Bernardo de Galvez returns to the United States
Bernardo de Galvez returns to the United States
Washington DC June 4th  2014, the President of the Provincial Council of Malaga Elias Bendodo hands over to Mrs Teresa Valcarce a portrait of Bernardo de Gálvez with the presence of the Ambassador of Spain to the United States, Ramon Gil-Casares. The portrait was made by the painter Carlos Monserrat Malaga and commissioned by the Bernardo de Gálvez Association of Málaga.
Mrs. Teresa Valcarce, an American citizen of Spanish origin, presented an initiative to several U.S. senators to bring back a resolution of the Continental Congress for that, "consideration of early zeal shown by this gentleman several times in favour of the United States“ to hang his portrait in the walls of the Congress. For various reasons, the portrait was never painted. Late last year, Bernardo de Gálvez Malaga Association commissioned the painter Carlos Monserrate in making a portrait based on one apparently made around 1784 and believed to be made by Mariano Salvador Maella -currently preserved in a private collection.
The figure of Bernardo de Gálvez although not well known in Spain is firmly anchored in the American popular imagination among the heroes of the War of Independence against England. As a proof please see below an extract of his biography from the website of the United States Army.
“Col. Don Bernardo de Galvez
“As a young captain in the Spanish militia (1769-1771), Don Bernardo de Galvez fought the Apache Indians in Texas. He learned to respect them and to treat them fairly rather than to oppress them, as was so often the case at that time. He would later be known as a man of honour by other Indian tribes along the Mississippi valley.
“In 1776, de Galvez, now 30, was appointed colonel of the Spanish regiment in Louisiana. Despite the lack of a formal agreement, de Galvez supported U.S. forces, which were fighting Great Britain for their independence. He provided them cattle from Spanish herds in Texas and sold weapons and other supplies to U.S. agents, who shipped them by road and river to Philadelphia. De Galvez fought several battles in and around the Florida territory and eventually reclaimed the entire peninsula for Spain, as well as securing the valuable Spanish trade routes in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Americans remembered him for the assistance he provided during their time of greatest need. Galveston, Texas is named after him, as was Santa Maria de Galvez, the previous name of Pensacola Bay.
“De Galvez fought several battles in and around the Florida territory and eventually reclaimed the entire peninsula for Spain, as well as securing the valuable Spanish trade routes in the Gulf of Mexico”. Hispanic Heritage in the U.S. Army.
The Embassy of Spain to the United States as part of its Hispanic Policy is developing a set of actions to highlight the historic ties between the two countries through the knowledge of the figure of Bernardo de Gálvez. The initiative of his portrait hanging on the walls of the Capitol is one of them. The others include: the support for the proposed resolution submitted by Congress, Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida, to award Bernardo de Galvez with the highest honour this country can bestow upon to a foreigner, the honorary U.S. citizenship; a travelling exhibition on Bernardo de Galvez and the Spanish contribution to the American Revolution; the production of a documentary about his legacy in American history; and an international seminar, to be held in 2016 (coinciding with the 270th anniversary of his birth, his death 230 and 240 of the Declaration of Independence), about his role in US history with the participation of eminent scholars, historians and writers from both sides of the Atlantic.


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