DescriptionDaniel Florence O'Leary Letter Signed with Autograph Endorsement Signed by Rafael Urdaneta. Two pages with integral blank, 8" x 10.25", in Spanish, "Headquarters on the Rio Negro," November 10, 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 Bolívar. 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.
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."
Countersigned by Rafael Urdaneta. 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.
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