Simon Bolivar - the Liberator

Simon Bolivar - the Liberator

SIMON BOLIVAR - THE LIBERATOR GUILLERMO A. SHERWELL This biography of Bolivar was first published in Washington in 1921. It was again published in Baltimore in 1930. There have been two translations into Spanish that of Roberto Cortazar and that of R. Cansinos-Assens published respectively in Bogota (1922 and 1930) and in Madrid (1922). The Bolivarian Society of Venezuela has decided that in homage to the memory of the Liberator on the occasion of the transfer of the statue in New York to its new site at the head of the Avenue of the Americas the publication of another edition of this excellent work of Mr. Sherwell's which gives in an excellent condensed form the historical significations of Bolivar. The children of Mr. Sherwell have kindly given their consent to the publication of this edition which is made under the auspices of the Junta de Gobierno of the United States of Venezuela. _Introduction_ In the history of peoples the veneration of national heroes has been one of the most powerful forces behind great deeds. National consciousness rather than a matter of frontiers racial strain or community of customs is a feeling of attachment to one of those men who symbolize best the higher thoughts and aspirations of the country and most deeply impress the hearts of their fellow citizens. Despite efforts to write the history of peoples exclusively from the social point of view history has been and will continue to be mainly a record of great names and great deeds of national heroes. The Greeks for us and for themselves are not so much the people who lived in the various city-states of Hellas nor the people dominated and more or less influenced by the Romans and later the Mohammedan conquerors nor even the present population in which the old pure Hellenic element is in a proportion much smaller than is generally thought. Greece is what she is lives in the life of men and shapes the minds and souls of peoples through her great heroes through her various gods which were nothing but divinized heroes. Greece is for us Apollo as a symbol of whatever is filled with light high beautiful and noble; Heracles for what is strength energy organization life as it should be lived by human beings. Leonidas stands for us as a symbol of heroic deeds; Demosthenes as a symbol of the convincing powers of oratory and Pericles as the crystallization of Grecian life in its totality of beauty learning and social and civic life. Greece is a type is an attitude is a protest against oppression is an aspiration towards beauty is an inspiration and a guide for men who live in the higher planes of feeling and thought. But Greece is not all that as a people; Greece is all that through men converted into symbols. So it is with other peoples. Rome still signifies for us the defense of the bridge against the powerful enemy; a man taking absolute power over the State and then surrendering it to the people from whom it came. Rome is Republican virtue and imperial power--and also alas! imperial degradation. Imperial Rome represents persecution of religion which does not recognize Caesar as a god and the assimilation of religions which do not hesitate to add a god to those they adore. Rome too symbolizes the tendency to unity which survives and inspires the life of the nations of Europe if not of the world--a tendency altogether manifest in the last gigantic struggle through which mankind has just passed. Rome finally stands for Law for the most marvelous social machine ever devised by human brains. But Rome is all that and more than that through Horace Sulla Cato Caesar Cicero Nero Caracalla and Justinian. The confusion of the Middle Ages has some points of light always around a man. The great Frederic Barbarossa stands for Germany as does William Tell for Switzerland as Ivan the Great for Russia as the Cid for Spain as King Arthur for England and Charlemagne for France. The modern peoples those who only lately have begun to live as nations have their heroes who perhaps do not seem so great to us as the old heroes because they have not been magnified by time; but if compared with men of the past many of them are as great if not in some cases greater. The countries of America are at present forming this tradition about their illustrious ancestors. And if they want to live the strong life of the nations destined to last and to be powerful and respected they must persevere in the work of building up around their fathers the frame-work of their national consciousness. Washington every day appears nobler to us because every day we understand better what is the meaning of his sacrifice and his work; every day we learn to appreciate more the value of the inheritance he left to us when he gave us a free country where we can think and speak and work untrammeled by the whims and caprices of foreign masters. And the nations to the south of us are also building their national consciousness around their great heroes among them the greatest of all Bolivar one of those men who appear in the world at long intervals selected by God to be the leaders of multitudes to be performers of miracles achieving what is impossible for the common man. They live a life of constant inspiration as if they were not guided by their own frail judgment but like Moses by the smoke and the flame of God through a desert through suffering and success through happiness and misfortune until they might see before them the Promised Land of Victory some destined to enjoy the full possession of it and others to die with no other happiness than that of leaving an inheritance to their successors. These few pages devoted to the life and work of Simon Bolivar the great South American Liberator will attain their object if the reader understands and appreciates how unusual a man Bolivar was. Every citizen of the United States of America must respect and venerate his sacred memory as the Liberator and Father of five countries the man who assured the independence of the rest of the South American peoples of Spanish speech; the man who conceived the plans of Pan-American unity which those who came after him have elaborated and the man who having conquered all his enemies and seen at his feet peoples and laws effected the greatest conquest that of himself sacrificing all his aspirations and resigning his power to go and die rewarded by the ingratitude of those who owed him their existence as free men. The more the life of this man is studied the greater he appears and the nearer he seems to the superhuman. The American people made free by Washington do not begrudge the legitimate glory of other illustrious men and if they have not rendered up to this time the homage due to Simon Bolivar it has been mainly through lack of accurate knowledge of his wonderful work. The city of New York the greatest community in the world is now honoring his memory by placing in a conspicuous section of its most beautiful park a statue which the Government of Venezuela has given it; the statue of the Man of the South the brother in glory to our own Washington. No greater homage could be paid to him than to have American fathers and mothers pass by the noble monument pointing out to their children the statue and telling them the marvelous story of Simon Bolivar. In a book as brief as this it is impossible to present documents or to give long quotations. Nevertheless we may fairly affirm that all statements herein made are substantiable by documentary evidence. We have consulted all the books and pamphlets which have been at hand and have studied both sides of debatable questions regarding Bolivar. To follow a chronological order we have been guided by the beautiful biography written by Larrazabal the man called by F. Lorain Petre "the greatest flatterer of Bolivar." That this assertion is false is proved in the first volume cited below. Petre's monograph contains apparent earmarks of impartiality but in reality it is nothing but a bitter attack on the reputation of Bolivar. Its translator a distinguished Venezuelan writer is to be thanked for the serenity with which he has destroyed his imputations. We find nothing to add in defense of the Liberator. The following studies have been particularly consulted: "Bolivar--por los mas grandes escritores americanos precedido de un estudio por Miguel de Unamuno" Madrid and Buenos Aires 1914 a book containing the following monographs: "Simon Bolivar" by Juan Montalvo (Ecuadorian) "Simon Bolivar" by F. Garcia Calderon (Peruvian) "Simon Bolivar" by P.M. Arcaya (Venezuelan) "Bolivar y su campana de 1821" by General L. Duarte Level (Mexican)[1] "Bolivar en el Peru" by A. Galindo (Colombian) "Simon Bolivar" by B. Vicuna Mackenna (Chilean) "Simon Bolivar" by J.B. Alberdi (Argentinean) "Simon Bolivar" by Jose Marti (Cuban) "El ideal internacional de Bolivar" by Francisco Jose Urrutia (Colombian) "La entrevista de Guayaquil" by Ernesto de la Cruz (Chilean) "Bolivar escritor" by Blanco-Fombona (Venezuelan) "Bolivar" by F. Lorain Petre (North American)[2] "Bolivar" by J.E. Rodo (Uruguayan) "Bolivar intimo" by Cornelio Hispano (Colombian) "Bolivar profesor de energia" by Jose Verissimo (Brazilian) "Bolivar legislador" by Jorge Ricardo Vejarano (Colombian) "Discursos y Proclamas--Simon Bolivar" R. Blanco-Fombona Paris. "Documentos para la Vida Publica del Libertador" por Blanco y Azpurua Caracas. "El Libertador de la America del Sur" Guzman Blanco London 1885. "Estudio Historico" Aristides Rojas Caracas 1884. "La Creacion de un Continente" F. Garcia Calderon Paris. "La Entrevista de Bolivar y San Martin en Guayaquil" Camilo Destruge Guayaquil 1918. "La ultima enfermedad los ultimos momentos y los funerales de Simon Bolivar" Dr. A.P. Reverend Paris 1866. "Leyendas Historicas" A. Rojas Caracas 1890. "Memorias de O'Leary" translated from English by Simon B. O'Leary Caracas 1883. "Origenes del Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" discursos del Senor D. Felipe Francia Caracas 1920. "Papeles de Bolivar" Vicente Lecuna Caracas 1917. "Pensamientos consagrados a la memoria del Libertador" Caracas 1842. "Recuerdos del Tiempo Heroico--Pajinas de la vida militar i politica del Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" Jose Maria Rey de Castro Guayaquil 1883. "Resumen de la Historia de Venezuela" Baralt y Diaz Paris 1841. "Simon Bolivar" Arturo Juega Farrulla Montevideo 1915. "Vida de Simon Bolivar" Larrazabal Madrid 1918; also sixth edition of same book New York Andres Cassard 1883. [Footnote 1: Duarte Level is not Mexican but Venezuelan.] [Footnote 2: Lorain Petre is not North American but English.] For the use of various documents articles and papers we are also indebted to Dr. Manuel Segundo Sanchez Director of the National Library of Caracas Venezuela as well as to Dr. Julius Goebel of the University of Virginia for his kindness in letting us examine his notes on certain papers existing in the files of the State Department in Washington. We beg to express our sincere gratitude to Miss Edith H. Murphy of Bay Ridge High School and St. Joseph College of Brooklyn and to Dr. C.E. McGuire of the Inter American High Commission for their revision of the original manuscript and their very valuable suggestions regarding the subject matter and the style. For the appreciations and judgments appearing in this monograph its author assumes full responsibility. Table of Contents _Chapter_ Introduction I. The Spanish Colonies in America II. Bolivar's Early Life. Venezuela's First Attempt to Obtain Self-Government (1783-1810) III. The Declaration of Independence July 5 1811. Miranda's Failure (1811-1812) IV. Bolivar's First Expedition. The Cruelty of War (1812-1813) V. Bolivar's First Victories (1813) VI. Araure. Ribas Triumphs in La Victoria. A Wholesale Execution (1813-1814) VII. The Heroic Death of Ricaurte. Victory of Carabobo and Defeat of La Puerta (1814) VIII. Bolivar in Exile and Morillo in Power. The "Jamaica Letter" (1814-1815) IX. Bolivar's Expedition and New Exile. He Goes to Guayana (1815-1817) X. Piar's Death. Victory of Calabozo. Second Defeat at La Puerta. Submission of Paez (1817-1818) XI. The Congress of Angostura. A great Address. Campaigning in the Plains (1819) XII. Bolivar Pays His Debt to Nueva Granada. Boyaca. A Dream Comes True (1819) XIII. Humanizing War. Morillo's Withdrawal (1820) XIV. The Second Battle of Carabobo. Ambitions and Rewards. Bolivar's Disinterestedness. American Unity (1821) XV. Bombona and Pichincha. The Birth of Ecuador. Bolivar and San Martin Face to Face (1822) XVI. Junin a Battle of Centaurs. The Continent's Freedom Sealed in Ayacucho (1822-1824) XVII. Bolivia's Birth. Bolivar's Triumph. The Monarchical Idea. From Honors to Bitterness (1825-1827) XVIII. The Convention of Ocana. Full Powers. An Attempt at Murder (1828) XIX. Difficulties with Peru. Slanders and Honors. On the Road to Calvary (1829-1830) XX. Friends and Foes. Sucre's Assassination. The Lees of Bitterness. An Upright Man's Death (1830) XXI. The Man and His Work SIMON BOLIVAR (THE LIBERATOR) Patriot Warrior Statesman Father of Five Nations CHAPTER I _The Spanish Colonies in America_ Everybody knows that America was discovered by Christopher Columbus who served under the King and Queen of Spain and who made four trips in which he discovered most of the islands now known as the West Indies and part of the central and southern regions of the American continent. Long before the English speaking colonies which now constitute the United States of America were established the Spaniards were living from Florida and the Mississippi River to the South with the exception of what is now Brazil and had there established their culture their institutions and their political system. In some sections the Indian tribes were almost exterminated but generally the Spaniards mingled with the Indians and this intercourse resulted in the formation of a new race the mixed race (mestizos) which now comprises the greater number of the inhabitants of what we call Latin America. African slavery added another racial element which is often discernible in the existing population. The Latin American peoples today are composed of European whites American whites (creoles) mixed races of Indian and white white and Negro Negro and Indian Negro and mestizo and finally the pure Indian race distinctive types of which still appear over the whole continent from Mexico to Chile but which has disappeared almost entirely in Uruguay and Argentina. Some countries have the Indian element in larger proportions than others but this distribution of races prevails substantially all over the continent. It would distract us from our purpose to give a full description of the grievances of the Spanish colonies in America. They were justified and it is useless to try to defend Spain. Granting that Spain carried out a wonderful work of civilization in the American continent and that she is entitled to the gratitude of the world for her splendid program of colonization it is only necessary nevertheless to cite some of her mistakes of administration in order to prove the contention of the colonists that they must be free. Books could not be published or sold in America without the permission of the Consejo de Indias and several cases were recorded of severe punishment of men who disobeyed this rule. Natives could not avail themselves of the advantages of the printing press. Communication and trade with foreign nations were forbidden. All ships found in American waters without license from Spain were considered enemies. Nobody not even the Spaniards could come to America without the permission of the King under penalty of loss of property and even of loss of life. Spaniards only could trade keep stores or sell goods in the streets. The Indians and mestizos could engage only in mechanical trades. Commerce was in the hands of Spain and taxes were very often prohibitive. Even domestic commerce except under license was forbidden. It was especially so regarding the commerce between Peru and New Spain and also with other colonies. Some regulations forbade Chile and Peru to send their wines and other products to the colonists of the North. The planting of vineyards and olive trees was forbidden. The establishment of industry the opening of roads and improvements of any kind were very often stopped by the Government. Charles IV remarked that he did not consider learning advisable for America. Americans were often denied the right of public office. Great personal service or merit was not sufficient to destroy the dishonor and disgrace of being an American. The Spanish colonies were divided into vice-royalties and general captaincies. There were also _audiencias_ which existed under the vice-royalties and general captaincies. The Indians were put under the care and protection of Spanish officials called _encomenderos_ but these in fact in most cases were merciless exploiters of the natives who furthermore were subject to many local disabilities. The Kings of Spain tried to protect the Indians and many laws were issued tending to spare them from the ill-treatment of the Spanish colonists. But the distance from Spain to America was great and when laws and orders reached the colonies they never had the force which they were intended to have when issued. There existed a general race hatred. The Indians and the mestizos as a rule hated the creoles or American whites who often were as bad as or even worse than the Spanish colonists in dealing with the aborigines. It is not strange then that in a conflict between Spain and the colonies the natives should take sides against the creoles who did most of the thinking and who were interested and concerned with all the changes through which the Spanish nation might pass and that they would help Spain against the white promoters of the independent movement. This assertion must be borne in mind to understand the difficulties met by the independent leaders who had to fight not only against the Spanish army which was in reality never very large but also against the natives of their own land. To regard this as an invariable condition would nevertheless lead to error for at times under proper guidance the natives would pass to the files of the insurgent leaders and fight against the Spaniards. Furthermore it is necessary to remember that education was very limited in the Spanish colonies; that in some of them printing had not been introduced and that its introduction was discouraged by the public authority; and that public opinion which even at this time is so poorly developed was very frequently poorly informed in colonial times or did not exist unless we call public opinion a mass of prejudices superstitions and erroneous habits of thinking fostered by interests either personal or of the government. This was the condition of the Spanish American countries at the beginning of the nineteenth century full of agitation and conflicting ideas when new plans of life for the people were being elaborated and put into practice as experiments on which many men founded great hopes and which many others feared as forerunners of a general social disintegration. CHAPTER II _Bolivar's Early Life. Venezuela's First Attempt to Obtain Self-Government_ (1783-1810) Simon Bolivar was born in the city of Caracas on the twenty-fourth day of July 1783; his father was don Juan Vicente Bolivar and his mother dona Maria de la Concepcion Palacios y Blanco. His father died when Simon was still very young and his mother took excellent care of his education. His teacher afterwards his intimate friend was don Simon Rodriguez a man of strange ideas and habits but constant in his affection and devotion to his ...

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