DescriptionDaniel Florence O'Leary Document Signed. Two pages, 7.75" x 10.25", November 2, 1829. O'Leary (circa 1802-1854), a native of Cork, Ireland, enlisted in the British Legion at the age of sixteen and was joined to the Venezuelan Red Hussars. After arriving in Angostura, Venezuela, he set out for Guyana to join the troops of Simón. By 1819, he was serving on Bolívar's staff as aide-de-camp and, in 1827, he was appointed colonel.
In August, 1828, Bolívar was afraid he was losing control of the governance of his new nation of Gran Colombia and, following the congress' failure to draft a centralized constitution, he declared himself dictator. José María Córdova, a member of Bolívar's staff and military chief of Antioquia, vocally opposed the move claiming that it was against everything they had fought for. Córdova orchestrated a revolt against his former commander and the two armies met in combat on October 17, 1828, near Santuario, Antioquia [modern Colombia]. Córdova was killed in the battle.
Here O'Leary is acknowledging, in seven articles, the receipt of fifty thousand pesos used for the purpose of quelling the rebellion incited by Córdova. O'Leary states that the funds were necessary to "...cut at the roots..." of the rebellion. A later article grants a compensation of fifty thousand pesos be given to Antioquia, the site of the rebellion and Córdova's native province. The letter has the usual folds and some toning at the edges. Small holes appear along the left margin from being previously bound. The ink is faded in places, but O'Leary's signature is bold and bright.
With a manuscript docket signed by Rafael Urdaneta authorizing that O'Leary's communication be printed and distributed. Urdaneta (1788-1845) had served as a general in the War of Independence from Spain and later as secretary of the military, minister of war, and as a senator in the Congress of Gran Colombia. Following the death of Bolívar, he served as provisional head of the government of Gran Colombia.
Accompanied by a manuscript transmittal document, one handwritten page, 8" x 6", dated October, 1829, requesting that the distribution of fifty thousand pesos to the division of operations be expedited.
After the death of Bolívar, O'Leary disobeyed a direct order to burn the dictator's personal papers. He spent his remaining years organizing them along with his own memoirs, which his son, Simón Bolívar O'Leary, edited as a thirty-two volume work titled "Memorias del General O'Leary."
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