“THE PRINTER’S PROPERTY BROUGHT BY THE ANDES ARMY…
BELONGS TO THE STATE OF THE UNITED PROVINCES
OF SOUTH AMERICA.”
JOSÉ DE SAN MARTIN. South American statesman. Letter Signed, José de Sn. Martin, one page, legal folio, Santo Headquarters, June 6, 1817. Notated in the left margin, Visit to the Fiscal Ministry. With the response of three officers on two additional pages.
“The Printer’s property brought by the Andes Army that Your Honor is asking me about in his letter from the day before yesterday belongs to the State of the United Provinces of South America. However, as they currently do not need it, they have openly rendered its services to this country, it therefore being possible for Your Excellency to use it. God bless Your honor.
José de San Martin’s letter is followed by responses of two officers.
Argomedo begins his letter below San Martín’s signature, writing three lines on that page and continuing for a page and a half, Santo, June 7, 1817: “The State’s Attorney under State secrets in the Treasury Ministry, in charge of the file of proposals by several interested parties on the Printer’s better performance, says: according to the Report by His Excellency Chief General, we cannot talk about a sale today; its hiring would be much more useful than its administration. It would be more beneficial to leave the administration of this place in the skilled hands of Mr. Manuel José Gandavilla [i.e. Gandarillas]. However, since, until now, you have not offered us anything else but its purchase, under certain conditions, we need to consider the offer again. We must agree on this matter immediately, for we can no longer read the public Papers. At your desire, you can be summoned and verbally listened to by the Treasury Secretary, and a price may be estimated together with the State’s Attorney, so that this matter is promptly solved. We should warn you that the new Room required by the university cannot be provided to you again on the day lessons are attended; however its dean will try his best to provide you with another one although it is not as comfortable. The merit of Mr. José Venito Elquiñigo and Mr. Eusebio Molinares is high appreciated. If they are not able to stay there, they will look for another place in the event Gandavilla’s proposal is received. Your Excellency will solve in whatever way he thinks most convenient.” In a postscript, Argomedo continues: “The State’s Attorney adds: the affair above having been agreed on, Gandavilla’ proposals have been delivered. They are certainly preferable to the rest and submit the best ideas.”
Dr. Villegas also writes his acceptance of the proposal on June 7, 1817, one-half page: “Accepting the settlement by the State’s General, the proposals to the hiring of the Printer, its hiring would be much more useful than its administration. It would be more beneficial to leave the administration of this place in the skilled hands of Mr. Manuel José Gandavilla, that made by Mr. Manual de Gandavilla are accepted as the most favorable and useful for the Government and Public: the corresponding Bail Deed is therefore granted under the agreement of the Ministries of the General Treasury as well as the Hiring Deed, which stipulates one year in the sum of three hundred pesos under the conditions proposed. And this at the Government Accounting Office and General Treasury.”
A four-line note of Romero appears on the verso for third page.
José de San Martin writes about the printer of the Andes Army four months after he had defeated the royalists at Casas de Chacabuco and took Santiago, where he refused the offer of the governorship of Chile in favor of Bernardo O’Higgins (who became supreme director) because he did not wish to be diverted from his main objective, the capture of Lima. He spent the next fourteen months after his victory, clearing the country of royalist soldiers and was finally able to rout the remaining troops at the Battle of Maipú on April 5, 1818. José de San Martin’s campaign across the formidable barrier of the four cordilleras of the Andes has caused him to be ranked with Hannibal and Napoleon.
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