Successful rancher turned soldier, Martín Rodríguez participated in almost every conflict in early Argentine history. His first campaign was against the British in 1806, taking back the Iglesia de Santo Domingo in downtown Buenos Aires. During independence, Rodríguez went north to fight with Manuel Belgrano & saw his share of victories as well as defeats.
With independence won, Rodríguez became a politician. As Governor of Buenos Aires, he & Bernardino Rivadavia created several important institutions: the University of Buenos Aires, the Museum of Natural History, the Banco de la Provincia & most importantly, Recoleta Cemetery. Then called the Cementerio del Norte (Northern Cemetery), a few lines of text on the Rodríguez tomb is the only place where the cemetery’s original name can be seen today:
Rodríguez originally supported Rosas but soon switched sides. By doing so, his family had to flee in exile to Uruguay where Rodríguez died in 1845. His remains were later repatriated, & the current vault was erected in 1924 with ironwork & a fantastic sculpture by Arturo Dresco. It became a National Historic Monument in 1946: