle and livestock to “La Luiciana” that it would not be long before it would be impossible to supply the presidios in Coahuila, as was already happening.  He said “cattle will become totally lacking, and none will be found even for our own sustenance.”  Nevertheless, Cabello promised the comandant-general that he would be able to fill the order of General Galvez.[202]


21 Jun. 1779                Notice arrived in Cuba that Spain formally declared war on England.  Carlos, III, king of Spain, ordered Spanish subjects around the world to fight the English wherever they were to be found.  In the declaration of war, Carlos asked all Spaniards to pray for victory.[203]  Gen. Bernardo Galvez in New Orleans, was ready for battle.  For about a year he had been preparing for war.  He started with a force of 667 men, which included 170 veteran soldiers, 330 recruits newly arrived from Mexico and the Canary Islands, together with an assortment of Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, militiamen, free Blacks and Mulattoes, plus seven American volunteers.


Jun. 24, 1779               King Carlos, III issued a special edict for all Spaniards in Spain and America, requiring them to offer prayers for the Spanish army.  It was not until the following February 18, 1780 that notice of this edict was passed on to the Franciscan Presidente of the missions in California by Comandante-General Teodoro de Croix.  His message, translated from the original Spanish to Englis is as follows:

… inspired thereto by his sense of piety, and wishing above all things to implore the protection of the Almighty, on Whom depend the destinies of empires and the issues of wars, has given orders directing that, in all his possessions in Spain and America, public prayers be offered up for the prosperity of our Catholic armed forces.[204]


Presumably, Comandantes-General in other parts of the Americas did likewise.  The Franciscan Presidentes passed on this message to their respective missions.  Since a request from the king was the equivalent of a royal order, it is safe to assume that throughout all of Spain and the Americas, prayers for victory against the English were said by all Spaniards.


24 Jun 1779 –

7 Feb. 1783                 When Spain declared war on Britain the siege of Gibraltar began.  Spain allocated four regiments totaling some 13,000 land troops plus 13 ships of the line and other smaller vessels.  The siege lasted the better part of four years.


Jul. 1779                      Oliver Pollock received an additional payment from Spain for the Americans totaling 22,640 pesos Fuertes.[205]


Jul. 16, 1779                Bernardo de Galvez received a letter dated July 16, 1779 from the Commerce Committee of the Continental Congress thanked him for his favorable sentiments included in his letters to Congress dated April 3, May 5, 6 and June 4, 1778, which letters were read to Congress.  The letter also thanked him for the financial assistance rendered to Oliver Pollock.[206]


23 Jul 1779                  The Continental Congress passed a resolution directing each state to provide a list of necessary commodities and supplies for the army, at a designated cost per unit for each supply.  If any state came up short, they were to pay the difference to the US Treasury in Spanish milled dollars.  If any state overpaid, they were to be reimbursed in Spanish milled dollars.  Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, p. 872.


Aug. 9, 1779                A combined Spanish – French naval task force captured a large British convoy of ships, carrying troops.


Aug. 12, 1779              Although Spain declared war on England on May 8, 1779, it was not until Captain Cristobal Mansana brought the mail to New Orleans on August 12, 1779 that Galvez was made aware of the declaration.[207]In the declaration of war, King Carlos, III recognized the independence of the United States and ordered all posts to on guard against British resentment.  He incorrectly reported that 18,000 British troops had landed at Boston, and that reinforcements were heading up the Mississippi to Manchak and Baton Rouge.[208]


Aug. 14, 1779              John Paul Jones, captain of the Amrican ship Bonhomme Richard set sail, and over the next month captured or destroyed at least 29 enemy vessels.   On September 23, Bonhomme Richard famously fought the British frigate Serapis.  Jones’ ship was provisioned by the Gardoqui family of Bilbao, Spain.


Aug. 16, 1779              This was what Galvez had been awaiting.  For over a year he had been planning for war against the English.  Within the first few days after receiving the formal notice of war, he penned letters to his officers.  On August 16, 1779 he wrote to DuBreuil.  He advised that war had been declared against Britain, but that the English had not yet received any notice.  Under the circumstances, DuBreuil was to do nothing to expose that secret.  In the meantime he was to prepare for war.  Galvez advised that he planned to leave very soon with a large force to attack Fort Bute.  DuBreuil was instructed to select points for an advantageous attack.[209]


18 Aug. 1779               A hurricane sank all but one of Galvez’ fleet of 14 ships which he was preparing for an expedition up the Mississippi River to seize British outposts.  Only the frigate El Volante survived.  Among the ships lost was the newly commissioned American gunboat that Capt. Willing had seized from the British in 1778.  The hurricane did not damage the forts or buildings at Fort Bute in Manchak or Baton Rouge.  He salvaged cannon from the sunken ships.  Galvez ordered that all undamaged ships up river be brought to New Orleans.[210]


Aug. 21, 1779              The British at Fort Bute and Baton Rouge learned that Spain had declared war on England, and they began to prepare for an attack.[211]


27 Aug. 1779               Gen. Bernardo Galvez learned of the May 8, 1789 Declaration of War against England on August 16th.[212]  Because he knew that war was imminent, he had been prepared – at least until the hurricane struck the week before.  One Galliot and three gunboats were salvaged from the bottom of the river and restored.  These vessels were equipped ten cannons, one of 24 pounder, five 18 pounders, and four 4 pounders, and ammunitions .  The attack was two pronged.  The four gunboats of this expedition which was to go by water, were placed in the command of Lieutenant of Artillery,  Don Julian Alvarez.  Galvez gave charge of defending New Orleans to Captain Don Pedro Piernas, who had the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, which left only militiamen to protect the town.  The affairs of the administration of the governor were taken care of by Quartermaster Don Martin Navarro.  The army that was to follow Galvez was under the command of Colonel Don Manuel Gonzales.  Second in command was Lt. Colonel Don Estevan Miro, with Captain Don Jacinto Panis serving as Major of the Expedition.[213]


He led the 700 Spanish Army regulars at New Orleans up the Mississippi River 105 miles to attack Fort Bute, in Manchac, Louisiana in 11 days.  Along the way the size of his force doubled with the recruitment of German[214] and Acadian[215] militiamen[216] and Indians.  Upon his arrival at Ft. Bute, his force numbered 1,427 men, about one-third of which were unfit for duty due to sickness and fatigue.  At the time,  When Galvez’ troops arrived, the fort contained only one garrison of a Captain, Lieutenant and a Second Lieutenant plus 24 enlisted men.  Fortunately for Galvez, the British had detached to Baton Rouge the day before a substantial force including 110 Grenadiers and two companies (201) of fusileers of the German Army of Waldeck, and another two companies of the 16th Regiment of Foot, after having sent their Artillery, Tools, Ammunition and Provisions ahead.[217] 


29 Aug. 1779               Carlos, III, king of Spain, issued a royal proclamation that the main objective of the Spanish troops in America was to drive the British out of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.[218]


Aug. 30, 1779              The first herd of Texas Cattle from the San Antonio area arrived in Nacogdoches on Aug. 30, 1779, consisting of 970 steers, 40 bulls.  The herd was delivered to Captain Antonio Gil Ybarbo by Joseph Feliz Menchacha, Juan de Ysurieta, Juan Joseph Pacheco, Francisco Perez, Albert Gimenez and others.[219]A herd of horses bound for Galvez had passed through Nacogdoches a few days before with three herders.[220]


7 Sep. 1779                 Ft. Bute at Manchac was surrendered by the English to Galvez on 7 Sep. 1779.  Galvez took 20 prisoners.  The English Second Lieutenant and 5 soldiers escaped, and only one was killed.  Inventories were taken the next day and Galvez gave his troops six days of rest.[221] Throughout his march from New Orleans to Fort Bute at Manchak and northward to Fort Richmond at Baton Rouge, Galvez’ principal army was the Regiment of Louisiana, founded in 1769.  In the Spring of 1779 the regiment had only five companies.  Each company was authorized a Captain, three Lieutenants, three sergeants, seven corporals, 79 privates and two drummers.  In July, 1779, the regiment received 159 recruits from Mexico and the Canary Islands, allowing the regiment to expand to 8 companies.  Only about 380 men were stationed in New Orleans.  The balance were posted in remote stations such as St. Louis and Arkansas Post.[222] Within a few days of Gálvez' victory, American and Spanish privateers captured several British supply ships on Lake Pontchartrain, including the remarkable capture of one ship carrying 54 Waldecker troops and ten to twelve sailors by a sloop crewed by 14 native Louisianans.[223]


11 Sep. 1779               Galvez marched upon Ft. Richmond at Baton Rouge, some 60 miles to the west.  Due to the beef sent from Texas, they had full stomachs.[224]  Because of sickness, his army was down to 384 regular army, 400 militia, and 14 artillerymen.  The fort contained 400 regulars and 150 militiamen.  It had high palisade walls.  I believe that a renowned expert has misread the information about the Fort.  Caughy stated that surrounding the fort was a ditch 18 feet wide and 9 feet deep.  In reading Galvez report to King Carlos, III, it appears that the packed earth walls of the fort were 18 feet high and 9 feet wide, surrounded by palisades, with a moat, the dimensions of which were not described.  In Caughy’s defense, the dirt for the fortress walls came from the moat, the size of which could in fact be about 18 X 9, but perhaps not.  Caughy reported that the fort was armed with 18 cannon, whereas Galvez reported only13. The British garrison included about 500 men, some 400 of which were seasoned army veterans; while Galvez had continued to lose men to sickness, disease and fatigue.   Galvez realized that a frontal assault of the fort would not succeed.  It was time to come up with a bit of ingenuity.  He had some of his troops in a heavily wooded area in front of the fort.  This frontal group included the militiamen and Negroes.  They built fires and made noises as if they were preparing gun emplacements.  Frequent cannon fire throughout the night into this forest did little more than destroy some trees.  Quietly, he circled to the rear of the fort and secretly built his gun emplacements for his 10 cannon within musket range of the fort.[225]On the 14th his canon tore a hole in the fortress wall.  After three and one-hours of artillery barrage the British surrendered, as did the 80 Waldeck grenadiers.


Sep. 20, 1779              Galvez wrote to his subordinate at New Orleans instructing him to immediately dispatch 100-200 soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, including a company of grenadiers to Baton Rouge, depending upon how many transports can be used.[226]


21 Sep. 1779               Gen. Galvez army captured The British Fort at Baton Rouge, taking 375 prisoners.  He negotiated the surrender of the British Fort Panmure at Natchez[227], taking an additional 80 prisoners.  Later, Galvez sent a detachment of men to seize two small British outposts in Arkansas:  Fort Tompson (also called Thompson Creek and Thompson Barrack), which was manned by a sergeant and four men from the “rank and file” of the British 16th Regiment, together with 8 “rank and file” from the Waldeck (German) Regiment;  and Fort Amitch (River Amit), the garrison of which included three sergeants, a drummer and 7 “rank and file” of the 60th British Regiment and one soldier from the Independent Company.[228]  His forces also captured eight British vessels with British and German troops which were on their way from Pensacola to strengthen the forts already taken by Galvez.  In a very short time following the declaration of war by Spain against England, Galvez had seized five forts, eight ships, a stockpile of weapons and gun powder, and about 1,000 men.  By clearing the Mississippi of British forces, Galvez allowed Capt. William Pickles to bring an American Schooner onto Lake Pontchartrain.  Pickles seized the British privateer, West Florida, which had dominated the lake for two years.  These heroic exploits resulted in his promotion by Carlos, III to Major General.


Before Natchez was surrendered several hundred English Loyalist settlers, in fear of possible Spanish mistreatment, fled Natchez and marched east toward Savannah, Georgia.  They had divided themselves into two groups for the 131 day march.  One group was caught by Americans in Georgia, while the others reached Savannah after suffering Indian attacks and starvation.[229]


Interestingly, Galvez and the Spanish army was reported to have been very civil and kind to the British prisoners.  The following is an extract of a letter from Lt. Col. Alex Dickson, 16th Regiment of Foot, while a prisoner of war in New Orleans, to Major General Campbell, at Pensacola, dated October 20, 1779: 

            “. . .

“I must in justice to his Excellency Don Bernardo de Galvez, say, that the officers and soldiers, who are prisoners of war at this place (Baton Rouge), are treated with the greatest generosity and attention, not only by the officers, but even the Spanish soldiers seem to take pleasure in being civil and kind to the prisoners in general.”[230]


Within just a few short weeks Colonel Bernardo de Galvez had seized three forts and two outposts, taken 550 British and German soldiers prisoners, captured 500 armed settlers.  He added almost 1,300 miles of Mississippi River shoreline to his king’s domain.  The cost was one Spanish soldier killed and two wounded.  This was just a preview of coming attractions.  His observers (spies) in West Florida had reported to him that West Florida was ripe for the taking.[231]


Sep. 23, 1779              During the Revolutionary War, the American navy under John Paul Jones, commanding from the 40 gun Bonhomie Richard, defeated and captured the British man-of-war Serapis, with its 44 guns. An American attack on a British convoy of 40 ships pitted the British frigate HMS Serapis against the American Bon Homme Richard. The American ship was commanded by Scotsman John Paul Jones, who chose to name the ship after Benjamin Franklin's “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” Fierce fighting ensued, and when Richard began to sink, Serapis commander Richard Pearson called over to ask if Richard would surrender and Jones responded, "I have not yet begun to fight!"--a response that would become a slogan of the U.S. Navy. Pearson surrendered and Jones took control of Serapis. The Bonhomie Richard sank 2 days after the battle.


Sep. 27, 1779             John Jay was appointed Minister to Spain.  His plans went awry from the beginning.  Jay was a Francophile.  He planned to land in France and to slowly ingratiate himself with the Spanish representatives at the French Court before traveling to Spain.  His boat captain instead landed him in Spain, where no advance preparations had been made.  It was if a dark cloud followed him around.  Perhaps due to a bad attitude on his part, he was not liked by the Spanish court.  His mission was to get financial aid, commercial treaties and recognition of American independence. The royal court of Spain refused to officially receive Jay as the Minister of the United States.[232]  Congress failed to properly fund his work in Spain, and he was forced to incur large debts, which unfortunately further blemished his reputation among Spaniards.[233]  His mission was totally ineffective.  Even so, he remained in Spain until 1782, when he traveled to France to participate in the peace treaty negotiations.   Jay probably did more damage than good for the cause.  Fortunately, Benjamin Franklin had been very effective in his behind the scenes negotiations since early 1777.[234]


Oct, 1779                    Spanish forces repulsed a Britain attack on Spanish Nicaragua at San Fernando de Omoa.  The British successfully attacked Fort San Juan in Nicaragua the following year.  The victory was short lived as the small garrison left there was decimated by yellow fever and other tropical diseases.  The remainder of the occupying force withdrew to Jamaica.


Oct. 1779                    A tragedy serves as evidence of the substantial amount of supplies traveling upriver from New Orleans to the Americans.  Colonel David Rogers and his group of 70 men were bringing two keelboats[235] filled with supplies from Spain in New Orleans when they were attacked by a large band of British sponsored Indians under the direction of a Loyaltist named Simon Girty.  The attack occurred on the Ohio just a few miles downstream from the mouth of the Licking River.  Rogers and most of his men were slaughtered.[236]


October 16, 1779        Bernardo de Galvez sent a lengthy report letter to Captain General Don Diego Joseph Navarro in Havana with details of his victories over “superior forces, located in more advantageous position, accustomed to war, and in fact veterans”.  The transcribed letter is contained in the Appendix.[237]


8 Nov. 1779                Thomas Jefferson wrote to Gen. Galvez, expressing his thanks for Spain’s assistance during the revolutionary cause.[238]


1779                            A British expedition from Detroit retook Vincennes.


1780                            Carlos, III issued a Royal Order requesting a one-time voluntary donation (“Donativo”) of two pesos per Spaniard and one pesos per Indian in each provincial site in Spain’s New World Empire, to defray the expense of the war with England.  This request was viewed as a crown order, followed by a high level of participation.  The province of Arizona contributed 459 Pesos, which at the time was traded equally with the US Dollar.[239]Sonora’s total contributions was 22,420 Pesos, and that of all New Spain was almost 1,000,000 Pesos.[240]


1780-1784                   Upon the death of Miralles, he was replaced by the new Spanish “observer” Francisco Rendon, a career government worker.  Rendon was well received by Philadelphia society.  Rendon invited George and Martha Washington to be his house guests over the Christmas Holidays in 1781.  The Washington’s had received similar invitations from the president of the Continental Congress, many members of congress and other dignitaries, but accepted the Rendon invitation.  Following the New Year, Washington reciprocated by inviting Rendon to West Point, where he was treated as an Ambassador[241].


8 January 1780 British Admiral George Rodney, after capturing a Spanish convoy off Cape Finesterre and eight days later defeating a Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, reached Gibraltar in the spring of 1780, bringing reinforcements of 1,052 men and an abundance of supplies. This greatly heartened the garrison, who, as soon as Rodney's fleet left, found the fortress as closely besieged as ever.  The siege of Gibraltar not only involved many Spanish soldiers and sailors, it kept thousands of British redcoats and seamen out of the battle with the colonists.

28 Jan 1780[242]             Galvez departed New Orleans bound for Ft. Charlotte at Mobile with twelve ships containing 754 men[243].  His men were well fed on Texas beef.[244]  Mobile was the British capital of West Florida.  He was delayed first by a lack of wind, and then by storms.  Enroute he lost about 1/3 of his transports.[245] At the same time he sent an officer to Havana to request 2,000 reinforcements.  The Captain-General was able to dispatch only 567 soldiers of the Regiment of Navarro.

February 3, 1780         A British expedition to the Spanish province of Nicaragua left Jamaica. The goal was to sail up the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua and capture the town of Granada from Spain, which would effectively cut Spanish America in half as well as provide potential access to the Pacific Ocean.  This expedition was escorted by twenty-one year-old Captain Horatio Nelson in the Hinchinbrook.   Nelson was the highest ranking officer present, but his authority was limited to naval operations. This expedition included about 1,000 men.


10 Feb. -14 Mar 1780 Galvez led the attack on the British Fort Charlotte at Mobile.  Shortly after Galvez arrived, four of the ships he had requested arrived from Havana with 200 troops (of the 1,412 men he anticipated) and some very much needed supplies.  The other reinforcements and additional supplies arrived from Havana on Feb. 20, 1780.  The British forces were under the command of Lieutenant Governor Elias Durnford.  Durnford requested several parlays with Galvez in a hope to stall the hostilities until reinforcements could arrive from Pensacola.   Fresh troops never arrived.[246]  The siege lasted from 10 Feb. to 14 Mar. 1780, when the British surrendered.  The 260 man garrison at Ft. Charlotte consisted on 98 members of the British 60th Royal American Regt, 8 Pensylvania loyalists, 5 Maryland loyalists, 24 Waldeckers, 60 seamen, 54 militia and 51 Negroes.  Galvez was promoted to Field Marshall in command of Spanish operations in America,  and was given command of all Spanish operations in America, and granted the title “Governor of Louisiana and Mobile”.[247] Galvez had planned to move on to Pensacola immediately, but two convoys from Havana failed to show.[248]


Feb. 18, 1780              Commandant-general Croix sent a message from King Carlos, III to Governor Cabello ordering prayers for Spain and the success of its armed forces in the war with England:

                        “The King, moved by his mercy and desire to implore before all things the protection of the Almighty, upon whom the destinies of empires and the fate of wars depend, has commanded that in all his dominions of Spain and America public rogations[249] be offered for the success and felicity of his Catholic armed forces.  I am informing you of his wishes by royal order, that you may immediately put into effect the pious obligation in all the towns under your command.”[250]


Apr. 1780                    The Spanish fleet sailed from Cadiz, Spain to America to reinforce the army of Gen. Bernardo Galvez.  Because of the battles downriver at Manchak and Baton Rouge, and General Galvez’ campaign against Mobile, supplies from New Orleans had been slowed.  The settlers were hungry and the Chickasaw Indians were harassing the militia.  Even with 300 land warrants for 560 acres each as incentives for military or civilian participation, settlement was not going well.


April 9, 1780                Lord Nelson—in the first hand-to-hand combat of his career—led an assault which captured a Spanish battery on the island of Bartola.   Five miles (8 km) upstream was the Spanish Fort San Juan, with about 150 armed defenders and 86 others, which was besieged beginning on April 13.  Because of poor planning and lost supplies, the British soon began to run low on ammunition for the cannons as well as rations for the men.  After the tropical rains started on April 20, men began to sicken and die, probably from malaria and dysentery, and perhaps typhoid fever.

Apr. 19, 1780              George Rogers Clark arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers with about 250 militia from Fort Nelson on April 19, 1780.[251] The fort was named Jefferson, after Virginia’s new governor.  Supplies from Spain through New Orleans were intermittant due to Galvez’ battles in Manchak and Baton Rouge, and due to his march to and battle at Mobile.  The Chickasaw Indians harassed the inhabitants of the fort.  Famine set in.  Even with the 300 promised land grants of 560 acres each to military and civilian participants was not enough to make settlement at Fort Jefferson.[252]  Some of the supplies received from New Orleans were marked up ten-fold by Captain Philip Barbour.[253] 

Before Apr. 20, 1780   Texas Governor Cabello before April 20, 1780 received the Royal Order from Carlos, III requiring all Spaniards around the world offer prayers to God for the success of Spain’s military.[254]  Henceforth, prayers were offered up from every church in the province of Texas, and presumably from every church in Spain and New Spain.  These prayers constitute an act of support within the meaning of the eligibility requirements for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.

April 29, 1780              The Spanish surrendered Fort San Juan.   About 450 British reinforcements arrived on May 15, but the Blacks and the Indians abandoned the expedition because of illness and discontent.  Although Dalling persisted in trying to gather reinforcements, sickness continued to take a heavy toll, and the expedition was abandoned on November 8, 1780. The Spanish reoccupied the remains of the fort after the British blew it up on departure. In all, more than 2,500 men died, which "made the San Juan expedition the costliest British disaster of the entire war.

Spring 1780                 The British planned a massive spring campaign to retake the western country.  Their plan called for sweeping down the Mississippi taking American settlements at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, as well as Fort Jefferson and Fort Nelson.  Their plan also called for the seizing of Spanish forts at Fort Carlos (St Louis), Arkansas Post and New Orleans.  Four separate expeditions were called for:  a) A large expedition of 1,000 men was to travel south from Fort Mackinac (Michigan) sweeping down the Mississippi; b)  A second force was to travel upriver from the Gulf Coast until it met up with the Mackinac force; c) One element, under Captain Henry Bird, was to travel from Detroit to take Fort Nelson (Louisville) and then to destroy the multiple Kentucky settlements; and d) a smaller detachment was to move from Chicago into the Illinois River area.  Warned about the impending attacks Clark rushed to Cahokia, where on May 25th,  he met with de Leyba to plan their mutual defenses.[255]

Bernardo de Galvez had become aware of this British plan through mail from Natchez that had been intercepted in the fall of 1779.  He feared that if the British were able to control both sides of the Mississippi River, they would be enabled to carry the war to Mexico and other parts of New Spain.[256]


May 26, 1780              The Spanish authorities at Ft. Carlos[257] in St. Louis aided George Rogers Clark in the conquest of the territories northwest of the Ohio River and rallied to defeat the combined British and Indian attack on St. Louis in 1780[258].  Don Fernando de Leyba, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana also served as Commandant of Fort Carlos.  The Spanish Garrison at Fort Carlos consisted of only 15 soldiers and a drummer, from the Louisiana Regiment.  Knowing that war was on the horizon, de Leyba organized a militia of all able bodied men in the area between 14 and 50.  Through his efforts the fort was defended by a militia infantry company of 176 officers and men, and a cavalry unit of 48 men, which included three officers and three sergeants.[259]  The Fort Carlos garrison also included a detachment of 12 regular soldiers and 60 militia from the nearby town of Ste. Genevieve.  His armament included five cannon.  Through de Leyba’s prodding the merchants contributed the funds to construct a defensive structure that consisted of a rectangular entrenchment with four towers at the corners.  It was upon the completion of the first tower on April 17, 1780, that Fort Carlos was named.[260]  The remaining towers were not finished before the battle.  A canon was placed in the tower.  The British raid was planned by Patrick Sinclair, Lieutenant Governor of Michilimackinac (present day Mackinaw City, Michigan).  The British field commander was Emmanuel Hesse, a former member of the British 60th Regiment.  Their mission was to defeat the Spanish forces and to establish a British fortress at St. Louis, with a garrison large enough to launch attacks on American settlements and to secure control of the Mississippi River.  The British attack came on May 26, 1780 at midday.  The first casualties were farmers tending their crops in nearby fields.  Their bodies were mutilated by the Indians.  The gunfire alert the town.  A cannon was fired to alert the town to seek refuge at the fort.  Of the 900 inhabitants of St. Louis there were about 300 defenders – a mixture of Spanish soldiers, Spanish militia[261], and Indian allies -successfully held off 2000 to 3000 attackers, which included British soldiers, Indians and French Canadian soldiers, and about 900 Indians, including Sioux, Sac, Fox, Ottawa, Winnebago and other warriors from the Green Bay area.  About 60 Spanish militiamen from Ste. Genevieve (now Missouri) participated in this battle.[262] The women and children were crowded into the Laclede-Chouteau House.  An officer and 20 soldiers were placed around this house to defend it.  Sharpshooter hunters were placed in the tower.  Commandant de Leyba was so sick he was carried to the tower on a stretcher, where he directed the battle.  Soldiers and militia manned the trenches that surrounded the town.  Attackers were met with a withering fire from the defenders, including the cannon.  Failing to seize the fort, the British withdrew.  The Indians, disappointed in the loss of a prize burned outlying farms and tortured, killed or took captive the nearby farmers.  British reports indicate that their Indian allies that day took 33 scalps and 24 prisoners at St. Louis. 


That same day the British attacked Cahokia.  Clark repulsed them with few losses.  This was a significant victory of the American Revolution, for it consolidated the defense of the frontier against British expeditions and Indian raids, at the same time that it preserved the Mississippi – Ohio River route for supplies and the American Army.[263]   It was also the westernmost battle of the Revolutionary War.  Clark could not have maintained his presence in Illinois and Kentucky without the aid from Pollock[264], his “good angel” which in turn was attributable to Galvez and Spain. 


A second British attack force under Captain Bird obtained more success in Kentucky[265], where he captured Ruddle’s Fort,[266] Martin Station[267] and attacked Grants Fort.[268]  Byrd left Detroit in the spring of 1780 with 150 soldiers and 100 or more Indians with orders to launch a defensive against the exposed Kentucky settlements.  He reached Cincinnati on June 9th where a council with the Indian chiefs led him to reluctantly agree to an attack of the interior settlements rather than attacking George Rogers Clarke's settlement at the Falls of the Ohio. At this time, 300-350 families, many of whom were loyalist Pennsylvanian Germans, lived in the Martin's/Ruddell's Station neighborhood.  Byrd first arrived at Ruddell's Station with two field artillery pieces, having sent an advance unit ahead under the command of Capt. McKee. The station had been defending themselves against McKee's unit but the sight of Byrd's 6-lb cannon led them to surrender. Despite promises to the contrary, several of the inhabitants were killed.  Byrd then moved to Martin's Station, arriving there on the morning of June 26. Capt. John Martin was away on a hunting trip. When demanded to surrender, the station inhabitants did so without firing a shot. The majority of inhabitants from both stations were marched as captives to Detroit.[269] Bird arrived in Detrot on Aug. 4, 1780 with 150 prisoners.  Two hundred more prisoners were marched to Detroit by the Indians.  Each prisoner was offered land and settlement subsidies if they would renounce the rebels and align themselves with the British.  Some took them up on the offer, but most refused.  The latter group were shipped to Montreal, where they were imprisoned for the duration of the war.[270]


Pollock had provided $300,000.00 of his own funds to the American cause, which subsequently resulted in his bankruptcy.  This places him in the league with Robert Morris as one of the top financial supporters of the American Revolution.[271] Interestingly, it was Pollock who created the current sign for the US Dollar ($) sign.  Secured by Galvez, the Mississippi River remained a vital lifeline to American forces, serving as a conduit for the transport of men, money, mail and materials.[272]


May 30, 1780              The records are unclear about the exact number of Texas longhorn steers were delivered to Galvez.  The best estimate is that between 9,000 – 15,000 head of cattle, plus bulls and horses were provided.  On May 30, 1780 Marcos Hernandez applied for a passport to transport 1,500 head of cattle belonging to the San Antonio Mission Esperatu Santo.  For whatever reason, of this shipment 1,234 head of cattle were delivered to Galvez.[273]The shrinkage may have been due to raids along the trail by warring Comanches.[274]


Jun. 1780                     Spanish Admiral Don Solano arrived at Fort Royal, Martinique, with a fleet of 12 warships and transports carrying 10,500 soldiers and their supplies.  They were scheduled to participate in the siege of Pensacola.  The men were quite ill, so the fleet continued to Puerto Rico and then Havana without engaging the enemy.


Jul. 10, 1780                By letter dated July 10, 1780, Governor Cabello advised commandant-general Croix that a herd of 2,000 cattle destined for GeneralGalvez had been divided into two drives.  A herd of 1,300 steers from the mission of Espiritu Santo[275] was attacked on July 3, 1780 by Commanche Indians.  All the men driving the herd had been killed and the cattle rustled.[276]The Commanches continued raids on ranches and towns in south Texas.  They rustled horses and cattle.  The Indian braves outnumbered the combined forces of the army and the militia.  In the process of gathering herds to trail to Galvez, several vaqueros were killed or wounded, and ranchers’ homes were destroyed.[277]


Aug. 4, 1780                Sixteen Spanish ships of the line and 140 transport ships carrying about 12,000 troops arrived in Havana.  Bernardo de. Galvez had requested a large contingent for the upcoming siege of Pensacola.  The Havana war council authorized the bulk of these assets to be allocated towards Pensacola and determined that departure should be in mid-October.


Aug. 9, 1780                Luis de Cordova y Cordova captured almost 60 British Ships near Gibraltar.[278]


The Action of 9 August 1780 was a naval engagement of the American Revolutionary War in which the main Spanish fleet led by Admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova, together with a squadron of French ships, captured a heavy British convoy of sixty-three vessels causing a severe blow to the commerce of Great Britain.[8][9][10] The British convoy led by Sir John Moutray, captain of HMS Ramillies and three frigates sailed from Portsmouth in late July, and were intercepted on 9 August by the Spanish fleet. During the action the Spaniards managed to capture 55 of 63 vessels, making it one of the most complete naval captures ever made.[11] This loss was still bitterly remembered in Great Britain thirty years later at the height of the Napoleonic Wars.[12] The British financial losses were estimated at £ 1,500,000.[12]

Besides the loss of the merchantships, 3144 men, and goods worth £1,5 million, the convoy's capture offset Rodney's victory in the Moonlight battle[13] and helped derail a secret British diplomatic effort to make a separate peace with Spain.[14]


On the morning of 2 August, the Channel Fleet fell in with a large outward-bound British convoy under the escort of HMS Ramillies and four frigates. This convoy sailed from Portsmouth and consisted of sixty three sail, including not only East and West India ships but also victuallers, military storeships, and transports carrying the 90th Regiment of Foot.[2] The Channel Fleet accompanied the convoy for several hours to a point 112 leagues off the Isles of Scilly, where the two groups of ships parted company.[1] Following the instructions given by Don Jose Moñino, count of Floridablanca to Luis de Córdova, the Spanish fleet put sail from Cádiz and sailed as far as Madeira and the Canary Islands, where Don Luís deployed several frigates to spot the convoy, being finally intercepted in the night of the 9th August by one of the Frigates.[15] The news were greeted with caution because there was doubt whether the sails detected corresponded to the Channel Fleet or whether it was the convoy heavily escorted. The second Spanish command, José de Mazarredo called immediately for an attack,[16] which meant that there was no reason for the British fleet to risk themselves sailing so far from their coast. Proposing that all the suspected sails had to be escorted. The British mistook the lanterns at mast head of the Santísima Trinidad for those of their own commander, and fooled by a ruse of war[15] steered accordingly.[17] At break of day, they found themselves intermingled with the Spanish fleet.[18] Don Cordova enveloped them, and hoisted signals of general chase.[19] [1]

Engagement between three East Indiamen and two French vessels, 8 March 1757 by Lawson Dunn. NMM.

The convoy included, besides the merchantmen, eighteen victuallers, storeships, and transports, destined for the service in the West Indies; one of these was of particular importance, being laden with tents and camp equipage, for the troops designed for active service in the Leeward Islands. The five East India vessels, besides arms, ammunition, and a train of artillery, conveyed a large quantity of naval-stores, for the supply of the British squadron in that quarter.

These ships, and above fifty West Indiamen, including those chartered by the crown, were seized by de Córdova's fleet. The five East Indiamen were the Gatton, Godfrey, Hillsborough, Mountstuart and Royal George, and their loss represented the worst disaster in history for the East India Company.[20] The Mountstuart and Godfrey were shelled by the 120-gun ship of the line Santísima Trinidad, flagship of Admiral de Córdova, before surrendering to the Spanish. Gatton was also hit by the Purísima Concepción and set alight, but the fire was later put under control and the ship seized. A frigate flotilla, commanded by Santiago de Liniers and part of the Concepción squadron, captured the 30-gun Hillsborough.[21] HMS Ramillies, two frigates and few West-India ships broke contact and sailed away. The official Spanish report identifies the frigates as the 36-gun HMS Thetis and HMS Southampton.[15]

The captured British ships, numbering nearly sixty, were brought into Cádiz, an unusual spectacle since the capture of such a great enemy convoy by any navy was an uncommon event; de Córdova's fleet produced this feat upon two occasions. All the ships including the five East Indiaman were brought into the Spanish navy.[22] This was a major intelligence failure, for the British Admiralty did not learn of the sailing of this enemy fleet until 4 August and neither Geary nor Captain John Moutray.[1]


The Indiaman Royal George in Three Positions in the Downs by Francis Holman 1779. This ship carrying 28 guns was one of the five East Indiaman taken by the Spanish fleet.

We received fourteen shot from one of the seventy-four's had two men killed and six wounded, our bowspirit shot and shivered up as far as the gammoning, when we struck to the Ferme, a 74 (Spanish). We were all, except the ladies and their husbands, the captains, first and second officers, and about six other gentlemen, ordered on board the Ferme: but on going on board, had it in our option to return; which we all did; and we met with the greatest civility, humanity, and generosity on board [...] The great kindness of the Spaniards makes our situation scarcely felt, as everything is done by them to alleviate our misfortune; and we have never yet felt that we were prisoners

—Officer of East Indiaman Hillsborough, Cádiz, August 25, 1780.[23]

This Spanish victory, compounded by the serious storm losses in the Caribbean, produced a financial crisis among the marine insurance underwriters throughout Europe.[24] Many went bankrupt, and war insurance rates, already remarkably high due to the menacing presence of privateers, were driven to intolerable levels. It also increased and made increasingly public the dissatisfaction which had before prevailed against the ministry, and against the conduct and government of the Royal Navy. The five British East Indiaman were brought into Spanish service, giving them an entire squadron of frigates. Thus, the 30-gun Hillsborough was commissioned in the Spanish navy as 34-gun Santa Balbina, the 28-gun Mountstuart as 34-gun Santa Bibiana, the 28-gun Royal George was brought into Spanish service as 40-gun Real Jorge[25][26], the 28-gun Godfrey commissioned as 34-gun Santa Paula and the 28-gun Gatton was brought into Spanish service as 30-gun Colón.[15] The Spaniards behaved with great humanity to their prisoners, repaying the generous treatment which their countrymen had experienced from Admiral Rodney.[23] Captain John Moutray was court-martialled and suspended from the command of HMS Ramillies.


1.       ^ a b c d e f Syrett p.136

2.       ^ a b Volo p.77

3.       ^ Campbell p.56

4.       ^ Gordon p.4

5.       ^ The scots magazine. MDCCLXXXIII. p.170

6.       ^ Rusell p.131

7.       ^ Campbell p.36

8.       ^ Guthrie p.354

9.       ^ Ramsay p.184

10.   ^ Bisset p.46

11.   ^ The encyclopaedia of London, p.483

12.   ^ a b Parkinson p.38

13.   ^ Syrett pp.136-137

14.   ^ Syrett pp.136-137

15.   ^ a b c d Listado de presas británicas capturadas por la escuadra de Luis de Córdoba en 1780 Revista de Historia Naval del Ministerio de Defensa - An incomplete list of the British ships captured by Admiral Luis de Córdova in 1780 (Spanish)

16.   ^ Fernández de Navarrete p.84

17.   ^ Botta p.449

18.   ^ Botta p.449

19.   ^ Botta p.449

20.   ^ Bowen, H V (2006). The business of empire: the East India Company and imperial Britain, 1756-1833. Cambridge University Press, p. 156. ISBN 0521844770

21.   ^ Santísima Trinidad, orgullo de la Armada española, by Pedro Amado (Spanish)

22.   ^ Guthrie/Ferguson p.360

23.   ^ a b The Scots Magazine. January 1780, p.547

24.   ^ Volo p.78

25.   ^ José Montero y Aróstegui p.688

26.   ^ González p.232


  • Syrett, David. The Royal Navy in European Waters during the American Revolutionary War. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1570032386
  • Botta, Carlo. History of the war of the independence of the United States of America New Haven : N. Whiting publishing (1837) ASIN B002XXBVAU
  • Parkinson N, C. The Trade Winds: A Study of British Overseas Trade during the French wars, 1793–1815. Routledge; Reprint edition. ISBN 0415381916
  • Volo, M. James. Blue Water Patriots: The American Revolution Afloat, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (2008) ISBN 0742561208
  • Guthrie, William. A New Geographical, Historical And Commercial Grammar And Present State Of The World.Complete With 30 Fold Out Maps - All Present. J. Johnson Publishing (1808) ASIN B002N220JC
  • Ramsay, David. Universal History Americanized, or an Historical View of the World from the Earliest Records to the Nineteenth Century, with a Particular Reference to the State of Society, Literature, Religion, and Form of Government of the United States of America. Vol. VI (1819)
  • Bisset, Robert. The History of the Reign of George Iii. to Which Is Prefixed, a View of the Progressive Improvement of England, in Prosperity and Strength, to the Accession of His Majesty. Vol III (1820)
  • Gordon, William. The history of the rise, progress, and establishment of the Independence of the United States of America, Books for Libraries Press (1969) ISBN 0836950240
  • The London Encyclopaedia, Or Universal Dictionary Of Science, Art, Literature And Practical Mechanics, Comprising A Popular View Of The Present State Of Knowledge, Vol X. Thomas Tegg Publishing. London (1829).
  • Campbell, Thomas. Annals of Great Britain from the ascension of George III to the peace of Amiens, Printed by Mundell and co., for Silvester Doig and Andrew Stirling (1811).
  • The London Encyclopaedia ISBN 3-9015-06836-8607
  • The Scots Magazine. MDCCLXXXIII. Volume XLV, Edinburgh: Printed by Murray and Cochran.
  • Guthrie, William & Ferguson, James. A new geographical, historical, and commercial grammar and present... J & J House Booksellers, London. (1806)
  • (Spanish)Fernández de Navarrete, Martín. Biblioteca marítima española: obra póstuma del excmo: Vol. 2
  • (Spanish) José Montero y Aróstegui. Historia y descripción de la Ciudad y Departamento naval del Ferrol (Google Ebook) http://books.google.es/books?id=rIjCJnOMLI8C
  • (Spanish) Rodríguez González, Agustín Ramón. Victorias por mar de los Españoles. Biblioteca de Historia. Madrid 2006.



Aug. 17, 1780              King Carlos, III issued a decree in which he requested that every Spanish citizen in the world make a voluntary donation (“donativo”) to help defray the cost of the war against England.[279]  Spanish males over 18 were asked to pay two pesos, while Indians and mestizos of that age were asked to pay one peso.  With the British blockade and bureaucratic red tape, it took a year for the royal decree to reach some parts of the Americas.  Each comandante-general to forward it to their respective governors.  Commissioners (generally the local Alcalde)[280] were set up for each jurisdiction to supervise the collection of the donativo, giving receipts therefor, preparing a list of donors and the amounts of their respective donation, and transmitting the funds and list of donors to Madrid.  In Texas alone, soldiers, citizens, and mission Indians donated 1,659 pesos.  At that time 6 to 8 pesos would have purchased an excellent riding horse.[281]


Then, as now, a request from the king is the same as a command.  Extant muster rolls throughout New Spain reflected the spontaneous donativo made by almost every citizen.  These donations were funneled through Mexico City, which was the seat of government of New Spain.  After all donations had been received in Mexico City, representatives of the Spanish Viceroy delivered to Francisco de Saavedra, Spanish special envoy and military strategist in Havana the sum of 500,000 pesos.  This sum surely included the donativos from Texas.  Saavedra in turn delivered the 500,000 pesos to French Admiral de Grasse to pay his French sailors and re-provision his ships, immediately before the battle of Yorktown.  Saavedra delivered an additional 1,000,000 pesos to de Grasse from Mexico for delivery to French General Rochambeau to pay his troops at Yorktown, Virginia, just before the decisive battle that resulted in Cornwallis’ surrender.  Shortly thereafter, Saavedra arranged for an additional 9,500,000 pesos from Mexico to finance Galvez’ proposed attacks on British forts in Jamaica and St. Augustine, which were dropped after the Treaty of Paris was signed.[282]  For details of the transfer of these pesos from Spain to the French Admiral, see the entries for August 15-16, 1781, infra.  This “request” from the king was viewed as a royal order and throughout New Spain the money flowed to Madrid.  For example, California contributed the equivalent of $4,000.00.[283]


The Viceroy of New Spain, Mayorga, developed a list of 13 instructions to assure the contributions were voluntary, and sent them out to each jurisdiction. They reached the Comandante General Cabellero de Croix of the Provincias Internas in August 1781, and he transmitted them to each Governor of the Northern Frontier. Communications had just been cut with Alta California by the Yuma Massacre, so that the request for the donativo probably reached Alta California during the latter part of 1781.

However, collections were soon underway in each jurisdiction and continued until news came in 1784 that the war was over. After that time, the only collections were for pledges made earlier. The final tabulations for 10 Jul 1786 showed the military personnel and settlers at the Tucson Presidio of Alta Pimeria (AZ) had contributed 459 pesos, more than enough to cover every male over 18, settlers, soldiers, and Indians. The total for Sonora (including Sinaloa) was 22,420 pesos, 4 reales. The 1787 tabulation for New Spain showed that almost one million pesos had been collected. That amount would have purchased about 150,000 excellent riding horses or 400,000 beeves for the Spanish Army.


16 Oct. 1780               Galvez led a Spanish fleet of 15 war ships[284] and 59 transport ships from Havana to attack Pensacola.  Embarked were 164 officers and 3,829 men.[285]


18 Oct. 1780               A hurricane hit the Spanish flotilla.  Many were lost.  The survivors retreated to Havana.  Along the way they seized two British frigates.  For fear that the British might seek to retake Mobile before he could take Pensacola, Galvez dispatched two warships and 500 soldiers to reinforce Mobile.


Oct. 20, 1780              Cattle drives from Texas to Louisiana to feed Galvez’ army continued.  Although the exact number of cattle driven are unclear, a muster roll from the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar dated October 20, 1780 indicated that one corporal and 11 privates had been assigned to escort cattle being herded to Nachogdoches, following Galvez urgent request for cattle to support his troops attack on Pensacola.[286] Commanche Indians continued raids on local ranchers through the end of the year.[287]


Nov. 22, 1780             Arkansas Post (at the confluence of the Arkansas River with the Mississippi River) Commandant Villiers crossed the Mississippi with a detachment of Spanish soldiers and captured the English Fort Concordia, and formally took possession of it.[288]  The capture of this English outpost helped force the English from the Mississippi basin.


Dec. 20, 1780              By years end, so many cattle had been exported from Texas to Galvez that Governor Cabello expressed concerns that there might be inadequate beef to feed the population in Texas, and/or that the scarcity of beef would drive prices to an unrealistic price.[289] Even so, he urged Croix to continue sending the necessary steers to Galvez.[290]


2 Jan 1781                   Sixty five Spanish troops and Spanish Militia, along with Indian allies leave Ft. The Carlos (now St. Louis, MO).  They canoed 300 miles upstream, and then march about 300 more miles in the snow to confront the British at Ft. St. Joseph, where the British had stockpiled arms, ammunition, and food to be used in a spring offensive.  This marked the first time that Spanish troops fought the British on British territory in North America.


12 Feb. 1781               Spanish troops and Spanish Militia, along with Indian allies successfully attacked  British  Fort St. Joseph, near present day Niles, Michigan.  The British had been stockpiling food and ammunition for their planned Spring advance down the Mississippi River to destroy all Spanish forts and capture New Orleans.  The English were thereby denied the supplies needed to mount a new front down the Mississippi River Valley.  This relatively small action had enormous consequences as the British were denied access to the Mississippi River.


28 Feb. 1781               A second (and smaller) Spanish flotilla, with 1,508 additional soldiers, sailed from Havana, Cuba to assist Gen. Bernardo Galvez in his attack on Pensacola.   Under the command of Joseph Calvo de Irazabel, the fleet contained 1 man-of-war, 3 frigates, 1 packet and several transports.  More troops and supplies were to be dispatched at 15 day intervals.[291]


9 Mar. 1781                 Gen. Galvez led his Spanish troops and Louisiana Militia in a two month Spanish siege on the British Fort George at Pensacola.[292]   American colonists in 1774 had sent an overture to the inhabitants of West Florida to join in the American cause.  Pensacola was at the time the capital of British West Florida.  Governor Peter Chester prevented the publication of the offer from the American colonists.[293]  British military commander General John Campbell in 1778 had reinforced the fort.  He had planned the construction of a block house at the western tip of Santa Clara Island to guard the entrance to Pensacola Bay.  The block house was never built.  There remained a naval redoubt at Red Cliffs near old Fort San Carlos.[294]  British defenders of Fort George totaled about 1,200 men, but only about 750 were fit for duty.  Those on sick call suffered from a variety of maladies including malaria, smallpox and scurvy.[295]  Galvez had previously ordered troops stationed in New Orleans and Mobile to join in the attack on Pensacola.  Mobile sent 500 men, and 1,400 arrived from New Orleans.  The Mobile detachment was led by Colonel Joseph Ezpeleta, who brought with him a herd of Texas cattle to feed all the troops participating in the siege of Pensacola.[296]  His total under arms totaled 3,500 who were transported in an armada of 64[297] ships.  The Spanish forces included dozens of warships and transports carrying the Louisiana militia and soldiers from many Spanish regiments: Aragon, Cataluna, Crown, Guadalajara, Hibernia, King, Louisiana, Mallorca, Navarra, Prince, Sorio, and Toledo.  Cattle from Texas had been shipped to Mobile.  There, some of the cattle were slaughtered and the meat was salted.  This salt meat was sent to Pensacola to feed Galvez’ men throughout the siege.[298] The fact that the Spanish forces laying siege from March 9 to May 10, 1781, were well fed, and conversely that the British forces were not adequately provisioned could well have been the deciding factor in Spanish victory.  George C. Osborn wrote the following about the plight of the English commander at Pensacola:


            “ . . . for some weeks no ships loaded with supplies had arrived at Pensacola.  This fact, coupled with immense consumption of provisions by the Indians, with an added allowance of food for laborers who were working on defense projects, and the necessity of supplying some of the transports with victuals and with the maintenance of a large number of refugees, had caused a shortage of necessities.”[299]


On March 9, 1781 the Spanish troops landed on Santa Rosa Island.  Galvez himself led the Spanish fleet into Pensacola Bay under heavy bombardment from Fort George.  He personally supervised the landing near Barrancas.[300] Galvez’ ship cannon hit the powder magazine at Fort Half Moon.  The 1,100 soldiers there immediately surrendered.  The following account shows that Galvez had 7,800 men under his command:


General Galvez and a Spanish naval force of more than 40 ships and 3,500 men landed at Santa Rosa Island and begin a two-month siege of British occupying forces that becomes known as the Battle of Pensacola.

“Galvez's flotilla survived a hurricane in harbor before initiating two months of constant artillery and cannon bombardment of the British forts. By April 23, reinforcements had arrived, increasing Galvez's total force to 7,800 and, on the morning of May 8, 1781, the 18-year British occupation of Pensacola, Florida, ended with a British surrender. The British lost 105 men; the Spanish lost 78. An additional 198 Spaniards were wounded. Spain took 1,113 prisoners and sent 300 Britons to Georgia on the promise that they would not reenter the British military.”  This Day in History, Historychannel.com.   

Another scholarly report states that General Galvez commanded 7,000 Spanish soldiers, 1,350 Spanish sailors who were put ashore to man some big guns, while another 10,000 seamen in 16 ships of the line and many other smaller vessels stood ready in the harbor to block escape to or supplies from the sea.  When the four French ships of the line arrived and reported an additional 725 troops under his command, his total force totaled 19,075, not including his Indian allies.[301]

His men captured the Port Royal, a British frigate, two small war ships and several English sloops.  Rather than allow it to be captured, the British burned the frigate Mentor.  For his heroic action at Pensacola, King Carlos, III named Galvez the Count of Galvez and granted to him a coat of arms with the following citation:

            “. . . to perpetuate in your posterity the memory of the heroic action in which you, alone, forced your entry into said Bay, you may put a a seal on your Coat of Arms the Brigantine Galvez-town with the Motto: I ALONE . . . .”[302]


Galvez kept the British focused upon the defense of West Florida for more than a year.  The troops stationed in Manchak, Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola could have been used by Cornwallis to fight the Americans on the east coast.  Had he had access to these troops in his southern campaign, the outcome of the war might have been very different.


12 April 1781               British Vice Admiral George Darby's squadron of 29 ships of the line escorting 100 store ships from England laden for Gibraltar entered the bay. The much smaller Spanish fleet was totally unable to intercept Darby's relief. The Spanish frustrated by this failure opened up a terrific barrage while the stores were unloaded but only did great damage to the town.  Had it not been for the siege of Gibraltar these 29 British ships could have been used against the colonists.


19 Apr. 1781               British defenders at Pensacola totaled 2,423.  The 1,347 reinforcements of Spanish troops from Havana arrived in Pensacola on French ships.  Embarked with them were an additional  691[303] French troops, including 74 royal artillery, 509 infantry, and 108 marine artillery and infantry, together with needed supplies.  By 23 Apr. Galvez was in command of 7,587[304] soldiers and sailors at Pensacola[305].  This is a highly significant number of troops when one considers that Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown was about 6,000, and Washington’s continental line was also about 6,000.  He had his men dig a covered trench, large enough to move mortars and cannon unseen.  It led to a redoubt behind Pine Hill.  His gun emplacement, very near Ft. George, contained six 24 pounders and four 13 inch mortars.


May 7, 1781                A Spanish cannon ball fell squarely on the British powder magazine.  The explosion killed 105 British soldiers and wounded many more.  Spanish soldiers under General Giron and Colonel Ezpelta advanced through a breach in the fortress wall and captured the redoubt.  British General Campbell ran up the white flag of surrendered at Pensacola.[306]  From the total British force at Pensacola, Spain took 1,113 prisoners, who were paroled upon their promise never to take up arms against Spain; 56 deserted; 105 were killed; and 300 militia were allowed to return to Georgia under their promise not to reenter the war.  Spain’s losses were 74 killed, 198 wounded.[307]


8 May 1781                 The British surrender at Pensacola removed the British threat from the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.  Galvez was assisted by four French frigates.  He gave them 500,000 pesos to reprovision their ships.  These ships then proceeded to join the French blockade of Yorktown, which led to the British surrender.  British: 105 killed and wounded, 1,100 captured, 300 paroled; Indian: unknown; Spanish: 78 killed, 198 wounded (including Gálvez); French: unknown.  The surrender of Pensacola was the final act to remove the British from the Gulf Coast and up the Mississippi.  England’s goal of a second front was soundly thwarted.  Those British soldiers fighting the Spanish in Florida, West Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Michigan would otherwise been available to fight against the colonists.  The Mississippi and Gulf of Mexico were opened as a life line for the colonists.


Before Jun 1781           Galvez was promoted to Lt. General, and named Commander of all Spanish and French forces in the Caribbean.  Carlos, III added to Galvez’ titles:  “Count of Galvez, Viscount of Galveztown, and Governor of West Florida and Louisiana”.  Galvez loaned Spanish troops to France to protect Cap Francais. 


22 Jun 1781                 Saavedra learns that the French troops in the American colonies had not been paid in months, and that payment would have to be made to insure their participation.  The shortage was at least 500,000 Pesos.  The French had been unable to come up with the money even from its own citizens.  De Grasse raised 50,000 but was unable to obtain loans from French planters and merchants.  Spanish Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, provided 100,000 Pesos.


Jun. 1781                     Spanish Treasury in Havana paid 23,568 Livres to France for aid to Spanish soldiers.  Spain loaned 68,656 Pesos to French fleet, and loaned an additional 200,000 Pesos to French officials at Cape Francois.


Jun-Oct   1781             Lt-Gen.de Guichen's fleet guarded the coasts of France and Spain, and supported an allied French-Spanish landing on the island of Minorca, which at the time was controlled by the British.


Abt. July 5, 1781          DeGrass sails for Yorktown with the 150,000 Pesos raised to make a partial payment to the French troops.  Saavedra sails to Havana to raise the needed money for the French troops. 


Jul. 7. 1781                  The British attacked Ft. Charlotte in Mobile, but the Spanish defenders repulsed the attack.  Spain losses were 14 killed and 23 wounded.[308]


Jul 15, 1781                 Saavedra arrives in Havana, only to learn that Jose de Galvez had already ordered 1,000,000 Pesos from the Spanish mint in Mexico.  The ships carring the boullion from Veracruz were due into port soon.  Saavedra turned to the merchants of Havana.  Within six hours he had raised 500,000 Pesos, and had it loaded on a fast frigate.


Jul 16, 1781                 Bernardo de Galvez enters the port of Havana.  He dispatches a letter to de Grasse.  Saavedra and Galvez dispatch the frigate with 500,000 Pesos to the French fleet.  


July 17 – 19, 1781       French Admiral DeGrasse met with Francisco de Saavedra, Special Emissary of the King of Spain at Cape Francois concerning delaying the attack on Jamaica until after the French fleet is sent to Yorktown.  DeGrasse is concerned about leaving French colonies in the Caribbean unprotected should he take the entire French fleet to Yorktown.  Saavedra convinced DeGrasse not to divide the French fleet, promising to protect French colonies with the Spanish war ships in Havana.


Jul. - Aug. 1781           The French had no specie with which to pay their soldiers and no money to pay for the French fleet to become involved in the siege of Yorktown.


 Jul 21, 1781                The original French ship sent for the 1,000,000 Pesos arrives in Havana.  Spanish authorities load an additional 1,000,000 Pesos for French forces at Yorktown.


July 29, 1781               When DeGrasse wrote to Rochambeau by letter dated July 29, 1781 that Rochambeau could count on DeGrasse delivering 1,200,000 Livres that he had been requested to bring, DeGrasse did not yet have those funds.  DeGrasse’s 


July 31, 1781               DeGrasse’s request for loans from wealthy French merchants at Cape Francois fell on deaf ears. 


End of Jul 1781            An armada of 66 French and Spanish ships of the line threatened to invade England.  Because of the British engagements at Gibraltar, Minorca, and Guatamala with Spanish and French ships and Spanish troops, and for fear of a joint French and Spanish invasion of England, the Crown refused to reinforce Cornwallis at Yorktown.  Galvez released the French Caribbean fleet from its obligation to protect French interests (Galvez agreeing that Spanish ships and men would replace them), allowing them to sail north and block the port at Yorktown.  Additionally, 5000 French soldiers were released from their duties of protecting Cap Francais, and transported to Yorktown.  Meanwhile, Galvez ordered the Spanish navy to assume the duties of the French ships in protecting French possessions in the Caribbean.


Aug. 1, 1781                The following day DeGrasse requested financial help from Spain through Saavedra.  Saavedra immediately agreed. 


Aug. 1781                    Gen. George Washington drank a toast to the kings of France and Spain6 at the home of Robert Morris, in Philadelphia.


Aug. 1781                    Spanish treasury at Havana pays France 100,000 Pesos for French troops stationed in Spanish Santa Domingo and loans 100,000 Pesos to French officials at Cape Francois.


Aug. 3, 1781                Saavedra sailed from Cape Francois on Aug. 3rd, bound for Havana.


Aug. 15, 1781              Saavedra reached Havana on Aug. 15th, only to find the Spanish treasury empty.  Jose Ignaci de Urizza, Intendant of Havana and Juan Manuel de Cagigal, Governor of Cuba, received instructions from Saavedra to deliver 1,000,000 Pesos to French officials.  It took them six hours to secure necessary loans from Spanish merchants, who were promised repayment shortly when the ships ladened with silver coins from the Mexican mint arrived within a few weeks.  From Saint-Dominique, French Admiral de Grass sent a frigate to Havana, Cuba to secure the silver coins from Spain.  Not only did Spanish officials provide the needed specie, many women of Havana offered their diamonds for the cause.  Twenty eight Havana merchants and four Spanish Army Regiments loaned a total of 4,520,000 Reales, from which the Exchequer delivered 4,000,000 Reales, which at the time equaled 500,000 Pesos.  The merchants charged 2% interest, but the Spanish Army Regiments made interest free loans.[309] 


Aug. 16, 1781              Gen. Bernardo Galvez arrived in Havana on Aug. 16th, and gave his approval of the loan and transfer.  This frigate, the Aygrette, ladened with gold and silver from the Spanish merchants in Havana, departed Havana on the night of Aug. 16. 


Aug. 17, 1781              The Aygrette rendezvoused with DeGrasse off the coast of Cuba the next day.  The French ships then proceeded to join the French blockade of Yorktown, which led to the British surrender.


Late Aug., 1781           General George Washington in late August, 1781 was on his way to Yorktown with his troops from New York and New Jersey.


At Philadelphia, Washington was met by a troop of light horse and escorted into town.  He stopped at the City Tavern, where other came to pay their respects, and later that afternoon dined with his suite, including Rochambeau and Knox, at the house of Robert Morris.  There they drank toasts to the United States, to the kings of France and Spain, to the allied armies, and especially to the speedy arrival of De Grasse.

It is interesting that on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown, George Washington is toasting the king of Spain.


Aug 26, 1781               DeGrasse and his fleet arrive at Yorktown.



Aug. – Sep. 1781         French officials loaned money that it had received from Spain in Havana, to the 13 colonies with which to pay one month’s salary to the Continental Army.  The French Army also used money from Spain to purchase supplies in Virginia.


Sep. 1781                    Spanish treasury at Havana loaned 1,000,000 Pesos to France to be used in Martinique.


12 Oct. 1781               George Washington was well aware of the exploits of Don Bernardo de Galvez against the British.  In a letter to Don Francisco Rendon, Washington commended Gen. Bernardo de Galvez: 

It gives me pleasure to find so good a disposition in Don Bernardo de Galvez to concert his operations in such a manner against the common enemy, that the interests of his Most Catholic Majesty and those of ourselves and our ally may be mutually benefitted.




I have no doubt, from General Galvez’s well known attachment to the cause of America.…”[310]


19 Oct. 1781               Gen. Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown7.  It should be understood that the surrender was a capitulation of Cornwallis’ army in Virginia.  Although peace negotiations began shortly thereafter, both the British and our French and Spanish allies continued in their respective attacks.  DeGrasse later credited the Yorktown victory to the money supplied by Spain.  The money, he wrote was the “bottom dollar” upon which the edifice of the American independence was raised[311].   The war did not end with the surrender at Yorktown.  England still held strong footholds in Jamaica, Bermuda, Guatalama, East Florida, and the Bahamas.


Jan. 5, 1782                 During this world wide conflict, it is strange that the British forces at St. Augustine in East Florida were never utilized by Cornwallis in the southern campaign; nor in fact in any of the hostilities between England and the American colonists or Spain, which continued its attacks on the nearby Bahamas.  Just as peculiar is the lack of planning for a Spanish attack on St. Augustine.  On January 5, 1782 a delegation of 15 Uchises Indians arrived in Havana on the schooner Nuestra Senora del Buen Viaje, which had sailed from Tampa.  The Spanish were offered over 5,000 warriors of the Caciques Indians of East Florida, to attack St. Augustine.  Their nation surrounded St. Augustine and Abalache.  Tamasle, their main village was at the former Spanish fortress known as the Castle of San Mancos de Abalache in the province of Cabeta in East Florida.  Mataliche, their chief with two braves, four young boys, six women and two young girls came to Havana on January 5, 1782, on their own accord to offer their services to the Spanish King.  They hated the British and liked the Spanish.  They had sent spies to St. Augustine, who reported that the British had built no new fortifications and were not prepared for an assault.  They reported that there were very few soldiers and that the fortress had only 30 cannon.  They were ready to fight the British and needed only instructions of when and where to attack, plus the necessary guns, powder and bullets.  For some time that had been seizing small British vessels and had killed or taken many prisoners.


Jan. 14, 1782               Bernardo Galvez wrote to the Governor of Havana:


“… I, reciprocating with the utmost gratitude their offers and accepting the friendship and services they proffer, authorize them, in the best way that I can and must, in the name of the King (may God save him!) to make use at once of their strength and valor and wage war (during the present one), by land or sea, as it may be best for them, on the common enemy, attacking, defeating and capturing their vessels and Establishments to avenge the injuries and bad treatment with which they were vexed and in order that their just and ardent wishes may be carried out, with the aid and protection of their friends and Allies (while nothing else is agreed upon for the m or no greater undertakings arranged, in which case the proper Emissaries would be authorized by a like dispatch), I command the Governors, Officers of all ranks and other men under my command, and request those who are not, to consider, treat and receive them as friends and Allies, giving them the aid and comfort they might need, as befoits His Majesty’s service, to which end I issue this communication.


“Witness my hand and seal of my coat of arms, countersigned by the Secretary of the Admiralty under my charge, in Havana, on the 14th day of January, 1782”.


This Indian delegation was treated with great hospitality for several days.  They were well fed and presented with gifts for themselves and for distribution to the 16 tribes of their nation at a cost of 1,630 pesos.  These Indians departed Havana on February 4, 1782 for the port of San Marcos de Abalache on the Bilander Nuestra Senora del Socorro.[312]Research fails to reveal that this Indian nation ever attacked the British at St. Augustine.   The British garrison was evacuated in October, 1782.


Jan. 6 - Feb 5 1782      French and Spanish forces under Lt-Gen.de Guichen captured Ft. St. Philip at Mahon, Minorca (in the Mediterranean Sea).  This battle started in June, 1781.


May 4, 1782                The last recorded cattle drive from Texas to Louisiana to support the war effort started with the application for a permit to transport a herd of 1200 cattle filed by Don Antonio Blanc.[313]Galvez was already on his way to the Bahamas, so we don’t know whether the cattle had been ordered by Galvez to feed his army and local militia or perhaps to prepare for his attack on Jamaica, which was canceled when the peace treaty was signed.


6 May 1782                 Gen. Galvez attacked the British naval base at New Providence, Bahamas.  The British garrison consisted of 274 regulars and 338 militiamen.  When the British surrendered on May 8, 1782, Galvez captured 199 cannon, 868 mortars, 41 hundredweight of gun powder.  More importantly, Galvez seized 12 ships of privateers, and 65 English merchant ships.  These Spanish victories over the English kept the British feet to the fire in the Peace treaty negotiations.[314]


Jul  1782 - Mar-1783   Spanish and French under Adm. Guichen besieged and blockaded British-held Gibraltar (which dominates the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea) but failed to keep British Adm. Howe from breaking the blockade and relieving the fortress.


Aug. 1782                    Matias Galvez successfully repulsed British attacks on the Rio Tinto and along the Mosquito Coast in Central America.  Through his efforts the British were evicted from Central America.  He fulfilled the Bourbon goal for creating a global diversion to keep the British from concentrating their forces in one area.[315]


Aug. 19, 1782              Loyalist and Indian forces attack and defeat American settlers near Lexington, Kentucky.


Aug. 25, 1782              Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant conducts raids on settlements in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.


13 September 1782      The Bourbon allies launched their great attack; 5190 fighting men both French and Spanish aboard ten of the newly engineered 'floating batteries' with 138[28] heavy guns, as well as 18 ships of the line, 40 Spanish gunboats and 20 bomb-vessels[29] with a total of 30,000 sailors and marines. They were supported by 86 land guns[29] and 35,000 Spanish and French troops (7,000[11]–8,000[8] French) on land intending to assault the fortifications once they had been demolished.


Nov. 10, 1782              

Jan 8, 1783                  American Capt. John Barry, upon his arrival on the Alliance in Martinique  received orders from Robert Morris, dated Oct. 11, 1782, to sail immediately to Havana, and there to load 72,000 Spanish milled dollars, which he would deliver to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  Upon his arrival in Havana, he discovered that the Morris had given similar orders to the Duc de Lauzun, and the entire specie had already been loaded upon the Duc de Lauzan.[316]


Jan. 20 1783                Preliminary Articles of Peace were signed in Paris by Great Britain, France, and Spain.  At the time Galvez was in final preparations to attack Jamaica.  Hostilities were officially ended, but it took many months for the news to reach the front lines worldwide.


Feb. 3, 1783                The U.S. Continental Congress ratified the peace treaty.

                                    Spain recognizes the United States of America,


Mar. 6, 1783                Capt. Barry on the Alliance together with Capt. John Green of the Duc de Lauzan, sailed            from Havana with the Spanish fleet, separating from the fleet to pass through the Bahamas Strait.  The Duc de Lauzan is so much slower than the Alliance, so Capt. Barry orders that the Spanish coins be transferred to the Alliance.  Even without the specie to weight it down, the Duc de Lauzan  could not keep up with the Alliance. Capt. Barry then ordered that all but its stern cannon be cast overboard[317].


Mar. 10, 1783              The last naval battle of the American War was fought by Capt. Barry on the Alliance together with Capt. John Green of the Duc de Lauzan, when early that morning Capt. Barry spotted the sails of three British ships: the Alarm, a thirty-two gun frigate, commanded by Capt. Charles Cotton; the Sybil, a twenty-eight gun frigate,  skippered by Capt. James Vashon; and sloop-of-war Tobago with eighteen guns.  The battle ensued.  About the time that  Capt. Barry spotted a French man-of-war on the horizon, he placed his vessel between the slower Duc de Lauzan and the attacking Sybil.  The damage inflicted upon the Sybil was so severe it broke off attack and fled back to the other two English ships.[318]


Mar. 20, 1783              As the Philadelphia harbor was under threat by the British, Capt. Barry on the Alliance sailed into New Port, Rhode Island with the Spanish silver.  A few days after Barry arrived in New Port, news was received that the peace treaty had been ratified on Feb. 3, 1783[319].


Apr. 11, 1783              Congress officially declares an end to the Revolutionary War.


Apr. 17, 1783              The “Colbert Incident” was the only Revolutionary War battle to occur in present day Arkansas.  The incident involved an attack on Arkansas Post.  The post had been established as a French trading post by La Salle, who had heard that Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary on March, 15, 1674, had first visited.[320]  After returning from a 1675 trip to France in 1682, LaSalle returned to a Quapaw Indian Village, at what later became the Spanish Presidio and Pueblo Arkansas Post, located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers.  LaSalle was attempting to create a series of French trading posts along the Mississippi and its tributaries.[321]From its official inception in 1686, until 1698, it was about 8 miles up the Arkansas River from its entry into the mighty Mississippi River.[322]Because of a raid by Chickasaw Indians in 1749, the French moved the fort upstream a few miles to be nearer the village of their allies, the Quapaw.[323]  By 1756, it was necessary to move the fort to the banks of the Mississippi about three miles below the mouth of the Arkansas to safeguard river convoys.[324]  At the end of the Seven Years War[325] in 1763, all lands west of the Mississippi became the property of Spain.  By presenting gifts to the local Quapaw villagers, the Spanish made friends with and traded with the Indians, which were about 1,000 in number.  Indians and mostly French trappers would trade their pelts for necessities of life such as food, guns, knives, axes, tools, clothing, household items, ammunition, traps, blankets, candy, and the liquids that dreams are made of, rum and brandy.  The merchants at Arkansas Post would take their furs to New Orleans, where they were sold for a healthy profit.  There, they purchased goods for trade and moved them upstream by flat boat.[326]


In 1766, Don Antonio de Ulloa, the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, took possession of Louisiana.  Two years later in 1768, Alexander De Clouet, a French officer who had sworn allegiance to King Carlos, III, assumed command of Arkansas Post.  One of his first duties was to take a census.  It revealed that the fort was inhabited by 138 people, including 85 white civilians, 35 black, mulatto and Indian slaves, and a military detachment of 18.[327]


By 1768, large numbers of merchants requested licenses to trade with the Indians in the upper Louisiana and Arkansas regions.  Spanish officials issued licenses to trade with the Osage Indians through St. Louis.  Unlicensed traders were selling guns, ammunition and liquor to the Osage.  This led to Osage attacks on settlements as far south as Nachitoches.  These unlicensed traders were called “the most wicked persons, without doubt, in all the Indies.[328] As a result Commandant Leyba gave the Quapaw tribal leaders guns and other presents.  He wanted to solidify the friendship between the Quapaw and Spain.  Later, in 1772, when a band of Quapaw attacked an Osage raiding party, Leyba presented gifts of guns and liquor to them.  Ultimately, the good relations with the Quapaw caused them to go on the warpath with the Osage.  Arkansas Post returned to relative peace momentarily, but the settlers around St. Louis continued to suffer from Osage raids.[329]


In 1769 an English trading settlement was opened on the east bank of the Mississippi, just opposite from the mouth of the Arkansas River.  British traders on the east bank, crossed the river and illegally traded with the Quapaw Indians, attempting to turn the natives against the Spaniards, which met with some small degree of success.  Fernando de Leyba, who later commanded Fort Carlos at St. Louis, arrived at Arkansas Post in early 1772, along with his wife, Maria Conception Cesar.  The population of the fort at that time was only 78.[330]


By 1775 five British traders had established a village of 18 cabins called “Concordia”.  It was just across the river from the Quapaw village.  This outpost became a base of operations for English traders and adventures who at the time were pouring into Arkansas country.  Their impact on game and Spanish trade was dramatic, with 12,000 deer skins and 6,000 pounds of beaver furs captured in the White and St. Francis river basins in February and March, 1776.[331]


Arkansas Post was an important military post during the American Revolutionary War.  It was a post that allowed boat crews a place to rest and reprovision, but more importantly, it served as an intelligence center.  The staff briefed crews on the location of British troops and vessels.  Thus, it assisted in keeping the Spanish-American supply lines open to Generals George Rogers Clark and George Washinton.  In the summer of 1776 Governor Louis de Unzaga appointed Captain Balthazar de Villiers as Commandant of Arkansas Post.  Villiers and his wife, Francoise Voisin Bonaventure, arrived in September, 1776.  The outpost had shrunk to 61 civilians and 16 soldiers.  With the assistance of the Quapaw Indians and the newly arrived Kaskaskia tribe, which had been displaced by the British and their Iroquois allies in Illinois, Villiers, in October, 1776, was able to capture the hides of British trappers and run them out of Arkansas territory.[332]


Commandant De Villiers wrote to Governor Galvez on March 2, 1779 that he was leading a contingent of new settlers to Arkansas Post to its new location at Ecores Rouges.[333]  There was a substantial number of Anglo-Americans who had originally planned to settle in or near the British settlement of Concordia.  Upon arrival in 1778, they had found Concordia deserted.  They petitioned the Spanish government to be allowed to settle at Arkansas Post on February 20, 1778.[334]Together with some upland hunters, they doubled the population of Arkansas Post.  Steps were started, but not legally consummated to confer title to the land upon which these settlers were to cultivate.  Once war was declared by Spain, Arkansas Post became the most vulnerable of all the Spanish forts in the Mississippi valley because of two factors:  its remote location and the small size of the military garrison.  After reinforcement by 12 soldiers in 1781, it was manned by only one officer and 32 soldiers.[335]


On November 22, 1780, Villiers and his military detachment and civilian volunteers crossed the Mississippi and attacked Concordia.  The British had departed, leaving the settlement totally uninhabited.  Having been informed that a group of former British soldiers, loyalists and allied Indians planned to disrupt Spanish use of the Mississippi, Villiers set to strengthen the fort.  By July 1781 the new stockade was 13 feet high and 75 feet square.  Villiers renamed the new fortress at Arkansas Post in honor of the Spanish king.  It became Fort Carlos, III.[336] Short of an attack by canon, Villiers felt confident that his fortress would successfully defend against all attacks.[337] 


 British Captain James Colbert led a group of about 100 English loyalists, fur traders and Chickasaw Indians in harassing the Spanish up and down the Mississippi. They regularly attacked Spanish boats on the Mississippi River.  Due to frequent floods followed by dusty droughts, the residents of Arkansas Post were almost entirely dependent upon being provided food by river traffic.  On May 2, 1782, Colbert’s pirates captured a Spanish boat near Chickasaw Bluff (present day Memphis, TN).  Onboard was the wife of the Lt. Governor of St. Louis, and their four sons.  Colbert held them for 20 days in an unsuccessful attempt to exchange them for British prisoners being held in New Orleans.  As a result of this event, Governor Esteban Miro dispatched  artilleryman Second Lieutenant Antonio Soler to Arkansas Post, with two swivel guns and a supply of ammunition, and orders to put the fort in a state of readiness.[338]  


On June 19, 1782 Villiers died in New Orleans after an unsuccessful liver surgery.  Governor Esteban Miro appointed Captain Jacobo Du Breuil as the new commandant of Arkansas Post.  Breuil and his family arrived at the post in January, 1783.  At that time the Spanish garrison consisted of only 14 soldiers.[339]


Just a few months later, on April 17, 1783, British supporters under the command of Colbert, attempted to raid the Spanish Fort at Arkansas Post, which had been named Fort San Carlos, III.[340] The British force sent about 100 into combat.  The settlement and fort were located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers.  The attackers came quietly by river by boat from downstream, arriving about 2:30 a.m.  Everyone was asleep, allowing the British to capture all the houses outside the fort.[341]  Two Spanish soldiers were killed.  They seized Lieutenant Villars and his family.  Four of the other leaders of the settlement and their respective families, together with six other settlers escaped.  Many of the residents were hunters.  At the time, they were off on a hunting trip.  Their wives and children fled to the commandant’s house at the fort.  The small army detachment fought a short battle with the English, resulting in two soldiers being killed and six were captured, along with a cannon.[342]


Jacobo du Briel, the commandant of the garrison declined the demand for surrender contained in a letter from Captain Colbert.  Breuil said that he would never surrender to the “Captain of the Highwaymen”.  Ten soldiers and four Indians were selected to attack while making a din of noise.  The gun battle continued, resulting in the retreat of Colbert and his party.  Later that day the friendly Quapaw Indians came to the assistance of the garrison.  Having been shamed by Breuil for allowing the Colbert party past the Quapaw village, Chief Angaska led a party of 100 warriors, soldiers, and settlers in pursuit of Colbert and the hostages.  Overtaking Colbert downstream of the Arkansas River, Angaska forced Colbert to release all the prisoners.[343]  A historical marker honors the 26 patriots who participated in this battle.  That marker is now hanging on the Arkansas County Courthouse in DeWitt, AR.[344]


Arkansas Post (Fort San Carlos, III) had been a great crossroad of exploration:  DeSoto in 1541; LaSalle in 1682; and de Tonti in 1686.  It was the first permanent settlement in Arkansas and the first territorial capital of Arkansas.  On July 4, 1976, the Arkansas DAR donated a reproduction of a corner of the fort, referred to as the “Arkansas Post National Memorial.  It is near the location of the 1783 battle.[345] This was the last land battle of the American Revolutionary War.  It was one of only two such battles west of the Mississippi, both of which resulted in Spanish victories.  The Spanish record reveals that Breuil requested a “cask of brandy to revive the troops”.[346]


A close review of the dates will reveal that this battle actually occurred after peace had been declared in Paris.  Word of that peace however, had not yet reached Arkansas Post.  Technically, the British in West Florida had surrendered to Galvez in 1781.  This left Colbert as a pirate.  He escaped trail for piracy and sedition when he fell from his horse and died.[347]


1783                            In 1783 there was an official census of Texas.  The population at that time was 2,819, most Spaniards.  The bulk of the population lived along the San Antonio River, in six of the 23 towns in New Spain between the Nueces River and Laredo.  This population center was in a diamond shape with San Antonio in the north; Brownsville in the south, Laredo on the west and Old Indianola on the east.


May 20, 1783              Bernardo de Galvez was named Vicount of Galvestown.


Jul. 2, 1783                  Due to the surrender of Cornwallis, and the destitute financial status of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it was unable to provide General George Rogers Clark with the arms, ammunition and supplies needed to continue the war against the British sponsored Indians. On July 2, 1783 Virginia Governor Harrison relieved Clark of command, saying that under the present conditions the services of a general officer was no longer need.  He also thanked Clark for

the great and singular services you have rendered your country in wresting so great and valuable a territory out of the hands of the British enemy, repelling the attacks of their savage allies and carrying on successful war in the heart of their country, this tribute of praise and thanks so justly due….[348]


3 Sep. 1783                 With the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty, peace was declared between England, the United States, Spain and France[349].  To reward Spain for its assistance during the conflict, Spain was ceded East and West Florida, including all lands south of Natchez, Mississippi, and east of the Mississippi River.  Not only had Spain reached many of its war goals, it was left satisfied that it had successfully navigated the nation through treacherous waters, while at the same time obtaining increased independence from France.  Simultaneously, it had left Britain humbled.  Spain had shown the world its power with the victories of Bernardo de Galvez in the Gulf and up the Mississippi and the victories of his father Matias in Central America.  Spain was left with control of most of South America, Central America and New Spain, plus the return of the Floridas, and because of its diplomacy had an excellent relationship with its neighbor, the United States.  Galvez returned to Spain, where he spent the following year.[350]


Oct. 20, 1783              Due to financial bankruptcy, and the desire for military support to protect its citizens, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s legislature ceded the lands of the Northwest Territory to the United States on October 20, 1783.


Nov. 25, 1783             The last of the British troops evacuate New York.


12 Dec. 1783               Gen. Washington met with his senior officers at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan to say goodbye.  During his remarks he rendered a toast to Spain for its assistance during the war.


1784                            The U.S. Congress formally cited Gen. Bernardo Galvez and Spain for their aid during the American Revolutionary War.  On April 8, 1997, the Maryland State Senate, in a Joint Resolution, praised the efforts of Bernardo de Galvez, other Spanish heroes of the American Revolution, and gave thanks to Spain for its assistance.  The full resolution is found in Appendix 3.  The city of Baton Rouge, LA in its 200th anniversary celebration of the independence of our nation dedicated a bas-relief depicting his September 1779 march to Baton Rouge, together with a free standing monument to Oliver Pollock.  In the old Governor’s Mansion there is a painting of Galvez’ birthplace in Spain.  In Mobile, AL at Fort Conde,[351] the visitor’s center features a diorama by Caldwell C. Whisler, which depicts the Spanish siege of Mobile in 1780.  At Spanish Plaza in Mobile there is an elevated life size statue of Galvez. In New Orleans, LA there is an equine statute of Bernardo Galvez in the Riverwalk Marketplace.  His life size bust placed on a stone pillar at Pensacola, with the inscription beneath of “YO SOLO”, was dedicated on May 3, 1981, by the Galvez Bicentennial Commission.  Nearby are a series of bronze plaques commemorating the Siege of Pensacola, one of which contains his image and a brief description of his leadership in the battle.  In Natchez, MS, the DAR has placed a large bronze marker to memorialize his heroic acts that led to the independence of the US.  There is a large equestrian statue honoring Galvez in our nation’s capital at the intersection of Virginia Ave. and 21st Street.  The magnificent statue was presented to the US by HRM King Juan Carlos I de Borbon on June 3, 1776  Many SAR and DAR chapters are named in his honor in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.  SAR medals honoring him have been minted in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.  A US commemorative postage stamp was minted in his honor.


Oct. 1784                    Bernardo de Galvez assumes the position of Captain General of Cuba.[352]


1785                            Upon his father’s death, Gen. Bernardo Galvez was named Viceroy of New Spain.


30 Nov. 1785              Gen. Bernardo Galvez died in Vera Cruz, Mexico at only 38 years of age.  Subsequently, his remains were entombed in the walls of the San Fernando church in Mexico City, Mexico.  In 1980 the U S Post Office honored Galvez for his victory at Mobile with a commemorative 15 cent stamp.





Clearly, Spain was a valuable ally to the colonists.  Its support was considerable in terms of both manpower and financial support.  The American Revolution was in fact the first global war, in which the colonists played only a small part.  Britain was forced to spread its navy very thin along the Atlantic seaboard, through the Caribbean, and along the Gulf coast.  Between 1779 and 1781, at least 17,000 Spanish soldiers and sailors fought the English in direct confrontations on what was to become American soil.[353] This doesn’t count the many thousands more Spanish military who fought the British on the distant shores of Europe, the Mediterranean, South and Central America, the Philippines and India.

War with the Colonists in the 13 original colonies taxed England to provide an army 3,000 miles from home, and to supply it with arms, ammunition, food, and supplies across seas that sometimes were treacherous.  General George Rogers Clark kept the British busy in what was then described as the northwest territory.  Spain’s involvement created a third front, which diverted men and supplies from Washington’s army.  France and Spain combined to divert British attention away from the colonies and toward defending its claim to Gibraltar, Majorca, Minorca; and distant battles in the Philippines, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, Azores, and India.  The threat of invasion of Great Britain by France and Spain caused King George to retain men, ships and material at home rather than send it to the colonies.  A Spanish merchant even supplied John Paul Jones and enabled his naval and land attacks around England.

An army travels on its stomach.  With the August 1778 hurricane killing most of the livestock in lower Louisiana, the Texas cattle were a life saver that allowed the Spanish army and militia to effectively wage war against the British.  The foremost expert on the cattle drives from Texas to Louisiana is my good friend, Judge Robert H. Thonhoff of Karnes City, Texas.  His landmark book, The Texas Connection With the American Revolution,[354] is the primer on this period of our history.  He summarized the number of cattle provided to Galvez as follows:


2000 – (ordered by Francisco Garcia)

300 -    (ordered by Maria de St. Denis)

970 -    (delivered by Joseph Felix Menchaca)

???? - (ordered from Mission Rosario)


                        ???? -  (delivered by Francisco Flores, Joseph Felix Menchaca, & Juan de Ysurieta)

                        1234 -  (delivered by Marcos Hernandez)

                        2000 -  (ordered from Mission Espiritu Santo)

                        ???? -  (escorted by soldiers listed on October 20, 1780 muster roll)

                        ???? -  (ordered by Francisco Rose’)


                        200 -    (delivered by Vizente Flores)

                        1069 -  (delivered by Joseph Antonio Cuirbelo)


                        1200 -  (delivered by Antonio Blanc)

                        8973 + - Total Number Ordered and/or Delivered.[355]

In addition to this number there were probably many more head of cattle delivered for which no record exists.  We know that many bulls were also delivered to propagate the herd.  As a cow can bear a calf each year, we can assume that hundreds, if not thousands of calves were added to the herd over the four year period.  To these credit should also be added for the large number of steers and bulls in transit that were rustled by the Commanche Indians.

The Massachusetts Historical Society in its 1910 – 1911 Pr0ceedings made the following statement:

The part played by Spain and Spaniards in our Revolutionary struggles has hardly received the place it deserves.  The Spanish government contributed liberally toward the fund for the purchase of supplies and munitions of war and individual Spaniards also gave largely.  Arthur Lee managed this business for America and did it well, while Joseph Gardoqui, acted as agents for Lee in Spain, not only in dispersing funds, but also in collecting them.  They shipped great quantities of supplies from Bilboa.  In 1778 there were 18,000 blankets, 11,000 pairs of shoes, 41,000 pairs of stockings, besides quantities of shirtings, tent cloth, duck and medicines, all amounting in that year to nearly 600,000 riales of vellon.  Besides transacting this business, the Gardoquis served as agents for American shipping firms.  . . . [T]he (American) private commerce with Spain and with the Spanish West India Islands was extensive and important. 

. . .

In the years 1777 to 1785 their dealings were quite extensive.  These included the disposal of prizes taken by privateers in which the Cabots were interested, as well as more regular commercial dealings.  Among the vessels mentioned in the accounts between the Cabots and the Fardoquis, is the “Rambler”.  She appears to have been a “letter of marque” rather than a privateer or regular merchant vessel.  She made several voyages, one in 1777, another in 1781 and another in 1783.  On her homeward trips she carried iron, brandy, blankets, window-glass, gunpowder, cordage, silk handkerchiefs, and tea.  Her cargo, including commission and expenses, on the 1781 voyage amounted to 170,726 riales of vellon, and that of 1783 to 383,512 riales.[356]


What was the total Spanish contribution, in terms of money?  We will probably never know the full amount.  North American sources reflect that “remittances from Spain reached 187,500 Pounds in 1777, and the same quantity in 1778.”  On September 19,1792, William Carmichael, Secretary to the American embassy in Madrid, sent a letter to Count Aranda, in which he advised that the United States was prepared to pay its war debts.  He gave thanks for Spain’s valuable assistance, and asked for an accounting of the US debt to Spain.  Aranda did not have the figures, so he forwarded the request to Don Diego Maria de Gardoqui, who by then was Spain’s Secretary of Finance.  Gardoqui responded that from the Iberean peninsula alone the amount would be “several millions.”  To that amount it would be necessary to add the amounts provided by Bernardo de Galvez in New Orleans and the amounts from Havana.  In a letter from Jose de Galvez dated September 3, 1780, he reported that 390,971 pesos had been advanced from New Orleans, and an additional 14,424 pesos loaned by Havana.[357]  Additionally, there was a loan of 15,960 reales from Don Joseph Torino.[358]

The best evidence of the pure finance support rendered from Spain can be found in a letter from Gardoqui to the Duke of Alcudia, in which Gardoqui stated:

The benefits that the Americans received from Spain were very important, in that they were helped by money and effects by the Spanish government in 1776, ’77 and ’78 with the considerable amount of 7,944,906 reales and 16 copper maravedies, plus the delivery of 30,000 blankets sent to them at a moment of absolute and complete need of that aid to keep their army from perishing. . . .  To these aids or assistances must be added those which the Conde de Galvez provided in America, which naturally should be taken into consideration, for in those domains we have always given most generously.  With these facts being steadfast, and Congress’s not having paid at present more than 174,011 pesos fuertes for which Mr. Short has been commissioned, the end result is . . . that . . . these States owe us seven million reales, including as is fair, the interest, nevertheless discounting that which they have already paid, and without adding to this the debt from America, which will certainly be considerable . . . Regarding the matter . . . what I understand, it seems to me that, with respect of the amount being endorsed by our representatives, equals, 74,087 pesos fuertes.[359]

To that 7,944, 906 reales, must be added the direct support from Bernardo de Galvez, which exceeded 1,399,220 reales; the 284,480 reales advanced to the ship squadron chief in Southern California; the 9,612 pesos sent to Miralles; or the abundant deliveres to John Jay.[360] Not counting the use of Spanish vessels, and the amounts expended on its Army and militia in fightening against the British, it appears that the Spanish financial outlay for American Indepenence totaled about 10,000,000 reales.  These figures include nothing for support received in 1779, 1780, 1781 or 1782.  If one includes the financial support rendered after Spain declared war on England, the amount including agree upon interest totaled 37,000,000.00 reales.  To that sum can be added loans by Havana merchants 1781, totaling 4,320,000 reales.[361]  Looking at the contribution from a different perspective the total revenues for Spain in 1777 was 422,821, reales.  Spain’s donations to the Americans totaled that year 2,489,906 reales, or 5.9 percent of its revenues.[362]

In 1779, there were 58 Spanish ships directly supporting the Revolution, with France providing 63.  In 1780 there were 48 Spanish ships were engaged against the British in North America, with France using 69.   In 1781 it was 54 for Spain and 70 for France.  The following year, Spain utilized 54 ships and France sent 73.  From 1779 through 1782, the combined French and Spanish war ships outnumber those of England in the conflict.

In addition to the above contributions Spanish privateers were also an important factor in the conflict as they helped to cripple English transportation and communications.  Today, the service of Spanish patriots is recognized as qualification by descendants for membership  in the National Society Sons of the American Revolution, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, National Society Sons of the Revolution, and the National Society Children of the American Revolution. Each has recognized service between the period 19 Oct. 1781 and 3 Sep. 1783 as “qualified” patriotic service.  These dates should begin with the 1776 date when war supplies were first provided by Spain.

Only the large city of Galveston, Texas (and the Bay where that city lies) and the small town of Galveston, Louisiana bear his name. There are statues to his memory in Washington, DC, New Orleans, LA, and plaques or busts in Mobile, AL; Natchez, MS; Baton Rouge, LA; and Pensacola, FL.  In 1990, the Florida legislature passed a resolution acknowledging his contributions.   The cities of Jacksonville and St Augustine proclaimed July 23 to be "Gálvez Day" in 1993. In 1996, the Maryland Congress recognized the role of Gálvez and other Hispanics in American Independence with a resolution.

It is time that historians recognize the important contributions of Spain and Texans to American Independence.




Appendix 1


The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, London, England, April 3, 1780, (From the London Gazette of Saturday, April 1, 1780).


Extract of a letter from Major General Campbell at Pensacola to Lord George Germain, dated December 15, 1779.


“What a grievous mortification must it be to me to have to related to your Lordship, for my Sovereign’s information, the conquest of the western part of this province, by the arms of Spain, in consequence of their early intelligence of the commencement of hostilities.  Having in my dispatches of the 14th of September (1779), prepared your Lordship for the events which have followed.  I shall refer for particulars to Lieutenant-Coplonel Dickson’s letter to me of the 20th of October from New Orleans, to the Articles of Capitulation between him and his Excellency Don Bernardo de Galvez, Governor of Louisiana at Baton Rouge, the 21st day of September, to the list he furnishes of the killed, wounded and prisoners, and to a paper containing the reasons assigned by him for preferring Baton Rouge for a post whereat to make a stand, as comprising all the additional intelligence that appears to be requisite, of this unfortunate disaster.


“I cannot help observing, that facts have demonstrated, that Spain had predetermined on a rupture with Great Britain long before the declaration made on the 16th of June last by their Ambassador at the Court of London; had laid their plans, and prepared all their Governors abroad for such an event; and it would appear, had even fixed the day, or at least nearly the time, on which it was to take place; for we are here informed, that war was declared at Porto Rico in a few days after the 16th of June.  English vessels are known to have been carried into the Havannah (sic) as prizes in the beginning of August last.  And from New Orleans I have the Governor’s own acknowledgment of his being apprized of the commencement of hostilities on the 9th day of August last (1779); but how much earlier his intelligence of that event really was, is uncertain.  However that be, it is now uncontrovertibly known, that he has long ago been secretly preparing for war.  That having previously collected the whole force of the province of Louisiana, the independency of America was publicly recognized by beat of drum at New Orleans on the 19th day of August; and everything being in readiness for that purpose, he immediately marched against our forces of the Mississippi; and he so effectually succeeded by the capture, by stratagem, of a King’s sloop in Lake Pontchartrain, by the seizue of a schooner in the river Mississippi on her way with rum and provisions for Manchack, and of six other small vessels on the lakes and in the river Amit (sic).  One of these left with troops of the regiment of Waldeck, and another with provisions, and by preventive precautions in the stopping and communication of intelligence of his movements, being sent to this place; that he had nearly effected the reduction of the Western part of this province, before we at Pensacola were apprized, or had the smallest communication of his having commenced hostilities; the information of that event having only reached me on the 14th of September, as intimated to your Lordship in my letter of that date; and Lieutenant-Colonel Dickson, it appears, was forced to capitulate on the 21st day of that same month.”


Note:  British forces at Fort Bute in Manchak and Baton Rouge had knowledge of a state of war between Spain and England at least by August 21, 1779.  So, the inference in the above report that the attack on those facilities was a sneak attack, is untrue.[363]

Appendix 2


Report Letter[364] of Don Bernardo de Galvez in New Orleans to Captain General Don Diego Joseph Navarro in Havana, dated October 16, 1779.[365]


“My dear Sir:


“I enclose herewith copy of the letter I am addressing to the Court, reporting the expedition I have made in this Province against the Forts and Establishments that the English had here, from which you will be circumstantially informed of the favorable success and happy enterprises that he armies of our King have achieved.


“May God keep you many years.

“Yours very truly,

“Bdo. De Galvez


“New Orleans, October 16, 1779”


Enclosed with his letter to Navarro was the following report for King Carlos, III:


“My dear Sir:


“I have the satisfaction of advising you of the success of a happy Expedition, not only for the advantages that we will obtain, but vecxause same has been against enemies of superior forces, located in a more advantageous position, accustomed to war, and n fact veterans.  It would make you tired if I had to tell you one by one of the operations of the company, and the difficulties that we had to surpass before executing the enterprise.  Be it sufficient to tell you, and may you with your wonderful intelligence infer it, that foreseeing the war from the orders that I received by the mail previous to that which brought the declaration, I called to a meeting all the commanding officers and Captains of the Garrison and having demonstrated to them the plans of the Province with the exact information of the forces that the English had in this River which exceeded 800 men of the veteran army, and with the knowledge that mine only reached 500 men, the 330 recruits just arrived from Canaries (Canary Islands) and Mexico; it was decided that if a reinforcement would not be coming to us from Havana, it was necessary to be fortified in this city and take a defence in case war would be declared.  The Declaration (of war) arrived in the following mail with the order of H. M. (His Majesty) to attack the English, with which disjoining myself of the opinion of the Congress and being confident of the help that the inhabitants could give me, I made my preparations and decided to leave on August 22nd, with intentions to aske the individuals on the 20th to follow me; but on the 18th, such an impetous hurricane came upon us that in less than three hours all vessels in the River had perished, the war vessels as well as the Mercantile ones, among which there were also sunk the galliots and gun-boats that I had built for the defence of the River; many houses of the town being found on the ground, the dwellings located at twnty leagues in the vicinity were destroyed, the trees uprooted, the men terrified, their wives and children scattered in the deserted fields, exposed to the roughness of the weather, the grounds inundated, and in the River everything sunk, just as well as my resources, help and hopes were all lost.


“You may consider now how I could feel under such terrible circumstances.  The instructions to attack still subsisted, adding to this the fact that if ample time was given to the English to call their Indians and gather their inhabitants, they would be able to prepare an Army twice as large as ours, and come down to this town with all confidence, as in view of the destructions caused by the hurricane (which damage did not reach their establishments) they could suppose we were almost conquered.


“These reflections, which will be my answer when the King should ask me to give account of the Province he had entrusted to me, and preferring to be accused of being rash rather than to stand any other sort of accusation, I went back to my original resolution of seeking the enemies right in their forte and establishments, believing that if I would not do this, they would  come to look for me; but as I was lacking all means, and to go only with the army would be to walk to death, I made use of some means to encourage the inhabitants to nothing less than to abandon their families right at the time of the general desolation in which they were and the damage suffered in their properties, to follow me to the front, and believe that to this step we owe our success.


“Together with the news of the war I received the advices to the effect that His Majesty had appointed me Governor, which fact I had tried to keep silent, so as not to show that I had received mail.  I called the inhabitants and made an argument to them as pathetic as possible on the unfortunate situation of the Colony and the sad time in which were received the instructions from Havana, to protect the Province, as having Spain declared the Independence of the Americas, it was to fear that the English would start the hostilities as they had done with the French without any other cause; that peace subsisted and that Spain wished to maintain it as long as England would not disturb it.  This was the pretext of which I made use in order to hide the rel object of the movements that I should do in sight of everybody, and which had the desired success, because until I took the fort But of Mancheck, the enemies did not know that the war had been declared, as you will later see from their own letters.  I added to the Inhabitants that I had other news to tell them, and taking out the Government title, I explained to them the new favor I owed to H.M. (His Majesty) possession of which title could not be verified without first making in Church the Oath of protecting the Province; that I did not need to make an Oath to give my last drop of blood in sacrifice of my King, but not being able to insure the protection of the Colony, due to the small size of the army I had, they should neither expec t me to take possession nor to make such an Oath if they would not promise to help me fulfil same.  Please allow me to go ahead without mentioning the expressions I received from this public, as it is no for me to repeat them; I will only say that they almost took me on the shoulders to the Capitulary Houses - - they broke the doors instead of waiting for the keys, and I had the satisfaction of being received with the grea test acclamations of joy, illuminating that very night, these unfortunate people, the ruined walls of their houses, after having promised me to sacrifice their lives in service of the King and that they would do the same thing with their estate had they not lost same.


“Having at last verified the truthfulness of the promises that these inhabitants had made to me, and of which I could only doubt during the general panic in which they were.  With this, I regained once more the lost hopes of going into the campaign.  I gave instructions in order that the canoes that might have remained free from the damages in the coasts, where the destruction of the hurricane were less, be sent to me.  One Galliot and three gunboats were taken out from the bottom of the river.  I shipped in those vessels the ammunitions and ten cannons, one of 24 (24 pound cannon ball), five of 18 and four of 4, giving charge of this expedition which was to go by water, to Lieutenant of Artillery Don Julian Alvarez, who is an officer of great activity and fervor, in spite of his very bad health.  On the 26th, having decided to leave, I gave charge of the Town to Captain Don Pedro Piernas, who had the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, leaving the Militimen to protect said Town.  The affairs of the administration were taken care of by Quarter-Master Don Martin Navarro, and the army that was to follow me, under the command of Colonel Don Manuel Gonzalez, and as second to him, the Lieutenant-Colonel Don Estevan Miro, and as Major of the Expedition, Captain Don Jacinto Panis, first Assistant of the Town.  I left on the 27th in the morning, with the intentions to take from the German Coast as many people as I could.  That same day in the afternoon, our small army left the town, composed of 170 Veteran Soldiers, 330 recruits, 20 Musketeers, 60 Militiamen or inhabitants, 80 free negroes, and Mulattoes, and Don Olibero Polock, Agent of the Congress who was by my side during the whole campaign with 2 Officers and 7 Volunteer Americans, all of whom were 667 men of every class, nation and color without an Engineer, and the Artillery Officer, as before said, very sick.


“With these men willing to walk 90 leagues through thick woods and impracticable roads, without tents, baggage and other indispensable aid, we started, as it is said, at a venture.


“It will make you as tired as the army was when arriving at Mancheck, if I would tell you of all the difficulties that we had in the way from this city to that place.  I would say for your information, that the same desire shown by the people in the City, was expressed by all the individuals in the German Coast and from this coast, Opelousas, Atacapas and Punta Cortada (Point Coupee), about 600 men were added to us, with 160 Indians whom voluntarily offered themselves; but it is to be observed that although our army should be composed of 1427 men, according to the number of soldiers quoted, however, due to sickness and weariness I had already lost more than one third of the men when I arrived at English Manchack, which fort we took on the morning of September 7th by surprise and assault, without meeting any misfortune on our part. - - Captain Don Gilberto Antonio Maxent (Galvez’ brother in law?) being the first to enter through one of the embrasures.  There was only one Garrison, a captain, a lieutenant and a second-lieutenant with 24 men of whom five escaped with the second-lieutenant taking advantage of the little day light - - another one was killed and the rest were made war prisoners; two days  before, having left for the Fort at Baton Rouge, 110 Grenadiers of the German Army of Waldeck,  two companies of fusileers of the same, and another two of the Regiment 16, after having sent their Artillery, Tools, Ammunition and Provisions.  The inventories were made the next day.  I gave six days of rest to the army that continued to get sick, and on the 13th I left for Baton Rouge, and on the way we made five Prisoners of an advanced guard.  I arrived at the suburbs with only 200 men of the Battalion, the other Bodies having been proportionally lessened.


“I recognized the English Fort (which since that day began to make fire against us) constructed of rammed earth, and in view of the same being 18 feet wide and 9 feet deep, I understood they had moats.  The height and the steepness of the walls surrounded by palisades in the shape of Frissa (?) horses protected by 13 cannons and guarded by 500 men, four hundred of whom were veterans and regular army men, and the rest inhabitants and armed negroes, made it impossible to take the fort by assault without first opening a way that would facilitate doing so, and considering at the same time that as the greater portion of my small army was composed of plain men, and that any misfortune would bring a complete mourning to the Colony, I decided to make a trench and establish the battery for which purpose having examined two appropriate places, I chose the less convenient with the hope of deceiving the enemy in this way, and call their fire to a different spot from that in which the works would be done.  In fact, I was able to realize this, as being the most appropriate spot the point of forest that came near to the fort, I destined to same a number of troops composed of white militiamen, colored men and Indians, so that at night and hidden with the trees, some could work with the axes, others would dig the ground and the rest would make fire to the fort in order to protect those who were working.  The result was that the enemies were in vain getting tired of making fire with their cannon toward that place without having been able to hurt anyone; in the meanwhile, silently and without the least inconvenience, it was possible to make the trenches and form the battery behind the fence of an orchard that hid same.  The last night, due to the indispensable noise made by the hammering of the pickets, they found the real spot from which they were attacked, and since this moment they changed direction of their shots, but it was so late that our people were already in shelter.


“The following day, the 21st, in the morning at 5 and ¾ (as a thick fog did not allow it before) we started fire directed by the above mentioned Mr. Julian Alvarez, with such success that notwithstanding the skill with which the enemy served their cannons, three hours and a half later their fort ws so dilapidated that they made a signal and went two officers with proposals for capitulation.  I did not accept this and asked for my part, that the Garrison remain as war prisoners as well as the Fort of Panmure of Natchez be given to us, which garrison was composed of 80 grenadiers and their respective officers.  They agreed to everything, and after the 24 hours that I gave them (in which time we saw them bury their dead, numbr of whom they did not tell us and which I have not been able to find out), they came out with military honors to the distance of 500 steps where 375 men of the regular army (because I allowed the negroes and inhabitants to go to their homes) threw down the arms and gave up the flags remaining as war prisoners, whom I placed under the custody of four cadets while the rest of the troop entered to take possession of the Fort, sending at the same time, a captain with 50 men to occupy that of (Fort) Panmure of Natchez which is the most advantageous, and which would have been the most difficult to take on account of being constructed on a sloped elevation.


“In the meantime, the Expedition had the best of luck in the operations - - not less was the luck that followed from everywhere.  Not one of the arrangements was left unfulfilled.  The Americans commanded by their captain, Mr. Pickle, took in the Lake a cruiser of H.B.M. (His Britannic Majesty) which was of more power than the one they had and which I gave them because of their war vessel “Rebecca” had perished in the River on account of the Hurricane.  We, on our part, also took away from them the Tompson Barrack, and that of Amit together with their respective garrisons.  As we passed Galveston, we took three schooners and a brig that were returning to Pensacola after having brought provisions and ammunitions; three Bilanders that that were coming from that place with 54 Army men, a captain and a lieutenant, and in the river another schooner with provisions.  Therefore, the booties made are eight:  three forts taken, one by assault, the other by capitulation, and the other one by cession; 28 offices of veteran army of the British Regiments, 60 and 16, and of the Waldeck German Regiment; that is to say, one Lieutenant-Colonel, five captains, ten Lieutenants, five Second-Lieutenants, one Quartermaster, two Commissaries, one Store-keeper, and three first Surgeons, 550 prisoners of Regulars and Veterans, besides Marines of the eight spoils and the people and negroes were found armed at Manchack, Baton Rouge and other places, who, according to Military Law, should be treated like soldiers and who have been more than another 500, to whom, however, liberty was given as an act of mercy of our benevolent Sovereign, owing also to the fact that it would have been impossible to properly watch them as it would have happened with those who still remain if the Second Battalion of Spain would not have arrived from Havana, as there are no more than 50 men in this place on account of there being so many new positions to be filled, and, nevertheless, all the numerous advantages obtained, did not cost us more than one dead and two wounded.


“This was the end of our expedition, and the troops of His Royal Highness had to return as there were no more conquests to be made.  It resulted in the acquisition of 430 leagues of the best lands, of the most fertile and richest of the Mississippi with better establishments, and with more inhabitants devoted to the furriery business than on the other of the River where all our possessions were formerly.


“The zeal, the activity and the patience shown by our office and troops, verterans as well as militiamen, cannot be expressed in words.  To the latter, two months pay was given, believing that I would be obliged to go up to Natchez at 90 leagues distance from this capital, and that therefore it would have been necessary to spend three or four months to conclude the war on the river; however, as fortunately it took only one month and one day to finish it, in the name of the King I allowed them the other month which they received, and which action I hope will be approved by His Majesty, considering that the zeal of these people, their spirit, their bravery, their steadiness and the good will with which they defended their Sovereign, cannot be told in ordinary words, and that besides their having scorned with utmost valour all the risks, they have been the ones who had the hardest labour in the Artillery service, and all other hardships.  It is with this in mind that I appeal to you so that you may explain to His Majesty that this very Province that in other times was of doubtful adherence to the Spanish Nation, has now given the most real evidence not to yield even to the very Nationale in the affection and loyalty of its Sovereign.


“May God protect you many years.

“Yours respectfully


“Bernardo de Galvez”


Appendix 3


The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland, surrounded by Hispanic leaders -many of whom were instrumental in the passing of the resolution- on the day of the signature of the Joint Resolution of the State of Maryland on the Role of Hispanics in the American Revolution.  The following Joint Resolution was introduced on March 16, 1996, and was adopted on April 8, 1997.



WHEREAS, the Independence of the United States of America was achieved not only due to the efforts of American patriots, but also to the assistance of foreign governments, soldiers and individuals who supported them, and

WHEREAS, in spite of being an important factor in the victory, the participation of Hispanics in the War of Independence is not mentioned in the history textbooks of this nation, and

WHEREAS, thousands of Hispanics fought the British and their allies during the American Revolution in what today is the United States, winning crucial battles which eased the pressure of the Crown's forces against the armies of General George Washington, and

WHEREAS, Spanish Louisiana Governors, don Luis de Unzaga and don Bernardo de Gálvez, provided assistance to the revolutionary governments of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia in the forms of arms, war materiel and funds to wage campaigns and protect themselves against the British, and

WHEREAS, this assistance allowed American General George Rogers Clark to wage his successful campaigns west of those colonies and also was instrumental in preventing the British from capturing Forts Pitt and Henry in Pennsylvania and Virginia respectively, which guarded the last leg of the only remaining major patriot supply route at the time; that which originated in Spanish New Orleans, traversed the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and ended overland in Philadelphia, and

WHEREAS, don Juan de Miralles, a wealthy Spanish merchant established in Havana, Cuba, was appointed as a royal envoy of King Carlos III of Spain to the United States in 1778, and while traveling with his secretary, don Francisco Rendón, to the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia, he initiated the direct shipment of supplies from Cuba to Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; and Philadelphia, aside from making significant stopovers in Williamsburg, Virginia and in North Carolina, and

WHEREAS, after Spain declared war on Britain in June, 1779, the victories of General Don Bernardo de Gálvez in the lower Mississippi and at Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola dismantled British resupply of close to 10,000 Native American warriors who were a major concern for General Washington because of the raids they had been carrying out in the western areas of the colonies, and

WHEREAS, the Maryland Loyalist Regiment, a force comprised of Marylanders from the Eastern Shore, was also defeated and captured during the campaigns of General Gálvez, and

WHEREAS, the victories of General Gálvez resulted, additionally, in the capture of four other British Regiments including the Pennsylvania Loyalists, the elite British 60th Foot also known as the Royal Americans, the British 16th Foot, and the German Waldeck Regiment, and

WHEREAS, fighting under the command of General Gálvez were men from Spain, Cuba, México, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica as well as from the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Native American Nations such as the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek, and

WHEREAS, the United States Senate has recognized that the actions of those men and their brave commander were very important for the triumph of American efforts in the Carolinas and Georgia, and also for the final victory against Lord Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia, and

WHEREAS, the success of the French and American armies at Yorktown would have been difficult to achieve without the donation of 500,000 pounds tournois that were collected in six hours by prominent citizens of Havana, Cuba, for the campaign, and without an additional 1,000,000 pounds that were subsequently donated by King Carlos III of Spain for the same purpose, and

WHEREAS, the Yorktown campaign not only consisted of a siege by land but also by sea, undertaken by the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse, whose ships had been readied and supplied with 100,000 pesos from the Spanish colonies of Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico that were handed over by Spanish authorities to the French for said purpose, and

WHEREAS, an important element in the French naval victory at the Battle of the Virginia Capes, which sealed the fate of Lord Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown, was the numerical superiority enjoyed by Admiral de Grasse's fleet, which resulted from a Spanish naval squadron taking over the protection of the French colonies in the Caribbean to allow the Admiral the benefit of maintaining his fleet intact, and, thus, obtain the superiority in numbers deemed necessary to defeat the British, and

WHEREAS, hardly any of these Hispanic contributions to American independence are mentioned in the current history textbooks of this nation, be it

RESOLVED, that the Legislature of Maryland acknowledges the pivotal role of Spain and Spanish America in the triumph of the American Revolution, and also recognizes General Bernardo de Gálvez and his men for their significant contributions and achievements in this respect, and, be it further

RESOLVED that the Legislature of Maryland hereby urges historians nation-wide to a deeper examination and dissemination of the role played by Hispanics in the accomplishment of American Independence as well as in the development and progress of the United States in general, and that the study of these contributions be made an integral part of the Social Studies and History courses taught in the State of Maryland.

Appendix 4

Royal Decree of Carlos, III Requesting “Donativo” of August 17, 1780, translated from the original Spanish into English:


“The insulting tyranny of the English nation has precipitated me into a war, the exorbitant cost of which has forced me to raise the revenue exacted from the provinces of our Spanish homeland by a third.  I had hoped not to have to extend this burden to my loyal subjects in America, even though they would seem to be the principal target of the grasping avarice of my enemies.  Nevertheless, I have always been able to count on the faithful generosity of the voluntary contributions of those vast and wealthy colonies.  To make this burden as light as possible, I have resolved to ask for a donativo of one peso from every freeman who is an Indian or of mixed blood, and two pesos from every Spaniard and those of the higher class.  These last may also pay for their servants and workers and later discount the amount from their salaries or daily wages.


“Therefore, I command all of my royal officials in the Indies to announce and explain my royal decree so that all of the inhabitants of the Indies will once again have opportunity to show me their love and gratitude for the benefits I have bestowed on them.  I also charge all of my church officials there to expedite this project by their persuasion and good example, for this is my will.


“All copies of this decree, duly signed by my Secretary of state and Universal Office of the Indies, who also signs below, shall have the same force as the original.


“Given at San Ildefonso, on this seventeenth day of August of the year seventeen jhundred and eighty.


“Signed by I, the King and Jose de Galvez (Minister of the Indies), and certified as a copy of the original by Jose de Galvez”.



Appendix 5

Letter from Virginia Delegates to Bernardo de Gálvez

Philada. May 4th. 1783

We have the honor of Enclosing to your Excellency a Resolution of the General Assembly of our State, by which your Excellency will see that the Accounts of Mr. Oliver Pollock, are Liquadated, and the balance put into a due Course of payment.(1)

We think it proper to give your Excellency this Information for the benefit of such of the subjects of the King of Spain as are in Possession of the Bills drawn by the said Mr Pollock on Penette, Dacosta, Freres & Co. These Bills will be paid agreeable to the Inclosed Resolve, upon thier being presented at the Treasury of Virginia.

We beg leave to recommend Mr Pollock to your Excellency's protection, as one who has suffer'd much and who has discharged his duty both to the Publick & to his Creditors with Zeal & Integrity.

We have the honor to be with sentimen[ts] of the highest respect, Your Excellencys Most Obedient and Humble Servts.

(Copy) Sign'd Arthur Lee Theok. Bland Jr

J. Madison Jur.

John F. Mercer

delegates in Congress from the

State of Virginia.[366]



Appendix 6            Significant Historical Figures From Spain Who Assisted the United States


Carlos de Borbon, III, King of Spain


Jose Monino y Redondo, Count of Floridablanca                         Spain’s Secretary of State


Pedra Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count of Aranda                             Spain’s Minister to France


Francisco de Saavedra y Sangronis


Bernardo de Galvez


Jose de Galvez


Diego de Gardoqui (1735-1798)


Count de Vergennes

Marquis de Grimaldi


Masserano                                                                                            Spain’s Minister to England

[1] Both he and King Juan Carlos de Borbon had previously written letters of appreciation to me.

[2] Gen. George Rogers Clark first built a fortified settlement on Corn Island in the middle of the Ohio River, just above the falls of the Ohio.  Subsequently, he moved onto the southern shore and constructed Fort Nelson.

[3] Other than the flagship, the others were Elizabeth, Swan, Marigold and Benedict.

[4] The Pelican was the newest and most modern English ship.

[5] Spain’s New Mexico Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Part Four of the Spanish Borderlands, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, Sharrar Press, Midway City, CA (1999) p. 1.

[6] Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift, Thomas E. Chavez, U. of NM Press, Albuquerque (2003), p. 4.

[7] Spain’s Arizona Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Third Study of the Spanish Borderlands, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, Sharrar Press, Midway City, CA (1999), p. 6

[8]  Carlos, III of Spain was the uncle of the king of France.


[10] Spain’s Patriots of Northwestern New Spain from South of the U.S. Border in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, Part 8, Spanish Borderland Studies, Shhar Press, Midway City, CA (2001), p. 1.

[11] In 1521, Ferdinand Magellen was the first European to visit the Philippines.  By 1565 there was a Spanish settlement in the Islands, which were named for King Philip, II of Spain.

[12] Spain’s Patriots of Northwestern New Spain from South of the U.S. Border in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, ibid.

[13] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, Light Townsend Cummins, LSU Press, Baton Rouge (1991), pp. 7-9.

[14] Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography and Other Writings, Russel B. Nye, ed.Houghton Mifflin Pub. Co., Boston, (1958), p. __.

[15]  Spain’s Arizona Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 6.

[16] Spain’s Patriots of Northwestern New Spain from South of the U.S. Border in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 2.

[17] “California in the Revolutionary War”, Granville W. Hough, SAR Magazine, (Winter 1999), Vol. XCIII, No. 3.

[18] Letter from De Clouet to General, 14 August 1769, AGI, P, lrg. 107.

[19] Texas in 1776, A Historical Description, Seymour V. Connor, Jenkins Pub. Co., Austin (1975), insert map.

[20] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Id at pp. 17-18.

[21] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 28.

[22] George Rogers Clark, Miitary Leader in the Pioneer West & Locust Grove, Gwynne Tuell Potts and Samuel W. Thomas, Historic Locust Grove, Louisville (2006), p. 21.

[23] Western Lands and The American Revolution, Abernathy, p. 175.

[24] Letter from Clark to Jonathan Clark, April 1, 1775, Draper Manuscript, MSS, 1L16.

[25] Spain’s Texas Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 5.

[26] The Fisherman’s Cause, id at p. 166, citing letter to Joseph Gardoqui from Joseph Swett, jr. and Robert Hooper, Jr. in Marblehead dated May 27, 1741, MUMHA.

[27] Massachusetts Shipping Records, 1686-1785, Part III, pp. 916-1143, box 3, MHS.

[28] Elbridge Gerry was a signer of the both the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence and a major political figure of colonial Massachusetts. He died in office as vice president under James Madison, but not before inventing the political trick which became known as "gerrymandering." A graduate of Harvard College (1762), Elbridge Gerry was a shipping merchant who used his procurement skills to aid the colonists in their revolt against England's King George III. He served in the Continental Congress (1776-81) and was elected to represent Massachusetts in the House of Representatives in the new government, serving from 1789 to 1793. Gerry worked under President John Adams as a negotiator with France (1797-98), then returned to Massachusetts, where he ran unsuccessfully for governor four times (1800-1803) before finally getting elected to consecutive terms (1810 and 1811). His deepest groove in history comes from one of his last acts as the Massachusetts governor: prior to the 1812 elections he signed a bill that restructured voting districts to give his party, the Democratic-Republicans, a majority in the legislative body. Since then, carving up voting districts for political gain has been known as "gerrymandering.  Elbridge Gerry was chosen as a vice presidential candidate in 1812 to bring the northern votes for Madison, a Virginian who'd been picked to follow Thomas Jefferson into the presidency.  Elbridge Gerry died while serving as vice president.  Answer.com

[29] The Fisherman’s Cause: Atlantic Commerce And Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution, Christopher P. Magra, Cambridge University Press (2009), pp. 26-27.

[30] The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies and Practice, Don Higginbotham, Northeastern University Press, Boston, (1983), pp. 29-53.

[31] In Irons: Britain’s Naval Supremacy and the American Revolutionary Economy, Richard Buel, Jr, Yale University Press (1998), pp. 31-32.

[32] Legacy: Spain and the United States in the Age of Independence, 1763-1785, id at p. 70.

[33] Ibid, citing the National History Archives, Madrid.

[34] Empresarios espanoles en el proceso de independencia norteamericana: Las casa Gardoqui e hijos de Bilbao, Reyes Calderon Cuadrado, Union Editorial, Madrid (2004).

[35] Letter from Joseph Gardoqui & Sons in Bilbao, Spain to Jeremiah Lee dated February 15, 1775, NSDAR Magazine, Vol. 1, p 401.

[36] Letter from Elbridge Gerry to Joseph Gardoqui and Sons, July 5, 1775, NDAR Magazine, Vol. 1, p. 818.

[37] The Rockingham had made previous transatlantic trips to Bilbao, Spain.  Log Book Schooner Rockingham, Ship’s Logs, box 1, Loan, MDHS.

[38] Letter from Elbridge Gerry to Joseph Gardoqui and Sons, July 5, 1775, ibid.

[39] The Fisherman’s Cause, id at pp. 166-167, citing examples.

[40] The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence, Vol. 2, (1777), p. 290.

[41] The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence, Vol. 2, (1777), pp. 292-293.

[42] Letter from Arthur Lee to Joseph Gardoqui & Sons, dated September 1, 1777, Letters of Delegates to Congress, Vol. 7 (May 1, 1777-September 18, 1777, p. 583.

[43] Letter from Captain Burchmore to Gardoqui and Sons, dated October 17, 1776.

[44] The Fisherman’s Cause, id at p. 168.

[45] Journals of the Continental Congress, Vol. 14, (1779), p. 836.

[46] Legacy: Spain and the United States of American in the Age of Independence, 1763-1848, id at p. 72.

[47] Empresarios espanoles en el proceso de independencia norteamericana: Las casa Gardoqui e hijos de Bilbao, id at p. 188.

[48] “Spanish Financial Aid for the Process of Independence of the United States of America: Facts and Figures”, Reyes Calderon,  Legacy: Spain and the United States in the Age of Independence, 1763-1848, p. 65.

[49] Letters of Delegates to Congress, Vol. 15, (April 1, 1780-August 31, 1780), pp. 348-349.

[50] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 61.

[51] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at p. 30, citing a letter from Masserano to Grimaldi, Dec. 15, 1775, no. 150.

[52] The original of this letter was obtained from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

[53] Notice two different spellings of the Captain’s surname in the original letter.

[54] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 31-33.

[55] Flood Tide of Empire, Cook, p. 81.  See also Spanish Bluecoats, The Catalonian Volunteers in Northwestern New Spain, 1767-1810, Joseph P. Sanchez, Univ. of NM Press, Albuquerque (1990), pp. 70-71.

[56] Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift, id at p. 11.

[57] Tribute to Don Bernardo Galvez, id at p. xxii.

[58] Dairy of John Adams, Feburary 16, 1779.

[59] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 49.

[60] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 29.

[61] There is some authority for the proposition that Linn did not depart until later and did not acquire the gunpowder from Spain until September 22, 1776.  The citation for that thesis comes from The Blackpowder Journal, June/July 1997, Vol. 2, No. 3, a non-historical publication, which according to its web page ceased operations less than a year afterwards.  This 7 ½ page article cites no footnotes and states that the information was taken from the Jan. 1965 issue of “The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.” 

In a second article found in Chapter V of the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project, Nathan Zipfel asserts that Linn did not leave Ft. Pitt until July 19, 1776 and obtained the gunpowder on September 22, 1776.  There was only one citation for three full pages of text:  Pages 31-36:  Old Westmoreland, A History of Western Pennsylvania During the Revolution, by Edgar W. Hassler, J.R. & Co., Pittsburgh, 1900.  No sources were provided for this assertion in Hassler’s article of over 100 years ago.  It is possible that the latter article was the basis of the assertion in the first. 


[62] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 29.

[63] The Revolutionary War in Virginia, 1775-1783, John E. Selby, U. of VA. Press, Charlottesville, 1988, p. 170

[64] Oliver Pollock, id at p.69.

[65] Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift, at p. 31; see also Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 49-51.

[66] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 41-43.

[67]  The promise of secret support from both Spain and France surely gave confidence to the colonists prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

[68] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 47.

[69] Spain’s Patriots of Northwestern New Spain from South of the U.S. Border in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 2.

[70] Caughy, John W. (1998). Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana 1776-1783. Gretna: Pelican Pub. Co.. ISBN 1-565545-17-6.

[71] Oliver Pollock, The Life and Times of an Unknown Patriot, James, p. 69.

[72] Ibid.

[73]  The Longest Siege of the American Revolution:Pensacola, Wesley S. Odom, ISBN 978-0-615-29023-2 (2009), p. 6.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 50-51.

[77] Letters from Congress. 

[78] Now, the Netherlands.

[79] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at p. 60

[80] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 71.

[81] Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Part Six, Spanish Borderlands Studies, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, Shhar Press, Midway City, CA, p. __[81]

[82]  Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift, Thomas E. Chavez, Univ. of NM Press, Albuquerque, 2002, p.49.

[83] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 61.

[84] George Rogers Clark’s diary, Draper MSS 48j12.

[85] Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at pp. 2-4.

[86]  Mitchell, Barbara (Autumn 2010). “America’s Spanish Savior: Bernardo de Galvez marches to rescue the colonies”. MHQ (Military History Quarterly): pp. 98-104.

[87] Tribute to Don Bernardo de Galvez, Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr. ed., The Historic New Orleans Collection, p. xviii.

[88] Bernardo de Galvez, Guillermo Porras Munoz (Madrid, 1952), pp. 6-7.

[89] The Indies were divided into two Viceroyalties:  New Spain and Peru.  New Spain’s southern boundry was the northern border of Panama.  The Vicroyalty of Peru covered all of Central and South America, except Brazil, which was governed by Portugal.

[90] New Spain was divided into five provinces:  1) La Provincia de Nuevo Mexico, which included present day New Mexico and the western portion of Texas around El Paso; 2) La Provincia de Nueva Vizcaya, which included the Big Bend area of Texas, the capital of which was Chihuahua (Mexico); 3) La Provincia de Nueva Estremadura, often called Coahuila , whose capital was at Monclova (Mexico), which included the land along the Rio Grande River to present day Laredo; 4) La Provincia de Nuevo Santander covered a strip of land from the Rio Panuco on the south to the Nueces River on the north and from the Gulf to Laredo; and 5) La Provincia de Texas o Las Nuevas Filipinas extended from the Nueces River on the south and west to the Red River and from the Gulf coast to the “Arctic snows” to the north.  From 1773 until 1821, the capital was at San Antonio. Drama and Conflict: The Texas Saga of 1776, Robert S. Weddle and Robert H. Thonhogg (Austin,1976), p. 14.

[91] Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783, Walton Caughey, Univ. of California (1934), pp. 62-64.

[92] Id at pp. 65-67.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Martin, January 24, 1780, Draper MSS 46j57.

[95] Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Clark, January 29, 1780, Draper MSS 50j7.

[96] Jose de Galvez to the governor of New Orleans, Dec. 24, 1776, royal order, draft, AGI, Santo Domingo 2596; Jose de Galvez to the president of the Casa de Contraction, Jan. 14, 1777, AGI, Cuba 1227.  See also Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at p. 78.

[97] History of Texas, 1673-1779, Part 2, Fray Juan Agustin Morfi [translated by Carlos Eduardo Castaneda], The Quivira Society, Albuquerque (1935), p. 426.

[98] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 79.

[99] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 57-60.

[100]  Sparks, Jared (1829-1830). The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution.  Boston: Nathan Hale and Gray & Bowen.

[101]  Fernandez y Fernandez, Enrique (1885).  Spain’s Contribution to the independence of the United States.  Embassy of Spain: United States of America.

[102] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at p. 60.

[103] Letter from Aranda to Floridablanca, 13 April 1777, AHN, Estado, leg. 3884, exp. 3, folio 26.

[104] The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, Volume 1, CHAPTER XII., p. 517.

[105] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 80-81.

[106] See infra.

[107] Legacy: Spain and the United States in the Age of Independence, 1763-1848, id at p. 68.

[108] “Olive Pollock, Financier of the Revolution in the West”, James Alton James, Mississippie Valley Historical Review (1929), Vol. XVI, p. 67.

[109]  Since the colonies had not obtained their independence from England yet, France could not accept an Ambassador.  Yet, Franklin, the “Representative” was afforded all the courtesies normally extended to other Ambassadors.

[110] Letter from Floridablanca to Aranda, 3 June 1777, AHN, Estado, leg. 3884, exp.3, folio 27.

[111]   “Resolved, That Bills of Exchange to the amount, of Five Millions of Spanish or Mexican silver Dollars be drawn on the American Commissoners at the Court of France, by the President of this Congress, in favour of the several Continental Loan Officers.”  Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, p. 454.

[112] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 64-65; AGI, Santo Domingo, leg. 2596, no. 168.

[113] John D. Barnhart, Henry Hamilton and George Rogers Clark in the American Revolution (Crawfordsville, Ind., 1951), 29, 30.

[114] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, Lowell H. Harrison, Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1976, p. 85.

[115] Tribute to Don Bernardo de Galvez, Id at p. 137.

[116] The famous “Rodrigue Hortalez and Company” discussed in the Summer 2009 edition of the SAR Magazine, served as the conduit for Spanish assistance.  It’s main director was the French playright and statesman, Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais.

[117] Oliver Pollock, Financier of the Revolution in the West, id at p. 72.

[118] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 64.

[119] Letter from Morris and Smith to B. Galvez, 24 October 1777, York, Pennsylvania, AGI, Santo Domingo, leg. 2596.

[120] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 71.

[121] Cecil Johnson, British West Florida 1763-1783, (Yale: Archon Books, 1971) p. 206.  See also The Longest Siege of the American Revolutionary War, Wesley S. Odom, ISBN 978-0-615-29023-2 (2009), p. 13.

[122] Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 2.

[123]  Spain’s TexasPatriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, Shhar Press, Midway City, CA (2000), p. 6.

[124]  Caughy, Id at pp. 98-99.

[125] Bernardo de Galvez Services To The American Revolution, id at p. 368.

[126] Oliver Pollock, Financier of the Revolution in the West, id at p. 72.

[127] Letter from Miralles to J. de Galvez, Feb. 13, 1778, AGI Cuba 1281.

[128] “Resolution of the Treasury Office, Apr. 15, 1779” (Papers of the Continental Congress, item 136, III, 244, Naional Archives.

[129] Thoughout his travels and during his time in Philadelphia, Miralles was given the status of an official Spanish diplomat, although he never made any such claims.

[130] Note the similarity of this proposal to that of Gen. Charles Lee which was delivered to then Governor Unzaga in New Orleans in May 1776 by Captain Gibson.

[131] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at p. 116.

[132] Letter from Conde de Floridablanca to Aranda, Jan. 13, 1778, reserved, no. 2, ibid, II, 192-193.

[133] New Spain was described as that land north of the Isthmus of Panama and west of the Mississippi River to the Arctic snows.

[134] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at p. 94.

[135] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 196-203.

[136] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at pp. 83-84; citing letter from Patrick Henry to B. Galvez, 14 Jan. 1778, AGI, Santo Domingo, leg. 2596.

[137] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at pp. 82-83; citing letter from Aranda to Floridablanca, 23 Feb. 1778, AHN, Estado, exp. 8, folio 90.

[138] The almost 10 month delay in the Continental Congress seeking the handover of these much needed supplies is inexplicable.

[139] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 106.


[140] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at pp. 106-107; citing McDermott, “Leyba and the Defense,” 329-34.

[141] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 85.

[142] Spain and The Independence of the United States, id at p. 15.

[143] Letter from B. Galvez to Don Joseph Briones dated May 6, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 53, no. 1.

[144] Fort San Gabriel was the Spanish fort just across the bayou from British Fort Bute at Manchak, Louisiana.

[145] Letter from B. Galvez to Don Raymundo DuBreuil dated May 18, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 3.

[146] Letter from Governor Chester to Galvez, May 28, 1778, AGI, Santo Domingo 2547.

[147] Caughy, Bernardo de Galvez, p. 123.

[148] “Making of a Myth: George Rogers Clark and Teresa de Leyba”, Nancy Son Carstens, The Filson History Quarterly, vol. 76 (Spring 2002), pp. 126-127, 139.

[149] Letter from B. Galvez to J. Galvez, 9 Jun 1778, AGi, Santo Domingo, leg.2596, no. 169.

[150] James, “Oliver Pollock:Financier,” 72.

[151] Letter from Navarro to J. Galvez, 13 June 1778, AHN, Estado, leg. 3884, exp. 1, folio 14.

[152] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, Lowell H. Harrison, Lowell H. Harrison, The Univ. Press of Kentucky, Lexington (1976), p. 15

[153] Ft. Massac was located near the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers.

[154] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 114.

[155] Letter from de Leyba to Clark, 8 July 1778, AGI, Cuba, leg. 1.

[156] Clark’s Memoir, in James Alton James, ed. , George Rogers Clark’s Papers, 2 vols. (Springfield, Ill., 1912, 1924), 1:209.

[157] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at pp. 113-115.

[158] Consul W. Butterfield, History of George Roger Clark’s Conquest of the Illinois and Wabash Towns, 1778 and 1779 (Columbus, Ohio, 1904), 28; Petition of June 20, 1776, in James, ed., Clark Papers, 1:14-16.

[159] “Long Knife” by James Alexander Thom, Ballentine Books, New York, 1979.

[160] Spain and the Independence of the United States, id at p. 115; citing Carlos M. Fernandez-Shaw, Presencia Espanola en los Estados Unidos (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispanica, 1987), 28, 74, 373.

[161] McDermott, “Leyba and the Defense”, 329.

[162] McDermott, “Leyba and the Defense,” 330-331; James, “Spanish Influence”, 207,; and Bond, “Oliver Pollock:An Unknown Patriot,” 137. 

[163] McDermott, “Leyba and the Defense,” 331.

[164] The History of Louisiana, Martin, p. 235.

[165] Oliver Pollock:Financier, ibid.

[166] Letter from Don Raymundo DuBreuil to B. Galvez dated October 11, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 9.

[167] Letter from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez dated October 13, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 12.

[168] Letter from Raymundo DuBreuil to B. Galvez dated October 14, 1778,  Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, p. 13.

[169] Letter from Galvez to Henry, October 19, 1978, AGI, Santo Domingo, leg. 2596.

[170] Letter from B. Galvez to Villiers dated October 21, 1778,  Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 33, no. 11.

[171] The Canary Islanders of Louisiana, Gilbert C. Din.

[172] Letter from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez dated December 2, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 23.

[173] Report from Jose Bazquez to B. Galvez dated December 4, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 58, no. 2.

[174] Report from Jose Bazquez to B. Galvez dated December 5, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 58, no. 3.

[175] Letter from B. Galvez to Raymundo DeBriel at Galveztown dated December 13, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 27.

[176] Letters from Henry to de Leyba of December 13 and 15, 1778, AGI, Cuba, leg. 1.

[177] It is interesting to note that almost a year after France declared war on England in Feb. 1778, some French settlers in the northwest territories were still allied with the British.  Switching loyalties was commonplace in the frontier, even with American frontiersmen.  The reader should realize that conditions on the frontier were harsh, and the struggle for survival was a daily affair.

[178] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, id at pp. 39-43.

[179] Letter from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez dated December 31, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 32.

[180] Revolution, 1775-1783, Spanish Observers and the American id at pp. 124-125, 127; citing letter from Miralles to Navarro, May , 1779, AGI, Cuba 1281.

[181] George Rogers Clark, id at p. 30.

[182] A History of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Mann Butler, (Cincinnati, 1834), reprinted Berea, 1968, p. 40.

[183] Merchants in Philadelphia, 1754-1798, Byars, Barnard and Michael Gratz, p. 356.

[184] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, Id at pp. 47-63.

[185] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 113-114.

[186] Letter from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez dated December 31, 1778, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 45.

[187] Letters from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez dated December 13, 1778; December 30, 1778; and January 17, 1779, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 27; leg. 50, no. 31; and leg. 50, no. 37.

[188] Letter from George Washington to Navarro, 4 March 1779, AGI, Santo Domingo, leg. 1233, no. 82.

[189] Letter from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez dated March 5, 1779, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 47.

[190] Franklin, The Essential Founding Father, id at p. 338.

[191] Contained in a letter from Croix to Cabello, October 7, 1779, Bexar Archives (BAT, 2C36, vol. 88, pp. 22-25.

[192] A formal document issued by one country authorizing one of its private citizens to take possession of goods, or sometimes citizens, belonging to another country.

[193] The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser and the London Gazette of April 1, 1780 carried an extract of a letter from Major General Campbell to Lord George Germain, dated Pensacola, December 15, 1779.  The newspaper account is included in its entirety in the appendix to this book.

[194] The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, Robert H. Thonhoff, Eakin Press, Burnet, Texas (1981), pp. 45 et. Seq.

[195] Letter from Croix to Cabello, August 16, 1779, Bexar Archives (BAT 2C342),  vol. 85, pp. 112-114.

[196] Letter from Luis Jean Cesaire Borme’, Commandant of Nachitoches to B. Galvez, Athanase de Mezieres and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1769-1780, Vol. II, Herbert Eugene Botlon, (Cleveland, 1914), pp. 266-267.

[197] Letter from Cabello to Croix, October 19, 1779, Bexar Archives (BAT 2C36), vol. 88, pp. 60-66.

[198] Act of Obedience, December 10, 1779, Bexar Archives (BAT, 2C36), vo. 88, pp. 25-27.

[199] Drama and Conflict: The Texas Saga of 1776, Robert S. Weddle and Robert H. Thonhoff, p 171.

[200] Ranching in Spanish Texas, Faulk, p. 264.

[201] Los Mestenos: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721-1821, Jack Jackson, Texas A & M University Press, College Station, p. 313.

[202] Letter from Governor Cabello to B. Galvez, December 20, 1780, BAT, 106, pp. 61-68.

[203] Spain’s Texas Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 9.

[204] Ibid.

[205] Oliver Pollock:Financier, ibid.

[206] Letter from Lewis for the Commercial Committee of Congress to B. Galvez, dated July 19, 1779, , Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 52, no. 3.

[207] Letter from Francisco Bonet de Arsein to B. Galvez dated Aug. 12, 1779, , Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 58, no. 33.

[208] Letter from Francisco Bonet de Arsein to B. Galvez dated Aug. 12, 1779, , Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 78.

[209] [209] Letter from B. Galvez to Raymundo DeBriel at Galveztown dated August 16, 1779,  Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 79.

[210] Bernardo de Galvez Services To The American Revolution, id at pp. 364-365.

[211] Letter from Raymundo DuBriel to B. Galvez datedAugust 22, 1779, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, leg. 50, no. 84.

[212] The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, id at p. 54.

[213] Letter from Bernardo de Galvez at New Orleans to King Carlos, III, via Captain General Diego Josef Navarro in Havana, dated October 16, 1779, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, Spain, Papeles procedentes de Cuba, leg. No. 2358, document No. 229 (translated into English).

[214] A large number of Germans had been colonized under John Law and settled in Louisiana on the Mississippi just upstream of New Orleans.  Their colony was called “Costa des Alemanes”.

[215] Previously, following long struggles in Nova Scotia, in 1756 the King of England banished the French speaking Arcadians.  Thousands of these Arcadians migrated to Louisiana, many of whom settled in Achafalaya, which  is sometimes referred to as New Arcadia.  These people are commonly referred to as “cajuns”.  They hated the British and readily volunteered to join Galvez’ forces.

[216] Six Louisiana Militia units participated in the march against Fort Bute at Manchak and Fort Richmond at Baton Rouge.  They included the five French Arcadian units: The Opelousas Post, with four officers and 107 enlisted men; The Attakapas Post, with four officers and 85 riflemen; The Iberville Coast Militia, with three officers and 60 riflemen; the Iberville Coast Militia, with three officers and 49 enlisted; The Acadian Coast Militia, with an unknown number of officers and men; and The Pointe Coupee Militia, with four officers and 79 enlisted.  Also on the march was the German Coast Militia with its three officers and 97 soldiers.  For the names of the participants see The March, John Francois, Attakapas Press, Lafayette, LA (1999), pp. 153-164.

[217] Ibid.

[218] Gayarre’, History of Louisiana, III, p. 135.

[219] June 2, 1780-July 3, 1780, Bexar Archives (BAT, 2C40, vol. 97, pp. 31-37.

[220] The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, id at p. 52.

[221] Letter from Bernardo de Galvez at New Orleans to King Carlos, III, via Captain General Diego Josef Navarro in Havana, dated October 16, 1779, ibid.

[222] “The Spanish Regiment of Louisiana”, Thomas DeVoe, Bull Schott, Vol. 2 (March 1979), pp. 45-47.

[223] History of Louisina : The Spanish domination, Volume 3, Charles Gayarré,  Widdleton Pub. (1867),New York, pp. 130-131

[224] The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, id at pp. 45-46.

[225] Letter from Bernardo de Galvez at New Orleans to King Carlos, III, via Captain General Diego Josef Navarro in Havana, dated October 16, 1779; confer, John Walton Caughey, Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783 (Reprint, Gretna, Louisiana, 1972), pp. 61-62.

[226] Order from B. Galvez to subordinate at New Orleans dated September 20, 1779, General Archive of the Indies, Seville, Spain, Papeles procedentes de Cuba, leg. 67.

[227]In a cunning and brilliant move, de Galvez included in the terms of the British surrender of Baton Rouge that the British also surrender Fort Panmure at Natchez to Spanish control. Defeated and on the verge of utter annihilation, the British had no other choice but to accept the terms.  This Day in History, Historychannel.com”.


[228] “Return of the different detachments of his Majesty’s Troops, Prisoners at New Orleans, and the Posts where taken”, Bernardo de Galvez Services To The American Revolution, Charles Robert Churchill, Louisiana Society Sons of the American Revolution (March 4, 1925), p. 358.

[229] Bernardo de Galvez Services To The American Revolution, id at p. 372.

[230] Bernardo de Galvez, Services to the American Revolution, Charles Robert Churchill, Louisiana Society Sons of the  American Revolution, New Orleans, March 4, 1925, p. 352.

[231] El Dorado, id at p. 3.

[232] See “Congress Appoints John Jay Minister to Spain” (editorial note), JJSP, 1: 709-16; "Distinguished Gentleman" (editorial note),  and letter from John Jay to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 28 Apr. 1782.

[233] Ibid.

[234] Franklin, The Essential Founding Father, James Srodes, Regney Pub. Co., Washington (2002), pp. 345-346.

[235] The big advantage of a keelboat boat over its predecessor the flatboat was its ability to travel upstream against the current. The keelboat had a sleek hull and a pointed prow and was often equipped with a mast and sail to ease the ascent. If the wind was uncooperative, the ship’s crew, known as keelboatmen, took to the oars or more frequently to long poles. In the 18th century the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers were not as deep as they are today.  These they used to row or “pole” the boat up the river, while other crewmen helped to drag the boat forward by pulling on overhanging tree limbs. If such backbreaking work still failed to propel the vessel upstream, a party of men would be forced to land on the riverbank, secure a rope to the keelboat, and tow the craft by hand. Sometimes oxen or mules were used to tow the boats upstream.  Despite the arduous nature of their return journeys, the keelboat was a more advanced and less expendable vessel than the flatboat. Its design often sported a covered superstructure or even cabins for the passengers and crew. This at least made the long, slow voyage back up the Mississippi or Ohio a little more comfortable.  For additional information see “River to Rail”, Jefferson County, IN Historical Society.

[236] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, Id at p. 68.

[237] Letter from Don Bernardo de Galvez in New Orleans, to Captain General Don Diego Josef Navarro in Havana, dated October 16, 1779, General Archives of the Indies, Seville, Spain, Papeles procedentes de Cuba. Leg. No. 2358, document no. 229, ; fully translated to English in Appendix.

[238] “Spain in the Mississippi, 1765-1794”, Lawrence Kinnaird, ed. (Annual Report of the American Historical Assn., Washington, 1949), Vol. II, pp. 241-242, 248-250.

[239] Spain’s Arizona Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, Third Study of the Spanish Borderlands,, Sharr Press, Midway City, CA (1999), p. 2.

[240] Ibid.

[241] Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, id at pp. 187-188; citing Otero, “Gardoqui”, p. 23.

[242] Caughy indicated in his treatise that Galvez was ready to leave on Jan. 11, 1789.

[243] The 754 men were comprised of 43 men of the Regiment of Principe of the Second Battalion of Spain; 50 from the fixed Regiment of Havana; 141 of the fixed Regiment of Louisiana; 14 artillerymen, 26 carabineers, 323 white militiamen; 107 free blacks and mulattoes, 24 slaves; and 26 Anglo-American auxiliaries.  Caughy, Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783, pp. 175-176.

[244] The Texas Connection With The American Revolution, id at pp. 45-46.

[245]  Carmen de Reparaz, I ALONE, Bernardo de Galvez and the Taking of Pensacola (Madrid: Ediciones de Cultura Hispanica – AECI_ICI, 1993), p. 42.

[246] Pensacola: Spaniards to Space-Age, Virginia Parks, Pensacola Historical Society (Rev. ed., 1996), p. 34.

[247] Kinnaird, Spain in the Mississippi Valley, II, pp. 368-370.

[248] Caughy, id at pp. 187-191.

[249] In the Christian Church, a solemn prayer or supplication.

[250] Letter from Croix to Cabello, February 18, 1870, Bexar Archives (BAT, 2C39), vol. 93, p. 72.

[251] “George Rogers Clark’s Fort Jefferson, 1780-81”, Kenneth Carstens, The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 71 (July 1997), pp. 259-284.

[252] Letter from Jefferson to Clark, January 29, 1780, Draper MSS 50j7.

[253] George Rogers Clark Papers, 1771-1781, James, ed., 

pp. 996-997.

[254] Letter from Cabello to Croix, April 20, 1780, Bexar Archives (BAT, 2C39, vol.93, p. 73).

[255] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, Id at pp. 71-72.

[256] Bernardo de Galvez Services to the American Revolution, id at pp. 363-364.

[257] Named for King Carlos, III, the Span

[258] This attack was part of the British plan adopted in early 1777 to attack down the Mississippi River to expel the Spanish and deny the  Mississippi to the colonists.  See Commerce Committee, U. S. Congress to B. Galvez, 12 June 1777, AGI, Santo Domingo, leg. 2596, no. 168.

[259] Many members of the Spanish militia at Fort Carlos were French trappers and merchants, who had sworn allegiance to Spain.

[260] That tower was located at Walnut and 4th Street in St. Louis.  Lamentably, it was demolished in 1819.

[261] Many of the Spanish militia were Frenchemen who had sworn allegiance to Spain.

[262] Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, Part Six, Spanish Borderlands Studies, Granville W. and N.C. Hough, p. 6.

[263] Missouri: A Guide to the Show Me State, American Guide Series, NY, 1941, p. 42-43.

[264] George Rogers Clark and the War in the West, id a p. 37, 72.

[265] Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 6.


[266] In 1775 John Hinkston and other settlers built fifteen crude cabins on a broad flat ridge above the South Fork of the Licking River, along an old game trail from McClelland's Station (Scott County) to Lower Blue Licks. This site is now in Harrison County. Simon Kenton and Thomas Williams helped build a blockhouse at the station in the winter of 1776-77.  Indian threats then caused its abandonment.  Isaac Ruddell enlarged and fortified the station in 1779. After that, the site was interchangeably referred to as Ruddell's or Hinkston's fort – sometimes “Station”.  See Destruction of Ruddle's and Martin's Forts in the Revolutionary War,  Nancy O'Malley (Frankfort, Ky., 1957). 

[267] Martin's Station was located 20 miles eastward of Cumberland Gap. It was the halfway house between Virginia and Kentucky. It was one of the most famous Central Kentucky stations, and  was established by John Martin, an early Ft. Boonesborough resident (Draper, MSS. 12CC6478). 

[268] Grant’s Fort was located in Bourbon County, near the Fayette County line and was built in 1779 by Col. John Grant and Capt. William Ellis, the military leader of the Traveling Church, for the use of twenty or thirty families who had come to Bryan Station. A group of sixty Indians from Byrd's war party attacked it in June, 1780, and burned the fort without taking prisoners.

[269] Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England During the American Revolution, id at p. 190.