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Lot 159*

£ 30,000 - 50,000
US$ 41,000 - 69,000
Papers of the Venezuelan patriot Francisco Avendaño, Colonel and afterwards General of the Engineers, comprising documents signed by Bolívar, Sucre, Santander, Soublette and Paez (all to Avendaño unless otherwise stated):

(i) Simón Bolívar, five signed documents: letter signed, ordering Avendaño to go to José Bermudez, who will entrust him with an important mission (1818); letter by Avendaño to Bolívar by whom it has been signed and docketed for approval, urging recognition of his work since the never-to-be-forgotten defeat of Morales on 13 September 1814 (1818); printed commission signed, naming Avendaño as 'ayudante general del Estado Mayor General en Angostura' (1818); printed commission signed, naming Avendaño lieutenant-colonel, counter-signed by Soublette (1818); printed unused 'patente mercantil' signed and sealed (undated)
(ii) Francisco de Paula Santander to Simón Bolívar: autograph letter signed, informing him that Avendaño is returning to Maracaibo as agreed, and strongly recommending him (1826)
(iii) Francisco de Paula Santander: printed commission signed, counter-signed by Gual, in the name of the 'Republica de Colombia', naming Avendaño commandant of Puerto Cabello and its dependencies (1825); autograph letter signed congratulating Avendaño on all that he has done in utilizing the people of Venezuela in the cause of patriotism (1833)
(iv) Antonio José de Sucre: autograph letter signed, informing Avendaño that Bolivar has decided to appoint him commandant of Cumaná (1819)
(v) Carlos Soublette: commission signed, confirming Avendaño in his appointment as adjutant general to the major general commanding Angostura (1818); letter signed, informing him that Bolívar has promoted him to lieutenant colonel of the engineers (1818); letter signed, informing Avendaño that Bolívar has appointed him 'Jefe de Estado Mayor de la Guardia' (1820); letter signed, ordering Avendaño to reconnoitre the road from Caugagua to Capaya, for ease of troop movements (1821); letter signed, informing Avendaño that he has received the 'Estrella de los Libertadores de Venezuela' (1826); letter signed, appointing Avendaño commander of the province of Bogotá and to take charge of munitions during his absence (1826); letter signed, informing him that Bolívar has decided that he should take charge of the Bermudez Division; letter signed, ordering him to take charge of the Cumaná Division; autograph letter signed, congratulating him on both his military and civil services to the Republic, which well qualify him for promotion to general (1847)
(vi) José Antonio Paez: letter signed, ordering him in the name of the 'Republica de Colombia/ Departmento de Venezuela', to plan and start construction of a defense system for the Maracaibo strait (1823); letter signed, appointing him commander of Puerto Cabello (1825); document signed, appointing him Governor of the province of Cumaná (1839)
(vii) Pedro Gual Escandon, on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of State for War: document signed, providing intelligence on the fortifications and armaments in Orinoco (1824); incomplete document signed, reporting on the state of the engineering infrastructure; letter signed, granting a salary (1825); letter signed, conveying the government's congratulations for Avendaño's work on the fortifications of the island of Bajo Seco (1824)
(viii) Juan Bautista Arismendi: printed commission signed, counter-signed by Diego Bautista Urbaneja, issued in his capacity as acting president during Bolívar's absence in Colombia ("Nueva Granada"), appointing Avendaño colonel (1819); letter signed, naming him 'Jefe del Estado Mayor de la División de Cumaná' (1819)
(ix) Diego Bautista Urbaneja: certificate signed, confirming Avendaño's appointment as lieutenant-colonel (1822); commission signed, naming Avendaño a councillor of state (1833)
(x) Rafael Urdaneta: commission signed, appointing Pedro Rodriguez colonel (1830); document signed, counter-signed by Paez, giving him permission to stay wherever he deems most suitable, on two-thirds pay, under the terms of Bolivar's decree (1828)
(xi) Francisco Bermudez, letter signed, ordering Avendaño to travel to La Guaira to take charge of the army there (1824)
(xii) Francisco Avendaño: letter signed, to Paez, relating the orders that have been given him by Bolivar (1827)
(xiii) José Grau, letter signed, appointing Avendaño a deputy of congress of Colombia (1829)
(xiv) Francisco Conde, letter signed, ordering Avendaño to go to Maturin ("...pase a Maturin con el objeto de fortificar aquella plaza...") (1819)
(xv) Francisco Hernaiz, letter signed, informing Avendaño of the congress's ratification of the treaty of peace and amity between Venezuela and Spain (1845); two documents signed, appointing Avendaño to the command of a corps of sappers (1847)
(xvi) other documents include: Francisco Avendaño (father of the patriot), an account of tobacco traded in November 1799; Mariano Montilla (document signed, disbanding a division of the army, 1835); José Maria Zamora, appointing Avendaño his deputy at the garrison during his absence (1847); Francisco Avendaño, to the Secretary of State for War, draft of his statement of his services (1850); José Gregorio Monagas, letter signed, announcing his accession to the presidency (1851), with a draft of Avendaño's reply; Manuel Filipe de Trovar, commission signed, appointing Avendaño general of brigade (1861); Benito Figueredo, printed document signed regarding Avendaño's pension (1861); Juan Crisóstomo Falcón, President of the Republic, Octabiano Urdaneta and Antonio Guzman Blanco, commission signed, appointing Avendaño general-in-chief (1864); Manuel Ezequiel Bruzual, document signed regulating Avendaño's pay (1864); Francisco Avendaño, his last will and testament (1870); Pedro Rodriguez to Antonio Guzman Blanco, forwarded by him to "Amigo Rohl", asking him to deal with the matter as it bores him (1874); Antonio Guzman Blanco, printed certificate signed, conferring the order of the 'Busto del Libertador' to Carlos Röhl, Consul-General of the Republic of Argentina (1882), nearly sixty items in all, folio and 4to, browning, paper-losses and other climactic damage, but generally in sound and legible condition, Caracas, Bogotá, Cumaná, Capaya and elsewhere, 1818-1826 and later


  • AN IMPORTANT RECORD OF A PROMINENT OFFICER'S SERVICE DURING BOLIVAR'S LIBERATION OF SOUTH AMERICA, principally during the years from 1818 to 1826. Bolivar had reinvaded Venezuela in 1817, establishing a revolutionary government at Angostura (now Ciudad Bolivar), and was elected President of Venezuela; defeating the Spanish at Boyaca in 1819. On 17 December 1819 he became President of the newly formed republic of Colombia, comprising present-day Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Venezuela. He returned to Venezuela from New Granada in April 1821, winning Venezuelan independence with the victory over the Spanish at Carabobo on 24 June. The following year, Sucre's Venezuelan forces defeated the Spanish and Colonial forces defending Quito at Pinchincha, Ecuador, on 24 May.

    Included in the lot is the 'Estrella de Libertadores' medal in gold, engraved Libertador de Venezuela, awarded to Avendaño as one of the generals of the War of Liberation. The letter by Soublette awarding Avendaño the medal is included among his papers (see v above).
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