[1829 Autograph Letter Signed by a Papal Diplomat in Peru to American Diplomat William Tudor in Brazil, written days after the Battle of Tarqui and concerning the Liberator Simón Bolívar and the Wars and Unrest in South and Central America].
“Bolivar, invested with extraordinary power, feels perfectly that on this war depends not only his political existence but also his personal existence…”
Less than a week after the Battle of Tarqui fought between Gran Colombian and Peruvian forces, Papal diplomat in Peru Achille Allier writes to his diplomatic colleague William Tudor, former U.S. Consul in Peru now U.S. Chargé d’Affaires at Rio de Janeiro in the Empire of Brazil.
Allier describes the “sad situation” in Peru in his letter —written entirely in French—and comments on the wars and unrest in South and Central America. He discusses the political fortunes of the great Liberator and leader of Gran Colombia, Simón Bolívar, who helped establish republican government there and gain independence from Spanish colonizers:
Since your departure ... I went to visit Central America where I found, like everywhere else, political convulsions, civil war and little hope of seeing the end of it. We are in Peru, in an even sadder situation than during your stay with us. The once languid trade is now completely destroyed. The work of the mines stopped by particular animosities does not let us foresee the time when our position will be able to improve. The war, which might have ended with a more rapid invasion, sufficiently provoked by the proclamation in which Bolivar declared that his presence in the south of Colombia would be the signal for the Combat, although it presented the chances of success, may nevertheless have quite the opposite outcome. Bolivar, invested with extraordinary power, feels perfectly that on this war depends not only his political existence but also his personal existence also he sets in motion all the resources that his energy and his activity provide to him to oppose his enemies with imposing forces, when the government of Lima on the contrary, remains in the greatest invasion, and takes no action to repair a setback. (pp[1–2]) ¹
The Battle of Tarqui was fought in Ecuador, so it appears that Allier, who is in Lima, Peru, does not know its outcome which resulted in Peru remaining independent of Bolivar’s Gran Columbia, a state which then comprised much of northern South America and parts of Central America. After writing about a half a page about Peru’s naval and marine forces, Allier turns to the revolution in Upper Peru and praises the United States as “the best and surest guarantee” of happiness and prosperity:
On the other hand, the revolution in Upper Peru, fortunately took for Lima a direction contrary to the views it had given birth, and may be due to this circumstance, to see further back the moment when Arequipa, Suno and Cusco, separate it from this republic to join that of upper Peru ... The whole world is in a state of crisis, your country alone is the one, which shelters them from the storms and chooses the follies of others, it is consoling to see the country where it is best established, to prove to men that it is the best and surest guarantee of their happiness and prosperity. (pp[3–4]) ²
An interesting letter between South American diplomats discussing the Liberator, Simón Bolívar, and the struggle there and in Central America for independence from Spain.
Description: [1829 Autograph Letter Signed by a Papal Diplomat in Peru to American Diplomat William Tudor in Brazil, written days after the Battle of Tarqui and concerning the Liberator Simón Bolívar and the Wars and Unrest in South and Central America].
[Lima (Peru), March 4, 1829]. pp. 4to. Bifolium. Text in French. Folds; small loss along bottom edge affecting three words, but not sense; Very Good.
Notes. 1. [Select Original French text:] Depuis votre départ…je suis allé visiter l’Amérique du Centre où j’ai trouvé comme partout ailleurs, convulsions politiques, guerre civile et peu d’espérances d’en voir le terme. Nous sommes au Pérou, dans une situation encore plus triste que lors de votre séjour parmis nous. Le commerce jadis languissant est aujourd’hui entièrement aneanti. Le travail des mines arrété par des animosités particulieres ne laisse point entrevoir l’époque où notre position pourra s’améliorer. La guerre, qui eut pu se terminer par une invasion plus prompte, que provoquait suffisamment la proclamation où Bolivar declarait, que sa presence dans le Sud de Colombia serait le signal du Combat, bien qu’elle presente des chances de succès, peut neanmoins avoir une issue tout à fait contraire. Bolivar investi de pouvoir extraordinaires sent parfaitement que de cette guerre depend non seulement son existence politique mais bien encore son existence personnelle aussi met il en mouvement toutes les resources que lui fournisent son energie et son activité pour opposer à ses ennemies des forces imposantes, lorsque le gouvernement de Lima au contraire, reste dans la plus grands invasion, et ne prend aucune mesure pour reparer un revers. 2. [Select Original French text:] D’un autre coté la revolution du haut Pérou, a heureusement pris pour Lima une direction contraire aux vues qu’elle avait fait naitre, et pet être doit on à cette circonstance, de voir reculer encore le moment où Arequipa, Suno et Cusco, le separeront de cette république pour se réunis à celle du haut Pérou… Le monde entier est dans un état de crise, votre pays seul est celui, qui a l’abri des orages leurichit des folies d’autrui, il est consolant de voir le pays où elle est le mieux établie, prouver aux homme, qu’elle est la meilleure et la plus sure garantie de leur bonheur et de leur prosperité.