Madrid: Imprenta de Espinosa, 1821. ,51-89pp. Contemporary tree calf, spine gilt, gilt morocco label, raised bands. Marginal hole in titlepage, with early paper repair, not affecting text. Minor worming in gutter of last several leaves, causing separation of terminal two leaves and free endpaper from binding. About very good. Item #WRCAM39240
A manifesto by General Don Miguel de la Torre, commander of the Spanish forces in Venezuela, declaring the honorable nature of the Spanish government's conduct toward Simón Bolívar during the 1820-21 armistice and expressing shock at Bolívar's breaking of the armistice treaty in March 1821. In 1820, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and in the midst of the South American Wars of Independence led by Simón Bolívar, Spanish liberals forced King Ferdinand the VII to accept the Constitution of 1812, which Ferdinand had repudiated shortly after his restoration to the throne in 1814. Under royal mandate Spanish commander General Pablo Morillo put the Constitution into force in the South American colonies in the summer of 1820, declared a "junta pacificadora," and began negotiating with Bolívar. On November 25, 1820, Bolívar and Morillo met and signed two treaties, one declaring a six-month suspension of hostilities, the other establishing regulations of war. By his own request, Morillo was recalled to Spain in December, and his authority was transferred to Miguel de la Torre. Less than four months after the signing of the armistice, Bolívar wrote to Torre informing him that he would recommence military action at the expiration of thirty days. In the present volume Torre reproduces and comments extensively on correspondence between Bolívar, Morillo, and himself from December 11, 1820 to March 23, 1821. He includes Bolívar's March 10 letter informing Torre of his plans to break the armistice and writes in horror at its unexpectedness, "incoheren[ce]," and disastrous implications for the Spanish army - "never," he laments, "were reason and good faith so distant" (p.84). By the time the text was printed in Madrid, it is likely that Bolívar had already advanced on Torre in Carabobo, routing the outnumbered Spanish forces with the help of the British Legion on June 24 and effectively winning the war for control of Venezuela. Palau notes that this is the second part of a larger work, MANIFIESTOS DE LA CORRSPONDENCIA QUE HA MEDIADO ENTRE LOS GENERALES... (Palau 335518), but was issued with a separate titlepage, which is present here. Neither this title nor MANIFIESTOS... is located by OCLC. Very rare, and an important record of diplomatic relations between Spain and Simón Bolívar, including significant details about Bolívar often lost to popular history. PALAU 335517.