147. padres del libertador & remedios de escalada ◊

09 Mar 2008

Padres del Libertador & Remedios de Escalada, Recoleta Cemetery

Everyone should know who “The Liberator” refers to: José de San Martín. He’s without doubt the most important Argentine who ever lived as well as a key player in world history. San Martín should be buried here alongside his parents (with the flag) & his wife, Remedios de Escalada (small tomb on right). But he’s too important even for Recoleta Cemetery… more on him in a bit.

A small plaque hidden in the bushes states that the parents’ remains were moved to Yapeyú in Corrientes province in February 1998. Their home was there, & it was the birthplace of San Martín. Another plaque explains that flag—a copy of the one San Martín carried during battle—was made by one of the Damas Patricias Argentinas, descendants of Argentine founding fathers:

Padres del Libertador, Recoleta Cemetery

Padres del Libertador, Recoleta Cemetery

Responsible for leading the armies that eliminated Spanish control in Argentine territory, San Martín crossed the Andes Mountains on horseback with his troops & freed Chile from the Spanish. Not stopping there, he continued north to Perú. San Martín’s leadership & military skill gave three nations their independence. By the time fighting in South America was over in 1824, Remedios de Escalada had passed away from yellow fever. Their daughter, Mercedes, was cared for by her grandparents while San Martín was on the other side of the continent.

Instead of resting on his laurels or taking charge, San Martín returned to Buenos Aires & immediately left with his daughter to Europe. Before setting sail, he bought a simple tombstone & laid Remedios de Escalada to rest in Recoleta Cemetery… at that time only open for under two years. Her portrait decorates the adjoining wall:

Remedios de Escalada, Recoleta Cemetery

Remedios de Escalada, Recoleta Cemetery

Argentines thought San Martín had abandoned them, & many European nations refused to allow San Martín to enter… after all, he was a revolutionary. Living in London, Brussels, & eventually settling in Paris, San Martín kept informed of events in South America but vowed never to use his sword again. He insisted that his fight was against the Spanish, & internal conflicts were a big mistake between newly independent nations.

A number of Argentine leaders visited him often in Europe, & he attempted one voyage back to Argentina. But due to the conflict between Buenos Aires & the rest of the nation, San Martín disembarked in Uruguay instead. He would never return to Argentina, dying in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France in 1850.

History almost forgot about San Martín because of his absence. But the opponents of Rosas (namely Sarmiento & Mitre) made sure that the contributions of San Martín were remembered. His remains were finally repatriated to Argentina in 1877. San Martín’s final resting place is inside the cathedral on Plaza de Mayo, protected by two guards of a regiment he created, the Granaderos:

José de San Martín, Recoleta Cemetery

3 responses

  1. Vanna Motto comments:

    ¡Hola!
    Mi nombre es Vanna Motto y vivo en Turín, Italia.
    El apellido MOTTO es originario de un pueblo llamado Grange di Front Canavese, situado cerca de Turín.

    Mi abuelo se llamaba CARLO MOTTO, nació el 9 de julio 1889 y alrededor de 1923 emigró a Buenos Aires, donde trabajó para la UNION FERROVIARIA (Ferrocarriles Argentinos).
    Por algunos años siguió comunicado con la familia que había quedado en Italia: su señora Antonia y su hijo Mauro (que era mi papá, nacido en 1912 y fallecido en 2005), pero después no tuvimos más noticias suyas… ¡en realidad no se llevaba muy bien que digamos con mi abuela!

    En 1943 recibimos una carta de algunos de sus amigos, en la que nos decían que mi abuelo Carlo había fallecido por una apendicitis aguda y con la que nos enviaron sus efectos personales.

    Lamentablemente supimos sólo eso. Desde hace muchos años yo estoy tratando de saber algo más sobre sus últimos años de vida: sabemos que tenía su vida en Remedios-Escalada Este-Calle Roma 2025, quién sabe si se había hecho una familia y si tuvo otros hijos allá… me gustaría mucho conocerlos aunque sea por e-mail o facebook.
    Espero que alguno pueda decirme algo más sobre mi abuelo.
    Te agradecería mucho si pudieras mandarme alguna información, un abrazo.
    Vanna Motto

  2. Robert comments:

    Hola Vanna – Si tu abuelo trabajaba por los Ferrocarriles Argentinos y vivia en Remedios de Escalada, lo mas probable es que formaba parte de los talleres ahi. Hace mucho fui a verlo (que ahora funciona un tipo de museo) asi que te puede interesar la serie de notas aca: http://www.wrighton.com.ar/?p=834. Quizas los socios del museo tienen algunos datos que te puedan servir. Suerte!

  3. mario neira motto comments:

    Hola Vanna soy de Chile, Vallenar, tu saber el otro apellido de tu abuelo?
    porque yo tengo antecedentes de una persona que también se llamaba Carlo Motto que vivió en Chile. Quizas no tenga nada que ver pero como te digo, se llamaba Carlo Motto.

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