“I Alone”: Bernardo de Gálvez’s American Revolution”
An intriguing biography examining the life and times of a hero of the American Revolution.
By: Eduardo Garrigues
English translation by: Nancy Membrez
Publication Date: February 28, 2020
Bind: Trade Paperback
One of the unsung heroes of the American Revolution was Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of Spanish Louisiana and leader of armadas against the British in North America. He took out one Redcoat fort after another, culminating with the defeat of what was thought to be the impenetrable British forts at Pensacola. Gálvez positioned New Orleans as the port to ship arms and supplies up the Mississippi to the Continental Army. His genius and valor in facilitating the independence of the thirteen American colonies from a European power were ironically recognized by another European empire, Spain. The Spanish crown promoted him to one post after another until he died serving as the viceroy of New Spain in Mexico City.
After exhaustive research, seasoned novelist and diplomat, Eduardo Garrigues, brings to life Gálvez’s exploits, filling in the previously unknown aspects of his personality, psychological conflicts, fears and doubts. In addition to providing insights into the geo-political context of Gálvez’s life, he also sensitively depicts the courtship and loving relationship with his French Creole wife, Felicitas de St. Maxent, who was considered below Bernardo’s station in the lower—but penniless—nobility.
Garrigues weaves a truly American story of colonial life in early New Orleans, detailing commerce and competition on the Mississippi, colonist and Native American interaction, slavery and women’s subservience to men, Catholicism in conflict with folk religion and European privilege over colonial merit. Marching through these pages are historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Jay, British generals, Spanish military figures and even King Charles III of Spain.